Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 5th Oct 2010 14:25 UTC
Windows With the release of Windows Phone 7 upon us, the hype machine now goes all the way up to 11. While hype machines are generally relatively harmless and easy to poke a hole through, coordinated FUD campaigns by patent trolls are not. After Apple and Microsoft trolled HTC, and Microsoft now trolling Motorola, the actual FUD campaign against Android is in full swing.
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And why is Google allowing this to happen?
by pejeno on Tue 5th Oct 2010 15:17 UTC
pejeno
Member since:
2008-03-12

Seriously, they should countersue, or do something, because this whole FUD bullying is damaging their image with manufacturers.

The fact that the patent agreement deal is more expensive than the OEM price for Windows Mobile 7 should be enough to fight back.

Where the heck is Google?

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Seriously, they should countersue, or do something, because this whole FUD bullying is damaging their image with manufacturers. The fact that the patent agreement deal is more expensive than the OEM price for Windows Mobile 7 should be enough to fight back. Where the heck is Google?


Here is Google's response to Oracle.

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20101005114201136

I'm sure that Google's response to Microsoft and Apple will follow in the same timeframe, as it takes a bit of time to prepare a proper response.

I'm sure also that Google's response to Microsoft and Apple will be just as scathing. Google will have been able to see this coming for a long time, and they will have assembled quite an arsenal to fight with.

Reply Score: 3

viton Member since:
2005-08-09

Where the heck is Google?

Each of these companies has patent portfolio that surely can kick microsoft ass if they combine their forces. But they prefer to be bulled individually.

Reply Score: 3

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Seriously, they should countersue, or do something, because this whole FUD bullying is damaging their image with manufacturers. The fact that the patent agreement deal is more expensive than the OEM price for Windows Mobile 7 should be enough to fight back. Where the heck is Google?


Because they have nothing to countersue over. They probably infringed. They could countersue over some frivolous issue, but it's not going to hurt MS financially, so, really, why bother.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Seriously, they should countersue, or do something, because this whole FUD bullying is damaging their image with manufacturers. The fact that the patent agreement deal is more expensive than the OEM price for Windows Mobile 7 should be enough to fight back. Where the heck is Google?
Because they have nothing to countersue over. They probably infringed. They could countersue over some frivolous issue, but it's not going to hurt MS financially, so, really, why bother. "

Google are licensees of OIN. AFAIK they are entitled to use all of OIN's patent portfolio as the basis of countersuits in order to defend their software against patent attack.

Google's Android OS is a variant of Linux. AFAIK they are entitled to use all of the Patent Commons' patent portfolio as the basis of countersuits in order to defend their software against patent attack.

Google of course have some patents of their own, some of which are their own "inventions" and some have been acquired when they have purchased other companies.

AFAIK a number of these patents are not trivial to Microsoft's business.

Example: Google for "web services patents".

Reply Score: 2

Hurting themselves on the long run
by dvhh on Tue 5th Oct 2010 15:24 UTC
dvhh
Member since:
2006-03-20

Microsoft does not enjoy the same distortion field as Apple does, because they have been known to start so slow with half though software.
Windows Phone 7 come with too little, and way too late. And they think they could do the same thin as Apple for taking care of their competitors, smearing them...
Microsoft should have more capitalized on the visual studio eco system, to appeal developers into a superior developement experience for windows 7 phone.
I can hardy imagine windows phone 7 succeeding, maybe they should think a little bit more about servers and battle linux and oracle on that ground, which sounds way more promising than a fight for the soon to be saturated market of smartphones.

Reply Score: 1

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Microsoft does not enjoy the same distortion field as Apple does, because they have been known to start so slow with half though software.

But then Microsoft also have those massive brand names that appears on the vast majorety of home computers when turned on: 'Microsoft' and 'Windows'.

Even if this doesn't sway consumers - it's a large enough brand to at least make customers sit up and pay attention

Windows Phone 7 come with too little, and way too late. And they think they could do the same thin as Apple for taking care of their competitors, smearing them...

To be fair, the mobile phone market has shown time and time again that it's not beyond major shifts.

Also, and even with desktop OSs, many people tend not to worry so much about what it's running just so long as it works. This trend is even more noticeable with integrated devices which often only have a 2 year life cycle in many countries.

So it's not unusual for people to switch brands.

Microsoft should have more capitalized on the visual studio eco system, to appeal developers into a superior developement experience for windows 7 phone.

They did with XNA.


I can hardy imagine windows phone 7 succeeding, maybe they should think a little bit more about servers and battle linux and oracle on that ground, which sounds way more promising than a fight for the soon to be saturated market of smartphones.

Microsoft are big enough to compete in multiple markets effectively. They don't need to pull out of one industry to focus on another. Particularly when those businesses (while still being IT) are very different divisions employing different specialists.


As for whether I think MS will succeed?
I haven't a clue. I know I wont be buying any WP7 devices, but I'm fascinated to see how the market will change (if indeed it does)

Edited 2010-10-05 15:46 UTC

Reply Score: 7

Tony Swash Member since:
2009-08-22

Microsoft does not enjoy the same distortion field as Apple does, because they have been known to start so slow with half though software.
Windows Phone 7 come with too little, and way too late. And they think they could do the same thin as Apple for taking care of their competitors, smearing them...
Microsoft should have more capitalized on the visual studio eco system, to appeal developers into a superior developement experience for windows 7 phone.
I can hardy imagine windows phone 7 succeeding, maybe they should think a little bit more about servers and battle linux and oracle on that ground, which sounds way more promising than a fight for the soon to be saturated market of smartphones.



