Microsoft creates a Happy Birthday Linux video to celebrate 20 years of competition

By Tom Warren, on 22nd Jul 11 3:53 pm with 40 Comments

Microsoft has congratulated the Linux Foundation on turning 20 years old this week.

The software giant created a video detailing the history of the pair of operating systems. Entitled “Microsoft vs Linux”, the video asks “what happened” in a comic strip. “They had a rocky start,” says the video. In Halloween 1998, “Microsoft tried to scare Linux off,” says Microsoft. “Their ideas seemed too childish to Microsoft, even today the two of them are still bickering. There is no truce in sight. Or is there?” The video ends with Microsoft and Linux and a Happy Birthday message. Microsoft Germany created the video and submitted it to the Linux Foundation on July 13 with the message “warm wishes for your 20th Anniversary. Be prepared for your birthday cake :-).”

Microsoft and Linux have battled competitively for the past decade in the desktop and server markets. Admitting defeat in the desktop space, Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin claimed last month that he doesn’t care about Microsoft anymore. Zemlin claims that Linux has outpaced Microsoft throughout the server and mobile markets. “I think we just don’t care that much [about Microsoft] anymore,” Zemlin said. “They used to be our big rival, but now it’s kind of like kicking a puppy.”

Zemlin believes that Linux has come to dominate in almost every category of computing, with the exception being the desktop. “I think that on the 20th anniversary, it’s worth reflecting back on where we came from,” Zemlin said in an interview with Network World. Linux had a “humble start as a project for a college student in Helsinki, to something today that runs 70% of global equity trading, something that powers, really, the majority of Internet traffic, whether it’s Facebook, Google or Amazon.”

Microsoft is well known for sending birthday cakes to Mozilla, celebrating their shipping of various Firefox versions. The software maker sent an Internet Explorer 9 cupcake to Mozilla last month after the company shipped Firefox 5.

  • http://twitter.com/michaelantj Michael James

    Not the best birthday message, but it’s a start i suppose :)

  • http://twitter.com/mcakins McAkins Online

    It is actually mature of Microsoft. The crush-them-dead mentality of then is changing to an inclusive mentality, and that is a good thing. MS is growing into a lovable company, while the lovable companies of then are turning to giant monsters; I am looking at you Google and Apple!

    • Test1ngi23

      That Google! Sure sues the crap out of people everyday and charges $100′s for their products. Oh wait…

    • M.09

      1) Google is free for 1 reason and that is because they earn their money from your personal information.

      2) Google can’t sue sh*t because they don’t have enough patents. Companies spend a lot of R&D money, they have the right to defend their patents.

    • Test1ngi23

      1) So Microsoft doesn’t, and will never do anything similar with all the data they get from Bing?

      2) Whether or not Google sues for patent infringement doesn’t change the fact that Microsoft still does. Personally I don’t find that very lovable at all.

    • Guest

      MS appropriately defends its IP and the OEMs who chose to license it.

      Which is more than you can say for your precious Google, shill. They just lets their OEMs hang in the wind, even while raking in billions from the extra search revenue those OEMs provide them.

    • Guest

      No, you’re right. Instead they liberally help themselves to software from open source projects all over, modify it for their benefit. rerelease it so they can make billions selling our eyeballs to advertisers who then inundate us with marketing spam, and then fail to publish most of the source code despite the implied obligation to do so. When they’re not doing that, they’re accusing MS of copying them in search, while ripping off Facebook.

      Now, haven’t you exceeded your daily quota, shill?

    • Test1ngi23

      That Google! Sure sues the crap out of people everyday and charges $100′s for their products. Oh wait…

  • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

    I’d like to see Linux,  Apple, or even Sun EVER make a video like this…

    To them and most of their fans Microsoft will always be the “evil empire” that must be crushed.

    Kind of sad really.

    • Test1ngi23

      Linux isn’t a company! It’s a project. How can it make a video?

    • Test1ngi23

      Linux isn’t a company! It’s a project. How can it make a video?

    • Anonymous

      So people representing the Linux project can’t make a video?  I didn’t know they were that technically illiterate.

