Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 29th May 2011 21:29 UTC, submitted by teigetje
Microsoft It turns out that a lot of people haven't been paying attention. Over the weekend, a story about how Microsoft is earning more from HTC's Android devices than from its own Windows Phone 7 sales spread all across the web, with surprised reactions everywhere. Anyone who has been paying attention to Microsoft's recent patent trolling regarding Android could've seen this coming.
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One of the many reasons ...
by toast88 on Sun 29th May 2011 22:04 UTC
toast88
Member since:
2009-09-23

... why I completely boycott Microsoft.

They never knew what it meant to have a fair competition. It's always only about ripping off, suing and buying out other, more successful companies.

I will never understand people who are still defending that company and supporting them by buying or pirating their products.

I'm so glad, there's free software!

Adrian

Edited 2011-05-29 22:05 UTC

Reply Score: 13

RE: One of the many reasons ...
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 29th May 2011 22:28 UTC in reply to "One of the many reasons ..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Well, playing devil's advocate here - can you really blame Microsoft for using a system that is fully legal and endorsed? I mean, Obama himself regularly holds speeches about protecting - and extending - the current system!

The sad part is - Microsoft doesn't need these tactics anymore. Windows 7 is a great product, the Xbox360 is good, Windows Server is very good competition for Linux on its own merits, and Windows Phone 7 is distinctive, highly unique, and truly innovative.

I'm getting the idea that people like Joe Belfiore and Steven Sinofsky (mark my words: Sinofsky will become the next CEO of Microsoft, after Windows 8 has been delivered) are regularly banging their heads against their desks when they read about the latest crazy legal antics from upper management - all that achieves is blemishes on perfectly fine products.

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: One of the many reasons ...
by Lennie on Sun 29th May 2011 23:06 UTC in reply to "RE: One of the many reasons ..."
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

"...can you really blame Microsoft for using a system that is fully legal and endorsed?"

I think it should be customary that companies like Microsoft that have been convicted in the EU and US for monopoly abuse be kept on a short leash and a lot of these kinds of actions monitored closely.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: One of the many reasons ...
by _xmv on Sun 29th May 2011 23:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: One of the many reasons ..."
_xmv Member since:
2008-12-09

"...can you really blame Microsoft for using a system that is fully legal and endorsed?"

I think it should be customary that companies like Microsoft that have been convicted in the EU and US for monopoly abuse be kept on a short leash and a lot of these kinds of actions monitored closely.

theres nothing to be monitored. its fully, FULLY legal and you CAN abuse it in EVERY WAY.

That's the legal system that is broken with patents, not Microsoft. EVERY company takes advantage of it, if they can.

Reply Score: 3

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Please do make the US citizen pay for the broken patent system. This deal is why I will never buy a single HTC Android device. Microsoft already gets a lot from me in forms of racketeering, I don't want them getting even more via the HTC deal.
I mean, they will deny companies access to US market or their products, if they don't pay for each device sold globally.
They haven't stopped demanding payments off total number of products manufactured.

Call me old fashioned, but I don't believe that I have to pay even $5 patent license to Microsoft for a patent that is not valid in the country I buy the device in, device was manufactured in and the OEM is located in. I would be OK with paying that extra $5 for Moto products, because Moto is subject to US laws. But not HTC(Taiwan), Samsung(Korea), ZTE(China) or LG(Korea).
In short, I see that Microsoft is abusing US patent system to enforce US patents globally.

Reply Score: 6

shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

No, not every. Crooked system gives options to crooks, not to everyone.

Reply Score: 4

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Then what is wrong should be fixed:

http://www.fixcongressfirst.org/

(I don't really know anything about them, my guess is they feel the same way amount US politics I do. It is all about money instead of politics)

Reply Score: 2

adinas Member since:
2005-08-17

In fact, by not suing they may be braking the law since they are obligated to make as much money for their share holders as possible, by law.

Reply Score: 2

japh Member since:
2005-11-11

In fact, by not suing they may be braking the law since they are obligated to make as much money for their share holders as possible, by law.


Can you show me that law? Does it say anything about long term or short term? Does it say you have to make as much money as possible no matter what it does to the public image of the company?

What you write is of course nonsense.
They wouldn't have to sue if they didn't want to.

Reply Score: 1

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

japh,

"Can you show me that law? Does it say anything about long term or short term? Does it say you have to make as much money as possible no matter what it does to the public image of the company?"

It sounded funny to me too.

It's boardmember's responsibility to act in the interests of shareholders. But it's the shareholder's responsibility to elect (or fire) the board members.

For this reason, I think it's unlikely we'll ever find corporate board members who are against software patents. That view would likely prevent them from getting elected to the board in the first place.

And, I have to admit, this is an excellent (though selfish) reason for business people to speak about software patents favorably, it keeps more doors open for themselves.

