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Quote of the Day: Microsoft is Open! (To More Racketeering)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Xandros at 3:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

BRAD SMITH: “[...] Novell already has an agreement with us that covers all of these patent rights. Some other companies, such as Xandros and others, also have a patent license. So they’ve already addressed all of that, and their users are already addressed. With respect to other distributors, and users, the clear message is that patent licenses will be freely available.”

STEVE BALLMER: “Patents will be, not freely, will be available.”

BRAD SMITH: “Readily available.”

I'm Linux

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  1. SubSonica said,

    February 22, 2008 at 5:53 am


    And the continuing part it is the best, where Steve Ballmer ruins the whole marketing trick (as this PR is what it is all about) and demonstrates the real face of Microsoft and its business-as-usual:

    “BRAD SMITH: Readily available.

    STEVE BALLMER: Readily available for the right fee. The basic economic analysis that you should go through sort of goes like this. We have valuable intellectual property in our patents, we will continue to view that as valuable intellectual property in all forms, and we will monetize from all users of that, not all developers, but for all users of that patented technology, all commercial developers, and all commercial users of that patented technology.

    We also have trade secret information, which we will continue to protect, with the exception of some important trade secret information in the interoperability realm, which we will still value, but we will make available free of charge, so that people can do appropriate interoperability. So from an economic perspective you could say, in some senses, we’re opening up. Yet, at the same time, we retain valuable intellectual property assets.”

    And PJ’s analysis is as always to the point:

    “There you are, Microsoft, 2008. For the right fee you can interoperate. Otherwise you can’t. Nothing new about that. And as best as I can figure, they are selling patent licenses to patents Samba says it didn’t need. They could work around them. And by the way, Novell is cited as a fine example of Microsoft’s efforts to be interoperable. But Novell has yet to ship any GPLv3 code. Because it can’t, without consequences. So how is that interoperability?”

    Well, the name for this is not “interoperability”, its “racketeering”.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 22, 2008 at 6:03 am


    STEVE BALLMER: Readily available for the right fee.

    Translation: STEVE BALLMER: under the current law and rules, we lose. Therefore, we need to change them to suit ourselves.

    Here is what Mark Taylor writes:


    Mind the part where he wrote about Microsoft redefining everything (hello, OSI *wink wink*).

    I’ll write a little more about this shortly, including Red Hat’s response.

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