As a follow-up to a previous train of thought, regarding the Usual Suspects (so to speak) in Microsoft’s intellectual property saga, I thought it would be fun to review just some of the players who have had a role – recurring, walk-on, or otherwise.
Actually, to make this more engaging, this will be our first contest on the site, I believe. Put the following events in chronological order, the first correct answer in the comments section gets a coupon, redeemable for a free download of EDU-Nix Dual-Mode CD, or our very own SueMe Linux ("still in early development stages", ie vaporware).
- Caldera buys, then becomes SCO
- MS and Sun make a deal, in which all OOO installs prior to the deal were absolved, as was Sun’s StarOffice going forward, from MS IP claims.
- Corel acquires Wordperfect from Novell
- Corel invests in Xandros
- SCO sued IBM for who knows what, the story changes often.
- MS and Sun took a Unix license from SCO Update June 6: Sun also took out a Linux right-to-use license for their end users
- Caldera acquired DR-Dos from Novell, allegedly promising to sue MS but not mention Novell’s involvement.
- SCO tried to impose a right-to-use license on Linux users
- Novell claims ownership of IP SCO using to extort Linux users
- MS makes a deal with Novell in which Novell agrees to pay ongoing royalties based on open source software shipped under the agreement in exchange for a right-to-use license (covenant not to sue) for Novell customers.
- Caldera Sues MS over DR-DOS
- Novell sells some unix rights to SCO
- Novell Sues MS over WordPerfect
- MS makes a deal with Xandros
- Sun sues MS over their Java implementation
- MS makes a deal with Novell for Novell to pull out of EU antitrust suit
- Corel pledges to implement OOXML in Wordperfect
Of course, this is almost certainly a woefully incomplete, and perhaps even wholly inaccurate (hey, it’s late and I’m working from memory) listing of just some of the events in recent software industry history involving our friends from Redmond, meant mainly as a fun exercise and a conversation starter…
What did I miss? What did I mess up? And, what does it all mean? Tawk amungst yaselves…