Reply Score: 2

japh Member since:
2005-11-11


It's boardmember's responsibility to act in the interests of shareholders. But it's the shareholder's responsibility to elect (or fire) the board members.


This is closer to the truth. But there is a conflict there. Shareholders wants quick profits while the board also have to look at what happens to the company in the long run.
Example: Microsoft wanted to buy yahoo. It would have been a quick win for the shareholders, but yahoo themselves felt that in the long run it was smarter not to sell.
Those in charge aren't in jail today, so I will have to assume that they didn't break any laws by not giving the shareholders the quick profit they wanted.

Reply Score: 1

adinas Member since:
2005-08-17

Well, I'm no lawyer but I've read it enough times. For example you can see in this article: http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/analysis/stavins/?p=96 the author asks if a company is allowed to sacrifice profit for social responsibility. "First, may firms sacrifice profits in the social interest – given their fiduciary responsibilities to shareholders? Does management have a fiduciary duty to maximize corporate profits in the interest of shareholders, or can it sacrifice profits by voluntarily exceeding the requirements of environmental law?". Now, if a company has a solid case against another company which would bring them profit, wouldn't you agree share holders would be pissed if the company didn't pursue it?

Reply Score: 1

stabbyjones Member since:
2008-04-15

I agree with part of what you said.

Microsoft is shipping some of the best software they've ever released. But Microsoft won't be changing tactics anytime soon and I don't blame them. I would too if the competition was that far ahead.

Microsoft did the same things with the supposedly original xbox. Get it out there, learn the caveats and do better the next time.

It would be like if the Playstation 3 came out before the 360 with the same specs and microsoft sued them for using opengl instead of directxe.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: One of the many reasons ...
by kristoph on Sun 29th May 2011 23:58 UTC in reply to "RE: One of the many reasons ..."
kristoph Member since:
2006-01-01

If it's perfectly legal why not do it? I mean, if they make good money from their current product AND they can make good money from licensing Android that seems like a big win for Microsoft shareholders (and, you know, they need all the wins they can get).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: One of the many reasons ...
by JAlexoid on Mon 30th May 2011 00:09 UTC in reply to "RE: One of the many reasons ..."
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Windows Server is very good competition for Linux on its own merits

I LOL'ed at that statement. Win2008 is a good product, but nowhere near a competitor to Linux.
Win2008 occupies a segment, the Microsoft product stack segment that is very big. But when it comes to selecting OS as a server, Windows Server is a non contender anywhere where Microsoft stack is not one of the prerequisites. That is an observation from the enterprise and startup company field. Even though MS is pushing for startup mindshare really hard. And that is exactly why Microsoft considers Linux a bigger threat than Apple.

Edited 2011-05-30 00:12 UTC

Reply Score: 9

ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

Granted that Win Server isn't well suited for a web-, dns-, ftp-, etc server but when it comes to having a domain with shared resources such as printers and drives, managing user accounts, deploying software and restricting access to certain features in the workstation OS... Well then Active Directory along with stuff such as GPO is actually very efficient.

I have tried to find a good replacement for Active Directory on RedHat but I haven't found anything that is as good. To me the Linux alternatives feels a lot like NDS back in the days.

Then, you are talking about startups and they may not be the kind of businesses that needs to have a domain. But of all the larger places I've been to here in Sweden there's always been Windows Server with Active Directory and Exchange, while Linux and BSD is common on the more "hardcore" type of servers.

Just my experience...

Reply Score: 2

bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

You've made the guy's point, your requirement is an MS stack, an ms server to manage ms clients... For anything else, windows server is a very poor choice. Even if you have a mixed client environment the ms server option is very poor.

And don't forget the security weaknesses of an ms network, attacks like hash spraying and token stealing combined with the flaws of wsus mean that its extremely difficult to keep such a network secure...

Reply Score: 4

ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

Yes, well my point was that at least here in Sweden Microsoft is pretty big (all workstations using Windows, everyone using Office and Outlook) so Active Directory and Windows Server fits pretty nicely into the picture.

Reply Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Well if you don't have any other viable options, why wouldn't you "choose" Windows?
I reiterate my point again: Where Windows is a prerequisite - Windows wins. Elsewhere almost never.

Edited 2011-05-30 23:05 UTC

Reply Score: 3

turrini Member since:
2006-10-31

Hmm... Here we use CUPS for sharing 627 printers, SAMBA/NFS(plus SSHFS for remote places) for file sharing and OpenLDAP+Kerberos for authentication. We use Cfengine too for managing configurations.

Our company has 3 thousand workstations, 92% runs Linux.

So, M$ not big deal and not really necessary here.

Reply Score: 2

ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

Yeah, I am not denying that it is impossible to do without Windows. Just saying that it is very common. Besides, it makes it easier to become an IT-admin (with all the pros and cons that comes with that, of course).