Frankly I can't imagine two more companies and two more different approaches than Microsoft's and Apple's.

The former is trying the same tactics it has used many times before except this time from a position of weakness rather than strength. Microsoft has never been willing to let its products compete equally in the market with competitors.

Conversely Apple takes the route of saying this is what we make, this is why we think it's great and the customer can decide. That's because Apple has a confidence in the quality of it's offering that Microsoft lacks.

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Great. Now explain where things like patenting a rounded rect shape and suing a supermarket about a logo vaguely ressembling an apple is different from microsoft's methods and becomes part of that open market and fair competition strategy you're describing.

Edited 2010-10-06 08:02 UTC

Reply Score: 3

vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

You got to be kidding! They really did patent that?
And what supermarket did they sue?

Reply Score: 1

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

You got to be kidding! They really did patent that?

Basically : http://www.osnews.com/story/23087/USPTO_Fail_Apple_Patents_Steel_Be...

And what supermarket did they sue?

Woolworths, an Australian chain, see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8292247.stm

Edited 2010-10-06 11:24 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Not really FUD.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 5th Oct 2010 15:30 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

This is not by any means an endorsement of Microsoft or its activities, but although there is Fear in the outcome of a trial, there isn't much uncertainty or doubt of their being a court case.

If you are a carrier that uses Android, it seems pretty clear that Microsoft will sue you.

FUD, is when they insinuate that linux violates 5 gagillion patents, but we won't tell you which ones.But they might do something about it unless you there, customer of MS continue to buy MS product X.

Reply Score: 7

RE: Not really FUD.
by tylerdurden on Tue 5th Oct 2010 16:22 UTC in reply to "Not really FUD. "
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Going to atrial and being sentenced is not the same, which is where the "uncertainty" comes.

So yes, Microsoft is indeed engaging in classic FUD.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Not really FUD.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 5th Oct 2010 18:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Not really FUD. "
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

No, it isn't classic FUD anymore than shooting a bullet at a person from 5 feet is FUD ( ooh maybe the bullet won't hit you, or you might not die!). That's not FUD, that's getting shot. In this case it isn't FUD, its a guaranteed big messsy, expensive lawsuit.

Classic FUD is made up stuff that isn't even half true. Like if I were microsoft and I told handset makers that Android caused Rabies,congenital birth defects and might not be compatible with email sent from windows in the future.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt#Definition

Reply Score: 3

THIS IS BS
by viator on Tue 5th Oct 2010 15:32 UTC
viator
Member since:
2005-10-11

Google needs to grow some balls and protect manufacturers who use android. Microsoft is doing the same thing they did with novell but its even worse because they will go after all the manufacturers and trick them into paying this ms tax! Because of this i cant buy a phone from HTC who makes GREAT phones because i dont want microsoft to get my money if i did i would buy a windows phone. But google just hides and lets all this shit happen its going to erode confidence and momentum that was hard won if they dont do something now!!

Reply Score: 4

RE: THIS IS BS
by JeffS on Tue 5th Oct 2010 15:56 UTC in reply to "THIS IS BS"
JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

Agreed.

I thought Google's reaction to HTC being sued by Apple was very weak - sorry, moral support is useless.

And now, they need to stand up for Motorola, because in so doing they are standing up for the platform they created.

Also, they need to swing back at Oracle, and Apple.

So now they have three huge competitors that are dog piling on the Android platform, and if they don't fight back convincingly they will allow these competitors to easily accomplish what they are trying to do - scare OEMs out of using Android.

Google should -

Counter sue Microsoft for double-dipping. The patents in question have already been paid by Google in the development of Android.

File a complaint with the DOJ, for what amounts to clear anti-competitive behavior by Microsoft - double dipping on paid for patents, licensing said patents to OEMs for more money than WinPhone7 licenses, and suing for protection money.

Counter sue Apple, Oracle, and Microsoft with their own patent arsenal - most notably likely patents on search, web services, and data munging, which could bring Apple's iTunes, Oracle's Cloud products, and Microsoft's Bing all to a halt.

Google has to react strongly, and sooner rather than later. Otherwise Android will be FUD'd out of existence.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: THIS IS BS
by Thom_Holwerda on Tue 5th Oct 2010 16:00 UTC in reply to "RE: THIS IS BS"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I'm guessing Google is working on *something*, we just don't know what, yet.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: THIS IS BS
by Radio on Tue 5th Oct 2010 16:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: THIS IS BS"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

Or just that Eric Schmidt is an incompetent idiot. Given his repeated weird, creepy declarations on privacy, the treason on net neutrality and letting manufacturers take punches in their name (and the empty shell that has become the open handset alliance), I hope they will get rid of him before he does any more damage -which woukd be right now.

Reply Score: 6

RE[4]: THIS IS BS
by Googol on Tue 5th Oct 2010 21:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: THIS IS BS"
Googol Member since:
2006-11-24

He got pretty far for an idiot, innit? That's why he earns billions and you don't.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: THIS IS BS
by tomcat on Wed 6th Oct 2010 21:53 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: THIS IS BS"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

I'm guessing Google is working on *something*, we just don't know what, yet.


