Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 16th May 2007 09:42 UTC, submitted by FreeRhino
Legal Microsoft has said it will not sue Linux users with regards to the company's patent claims. "We're not litigating. If we wanted to we would have done so years ago," said Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's VP for intellectual property and licensing, in an interview. When asked for a reply regarding the claim of Microsoft that the Linux kernel infringes 42 of its patents, Linus Torvalds replied: "Can you get a list of which ones? Before that, it's just FUD, and there's not a whole lot I can say or do. Is there prior art? Are they trivial and obvious to one skilled in the art? Would we need to work around them? We don't know, because all I've heard so far is just FUD. If MS actually wanted us to not infringe their patents, they'd tell us. Since they don't, that must mean that they actually prefer the FUD."
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interesting view
by vege on Wed 16th May 2007 09:58 UTC
vege
Member since:
2006-04-07

Neither I really get this "we have a list but we will not show to you" policy, especially if that list can take an effect so badly on a whole industry.

Also it would redraw some maps, if they were true and they could make those patent-restrictions rule over free softwares inside the US but barely elsewhere.

Reply Score: 2

RE: interesting view
by raver31 on Wed 16th May 2007 15:58 UTC in reply to "interesting view"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

They have a list but they will not show us ?

hmmm, reminds me a little of SCO there.
Where does Darl McBride work thesedays ?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: interesting view
by butters on Wed 16th May 2007 18:44 UTC in reply to "RE: interesting view"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

The civil legal system in the U.S. is a game of no-limit hold 'em. First position makes a claim about their hold cards, and the other players respond in kind, possibly folding for the cost of the blinds. Who actually has the best starting hand doesn't really matter. What matters is the strength of the hands represented. If any player makes a big move at this stage, the chances of seeing a flop are slim.

If they square up, the flop will give enough information to speculate on who might be ahead. Those suited connectors might be worth paying to see a flop, but they might be worthless afterwards. Depending on your pre-flop betting, it could be hard to bluff at this stage. You might have to cut your losses and get out. Now it's game time, and the bag of tricks comes out: check-raise, slow-play, table talk, etc. The game is about pot odds.

Very few hands reach a showdown. This only happens when: 1) both players are equally sure they have the best hand, 2) the pot is too important relative to their stacks to let go, or 3) one of the players is desperate. The cards only matter in these relatively rare circumstances. Every other hand is about the chips--who has the biggest stack, who bets when, and how much they bet.

Big stacks play tight and aggressive. Smaller stacks play loose and conservative. Maniacs hit it big or go bust. Only idiots show their cards just to brag about a bluff. Good players will rarely show their cards unless necessary, and they only do so to influence the perception of their strategy.

So what does this mean? Microsoft is the big stack in first position. They have no intention of seeing a flop or showing their cards. They're out to steal the blinds. But where the legal system doesn't work like hold 'em is that there are no blinds. Microsoft wants Linux vendors and users to ante up, but they can't make us sit at their table. Until they put their chips in the pot and commit to litigation, nobody owes them squat. We don't have to buy into their game, and we don't have to show our cards.

Only idiots show their cards. I'm off to find Ron Hovsepian's home game, because he's the proverbial deep-pocketed fish that everybody loves to exploit.

Reply Score: 5

How patetic!
by Raffaele on Wed 16th May 2007 10:01 UTC
Raffaele
Member since:
2005-11-12

How pathetic...

Declarations of the MS Intellectual Property official seems to me the wild retreat of the school bully who has just been beaten by his victims refusing to stay oppressed...

[quote]


Gutierrez also said Microsoft is not likely to publicly list which specific patents it believes are infringed upon by open source software. "We're not going to have a discussion publicly with that level of detail," he said.


[/quote]

The bully running away, crying in tears, but still saying: "Really guys I don't want to harm you, believe me... BUT I COULD DO IT IF I ONLY WANT TO"...




Just pathetic...

Edited 2007-05-16 10:05

Reply Score: 5

RE: How patetic!
by arhuaco on Wed 16th May 2007 13:29 UTC in reply to "How patetic!"
arhuaco Member since:
2006-04-24

>"We're not going to have a discussion publicly with that level of detail," he said.

Why not? FUD! He he.

Reply Score: 2

Ref: How Pathetic
by Bobmeister on Wed 16th May 2007 10:16 UTC
Bobmeister
Member since:
2005-07-06

It's beyond pathetic. Here you have the richest and most "successful" company in the world resorting to tactics like this. They don't have a leg to stand on and they know it. It's unfortunate that outfits like "Fortune" magazine fall for the bait and publish this junk. FUD through and through. Because of stuff like this, MS has lost ANY (if they had any left) respect from me. They are nothing but schoolyard bullies....rich ones too (which makes it worse).

Reply Score: 5

RE: Ref: How Pathetic
by flanque on Wed 16th May 2007 11:36 UTC in reply to "Ref: How Pathetic"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

It's very difficult for any of us to make the assessment that there's no basis to Microsoft's claims. It's very easy and premature for many of us to just stamp our feet and cry "FUD" at the top of our lungs. We don't have the information to do this.

The reality as I see it, is to watch this space. It'd be a rather blinded perspective to expect Microsoft to do nothing about the infringments they believe exist. Microsoft always has reasons for their actions, and this is no different.

It's also rather rediculous to cast Fortune magazine, of all forms of publications that exist, as so silly to just fall for something, as though they are so daft.

Microsoft is up to something, without any doubt. Litigation is not the only means of achieving a goal.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Ref: How Pathetic
by Soulbender on Wed 16th May 2007 11:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Ref: How Pathetic"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"It's very difficult for any of us to make the assessment that there's no basis to Microsoft's claims"

On the contrary, it's actually very easy for us to make that assessment. The burden of proof is not on the accused but on the accuser. If you accuse me of something but *refuse* to provide evidence then you are full of it. At least that's a reasonable stance to take until such a time that you DO provide said evidence. How could I defend myself against your accusation if I don't know what it is exactly that I have supposedly done?

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Ref: How Pathetic
by flanque on Wed 16th May 2007 12:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ref: How Pathetic"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

That's true, but that doesn't mean it isn't coming, or that they aren't still up to something. The last thing Microsoft would want or need is to get themselves embroiled in a public slinging match.

They're far more calculating than that.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Ref: How Pathetic
by Soulbender on Wed 16th May 2007 12:09 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Ref: How Pathetic"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"That's true, but that doesn't mean it isn't coming, or that they aren't still up to something."

Right but what can we do? All we have are very vague accusations that we can not defend ourselves against and succumbing to intimidation isn't the right thing do. At least my dad's advice to me regarding the school bully was never "Oh just give him what he wants and it'll go away". I would really hope my dad wasn't an exception to the rule.

Edited 2007-05-16 12:09

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Ref: How Pathetic
by Rehdon on Wed 16th May 2007 12:25 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Ref: How Pathetic"
Rehdon Member since:
2005-07-06

They are up to something: they're waging a major FUD campaign against the free software developers and community. Don't you think that if they really had something in their hands they'd have already used it? I think Linus pretty much summed it all: until they come up with something, it's pure and simple FUD, and that's exactly what they want.

Rehdon

Reply Score: 5

RE[5]: Ref: How Pathetic
by backdoc on Wed 16th May 2007 13:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Ref: How Pathetic"
backdoc Member since:
2006-01-14

You (and Linus) are exactly right. At this point, there are only 2 possibilities. Microsoft's allegations are either True or they are False. Without them being specific, are we supposed to assume they are are "True"? That's what Microsoft would like us to do. Therein lies the FUD. The community is smart enough to know to assume the allegations are "False". It's the old "innocent until proven guilty" thing. The danger is not whether they are True or False. The danger is that the larger population will not reason this out.

Reply Score: 5

v RE[6]: Ref: How Pathetic
by Almafeta on Wed 16th May 2007 13:14 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Ref: How Pathetic"
RE[7]: Ref: How Pathetic
by archiesteel on Wed 16th May 2007 15:59 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Ref: How Pathetic"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

FOSS *is* legit software.

And one can both ridicule MS's latest FUD effort *and* prepare for a patent war. This is exactly what's happening - you'd see it if you didn't have your MS blinders on.

Reply Score: 5

RE[7]: Ref: How Pathetic
by Mukunda on Wed 16th May 2007 21:05 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Ref: How Pathetic"
Mukunda Member since:
2006-11-05

You know, you're actually insane now. It seems more like you're a mockery of fans of Microsoft, you do more harm than good, and you have lately started spouting completely unrealisitc rubbish.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Ref: How Pathetic
by twenex on Wed 16th May 2007 14:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Ref: How Pathetic"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

That's true, but that doesn't mean it isn't coming, or that they aren't still up to something. The last thing Microsoft would want or need is to get themselves embroiled in a public slinging match.

They're far more calculating than that.


If a government could arrest you for violating a law, but wouldn't tell you what that law was, we'd call that government a police state.

It's time people stood up and starting treating Microsoft with the contempt police states deserve.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Ref: How Pathetic
by archiesteel on Wed 16th May 2007 15:57 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Ref: How Pathetic"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

They're far more calculating than that.


