Bonum Certa Men Certa

The More They Say About Patents, the Less You Know

Matt Aslett dives into Novell's 'document *** dump ***' and gives his opinion on the findings.

While there is a short section on licensing of intellectual property rights for Microsoft technologies to be used internally in Section 4, that's about it in the technical collaboration agreement.

One section of the business collaboration agreement also worth a look is Section 9, Indemnification/Infringement Claims, because this is where you would usually expect to find details of patent-related issues. Anything potentially interesting there is redacted, however, so one can only guess what it actually does cover.


As expected, the document does not say enough to be truly useful. Meanwhile, Gartner analysts, who are notorious due to close ties with Microsoft, add their usual bias.

Asheesh Raina, principal research analyst for Gartner's Software Group said, "We believe that Microsoft is strengthening its patent portfolio to rectify the exploitation of its Intellectual Property (IP) by technology providers that generate substantial revenue from OSS including Linux."


"Exploitation"? Does the analyst care to be specific? Well, the apple does not fall far from the tree.

If the paper would prefer not to quote an analyst who has experience with a client, it did a poor job. Silver is Gartner's vice president in charge of client computing. Microsoft happens to do lots of business with Gartner and also happens to have a client-software monopoly. We're guessing that Silver knows Microsoft's products well and has direct involvement with the company.

And, sure enough, he appears a number of times on Microsoft's own site and thousands of times in stories about Microsoft.

Jim Murphy - wait for it - covers Microsoft too and is even more prolific than Silver.

[...]

Part of the problem stems from the reticence of companies such as IDC and Gartner to reveal their clients. That should make everyone nervous, but it doesn't. So called objective technology publications keep publishing material bought by vendors without telling you this. They're also too lazy or scared to ignore the likes of Gartner and IDC until the firms change their disclosure rules.


It is worth repeating: when it comes to the Novell/Microsoft deal, do not trust anything that you see in the biased and financially-motivated mainstream media.

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