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What exactly are Microsoft's plans for Linux on Windows?

A Linux developer -- he prefers to remain anonymous -- has told NewsForge he was recently contacted by Microsoft and invited to a job interview. He accepted, and during the interview he asked the obvious question: Why was Microsoft interested in hiring someone with strong Linux skills? The reply was that Microsoft is working on an emulator that will allow Windows users to run Unix.

Considering that Microsoft already has an emulator that will do just that, it's not crystal clear exactly what the monopoly has in mind for Linux on its desktop and/or server products. Microsoft purchased its Virtual PC product from Connectix early last year.

Why is Microsoft interviewing Linux developers? Are they needed to work on the Virtual PC product, or on Longhorn? I called Microsoft public relations -- actually, it was Waggoner Edstrom's Rapid Response Team, which handles MS public relations -- and put the developer's question to them.

The first response I received said "After speaking with my colleagues, I can confirm that Microsoft has no plans to port to Linux at this time." Since that was an answer to a question I hadn't asked, I asked again. The second response was unequivocal: "Unfortunately, we do not have further comment on your question."

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