Running Linux Apps on Windows (and other stupid human tricks) Part II

In Part I, I laid out the why and how of OpenNT as a portability solution for UNIX/Linux applications to Windows NT, the early days of the startup, and ideas for running a business based on liberally licensed software before we had the open source definition. In Part II, I talk about the end game, the acquisition, and some final thoughts.

End Game

By Spring 1999 we were in trouble. We had taken US$8.5M in four rounds. We were about 45 people. Although we were selling units (~40 thousand in use), we were burning cash too fast.

Inside the Giant … and Out

The new reality was a body shock. I had become a Product Unit Manager in the Windows world. We left the life and death fight of a startup, to enter Microsoft at a interesting juncture in its history. Windows 2000 released to manufacturing that fall. The MSFT stock had split four times in five years, and the parking lots were awash in Porches and BMWs. The company had grown from around 26,000 employees when we signed the software license in 1995, to 40,000 as we walked through the door four years later (and would be 60,000 by the time I left in December 2004). They were in the middle of the Department of Justice proceedings.

Postscript

The Interix subsystem shipped up through Windows 7. As well as processing taxes for the IRS, the US armed forces food services used it (breakfast in Afghanistan to dinner in Alabama), as well as California’s water quality monitoring to name a few examples. A number of large manufacturers and pharma companies used and liked Interix in various guises.

Tech exec, Founder, Writer, Open Source Advocate, Software Business Consultant, working at Microsoft (again!) in the Azure Office of the CTO

Tech exec, Founder, Writer, Open Source Advocate, Software Business Consultant, working at Microsoft (again!) in the Azure Office of the CTO