Yes and no. I think it was a gambit on MS's part. They are gambling that the mere threat of IP litigation is going to forestall Linux adoption. In other words, it's mostly a PR offensive (which can be quite effective, mind you).

With that in mind, the reaction most people have of ridiculing Microsoft's claims is *exactly* the right one to have. If they're going to fight on the PR front, then that's where we need to fight back, with assertions that the claims are unfounded until some evidence is provided. This will prevent MS from monopolizing the message, and counter their FUD effort.

If MS actually moves from empty threats to legal action, then the counter strategy will also change, from ridiculing MS's accusations to actual action (such as counterlitigation, patent warfare, and possibly modifications to the code in the off-chance that some of the patents are actually valid...)

Reply Score: 4

v RE[3]: Ref: How Pathetic
by tomcat on Wed 16th May 2007 20:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ref: How Pathetic"
RE[4]: Ref: How Pathetic
by archiesteel on Wed 16th May 2007 21:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Ref: How Pathetic"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Did you even bother reading the rest of his post? He made a pretty convincing argument - I'd love to hear your rebuttal.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Ref: How Pathetic
by tomcat on Thu 17th May 2007 00:17 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Ref: How Pathetic"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

His argument boils down to this: "Unless you show me the infringing code, then no infringing code exists." Which is nonsense. Microsoft, Stallman, Novell, and others KNOW that infringements exist. Novell signed the agreement with MS in order to avoid litigation. It isn't a question of IF infringements exist. It's a question of WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MS ACTS UPON THEM. Because it's going to happen, sooner or later.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Ref: How Pathetic
by archiesteel on Thu 17th May 2007 01:50 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Ref: How Pathetic"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

His argument boils down to this: "Unless you show me the infringing code, then no infringing code exists."


Actually, that's not what his argument boils down to at all. What the OP clearly said was that until any specifics are known about the *alleged* infringement, there is no reason to fear Microsoft. In other words, unless the infringement is communicated, one should not presume that it does or doesn't exist.

Innocent until proven guilty. It's the law. Look it up.

Which is nonsense. Microsoft, Stallman, Novell, and others KNOW that infringements exist.


Oh really? What are your sources to make such an allegation? Or is that simply wishful thinking? Yeah, that sounds about right...

Novell signed the agreement with MS in order to avoid litigation.


Yes, which is why Novell has declared that they do not believe for a second that Linux infringes on any MS patents.

Again, wishful thinking on your part.

It isn't a question of IF infringements exist.


Actually, yes, it is a question of known if infringements exist or not. And if the patents do exist, then how many (if any) are valid, how easy they are to avoid, and so on.

Of course, being an anti-FOSS advocate, it's in your agenda to present Microsoft as a real threat, but the fact of the matter is that - for now - Microsoft's threat remains empty. When there's substance to it (if ever), then we'll see. Until then, I don't think you will find many users/distributors who will fall for your bogeyman stories.

It's a question of WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MS ACTS UPON THEM. Because it's going to happen, sooner or later.


Well, personally I hope they are foolish enough to act upon them. Software patents are on already shaky grounds (see the recent Supreme Court decision), this could be the case that invalids them altogether.

That said, I don't think they'll be that crazy. They know they have nothing to gain from a Patent War - especially with a virtual army of volunteer to look for prior art and decimate their arsenal...

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: Ref: How Pathetic
by Soulbender on Thu 17th May 2007 04:18 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Ref: How Pathetic"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"His argument boils down to this:"

Partially.

"Unless you show me the infringing code, then no infringing code exists.""

Accusing someone of something and presenting it as a fact but without providing any evidence is defamation.
It's punishable by law. MS statements, if not backup up with real evidence, are essentially libel.

"Microsoft, Stallman, Novell, and others KNOW that infringements exist"

Care to back this statement up with actual evidence?

"Novell signed the agreement with MS in order to avoid litigation."

Avoiding litigation does not mean that there are actual violations.

"It isn't a question of IF infringements exist."
I have never said there aren't, the problem is that we don't know *what* they are (if there are any) and MS is refusing to tell. It's not even certain that those patents would hold up in court.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Ref: How Pathetic
by archiesteel on Thu 17th May 2007 13:58 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Ref: How Pathetic"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Care to back this statement up with actual evidence?


Of course not. Confront Tomcat with one of his unsubstantiated allegations, ask him to back it up, and then see him vanish in a puff of smoke...

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Ref: How Pathetic
by Johann Chua on Thu 17th May 2007 11:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Ref: How Pathetic"
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

How about, unless you can prove otherwise, we're free to assume you're insane, a liar, or both?

Now, isn't it much better to demand proof for allegations like that?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Ref: How Pathetic
by lemur2 on Wed 16th May 2007 12:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Ref: How Pathetic"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

{Microsoft is up to something, without any doubt. Litigation is not the only means of achieving a goal.}

Yes it is. Without litigation, without proof, Microsoft are purely and simply just attempting extortion.

http://davedargo.blogspot.com/2007/05/chief-of-licensing.html

http://www.osnews.com/permalink.php?news_id=17917&comment_id=240593

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Ref: How Pathetic
by Soulbender on Wed 16th May 2007 12:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Ref: How Pathetic"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"Microsoft are purely and simply just attempting extortion."

Are you saying that extortion doesn't work? I'm pretty sure that history will show that it can be a very effective, although not a very ethical, course of action.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Ref: How Pathetic
by jboss1995 on Wed 16th May 2007 15:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Ref: How Pathetic"
jboss1995 Member since:
2007-05-02

I happen to know this guy works for Microsoft. I have traced him for years. I would not trust anything he has to say. I have the proof but I can't share it with you, you will just have to trust me.

Hopefully you now understand.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Ref: How Pathetic
by DigitalAxis on Wed 16th May 2007 21:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Ref: How Pathetic"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

Except we DO have evidence that Microsoft is operating on a fear basis now: They've published and widely publicized that Linux (and X and KDE and Gnome and...) infringe on their patents, but:

a.) They refuse to say what the claims actually are
b.) They refuse to press charges
c.) They continue to widely broadcast these claims

No proof has been offered. (That does not mean they DON'T have proof)
They are either unwilling (or, possibly, unable) to start legal action on what are claimed to be very serious charges.

This leads me to believe that Microsoft's intent is one of five things:
1.) Use the claims themselves to scare people away from Linux
2.) Capture some legal high ground by getting Linux to fire the first shot
3.) Get Novell-style agreements so they can get a piece of the Linux pie
4.) Settlements
5.) Incompetence

Edited 2007-05-16 21:01

Reply Score: 3

Ehm... was that all?
by korpenkraxar on Wed 16th May 2007 10:21 UTC
korpenkraxar
Member since:
2005-09-10

What happened to the Epic Patent Battle of Supreme Righteousness?

All we got was the One Day Whining Whimper?

Reply Score: 4

[tangent] Torvalds and FUD
by Almafeta on Wed 16th May 2007 10:22 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

Wow... even Torvalds is pulling out that annoying argument-enhancing TLA, "FUD." I thought someone at his level in the public eye would be above that.

Reply Score: 0

RE: [tangent] Torvalds and FUD
by Ulrich on Wed 16th May 2007 10:38 UTC in reply to "[tangent] Torvalds and FUD"
Ulrich Member since:
2006-08-30

Well it is FUD, what else is it, what are they then trying to achieve with their claims ? Should everyone stoop down to microsofts lawyerspeak now ?

Edited 2007-05-16 10:40

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: [tangent] Torvalds and FUD
by flanque on Wed 16th May 2007 11:43 UTC in reply to "RE: [tangent] Torvalds and FUD"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

"You're honor, I stand here to declare to you that Microsoft is engaged in FUD!"

I don't know what's worse. Microsoft riddles or Internet forum acronyms.

Reply Score: 3

RE: [tangent] Torvalds and FUD
by Soulbender on Wed 16th May 2007 11:01 UTC in reply to "[tangent] Torvalds and FUD"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Above what? Above the incredibly stupid "you have something that is ours but we wont tell you what it is" mentality? Surely he is.
I mean how can anyone take this seriously? It's if I would make the statement: "You stole some of my stuff but I wont tell anyone exactly what. But goddamnit it was mine and you stole whatever it was.".
This is some of the most obvious FUD since the "glorious" IBM heydays.

Edited 2007-05-16 11:01

Reply Score: 5

RE: [tangent] Torvalds and FUD
by RandomGuy on Wed 16th May 2007 11:03 UTC in reply to "[tangent] Torvalds and FUD"
RandomGuy Member since:
2006-07-30

I must agree, I hate the word FUD so very, very much.
So here's my wishlist for 2007:

-people stop spreading FUD
-people stop calling everything FUD

In this order. As long as MS keeps pulling stupid stunts, we need the word "FUD".
I wish we didn't, but we do.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: [tangent] Torvalds and FUD
by stestagg on Wed 16th May 2007 11:13 UTC in reply to "RE: [tangent] Torvalds and FUD"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Well. That's just FUD.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: [tangent] Torvalds and FUD
by flanque on Wed 16th May 2007 11:46 UTC in reply to "RE: [tangent] Torvalds and FUD"
flanque Member since:
2005-12-15

I'd like to see FUD, astro turfing (or whatever it is) and trolling something of the past. They're all dumb and have difficulty moving beyond forums like this.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"I'd like to see FUD, astro turfing (or whatever it is) and trolling something of the past."

