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Microsoft to port apps to Linux?

By   |  January 28, 2003

By 2006 Linux will be installed on 45% of all new Intel servers and by late 2004 Microsoft will start moving some of its application enablers such as .Net to Linux. These predictions were made by the MetaGroup in a recent report entitled “The Linux Scenario”. The research group says Microsoft will also start shifting backoffice applications such as SQL, IIS and Exchange to the Linux OS in the near future.

Linux currently accounts for 15%-20% of new server operating shipments, according to the report.

“We also believe Microsoft will reprice and/or separate the Windows server OS (into kernel and add-on components), so it can be favourably compared against free Linux. As a result of Linux’s growing market share,and the support of IBM, Oracle, HP and Dell, we believe systems management, networking, application development, and applications in general will increasingly be available on Linux platforms during the next12-18 months.

“In 2003, leading-edge users and even some ‘fast followers’ will move to Linux. By late 2003, managing and administering Linux will be mainstream,” predicts Meta.

Linux acceptance gained significant momentum in the first half of 2002, says the report, having moved from “bleeding edge” to “early adopter” status.

“Until 2004, we believe Linux will be a larger threat to Unix (particularly Solaris) than to Windows.

The reports says that while Linux is still only a small enterprise data center player with a 3% penetration, strong growth through to 2007 is likely to propel it to an 11% share. At this point the group predicts Unix will own 40% market share; Windows 38% others 11%.

By 2012 this figure could be as high as 26% with Windows holding 51%, Unix 20% and others a mere 3% with the real winner being Intel which stands to gain a 95% share of all new server shipments. The report says the prediction reflects “the market’s continued drive for cost-effective hardware. 2007-12 platform demographics will reflect Intel’s expanded dominance (from 54% to 82%) at the expense of both RISC (falling from 35% to 15%) and CISC (IBM’s complex instruction set computers – falling from 11% to 3%).”

The bottom line says, Meta is “users should exploit Intel-based solutions which will continue to be the

low-cost dominant solution – over more expensive RISC and CISC alternatives.”

Mainstream Linux deployment for Windows replacement, especially on the PC desktop, says Meta will remain small, driven by total-cost-of-ownership skepticism, risk aversion and user experience and support concerns. “But we expect increased deployment in limited function environments such as point-of-sale terminals, data entry, customer interaction centers, on appliance devices, in education and government, and in selected geographies with strong technical underpinnings and minimal Windows installed bases such as India and China.”


2 Responses to “Microsoft to port apps to Linux?”

  1. Morgan
    February 24th, 2003 @ 12:00 am

    At Comdex 2002, one of the hundreds of MS employees manning their stand(s) rattled off about SFU – services for Unix – which creates a GNU-like environment on top of the Windows kernel, “to assist with porting Unix apps to Windows” according to him. It allows you to compile a Unix/Linux app with gcc on the Windows box and then run it in the Windows GUI. They have developed “Interix”, a Linux-like subsystem for Windows… perhaps this is part of their strategy to deal with Linux, by allowing Linux apps to run on the Windows kernel?

  2. Nicholas Donovan
    March 5th, 2003 @ 12:00 am

    The comment from Meta Group, \”…Mainstream Linux deployment for Windows replacement, especially on the PC desktop, will remain small, driven by total-cost-of-ownership skepticism, risk aversion and user experience and support concerns.\”

    To anyone with an IQ above room temperature will attest, Linux deployments replacing Microsoft Windows is a done deal on the server side within the Fortune500.

    Meta (once again) is mixing apples and oil hoping to create a drink someone can actually stomach. Anyone who doesn\’t separate Linux server deployments from Linux desktop deployments doesn\’t know their industry.

    As far as Linux on the desktop is concerned, Meta\’s “total-cost-of-ownership skepticism” excuse doesn\’t fly. I\’ve personally trained over 3000 people from technology people to secretaries on how to use Linux on the desktop.

    In most cases these training seminars took a total of 2 days with savings being realized immediately and TCO over years 1-3 being well below that of MS-Windows.

    Meta group has been wrong on the growth of Linux so many times it\’s a wonder they have any clients left who will listen to them.


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