Steve Ballmer called Linux a "Cancer" in the past, ranted about patent infringement, accused Linux programmers of ripping-off intellectual property, and penned a deal between rival Novell to sell Linux.
Wait, that last one doesn't fit with the others.
Did you ever notice how someone is often mean or harsh to someone whom, deep down, they really like? When such a high-profile C-Level Executive so fervently rants against something, methinks he doth protest too much.
He says so many negative, nasty, and acrid things about Linux that there is only one possible answer: Steve Ballmer Loves Linux.
He loves it because it gives him something to rail against. Without Linux, there is no competition for Windows. Linux gives Ballmer an enemy--it gives him a target. Ballmer loves a good fight. He likes competition (He was a Harvard Football Manager) and he likes to mouth-off without restraint. Linux is good for him and he knows it.
Ballmer is polarizing, opinionated, and often weird but he is also very smart--don't underestimate him. He also loves Linux. He loves it so much that he was instrumental in creating the deals between Novell and Microsoft and Xandros and Microsoft.
Thanks Steve, we love you too.