Ex-MSFT Employee: Microsoft Should Run Linux

Should Microsoft just give up the whole Windows business and switch over to a Linux codebase? A former Microsoft Research employee thinks so.

Keith Curtis believes that not even the well-received Windows 7 will stop Linux from market domination. And in keeping with the "if you can't beat 'em, then join 'em" attitude, Curtis thinks that Microsoft and its customers would be better off if the company ditched Windows and made its own version of Linux.

Microsoft Linux? Strange indeed.

"I think we could all be running Microsoft Linux. I sent an e-mail to Steve Ballmer about this and he said he wasn't interested," he quipped in a NetworkWorld story. "Microsoft could very easily dominate the Linux market if they wanted to. I don't think they should release all their source code ... nobody would use it."

"I just look at their code bases and the world doesn't need any of their code bases," Curtis added. "From the day I started using Linux, I no longer used one line of Microsoft code -- it's been four years now."

Stranger things have happened in the world of the computing industry, but Microsoft abandoning Windows seems like an impossibility. Curtis points out that it wouldn't be a costly venture for Microsoft to dabble in, as Ubuntu was started with about $10 million – just pocket change for Microsoft.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • leafblower29
    This is the biggest reverse paradigm ever.
  • burnley14
    An ex-employee has negative things to say about his former company and how they operate? I'd take his comments with a grain of salt or two.
  • brockh
    So this was some guy who was hired by Microsoft to code a few lines in its "Games Explorer" division (consisting of him and Milton sans stapler); with his vast knowledge of the Windows code base and his deep connection with the inner workings of the company he must be a serious insight into what we should really be thinking.

    Wait, I'm just crazy.

    Seriously though, I like how when things like this are posted it never shows the position of the person saying these things and how long they actually worked with the company... He could've been the freaking janitor for all we know who sat up coding for Linux's version of Chrome on his days off who never even used a product for the company he was working for. Ugh.
  • cruiseoveride
    Imagine? They probably have 1 million versions of Linux under continuous testing and development.
  • Abrahm
    Keith Curtis believes that not even the well-received Windows 7 will stop Linux from market domination.

    Right. We haven't been hearing that for years. I have a little secret for you Mr. Curtis. Windows is already dominating the market, and in spite of predictions over the last 15 years, Linux is still less than 1%. Hardly close to market domination.

    Don't get me wrong, I'd like to see Linux with a much bigger market share, but this guy is an idiot just looking for 15 minutes of fame.
  • IzzyCraft
    ex Microsoft employee that loves linux big surprise. There hasn't been a movie to linux because many distributions aren't friendly enough for people that can barely use a mac (i'm not counting that a a linux) or windows while being walked-though by their children.

    Although i can't see why business can't transition into a linux base, just need one where you can lock out all users but admins, as job training for even basic things is still common when it comes to computers.
  • oh please give me break, everyone said Linux will take over MS 10 years ago, what happen ? Linux is good free for the nerd/technical people, not for average Joe. MS had come a long way from MS-DOS to current Windows 7. Last 15 years working as Unix administrator/Engineer. I had try Linux so many time and it fail me each time, just so many simple application like iTune, or game simply don't run under Linux, and the WINE is joke. One OS can't fit all the need for the people. each OS can do different thing depend on the person need.
  • webbwbb
    Microsoft is already running Linux actually.

  • rooket
    "Keith Curtis believes that not even the well-received Windows 7 will stop Linux from market domination."

    how can one make this kind of a statement about an o/s that is not user friendly at all. sure linux is powerful and i have used it but you don't see me running it on my computers because it is all command line based and can be very troublesome to install drivers and software in. I like linux fine but as far as mainstream? that is quite a bit far fetched, this ex microsoft employee has a very vivid imagination.
  • ravewulf
    Yeah, I'll take my grains of salt on this one. The guy doesn't seem to know much about what he's talking about. Can anyone honestly imagine Microsoft dropping all the work they have done and trying to port everything over to linux AND working on compatibility for all past products that work on Windows?

    And as a lot above me have already said, linux has been predicted to take over for ages and is still less than 1% of the market.