Microsoft sees a threat to its underlying business model, which explains the virulence of this particular round of FUD.
First it was “un-American”; now it’s a “virus”, a “cancer” and–are you ready for this–“Pac-Man”. Microsoft’s high-profile, expensive and carefully planned attack on open-source software is swinging into high gear; so is speculation about exactly what the company hopes to achieve. Typical is the conclusion of an analyst quoted by CNET News.com: Linux has emerged as a “spoiler that will prevent Microsoft from achieving a dominant position” in the server operating system market. By means of an especially virulent FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) campaign, Microsoft hopes to scare companies away from Linux and toward Microsoft’s newest offering, Windows XP.
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Source: Linux Journal