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07.24.10

Linux Royalty Versus Microsoft Royalties

Posted in Boycott Novell, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, Patents at 4:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Crown

Summary: How Microsoft continues to pursue elevation of the cost of GNU/Linux (preferably with the added expense going to Microsoft’s coffers) and why it’s time for OpenSUSE to escape this mistreatment

THE WEB SITE “BOYCOTT NOVELL” was created almost four years ago in order to protest and to stop Microsoft’s long attempt to impose “IP” royalties on Linux. It was mainly a campaign of sorts.

Techrights still covers the Novell deal, which is a two-company deal. One of those companies is Microsoft, which signed Novell-like deals with other companies such as Samsung. According to this article, from Samsung’s Wave alone Microsoft has already earned money (royalties) extracted from over one million Linux phones. Yes, Microsoft makes money when people buy specific Linux phones. To repeat an old argument, there are two problems here: (1) Microsoft gets stronger when people buy Linux (Ballnux) and (2) Linux is becoming more expensive (relative to Windows). Suffice to say, no patents were ever named, so Microsoft is just ‘pulling a SCO’ here.

“OpenSUSE has an opportunity to escape the Microsoft deal by simply rebranding and disengaging from Novell.”Prior to Novell’s approach towards Microsoft, the monopolist from Microsoft had invested a lot of money in the SCO lawsuit, which sought to collect Linux “IP” royalties based on copyrights, not patents.

Groklaw concludes the most recent part of the SCO trial [1, 2] and finally has this complete overview/roundup.

To repeat the names of Ballnux offerings that are still alive, there’s Xandros, Novell, Samsung, LG, HTC, Amazon (server or Kindle), Kyocera Mita, Brother, I-O Data, Melco/Buffalo, and few more (which still seem to have Linux-based products in the market). In addition, The Novell deal left OpenSUSE in a position where its users are sensitive to lawsuits once they make some profitable business with it. Now that OpenSUSE 11.3 is out (covered in [1, 2, 3]) and Novell more or less neglects it (volunteers carry on and mostly remain big fans), it is time for OpenSUSE to dissociate itself from the “Ballnux” bunch. OpenSUSE has an opportunity to escape the Microsoft deal by simply rebranding and disengaging from Novell. Other people too suggest that this should be done.

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