No matter what Microsoft likes to say about it, Linux does represent the biggest threat Microsoft has faced in a long time, probably the most remarkable threat, too, because Linux has grown and been able to draw a lot of attention in an era in which Microsoft was already the king of the desktop.
No wonder Microsoft's position is envied by many, and IBM is no exception, having spent billions to promote Linux when Big Blue didn't invent it, does not distribute it and practically earns nothing from it... they are commited to make of Linux the most popular OS however.
How is it that for eight months a team of up to a dozen IBM consultants has been toiling in the data centers and computer rooms of the Munich city government--free of charge? Having goaded Munich into embracing open-source software, IBM is helping it plan a migration of 14,000 computers off Microsoft Windows and onto the operating system known as Linux. Never mind that IBM doesn't sell Linux, which is distributed free. And never mind that Munich officials say they're not committed to buying IBM hardware or consulting services, despite all IBM's free help.