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Ballmer's FUD Makes a Comeback (and Microsoft Real 'Open Source' Plan is Unleashed) (Updated)

Throughout a public talk in the United Kingdom, Microsoft's CEO says some of the darnest (yet expected) things. For example, consider this short summary:

Any plans to bring development tools to other platforms? No.

[...]

Open Source

What's our strategy A. Compete--we need to offer better value where there is a direct overlap B. Open Source innovation on Windows--our battle is product to product


Praise for Novell--"Novell says that IP matters, Red Hat doesn't."


Does anybody still think that the deal with Novell was not harmful? This is not the first time that Steve Ballmer uses it as ammunition. Matt Asay has apparently viewed the video as well and he is particularly interested -- for obvious reasons -- in Microsoft's approach towards open source software.

Steve Ballmer apparently likes open source. Well, so long as it drives Windows revenue. And doesn't replace any. Ever. In fact, as he said at an event in Microsoft last week in London that he hopes to see all open-source innovation going to Windows, rather than Linux (more below).


None of this is surprising of course. It is also the reason for what we consider a hijack of XenSource and the agreements with Novell on virtualisation. Microsoft uses money to make Windows more predominant in the server space (and later on in the desktop space too). All money which is spent is intended to optimise for Windows or to create more dependencies on Windows.

Matt proceeds to covering Ballmer's latest patent FUD.

In fact, in this Q&A, he all-but-declared something that I've been saying for many moons: Microsoft wants to tax open-source innovation. He said, with respect to Red Hat:

"People that use Red Hat, at least with respect to our intellectual property, in a sense have an obligation to compensate us."


Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!!! Ballmer believes Linux violates Microsoft's patents (as he says earlier in his comments), and wants people to pay up.


Recall what OIN and the OSC had to say about such insidious tactics from Microsoft. Also mind the fact that Ballmer talks about intellectual property and not software patents, which are not the same. He talks in the United Kingdom where software patents are not legal, so he throws patents into a collective bag that is IP. This is a very nasty strategy from Microsoft and not the first time it uses it in Europe.

Update: at least one article about this event has just been published. It poses things as though and it's attack on Red Hat and Groklaw responds. Remember that Microsoft sneakily escapes every chance to disclose its own patent-sheet liability because it knows it's essentially armless (and thus harmless).

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