Unprecedented Cooperation Among Computer Companies

June 2006
by Reid Goldsborough

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“Warning: Flying Pig Sighted”
and “Hell Freezes Over” were among the many astonished headlines on
computer-publication articles and online posts about two recent events that
have shaken the computer world.

 

Microsoft, Apple, and the Linux
community—long-time adversaries offering largely incompatible computing
platforms—decided to put aside some of their differences for the sake of
computer users, and the changes are creating a new set of decisions that savvy
computer users, and those responsible for them, should examine.

 

Apple got things rolling last year
when it announced it was moving to Intel chips, which have traditionally been
used to power most Windows PCs. Then in April of this year it announced the
free download of Boot Camp software (www.apple.com/macosx/bootcamp) to let
Windows XP run on Intel-based Macs.

 

Meanwhile, also in April,
Microsoft announced it would begin providing technical support to some users of
Linux, the open-source operating system that competes with Windows.
Specifically, Microsoft will support Linux running on Microsoft Virtual Server.

 

Microsoft also created a Web site,
Port 25 (port25.technet.com),
to facilitate communication with Microsoft customers who use Linux and other
open-source software.

 

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