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04.04.17

Microsoft’s Patent Extortion Against Linux Now Targets Watches With Linux on Them

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 7:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A slap on the wrist from Microsoft

Wrist watch

Summary: Only a week or two after going for Toyota’s bank account (over operating systems and file system patents, i.e. Linux) Microsoft goes after another Japanese giant, Casio, which uses Android

TODAY and yesterday there have been many reports about Windows’ market share dropping below that of Android, which is powered by Linux.

Microsoft can coexist with Linux only as long as Microsoft is controlling and taxing Linux. Microsoft recently did that in cars (the latest victim is Toyota of Japan, in spite of OIN membership and its long tradition with Microsoft) and now it is Casio of Japan. Casio, which uses Linux, was already targeted by Microsoft 6 years ago [1, 2], but this time it’s about Android. This disturbing new development got covered by pro-Microsoft sites, general news sites, and sites about wearable technology, notably watches. Quoting the latter category: “What we do know is that Casio has thus far embraced Android Wear, and that the Casio WSD-F20 will be sporting Wear 2.0 when it hits stores this month. We also know that Casio has spent quite a bit of time customizing the Android Wear Casio experience to make it a little more unique, unlike many other smartwatch makers embracing Google’s smartwatch OS.”

“Microsoft can coexist with Linux only as long as Microsoft is controlling and taxing Linux.”Here is the part about software patents: “And, of course, Microsoft also has plenty of software patents that Casio could use if it wanted to continue to customize Android Wear for its needs – or even if it decided to one day run with its own OS.”

This isn’t about hardware but about software features, which wouldn’t even qualify for patents in the vast majority of the world.

“This isn’t about hardware but about software features, which wouldn’t even qualify for patents in the vast majority of the world.”Recently, as we noted in a series of posts, Microsoft took up a notch its patent war on Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12], culminating in last week’s news about Samsung.

Yesterday, incidentally, the following articles were published:

IAM (last of the above) mentioned Microsoft: “As for HMD, the patent licences it presumably has to Nokia’s and Microsoft’s portfolios as a result of its formation last year are arguably going to offer it a lot more in terms of risk mitigation than the PAX licence. It is hard to see how those who choose to directly monetise their patents (Microsoft, of course, has an extensive Android-relevant portfolio that has helped it to generate significant revenue) will join a community that would substantially restrict their licensing opportunities.”

“The last thing Microsoft wants is an informed public which is able to see that Microsoft eats Linux, it doesn’t love Linux.”IAM, being a Microsoft and trolls proponent (years of tradition to that effect), also said it “would put PAX in a similar bracket to Microsoft’s recently announced Azure IP Advantage programme,” but these are very different things, for a lot of reasons. “Azure IP Advantage” is basically the latest Microsoft trick for gathering patent “royalties” (tax, ‘protection’ money) from GNU/Linux users. PAX is nothing like that at all. PAX is defensive.

It’s not hard to see why large Android OEMs are pooling their patents together. Their common enemy here is notably Apple and/or Microsoft (and the trolls Microsoft is arming to attack Android). Based on the latest news about Casio, Microsoft has truly accelerated its patent assault on Linux and those refusing to see it just need to research the subject further. I have spent over a decade writing about this almost every day, amassing over 22,000 blog posts. The last thing Microsoft wants is an informed public which is able to see that Microsoft eats Linux, it doesn’t love Linux.

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