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Linux Moles
Douglas Chick

A friend of mine at Microsoft told me that the largest problem they have with the proliferation of Linux on the corporate desktop is from "Linux Moles". Even though I had never heard this term used before, I knew what he meant. I then laughed and asked him to explain. 

"Linux moles are those people that have either on their own or convinced their bosses to allow them to implement clones with Linux onto the company desktop. Linux moles are open source Microsoft hating fanatics that sneak Linux onto a network by any means possible..."

As I continued to listen, it occurred to me that these weren't his words, I've known him for a long time and he is a smart and rational man. (He doesn't even work on desktop software.) He ranted and was very passionate with what he spoke on the subject--almost angry at times--as most people are when they are afraid. What he told me was what he was hearing at work from co-workers and supervisors. He was afraid because they are. Linux has been a train driving forward, slowly and steadily in the distance for a long time, and I think now he and his co-workers can hear the trains whistle blowing and see it close to the station, and there is a concern about how this Linux surge will affect their jobs. 

The "proliferation" of Linux has gone beyond resentment for Microsoft; it has migrated into a necessity. Microsoft moles, as it were, need a more secure operating system that is less likely to be infected with viruses. They want to provided an affordable desktop for their company to not just save money, but to show that they are a needed and valuable asset to the company, (we all know how important this is in this economy to be needed) and another added level of job security; preventative job outsourcing. The larger a company, the more computer software is needed and to offset this cost many companies have followed Microsoft's lead and began outsourcing their computer support staff to India and China. And the meat of outsourced software support is Windows based. 

Open Source is the only software that isn't marketing itself on the premise of more software less IT Staff. If necessity is the mother of invention, than Linux was invented to help the computer professional keep his or her jobs. I believe the demand for open source is much larger than a few moles spread out amongst vast sea of Windows desktops. Security costs and jobs and self-preservation are what is driving Linux onto the desktop. 


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