May 12, 2005
How Linux Could Overthrow Microsoft
For as long as most technologists can remember, there has been "Wintel," the $250 billion industry dominated by Microsoft's Windows operating systems and Intel's microprocessors. But "Lintel," or the Linux operating system and Intel, is now encroaching on this empire, and behind it is the entire open-source software movement, which threatens to overthrow the Windows industry. Faced with this challenge, Microsoft is showing classic symptoms of "incumbents' disease." Rather than remaking itself, Microsoft is using legal threats, short-term deals, and fear, uncertainty, and doubt to fortify its position. But this strategy probably won't work. The Linux operating system and the open-source model for software development are far from perfect, but they look increasingly likely to depose Microsoft.