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Having beaten on Microsoft a couple of times lately, for losing its basic business focus in its attacks on Linux and its decision to keep contesting the European Commission judgment against it, I'll now come to praise them as much -- and for keeping its eye on that business focus this time. (Hey, I try to be a fair guy.)
So what did Redmond do right? It announced a deal with XenSource, the company that's formed to propel the open-source Xen virtualization technology, to have Xen run under Windows Longhorn Server when that's released. That will allow server administrators to run a pretty wide variety of Linux virtual machines in a Windows Server environment. That crossover has been attacked as a business problem by several companies now, most notably Centeris, but usually from the Linux side; this is an embedded method that will allow Windows admins to have the best of both worlds now, right from their basic package without any need for add-ons.

That, folks, is the epitome of customer satisfaction, which is the main goal any company should be seeking to meet. And that's purely a matter of self-interest: Satisfied customers translate to more sales, which translates to more profits and the ability to a) keep shareholders happy and b) plow operating money back into the company to improve its products. Capitalism 101, in other words, and when nobody gets hurt or polluted or ripped off, it's not such a bad system. This is what Microsoft needs to be doing -- looking for ways to extend Windows Server and make it desirable on its own considerable merits, rather than pounding on the competition or ramming its head into unbreachable legal walls. Here, it's decided that people might actually want to use Linux and made that possible, rather than sneering foolishly at open source as some kind of tired technology that it's actually not. Smart move.