Here are the searches I ran, and a few highlights of the results. I'll try to repeat this periodically to see how MS's awareness of Linux evolves.
|Date||Hits at www.microsoft.com||Hits at *.microsoft.com|
|31 July 1998||27|
|16 Aug 1998||64|
|13 Feb 1999||166|
|21 Aug 1999||331||463|
|13 Dec 1999||459||1246|
|19 Jan 2000||538||1449|
|19 Feb 2000||559||1174|
|24 Mar 2000||559||1269|
|6 May 2000||477||456|
(Note: for a few weeks in October 1999, Altavista's hit counts for this search dropped by a factor of two; by October 18th, they were back up to the figures listed for 21 August. Sounds like they purged their database, then rebuilt it. Also note that the growth is not continuous; the counts seem to increase about once per quarter. Don't know what caused the drop in *.microsoft.com hits on 19 Feb 2000. Note that *.microsoft.com hits are less than www.microsoft.com hits in May 2000, which is impossible; guess one can't really trust those hit counts.)
By 2003, Altavista had decayed to such an extent that it is no longer useful for this search.
|Date||Hits at *.microsoft.com|
|15 June 2003||About 5250|
|6 August 2006||About 22,100|
By this crude measure, Linux popularity has climbed 60% per year in the three years 2003-2006.
Among the top hits in 2003 were Resources for Competing with Linux and Interoperability - Linux (which was chiefly about how to migrate Linux systems to Windows; guess that's their idea of interoperability :-)
The top four hits in 2006 were
|Date||whole site||Products||Developer Resources||IT Resources||Training and Certification||Support/Knowledgebase|
|31 Jul 1998||> 50||47||38|
|21 Aug 1999||> 50||> 50||43||25||1|
|13 Dec 1999||> 100||47||67||26||1|
|19 Jan 2000||> 100||39||73||28||1|
|19 Feb 2000||> 100||39||85||27||1|
|24 Mar 2000||> 100||61||87||30||1||17|
|5 May 2000||> 100||64||96||40||0||22|
|15 June 2003||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|6 Aug 2006||16,213||n/a||1052||1510||217||2,167|
(The Microsoft search page used to limit you to 50 or 100, hence the > entries.) It's interesting to note that as of May 2000, developer resource references to linux are growing, while product references to linux are shrinking.
It appears that as of June 2003, Microsoft blacklisted the term "linux" from their search engine, but reversed this policy some time before 2006.
|21 Aug 1999||7|
|13 Dec 1999||12|
|19 Jan 2000||12|
|19 Feb 2000||14|
|10 Oct 2000||229 out of 1009|
At the moment, there appear to be two Microsoft products that run on Linux: NetShow and the FrontPage extensions.
COM for Linux still appears to be a half-hearted attempt. http://msdn.microsoft.com/developer/news/feature/vcjune98/unixcom.htm mentions that, although support for transactions is built into COM on Windows, there is no support for transactions in the various ports of COM to Linux:
Q. Can a transaction on Windows NT station be carried to UNIX?This shows that fairly important parts of COM are missing under non-Windows platforms.
A. ... The advantage of using MTS is that the COM method call and transaction coordination is accomplished implicitly. They are one and the same step. Currently, using DCOM on UNIX the coordination of the DCOM call and the transaction is not implicit and must be handled on a programming level.
The future of COM under Unix looks doubtful. According to http://www.microsoft.com/com/complus.asp, Microsoft is moving to roll MTS (Transaction Services) into the next version of DCOM, called COM+, but has no intention of ever supporting COM+ under Unix.
The COM+ whitepapers have moved to http://www.microsoft.com/com/resources/compluscd/papers.asp. It looks like COM+ is now tied tightly to Windows 2000.
Note: Licenses for LINUX do not qualify customers for a license of the Competitive Upgrade product for Windows NT Server 4.0 or Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition.
The PCI-RAS multimodem [from Chase Research] is the easiest way to connect 4 to 8 V.90 modems on one card into your remote access server. ... Includes lifetime warranty and drivers for Windows NT, Windows, SCO Unix, Linux, Solaris.
This report has been mostly complementary of the COM+ technology, but there is a downside to it. First, COM+ is Windows-centric, and second, COM+ is Windows-centric. That is, developing for COM+ ties an application to the Windows platform. Since this platform is still meeting with hardware scalability issues, very large-scale enterprise application deployments may find it too limited. In addition, the Windows platform still suffers from continued instability and change that will most likely occur through 2004. ...
Microsoft Corporation also faces a growing dislike among a number of companies that fear Windows owns too much of the operating system market, and therefore, leaves their companies vulnerable to the long-term risks of price gouging and limited support. NC.Focus does not see these risks as likely possibilities. Any possible abuses by Microsoft against the customer base would draw immediate retaliation, resulting in the emergence of an alternative operating system. Some already believe this has happened with the Linux community, although, at this point, Linux and Windows NT operating system services don't compare.
Besides, Linux is a dreadful multi-vendor solution that will not work well for the enterprise as whole. In contrast, Microsoft continues to offer an unprecedented number of services as part of the overall operating system environment making the Windows platform a tremendous value proposition. If another operating system were to arise to compete with Windows, it would need to match Window's level of services and accessibility, but with enhanced scalability and reliability.
As another example of Microsoft's commitment to interoperability, its Component Object Model (COM) technology is available for Sun Microsystems' Solaris 2.5.1. ... Microsoft's COM for Solaris 1.0 on CD-ROM is US$3,500 for a single machine license.Note that since Microsoft is now pushing people to write for COM+ rather than COM, even if you pay the $3500 for their latest COM on Solaris support, you'll still be in a backwater, unable to use Microsoft's latest tools. This is a common tactic; Microsoft often says "Of course we support this technology cross platform!", but when you look harder, only an obsolete, de-emphasized version is available for non-Win32 platforms.
Myth America: The Facts About Linux and Windows NTThis seems to indicate they consider Linux their most important competitor at the moment.
Arm yourself with the truth about five myths the Linux community loves to perpetuate: Performance, reliability, TCO, security, desktop suitability. Facts are so much more reliable than myths.
The Register has a few interesting things to say about the Gartner Group reports referenced in Microsoft's "Linux Myths" page.