An anonymous reader writes: It's not lost on Microsoft that cloud computing is emerging as a major trend, and that and other trends are likely to prompt increased server purchasing over the next decade. If Microsoft has anything to say to Dell about allowable platforms, it will be on the topic of Linux on servers. Dell has positioned itself to become a bigger player in the cloud, and in services. From that perspective, especially in a virtualized technology world, the company can't leave Linux behind. Was that Microsoft's prompt for dropping $2 billion?