In this modest announcement, “Microsoft Picks InterVideo for Windows
Media Port to Linux,” we see the first tiny crack in the immense
anti-Linux phalanx marshaled by Microsoft. The goal seems to be not to
run a Microsoft application on Linux–not yet!–but to make sure Linux
consumer devices can handle Microsoft formats. I guess Microsoft
didn’t trust those clumsy free software developers to figure out the
formats for themselves…
But in marketing terms, this is a major concession from
Microsoft. They are admitting that in one quite crucial, huge
area–consumer devices–they are going to have to live and let live
with Linux. It’s a recognition that Linux is here to stay, so
Microsoft might as well take a piece of the Linux pie. It’s also a
tremendous endorsement of Linux’s potential in consumer devices, and
by extension in other embedded systems.
Does this portend a new Microsoft strategy regarding Linux?