Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Fri 18th Jul 2008 23:29 UTC, submitted by Dale Smoker
Legal The convoluted case of SCO v. Novell dealt a heady blow to the SCO Group Wednesday, with United States District Judge Dale Kimball ordering the company to pay $2.5 million to Novell for improperly claiming, and collecting royalties for, the Unix operating system.
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Two comments
by troy.w.banther on Sat 19th Jul 2008 12:46 UTC
troy.w.banther
Member since:
2008-06-28

There were two comments I disagree with. The first is that Linux would not survive without a big company.

This is naive.

Linux, while an operating system, is a business model. IBM, Novell and other companies, big, medium, SMB and others have 'found' billions of dollars in Linux.

It can be said that big businesses like IBM, Novell and others would not survive if they had not starting using Linux and its business model.

Our university is literally saving hundreds of thousands of dollars just in licensing fees alone. Aside from the proper stewardship of public funds the Linux business model makes sense for the academic environment as well.

The second comment is signing a contract with Microsoft does not make a company a bad company.

Microsoft is not a bad company. It is is just a publicly or shareholder owned and profit driven entity. Some of its actions could be viewed as less than ideal.

If I owned a small business, say a music business, and I used one of Microsoft's products, like Windows, on all of my computers, then did not properly track Microsoft's products and licensing, I could be legally sued.

I have already paid for the computer equipment. I have already paid for the license to use Microsoft's Windows. I have already paid for the license to use Microsoft's Office product. Now Microsoft wants more money since we did not really know the difference between its retail and OEM versions of its product line? We also failed to properly track the licenses?

How many SMBs and other businesses track their licenses? How many 'individuals' on this site, who use Microsoft Windows and|or Office track their individual licenses? Households with small networks and multiple computers running the Redmond product can be legally sued for not keeping their OEM or retail versions in order.

How many people who read OSNews could afford the fines, fees and potential jail time, depending on your laws and customs, a Microsoft licensing audit could produce.

Fortunately for me, personally, I use open source. My money stays local. Linux and its business model makes me money locally.

Each year we perform an audit of all Microsoft products and licenses under our control here at the university. It's a given that Microsoft could at any time perform an audit of all its products on campus.

So I suggest again, that Microsoft is not evil. That's just silly. It's a company looking out for its product and profits. Signing a contract with Microsoft has its potential expenditures.

Microsoft is a company with an aging business model. Linux is an operating system with another form of business model.

Microsoft is learning its business model is failing to bring in new sources of money in the new or more modern business environment.

Edited 2008-07-19 12:57 UTC

Reply Score: 8