Reply Score: 2

imtiaz Member since:
2005-07-06

May we know which company it is and which Linux OS is used on workstations ? Just out of curiosity.
Hope that does not bring out the NDA. ;)

Reply Score: 1

turrini Member since:
2006-10-31

It's a retailing company called Grupo Mateus, from Brazil. We're using Debian on desktops and servers, customizing it a little bit.

Reply Score: 1

imtiaz Member since:
2005-07-06

gr8. many thanks for sharing the info

Reply Score: 1

ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

Granted that Win Server isn't well suited for a web-, dns-, ftp-, etc server...

What? You must be still using old 3.1 Windows NT servers. Because you seem not aware of new options like Windows Azure and Windows Azure Appliance.

Reply Score: 2

ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

Nice jump there from 3.11 to Azure. Just 17 years between releases.

However, I have not used Azure so I don't know anything about using and deploying it. However, I haven't seen it being used in production either.

Funny that so far I've gotten responses saying that I am wrong because Linux is better than I give it credit for, and I've gotten responses saying that Windows is better than I give it credit for. Very interesting. Guess I should praise more. ;)

Reply Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

And other cloud providers beat the crap out of Azure. And if you're not building something on MS based tech, you are better off with any other cloud.

windows Server is a good product, Azure is a good product/service. However, Linux, *BSD, AIX and Solaris are great server products. A number of cloud providers and virtual datacenter landlords have great offerings.
You can't beat great with good.

Reply Score: 2

twitterfire Member since:
2008-09-11

And other cloud providers beat the crap out of Azure. And if you're not building something on MS based tech, you are better off with any other cloud.

windows Server is a good product, Azure is a good product/service. However, Linux, *BSD, AIX and Solaris are great server products. A number of cloud providers and virtual datacenter landlords have great offerings.
You can't beat great with good.


Can you explain please why Linux BSD and Solaris are better servers than Windows 2008 Server?

Reply Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Versatility, scalability and tools.

Extremely high number of cores does not mix with Windows. Linux, *BSD and Solaris support a different filesystems. FreeBSD has jail, Solaris has zones and Linux has other similar hard separation options to improve security. Remote administration tools, sorry but RDP looses vs SSH. Specially when you're on EDGE speeds somewhere far away and your system is dead.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: One of the many reasons ...
by shmerl on Mon 30th May 2011 04:02 UTC in reply to "RE: One of the many reasons ..."
shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Microsoft are too entrenched in their crooked practices. I doubt they suddenly will repent and will become decent. Unless something drastic will change there.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: One of the many reasons ...
by toast88 on Mon 30th May 2011 07:03 UTC in reply to "RE: One of the many reasons ..."
toast88 Member since:
2009-09-23

Well, playing devil's advocate here - can you really blame Microsoft for using a system that is fully legal and endorsed?

Do you also think that it's okay when US companies use loopholes in the US tax law and move most of their financial assets overseas thus avoiding having to pay US taxes which is one of the reasons the US has a record debt of 14 Trillion US Dollars now?

There is something like business ethics and I expect big enterprises to respect those like I respect research ethics as a scientist by not making data up, not harming any other human being etc.

Ethics is an important factor of a sound society and if everybody starts kicking those values, it is certainly not inevitable that new conflicts will arise (like the Gulf war and the oil for example).

The sad part is - Microsoft doesn't need these tactics anymore.


Oh, yes, they seriously do.

Windows 7 is a great product


Windows hasn't essentially changed since Windows NT 3.5x, it still has the same problems it had back then which is what companies like Symantec and Kaspersky depend on to make their livings.

the Xbox360 is good


Agree, quite a success. Even though Nintendo sold way more Wii consoles. And the Xbox has had so many technical issues (Red ring of death), that one might think the hardware design was created by a bunch of amateurs. Microsoft is just able to compete in this market, because they simply have the money to buy technology and companies like Kinect.

Windows Server is very good competition for Linux on its own merits


The webservers of the internet run more than 75% Linux or Unix and 93% the top500 computers run Linux as well. Even in the embedded and now smartphone market, Linux is the dominating operating system. Microsoft can't really compete here anymore. Windows Server especially fails on really big hardware (80 cores) [1] (link in German, sorry).

and Windows Phone 7 is distinctive, highly unique, and truly innovative.


Come on, you sound like someone from their marketing division. Windows Phone 7 lacks a lot of features like multitasking, a modern and decent browser (note, they're still using something between IE6.0 and IE7.0 as their code base), a huge assortment of apps and many developers. According to latest Gartner studies, Microsoft has a market share of around 1.7% (IIRC), I don't know how anyone would consider that product successful. Yes, I know they're working on an update to bring all these features, but that won't come before next year IIRC.

I'm getting the idea that people like Joe Belfiore and Steven Sinofsky (mark my words: Sinofsky will become the next CEO of Microsoft, after Windows 8 has been delivered) are regularly banging their heads against their desks when they read about the latest crazy legal antics from upper management - all that achieves is blemishes on perfectly fine products.


