Microsoft turns into a "big SCO"

    Steve Ballmer ’s notorious speech took place last week at a meeting with financial analysts in New York. A Microsoft executive said the November 2006 agreement with Novell "clearly demonstrated the value of intellectual property, even in the open source world."

    The five-year agreement between Novell and Microsoft involves mutually beneficial cross-platform sales, that is, Microsoft recommends the Suse Linux distribution to its customers who use “mixed” Microsoft platforms and open source. Microsoft annually allocates 70,000 coupons for service support for Novell Suse Linux Enterprise Server. The stock became quite popular and by January 35,000 coupons had been paid off. Major customers include Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, and AIG Technologies.

    An important part of the agreement is the patent cooperation agreement . It turned out that Novell paid Microsoft $ 40 million in exchange for a guarantee of immunity for users of Suse Linux, which may infringe Microsoft patents. Steve Ballmer said then: “Users who use Suse have paid for Microsoft-owned intellectual property. We also want to make deals with Red Hat and other Linux distributors. ”

    The agreement with MS was mixed among the open source community and the Novell staff themselves. The leading programmer even left the company in protest.

    Now, Steve Ballmer has again repeated threats against major Linux developers. According to him, Microsoft may sue them for patent infringement. He said that the company does not expect to earn a lot of money on royalties, but simply wants to do “educational work” so that competitors respect patent law.

    Despite the repeated repetition of threats, however, Steve Ballmer again did not specify which specific Microsoft patents were allegedly infringed by Linux developers. It should be borne in mind that the usual US patents for software are not valid in most countries of the world where software is not patented in principle.

    According to reputable experts, the activities of the notorious company SCO was funded by Microsoft. Since SCO has now discredited itself, the patent activity of Microsoft looks like a continuation of the previous policy on legal pressure on open source developers.

    Also popular now: