So you'd expect that when former chief competitor, Novell, last week announced plans to acquire SuSE Linux, Redmond's response would be less than complimentary, right?But that wasn't the case. In fact, Martin Taylor, general manager of Microsoft's platform strategy (and point man in the fight against Linux), released a statement saying, in part, "The Novell and SuSE announcement is further evidence of the trends of consolidation and commercialization in the Linux industry." He believes that the move "puts additional commercial pressures on Linux."He seems to think it's a good thing. Whether it's because the acquisition might make Linux more proprietary (or more fractured, as Unix became in the 1980s) or because Microsoft expects Novell marketing to do its usual job of butchering Novell products is left unstated.Linux simply isn't that big a threat to Windows. Linux is a major threat to the other 'nix operating systems, though (Unix, AIX, Ultrix, Solaris, and on and on. Did I mention fragmentation?). The Windows server market share continues to grow against all competitors as well as against each competitor individually. All the other server operating systems are fighting to claim a bigger piece of a smaller slice of the pie for themselves.It wouldn't hurt you to add a Linux server to your network. Especially if you want a dedicated Web server (with Apache), database server (with Oracle or MySQL) or even a mail server (to combat the exploding amount of spam). A Linux server is a cheap and efficient way to set up a single-purpose device that can take some load off your Windows servers. You can even manage it from your familiar Windows desktop using the new ApManager suite from NetIQ (https:\/\/www.nwfusion.com\/newsletters\/nt\/2003\/0929nt1.html). Think about it.