The words FUD, astro turfing and trolling is not the problem. Removing the words will not make the behavior go away but instead make it harder to combat.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: [tangent] Torvalds and FUD
by yak8998 on Thu 17th May 2007 11:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: [tangent] Torvalds and FUD"
yak8998 Member since:
2006-07-28

lol why, because we won't have words to describe it?

Reply Score: 1

RE: [tangent] Torvalds and FUD
by wowtip on Wed 16th May 2007 11:06 UTC in reply to "[tangent] Torvalds and FUD"
wowtip Member since:
2005-07-14

Complaining about the TLA FUD using the TLA TLA? Hmm?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: [tangent] Torvalds and FUD
by DigitalAxis on Wed 16th May 2007 21:08 UTC in reply to "[tangent] Torvalds and FUD"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

Actually, this seems to be a rare instance where it exactly qualifies.

They're claiming that Linux violates all sorts of patents- a serious charge... but they're not actually going to reveal what those patents are, or actually FILE the charges.

In short, Microsoft currently seems to be content to just warn everyone that Linux infringes, allow for WIDE uncertainty over what's actually infringing, and scare everyone with no specfics.

That's almost a textbook definition of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

Reply Score: 4

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
That's almost a textbook definition of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.
"""

Indeed. I've even found myself using the term with respect to this. I normally avoid it, as it is a much overused and abused term.

Someone runs a benchmark which "proves" that Windows 2003 Server is faster than RHEL? It's FUD! Someone criticizes Linux for not having a stable in-kernel abi? It's FUD, I tell you!

Both examples are inaccurate uses of the term, of course.

I've used the term to describe what is going on here because it is *accurate* in this case.

However, I really should have heeded advice that I have given here previously. And that advice is not to use the term because overuse and over-abuse has caused the term to lose its meaning, and hence lose any punch that it may have once had.

It's still best to type the extra characters to say, unambiguously, what one really means instead of relying upon convenient, but old and worn out, cliche terms like "FUD".

Edited 2007-05-16 21:35

Reply Score: 2

Now what do they do?
by bolomkxxviii on Wed 16th May 2007 10:28 UTC
bolomkxxviii
Member since:
2006-05-19

OK, they told people that it actually cost MORE to run Linux instead of Windows and that didn't work. So they told us that Linux was not as secure as Windows and that didn't work either. Then they bankrolled the SCO fiasco and that really didn't work. So next they tried to scare linux users with saying "linux violates hundreds of our patents and you must pay us royalties" and now they are backing off as soon as they find out that the linux vendors aren't going to just roll over. The linux vendors want proof that Microsoft can't/won't show. I wonder whats next? If they put more effort into making an innovative product everyone wanted and spent less time attacking the competition they would be much better off.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Now what do they do?
by Edward on Wed 16th May 2007 16:14 UTC in reply to "Now what do they do?"
Edward Member since:
2005-09-17

OK, they told people that it actually cost MORE to run Linux instead of Windows and that didn't work. So they told us that Linux was not as secure as Windows and that didn't work either. Then they bankrolled the SCO fiasco and that really didn't work. So next they tried to scare linux users with saying "linux violates hundreds of our patents and you must pay us royalties" and now they are backing off as soon as they find out that the linux vendors aren't going to just roll over. The linux vendors want proof that Microsoft can't/won't show. I wonder whats next? If they put more effort into making an innovative product everyone wanted and spent less time attacking the competition they would be much better off.

That would be the grown up thing to do, but aparently MS wants to try & use its mega money to push around the competition. I wish MS would make better software, I get tired of the windows crashes & freezes. God, they have more money then the entire OSS comunity put together & they still can't deliver a good OS. The funny thing is the open source comunity can & does.

Reply Score: 4

More pathetic than pathetic
by risbac on Wed 16th May 2007 10:35 UTC
risbac
Member since:
2007-03-29

Even worse, it's incredible to read that some companies actually PAY Microsoft for using Linux! Just because they don't have the money and time to check the patents... This problem with patents is REALLY getting more and more annoying, something should be done. I don't think it's normal to have such a situation, with a company spreading FUD for months without any problem, and even getting some money from this FUD, directly from companies or indirectly from companies hesitating to migrate. Disgusting is the word for this, when Microsoft should earn its money from words like "innovation", "services", "quality".

Reply Score: 5

RE: More pathetic than pathetic
by twenex on Wed 16th May 2007 11:20 UTC in reply to "More pathetic than pathetic"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Disgusting is the word for this, when Microsoft should earn its money from words like "innovation", "services", "quality".

Oh, trust me, they do, even if it is a pack of lies.

Reply Score: 5

Mainstream press needs to know this is FUD
by jaylaa on Wed 16th May 2007 10:46 UTC
jaylaa
Member since:
2006-01-17

I hope the OIN or the FSF or any "official" representative of Free software can get their argument into mainstream press.

Maybe a full page in the Wall Street Journal, or New York Times.

Wasn't there an impending lawsuit against MS for libel or defamation or something about to happen the last time they mentioned these patents?

Reply Score: 5

What are the patents?
by whendrik on Wed 16th May 2007 11:08 UTC
whendrik
Member since:
2006-12-16

What is it what is actually patented?

Some specific lines of kernel code which can be easily rewritten, or global idea's and global functions?

Reply Score: 1

RE: What are the patents?
by lemur2 on Wed 16th May 2007 12:24 UTC in reply to "What are the patents?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

{Some specific lines of kernel code which can be easily rewritten, or global idea's and global functions?}

Global ideas and global functions in Linux are based on ancient Unix, BSD and the ideas presented in literally hundreds of "Unix internals" textbooks.

Like this one: http://www.amazon.com/UNIX-Internals-Frontiers-Uresh-Vahalia/dp/013...

or this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Design-Operating-System-Prentice-Software/dp/...

or this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Design-Implementation-Operating-System-System...

Most of Unix and all of BSD is not patented, and only Unix SysV is copyrighted.

Edited 2007-05-16 12:25

Reply Score: 3

Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

I wish I could believe case studies like this will prompt a change in the way software IPs work, but I can't bring myself to that level of optimisum.

Microsoft may well be 'evil', however they're not alone in exploiting the system for their own gain. After all, as long as there are loop holes then businesses will use them.

So maybe as well as slating Microsoft for their FUD *cringes for using the term* we should also be criticising and placing extra pressure on the government/patent office* for allowing the system to be abused in such an obvious way.

*or whoever makes the decisions on the opperation of the system

[edit] didn't proof read.

Edited 2007-05-16 11:20

Reply Score: 3

Old school
by Soulbender on Wed 16th May 2007 11:17 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

This reminds me quite a bit of the "protecting" rackets the mafia used to run. All the bits are there:
You got the powerful organization intimidating the smaller ones.
The vague threats about bad stuff that may, or may not, happen.
The not-so-subtle hint that if you all just pay up that bad stuff may not happen. At least not for another month.

At least the mafia was well-dressed.

Edited 2007-05-16 11:18

Reply Score: 5

RE: Old school
by twenex on Wed 16th May 2007 11:22 UTC in reply to "Old school"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

At least the mafia was well-dressed.

LOL!

Reply Score: 4

RE: Old school
by Rehdon on Wed 16th May 2007 12:31 UTC in reply to "Old school"
Rehdon Member since:
2005-07-06

Time to press RICO charges then ;)

Rehdon

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Old school
by chemical_scum on Wed 16th May 2007 12:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Old school"
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

Time to press RICO charges then ;)

Have you noticed the resemblance between Steve Ballmer and Tony Soprano ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE: Old school
by keith.unix on Wed 16th May 2007 13:43 UTC in reply to "Old school"
keith.unix Member since:
2007-05-08

nice....

Reply Score: 1

RE: Old school
by Phloptical on Wed 16th May 2007 22:53 UTC in reply to "Old school"
Phloptical Member since:
2006-10-10

At least the mafia was well-dressed.

....and ate better food.

Great analogy, though. Completely on point.

Reply Score: 2

Sneaky part.
by Windows Sucks on Wed 16th May 2007 11:33 UTC
Windows Sucks
Member since:
2005-11-10

The sneaky part here is it says "Linux Users"

What about Linux sellers?

Then again you now have companies that have almost MS money like IBM, Oracle and Dell pushing and selling Linux. Is MS gonna sue them all.

Or sue Red Hat and hope that all the rest pay up?

Reply Score: 1

What a load
by Soulbender on Wed 16th May 2007 11:48 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

"Instead, Microsoft wants to create more arrangements that mirror the company's deal with Linux distributor Novell."

But of course they do, otherwise they'd have to provide actual proof of any violations.