And I am predicting that Microsoft is getting less and less important in the future. They have already lost leadership in all essential markets (servers, super computing, tablets, mobile phones, embedded) to the competition and it's just a matter of time when they will fall back on the desktop since most home users don't care what they surf the internet with and writing their documents with and so on. And companies like HP and DELL invest into alternative operating systems (webOS for HP, Ubuntu for DELL) or market their own (Chrome OS) which will weaken Microsoft's position in the desktop market further.

The PC market finally gets the competition back it once had in the 80ies which is a good thing in my opinion.

Adrian

[1] http://www.heise.de/ct/inhalt/2011/12/146/

Reply Score: 4

jbauer Member since:
2005-07-06

Windows hasn't essentially changed since Windows NT 3.5x, it still has the same problems it had back then which is what companies like Symantec and Kaspersky depend on to make their livings.


Well, Linux hasn't essentially changed since first created in 1991, it still has the same problems it had back then which is why only nerds and Microsoft haters want to use it.

See what I did there? We all can play bullshit games.

Reply Score: 1

bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

Linux is a simple design, its based on unix which is also a simple design...

Windows is _NOT_ a simple design, some say it was intentionally made over complicated and convoluted to prevent a repeat of the clones which were made of dos. The problems with such a complicated system are many, you have many complicated parts interdependent on each other which makes it very hard to update without breaking things (see the delays and being forced to start over with vista), you have security flaws embedded deep in the design which cannot be overcome without breaking compatibility (google: pass the hash), and the complexity often results in laziness (eg the permissions model for drivers is very complex so many third party drivers don't use it, on linux the permission model for drivers is the same as that for files - set permissions on /dev/whatever... and don't forget all the apps which wont run as non admin, or need nasty hacks to do so).

Keeping it simple is a great principle.

Reply Score: 2

moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

Windows kernel design follows quite a bit the VMS design, are you also complaining about VMS?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: One of the many reasons ...
by molnarcs on Mon 30th May 2011 08:03 UTC in reply to "RE: One of the many reasons ..."
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Well, playing devil's advocate here - can you really blame Microsoft for using a system that is fully legal and endorsed? I mean, Obama himself regularly holds speeches about protecting - and extending - the current system!


I understand what you try to say here, and I agree. But I think that you can blame Microsoft - not all companies compete using the broken patent system. Google comes to mind - have they sued anyone for competing products? You mentioned HTC before - I know they are not U.S. based, but since they are in the US market, they could sue as well if they chose to.

The sad part is - Microsoft doesn't need these tactics anymore. Windows 7 is a great product, the Xbox360 is good, Windows Server is very good competition for Linux on its own merits, and Windows Phone 7 is distinctive, highly unique, and truly innovative.p


Agreed completely. Forgot to mention MS Office. I've been a big OpenOffice (then Libre) proponent until I tried Office 2010. Came with my ep121 (the EeeSlate). Ad supported version. Decided to give it a try (after installing LibreOffice and using it for a few days). The difference is night and day - especially on a touch interface. But not only there - everything I used to do in LibreOffice takes half the steps in MS Office, and than there are lots of useful stuff that you can't simply do in Libre (text art, image editing within a document is way ahead in MS Office, no character recognition or Pen Tools whatsoever, paste options that makes editing articles a cinch). So I shelled out $150 for the Student & Home edition, and it was well worth it, every single cent (and the license allows me to install it on three different devices). The time and energy I save in the next few years worth far more than $150.

I'm getting the idea that people like Joe Belfiore and Steven Sinofsky (mark my words: Sinofsky will become the next CEO of Microsoft, after Windows 8 has been delivered) are regularly banging their heads against their desks when they read about the latest crazy legal antics from upper management - all that achieves is blemishes on perfectly fine products.


I'd love to know how you know that.

Reply Score: 3

MysterMask Member since:
2005-07-12

Well, playing devil's advocate here - can you really blame Microsoft for using a system that is fully legal and endorsed?


(*hm* I got the impression that you don't follow the same route of reasoning when Apple is mentioned, do you?)

Windows 7 is a great product


Well, beauty is only skin deep. Judging from the ugly file system "tricks" I've seen so far, MS still hasn't learned to stick to clean, simple and transparent concepts.

Windows Server is very good competition for Linux on its own merits


Only if you like to be chained in the MS software stack. Windows Server is still massively laking outside of pure MS environments.

Windows Phone 7 is distinctive


ACK. They didn't simply copy Apple.

highly unique


Somewhat different would be more to the point.

truly innovative


*LOL*


when they read about the latest crazy legal antics from upper management - all that achieves is blemishes on perfectly fine products.


