More evidence that Linux spooks Microsoft

In case you needed extra evidence that Microsoft worries about the Linux threat, here's more: Microsoft is advertising for a Director of Open Source Strategy, and the job is aimed at combating Linux on the desktop, not on servers.

The position of Director, Open Source Desktop Strategy was first advertised on LinkedIn on February 5. Here's the overall job description:

The Windows Competitive Strategy team is looking for a strong team member to lead Microsoft’s global desktop competitive strategy as it relates to open source competitors. Our team mission is to gather intelligence, create business strategies, and drive action in the marketplace for the Windows Client business.

Note that the job is for the Windows team, and it's aimed at the Windows client business --- not servers. In case you needed more proof that it's to combat Linux on the desktop, not servers, the job description later adds this:

As the Director of Open Source Desktop Strategy you will need to drive research and build holistic strategies across dynamic market segments like PCs, NetBooks, and mobile internet devices.

Most surprising of all is that the job description mentions not just netbooks and mobile devices, but PCs as well. An estimated 30% of netbooks ship with Linux, so it's no surprise that netbooks would be a key part of the job. And mobile devices are an obvious target as well. But PCs, which clearly means desktop PCs? It shows that Microsoft is worried that people who buy netbooks may get used to Linux, and eventually move to Linux on the desktop as well.

The person who takes this job will be heading up an all-out press against Linux on the desktop, as these specific job functions taken from the job posting show:

  • Manage technical analysis of competitive platforms
  • Create a rational set of proof points that promote Microsoft’s comparative value
  • Build a fact-based marketing plan that articulates the Windows Client value proposition to partners and customers
  • Collaborate with the owners of outbound marketing channels, such as PR, advertising, analysts, field, and partners
  • Manage a marketing budget and influence worldwide subsidiary participation to drive our strategy

For another point of view about the job posting, check out this thinking on Slashdot.

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