Microsoft owns Linux now, Ballmer claims

MICROSOFT'S shy and retiring boss Steve 'there's a kind of hush' Ballmer might be gearing up to take Linux distributors to the cleaners. According to Linux World, Ballmer is whispering to all who can hear that Linux infringes on Microsoft's intellectual property.

Speaking at the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) conference in Seattle, Ballmer said that Vole signed a deal with SuSE Linux distributor Novell because the outfit was using Microsoft's intellectual property. He said that the deal was a way for Vole to get an 'appropriate economic return' for its shareholders from Microsoft's innovation. The statement is the first from Ballmer which places the Novosoft deal in context and indicates what Microsoft might do to try and shaft Linux.

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News source: The Inq

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Quote - Tammm said @ #7.1
Novell being a major player in the Linux market, it makes sense to have someone to sue.

Intellectual property can be virtually anything Microsoft wants. Its so vague that noone can argue whether they are right are wrong. I agree that Linux uses a lot of Microsoft IP, i just fail to see how one company can be held accountable for all of this. Linux is open source?

WHOA!!! Hold on here...

You said that you agreed that Linux uses a lot of Microsoft IP, and then turn around and say that Linux is Open Source?

How about "Open IP appropriation" - or, better yet, "Open IP Theft". You said it yourself right there; that Linux uses Microsoft IP, but Linux uses said IP owned by Microsoft.

That's the final nail in the coffin for Linux if it actually uses Microsoft IP *anywhere* in it.

I wonder what size of coffin it would take to hold "Tux"?

This is a dupe!

The story is commenting on Ballmer's remarks from PASS last week, which were already reported here at the time.

anyone here ever consider that maybe Linux does infringe on MS patents?

I mean, it is possible. Why is everyone so quick to assume that MS is wrong here. I'm sure Suse wouldn't have gone for the deal if there was no basis for it. Maybe someone in MS showed them some code...

I'm not saying MS is right or wrong, just that we don't know. Everyone seems to think they know however.

Happy birthday kiddo and welcome to earth. I suggest you read more about SCO case, search the web about Microsoft's previous accusations without a proof, ... It is mostly Microsoft (Ballmer) who accuses everybody of everything, this is not the first time he claimed this and even last time he didn't prove anything. When they show which code is infriging their IP, the code will be removed from source in a matter of days, it's been done before. The community is asking for details but since they can't show anything, this is obviously another FUD, just to make companies affraid of a lawsuit. It's also funny, when someone else infriges MS's IP, Ballmer wants to throw chairs at everybody and destroy the wrong-doers, while Microsoft has been PROVEN in court to use patented stuff and had to pay huge fines (that's why you still have to click on most flash animations on web for it to start playing in IE). The only reason people are attacking MS for these kind of accusations is because we've all had enough of this crap, enough of Microsoft's dirty ways to destroy competition and enough of their "we own you all" attitude. They are improving though, but Ballmer needs to be replaced with someone who isn't a complete moron/f*ckup.

You just need to read more, not just Neowin (no offence, but this is mainly pro-Microsoft site/community)

anyone here ever consider that maybe Linux does infringe on MS patents?

True. Microsoft has tons of patents, including ones on NTFS. Does the reverse-engineered NTFS module in Linux infringe? It certainly isn't a copy of code, so it isn't a copyright issue, but if the methods match Microsoft's patent(s), it could be a patent issue. Now, are the patents Microsoft holds valid? That would have to be legally tested, should Microsoft want to sue someone, then the patent would have to be gone over and validated by a court of law.

All Steve Ballmer is doing is making vague assertions at this point. He wants the cloud of uncertainty around Linux. He wants businesses to fear possible litigation from Microsoft, should they choose Linux. If he actually had some patents he wanted to address, he would have either demanded that they be removed from Linux, or would have initiated legal action on these.

He's got nothing but a step up in the rhetoric.

suing a non-profit never looks good, if they even try it will end up being negetive PR, which is what SCO realized after their attempt.

Umm... SCO filed suits against IBM, AutoZone, Diamler-Chrysler if I recall correctly. They are not non-profits.

Plus, Microsoft hasn't filed suit against anyone. They entered into a deal with Novell (not a non-profit), and have plenty of businesses they can file suit against, if they like.

typical <snipped>. always looking to get money from something no matter whose rights are at stake. piece of ****.

It amazes me how SCO was from Utah. And Novell is from Utah. What is it about companies from Utah always trying to sc...w everyone?. Anyway if GPL v3 goes into effect then what Novell did will be null and void. I also doubt Baldmer wants to try anything against Oracle, who also distributes Linux. This is all pretty much FUD!!!.

Look, if someone here is near enough of Redmond, would you please drop a whole truck of manure (sh**) in front of their door for me ?

I do think that there's a possibility that linux infringes some patent, since it mimics what one could call "windows behavior". Anyway, I can't tell since I ignore such patents. Plus, Microsoft being the company that patents things such as double click, and FAT32 (even though it's WIDELY extended), you never know.

Quote - DeeJay2 said @ #17.1
Wow, you must be new to computers (a.k.a. a N00b) if you believe MS invented the GUI.

GUI != Windows Behavior. The Apple .vs Microsoft suit years ago killed that horse ten ways to Sunday. You'll have to dig this horse out of it's grave to beat it.

Somebody don't understand the difference into create (or be the first) and patent. Patent is law, it's the first one that claim something and MS with the acquisition of SCO, they owned a lot of new patents... linux use (not own) a lot of patents, so the chance that linux break any patent is really high. For example fat16 and fat32 cases.

So what's happen with Mac?.. They will use BSP a UNIX system, very alike to Linux that is a clone of unix.

So what's happen with Mac?.. They will use BSP a UNIX system, very alike to Linux that is a clone of unix.

I assume english is not your mother tongue. Don't fret, it is not mine either.

But you probably meant BSD. Mac OS X uses a Mach microkernel with parts of FreeBSD, and the FreeBSD userland.

This is an easy one! If true, simply remove the "offending code".

Are we to believe that Linux programmers can't make a better OS without the so called MS code? From what I've seen, they are a global, resourceful and determined group.

I believe an appropriate linux reponse to this would be 'fscking infuriating' (look up fsck before you mod this :P)

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