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