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Microsoft Queries Linux Users

Microsoft is putting questions to Linux consumers and business users with a pair of online polls aimed at finding out what they like about the open-source operating system, and what the Redmond, Wash.-based developer should change in its own wares to make them more attractive to Linux users.

According to the Linux-oriented NewsForge newsletter and Web site, Linux user group mailing lists have received an open e-mail from Michael Surkan, a program manager at Microsoft, asking them to "help us identify capabilities, improvements, and features that Microsoft should be focusing on to help our customers over the next five years or so."

The e-mail continued by asking Linux users for their input, as well as a hint of "what it is that makes Linux and Open Source solutions so useful to you."

This is the first time that Microsoft has directly asked Linux users why they use open-source applications and operating systems rather than the company's proprietary Windows OS and applications.

The two surveys, one targeting consumers, the other aimed at business users, are available on the Web.