02.27.07

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Boston Globe Calls It “Civil War”, But Microsoft Loses the Most

Posted in Formats, FUD, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Steve Ballmer at 7:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

What follows is a series articles which tell a story.

Let us start with the Boston Globe’s ambitious headline which states:

Linux camp rages over Novell pact

Microsoft accord could leave other open-source software companies more vulnerable to patent suits

Last year’s surprise partnership between software titan Microsoft Corp. and leading Linux distributor Novell Inc. was supposed to be a kind of peace treaty. Instead, it’s brought the open-source software community to the brink of civil war, over a provision that could help Microsoft sue other open-source software companies for patent violations

While this may sound worrisome (and as a matter of fact is it the raison d’être of this Web site), this doesn’t tell the whole story. Adding some context, such as recent lawsuits over use of the MP3 format, the biggest loser here is neither Linux nor Novell. In fact, Wired magazine says the biggest gainer is Open Source. And the following two articles also explain why Microsoft suffers from its assault on Linux.

Survey says: Microsoft to lose more than gain from Linux IP assaults

Based on a survey in my recent blog on Microsoft’s MP3 IP travails, the community thinks Microsoft has more to lose than to gain. I think they are right. Microsoft may win a battle or two but at the cost of a war. Microsoft must know what violations may exist. By not taking action, it wants the best of both: no legal action, all PR benefit. Not a good bet. It didn’t work out for SCO from the Unix angle.

There’s also this one:

Patents cut both ways for Microsoft

If I held Microsoft stock (which I don’t) I would be furious.

Here is Steve Balmer (sic) focusing on Linux, making the tired claim that there is so-called Intellectual Property in Linux that violates patents held by Microsoft. Meanwhile Microsoft gets hit with a hefty patent violation of its own; 1.5 billion (yes, that is a “B”) for the use of the mp3 patent without payment of royalties.

Finally, let us put an end to all the FUD by blasting away any dark cloud which loom over. We may need the assistance of very influential figures.

They are also calling upon leaders in the tech community, like Linus Torvalds, Mark Shuttleworth, and Google’s leading triumvirate of Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt to call Microsoft’s bluff.

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