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11.28.07

On Intellectual Monopolies and Acquisition of Potential Threats

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, Patents, Protocol, SCO, Turbolinux at 5:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gymnastics in terminology, structural annihilation

Yesterday, DisinformationWeek published a short blog item which stresses a point that has been stressed before. The deal with Novell and the threats that resulting from this deal are an indication of serious internal issues at Microsoft, particularly at a technical level.

It must be maddening to believe you command developer loyalties and lead legions worldwide, then watch developers flock to the Linux kernel. Maddening, that is, if you’re Microsoft. Why does Microsoft say its patents cover Linux, while at the same time reaching out to other open source code projects? It’s the Linux kernel development process.

This carries on to discussing the many issues that Longhorn (Windows Server 2008) is having at the moment, but that’s beyond the scope of this Web site. Regardless, let us reconsider and repeat the ‘Microsoft logic’ which justifies its recent moves.

An old USENET post that was mentioned yesterday portrayed Novell as the “shill” that would replace SCO. It’s rather ironic, especially amid times when Novell battles SCO in the courtroom (more about that on Saturday). Imagine the following hypothetical dialogue, which turns into a more than just dialogue.

Hovsepian smiles

SCO: “Linux stole our intellectual property”

Novell: “No, it didn’t. Linux is purely free of intellectual property encumbrances”

Microsoft (reappearing at the corner, hiding behind SCO): “Really, Novell? Didn’t we pay you $300+ million to say that it infringes on Microsoft’s intellectual property?”

”It’s like an ocean where you have only whales.“Now, replace “intellectual property” with “intellectual monopoly”, which is what this made-up term truly means. Microsoft essentially wants to maintain its monopoly through ownership of GNU/Linux. By offering very little (hundreds of millions is slush funds to Microsoft, whereas Novell may have needed that money desperately) and promising almost nothing (both companies can still sue each other), Microsoft got its little scam started. It’s a scam characterised by licensing protocols (Turbolinux being the most recent victim), among other things.

Another interesting tactic which must not be forgotten is Microsoft’s plan to buy open source companies and ensure that they optimise their products for Windows and/or build them on top of the proprietary Microsoft stack (in which case Linux will always be left out in the cold). When it comes to acquisition of companies (Microsoft intends to buy 20 per year, at about $50 million each), there’s great concern also. Oracle did something like this last year when it has its little OSS shopping spree. It’s like an ocean where you have only whales. Each fish/mammal eats the smaller ones, until only huge ones survive. Monopolies love such waters where they can share the fish with other whales (monopolies) and terrify the population of fish.

Speaking of monopolies and (ab)use of patents, the next item will speak about Microsoft’s and Intel’s abuses against OLPC (One Laptop Per Child). There is now a patent element to the story and rest assured that while Nicholas Negroponte is not allowed to speak about Intel’s abuses (they have a new ‘deal’), we’ll be blasting Intel using hard evidence like there’s no tomorrow. In many respects, Intel isn’t any better than Apple and Microsoft and it has gone too far (to the point of ‘killing’ charitable projects and widening the digital divide).

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