So it is that the Open Solutions Alliance (OSA), which was created to build the Linux channel, has created a customer-level membership class. Redmayne-Bentley, a UK stock broker, is the first customer member.
Microsoft has brought customers into its own channel activities for years. Most recently, in 2006, it founded an Interoperability Council, aimed at helping customers with "mixed" systems, i.e. some open source.
It does seem sometimes as though open source has just begun crawling after an opponent who is running in full stride. But the rapid change inherent in technology does not make this a fatal flaw.
A vibrant channel will make open source a true threat, and seeing a hand get in front of a knee makes every parent proud.