Linux Foundation Prepares For Microsoft's Legal Action

Executive Director of the Linux Foundation, Jim Zemlin, has chosen his words carefully when asked what the thinks of Microsoft declaring that 235 of its patents are violated in some form of open source code. He notes that a critical review of Windows code would show that it can be claimed to violate other vendors' patents as well. "If you use Windows, Solaris, [IBM's] AIX or any similar operating system, you have the same patent infringement risk as using Linux. Microsoft should be careful of what it starts because it doesn't know where it will end. Who are they going to sue? Companies will not continue to do business with suppliers who sue them," said Zemlin.

Zemlin noted that Microsoft continues to decline to name the patents allegedly violated, which would let knowledgeable opinion to assess its claims. The software giant also may have never tested its patents in court. "Claiming violations of untested patents is a lot different from claiming violations of court tested patents. Look at SCO or any other patent troll out there. It's nutty to think you can sue your customers and keep their business," he notes. Zemlin believes the Microsoft statements are meant to preserve Microsoft's Windows and Office desktop monopolies, "the greatest cash cow ever created". By keeping as many people as possible for considering alternatives, Microsoft is protecting a business that yields $1.5 billion a day to its coffers, Zemlin says.

News source: InformationWeek

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Microsoft is protecting a business that yields $1.5 billion a day to its coffers, Zemlin says.

Wow that was deep. He says that as if he is revelaing something that is a secret. Of course MS is protecting their cash cow. Zemlin is obviously protecting his. News?

I'm not quite positive on this BigBoy, but I am fairly certain the wages are quite different from Linux to Microsoft. Maybe you should perhaps think about the term "free open source operating system" for a second. Trust me, if you look at it long enough, you'll get it.

Also, how exactly is he saying it as if it's a "secret"? He just threw it out there. That's it.

come on MS, lose all your `unprized` customers and go bankrupt. I hope they lose all investors and all people that buy stuff from them. They are the darth vader of the world and they publish crap and demand money for the crap
why cant ms be the biggest business idea flop ever !? :(
all they ever do is moan that they dont own 100% of everyone

nothing like cheering for the runining of several thousand people, and probbly several hundred thousand more second hand, because you don't like the way a company does business.

n_K said,
come on MS, lose all your `unprized` customers and go bankrupt. I hope they lose all investors and all people that buy stuff from them. They are the darth vader of the world and they publish crap and demand money for the crap
why cant ms be the biggest business idea flop ever !? :(
all they ever do is moan that they dont own 100% of everyone

This would be the greatest thing in technology history since 1985. Microsoft is trying to control people and tell them what they can and cannot do on their computer. I can't even name everything Microsoft is doing to try to control their users.

MS must have fired up the latest UBUNTU release and started panicking. UBUNTU is 1-2 release cycles away from being a serious contender for everyday Desktop usage, and is capable of giving the user better eye candy than Vista without the need for new hardware

z0phi3l said,
MS must have fired up the latest UBUNTU release and started panicking. UBUNTU is 1-2 release cycles away from being a serious contender for everyday Desktop usage, and is capable of giving the user better eye candy than Vista without the need for new hardware :)

you took the words right out of my mouth. Did I mention I'm phasing out windows by the day. I tried ubuntu last week and now I'm loving it.

I don't think Ubuntu has anything to do with this, and I find it quite funny people think it does. I love Ubuntu personally, but its far from perfect. In fact there's a nice kernel bug in Feisty Fawn that prevents wireless devices connecting (posted my logs on Launchpad), which renders it useless as a laptop OS for now. For all the stick Windows Vista seems to be getting (unsurprisingly) from the Linux community, it doesn't have any show stopping bugs such as this.

I also don't see how eye candy will have any bearing on the desktop market. Having tried both Beryl and Aero quite a bit, I know which one allowed me to be more productive (Aero), and for me this will be the major selling point to the consumer. Microsoft are selling Windows Vista on the use of Aero in your day-to-day computing productivity, whereas Beryl is being sold as a way of making purdy on screen effects, which for the most part are irrelevant to productivity (although I'm not denying that some of its functions are useful, thumbnails, expose etc).

