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Another Linux Test for Microsoft

Microsoft's purchase of software and patents from Connectix has many tongues wagging. The question is whether Microsoft can use Connectix's server-consolidation software to convince big IT shops to move from NT 4.0 to Windows Server 2003.

Another question is what will happen to support for non-Microsoft platforms now that the software belongs to Microsoft. In the past, Microsoft has killed non-Windows versions of software it has acquired--with the notable exception of Apple software. But the new threats to Microsoft are different. With IT budgets shrinking, Linux is putting more pressure on Windows, particularly in the data center. Soon Microsoft will have to give up its policy of bad-mouthing Linux and the GNU public license.

I predict that Microsoft will kill at least the Linux version of this product. Bad news if you're a Connectix fan? Yes. But VMWare is a good alternative product, and VMWare will certainly chase disenchanted Connectix users.

So if you are a Connectix user running Linux, start evaluating your options, but don't act until Microsoft makes its intentions clear. It's still possible that Microsoft will learn that Linux isn't a fad that will go away. One can hope.