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Microsoft Exec: Linux No Threat To Windows On Desktop

Linux isn't a threat to Windows on the desktop and is losing steam on the server as customers separate the operating system from the development model, according to Microsoft's chief platform strategist.

Bill Hilf, general manager of competitive strategy at Microsoft, said pundits have predicted for years that Linux will gain momentum on the desktop, but that won't happen because of the complexity involved in delivering a tightly integrated and tested desktop product.

"I've been a Linux desktop user for a really long time, and every year there's a collection of new stories saying this is the year of the Linux desktop, this is the year Microsoft is challenged. But the desktop is a very complicated scenario," Hilf said in an interview with CRN.

"It's not a Red Hat or IBM problem. It's a model issue," noted the former IBM executive. "The loosely coupled model of development prevents Linux from being successful on the desktop."

Hilf claimed that Linux adoption actually is slowing as customers cull the benefits of open-source community development from the Linux product. He called the "David vs. Goliath" mystique that has characterized Linux's ascension against Windows on the server "a phenomenon, but a big mountain of mythology."

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