Sure appleOSx is free, all you have to do is to buy a $5000 computer...
Both Best Buy and Amazon have Mac Minis in the high $600s. Clearance are less than $600. Apple does not have a $5000 dollar computer limit on free OS upgrades, not that I am aware of. If that is true, I apologize.
Including tax, 700-something with free operating system upgrades for a few years is not a bad deal, HP and Dell don't offer that.
Except, now they do. It's competition.
Sure because adobe doesn't like money at all...
Adobe does like money, they love it, which is why they look at the 2-3% of current Linux user base and say "we can afford to write that off, the porting costs don't justify doing the port there aren't enough customers". And then there's support costs, etc.
they would port things over to linux to have pirates not pay them for their products, makes total sense to me.
You misunderstand. Pirates gonna pirate. It's about the rest. Even Microsoft execs have admitted this, they need the pirates. Jeff Raikes of Microsoft said years ago that "If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else".
There are plenty of existing Linux users today already who would absolutely pay. I would pay for a Linux version of several softwares out there that don't currently exist. But there isn't that marketshare backing of a 6, 8, or 10% of the total market that makes porting look feasable to software makers. When the number starts getting to that size, it gets harder for a maker to separate who's who. It's just a large market that cannot be ignored.
As it is Microsoft has already lost huge swaths of developers. Gaming is slowly opening up. They can't afford much more before the walls start cracking on the major titles.
So that it is said, I do not think this is an act of desperation on Microsoft's part. I think it's purely rational and makes good business sense. This is exactly what I would do if I were MS CEO - give it to them for free and box them out.
One of Linux's big advantages is that it is free. Windows can be free too. Advantage go boom.