*hm*
So MS has technical fine products but a crazy management. Sorry, no. Wake me up when those technical fine products are able to properly interoperate in a non MS world.

Reply Score: 2

RE: One of the many reasons ...
by _xmv on Sun 29th May 2011 23:32 UTC in reply to "One of the many reasons ..."
_xmv Member since:
2008-12-09

bet u buy apple which is not a single bit better.

Reply Score: 9

RE: One of the many reasons ...
by WereCatf on Mon 30th May 2011 06:25 UTC in reply to "One of the many reasons ..."
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

I will never understand people who are still defending that company and supporting them by buying or pirating their products.


Simply put: none of the alternatives are good enough.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: One of the many reasons ...
by JAlexoid on Mon 30th May 2011 10:14 UTC in reply to "RE: One of the many reasons ..."
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Simply put: none of the alternatives are good enough.


Or Microsoft is a gatekeeper for supporting companies that you want to support.

The fact that Win7 still has not been able to work properly with my Vista WHQL audio drivers is just a PITA that I don't want to bother with.

Reply Score: 2

US only? Chance for Meego
by kragil on Sun 29th May 2011 22:25 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

Does HTC also pay for european/asian Android handsets?

Maybe this is also a chance for Meego. AFAICT the patents are usual FAT/VM stuff MS tries to bully people with. I am sure that the basic Meego stack avoid/circumvents those.

Reply Score: 4

RE: US only? Chance for Meego
by CapEnt on Mon 30th May 2011 01:32 UTC in reply to "US only? Chance for Meego"
CapEnt Member since:
2005-12-18

Probably, yes.

Microsoft has one big trump card in his hands: the huge American market. They can easily persuade HTC to pay for every phone sold by them in world by using the menace of blocking the access to the American market due patent violation after a successful case in courts.

So HTC has two options: take the bully proposal and pay the "do not spank me tax", or go for the riskier alternative of trying the case in courts.

Reply Score: 3

blahbl4hblah
Member since:
2011-05-29

HTC may have actually violated a set of patents? They settled, so they must think that they can keep making money, or they would have went to court. Smaller companies sue MS all the time!

Reply Score: 3

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

The patents this is case are basically: you are running Linux and now you are in big trouble. Pay us or else !

They are obviously not going after the source of the problem, but these companies selling these products.

Because it brings in more money, obviously.

Maybe it is just me, but I think a government should step in and say, hey if you want to defend this patent you should sue these people.

Edited 2011-05-29 23:10 UTC

Reply Score: 5

Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

They aren't going after the source because Google can fight back, and if they had good cause to, could seriously harm Microsoft's bottom line. HTC can't. Google are basically dealing collateral damage to Microsoft with very few areas of direct competition. They don't sell a desktop OS, they don't sell a games console, they don't sell a fully featured office suite. About the only field of direct competition, before Microsoft started bringing the fight to Google in the fields of search and mapping, was free consumer email.

If Google were to, say, contract a few big games developers to develop high budget, headline games for Google TV set top boxes, they'd start directly chiselling away at Microsoft's markets. Neither company really wants a direct confrontation because it would consume a phenomenal amount of time and money. Microsoft's and Google's lawyers would be vieing for the title of "richest man in the world", and the competition would leave the two behind. It's easier to bully a company you could snuff out with a concerted effort at directly competing, if you wanted to.

Reply Score: 3

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

So this whole free enterprise thing isn't working.

Reply Score: 3

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Free!?!?!?! You must be joking.
Or maybe it's the corporations that are free... to do anything they like, free to disregard the law and morality.

Reply Score: 2

ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Free enterprise is the worst economic model known to man, except for all the others.

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ricegf,

"Free enterprise is the worst economic model known to man, except for all the others."

It's too early to call. Lets look back in a few years and see how well corporation-centric governments fair against better "managed" economies like china's.

(Please don't read into this wrongly, I'm not pro-china)

Free enterprise works best when players are all on the level. After a while though, without "intervention", the free market collapses into all powerful monopolies/oligopolies. As simple as it is, the game of monopoly is quite realistic in this sense.

Reply Score: 2

jabbotts
Member since:
2007-09-06

If Microsoft has an issue with Android, Microsoft should be going after Google; the manufacturer of Android who implemented the allegedly infringing features.

But of course, none of this is about addressing patent infringement otherwise MS would go after Android directly. Nah.. this isn't about justice. This is about attacking the weakest defendants and working one's way up building layer on layer of case law. Microsoft wants to be able to point to a past case and justify future cases on it. Why provide real evidence when one can simply point at similar case law.

If it was actually about justice, Microsoft would be going after the producer of Android not manufacturers that implement it among other commodity parts. If any of this was actually about justice, Microsoft would actually detail the Android and other Linux based system's alleged infringements.

Reply Score: 9

shmerl Member since:
2010-06-08

Microsoft fears Google more than HTC.

