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03.21.08

Microsoft Corporation Becomes a Licensing Company, Adopts ‘Leech Strategy’

Posted in Deals, Hardware, Microsoft, Patents at 2:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Who needs products when you can ‘pull an SCO’?

Microsoft has just signed a another cross-licensing deal, this time with Onkyo.

Although the contents of the agreement (including the specific financial terms) are confidential, the parties indicated that Onkyo will provide compensation to Microsoft.

Shades of the deal with JVC, which had DisinformationWeek spread a bit of fear. While the announcement says nothing about Linux, there remains only the suspicion and the possibility. Onkyo does, after all, have at least one Linux-based product. [old article]

Onkyo also sells a line of high-end gear targeted towards custom installations under its Integra brand. Onkyo offers products similar to the NC500 and TX-NR900, but with additional capabilities. What’s most interesting, though, is the Integra NAS-2.3 Net-Tune Server.

[...]

Running on the Integra product is an embedded Linux operating system, which acts as the server software.

It is likely that the deal with Microsoft had nothing whatsoever to do with Linux specifically. But in any event, Microsoft must not be permitted to impose a tax on software through all sorts of deals, such as this latest one which involves Microsoft getting paid for someone else’s work — whatever that work actually is. That’s the sad impact of software patents, which are legal in Japan.

Remember Microsoft’s most recent SEC filing: [thanks to our reader Subsonica for the pointer]

A prominent example of open source software is the Linux operating system….

To the extent open source software gains increasing market acceptance, sales of our products may decline, we may have to reduce the prices we charge for our products, and revenue and operating margins may consequently decline.

Even three weeks ago, Steve Ballmer expressed his fear of Linux.

A couple of years ago you reiterated that IBM was Microsoft’s biggest competitor and you said not just on the business side, but overall. If I ask you who is Microsoft’s biggest competitor now, who would it be?

Ballmer: Open…Linux. I don’t want to say open source. Linux, certainly have to go with that.

It’s important that Microsoft’s attempts to establish more protection rackets through taxoperability agreements are stopped before they become commonplace and lead to a deluge of companies caving.

I want you for money

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2 Comments

  1. beastinthelight said,

    March 21, 2008 at 6:55 am

    Gravatar

    your site is a warm beacon of truth and joy in a cold land of corporations, thank you for your work!

    how may one anonymously contribute articles they have written to you, do you prefer communicating in email in plain text or do you mandate the use of gpg? if so, do you have a public gpg key? thank you

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 22, 2008 at 12:07 am

    Gravatar

    Yes, we definitely take contributions from our readers. It’s reader-driven. Just E-mail me or Shane with what you want published.

    http://schestowitz.com/PGP/ (encrypt with public key if you prefer)
    http://schestowitz.com/Feedback/ (address at the bottom)

    I’d give you Shane’s E-mail too, but he hasn’t been reading it regularly for a while.

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