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03.15.10

Groklaw: Microsoft “Wants to Do More Novell-style Patent Deals”

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Servers, Windows at 3:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A table chamber

Summary: Reactions to Microsoft’s attempt to devour Free/open source software with Windows and software patents; Apache given as example of projects at risk

LAST week we wrote about the latest changes in Microsoft's CodePlex Foundation. What we didn’t mention is that someone from Apache agreed to participate in it, which led to Groklaw responding with: “Apache guys are losing a lot of credibility in the community. Definitely with me. Microsoft doesn’t care how open the code is, so long as it has patents it can use against it. And that’s the point of Codeplex, I think, to create a code base to compete with the GPLv3 that seeks to protects the code and its users from patent assault and royalty demands. Ask Microsoft why no GPLv3 code can be used in Codeplex. Maybe because it wants to do more Novell-style patent deals? You think? Apache guys, in the days of SenderID, you knew that it mattered to stay true to community principles and you stood up to Microsoft successfully. Do you really think a FOSS ecosystem that can include patent license payments fits the vision?”

“Apache guys are losing a lot of credibility in the community. Definitely with me.”
      –Pamela Jones, Groklaw
This is the cited article and here are some of our posts about Apache’s relationship with Microsoft [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18]; it’s all about Windows, which only makes Apache look bad.

This good new cartoon explains how Microsoft views “open source” (found in Groklaw).

“It’s part of a continuing behavior pattern by Microsoft that I think it’s fair to call “dirty fighting.” GoDaddy was using Apache (I assume on Linux) because it was a great technical solution. They didn’t switch to IIS on Windows Server 2003 for any technical reason. The switch was accompanied by a press release by GoDaddy, containing Microsoft promotional language. Now, I’ve changed many servers from one thing to another, but I’ve never made a press release about it. GoDaddy wouldn’t be doing that unless Microsoft had offered them something valuable in return. There has been talk in the domain business that Microsoft has been offering the large domain registries a wad of cash to switch their parked sites. There is no other reason to do this than to influence the Netcraft figures.”

Bruce Perens

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