I wish Ubuntu the best of success with their Dell deal, but honestly that has bugger all to do with this ongoing patent squabble and its silly to pretend it does.

ziadoz said,
I also don't see how eye candy will have any bearing on the desktop market

Tell Microsoft. Anyway, I've been watching Linux, and it's progressing nicely. But I think it'll be about 2 years before we can see a major impact with a Desktop Linux distro.

Mike Frett said,

Tell Microsoft. Anyway, I've been watching Linux, and it's progressing nicely. But I think it'll be about 2 years before we can see a major impact with a Desktop Linux distro.

I 100% agree.

People that are saying that Ubuntu is a replacement for Windows for an average Windows user, today - are fooling themselves. And yes, I have tried it.

I agree, one has to question Microsoft's motives as always.

Despite their apparent monoploy, it takes an enorous effort to keep this house of cards from collapsing and Microsoft must surely feel that it has to try and counter the threat from Linux, however large or small (depending on your point of view). One such way is to make unsubstantiated claims that a competing product or service somehow infringes copyright, and the purpose of making such claims can only be to cast a shadow of doubt over the competition in the hopes that this somehow undermines their position.

Whoever said Microsoft play fair... :suspicious:

A $50 Billion cash rich "pack of cards"! It's not Microsoft that is about to collapse it's the US Dollar. Put Amero into Google!

So then it will be time to drop windows and LINUX.. (I'll never drop linux off the system anyway)
MAC need to use this issue to get more sales....

it is told before;
didn't bill gates stole the windows OS he hardly created himself from a professor? end 80's begin 90's???

I think Microsoft is just more and more pushing to the Imperialism of the windows OS. the will and can't use a OS that is free... the want to conquer..


Not likely. Windows existed before 'end 80s begin 90s' so I don't think so.

I still can't see why Microsoft goes on claiming an X number of infringements, but never openly threats for legal action. I mean I *do* see why (FUD), but so does anybody else with half a braincell. It gets old and utterly boring listening to a 3 year old claiming that evil-doers stole its candy.

Gates "borrowed" i think they actually did pay some rediculously cheap price for DOS from xerox i think and copyrighted it. the true start of MS. and he was actually incredibly smart, he did know a little about computers when he stole oops "borrowed" i mean bought the code think it was late 70's early 80's it's on the net you can look it up if yor that interested.

They are a business and want to make money for their shareholders, i say don't blame MS blame the share holders for wanting more and more money

for more info
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_th..._user_interface
http://www.networkcomputing.com/showArticl...cleID=174400221

A. Kaladis / nw_raptor said,
I still can't see why Microsoft goes on claiming an X number of infringements, but never openly threats for legal action.

Aside from FUD.... several major Linux distributors have been gathering patents that Microsoft is assumed to have infringed upon.
As of right now, if Microsoft threatens to take things to court, several Linux vendors apparently have obtained enough patents themselves, that they could turn around & go after MS for the same thing. It's basically a stare-down at the moment.

whocares78 said,
Gates "borrowed" i think they actually did pay some rediculously cheap price for DOS from xerox i think and copyrighted it. the true start of MS. and he was actually incredibly smart, he did know a little about computers when he stole oops "borrowed" i mean bought the code think it was late 70's early 80's it's on the net you can look it up if yor that interested.

They are a business and want to make money for their shareholders, i say don't blame MS blame the share holders for wanting more and more money

for more info
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_th..._user_interface
http://www.networkcomputing.com/showArticl...cleID=174400221

Get your facts straight. DOS was purchased by Gates and Paul Allen from Seattle Computer Products, so it wasn't stolen, it was purchased.

Xerox then came up with the idea of a "GUI" and decided not to patent it because they are idiots, so Gates saw this as an opportunity. Call it smart, call it great money, but it isn't stealing.

It's FUD to cause uncertainty in using the Linux operating system.

Microsoft has claimed this some year(s) before, and nothing more came out of it.

If they're serious about this, they need to at least claim what they're having problems with, but I doubt they'll do even that, because it's not in their interests to assist the Linux developers in working around anything in grey areas. That would remove a target Microsoft currently has to build up FUD among Linux users. Microsoft more wants to keep that in place than having any software patents untouched.

Its just propaganda.
Marketing.

When microsoft forget this every noob arround there will be still thinking "linux cheat over MS".
Is that what they want.

