03.26.08

XAML/Silverlight and the Microsoft Software Patent Play

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 5:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Who doesn’t like an intellectual monopoly?

In the following new report you will find some additional information about a development that we covered earlier today. It’s about Microsoft’s move against (X)HTML and AJAX. Microsoft has its own acronym to rave about: XAML. Watch the resemblance to terms which exclude the GPL and thereby combat Microsoft’s #1 competitor.

The [XAML] information is covered under Microsoft’s Open Specification Promise, which is meant to protect third parties from patent infringement.

XAML is the markup language designers use to lay out an application’s front end. Microsoft’s Silverlight Web browser plug-in for displaying media can render XAML along with JavaScript and HTML.

By all means remember that Moonlight is based on Mono, the use of which only Novell received ‘protection’ for. What does this mean to users of the World Wide Web? Over at IAM Magazine, Microsoft gets its share of FUD with a proud outline of the company’s “IP rethink”.

Gutierrez talks about deals done with the likes of Nokia, Siemens, Toshiba and SAP; he explains the thinking behind tie-ups with Novell (“For the first time anywhere, a working model of cooperation with a major Linux provider had been created that not only enhanced the interoperability of Windows and Linux software through joint technology development, but also indemnified customers using such software from legal concerns over intellectual property licensing requirements.”) and Linux distributors Xandros, Linspire and TurboLinux. A deal with Samsung was groundbreaking, Gutierrez says, because it was the “first patent agreement with a consumer electronics leader in which we agreed on a model to provide coverage for certain types of Linux devices all within the context of a broader cross-licensing arrangement”.

There is nothing apparent in this article which rebuts or adds balance. It makes it very clear, however, that Microsoft will do everything it can to charge money for the use of Linux not only on personal computers and servers, but also in devices (embedded). Once again, using precedence and questionable payments to weak parties, Microsoft tries to set a precedence and create a new business model for other to give in to. Novell is the father of this.

Other patent news of interest (25-26/03/2008):

But in case flash prices continue to plummet and the flash drives really do catch on, Watkins has something else up his sleeve. He’s convinced, he confides, that SSD makers like Samsung and Intel (INTC) are violating Seagate’s patents. (An Intel spokeswoman says the company doesn’t comment on speculation.) Seagate and Western Digital (WDC), two of the major hard drive makers, have patents that deal with many of the ways a storage device communicates with a computer, Watkins says. It stands to reason that sooner or later, Seagate will sue – particularly if it looks like SSDs could become a real threat.

Typhoon specifically cites Xplore’s iX104C series of tablet PCs, Electrovaya’s Scribbler SC4000 tablet, and four of TabletKiosk’s ruggedized tablets.

MacNN summarized the four patents, awarded based on applications filed as far back as 2002. The most familiar ones involve the scroll wheel for the iPod and the flexible support arm used on the iMac, but the other two appear to involve sound or video editing on a split screen and speech recognition

Bad Silverlight

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