Business is war. And one company looks at other as the enemy. All are fighting for the market share when it come to OS' but Linux being open source is approaching it a little differently. MS is out to make money on the product where Linux is out to make money on the support and along the way they are building a group of people who are becoming very knowledgeably in the use of Linux. There is a real future for Linux. I believe this is the strong side of Linux. It's like running water on a rock, it will ware it down. In time Linux is doing this and that is why MS is taking note of it.
No Apple when head to head with MS, and came out with a good product. MS stayed with the software end and Apple when Software/Hardware. This was a winning card for them. Here is a little information. In the past (you do remember Atari?) Their OS was developed by Digital Research, it was the same company that Apple came up with there OS. This was the same OS that Atari used on the ST and TT computers. Back then it was Atari, Commadore 64, Apple, and IBM. And yes, Competition is good.