Right, they're infringing in new and different ways...

Reply Score: 2

RE: THIS IS BS
by aliquis on Tue 5th Oct 2010 16:17 UTC in reply to "THIS IS BS"
aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

Google want your data. Not your fees or court battles.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: THIS IS BS
by No it isnt on Tue 5th Oct 2010 20:20 UTC in reply to "RE: THIS IS BS"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

I don't think Google care all that much about your data. They're an advertising (and search) company, and care about delivering the optimal recipients for advertisements to their customers, the advertisers, but to do that, they don't need to know all that much about you. It's better to advertise to people who don't know quite what they're looking for than to people who are already dead set on what they want, as an advertisement is rarely going to change your mind, so why would they need to know exactly what you want?

Google only need to be slightly better than Clippy.

Reply Score: 2

RE: THIS IS BS
by tomcat on Wed 6th Oct 2010 21:51 UTC in reply to "THIS IS BS"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Google needs to grow some balls and protect manufacturers who use android. Microsoft is doing the same thing they did with novell but its even worse because they will go after all the manufacturers and trick them into paying this ms tax! Because of this i cant buy a phone from HTC who makes GREAT phones because i dont want microsoft to get my money if i did i would buy a windows phone. But google just hides and lets all this shit happen its going to erode confidence and momentum that was hard won if they dont do something now!!


If Google infringed, why is it BS?

Reply Score: 2

Weeell
by vaette on Tue 5th Oct 2010 15:54 UTC
vaette
Member since:
2008-08-09

OK, I am not a supporter of software patents, but on the other hand I am a supporter of level playing field for competition. All the other vendors pay each other various licensing fees under this rather stupid system, why should Android handsets get away without? Google has structured the Android market in such a way that the patent question becomes very public (where Microsoft deals with the patent situation and has to make that money back on the license fee Google just leaves the patent dealing to the handset makers). It would of course be nice to imagine that this is where software patents finally collapse, but in case that doesn't happen Google being the only company getting away with pushing their product without having licensing agreements in place is bad for competition.

I agree with other posters that Google should step up and protect people licensing the OS. I don't like what Microsoft is doing here, but the approach by Google seems a bit weaselly, since they are getting the benefits of no licensing fees while leaving the handset makers to fend for themselves when it comes to legal questions of what is actually in Android. As for the question of FUD; I really would not at all be surprised if Microsoft has the law on its side here. Granted, the law is stupid, but it is at least a bit of a tricky way to go to argue that not everyone plays with the same rules.

Edited 2010-10-05 16:01 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Weeell
by JeffS on Tue 5th Oct 2010 16:02 UTC in reply to "Weeell"
JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

The patents in question have already been paid for by Google.

Microsoft is double-dipping.

It worked easily with HTC, because they decided that it was less expensive to acquiesce rather than fight (besides, they're already fighting Apple).

Microsoft tried to get licensing from Motorola in the same manner, expecting them to crumble to the extortion racket. But Motorola said "screw you, we'll see you in court".

Thing is, Motorola is a huge company with a big patent arsenal of it's own. And again, Google should, and probably will eventually, come out swinging in this whole manner.

Also, there is still Nokia, who are currently suing Apple for patents on cellular technology. Nokia might jump in and sue Microsoft as well.

Yes, what a mess.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Weeell
by eriwik on Tue 5th Oct 2010 16:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Weeell"
eriwik Member since:
2009-07-31

Even if Google paid for the patents from MS it does not mean that they paid enough to let every handset maker on the market use the patents. Remember that Google themselves created a phone, the Nexus One, which probably required them to pay.

Similar arangements are quite common, and I belived that for example ARM chip makers get a way without paying much (or at all) to ARM while those that uses the CPUs have to pay quite a bit.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Weeell
by aliquis on Tue 5th Oct 2010 16:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Weeell"
aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

While I do understand Nokia probably got _something_ to sue Microsoft for, an the other way around, because that's how the stupid US patent system works.

But exactly what are you thinking of?

Software for network access? I would assume most of Nokias patents in the area would be of hardware and/or maybe "methods" and maybe hence a problem more for manufacturers of various chips/networking equipment and maybe handsets?

In other news, the Nokia N8 camera is awesome. Said to be 1/1.83" sensor against the said to be 1/3.2" in iPhone4. Cameras like the Ixus 130 got 1/2.3" so still smaller than the N8. You have to step up to the Powershot S95 to get a similar sensor and then the camera cost as much as the phone.. Now if only it ran MeeGo =P

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Weeell
by vaette on Tue 5th Oct 2010 17:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Weeell"
vaette Member since:
2008-08-09

I really need some kind of documentation of Google paying for the patents, because even if they have, surely any license will very precisely state what happens when another party uses the software. The idea that Microsoft sold a license and then turned around to sue licencees just sounds stupid and silly for them to do, it is poor PR and then they immediately get smacked down.

Reply Score: 1

Hey Antitrust
by pabloski on Tue 5th Oct 2010 16:07 UTC
pabloski
Member since:
2009-09-28

where are you?

seriosuly, this is a matter the antitrust should vigilate upon

they are doing nothing, just like they did in the 30 years Microsoft exterminated the free market in the IT sector

we pay gazzillions of taxes for what? for the enjoinment of multinational corporations?

