Thursday, September 12, 2002 - Microsoft Faces New Challenge With Linux's Rising Popularity "In the biggest development, Microsoft archrival Sun Microsystems Inc. next week plans to announce its first full-fledged commitment to Linux on desktop PCs. The computer maker, whose server business has been hurt by low-end systems running Microsoft Windows, is determined to counterattack by cutting into Microsoft's cash-cow franchise in desktop-PC software. "We have a chance to be a force for change in the industry," says Jonathan Schwartz, Sun's executive vice president of software." ... "IDC estimates that unit sales of desktop versions of Linux grew 49% in 2001, while server shipments of the program were flat. That still leaves Linux with just 2.7% of desktop operating system unit shipments last year, while 94% of those 110 million shipments came from Microsoft. Those figures don't include free copies of Linux; Dan Kusnetzky, another IDC analyst, said some companies distribute 12 to 15 copies of Linux for every one they purchase."
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