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Microsoft claims that free software like Linux, which runs a big chunk of corporate America, violates 235 of its patents. It wants royalties from distributors and users. Users like you, maybe.
Microsoft takes on the free world [money.cnn.com]
[edited by: Bluesplinter at 1:34 am (utc) on May 14, 2007]
[edited by: bill at 2:05 am (utc) on May 14, 2007]
[edit reason] tidying up [/edit]
It is not very surprising as it has happened before, companies like Apple, IBM, Intel and Sun have all been taking legal actions against patent violations. If the open source community wants to be a major player they should get used to this kind of stuff.
They also had some rants against the process of patening everything in sight and then using that later for lawsuits as well as venue shopping for patent cases.
I remember a couple of years back M$ was going to start yearly licensing of software instead of the current purchase arrangement. IOW, you would have to pay a yearly fee instead of buying something like office or server 2003 and using it till it no longer works. I was an IT director for a college at the time and Academia started looking seriously at open source. M$ dropped the plan when people started seriously looking at linux and perhaps going to MACs.
Xandros Linux signs up for Microsoft patent protection [vnunet.com]
Microsoft has unveiled a partnership with Linux vendor Xandros that mimics the controversial Novell deal.
Microsoft will provide Xandros users with a patent covenant that protect users of the software from intellectual property claims. Microsoft will provide the patent license directly to the end user, which allows it to circumvent patent licensing requirements in the General Public Licence (GPL) that governs Linux.
The two vendors furthermore said that they will collaborate to improve the interoperability between Xandros and Microsoft software for servers and systems management. Xandros also will join Microsoft in building tools that translate between the Open Document Format and Microsoft's Open XML document format.
I think this is more along the lines of what Microsoft was looking at rather than an all out attack on open source.
Linspire Signs Deal with Microsoft [linspire.com]
In what ways will this agreement offer a "better" Linux experience?
Our collaboration with Microsoft will enable Linspire to bring strong, interoperable solutions to the market, as well as advance office document compatibility, instant messaging, and existing digital media programs. This agreement will offer several advantages to Linspire Linux users not found anywhere else, such as Windows Media 10 support, genuine Microsoft TrueType fonts, Microsoft patent coverage, improved interoperability with Microsoft Windows computers, and so on. (See the press release [linspire.com] for more specifics.) My hope is that this is just the beginning, and in the future we'll see even more collaboration and interoperability between Linux and Microsoft.