Reply Score: 4

RE: Hey Antitrust
by aliquis on Tue 5th Oct 2010 16:24 UTC in reply to "Hey Antitrust"
aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

I think I read that 47% of your taxes goes to paying rates of your loans? That sounds like an awful lot though.

I would like to remove this comment, that can't be right? Must have been some part of the taxes or a comparision or something.

Edited 2010-10-05 16:25 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Hey Antitrust
by vaette on Tue 5th Oct 2010 17:35 UTC in reply to "Hey Antitrust"
vaette Member since:
2008-08-09

Don't be stupid. Microsoft is bringing a question to court, so you want to bring them to court to stop them? If the case has no merit it will get thrown out. There is no antitrust problems here, and Microsoft is a minority player in this industry so it wouldn't apply either way.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Hey Antitrust
by tomcat on Wed 6th Oct 2010 21:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Hey Antitrust"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Don't be stupid. Microsoft is bringing a question to court, so you want to bring them to court to stop them? If the case has no merit it will get thrown out. There is no antitrust problems here, and Microsoft is a minority player in this industry so it wouldn't apply either way.


Agree. Countersuing may offer some tactical advantage when you're dealing with a smaller plaintiff -- since they will have to spend money to protect themselves against counterclaims -- but ultimately, it's a weak to completely ineffective strategy if you have no real defense, to begin with.

Reply Score: 2

It's gonna get worse before it gets better
by JeffS on Tue 5th Oct 2010 16:19 UTC
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

This a huge mess. Everyone is suing everyone right now, particularly in the smartphone arena, but in other arenas as well.

Eventually something is going to give. The big tech titans are going to eventually realize that this is all a huge waste of time and money, and nobody really wins, except for the lawyers and patent trolls (who regularly sue the big tech titans - look at Apple losing a lawsuit to a patent troll over cover flow).

It costs a lot of money to file patents, it costs a lot of money litigating patents, and it costs a lot of money fighting off patent litigation.

Eventually the cost of filing, litigating, and fighting off patents is going to exceed the revenue that patent licenses might bring in.

Then the big tech titans are going to go to congress, with money toting lobbyists, and campaign for real patent reform.

Here is my patent reform "wish list":

1. Abolish software patents

Reply Score: 4

tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

Patents are an intrinsic part of the US constitution, so it is not gonna happen.

Reply Score: 1

irbis Member since:
2005-07-08

Patents are an intrinsic part of the US constitution, so it is not gonna happen.

The US constitution says nothing about software patents that often cover very basic ideas that could be invented by almost anyone anytime.

But, yeah, many big companies in the USA seem to fear that the only means to compete against the growing competition is by building a protective wall from their so-called "intellectual property". But that is more about blocking others than about encouraging innovation and competition.

Reply Score: 5

emilsedgh Member since:
2007-06-21

They will never stop this patent game. They dont care how much money they spend on it.

To them, patents are more than a source of revenue (through license fee's).

Microsoft doesnt really look for Motorola's license fee's. They are taking advantage of the situation to spread FUD about their competeitor. And sweet patents are the only tool available for the job.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Microsoft doesnt really look for Motorola's license fee's. They are taking advantage of the situation to spread FUD about their competeitor. And sweet patents are the only tool available for the job.


Attacking Google with weak patents just gives Google an excellent opportunity to fight back.

Google can now legitimately counter-attack (perhaps take down Bing?) and they can also now allege all kinds of anti-competitive behaviour of Microsoft without having to wear such accusations themselves (as in, you raised the lawsuit, not us).

Reply Score: 3

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

It's really a fight Google rather stay out of. They had a really lackluster response to the HTC vs Apple thing, and they have their own big, serious problem against Oracle which threatens to do way more damage to them than this.

They'd rather handset manufacturers duke it out, while they maintain this false image of literally giving away Android and making money hand over fist.

It's very easy to say "Well Google can just take down Bing". And maybe, but not before a long, multiyear, protracted legal battle with Microsoft including opening a potential can of worms surrounding patents that Microsoft also holds.

This isn't as cut and dry as some make it out to be, but it's easy to be an computer chair lawyer and dish out legal advice without considering the repercussions.

Google to me has always been very passive, almost sneaky in how they monetize Android. It's like the wild west, that platform. They'll throw Android in your face, collect your data, and bolster their laser targeted search.

The operating system is just a vehicle to increase search revenue, beyond that, they don't give a damn about handset makers.

Contrast this with Microsoft coming to the aid of HTC with the Apple lawsuit. Yeah, Google pretty much hung them out to dry by comparison.

Google is really the worst kind of company, the one that's really nefariously evil, but that everyone thinks is their best friend.

Pretty much how they do all their business is shady, especially giving Sun and Java the go-around. It'll be interesting to see Oracle dismember the Android development platform, while Microsoft siphons off Android revenue from handset makers.

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

The bigger a company gets, the smaller the trust one should put in it. Google is evil, we all agree about it.

Problem is, it's currently the least evil around. We already know what Microsoft and Apple are up to if they get to govern the smartphone space. No one wants this to happen. Hence something must challenge them and relegate them to second-class citizens of the mobile space. Nokia is not yet ready for the job, Samsung's Bada isn't ready either. RIM's QNX ? No better.

Google offers a product that's up to that job. They didn't do nearly as much harm to the computer space as Apple and Microsoft yet (or we don't know about that). They even helped it a bit sometimes, like with WebM or GSoC. Hence we're forced to trust them... For now.