*sighs*

Microsoft didn't even threaten legal action. If someone being interviewed about the current OS market and it's history mentions the patent issue (and an offshoot of that the number of patents Linux violates) I'm guessing they've been well aware of these violations for a long time. They didn't threaten legal action, they didn't even HINT at asking for royalties. They made a statement (that was probably true, and probably has been true for over a decade) and moved on.

Microsoft has had a lot of problems with people suing them over pointless/vague software patents, and the other companies losing, they're not dumb enough to blunder ahead with their own rounds of doing the same to a faceless cosmogonists evangelical community that is "Linux." It just wouldn't fit in their bottom line.

And instead of, ya know, being logical about this and figuring out that if Microsoft was going to move on the issue, they'd have picked a much better starting point then some story completely unrelated to the issue at hand to "bring it to the attention" of the public at large, we've got the evangelicals screaming the end of days for the anti-Christ that is Microsoft, and damning non-borgian-clones as sheep, stupid and blind for daring to chose a life other then the one they preach.

This is a complete non-issue that ALL sides involved are using as a soap box to shout at a brick wall. The tech community jumping on Microsoft/rushing to air the myopic views of the Linux community just shows how few people actually read the story originally quoted.

billyea said,
I agree fully and would like to add that software patents as a whole are a load of crap.

Unless you are making shed loads of money out of someone else's idea, then it's different. "Follow the money"

Rolith said,
They didn't threaten legal action, they didn't even HINT at asking for royalties. They made a statement (that was probably true, and probably has been true for over a decade) and moved on.

You clearly haven't been paying attention the past few years... both sides are essentially gearing up for war. That by no means a "war" is eminent, because both sides could face tremendous losses in such a battle, but we're still headed in that general direction at the moment.

As for not hinting at royalties, they've not only hinted at it, they've already gone down that road, as Novell will make running royalty payments to Microsoft based on a percentage of its revenues from open source products. Novell also benefits from that deal.... but the end result was that Microsoft added more to their arsenal by trumpeting, "See, Novell has admitted Linux IP infringement."

Microsoft doesn't need to publicly state the threat of legal action because it's already a given that is on the table. That doesn't mean they are ever going to act on those threats, as there are still hundred of hours of negotiations to be held behind closed doors... but thing could indeed get nasty before the dust has settled.

D-M said,
Sue who? The code? :P

Exactly. That cant sue individuals. This means IBM will get into it also, and we all know MS is infringing upon MANY IBM patents. Its either going to be very bloody, or, if microsoft is smart, will be dropped immediately.

btw... didnt MS specifically say several months ago (at the time of the Novell merger) that Linux did NOT infringe upon any patents? I think they're all smoking crack over there.

Robgig1088 said,
btw... didnt MS specifically say several months ago (at the time of the Novell merger) that Linux did NOT infringe upon any patents? I think they're all smoking crack over there.
I'm 95% sure they claimed what they did now and that was that they were in infringing on them.

Robgig1088 said,

Exactly. That cant sue individuals. This means IBM will get into it also, and we all know MS is infringing upon MANY IBM patents. Its either going to be very bloody, or, if microsoft is smart, will be dropped immediately.

btw... didnt MS specifically say several months ago (at the time of the Novell merger) that Linux did NOT infringe upon any patents? I think they're all smoking crack over there.

The patent war is all but over and MS doesn't nor will "drop" anything. If MS wanted to they could drag Linux Corp and IBM through court for years with no trouble and when it's all said and done, both companies will be crippled, if not destroyed.

Incase you forgot, MS has pretty well an unlimited supply of cash at this point in time.

In any event, say bye bye to Linux when this is all over.

Primetime2006 said,

The patent war is all but over and MS doesn't nor will "drop" anything. If MS wanted to they could drag Linux Corp and IBM through court for years with no trouble and when it's all said and done, both companies will be crippled, if not destroyed.

Incase you forgot, MS has pretty well an unlimited supply of cash at this point in time.

In any event, say bye bye to Linux when this is all over.

OK, I don't think you are getting it.
What you say is incorrect about dragging Linux and IBM through the courts and crippling them, if MS tried it, it would be crippled itself, not only is this news story about Linux holding so many patents that it can do the same to MS but also you are vastly under extimating IBM, IBM I think is considered to hold way more patents then MS, if it wanted to I'm sure it could make MS start running scared if it wanted to start a war

That is why Zemlin said MS should be careful what it starts