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Reader Explains “Microsoft Innovation”

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Summary: A contributing reader's take on what Microsoft means by “innovation”

Microsoft's latest lesson in the harms of software patents involved a small company. Here is another article that a reader sent to us regarding it:

Privately-held i4i Inc. said that several years ago it approached the world's largest software company with a breakthrough product in data processing, only to be spurned and to see its technology show up later in versions of Microsoft Word.

[...]

At its peak a few years ago, the firm employed 52 staff, but the poor economy has whittled that number down to 20 today


This seems like a familiar storyline that helps falsify the charade of "Microsoft Research". Last week we showed why it is charade. Our reader thusly explains Microsoft “innovation”:

01. Enter into talks with a tech company with a view to buying/licensing their technology 02. Ask for a look see at detailed technical specs 03. Drag out the review process and then cancel the project 04. Copy their stuff into the next version of Windows 05. By which time the company has gone broke. Except it they aren't yet broke 06. And they sue, drag it out it court, until they do go broke 07. Except if they still aren't broke, settle out of court, under a NDA


In relation to this, our reader cites this old post from a Red Hat employee. It is titled "Dear Steve" (Ballmer).

I know you are quite concerned that Red Hat is not showing due respect for your (unidentified) patents, but it strikes me as a little rich that you or Microsoft should be lecturing anyone on the proper respect for the patents of others given all of the following parties that believe that Microsoft does not respect their patents:

[...]

By now you should be getting the picture. That isn't to say all of these complaints have or had merit, and I'm sure some have been resolved. It's just that someone who wants to talk so much about respecting intellectual property should do a little respecting himself, don't you think?


Just a few days ago came this press release about two wealthy companies, H-P and Microsoft, swapping their patents again. And that's what the patent game is really about -- super-wealthy companies putting together their collective monopolies to exclude smaller competition from the market. Both Dell and H-P signed patent deals with Microsoft just before a legal assault against Linux (also whilst vending it) and around this latest announcement of cross-licensing we also find (yes, around the very same time!) this press release and some accompanying coverage:



it's all about 'privileged' companies, those that are easier to collude with and harder to exploit. Who is this patent system for?

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