How Microsoft Can Embrace Linux

To make its way into developing countries, Microsoft is already finding it has to offer cut-rate pricing, and that has lots of the rest of the world wondering why they can’t get similar deals. And a small but growing number of high-profile government and corporate customers overseas are flat-out ditching Windows or Microsoft’s mainstay application, the Office productivity suite.

AID AN ARCHRIVAL? Here’s a solution, a tad radical, perhaps, but one that Microsoft really ought to consider: How about selling a proprietary, low-cost version of Office designed for computers running the Linux operating system? As open-source software, Linux is free to anyone who wants to can download its source code and run it. While prepackaged versions sold by Red Hat (RHAT ) and others that are easy to use and offer support cost extra, in the realm of PC operating systems and desktop applications, Linux-based products cost much less than their Windows counterparts.