In an internal email addressed to Microsoft employees, and obtained by the Reuters news service, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer urged the workers to meet the challenge that has been set by Linux. Linux is being used more and more by corporate customers.

Specifically, he stated that "In this environment of lean IT budgets and concerns about Microsoft's attention to customers, non-commercial software such as Linux and OpenOffice is seen as interesting 'good enough' or 'free' alternatives."

Ballmer also mentioned Microsoft's next biggest release, Longhorn, which is expected to be released in 2 years time. "Longhorn is our big bet on galvanizing the next big breakthrough - even bigger...than the first generation Windows release."