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11.07.07

Combating Unbundling: Patent Troll Fights to Enforce ”Windows/Patent Tax”

Posted in Antitrust, Asia, Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, SLES/SLED, Vista, Windows at 8:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

‘PC acquisition/Windows tax’ is similar to (and can be
replaced by) Linux “patent tax”

The previous post was used to show that software patents can be used to put a price tag on Free software, such as GNU/Linux. In China, for example, Linux boxes are subjected to payments of ‘codec money’.

Speaking of low-cost computers in China (that’s what the previous articles discussed), Microsoft is sneakily fighting against what it calls ‘naked PCs’. Again! It fights unbundling in China.

The earlier agreement to preinstall Windows on Founder PCs helped fight piracy by reducing the number of systems that are shipped without operating systems.

If Microsoft wanted to stop ‘piracy’ (the term “piracy” is technically incorrect), then it could put an end to its crocodile tears and actually defend Windows. Consider the following good articles:

”If computers were ever to be stripped off Windows in Europe, would software patents have a new type of tax imposed?“‘Piracy’ helps Microsoft for the same reason IP ‘theft’ helps it. It gets people dependent on its software/protocols/formats/interfaces and at any time Microsoft can turn the table over and start charging money. Recall the MP3 lawsuit against Microsoft.

First they entice their prey and let it grow. It’s a bait. Only later, once it has become too mature (think about Mono' infestation') and the victim highly entangled should they attack, in order to gain from maximal damages. You can hopefully see how ‘Windows tax’ — that which one pays when buying a PC with unwanted preinstalled software — can be replaced by another form of ‘tax’.

Returning to the issue at hand, to China, the news is of course a big step back. In Europe, unbundling (i.e. no forced Vista installation) seems like the way to go, particularly after the EU’s ruling. Articles on this matter include:

If computers were ever to be stripped off Windows in Europe, would software patents have a new type of tax imposed? What if SUSE (e.g. SLED) was preinstalled? We already know that Microsoft gets paid for it, simply because Novell pays for mythical patents. This is yet another reason to weaken Novell and reject its software, unless it changes its way.

Prompt says 'No'

Message to Novell: Money is not a measure of success. It is sometimes a measure of how much you are able to exploit others, such as FOSS developers.

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