Despite Gains in Market Share, Linux Firms To Call It Quits

Redmond, Wash. ( – Chastened Linux executives pledged to stop their “crazy dreaming” and disband their efforts after an executive from Microsoft proclaimed Linux was doomed, and openly questioned whether the free, rival operating system should exist.

Without Microsoft's blessing, what's the point?

The executive, Microsoft group product manager Doug Miller, told a reporter for Wired “Linux is not leading anything, it is simply providing a ‘free’ operating system,” adding that, “”Free does not sustain a business,” and, “the recent security problems with Linux … really call into question whether Linux should be used at all.”

The startling reprimand from Redmond sent shockwaves throughout the Linux industry, which was doubly disappointed because it had been steadily gaining share on Microsoft’s operating systems.

“When I read what Mr. Miller said, it was like I’d been blindsided, like a doctor told me I had six months to live,” recalled Matthew Szulik, CEO of Linux software provider Red Hat. “We recently exceeded earnings expectations, and figured to be profitable by next year, but it looks like we were wrong.”

Other Linux firms, public and private, said they would follow Red Hat’s example and liquidate. “If we don’t have Microsoft’s blessing, then what’s the point?” said a shaky Larry Augustin, CEO of VA Linux.

Augustin denounced as “absurd” allegations that Microsoft might be utilizing its infamous FUD tactics to spread Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt about an opponent in an effort to steal market share. “That would be deceitful,” he replied, “and Microsoft has stated repeatedly that it does not lie or cheat or mislead.”

When it was pointed out that many people lie about their honesty, Augustin grew defensive. “Maybe most people do cheat, but then, most people aren’t sworn to tell the truth in court like Microsoft has had to do, overover again!” and

At Linux community site Slashdot, which will be closing despite its remarkable growth and popularity, co-founder Jeff Bates grew introspective. “Somebody said to me that Microsoft was guilty of hypocrisy because it gave away Internet Explorer for free to eliminate competition from the Netscape Navigator browser, but this is a totally different situation,” said Bates. “We’re talking about Microsoft, for God’s sake, not a bunch of utopian, open source geeks like us.”

“No, we all have to take this for what it is,” he added, “the cold, hard truth. Damn their probity.”

Reached at his office, Microsoft’s Miller said he didn’t enjoy delivering the sobering news, and prayed his opponents would be able to find peace. “Revealing that Linux is full of errors, shouldn’t be used, and has no place in the software world was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” confessed Miller, who appeared to be holding back tears. “I can only hope that one day, they will see I was doing this to save them years of wasted effort.”

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