Microsoft isn’t exactly in fighting trim

From But Microsoft isn’t exactly in fighting trim. Its ambitious new operating system, code-named Longhorn, is more than a year late, even after having been scaled back. Linux, the free operating system that Gates once scoffed at, is fighting Microsoft for share in both the server and desktop markets, forcing the company to do the unthinkable: offer customer discounts. Last year it had to spend $1 billion to rewrite thousands of lines of code to make its programs less susceptible to viruses. Its Xbox gaming console is winning raves from players but has yet to make serious money. Meanwhile, Apple has stolen the show in online music with its hugely popular iPod and iTunes Music Store. Plus, the recently released Firefox browser, which can be downloaded free, has forced Gates to reconstitute an Internet Explorer development team. Indeed, four years have passed since Microsoft released a piece of software that generated the kind of buzz Google seems to generate every month.

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