Edited 2010-10-06 14:53 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

It'd be better if all of them own their own respective slices of the pie, like right now, it's not too bad. This patent idiocy will calm itself down, settlements will be made, royalties will be paid, etc.

Except in the Oracle v Google thing, they're definitely out for blood there.

Reply Score: 2

tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

Abolish software patents


It's easy to say that when you don't have any skin in the game. I like software patents. They've provided a decent amount of money to me over the years, and I'm not fond of people infringing on my inventions.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

"Abolish software patents
It's easy to say that when you don't have any skin in the game. I like software patents. They've provided a decent amount of money to me over the years, and I'm not fond of people infringing on my inventions. "

By definition, you cannot invent abstract ideas, scientific theories or mathematics, you can only uncover or discover them. In contrast, "inventions" are specific physical embodiments of ideas.

Software is mathematics.

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

It's easy to say that when you don't have any skin in the game. I like software patents. They've provided a decent amount of money to me over the years, and I'm not fond of people infringing on my inventions.

So, if you're knowledgeable on that subject, please explain how copyright is not enough and you have to patent vague concepts in a manner that's more prone to abuse than legit use in order to be happy.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by adizzy
by adizzy on Tue 5th Oct 2010 16:37 UTC
adizzy
Member since:
2007-05-29

I read a good article that discussed some of the patents being enforced by Microsoft, Apple and Oracle.

http://fosspatents.blogspot.com/2010/10/android-caught-in-crossfire...

Reply Score: 1

v A lot of baseless assumption
by Envying1 on Tue 5th Oct 2010 16:38 UTC
RE: A lot of baseless assumption
by Radio on Tue 5th Oct 2010 16:59 UTC in reply to "A lot of baseless assumption"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

A lot of brainless reflections.

Edited 2010-10-05 17:00 UTC

Reply Score: 1

The patent numbers are not secret
by jac_goudsmit on Tue 5th Oct 2010 17:39 UTC
jac_goudsmit
Member since:
2010-10-05

While I agree with the general premise of the article, I'm pretty sure I saw the patent numbers that Microsoft is suing Motorola for on another website (Techdirt I think).

And it also looked like Microsoft have a chance of winning the case because the American patent system allows applying for patents on blatantly obvious stuff like downloading email on a smart phone.

As long as there are dumbasses in East Texas and the EFF has less power than Microsoft, this kind of stuff will keep happening I guess.

Reply Score: 1

When will they get it?
by cmost on Tue 5th Oct 2010 17:55 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

The only way Microsoft or Apple will topple Android is by producing a mobile OS that rivals Android. Period. The fact that Apple and Microsoft are leveraging their patent portfolios in a thinly veiled attempt at exerting dominance over an up and coming competitor just proves that they're scared. They should be. Anyone outraged by how this is playing out should be writing their local representatives and demanding change in the horrendously broken U.S. Patent Office.

Reply Score: 4

Is it too much to hope?
by matthekc on Tue 5th Oct 2010 17:58 UTC
matthekc
Member since:
2006-10-28

That this could be the year of so many patent trolls and corporate lawsuits that this whole mess finally starts to boil over.

I mean if it exploded into a huge all out fight and it filled the courts maybe congress would finally have to do something.

Reply Score: 2

...
by Hiev on Tue 5th Oct 2010 18:29 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

Just do what I do, take no side and watch them fight while eating pop-corn.

Reply Score: 3

RE: ...
by Envying1 on Tue 5th Oct 2010 18:52 UTC in reply to "..."
Envying1 Member since:
2008-04-22

That's exactly what I meant. Be a good audience.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: ...
by molnarcs on Tue 5th Oct 2010 19:49 UTC in reply to "RE: ..."
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

That's exactly what I meant. Be a good audience.

WTF are you two doing here? You are telling people to shut up on a site dedicated for discussing topics related to operating systems. So why don't you follow your own advice and "be a good audience" (ie STFU) instead of barking nonsense and telling people to stop doing the very thing we visit OSnews: to discuss topics that interest us. Go read PC-World or something, if you prefer passive consumption. Or watch a TV show.

Reply Score: 3

Where's my 'don't buy' list
by Pana4 on Tue 5th Oct 2010 18:35 UTC
Pana4
Member since:
2010-09-17

If your product's a dud, create some FUD.

Reply Score: 4

Top 3 Related Acronyms
by fretinator on Tue 5th Oct 2010 20:17 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

1. Caution, Uproar and Division

Usage: Microsoft's latest moves are causing handset manufacturers to chew the CUD.

2. Mindless Utter Drivel

Usage: Microsoft has decided to sling MUD at the handset manufactures.

3. Chairs, Recliner, Assistants and Phones

Usage: After the DOJ busts Microsoft for collusion with Apple against Android, Steve Ballmer throws CRAP around his office.

Reply Score: 4

win mobile
by xaeropower on Tue 5th Oct 2010 20:22 UTC
xaeropower
Member since:
2005-12-16

I think windows CE was actually good ;)

Just for mobil OS development companies hire millions of developers, who can keep earning paychecks. Who cares if it's gonna fail but knowing microsoft's advertisement campaigns it won't.

G00gle can lol with their little search company, trying to make linux distros, maps, cellphone oses and other craps to take away the market from other companies but when it comes to facing with ms they are just cockroaches.

