Back in 2002, Jim Allchin was co-president of Microsoft's Platforms and Services Division and was, in his own words, "scared" of the momentum behind Linux, as noted in an email [PDF] sent to several of his direct reports.
Why scared? Because Windows was starting to lose to Linux:
My conclusion: We are not on a path to win against Linux. We must change some things and we must do it immediately. The current white papers, etc. are too high level and they are not going to cut it.
So what did Allchin do? As court documents in the Comes vs. Microsoft antitrust suit demonstrate, and as Roy Schestowitz pointed out on his blog Sunday, Allchin started to buy facts. Lots of facts.
What facts? "Facts" about Windows alleged superiority as a preemptive kernel and asychronous I/O, facts that demonstrate that "Linux is old unix." Facts about Windows alleged security superiority over Linux. Facts that go to the heart of Red Hat and IBM's patent indemnification offerings and, frighteningly, Allchin seems to be foretelling Microsoft's later patent FUD against Linux:
We need to understand exactly the risk a customer is under if a patent lawsuit happens and Linux is challenged....There MUST be risks to customers that are being passed on. I want this understood precisely. We need to get the license from IBM given to customers and investigate.
To his credit, Allchin's e-mail constantly re-emphasizes that he's looking for facts, not tabloid marketing against Linux:… Read more