"Even so, Microsoft would not likely use the courts to try and extract royalty payments from corporate Linux users"

Again with the bullshit about suing the *users* of the product instead of the actual manufacturer. Sorry Horacio, that's not how things work. It's like if McDonalds would sue anyone who's ever had a burger at Burger King if Burger King had infringed on a McDonalds patent. Absurd does not begin to describe it.

"It's important for everyone to understand that there is a real problem with Linux patents and that there is a need for a solution,"

There's a pretty simple solution to that problem. Just specify exactly what is being violated and the violations can be removed.

"Gutierrez also said Microsoft is not likely to publicly list which specific patents it believes are infringed upon by open source software. "We're not going to have a discussion publicly with that level of detail," he said."

Do these people really not understand how absurd this behavior is? Accusing someone of something akin to theft (so to speak) but not specifying exactly what has been stolen?

"Microsoft has made the patents in question known to corporate Linux users and distributors, Gutierrez said."

So they have disclosed it to entities that are effectively resellers of the product and not the actual "manufacturer"? WTF? Welcome to bizarro world.

Reply Score: 5

RE: What a load
by MamiyaOtaru on Wed 16th May 2007 12:53 UTC in reply to "What a load"
MamiyaOtaru Member since:
2005-11-11

I also think the idea of suing users is ridiculous. Yet one has to admit a user of Linux isn't the same as a consumer of a Big Mac. One of the big plusses of FLOSS (and the reason I use it in the workplace) is the freedom to make changes. I bet lots of companies make changes in the source code, and some probably donate it back. In Linux land, the line between developers and users is a bit blurred.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What a load
by lemur2 on Wed 16th May 2007 13:01 UTC in reply to "RE: What a load"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

{I also think the idea of suing users is ridiculous. Yet one has to admit a user of Linux isn't the same as a consumer of a Big Mac. One of the big plusses of FLOSS (and the reason I use it in the workplace) is the freedom to make changes. I bet lots of companies make changes in the source code, and some probably donate it back. In Linux land, the line between developers and users is a bit blurred.}

So you are saying that it is silly to sue a consumer for buying a Big Mac, but look out anyone who buys an electric frying pan from Wallmart?

Nope, that can't be it. Still too silly, even for Microsoft.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: What a load
by MamiyaOtaru on Wed 16th May 2007 13:31 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What a load"
MamiyaOtaru Member since:
2005-11-11

Me: ... one has to admit a user of Linux isn't the same as a consumer of a Big Mac. (With FLOSS you have) the freedom to make changes. I bet lots of companies make changes in the source code, and some probably donate it back (making) the line between developers and users is a bit blurred.

you: So you are saying that it is silly to sue a consumer for buying a Big Mac, but look out anyone who buys an electric frying pan from Wallmart?

What the .. Way to put words in my mouth that aren't at all similar to what I actually said.

Fark's sake how do you make that leap? I'd lump the idea of buying a frying pan in with buying a Big Mac. Same thing. The eater of the Big Mac and the user of the frying pan have no part in the creation thereof. I still say users of FLOSS are different from both both of those examples. People who use Linux often make changes to it and donate the changes back. How the hell do you go from "the line between users and developers is a little blurred with FLOSS" to buying a frying pan?

Is your next counterexample going to be something equally nonapplicable? Maybe you'll throw out a strawman like "so you think Ford could sue Chevy users if Chevy drivers if Chevy infringes on Ford patents?" If you do that, you will again be missing the point of my original post, which is an indeterminate number of users of FLOSS are also occasionally developers thereof in the sense that they edit code and send it upstream.

I don't think this opens them to litigation, assuming they aren't violating patents in patches they send upstream; even then it's a question of whether they or upstream are liable since upstream is responsible for applying the patch or not. Of course that is assuming the patent is valid (even though the very existence of software patents is IMHO a travesty). Stop blindly reacting to what I am saying like it's an attack on FLOSS, and read it for what it is: me saying that users of Linux sometimes act in a limited capacity as developers.

Edited 2007-05-16 13:45

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: What a load
by Soulbender on Wed 16th May 2007 13:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What a load"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"which is an indeterminate number of users of FLOSS are also occasionally developers thereof."

Right but that does not automagically make you the manufacturer or make you responsible for the product. Many companies have contests and such where you can voice your ideas on how to make their products better. If they accept my ideas does that make me responsible for their product? No. The fact that you contribute to something does not make you responsible for it.
Granted this analogy isn't a 100% match but it's serviceable.

This raises another interesting question though: exactly who IS responsible for Linux?

Edited 2007-05-16 13:43

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: What a load
by MamiyaOtaru on Wed 16th May 2007 13:49 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: What a load"
MamiyaOtaru Member since:
2005-11-11

Right but that does not automagically make you the manufacturer or make you responsible for the product.

And I'm not saying that. My original post simply states that someone who eats a Big Mac is a little different than someone who uses and makes changes to software and sometimes sends it upstream. Please people if you read more into that statement than is there, it came from you. Don't blame me for it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: What a load
by lemur2 on Wed 16th May 2007 14:04 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What a load"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

{My original post simply states that someone who eats a Big Mac is a little different than someone who uses and makes changes to software and sometimes sends it upstream.}

What is the purpose of salt and pepper shakers in a MacDonalds store?

Are you able to order "special orders" in a MacDonalds store?

What would be the purpose of a "suggestion box" in a MacDonalds store?

What is the purpose of "customer feedback" survey forms, say in a MacDonalds store?

Reply Score: 1

RE[7]: What a load
by MamiyaOtaru on Wed 16th May 2007 14:16 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: What a load"
MamiyaOtaru Member since:
2005-11-11

Holy cow, you can't let this go can you. Salt shakers are there so you can alter your Big Mac. But after doing so you don't send it back to the kitchen to be consumed by someone else. Feedback forms let you express ways you wish McDonalds would change their product. They don't represent a way for you to do so yourself.

If you don't see the difference between eating a Big Mac and sending patches upstream I really feel for you.

Here are the disclaimers I've been attaching to every post to ward off fellow FLOSS users who think I'm somehow in favor of suing FLOSS users for patent infringements, quoted from previous posts of mine in this thread: "I also think the idea of suing users is ridiculous." "I don't think this opens (patch submitters) up to litigation" Still doesn't change the fact that submitting patches is a little different than eating a Big Mac or using a frying pan (wherever the heck that came from).

Edited 2007-05-16 14:17

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: What a load
by lemur2 on Wed 16th May 2007 13:58 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: What a load"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"This raises another interesting question though: exactly who IS responsible for Linux?"

A large corporation with a titular head is not the only model for running a business or enterprise.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Co-operative

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumers%27_cooperative

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rochdale_Principles

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collective

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_ownership

Edited 2007-05-16 13:58

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: What a load
by lemur2 on Wed 16th May 2007 14:32 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What a load"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

{Stop blindly reacting to what I am saying like it's an attack on FLOSS, and read it for what it is: me saying that users of Linux sometimes act in a limited capacity as developers.}

What you don't express is, what is special about developers?

I am co-developing a bit of code right now, as it turns out. I think of a method to do what I want, to fix the problem I'm having, I get it coded & compiled and then test it out. I even bone up on the topic using (say) Wikipedia sometimes when I'm not quite sure of the math.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coefficient_of_lift
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drag_equation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moment_of_inertia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_product
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geographic_coordinate_system
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navigation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gps

It is just math. It is in the textbooks. There is no secret to it.

I put the math into the computer source code. At the end of the exercise, a copy of the source code will go to my customer.

This makes me so different from other people doing their job ... exactly how?

Why should I get to rip people off and threaten other people with lawsuits if they happen to do the same task next year as I did today?

Edited 2007-05-16 14:50

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: What a load
by Almafeta on Wed 16th May 2007 15:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: What a load"
Almafeta Member since:
2007-02-22

[i]I put the math into the computer source code. At the end of the exercise, a copy of the source code will go to my customer.

This makes me so different from other people doing their job ... exactly how?[i]

The scenarios you mention above doesn't apply (and is unlikely to happen in real-world scenarios), as you are just copying the work of others. And, like you said, it's in the textbooks; it's common knowledge and public domain (with the possible exception of GPS), owned by no-one. If you had created something new, then patent law could be applicable.

Any good coder is closer to an inventor or an artist than they are to a McDonald's fry chef. That should be enormously evident.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: What a load
by lemur2 on Wed 16th May 2007 15:18 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What a load"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

The scenarios you mention above doesn't apply (and is unlikely to happen in real-world scenarios), as you are just copying the work of others. And, like you said, it's in the textbooks; it's common knowledge and public domain (with the possible exception of GPS), owned by no-one. If you had created something new, then patent law could be applicable.

Any good coder is closer to an inventor or an artist than they are to a McDonald's fry chef. That should be enormously evident.


Every other few months I create something that, as far as I know, is new. An entirely new concept that as far as I can tell hasn't been used before by anyone anywhere. I certainly can't find a product that I can buy which does what I want, so I have to create a new design to do it.

This is the whole process of engineering.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engineers
There are literally millions of us worldwide.

Doesn't mean I should be able to sue someone for beeeeelions $$$$$ megabucks if they happen to think of the same thing next year. That would be extortion, pure & simple ... even if I could prove that I thought of it first.

