Bonum Certa Men Certa

Analogy: Microsoft Announces Patent Deals with 3 Sock Puppets That Sell GNU/Linux

Have a look at this hilarious Xandros comic.

Seen it?

Seriously, please do. It's funny, we assure you, and it perfectly puts the whole situation in perspective. You can easily replace the role of Xandros with Novell or Linspire in this case.

The scary things is that quite recently, Xandros may have spread its 'patent infection' onto other companies and products. Was a Bill Gates sock puppet (as pictured in the cartoon) responsible for this?

Surely, Xandros, Linspire and Novell should be treated as marionettes from now on, for they do not make their decisions alone. They have other considerations and funding sources. As we stressed several times before, these companies did not pay Microsoft for so-called 'protection'. They were actually paid. Is it not absurd? That speaks volumes. Xandros and Linspire apparently received $20 million each, which is a lot of money for these small companies.

Why is Microsoft so desperate to prove validity of unspecified patent claims? Perhaps it is because the patent office is in a state of disarray. Even the Congress acknowledges this and at the end of last week it began getting its act together (unless it's already too late). From yesterday's Associated Press article:

Now Congress is trying to cut down on poor-quality or downright ridiculous patents, and at the same time adapt the patent system to a high-tech era in which computers and other electronic devices may contain thousands of patentable parts.


There's a backlog of 750,000 patent applications at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which is recovering from years of underfunding and hopes to nearly double the number of patent examiners on staff, currently about 5,300.

Patent FUD aside, remember that Microsoft not only paid to intensity levels of perceived threat; it also paid these companies to disarm and stop competing (antitrust alert). In fact, at the same time, those companies assist the fight against truly open standards, such as OpenDocument format. It is a win-win-win situation for Microsoft. No Linux distributors should be foolish enough to follow suit. Ever.

SIte News/Off-topic Remark: If you dislike weekend posts, please let us know. The assumption here is that FUD does not take weekend breaks, so neither can we. It seems necessary to keep our eyes open and spot (even interpret) threats as soon as possible. Sharing and transparency help. The number of minds that keep track of the Web site increases every week.


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