Reply Score: 6

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Bullies and racketeers never go after the strong ones.

Reply Score: 3

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Exactly my point; in both those responses.

Microsoft does not want to resolve the issue, they want to feel all "big man" going after skinnier kids in the playground.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Mon 30th May 2011 00:05 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

Microsoft needs to be get what it deserves, Company split for anticompetitive behavior.

Reply Score: 6

Patent troll?
by malxau on Mon 30th May 2011 00:21 UTC
malxau
Member since:
2005-12-04

I'm not sure MS deserves to be labelled as a 'patent troll' for this. MS has been investing in smartphones for 10+ years, and although its market share is pitifully small it has contributed a lot of innovations that other systems are now using. It's certainly not a company that makes no products where patent litigation is a primary strategy.

Since a Windows Phone uses more MS technology than other platforms, the revenue MS receives from it per handset is significantly higher. MS would obviously far sooner sell a Windows handset than an Android one.

HTC (like anyone else) is free to develop a phone that doesn't use MS innovations, and sell it for whatever price consumers are willing to pay. Ultimately the market decides what Microsoft's innovations are really worth. Nobody is forced to use Microsoft's innovations, merely to pay for the innovations they use.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Patent troll?
by ephracis on Mon 30th May 2011 00:50 UTC in reply to "Patent troll?"
ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

If you've been here for a while you'd know that Thom has been pretty clear that he does not see the requirement of not producing anything other than lawsuits as part of the "patent troll" definition.

I do however believe that he's part of a minority. But the given the trend I'm seeing he might not be for long.

"Patent troll" seem to be going down the same road as "FUD". ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Patent troll?
by lemur2 on Mon 30th May 2011 01:33 UTC in reply to "Patent troll?"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

I'm not sure MS deserves to be labelled as a 'patent troll' for this. MS has been investing in smartphones for 10+ years, and although its market share is pitifully small it has contributed a lot of innovations that other systems are now using. It's certainly not a company that makes no products where patent litigation is a primary strategy. Since a Windows Phone uses more MS technology than other platforms, the revenue MS receives from it per handset is significantly higher. MS would obviously far sooner sell a Windows handset than an Android one. HTC (like anyone else) is free to develop a phone that doesn't use MS innovations, and sell it for whatever price consumers are willing to pay. Ultimately the market decides what Microsoft's innovations are really worth. Nobody is forced to use Microsoft's innovations, merely to pay for the innovations they use.


Point of clarification: Mircrosoft has not established in a court of law that Android does infringe on any valid patents held by Microsoft.

All that Microsoft has established is that it is able to threaten firms like HTC with a lawsuit that will cost HTC more money to contest than it is worth compared to signing a deal with Microsoft.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Patent troll?
by Alfman on Mon 30th May 2011 06:02 UTC in reply to "Patent troll?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

malxau,

"HTC (like anyone else) is free to develop a phone that doesn't use MS innovations, and sell it for whatever price consumers are willing to pay. Ultimately the market decides what Microsoft's innovations are really worth. Nobody is forced to use Microsoft's innovations, merely to pay for the innovations they use."

This is all very true for copyright, but not for patents.

Developers are often coerced into paying patent holders just to use their own independent code. The courts give patent holders the right to demand payment or shut us down. It doesn't matter if our version is superior or not, it doesn't matter if the patent is obscure or even if the patent was pending at the time. Having industry monopolies like MS to enforce patent monopolies against others is detrimental to innovation. I say this as a software developer myself.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Patent troll?
by bert64 on Mon 30th May 2011 10:04 UTC in reply to "Patent troll?"
bert64 Member since:
2007-04-23

MS might make more per unit sold with WP7, but they also had to pay to develop and market the software, a cost they don't have with HTC android handsets.

Ofcourse the primary differentiating factor is the shear volume of sales.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Patent troll?
by malxau on Mon 30th May 2011 17:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Patent troll?"
malxau Member since:
2005-12-04

MS might make more per unit sold with WP7, but they also had to pay to develop and market the software, a cost they don't have with HTC android handsets.


The whole theory of patents rests on the opposite. MS had to pay to invest in smartphone OS development, including abstract ideas, concepts, and techniques. When handset manufacturers take those without paying, it distorts the market and discourages new investment into new approaches. The real question is what those things are worth.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Patent troll?
by JAlexoid on Mon 30th May 2011 10:23 UTC in reply to "Patent troll?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Nobody is forced to use Microsoft's innovations, merely to pay for the innovations they use.


You haven't really been introduced to the concept of software patents, have you?
In US you can patent anything, even a patented idea. Just have to be careful with the words.
As for "innovation", it's not innovation when any other developer will do the same given same requirements.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Patent troll?
by malxau on Mon 30th May 2011 17:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Patent troll?"
malxau Member since:
2005-12-04

"Nobody is forced to use Microsoft's innovations, merely to pay for the innovations they use.


