Microsoft has lost and they know it.
They're losing the server market to Linux.
They're losing the browser war. Firefox is closing on what, 20% of browser share. Or is it 25%... it's hard to keep track.
Microsoft is going to lose the .odf vs. .docx war, look at Mass., California, Texas, and several other US states considering making .odf their standard for government documents. In the EU, they're losing share to Linux and OpenOffice, not to mention Asia and the developing countries. When MSOffice loses out with governments, they'll begin to lose out with businesses and then their office suite virtual monopoly is finished.
What does MS have left? The desktop, and their newest, latest and greatest desktop OS is pushing people in droves to OS X, Linux or at least buying XP licenses while they still can. Nobody wants Vista.
Now, even the US courts are finally beginning to develop a slightly more reasonable stance on IP issues and software patents may be either voided, or severely limited here as they are in the EU.
Microsoft is desperate and FUD is all they can respond with. It's all they have left. Well, that and a lot of money. But with they recent .mp3 patent ruling against them for $1.5 billion, how much longer will they even have that.
Hell, even Gates is abandoning the sinking ship Microsoft has become.
These latest moves are like the last violent thrashings of a mortally wounded beast. They're not a threat to Linux or open source software. They refuse to reveal the patents Linux and open source allegedly infringe on because they likely infringe on many more open source and other patents themselves and certainly can't afford that battle. They'd be lucky to have even as much success as SCO has had with their IP infringement claims and if Microsoft pursues them they will alienate customers, both large and small whlie creating a lawyer feeding frenzy on the remains of their financial coffers.
Microsoft has proven with Vista and Office07 that they can no longer innovate or create desireable software, though I'm not certain that they could ever do that. But these recent releases are even worse than WinME was. Hell, this new super OS has trouble just copying and/or moving files. I was going to write "what a joke," but it's almost too sad. I won't even talk about the DRM components of Vista and "tilt bits." That'll make a lot of their customers real happy. How many MSWindows equipped computers do RIAA and MPAA buy in any given year when compared "Joe Public" worldwide? How happy will Joe Public be when Vista decides he can't play his legally purchased DVD or download, or whatever because of some DRM glitch. Or, face it, some not-so-legal .mp3 or DVD he may have. I've heard that there are some of those out and about, here and there. They may not be legal, but that won't stop their "owners" from being unhappy when they can't use them.
All Microsoft can realistically hope to achieve with these moves is to perhaps slightly slow the growth of Linux and FOSS through FUD. For a little while. A very little while.
Sit back and enjoy the show. It's one I've been waiting for for a long time.
Just my $.02