Ubuntu desktop apparently scares Microsoft

Redmond wants to find someone to help it combat open-source competitors on the desktop--and Ubuntu is the likeliest target for a range of reasons.

Ubuntu must be giving Microsoft fits on the desktop. That's the only reason I can come up with for Microsoft's LinkedIn search for a new director of open-source strategy, with a focus on the desktop:

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.

Given Red Hat's relative inaction on the desktop , this position likely will focus on Novell and Canonical's Ubuntu, but of these two, only Ubuntu's desktop is really catching the imagination of the market.

And, frankly, only Ubuntu is really changing the game around desktop enough for Microsoft to need to staff a position to counter the threat. Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop is good but it's somewhat staid (i.e., enterprise-like): locked-down and very much conservative.

The Microsoft job description requires the candidate to "think strategically [and to] put yourself in the mindset of our competitors." In other words, the candidate needs to think about bludgeoning Microsoft with a free price tag, a global community of determined developers, and absolutely no sacred profit cows like Windows or Office to protect.

Sounds like fun.

Follow me on Twitter at mjasay.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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