You haven't really been introduced to the concept of software patents, have you?
In US you can patent anything, even a patented idea. Just have to be careful with the words.
As for "innovation", it's not innovation when any other developer will do the same given same requirements.
"

Actually I'm one of a small set of people with a Comp Sci degree and a Law degree. I've spent a lot of time looking into these issues in detail.

While I wouldn't dispute that the patent system is prone to abuse (and frequently abused), that does not mean that all patents are abuse in and of themselves.

Personally I'm not too concerned if an employer asks a developer to implement "x" solely because they saw it in some other product, and the subsequent implementation of "x" infringes on a patent held by those who conceived of it. In this case the first group had significantly higher costs by virtue of trying out many failed ideas, refining ideas to be usable and useful, user testing etc. The second group is just paying for code to be written.

The real question in this case is what the patents are; from there we'd know whether they are genuinely innovative or abuse. This is, of course, why patents are licensed under NDA...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Patent troll?
by JAlexoid on Mon 30th May 2011 22:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Patent troll?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Actually I'm one of a small set of people with a Comp Sci degree and a Law degree. I've spent a lot of time looking into these issues in detail.


Ahh... A fellow IT guy with a proper understanding of law.

While I wouldn't dispute that the patent system is prone to abuse (and frequently abused), that does not mean that all patents are abuse in and of themselves.


Software patents are in most cases abusive in nature. Though I myself am not in US, I work for the Big US company where I have been on patent review panels and have seen what gets patented. The best of them and the worst. The difference between them is incredibly narrow...

Personally I'm not too concerned if an employer asks a developer to implement "x" solely because they saw it in some other product, and the subsequent implementation of "x" infringes on a patent held by those who conceived of it.


I said the requirement is the same, not copying a feature. It's "Implement swipe to unlock"(copy a feature) vs "We have touch panel, implement an unlocking mechanism"(same requirement)

In this case the first group had significantly higher costs by virtue of trying out many failed ideas, refining ideas to be usable and useful, user testing etc. The second group is just paying for code to be written.


Same requirement will in software development result in exceptionally similar algorithms. Simply because people are taught the same basic principles.
The algorithms may take a lot of resources to develop or very little, but that mostly depends on how smart are the developers.
Yet for the most advanced patent applications it's "Oh! I remember there is a mathematical formula that will help solve this". The not so advanced are the "customer requested packaging"* used by Lodsys.
I can safely tell anyone without a doubt, that I have infringed on that patent in 2001, before it was filed. Why did I infringe on it? Because I had the same requirements as the person that decided to patent it.

* - Based on a quick reading, any Agile development methodology is infringing on this patent.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Patent troll?
by Alfman on Tue 31st May 2011 05:19 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Patent troll?"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

JAlexoid,

"I can safely tell anyone without a doubt, that I have infringed on that patent in 2001, before it was filed. Why did I infringe on it? Because I had the same requirements as the person that decided to patent it."

That's the problem with software patents isn't it! It's absurd that we have patents on software where the patent holder has clearly spent more resources on lawyers than on developers for the "invention".

Software patents are clearly not being used to recoup developer costs so much as enabling a business model where one patent holder can demand royalties from other developers who have the same requirements.


It should be easy to see why software patents are fundamentally unscalable - as the number of developers increases worldwide, the likelihood of inadvertent infringement among developers solving the same problems (having similar requirements) increases greatly.

Enforcing software patents against inadvertent infringement is idiotic as it creates a legal minefield rather than encouraging the spread of knowledge as they're supposed to.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Patent troll?
by malxau on Tue 31st May 2011 13:59 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Patent troll?"
malxau Member since:
2005-12-04


"I can safely tell anyone without a doubt, that I have infringed on that patent in 2001, before it was filed. Why did I infringe on it? Because I had the same requirements as the person that decided to patent it."

That's the problem with software patents isn't it! It's absurd that we have patents on software where the patent holder has clearly spent more resources on lawyers than on developers for the "invention".


Note that prior art is grounds to invalidate a patent. Obtaining and defending patents is also an expensive exercise, and it is unwise to spend so much to obtain something that won't survive its first challenge.

I can personally say that I've never been involved in filing a patent where I knew the idea was not original, and I've avoided things where I've suspected the idea might not be original, simply because it doesn't make business sense to pursue.

Reply Score: 2

SAD
by viator on Mon 30th May 2011 00:39 UTC
viator
Member since:
2005-10-11

My first modern smartphone was from htc. But i swore as soon as they made this "licensing" deal with microsoft i would never buy anything from them again. Which means i will also make sure anyone who asks for a recommendation for a phone NEVER gets pointed in their direction as well. Im sure there are quite a few people like myself out there who do the same. I read recently how they decided to stop locking down the bootloader how nice of them. Maybe the real reason was they couldnt afford the extra engineering time because of the millions they are paying to ms lol.

