Ballmer: Linux Uses Our Intellectual Property, Compensate Us

On the heels of the recent Microsoft / Novell patent and business collaboration announcement, many in the open source community have speculated that Microsoft, feeling the pressure from ever advancing Linux technologies and increasing adoption by system vendors, is looking for an easy in to the Linux and open source community. During a session yesterday morning at the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) summit in Seattle, an audience member asked Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, if the Redmond company was selling out by collaborating with a Linux vendor.

Ballmer said Microsoft was motivated to sign a deal with SUSE Linux distributor Novell earlier this month because Linux "uses our intellectual property" and Microsoft wanted to "get the appropriate economic return for our shareholders from our innovation." "We've had an issue, a problem that we've had to confront, which is because of the way the GPL (General Public License) works, and because open-source Linux does not come from a company -- Linux comes from the community -- the fact that that product uses our patented intellectual property is a problem for our shareholders. We spend $7 billion a year on R&D, our shareholders expect us to protect or license or get economic benefit from our patented innovations. So how do we somehow get the appropriate economic return for our patented innovation, and how do we do interoperability. The truth is, because of the complex licensing around the GPL, we actually didn't want to do one without the other.

The entire text as well as an MP3 of the conversation can be found on Todd Bishop's Microsoft Blog over at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

View: Neowin Forum Discussion
News source: Todd Bishop's Microsoft Blog

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft upgrades Hotmail storage to 1GB

Next Story

Playstation 3 Launches in North America

79 Comments

View more comments

omg ballmer now if u cant tell us what patented innovations are u talking about then it would be more interesting.

It's all just plain ole fashioned BS. Between Linux and Apple they are seeing a lot of market share. I have always wondered-------------just how much does one need to have, companies, money, does a man and/or a company needs. No one would ever truly admit it. Look just what MS has done over the years, R and D, they have taken and lived off of the tech of others and now want even more.

probably, this is FUD. But why MS paid 440m$, and Novell paid 40m$ to each other? That's a lot of money....

Quote - cpu said @ #15
probably, this is FUD. But why MS paid 440m$, and Novell paid 40m$ to each other? That's a lot of money....

Well 440m-40m= 400m $

Wouldn't it be much simpler to say: MS paid Novell 400m $ ?

Edited for units : 400 != 400m

I do think that some things in linux kinda behave the same way in windows. But I'd hardly call it a patent violation... some patents are just bulls***, to begin with!

I not a big user of Linux, but I do have it installed on a laptop I have.

The only thing that looks like a Microsoft product is the theme in KDE called Redmond. IF they would actually try to argue one day that the theme is their property and tried to get some money out of it, that would be complete BS and a big joke.

IMHO if they ever came out and said what the infringement is, it would be something to do with the GUI

ZOMG they have their minimize, maximize and close buttons all lined up in the corner 111!!!!111!!!111 OH NOES and they call it Redmond. "y0ur butt0ns ar3 b3l0ng t0 us" ZOMG now they're attacking us OH NOES

I just ignore anything coming out of Ballmers mouth. The guys a complete, psychotic freak that has no clue at all and just rambles about anything. I'm actually surprised he hasn't tried sueing all the companies that make actual windows for our homes.

Quote - NightmarE D said @ #21
I'm actually surprised he hasn't tried sueing all the companies that make actual windows for our homes.
.

LMAO dont give him any ideas

Quote - badazzEVO8 said @ #21.1
.

LMAO dont give him any ideas

MS already did try to patent the word Windows and claim exclusivity.

Quote - NightmarE D said @ #21
IMHO if they ever came out and said what the infringement is, it would be something to do with the GUI

Disagree entirely - almost certian to be IP concerning filesystems (FAT etc...) and IP concerning other such components. Unlikely in extreme to involve straight GUI design.

M$ is only going to get worse, now that monkey boy Ballmer is running the whole show.

MS is ****ed because they got snubbed by Red Hat, I can only hope that Red Hat & Oracle can form a partnership.

Quote - clonk said @ #23.1
Um, you do realize that Steve Ballmer has been the CEO of Microsoft for almost seven years?

He was CEO in name only. Chairman Gates still ran the show, and everyone knows this. Ballmer's dog-eat-dog "It's all about the stockholders" attitude is going to run MS into the ground.

Ballmer is a disaster and has seriously damaged the credibility of Microsoft; in an age where image is so important it seems ludicrous to have a lunatic like him setting the tone for the company.

Microsoft has been thinking about .NET and exchange on linux for a long time. Couldn't find the stuff to post some good references. But i sware i saw it in PC Mag around the .NET 1.0 alpha / exchange 2000 coming of age. Im sure they droped the .NET idea once MONO started to do the work for them.

lol... I love it when everyone starts arguing over something no-one even knows hardly anything about. They havent released any details of whats been taken and already everyone has sided with one company.

Why are they just now coming to realise this? You can't tell me MS doesn't know about patent/intellectual infringements?!!

Commenting is disabled on this article.