Microsoft WinCo after the split.

I have been having some more thoughts on the future for Microsoft if the proposals to split it in two are carried out.

I have commented that I see a better future for AppCo selling Office on the Windows platform and on other platforms. Most notably Linux.

In view of that, I have been having some doubts about the future for WinCo and what it might do if Linux took off.

I have seen comments in the computer press to the effect that WinCo could of course sell their own distribution of Linux just as SuSE, Red Hat and all the rest do now.

Then, a conversation with a Linux user got me thinking. He was complaining that the biggest problem with Linux is that there is just not the level of support for different devices that there is for Windows. in particular, printing under Windows is far superior to printing under Linux.

There are not so many drivers available under Linux, especially for the popular GDI printers and also, those drivers that are available do not support the same range of features as under Windows.

Now, after a split, WinCo would have access to the code for thousands of windows drivers. They would be in a very good position indeed to support these drivers and they could sell a distribution with Linux on one set of CDs and their driver suite on another. There would be nothing to force them to supply these drivers under open source and they could quite easily push out a Windows branded Linux distribution. With their sales and marketing machine, no doubt they would become the vendor of choice for PC manufacturers wishing to preinstall Linux.

They would also be in the best position in the world to produce a package to allow people to run Windows under the WinCo distribution of Linux.

Interesting thoughts and really no more than speculation but here is another interesting thought:

Inside Microsoft, despite all of the bluster and firmly expressed confidence, some of their best brains will be focussing on the options and strategies for the two businesses should the split be forced upon them.

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