Reply Score: 0

RE: win mobile
by vodoomoth on Wed 6th Oct 2010 11:56 UTC in reply to "win mobile"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30


G00gle can lol with their little search company, trying to make linux distros, maps, cellphone oses and other craps to take away the market from other companies but when it comes to facing with ms they are just cockroaches.

Very entertaining joking. You are a deft master of irony.

Reply Score: 3

Geeks again missing the point
by mrhasbean on Tue 5th Oct 2010 23:47 UTC
mrhasbean
Member since:
2006-04-03

Yes Microsoft and Apple will enforce their patents - like it or not that's the way it is. Like it or not that's not about to change any time soon. Continually bitching about it like a crying little girl in the playground who can't get her own way just reflects a level of immaturity.

But the geek community are again missing the point when it comes to the OSes themselves. iOS and Windows Phone 7 will be successful in the LONG term for the very reasons geeks hate them. BECAUSE they are a closed environment it's very easy for a large organisation to deploy them without fear that they are going to be easily hacked. BECAUSE there are minimal customisation options for the interface large organisations can deploy them with minimal training requirements and my grandmother can use it without being overwhelmed. BECAUSE of their dependence on a specific piece of bloatware with the device tied to a particular computer through it's sync'ing process large organisations can deploy them without fear of third party apps being installed to compromise their vital company data. BECAUSE those monolithic applications are the "one stop shop" for all of the content for the devices I can confidently hand one to my grandmother and know that she can not only easily use all the standard functions of the device, but just as easily obtain any of the types of content that the device will handle, be that apps, music, movies, ebooks, etc.

Much of the success of the Android devices at the moment is because people believe they are getting a device that's the same as their friend's iPhone only cheaper or on their network of choice. Once those common users discover the complexity of dealing with multiple "stores" and various different methods required to interact with the devices for different functions, not to mention the often complex (if at all available) upgrade options for their device's OS, many won't opt for an Android device second time around. The very stuff that geeks love will annoy the crap out of the common users.

There is no doubt that Android is a very very nice operating system and many users will prefer it to iOS or Windows Phone 7, but having used a very current Android device I know categorically that the level of simplicity for common users, and feeling of security for business users deploying the devices to staff, is simply not in the same league as iOS devices, and I'm assuming that will also be the case for Windows Phone 7 devices.

But only time will tell...

Reply Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

But only time will tell...


Time is already telling. Android is kicking iOS' butt in smartphone marketshare, and tablets will soon follow. It's inevitable: in a fair marketplace, choice always wins.

Except Apple and MS are patent trolling to make the market unfair. Let's hope they don't achieve their goal.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Geeks again missing the point
by Neolander on Wed 6th Oct 2010 08:48 UTC in reply to "Geeks again missing the point"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

BECAUSE they are a closed environment it's very easy for a large organisation to deploy them without fear that they are going to be easily hacked.

Wrong. The security risk comes from giving untrusted applications access to personal data, not from where they come from. You can put those applications on a shiny vendor-owned application store and pretend they have been thoroughly tested, as long as the source code has not been fully reviewed no one can tell if they are actually safe or not.

The sole way to run untrusted code without putting all of its data in danger is to restrict which data applications have access to. There's currently two ways of doing this : buying a dumbphone, or using an android-like capability-based security model and only give applications the permissions they need to work.

BECAUSE there are minimal customisation options for the interface large organisations can deploy them with minimal training requirements and my grandmother can use it without being overwhelmed.

This statement is only valid when the UI you're using comes from design hell. A properly designed UI provides each user with what he/she needs : quick and easy access to common options, while advanced options are hidden in a place which power users know.

Windows gives a visual example of this with its "advanced"/"details" buttons.

BECAUSE of their dependence on a specific piece of bloatware with the device tied to a particular computer through it's sync'ing process large organisations can deploy them without fear of third party apps being installed to compromise their vital company data.

Even wronger.
-If phones do not use obscure sync protocols, users can use trusted and well-known syncing software (e.g. Outlook, exchange) or even not require to install any software on their computer at all (e.g. Funambol). How is installing and using a bloated (and hence full of security flaws) multimedia player for phone sync safer ?
-A company with vital and ultra-secret data which fears that user will install unsafe software if they need to for a triviality like playing with their phones DESERVES being hacked. If you have data to protect, make sure it's protected through employee education, use of a safe OS, or computer lock-in if you're bored and don't have the time to do things right.

BECAUSE those monolithic applications are the "one stop shop" for all of the content for the devices I can confidently hand one to my grandmother and know that she can not only easily use all the standard functions of the device, but just as easily obtain any of the types of content that the device will handle, be that apps, music, movies, ebooks, etc.

Yeah, and how is that a point exactly ?

Much of the success of the Android devices at the moment is because people believe they are getting a device that's the same as their friend's iPhone only cheaper or on their network of choice.

When arguing about the iOS ecosystem, I've often been accused of considering iDevices users as idiots, but this goes way beyond everything I've ever said. ;)
1-So all of Android handsets buyers have friends who can afford the price of an iPhone in their gadgetry budget ? You should take some lessons of economy about how money is distributed among people in an average country...
2-And after all this time Android has been existing, you think people don't know what they're buying yet ?

The iPhone created the need of a touchscreen phone running complex apps catched from a software repository among normal people. Not sure it was a good idea, but it's done now. What you apparently failed to understand is that the story ends here. The need is important, not the product which satisfies it. Especially in the phone market where brand loyalty does not exist. People don't want an iPhone, they want a touch phone with apps. If android does the job, let it be android.

