The last few months, I was doing a lot less system administration, a little bit of project management and lots of web-related work (mostly on my blogzine).
Though Linux by itself can easily handle the first two jobs, as any web developer/designer will know, web design is a lot about making your site work consistently in different versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (which still lacks the equivalent of the blessing that is Firebug).
Developing a website requires easy access to the notorious browser and running it via WINE or in a virtual machine just isn’t simple, fast or reliable enough (though, I did just fix a few CSS margin issues using ies4linux).
It is 2009. Linux is now mature enough to be considered an adult and is definitely here to stay. But why is Microsoft still ignoring it? Right now, Apple+Google are probably more of a threat to Microsoft than Linux has ever been.
Furthermore, Microsoft’s biggest nemesis, Google, is benefiting greatly from its use of Open Source software. If Microsoft wants to have any edge over the big G, it should start to do the same. If the EU has its way, it will have to make some drastic changes anyway.
There definitely is a business case for supporting Linux. The only explanation I can think of for not supporting it is that it technically isn’t possible. Like MS Office, the IE source code is such a mess that there is no easy way to port it to a new platform.
If that really is the case, it means that such Microsoft products simply can’t evolve fast enough and could spell doom for the giant unless it does something fast. It could also be the reason why there still isn’t an equivalent of Firebug for Internet Explorer.
A Linux version of Internet Explorer, as well as other Microsoft products for that matter, would be a huge help to Linux lovers (like myself) who struggle to develop for both IE and FF, ending up supporting only the latter.
Microsoft almost missed the boat when the Internet came along. It’s about time they started taking open source seriously.