If you cannot beat them
Join them, the result, we shall see. MS was the first to understand that Linux was a contender, and for real, and reacted accordingly. I would claim that both Gates and Ballmer took it "personally". I doubt Nadella has any such personal problems regarding Linux. Linux has become just too big to kill by FUD or by ignoring it. I have no problems with that, business is business. Personally I try to stay away from anything Microsoft because I can, and I don't trust the quality of their software, I have been able to stay clear of Apple too (since Apple II+) not so much for the software or the hardware but because I don't like the company nor am I prepared to pay that "icon" -extra, a used Apple laptop with Linux one day, perhaps. In a way it's funny how Gates should, perhaps, have shut up regarding Linux and used the IBM strategy with worked like this - "Pinux.. Finux..what.. never heard of that", or "Linux.. yes we love them and we have tried to help them ..... but,, no.. just between us... we are afraid they will not survive*". But IBM was the first big company who invested in Linux and certainly the only company who had an international Linux campaign in the television ever. Could be you could find it on YouTube. Smart move by IBM to embrace Linux. Steve Jobs wanted to employ Linus Torvalds but demanded he would lay off Linux, and he did not. Much could have gone very differently, and had I not been so damned modest you would write about Larx to day. (PS. I have never told my wife about this).
Some will remember the "back stabbing" in Yes Prime Minister.