Dreams of Longhorn | Newsmakers | CNET News.com: "Q: What's Microsoft's latest thinking on Linux? The market has changed a bit in the past few years, with some consolidation. But companies continue to install Linux on servers. How does Microsoft approach that problem?
[Bob Muglia:] The world has changed a bit. If you went back 18 to 24 months ago, it was unclear what Linux would look like and how it would evolve. It was thought of as free. And there was a whole series of attributes that were attributed to Linux that in retrospect were inaccurate. As time has gone on, it's apparent that Linux is becoming a set of offerings from commercial vendors. When I think of Linux, I don't think about it as our competitor. I think about Linux as a technology that is used by our competitors to build competitive offerings.
Sometimes, those products are solutions or pieces of solutions that need to be integrated together. One of the differentiations that Microsoft has with Linux is that we are a software company first and foremost, and we think about software-based solutions to information technology problems and how our software can drive down cost. That's pretty distinct from, say, an IBM that is first and foremost a consulting company. Our focus is how to provide more out-of-the-box solutions that don't require those consulting services."