Americans have very strange thinking sometimes, it seems, when they think they have a chance to rip people off.

Edited 2007-05-16 15:20

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: What a load
by startxjeff on Wed 16th May 2007 16:57 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: What a load"
startxjeff Member since:
2006-09-29

Americans have very strange thinking sometimes, it seems, when they think they have a chance to rip people off.

Wow,

Talking about software and this idiot comes out with an Anti-American rant,

Did somebody turn off the jealous European idiot filter?

Reply Score: 0

RE[7]: What a load
by DigitalAxis on Wed 16th May 2007 21:04 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: What a load"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

All I can say is, a lot of the very fundamental stuff (double-clicking?) that's been patented seems to be stuff that was originally developed a long time ago, and the person just never thought to patent it.

So, it's not you, it's just that you're not a patent-happy lawyer.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: What a load
by Ulrich on Wed 16th May 2007 16:02 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What a load"
Ulrich Member since:
2006-08-30

Any good coder is closer to an inventor or an artist than they are to a McDonald's fry chef. That should be enormously evident.


Good luck with skunkyos I hope that you have consulted with your lawyers about all the patents you will be violating in your code.

Reply Score: 2

Suing users
by raboof on Wed 16th May 2007 15:24 UTC in reply to "What a load"
raboof Member since:
2005-07-24

Again with the bullshit about suing the *users* of the product instead of the actual manufacturer. Sorry Horacio, that's not how things work.

Actually, at least in the Netherlands, this is how things work. Anyone using something patent-encumbered "in or for a business" is in violation. If you're behaving properly, though, simply stopping the violation within a reasonable timeframe is generally sufficient - which is why in most cases it doesn't really make sense for the patent holder to go after the end-users when he can try and get damages from the manufacturer instead.

This is clearly FUD: even if the patents actually exist and may be valid in some regions, by keeping the details a secret MS is preventing us from simply sitting down and doing something about it. If it'd come to a case, a judge would probably take into account the fact that we were prepared to do something about the violation, but couldn't because of MS's secrecy.

Reply Score: 1

RE: What a load
by MollyC on Wed 16th May 2007 15:41 UTC in reply to "What a load"
MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"Again with the bullshit about suing the *users* of the product instead of the actual manufacturer. Sorry Horacio, that's not how things work. It's like if McDonalds would sue anyone who's ever had a burger at Burger King if Burger King had infringed on a McDonalds patent. Absurd does not begin to describe it."

--------------------------

Well, the thing is that some OSS devs do in fact pass the responsibility of abiding by patents to the users.
For example, OSS developer VideoLAN makes the popular VLC video player, which supports playing videos that require patented codecs (such as MPEG2). But rather than paying the license fees themselves, they pass that responsibility on to the user.
From their site (I found out about this by reading another message board regarding this issue):

====================
http://download.videolan.org/doc/faq/en/videolan-faq-en.pdf
3.4. What about personal/commercial usage?
Some of the codecs distributed with VLC are patented and require you to pay royalties to their licensors. These are mostly the MPEG style codecs.

With many products the producer pays the license body (in this case MPEG LA (http://www.mpegla.com)) so the user (commercial or personal) does not have to take care of this. VLC (and ffmpeg and libmpeg2 which it uses in most of these cases) cannot do this because they are Free and Open Source implementations of these codecs. The software is not sold and therefore the end-user becomes responsible for complying to the licensing and royalty requirements. You will need to contact the licensor on how to comply to these licenses.

This goes for playing a DVD with VLC for your personal joy ($2.50 one time payment to MPEG LA) as well as for using VLC for streaming a live event in MPEG-4 over the Internet.

====================

So you see, the idea of holding users responsible is an idea put forward by OSS devs themselves. VideoLAN explicitly states that because they're "free and open source", it's up to the user to pay the license fees (knowing full well that the users won't bother to do this).

This is a game that certain OSS devs play: violate patents, and dare the patent holders to go after the users, knowing that the resulting bad PR woudn't be worth it.

Edited 2007-05-16 15:47

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: What a load
by raynevandunem on Wed 16th May 2007 16:35 UTC in reply to "RE: What a load"
raynevandunem Member since:
2006-11-24

That has me wondering...if OSS devs aren't responsible for what the user does with their work, then who protects the user?

I mean, there are three main audiences involved in the life and times of a piece of software (free or no): developers, distributors, and users (ordered in scale of importance and legal protection).

The distributors are, officially, protected by the license; they can modify and redistribute the developers' works); the developers, however, call the shots over their work from the getgo, and can relicense their work under another license if they want.

The users, at the lowest level of importance of this game, gets no particular provision from the license, only restrictions (you can't do this or that with this software) and regulations. They can only receive rights and freedoms over the software if they either become a legal distributor or a legal developer of the software.

This clearly spells the following out to me:

There is no legal protection for the user under any license whatsoever.

None, zero, zilch, etc.

No protection for the user.

This is why Microsoft can go MAFIAA on all our asses if they wanted; the user can be charged with violation of whatever particular "individual right" that they may possess.

This extends into other industries as well: the user is unprotected from the ravages, direct or indirect, of the RIAA, MPAA, etc.

We are the frickin' Third Estate in a technolegal Ancien Régime.

Users are unprotected, even by the ideals of the GPL.

Edited 2007-05-16 16:36

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: What a load
by Jack Burton on Fri 18th May 2007 10:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What a load"
Jack Burton Member since:
2005-07-06

"There is no legal protection for the user under any license whatsoever. "

Of course there is not. No one is responsible for the use you make of the things you buy, except yourself.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: What a load
by Soulbender on Thu 17th May 2007 03:58 UTC in reply to "RE: What a load"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Patenting is different from licensing and this has NOTHING to do with whether users can be sued for patent infringements or not.

"violate patents, and dare the patent holders to go after the users,"

License violation != patent violation.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: What a load
by anda_skoa on Thu 17th May 2007 14:48 UTC in reply to "RE: What a load"
anda_skoa Member since:
2005-07-07

This is a game that certain OSS devs play: violate patents, and dare the patent holders to go after the users, knowing that the resulting bad PR woudn't be worth it.


The developers might be using the patent without violation, depening on their countries' patent laws, e.g. if they have no associated commercial interests and the country's patent law grants free access to non-commercial parties.

Same thing also applies to users with only personal need in the software.

The only parties which might violate the patent and which should be licencing it are the ones who add value to their products by using the software, or are selling the software and/or services based on it.

Reply Score: 2

Reminds..
by kaiwai on Wed 16th May 2007 11:49 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Reminds me of those people who went around making up illnesses and ailments to push their their products around. Microsoft is trying to create an ailment that doesn't exist - "ah, here is an illness, and only we have the cure!" but of course, they're not going to describe what the particular illness is, you'll just have to trust them that you've got it.

Like I said previously, considering that Linux is nothing more than a re-implementation of UNIX and various other open standards, one call either call prior art or simply demand Microsoft prove that they created UNIX - because implicitly they're claiming patents on Linux, they're at the same time making claims on UNIX.

Although I probably would refrain to using the word FUD as Linus has done - a lot of people these days seem to scream it without knowing in what context it should be used, and how it came about. With that being said, it would be interesting to know where they got that quote from - I doubt very much that this was an official question, but instead simply pulling something off a mailing list as said in a casual context.

At the end of the day, as long as customers keep ignoring Microsoft, keep moving off Microsoft, and the likes of Sun, IBM, Novell and Red Hat willing band together and come to the protection of customers who are threatened by Microsoft.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Reminds..
by twenex on Wed 16th May 2007 14:36 UTC in reply to "Reminds.."
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Reminds me of those people who went around making up illnesses and ailments to push their their products around. Microsoft is trying to create an ailment that doesn't exist - "ah, here is an illness, and only we have the cure!" but of course, they're not going to describe what the particular illness is, you'll just have to trust them that you've got it.

Oh, it's worse than that. As was pointed out last week on tv, whereas certain fundamentalist religious groups will "sell" you a "cure" for "homosexuality" (which in typical Big Brother fashion they refer to euphemistically* as "Same Sex Attraction Disorder"), no pharmaceutical company will touch SSAD with a bargepole - let alone a drug. It won't be long before Microsoft start selling Windows as the cure for "Open Source Intellectual property VIolation Disorder".

*No, I'm not saying homosexuality needs a euphemism. But that lot do.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Reminds..
by kaiwai on Thu 17th May 2007 00:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Reminds.."
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Oh, it's worse than that. As was pointed out last week on tv, whereas certain fundamentalist religious groups will "sell" you a "cure" for "homosexuality" (which in typical Big Brother fashion they refer to euphemistically* as "Same Sex Attraction Disorder"), no pharmaceutical company will touch SSAD with a bargepole - let alone a drug. It won't be long before Microsoft start selling Windows as the cure for "Open Source Intellectual property VIolation Disorder".

*No, I'm not saying homosexuality needs a euphemism. But that lot do.


Oh, I saw the same thing - I've debated with these people, and the best they can do is 'walk away' because they know its all bumpkin - hell, I'm not even a Christian and yet know more about the historical context in which many of the 'claims against homosexuality' are based.