Edited 2010-10-06 08:49 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Once those common users discover the complexity of dealing with multiple "stores"

I see two possible meanings to this, but they are both wrong anyway :
-Of all the stores included in the iTunes ecosystem, only the App Store really matters to iPhone buyers and most smarphone potential users. First because the iPhone, aside from the OS-independent abilities to browse the web and read mails, is mainly bought because of its apps. Second because people are not idiots : why spend hours downloading songs and videos over a slow mobile network when you can stream them for free at reasonable speed ? (cf Youtube, Hulu, Netflix...) Who would be stupid enough to read ebooks on the 4-inch eye-hurting LCD screen of a phone ?
-If you're talking about the Android Market getting blocked sometimes, it's indeed sad news, BUT consider that Android with the Market blocked and a vendor- or carrier-specific store instead is just like Apple's App Store and Nokia's OVI store, and that Apple and Nokia are still big players in the smartphone area. The Market is a bonus thing that, like Nokia's adoption of QT, aims at a very honorable goal : interoperability of applications accross multiple vendors, just like we've had on dumbphones for ages. It's a bonus, not a key part of Android (like, say, its licensing cost).

and various different methods required to interact with the devices for different functions,

It's the same situation on all touchscreen smartphones, actually. That's because developers are excited by the hypothetic advantages of touchscreens in terms of usability and think that they can now do whatever they want and it will be instantly obvious to anyone using the device. That trend is gonna end someday...

not to mention the often complex (if at all available) upgrade options for their device's OS, many won't opt for an Android device second time around. The very stuff that geeks love will annoy the crap out of the common users.

Your speech is inconsistent. In the same paragraph, you mention a geek-friendly feature (os upgradeability) and pretend to defend the interests of common users.

How is upgrading the OS for geeks ?
-If you don't like the device as is, you don't buy it in the first place. Only geeks (and not the smart ones) bet that things are going to improve with future releases of the OS.
-If you like the device as is, upgrading may break what you like. As an exaple, I helped a relative this summer, who had some issues with the changes brought by iOS 4 on his iTouch.
-To make newer software run, according to the First Law of Software Bloat, you need newer hardware. See multitasking being disabled on older iPhones, if they are supported by the iOS 4 update at all.
-As we reach API stability, applications will be compatible with almost all releases of the OS anyway, so which release you use doesn't matter.

There is no doubt that Android is a very very nice operating system and many users will prefer it to iOS or Windows Phone 7, but having used a very current Android device I know categorically that the level of simplicity for common users, and feeling of security for business users deploying the devices to staff, is simply not in the same league as iOS devices, and I'm assuming that will also be the case for Windows Phone 7 devices.

This part is full of common analysis mistakes that have been tracked by basic psychology for years :
-Having tested, alone and during a relatively short time, one version of Android on one hardware, you assume that you know how all common users will experience all versions of Android on the wide range of hardware it runs on.
-You're comparing the first touchscreen smartphone OS you've used for a long time, which has set up your basic usage patterns and your mental vision of what a touchscreen smartphone OS should be (iOS), with an OS that came after that and broke your usage patterns, presenting a different vision of the thing. That's unfair.
-You're making conclusions about an unreleased product based almost on the sole knowledge that it looks like what you're used to...

But only time will tell...

Indeed, finally we agree. The mobile space is currently moving at a fast space, many creative solutions are showcased everyday, and we can't tell what's going to happen tomorrow. Moreover, chances are that even logic could be uneffective, knowing that unfair tactics are being applied to make products win or lose independently of what their actual qualities are. (like the currently discussed litigations)

Reply Score: 2

Biased
by drstorm on Wed 6th Oct 2010 10:49 UTC
drstorm
Member since:
2009-04-24

The whole article is very biased. I am not saying that the author is necessarily wrong, but he does not allow for possibility that Microsoft might actually be right.

First to get this out of the way: I don't like software patents. (I would only allow patenting algorithms, not functionality.) However, they DO exist and it IS very likely that Android infringes a number of them.

Calling Microsoft and Apple "trolls" who are "trolling" Google is very, very unprofessional, especially because it's not even true; I know it sounds good to Android pushers (like myself), but it's not true. And why? Because, by definition, patent trolls are companies or individuals who don't make actual products, but only own patents and sue the hell out of those who actually CREATE stuff. Both Microsoft and Apple have extensive patent portfolios, but they are also manufacturers.

IMO, Google needs to find valuable patents of its own that Microsoft and Apple infringe upon and sign cross-licensing deals. Like it or not, but (IMO) until then most of the FUD is justified.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Biased
by lemur2 on Wed 6th Oct 2010 12:28 UTC in reply to "Biased"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

However, they DO exist and it IS very likely that Android infringes a number of them.


How do you figure that? The patents in question read as though they are broad (for example they are said to cover things like FAT and email sync) ... but Microsoft did not invent either FAT or email.

So you read a bit further, and you find that what is actually patented is very specific indeed ... for example in the case of the FAT patents, Microsoft have a patent for a method to store both long filenames and short filenames of the old EIGHT-3~.EXT variety, on the same filesystem for the same files at the same time. Very specific functionality such as that is easy to avoid ... the Linux kernel for example stores either short or long filenames on a FAT volume for a given file, but never both. Patent avoided, no problem ... Linux simply doesn't do the function of the specific patented invention.

