Apart from fanatics, very little people seriously thought of Linux as a threat to Microsoft half a decade ago. For the good of consumers though, the software giant is indeed facing some competition, come to think about it and perhaps no retail product could have ever competed with Windows directly but Linux is something else, an open source, freely distributed program. At this time Microsoft operations are being investigated by European market regulators this comes at a time when the European Union has been promoting its "eEurope" initiative, with a goal to move all their public services online. [...]"Under NO circumstances lose against Linux" in an e-mail to Microsoft executives sent last summer. Discounting is a common corporate sales tactics in most circumstances. But under European law, companies that hold a dominant market position, like Microsoft, are prohibited from offering discounts intended to block competitors from the market.