The funny part is that those who make claims against homosexuality, are the very people who made stupid decisions in their life. Take John Smid for example; hangs around in gay bars taking drugs, having a tonne of one night stands, and drinking more than Yeltsin did in one sitting; the commical - he blames his sexual orientation for the *choices* he made. It makes me laugh, all this time I thought I was making decisions when it must have been my 'homosexual attractions' thats running my life *rolls eyes*.

Same situation with Microsoft making claims on so-called innovations because of either a minor 'enhancement' or claim because they used it in some peculiar way, it makes it a patentable piece of technology - better known in the US as 'ever-greening' a patent; take a patent that is about to expire, change the colour or something stupid, then re-patent it, the pharmaceutical companies are notorious for that practice.

Reply Score: 4

About FUD
by risbac on Wed 16th May 2007 12:16 UTC
risbac
Member since:
2007-03-29

"It's very difficult for any of us to make the assessment that there's no basis to Microsoft's claims."

It's not reall the problem! Maybe there are, surely there are! Software patents are so stupid that you can very easily find infringments in an OS. So surely can Microsoft finds some of its patents in Linux. But then surely can some of those patents be invalidated by a court, surely some others will be correct but surely again the code can be changed to get rid of those infringments.

So instead of going to sue, Microsoft prefers to talk about the so-called infringments. It's easier than to beginning sueing. It costs nothing, they don't even have to check if the patents are really valid! And that could scare some companies, and that is ALREADY scaring some companies which prefer to pay Microsoft for using Linux, for some patents NOBODY checked the validity. That is surely FUD. FUD doesn't mean a part of a claim cannot be true. It just means they use some unverified facts to pressure customers.

And then, don't forget that if they decide to sue whoever they want, there are surely some other patents owned by IBM, Sun, etc... which Windows XP/Vista are infringmenting (correct english? sorry about that if it's not understandable...). But none of those companies are talking to the press about the patents Microsoft is not respecting. They keep them for defense.

So that's clearly in the interest of Microsoft not to attack for all those reasons. Expensive, no guarantee to win anything, no guarantee not to lose something. If you don't call this FUD, how to call it then?

Reply Score: 4

mindpixel
Member since:
2006-05-01

Microsoft is not trying to stop us - the normal users and Linux enthusiasts from using Linux. They are targeting the IT managers in the corporate world who will not be able to get their Linux based project approved because of the possible legal consequences. This is a thread to the foothold Linux gained in the corporate market, the businesses surrounding Linux and not the community. But they are very much dependant on each other.
By not disclosing the details and not challenging Linux in the public eye they are keeping the news out of the main stream media.
At the same time I guess they are quietly contacting all the fortune 500 companies and threatening to sue them unless they comply and pay up or use SUSE or put pressure on Red Hat and other distros to sign agreements with Microsoft.
It is a very well thought out strategy as the corporate customers do not care about freedom or price more then they care for the safety of their businesses.
I just hope I am wrong.

Edited 2007-05-16 12:39

Reply Score: 4

Silent_Seer Member since:
2007-04-06

Red Hat offers indemnification to it's customers, and soon I guess all other major distro makers (for serious business use and there are not many) will offer it too. So MS has to sue the distribution companies.

Time for showdown between MS and OSS supporters because soon their intimidation is not going to work.

Reply Score: 1

Stop whining please.
by Morin on Wed 16th May 2007 12:37 UTC
Morin
Member since:
2005-12-31

Microsoft has made a smart move here. Now they are back to spreading fear about a possible lawsuit, without actually having to show their cards. Linux supporters will have a hard time arguing against this.

One thing that many here should understand (but don't do) is that this move is not pathetic. Many here call it pathetic because they actually have no idea about a good counter-move. This doesn't make it pathetic but smart.

I have also read here the following phrase: "It's unfortunate that outfits like "Fortune" magazine fall for the bait and publish this junk." The fact that magazines buy into MS's arguments just supports my claim that MS made a smart move. If you call it unfortunate that the world is as it is, then you have already lost.

In fact, only a few people asked the right question: What should *we* do next?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Stop whining please.
by Soulbender on Wed 16th May 2007 12:45 UTC in reply to "Stop whining please."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"This doesn't make it pathetic but smart. "

You're confusing smart with brave. A smart move is not necessarily brave, it can be pathetic too.

"If you call it unfortunate that the world is as it is, then you have already lost."

I've never really understood this somewhat fatalist point of view. The question is not whether it is unfortunate that the world is the way it is or not, but how we can change it.

"In fact, only a few people asked the right question: What should *we* do next?"

That is indeed the interesting question.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Stop whining please.
by chemical_scum on Wed 16th May 2007 12:51 UTC in reply to "Stop whining please."
chemical_scum Member since:
2005-11-02

In fact, only a few people asked the right question: What should *we* do next?

The Linux Foundation and Linus should launch a legal suit under the Lanham act against Microsoft, for false and misleading statements that are hurting the businesses of the members of the Linux Fountation. How's that for a start. They threaten patent law, we can use trademark law.

IANAL etc.

Edited 2007-05-16 13:06

Reply Score: 5

RE: Stop whining please.
by ubit on Thu 17th May 2007 00:37 UTC in reply to "Stop whining please."
ubit Member since:
2006-09-08

"Linux supporters will have a hard time arguing against this."

MS still extorting money from its customers, check.

MS receiving royalties ~40 million from distribution of GNU/Linux with Novell's SUSE, check.

MS still making threats to Linux distributers, and even the "not suing users" response is weak. From the Fortune article, Ballmer on suing his users: ""If push comes to shove, would Microsoft sue its customers for royalties, the way the record industry has? "That's not a bridge we've crossed," says CEO Ballmer, "and not a bridge I want to cross today on the phone with you." ""

Anti-competitive behavior from a predatory monopoly convicted worldwide, check.

Reply Score: 3

Smart yet pathetic
by risbac on Wed 16th May 2007 12:47 UTC
risbac
Member since:
2007-03-29

"This doesn't make it pathetic but smart."

I'm sorry, nobody said it was stupid. Given the circumstances, that's clearly the best thing to do: it costs nothing to them, that's a good price to slow down the raise of linux...

But yet, do you really think it's how every company in this world should act to defend their business? Honestly? Maybe you do, maybe I'm the one being stupid and thinking that usually you try to sell your products by promoting their qualities, the support, the innovation, whatever. Not by playing with words, threatning companies, etc... etc...

So yes, it's smart, congratulations to Microsoft for inventing the best tricks to hurt the opponents. Yet, it's pathetic, it's like a boxer hitting his opponent under the belt when the referee is not looking. That's how I call this, and it's even more pathetic because Microsoft has all the skills it needs to build great softwares, and they usually do. They don't need this.

Reply Score: 2

cold war dejavu
by netpython on Wed 16th May 2007 12:52 UTC
netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes we have nukes and if you launch yours we will not hesitate to launch our own.

Reply Score: 3

Wonder
by twenex on Wed 16th May 2007 14:29 UTC
twenex
Member since:
2006-04-21

Wonder how long it will be before Microsoft say "Oh, we won't sue anyone for Linux violating patents"?

Reply Score: 2

walterbyrd
Member since:
2005-12-31

If msft does not plan to litigate, then why is msft screaming like a stuck pig about all these mystery patents? Why won't msft either put up, or shut up?

Could it be nother more than msft FUD?

Reply Score: 1

They have guts
by siki_miki on Wed 16th May 2007 15:13 UTC
siki_miki
Member since:
2006-01-17

to go around and extort money from Linux users? I see this as worst example of business practice, RIAA and MPAA-like. Seriously, Microsoft was supposed to be split in half 5 years ago of before.

They started this without big hype with help from Novell, before they announced it outright (it was also a test to see if users are willing to pay).

Of course MS doesn't do this for money, they cannot get significant amount of money from this tactic, it is instead part of their anti-Linux marketing, a way to make Linux less competitive (by FUD) and damage the meaning of that "free" and "open" words which they despise so much.

Linus acted well in this case: people care about what he says, and he seems to be sending strong and harsh answer to Microsoft, A good sign of leadership of a most important open source project (one that really ignited open source ecosystem and has been it's focal point ever since).

Edited 2007-05-16 15:16

Reply Score: 3

RE: They have guts
by Googol on Wed 16th May 2007 16:54 UTC in reply to "They have guts"
Googol Member since:
2006-11-24

MS always pointed to their patents, after all, they have to point to something in terms of value to their share holders.

You completely miss the point in terms of what matters here. The deal is not only about not suing each others customers, it is about creating better interoperability and ond-hand solutions. That is what counts for a business, not having to mess around with 10 Unix and Linux vendors and all their little quirks relating to MS. Nobody cares about those silly promises not to be sued, they already were MS AND Linux customers before the deal. Do you think MS is going to sue, say, a large bank having 1000s of MS servers for using ALSO Linux which may or may not infringe upon a dozen 2nd grade patents..? No, my friend. Businesses will switch to this because it makes economic sense and nothing else.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: They have guts
by walterbyrd on Wed 16th May 2007 17:19 UTC in reply to "RE: They have guts"
walterbyrd Member since:
2005-12-31

>>The deal is not only about not suing each others customers, it is about creating better interoperability and ond-hand solutions.<<

Nonesense. Msft does not need a deal like this to interoperate - never has. Msft is 100% opposed to interoperating with anybody else. Why do you think msft is fighting the EU about the APIs? Why is msft fighting the ODF so aggressively?

