How Microsoft has become the Beleaguered Apple ‘96

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| While being battered by Apple on the premium end of the PC market, Microsoft
| is also facing competition from Linux on the low end. The Asus EEE PC and
| OLPC system, both running Linux, have sent the company scrambling to
| reconfigure low end versions of Windows XP stripped to fit on entry level
| hardware.
| Microsoft is also getting battered in the embedded OS market, prompting it to
| announce plans to rename its WinCE and WinXP embedded products as “Windows
| Embedded Compact” and “Windows Embedded Standard” by June 2008. The name
| change won’t actually solve the problem that those products are competing
| against free and open source alternatives that have no problem running on
| hardware with reduced resources.
| The server front is also getting pummeled by Linux, particularly as industry
| heavyweights pull away from Windows to embrace open software. Microsoft is
| now on the defensive, advertising that Windows Server works as a platform for
| running open source server software. That may be true, but it doesn’t address
| the problem that Windows Server is very expensive compared to the free
| alternatives those open source users are already familiar with.
| If Microsoft were the size of Apple, it could market Windows Server as a
| premium product niche alternative to Linux. However, Microsoft is struggling
| to perpetuate its monopoly over all PC operating system sales. Every lost
| sale destroys its ability to maintain the critical mass required to keep
| automatic licensing revenues flowing toward the company. Without any proven
| capacity to enter new markets successfully, Microsoft is left sitting on top
| of a melting platform, just as Apple found itself in the mid 90s.


Feeling the heat at Microsoft

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| A couple of years ago you reiterated that IBM was Microsoft's biggest
| competitor and you said not just on the business side, but overall. If I ask
| you who is Microsoft's biggest competitor now, who would it be? *
| Ballmer: Open...Linux. I don't want to say open source. Linux, certainly have
| to go with that.

Microsoft's SEC:

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| A prominent example of open source software is the Linux operating system...
| To the extent open source software gains increasing market acceptance, sales
| of our products may decline, we may have to reduce the prices we charge for
| our products, and revenue and operating margins may consequently decline. *


Microsoft Worried Over Linux Dominance In Embedded Space

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| Renames its family of products to target the embedded market.

Who's afraid of embedded Linux? Microsoft

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| ...Microsoft is fighting a losing battle here. It's like gravity.
| Eventually you just stop fighting and learn to accept it. Even Microsoft.


Linux to grow 278% in embedded/mobile/real-time apps

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| Linux use in "next" embedded, mobile, and real-time projects will grow 278
| percent over that in "previous" projects, suggests a recent survey by Venture
| Development Corp. (VDC).

Linux the fastest-growing smartphone OS

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| Meanwhile, in the world's largest mobile phone market (China), Linux already
| has a 30 percent share, CCID Consulting Company said in March.