Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Only Remaining Competition to Mobile Linux is Software Patents

Steve Jobs with patent
Original photo by Matt Buchanan; edited by Techrights



Summary: Microsoft, Oracle, and Apple are attacking mobile Linux using software patents, which may be their last resort in stopping world domination by mobile Linux

IN THE PREVIOUS post we showed Microsoft putting its staff in the world's leader in phones (CEO's position, no less). Mobile platforms are crucial for Microsoft's long-term survival and since Zune and "KIN" are disasters (they share a platform) and Vista Phone 7 [sic] has all it takes to become a failure, Microsoft will need to play dirty, which it already does, e.g. with 'Linux tax' on Android (i.e. extortion [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]).



About a year ago Nokia told The Register that it would not sign a patent deal with Microsoft, certainly not one relating to or covering Linux (Maemo/MeeGo). Might this change now that Nokia's CEO is a Microsoft guy? Let's hope not. That's just what happened in Amazon after its management got filled with Microsoft executives.

“[I]sn't Zunepass, or Zunekin, whatever they call it this week, the same thing as their failed former music service that used play[s] for sure and shut down its servers leaving folks with nothing and no way to play those DRM music files they bought?”
      --Chips B. Malroy
Chips B. Malroy showed us this new article some days ago and asked, "isn't Zunepass, or Zunekin, whatever they call it this week, the same thing as their failed former music service that used play[s] for sure and shut down its servers leaving folks with nothing and no way to play those DRM music files they bought?"

Yes, well, Zune is a disaster and it probably will die sooner or later (leaving users stranded), just like "KIN" and many other Microsoft products. Microsoft has nothing appealing in the pipeline, so we are guessing that Microsoft will just position itself as a patent company in this area and continue to find new sellouts that pay Microsoft for mobile Linux, i.e. for products Microsoft has nothing to do with. Let's keep a close eye on Nokia.

Paul Rubens has just remarked on the mobile "OS Turf Wars" and he too makes fun of Microsoft's offering (which will almost certainly suffer from WPF's demise).

In fact Microsoft doesn't do very well when it comes to consumer gadgets -- the Zune was supposed to be an iPod killer, remember? Hence, it's almost inevitable that Windows Phone 7 will be far less desirable than much of the competition in the smartphone market. Somehow I can't see the kids abandoning their iPhones for some clunky Asus rig running Windows Phone 7.


Microsoft has lost this race. Let's ensure it doesn't take Linux down with it, using software patents. Oracle and Apple may also be working in cahoots to hurt Linux/Google (both use patent lawsuits against Android), but that's another story [1, 2, 3]. Nokia is based in Europe by the way, so it need never pay Microsoft a penny; as for Apple, there are several lawsuits between Apple and Nokia, allegedly because of Apple aggression.

"They [EPO examiners] claim that the organisation is decentralising and focusing on granting as many patents as possible to gain financially from fees generated." —Expatica, European Patent Office staff on strike



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