This deal is about FUD. Nothing else.

Reply Score: 3

FUD
by vasper on Wed 16th May 2007 15:48 UTC
vasper
Member since:
2005-07-22

So my kernel violates 42 MS Patents? Like what? "A method or a system to indicated corrupted memory on a non protected application space so we can produce a BSOD"? aha...that must be the BSOD screen saver!!! :-) Oh.. wait.. that is a kernel method only in Windows.

Edited 2007-05-16 15:49

Reply Score: 0

Not gonna sue?
by vimh on Wed 16th May 2007 16:25 UTC
vimh
Member since:
2006-02-04

Then what was the point of pointing fingers? They want linux devs to cough up licensing fee or enter into cross liscencing deals like Novell did with no clear understanding of what is being licensed?

By not coming clean with what patents they think are being violated, Microsoft gives open source devs absolution no reason to enter into any agreement with them.

If there was a clear violation of a legitemate patent, perhaps devs would rework their software so there is no violation. Or perhaps they would decide it would be in their best intrest to cut a deal with MS (unlikely).

Either way, everything would be on the up and up. But MS doesn't want to play that way. They want everybody to pony up the green regardless of whether or not a violation has occured. And because they don't want to expose any more skeletons in their closet.

Reply Score: 4

Excel is derived from VisiCalc.
by alban on Wed 16th May 2007 16:44 UTC
alban
Member since:
2005-11-15

Excel is clearly a work that is derived from VisiCalc.

I'm not rich because I invented VisiCalc, but I feel that I've made a change in the world. That's a satisfaction money can't buy." - Dan Bricklin

Reply Score: 1

JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

Yup, the term "FUD" is overused in forums such as this one.

But unfortunately, Microsoft keeps using "Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt" as a major business strategy, as these latest patent claims (without providing details), so clearly demonstrates.

But beyond it being "FUD", is slander, because it constitutes public statements meant to do harm to a competitors business. It's also extortion because they are using the vague claims to extort illegitimate licensing revenue from scared customers.

Sot there, MS is not just spreading "FUD", it's guilty of slander and extortion.

Reply Score: 5

Maybe this can force some change
by BluenoseJake on Wed 16th May 2007 17:18 UTC
BluenoseJake
Member since:
2005-08-11

Maybe this crap is just what is needed to force some very overdue patent reform in the US. I am so sick of being hogtied by their stupid laws, and I am not even American.

Lets hope that something like this, that could cause severe damage to the computer industry can wake some lawmakers up and force change. But then again, I am a Canadian and use to a more reasonable patent and copyright regime.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Maybe this can force some change
by ItsMe on Wed 16th May 2007 18:05 UTC in reply to "Maybe this can force some change"
ItsMe Member since:
2007-05-16

Unfortunately it looks like our fearless leader and his band of uglies are trying to make Canada more like the US but I hope they fail.

This whole thing is a very sad commentary on corporate mentality in North America.

The fear from this uncertainty will drive corporations to back the MS Novell deal and pony up to it. This in turn will end up screwing everyone. The only ones who would benefit from this would be the lawyers just like they are with the SCO vs IBM lawsuit. That thing is still ongoing. How long do you think this would stay in the courts?

We all thought the SCO vs IBM would settle a lot of stuff like this but it seems to have just stirred up more of it.

It isn't about interoperability with MS. They have a history of buying out smaller companies and incorporating or throwing away whatever they want to and they can't buy Linux directly but they can buy the big distributors like Novell.

Reply Score: 4

Linus Torvalds, a truly hero
by diegoviola on Wed 16th May 2007 17:44 UTC
diegoviola
Member since:
2006-08-15

I love how Linus express himself, every time I read him, the more proud I am for using his wonderful operating system, Linus is a truly hero and Linux absolutely rocks!

Go Linux!

Reply Score: 1

Pretty tame...
by Darkelve on Wed 16th May 2007 18:11 UTC
Darkelve
Member since:
2006-02-06

"We have a water pistol and we are not afraid to use it."

Reply Score: 5

The Fudster and the Gipper
by moleskine on Wed 16th May 2007 18:24 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

Unlike some others, perhaps, I like the terms Fud, Fudster and Fudsterism. They have a clear and potent meaning. They are good, Anglo-Saxon sounding terms with a strong suggestion of something rotten and slimey at work. Ronald Reagan tried very hard to become the Gipper, and did. It seems that Steve Ballmer is trying equally hard to become the Fudster.

After all, has Microsoft gained a thing from this episode? Nope. Horacio Gutierrez's statement has made both Ballmer and Smith look stupid. The strength and breadth of the opposition to Microsoft's schemes has become even clearer than it was. The patent system has been thrown further into disrepute. Chances are, more than a few of Microsoft's "friends in the media" have taken note and in future may be a little less keen on repeating the party line. That's a lot in the minus column this week, and nothing in the plus one.

This isn't something Microsoft can possibly win. Every time the Fudster shoots his mouth off, more and more people see a corporation that simply does not know how to deal with a changed world.

Reply Score: 3

Software patents
by aaronb on Wed 16th May 2007 18:24 UTC
aaronb
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm going to stay away from companies that operate in such an annoying manner.

Software patents seem to do more harm then good. I live in the UK so its not a big problem for me at the moment.

Protect your products by copyrighting them, sensibly using trade marks and licensing them but don't patent everything and waste a lot of resources on suing everything that moves.

This whole situation seems as useful as me patenting my right lung and suing every family that has a new born baby for infringement of my patent.

The USA really needs to move with the times and stop the endless unproductive legal treadmill that does nothing other than annoy people and waste time.

Edited 2007-05-16 18:38

Reply Score: 3

brilliant move of M$
by Trikke76 on Wed 16th May 2007 18:38 UTC
Trikke76
Member since:
2007-05-07

its obvious MS is just spreading fud in the hope that companies will start to pay royalities like the deal they have with novell
that way they bet on 2 horses if vista rulez the world no harm done if MS fails and linux takes over the server / desktop business MS will get his money from linux users
atleast thats what they are hoping and novell made a packt with the devil thinking they made a good deal but completely forgetting the devil comes sooner or later to collect your soul.
atleast thats what i think MS wants to do
b/c they can't use the pantent war it will backfire one way or another.

Reply Score: 3

RE: brilliant move of M$
by ubit on Thu 17th May 2007 00:28 UTC in reply to "brilliant move of M$"
ubit Member since:
2006-09-08

The Linux 'tax' also fits in with Microsoft still not giving the European Commission the RAND specifications ordered in 2004.

It wants to 'license' (aka Novell) them and charge Linux for interoperating with the predatory monopoly.

With that in mind, the GPL is the most brilliant thing RMS has done IMO.

Edited 2007-05-17 00:30

Reply Score: 5

RE[8]: What a load
by aGNUstic on Wed 16th May 2007 18:46 UTC
aGNUstic
Member since:
2005-07-28

"Americans have very strange thinking sometimes, it seems, when they think they have a chance to rip people off."

We do think strange. Must be the water that makes us rip everyone off.

Seriously, truth-be-told, you're probably wealthier than me.

I also wish several of my grand-parents and great grands that fought in your stupid wars were not laying in graveyards in Europe so I could visit them and tend to their graves.

Reply Score: 0

RE[9]: What a load
by lemur2 on Wed 16th May 2007 23:24 UTC in reply to "RE[8]: What a load"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

We do think strange. Must be the water that makes us rip everyone off.

Seriously, truth-be-told, you're probably wealthier than me.

I also wish several of my grand-parents and great grands that fought in your stupid wars were not laying in graveyards in Europe so I could visit them and tend to their graves.


Crikey!

I'm an Aussie, mate. Dinkum. No wars here, cobber.

Not a common image, is it ... an Aussie that can do math.

The thing is, I don't ever imagine that we Aussies are the only people on the planet that can do math. As a matter of fact, our next-door neighbours, the Asians, are very good at it.

Americans, OTOH, or at least some large American corporate companies, seem to be of the view that they can charge people for work they did not do, because they happen to have done some math once themselves some years ago.

Reply Score: 3

Coxy
Member since:
2006-07-01

People have read on main stream news sites about the MS Patent portfolio and how MS thinks Linux infinges upon them.

If Linus Torvalds want's normal people not to be scared by what MS say and listen to Linux's side he should stop using geekish accronyms like FUD.

I've been reading news here for over a year now and still have no idea what it means. How's Joe public at bbc news going to know what it means. He won't understand what Linus is saying, he'll be confused by the jargon and will probably just believe what MS say because he can understand the comments made by MS representatives.

Reply Score: 2

wakeupneo Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm sure people aren't quite as dim as you suggest. Not everyone needs every detail spelled out for them to get the gist of what's going on....

