2 January 2002 Microsoft is preparing a campaign to discredit Linux as a cheap alternative to Windows, according to a leaked email. The email, from Windows division vice president Brian Valentine, also suggests the company will be surveying its existing corporate customers for information on how they use competing operating systems.
In the email, sent on 26 December 2001 to the company’s sales, marketing and services group, Valentine urges sales staff to “do actual walk-throughs in accounts. Ask open ended questions… Ask about the ‘connector’ pieces. This is a great way to not only find out about Linux, but also other IT projects that may include Novell, Sun, Oracle and other competitors.”
Microsoft has also commissioned an “independent” cost analysis of Windows and Linux from analysts DH Brown which Valentine says will be available in May 2002. “It will be a great tool to help sell the value of Windows solutions over Linux,” he believes, and will complement an existing report on server consolidation prepared by DH Brown.
Valentine says Microsoft will be expanding its “Linux Competitive Champ” program (renamed “Linux insiders”) to build up teams up of sales people to cooperate in winning business against Linux. In addition, it is also setting up a Linux/Unix “escalation process” team consisting of people with “in-depth Unix industry backgrounds”.