March 23, 2004

Microsoft gears up for new IBM and Linux scrap

Microsoft is moving to a new phase in its competitive attack, arguing that the company is better than IBM and Linux when it comes to connecting
different applications.

The software colossus had been contending, through a series of Microsoft-funded studies and "Get the Facts" advertisements, that Microsoft products
have a lower "total cost of ownership" than Linux and other open source software. Now Microsoft is trying to move the debate to the challenge of

Where the first target of the Get the Facts attack was Linux, the interoperability phase also puts IBM in the crosshairs. In an interview Tuesday,
Martin Taylor, Microsoft's general manager for platform strategies, said he was happy to see Microsoft ahead of IBM among information technology
buyers in a Jupiter Research study funded by Microsoft.

Taylor said Microsoft has moved its focus from total cost of ownership to interoperability. The next phase will be reliability, with security an
ongoing subject, he said, adding that the priorities are based on customer queries.



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