Anything we can learn from Microsoft ?
However hard they might try, Microsoft and Linux will not be able to destroy each other. And the tension/competition between them will leave neither unchanged.
Microsoft can clearly learn a lot from Open Source and Linux, but is there anything we can learn from them ?
Well, one thing they *do* have is a measure of off-the-shelf accessibility. Computers are only a small part of many people's lives, and they are probably wise to keep it that way :-)
For all the strength of Linux and the Open Source movement, it is still mainly "by public-spirited nerds and for public-spirited nerds". Considering how public-spirited we are, its striking how little the broader public (except, perhaps in its web-browsing time) has yet benefited.
Redmond, in contrast, is mainly "by privately-minded nerds and for shareholders". Considering how private-minded they are, (and how much of the world's wealth they keep relocating to their treasury) it is surprising how much useful work they have managed to do for the public, in terms of the accessibility/usability of PCs. (Or at least, they have managed to do this for that part of the public which can afford to keep on upgrading their software). Microsoft software may not always work well, but at least it is easy to use ...
If competing with Microsoft helps us to become more accessible to a broader public, then I look forward to the coming skirmishes. I also look forward to the defections (which are bound to take place during the campaign) from Microsoft's "anti - Linux" team into the open source community :-)