I am very glad that you did ask why they didn't choose the public path. However the answer doesn't make sense. The Linux kernel, like many open source projects, is a public effort. For them to be valid, they shouldn't consult with companies that use their software, because there will always be distributions made for no profit.
They pursue private discussions with companies so they can prey on their fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) regarding Linux. This issue will never be resolved if Microsoft keeps their discussions private. It will just provide them with an endless source of income from Linux vendors. Fortunately/unfortunately the Linux kernel is not directed by the vendors, it's direction is given by Linus Torvalds. As such if they need to confer with anyone regarding Linux (which is just the kernel), they need to do so with Linus and not companies.
In time I will have a page describing more points here.
Posted By Zahid Bukhari, Chicago, IL : May 19, 2007 4:28 am
The page describing more points is this one.
The main reason this page is here, is to provide awareness and let people know that this isn't just Linux. It is the entire open source / free software movement. I say don't even lean towards Microsoft, but if you must, use XP, don't buy into Vista. If it comes pre-installed, remove it and use Ubuntu or PCBSD. This may become a large issue and as such we need to all be well organized, well thought out, coherent and above all, prepared. Blogging is not everything, find out how you can help. I would say follow Stallman and the FSF (Free software foundation).
I do believe people should have the freedom to not release source code, not release hardware specs, however I don't believe in patents.Back to Linux stuff