After its most recent hacker and tech problems Microsoft seems to retreat from maintaining their own site. They gave away their DNS server management to a company called Akamai Technologies that is doing its services on Linux based servers.
Some experienced users now have found out that a few of the MS servers do run Linux with kernel 2.1 at some remote location. One expert points out that these servers at least behave Linux like and they are surely not running Microsoft Windows.
The involved programs were nslookup and similar for getting the logical structure of all the involved servers and Queso for identifying the operating systems on that boxes. Traceroute was used for the geographical analysis.