Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 1st Nov 2007 22:25 UTC, submitted by Michael
Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris "With much anticipation by the OpenSolaris community, last night Sun had released their first developer preview for the binary desktop distribution that we have known over the past couple of months as Project Indiana. Ian Murdock and company are optimistic for this project that will address some of the existing Solaris adoption barriers when it comes to the installation, package management, and familiarization along with revitalizing the user experience. How does this first milestone of Project Indiana, which in fact will be named OpenSolaris, rank when it comes to meeting their objectives? In this review, we have a lot of information and screenshots on this long-awaited OpenSolaris binary distribution."
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RE[4]: OpenSolaris and Mono
by zztaz on Sat 3rd Nov 2007 15:11 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: OpenSolaris and Mono"
zztaz
Member since:
2006-09-16

Read the patent agreement. It permits the use of Microsoft patents for only certain types of software. It excludes 'clone' software. That's where that language comes from.

Patent grants and licenses are as tricky as copyright licenses. Some are clear and simple: IBM grants a royalty-free license to their RCU patents to all freely licensed software. Royalties may be required for closed software. Sun grants royalty-free license to any Sun patents needed to implement ODF, but only for ODF-related uses.

Microsoft and Novell signed a cross-license deal with terms that aren't clear and obvious to the outside world, and perhaps not even to Novell. My take on it is that Microsoft infringed on Novell patents, knew they would lose in court, and settled. But in typical Microsoft fashion, they structured the deal to hide the infringement, hide the payment, and to give Microsoft fringe benefits rewarding their infringement. Novell customers won't be sued for infringing Microsoft patents as long as those patents aren't used in any software that competes with Microsoft products. Microsoft and Novell get to claim that Mono is open, and it is, until you do anything useful with it. Microsoft didn't pay Novell royalties, they 'bought' copies of Novell support that they can resell.

Microsoft is good at these deals. Remember when Microsoft was going to license video technology from Apple? That deal collapsed, Microsoft came out with their own version, and rumors spread that the code looked very similar to Apple code that Microsoft engineers had been working with. Apple sued, and Microsoft settled out of court. But Microsoft didn't admit or pay for copyright or patent infringement; they agreed to cross-license unnamed technology and buy Apple stock. They later sold the stock at a profit. Actions that should have been punished ended up being rewarded.

Mono isn't safe to use until Microsoft (not Novell) steps forward and grants *everyone* a royalty-free license to any patent used in Mono and all Mono-related libraries. That won't happen.

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