Bonum Certa Men Certa

Quitting the Pretence - Part of Microsoft is Just a Patent Troll

Who is Microsoft joking anyway?

Kid clowns



Summary: People who bet their money on Microsoft want to see the company split and the company's growing business seems to be extorting the competition in dubious ways

HAD Microsoft quit the mobile efforts (which would make total economic sense), then in that particular area it would have qualified as a patent troll, based on the definition.



Microsoft is still a fairly large company (yet small compared to HP or IBM). It operates in many areas and profits only in few, notably Office and Windows (to a decreasing extent). Monopoly tends to do that. Monopoly abuse tends to shield it.

So, Microsoft might be splitting itself into a patent troll (euphemism "licensing") and other parts, at least if shareholders get their way. There are several articles right now about the shareholders' meeting. A toned-down article from Microsoft's 'news' site says that "Microsoft Corp shareholders filed out of the software giant's annual meeting grumbling that they did not get to ask more questions in their once-a-year opportunity to quiz Chairman Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer.

"The gathering broke up with only a smattering of applause from 450 or so in attendance, while a handful of shareholders angrily shouted for more time to ask questions, after a strictly enforced 15 minutes.

""Why can't they answer questions for another hour?" said Bill Parker, a shareholder from Cashmere, Washington, a two-hour drive over the Cascade mountains."

"Microsoft might be splitting itself into a patent troll (euphemism "licensing") and other parts, at least if shareholders get their way."When one is reluctant to be grilled, he or she typically has something to hide (or spin).

As one person in USENET put it: "Only because Microsoft have been buying back their shares keeping the price artificially high. No wonder shareholders are revolting." We wrote about those buybacks before.

Over at OpenBytes, Tim points out that:

Microsoft is in my view, merely flinging mud at the wall in the hope something will stick, the only place where “success” seems to come easily is with their patent aggression (which now may be set to change after we finally get an idea of Microsoft claims). Apple has a logo “Theres an app for that”, maybe the only logo Microsoft will have in the future will be “Theres a patent for that” as it moves further away from trying to compete with its own products and merely uses its patent portfolio to make a buck.


The basic point is, Microsoft is unable to come up with new products. It relies on old cash cows that it broke the law to put in their current state. Right now it tries to make up a new cash cow through racketeering. Maybe if it spins that off as a separate company (like Nokia/MOSAID) it will manage to dodge regulators. The company is clearly flirting with serious antitrust violations.

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