Reply Score: 6

RE: SAD
by Claxus on Mon 30th May 2011 01:34 UTC in reply to "SAD"
Claxus Member since:
2007-07-19

My first smartphone was also a HTC, and I really like them.
But with this information, I could consider buying from a company that will not pay Microsoft this fee.

Lets say I wanted to implement this filter among the phone manufacturers, is there even a remote possibility to get verifiable data on who pays free and who doesn't?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: SAD
by viator on Mon 30th May 2011 02:29 UTC in reply to "RE: SAD"
viator Member since:
2005-10-11

No no real verifiable data but im sure we will find out one way or another each time this happens. Its kind of like mobile phone service i know for a fact AT&T was caught spying (warrantless) on consumers. I dont know for a fact which other providers spy but why would pay some one to spy on me? So i cant use at&t for mobile phone service and have to hope the others arent untill i find out. ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: SAD
by Claxus on Mon 30th May 2011 03:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: SAD"
Claxus Member since:
2007-07-19

Well that's fair. Your not guilty until proven so.
My wife just bought an HTC on my recommendation, which is why I paid extra attention to this article.
But we'll just have to continue to be good consumers according to our best knowledge ...

Reply Score: 1

RE: SAD
by molnarcs on Mon 30th May 2011 08:09 UTC in reply to "SAD"
molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

My first modern smartphone was from htc. But i swore as soon as they made this "licensing" deal with microsoft i would never buy anything from them again. Which means i will also make sure anyone who asks for a recommendation for a phone NEVER gets pointed in their direction as well.


What? You have a bully (MS) and their victim (HTC). And you decide to punish the victim? How nice of you! This is like boycotting the small corner store because they are forced to pay protection money to the local mafia.

I hope you don't use ANY Microsoft products, because that would make you a hypocrite in addition to being an idiot.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: SAD
by JAlexoid on Mon 30th May 2011 10:27 UTC in reply to "RE: SAD"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

What is he is also making sure that the mafia thugs are sent to prison? Should he buy from the shop owner that will result in a higher paid lawyer for the mafia thugs?

Reply Score: 2

meego scenario?
by fran on Mon 30th May 2011 02:04 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

it will be interesting to see how such a scenario would play itself out with Meego.
Meego have the Linux foundation behind with it's big portfolio of intellectual property spread among all it's different partners.
The analyst said it appears Google dont have enough intellectual property, but the Linux foundation might.
Will be interesting to see if/when Google eventually amass enough ip to eventually cause a stalemate.

Reply Score: 2

RE: meego scenario?
by JAlexoid on Mon 30th May 2011 10:29 UTC in reply to "meego scenario?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Google has money, lawyers and high profile political connections(Eric Schmidt has a lot of contacts at the White House)

Reply Score: 2

HTC are not guilty
by Dr-ROX on Mon 30th May 2011 07:36 UTC
Dr-ROX
Member since:
2006-01-03

HTC are not guilty for this. Microsoft can ask for licence fee from any company, like Samsung or Motorola. HTC is a small comopany in comparison, so it's easy to bully them. But this licence fee nonsense is apllicable to all Android manufacturers.
I thing Google should do something about this, but they are not interested - as long as manufacturers do not drop makeing Android devices, google will sit silently.

Reply Score: 2

RE: HTC are not guilty
by moondevil on Mon 30th May 2011 18:37 UTC in reply to "HTC are not guilty"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

That is exactly what many people in the OOS fail to learn.

Most big companies only give back enough to keep the community kind of happy. But what counts are their shareholders.

Yes, Microsoft has always played bad, but I doubt any other with their market size would be any better.

Reply Score: 2

Worldwide?
by dsmogor on Mon 30th May 2011 08:38 UTC
dsmogor
Member since:
2005-09-01

Is 30 million estimate counting devices sold outside of US? BC HTC paying for sw sold outside of us legislation would be plain stupid.

Reply Score: 2

Microsoft's Linux Revenue
by Yamin on Mon 30th May 2011 18:58 UTC
Yamin
Member since:
2006-01-10

I don't know how true it is, but I used to have a friend who work for a major Linux vendor, and he said Microsoft is also a huge seller of Linux.

Typically they'd go into an environment. Sell the MS products (exchange...) Then *help* with the linux areas by selling support and certifications for the Linux systems.

Reply Score: 2

twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

I just want to ask fellows from US if I can come to US and patent the idea of patenting. i.e. I want to patent "the process of obtaining the exclusive rights to by a patent.". That way, I can I can request money from every guy using patents.

Reply Score: 2

What about Barnes & Noble?
by martini on Wed 1st Jun 2011 19:57 UTC
martini
Member since:
2006-01-23

If Barnes & Noble wins against Microsoft, will that make HTC look like a stupid giving away money?

Reply Score: 1