There are rumors in the industry that Microsoft has been itching to move its operating system upstream to bigger mainframe class machines and we can expect some announcements in the months ahead. But its biggest problem is still security. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said that security, which is at the top of the Microsoft to-do list, is expected to be off the list within the next year or two. This is not really possible with the "never-ending patches" approach.. But it is possible if Microsoft creates a virtual firewall within the system that runs on another operating system -- Linux. . . .
I suspect that Microsoft has been working with attorneys to see how far it can go to make some aspect of MS-Linux proprietary or somehow impossible to pass around free.
Its backup plan would be to possibly use Solaris as the firewall operating system and its new relationship with Sun indicates this possibility too. Either way, Microsoft is thinking big.