      /sarcasm

      (I know Linux devs are very smart folks)

    • Test1ngi23

      Nobody officially represents Linux. Even Linus Torvalds himself doesn’t own Linux. He owns the trademarked word “Linux” but not the project. That’s how open source works.

    • Guest

      He doesn’t even own that. He shares it with a European detergent company who also has a trademark on the name “Linux”. But his refers to an OS.

    • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

      I make videos on my Windows PC all the time…. :-P

      I’m talking about the Linux Foundation of course. Actually if you watch the 20 year Anniversary video at the Linux Foundation website it’s rather creepy… Seems more like a cult religion than an OS.

    • Test1ngi23

      The Linux Foundation promotes Linux but they do not officially represent it in any way. They could make a video if they wanted to but it would in no way be official.

    • Guest

      Split hairs much?

    • Sirebral

      You don’t understand. As a Linux user, if the Linux Foundation sends some charmy video to Windows it does not represent my opinion and never can without me signing onto it. I maybe not be a a Linux Foundation member … but I have made code changes and sent them upstream. I am a member of the Linux community.

    • Guest

      Split hairs much?

    • Guest

      Because Windows users/Microsoft fans are so nice?

      Check out these comments:
      http://www.winrumors.com/linux-foundation-chief-doesnt-care-that-much-about-microsoft-anymore/

    • Guest

      You know what, those comments are nothing compared to Android/iFan trolling comments on CNET. I would say Windows fans are nicer. Most of the time, we are logical.

    • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

      So you’re basing ”niceness” on comments to an article where the Linux Foundation executive director bashes Windows and compares it to “kicking a puppy”?

      Yeah that’s fair….

      That’s like calling someone “mean” because they hit you after you just punched them in the face.

  • Anonymous

    Well Microsoft actually makes a nice profit from Linux thanks to patent agreement with HTC, Amazon and many other smaller manufacturers so I bet they are happy to be Microsoft and Linux

  • http://www.ratdiary.com spragued

    Hilariously back-handed — the “Microsoft *and* Linux” tag is designed to trigger every gearheads fear about embrace, extend and extinguish.

  • Guest

    I usally like these gags because they remind me of the industry a decade ago, which had a lot more of these fun exchanges. But these cake deals are starting to get over done.

  • Anonymous

    Classy.  Truly classy.  Good on your Microsoft. 

  • Anonymous

    Classy.  Truly classy.  Good on your Microsoft. 

  • Anonymous

    But … I thought it was the “Year of the Linux Desktop!!!”

  • Anonymous

    But … I thought it was the “Year of the Linux Desktop!!!”

    • Test1ngi23

      It’s right before the “Year of WP7.”

    • Anonymous

      WP7 has a greater chance of success in mobile than Linux does on the desktop. Mobile is still the Wild West compared to the desktop.

    • Mark

      Or the year you get a job and a life.

  • Npgmbr

    I agree but I’d say its more Microsoft becoming the mature middle-aged man than lovable.  Google is still the scrappy young 20 somehting that has ambitions of taking the older guy’s (Microsoft) job.

  • Anonymous

    Cute!

  • Anonymous

    This video is too adorable for its own good.

  • Anonymous

    This video is too adorable for its own good.

  • Whyyouneed

    1) The Linux Foundation did not turn 20. It’s Linux, the operation system, that did. 

    2) Is it confirmed that Microsoft did the video? It seems it is a regular submission to the competition and nothing about it says it is coming from Microsoft.

    • M.09

      I’m afraid you missed this part:

      “Microsoft Germany created the video and submitted it to the Linux Foundation on July 13 with the message “warm wishes for your 20th Anniversary. Be prepared for your birthday cake .””

  • No

    I am an idiot!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pinaatti

    Those claims are ridiculous. Firstly, Linux is only barely powering Android (it’s a Linux rip-off + java crap) and secondly, MS has been gaining server marketshare from Linux for years. And ofcourse desktop systems are still the most meaningfull business. One desktop windows licence costs as much as whole smartphone…