Microsoft's recent $100-million investment in Novell's SUSE Linux certificates may not look like a shot at the open source movement, but according to some, it is just that. Microsoft seems to be hoping that SUSE can unseat Red Hat and, with the cross-licensing agreements Microsoft has in place with Novell, tie the Redmond-based giant into an open-source revenue stream. Novell has not even come close to removing Red Hat from the top of the Linux heap, but their product is definitely inexpensive and customers are buying it.
Some customers are trying to run both products on the same machines on the desktop side for a variety of reasons, but this trick is nowhere near the mainstream, requires several products to run in parallel, and takes a fairly sophisticated techie to implement. At least one prominent columnist, John Dvorak, thinks that a partnership of Adobe, Google, and a Linux vendor could put together a special-purpose machine that could make headway against Microsoft in industries that depend on Adobe's Creative Suite, but this initiative isn't even vaporware yet. Unfortunately, even in organizations that want to switch partially or fully to Linux, the resistance to actually implementing these switches is formidable.
Linux and Windows: Can't We All Just Get Along? (ComputerWorld)
Would Linux Help Adobe Pummel Microsoft? (News.com)
What It's Like to Switch to Open-Source (ComputerWorld)
Despite the localized successes of open source, it is unlikely that the masses will be switching anytime soon. Most people simply do not want to learn enough to be able to run Linux full time, they just want to be able to use their computers as they always have. Even through the crashes, Vista fiascos, and bloat that Microsoft is famous for, they do put out a product that works well most of the time, is familiar to users, and generally does the job. Have you started initiatives to switch users to Linux?