Reply Score: 0

IT godfathers
by justin.68 on Wed 16th May 2007 18:58 UTC
justin.68
Member since:
2006-09-16

Microsoft currently collects royalties from some companies that use Linux in their computing environments, Gutierrez said. However, he declined to indicate the number, the dollar amount Microsoft receives from those payments, or identify any of the companies by name.

That's called extortion. In the South of Italy that dirty money is called pizzo. The pizzo is the price of protection that is paid to a criminal organization so that it can protect the businessmen from any damage the criminal organization itself might cause if the pizzo weren't regularly paid. The code of silence about that matter has a special name, too: it's called omertŕ.

Reply Score: 5

How about sueing M$?
by chocobanana on Wed 16th May 2007 19:06 UTC
chocobanana
Member since:
2006-01-04

How about putting Microsoft on a court for playing this kind of games? Would that be possible? Demand that they show their proof, instead of constantly making people loose their time with pathetic claims that go nowhere?

They just look like cowards to my eyes and should be teached a lesson.

Sorry for the agressiveness.

Reply Score: 1

If I was Linus ...
by ameasures on Wed 16th May 2007 19:10 UTC
ameasures
Member since:
2006-01-09

It would be tempting to sue Microsoft on grounds of slander or extortion. They are making unsubstantiated claims with huge potential financial penalties.

Until they are forced to put up or shut up, this specious FUD marketing crap will go on and on.

Many of us know that ... truth be told ... if we had to we could switch to a BSD within a day while Microsoft reach for their grand pyrrhic victory.

Reply Score: 1

RE: If I was Linus ...
by mweichert on Wed 16th May 2007 19:30 UTC in reply to "If I was Linus ..."
mweichert Member since:
2006-03-23

Sue MS? Give them a "push"? We are talking about Microsoft right?

I don't think so...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: If I was Linus ...
by apoclypse on Wed 16th May 2007 20:05 UTC in reply to "RE: If I was Linus ..."
apoclypse Member since:
2007-02-17

Don't you think its about time?

Reply Score: 1

Notably...
by Almafeta on Wed 16th May 2007 19:30 UTC
Almafeta
Member since:
2007-02-22

I think that the important distinction here is the word 'publically.' It sounds like they aren't suing because they are trying to settle out-of-court with the main developers of Linux - i.e., Red Hat and company - instead of trying to please Linux's figurehead and random Internet posters, making it a production in the process.

If so, it'd be in their best interests to keep the list (and the proceedings) quiet.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Notably...
by archiesteel on Wed 16th May 2007 21:34 UTC in reply to "Notably..."
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

Who's Linux' figurehead?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Notably...
by stestagg on Wed 16th May 2007 22:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Notably..."
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Me.

Reply Score: 2

I smell SCO
by nerohdam on Wed 16th May 2007 19:41 UTC
nerohdam
Member since:
2007-05-16

Unless I missed it somewhere and if I did not then I am surprised no one said that this is so, OH SO, similar to the whole SCO fiasco.

Didn't SCO basically say we have such and such and unless you pay then we will come after you. Oh by the way, we are not gonna show you what we have either without going to court and along the way scare people into paying...

Hmmmmm... deja vu..

Reply Score: 2

RE: I smell SCO
by ubit on Thu 17th May 2007 00:41 UTC in reply to "I smell SCO"
ubit Member since:
2006-09-08

SCOSource licensing:

"SCOsource is a business division of The SCO Group that manages its Unix intellectual property. The term SCOsource is often used for SCO's licensing program that allows corporate users of Linux to buy licenses to proprietary Unix technology that SCO claims exists in the Linux operating system. A single CPU license costs $699 (USD). $1,399 afterward, while licenses for desktop and embedded systems will currently cost US $199 and US $32, respectively. [1] [2] Prices for server systems with more than one CPU range from US $1,149 for two CPUs to US $2,499 for four CPUs and US $4,999 for eight CPUs, with each additional CPU being priced at US $749. All of these prices, including the ones for desktop and embedded systems, were scheduled to be increased on October 15, 2003, but as of January 2005, the prices have remained the same." from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCOsource

MS is making untold amounts of money from GPL'd software, and making these companies violate the GPL if they ever distribute GPL'd software.

I want to know how much these companies are paying and who they are. Remember, SCOSource companies like CA and EV1 were embarassed by the FOSS world, yet MS keeps those hidden.

They've certainly learned something from their investment in SCO.

Reply Score: 2

Read the fine print, dumbasses...
by tomcat on Wed 16th May 2007 20:57 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

Microsoft has said it will not sue Linux users with regards to the company's patent claims.

Wow, so it's not going to sue GE or Ford or Citibank or Walmart. That isn't news. I wouldn't expect Microsoft to sue Linux users who also buy Microsoft products. But what IS news is what isn't being said: Microsoft never told you that it wasn't going after Linux distro sellers such as Red Hat, Canonical, etc. That's obviously still on the table.

Reply Score: 1

RE[10]: What a load
by aGNUstic on Wed 16th May 2007 23:52 UTC
aGNUstic
Member since:
2005-07-28

I believe `anti-Americans` on OS News are picking on the wrong crowd.

I'm an American who has come up from grinding poverty, not uncommon anymore, and pulled myself out of it. Open source and like software has played a major part in me making money and having a steady job.

Just because some nimrod within a so-called `American` corporation bleeds the world dry of capital is no reason to paint the rest of the people in the individual 50 states as money-grubbers.

I'm sure others in Europe and Australia see only the rich bolt-holes and take that as the `typical` American.

Reply Score: 3

RE[11]: What a load
by archiesteel on Thu 17th May 2007 01:57 UTC in reply to "RE[10]: What a load"
archiesteel Member since:
2005-07-02

I'm sure others in Europe and Australia see only the rich bolt-holes and take that as the `typical` American.


Actually, we don't. Most people understand that it's not the individual Americans at fault. You're right, though, it's important to avoid those stereotypes. I guess it's one more reason to be angry with most of your leaders... :-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[12]: What a load
by aGNUstic on Thu 17th May 2007 03:32 UTC
aGNUstic
Member since:
2005-07-28

I'm politically a Green. We have major party status here in New Mexico. It's a struggle to be heard above the money of big political parties.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Microsoft: 'We're Not Litigating'
by pjafrombbay on Thu 17th May 2007 06:30 UTC
pjafrombbay
Member since:
2005-07-31

This looks like the rants of a company that has lost its way! Once they were able to compete fairly in an open market. Those days seem to be long gone. The rise and fall of Microsoft would make a great MBA thesis.

Reply Score: 1

Speaking with a forked tongue
by karl on Thu 17th May 2007 12:04 UTC
karl
Member since:
2005-07-06

My two cents:

Microsoft is speaking with a forked tongue: on the one hand they are publicly decrying some supposed patent violations in F/OSS software, in particular "linux".

On the other hand they are selling large numbers of SuSE Linux to some of the biggest corporate customers in the market along with the promise to those customers that Microsoft will not sue them for patent infringement(ie. If you buy Linux from us you are safe).

This duplicitousness is obvious, in fact it is so obvious that much of the response to this is almost pre-programmend, rather reminiscent of pavlovian style conditioning.

People know this is FUD. People sense the deception occuring. People want this to end, the common sense demands these untruths to be countered with truth, to dispell this FUD once and for all. Yet honesty is something we simply cannot expect from Microsoft-heres why:

What Microsoft is engaged in is a strategy. In almost all situations where multiple interests are vying for control of a given domain(whether that be a market, as in the software market, or that of a discourse, as in a politicial discourse) the "issue" at hand(ie. the factual situation, that about which this domain is constituted) invariably recedes into utter oblivion and is replaced/substituted with something entirely different, something which is not immediately falsifiable or disprovable, which, in not being falsified or disproved, persists, maintains itself and draws attention to itself, forming that which others see, by framing the discussion, being *the* topic to talk about, etc.

To the extent that those in the F/OSS world are engaging with Microsoft(what Microsoft proffers; that which is taken to be "from" Microsoft, utterances of executives in interviews, or statements made on stage or in front of the media) they make use of this same strategy, because in this engagement there *is* only strategy, that which is at issue here, where all is mere strategy, covers and conceals the "issue" at hand. If the "issue" at hand was not such, these issues in their forms would not appear. I, myself have a strategy when dealing with such: I read that which is revealed in such issues as the concealment of the "issue" at hand.

Perhaps one of the most basic strategies is to remain relevant, to keep people talking about you and what you say, being something upon which others are dependent.

Reply Score: 1

Why not name the patents?
by Snapper on Thu 17th May 2007 17:06 UTC
Snapper
Member since:
2005-11-16

Because if they name the patents, then the MUST litigate. They don't want to litigate for many reasons. If you name them and don't protect your patents, then the courts could say that you are not doing what is needed to protect them and therefore you lose your patent.

Therefore, all we have left IS FUD. The FUD is being used to scare people into making payments. How this is not extortion I have no idea.

MS is doing nothing to help their image. Quite the contrary. This will only end up helping their competitors, IMHO.

Reply Score: 1