Then there is the question of prior art ... email existed for quite a while before Microsoft ever wrote their very first email program.

Then there is the question of the actual methods used ... Android is a Unix work-alike and Windows is a VMS work-alike. Very different codebase. Entirely unlikely to use similar methods to achieve anything.

The long and the short of it is that it is actually very UNLIKELY that Android infringes any of them.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Biased
by drstorm on Wed 6th Oct 2010 14:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Biased"
drstorm Member since:
2009-04-24

Well, I sure hope you're right, but I doubt it.

I am familiar with the FAT long file names case, but things are usually not that simple. As for the prior art, I think that many, many, MANY patents should not have been accepted in the first place because of it (or even because of sheer obviousness), but those patents are a threat nonetheless. Even if invalidated in court eventually, they bring bad publicity.

Now, I'll admit that I'm pulling this one out of my ass, but I think that there might be some legitimate patents involved here. My logic is that since both Android source code and MS patent portfolio are quite extensive, an overlap would not be so unlikely.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Biased
by lemur2 on Wed 6th Oct 2010 22:44 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Biased"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Well, I sure hope you're right, but I doubt it. I am familiar with the FAT long file names case, but things are usually not that simple. As for the prior art, I think that many, many, MANY patents should not have been accepted in the first place because of it (or even because of sheer obviousness), but those patents are a threat nonetheless. Even if invalidated in court eventually, they bring bad publicity. Now, I'll admit that I'm pulling this one out of my ass, but I think that there might be some legitimate patents involved here. My logic is that since both Android source code and MS patent portfolio are quite extensive, an overlap would not be so unlikely.


There are only nine patents in question. The Android source code and MS patent portfolio are indeed both quite extensive, yet Microsoft could only come up with nine candidate patent violations.

At least two of them are clearly not infringed in Linux (despite Microsoft's continued bluster over them). One suspects the same for the other seven.

Microsoft are Johnny-come-latleys to the general computing scene compared with general Unix heritage, and Microsoft have only a relatively tiny presence in the embedded and mobile space.

It is more than likely that Microsoft have nothing of substance here.

Edited 2010-10-06 22:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Biased
by tomcat on Wed 6th Oct 2010 22:04 UTC in reply to "Biased"
tomcat Member since:
2006-01-06

The whole article is very biased. I am not saying that the author is necessarily wrong, but he does not allow for possibility that Microsoft might actually be right.


Of course it's biased. Pretty much everything eminating from the Web on patents assumes that patent holders are big evil trolls. Despite the fact that many plaintiffs are little guys battling giants.

First to get this out of the way: I don't like software patents. (I would only allow patenting algorithms, not functionality.) However, they DO exist and it IS very likely that Android infringes a number of them. Calling Microsoft and Apple "trolls" who are "trolling" Google is very, very unprofessional, especially because it's not even true; I know it sounds good to Android pushers (like myself), but it's not true. And why? Because, by definition, patent trolls are companies or individuals who don't make actual products, but only own patents and sue the hell out of those who actually CREATE stuff. Both Microsoft and Apple have extensive patent portfolios, but they are also manufacturers.


Yes, whoever is applying the term "patent trolls" to Apple or Microsoft doesn't know what the hell they're saying.


IMO, Google needs to find valuable patents of its own that Microsoft and Apple infringe upon and sign cross-licensing deals. Like it or not, but (IMO) until then most of the FUD is justified.


IMO, Google is too late to save their asses from a wave of IP lawsuits. They implemented a bunch of stuff in Android, put it out in the market place, and undoubtedly stepped on a bunch of patents from the existing big players (Nokia, Microsoft, Apple, etc). The basic problem for them is that they don't have a defensive portfolio. Microsoft and Apple don't sue each other because they have mutually destructive patent portfolios. Not so with Google. It's going to watch Google pay hundreds of millions of dollars to its competitors.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Biased
by Neolander on Thu 7th Oct 2010 06:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Biased"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Of course it's biased. Pretty much everything eminating from the Web on patents assumes that patent holders are big evil trolls. Despite the fact that many plaintiffs are little guys battling giants.

You don't have to be big yourself to be a troll, see i4i and the MPEG-LA. By the way, could you provide proof that many "little guys" that actually invented the original concept benefitted form software patents in some way in court ? Patents are expensive, they are not for everyone...
Moreover, it's forbidden to patent something for which there's prior art. So either you suggest abusing the inefficiency of the patent system to patent something anyway (and Microsoft/Apple will point this out in court and win) or you suggest that only the triceratops of the tech world can survive since they were here in the beginning and could patent things when they were not widespread, which is a frightening thought going against the very evolutionary nature of our specie...

The basic problem for them is that they don't have a defensive portfolio. Microsoft and Apple don't sue each other because they have mutually destructive patent portfolios. Not so with Google. It's going to watch Google pay hundreds of millions of dollars to its competitors.

So in your opinion, the best way to defend yourself against a terrorist owning a big nuclear bomb is to build a big nuclear bomb yourself ? With that kind of reasoning, the future of mankind sure doesn't look bright...
It also means that good innovators have to spend millions in juridical madness and hence become poor innovators. So the innovation system as a whole would sink in an unproductive cold patent war. Fantastic idea.

Edited 2010-10-07 06:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2