No, that’s not my prediction for Microsoft’s mysterious Monday announcement. No, it’s what Microsoft is already doing with last week’s unexpected release of Skype 4 for Linux. Microsoft–Microsoft!–of all companies has just shipped its first mass-market, end-user Linux desktop program.
It really wasn’t surprising that Microsoft saw the light of Linux on servers when they started supporting major Linux distributions — CentOS, openSUSE, SUSE Linux, and Ubuntu — on Windows Azure. Ballmer and the rest of Microsoft’s brass may not like it one darn bit, but they know that people want Linux servers on the cloud so they had to give it to them.
In fact, Microsoft itself is using Linux for its services. Ironically enough, Microsoft has moved Skype from its peer-to-peer (P2P) architecture to one built around… wait for it: Linux servers.