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Microsoft Linux Business Patents

Xandros CEO Doesn’t Agree Linux is Patent Violator 156

Posted by Zonk
from the on-the-up-and-up dept.
whitehartstag writes with a link to a Network World article about statements from Xandros in the wake of their Microsoft deal. Xandros CEO Andreas Typaldos made a point of stating that they don't believe their product violates any of Microsoft's patents. Nor, he said, did the software giant share with them exactly which patents they believe Linux violates. Just the same, he's disappointed with the reaction they've received from the open source community. "Feedback from the Linux community has been on the order of 'you shouldn't really be talking to the devil.' Linux and open-source advocates believe it is a big issue and say the Xandros deal, and another signed by Novell with Microsoft last year, erodes open source licensing provisions especially around intellectual property issues. Indeed, the Free Software Foundation is rewriting its GNU General Public License (GPL) 3.0 to prohibit such patent deals in the future."
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Xandros CEO Doesn’t Agree Linux is Patent Violator

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  • by toby (759) * on Friday June 08, 2007 @05:01PM (#19444157) Homepage Journal

    Future submitters, just keep this text on hand the next time some idiot signs a deal with Microshaft:

    $COMPANY made a point of stating that they don't believe their product violates any of Microsoft's patents. Nor, $COMPANY said, did the software giant share with them exactly which patents they believe Linux violates. Just the same, $COMPANY is disappointed with the reaction they've received from the open source community.

    It's almost beyond belief that these guys keep giving the community a great big "FUCK YOU", and yet are always surprised when we don't welcome them as liberators, with flowers and open wallets.

    • Typaldos says that was the genesis of Monday's deal with Microsoft that covered interoperability and IP licensing and included "covenants" to protect customers using Xandros software from any potential patent-infringement claims from Microsoft.

      It looks like this company is actually helping the community. They're eliminating the fear that if their product is used, they, the customer, won't have to worry about the big bad MS coming after them. After all, wasn't this the exact same issue that kept folks from

      • You must be new here. Anything that suggests Microsoft is doing something good is immediately shot down. Considering the symbol for Microsoft related stories is a picture of Bill Gates' face covered in Borg parts, I'm not surprised.
        • by Kadin2048 (468275) * <slashdot.kadinNO@SPAMxoxy.net> on Friday June 08, 2007 @05:37PM (#19444719) Homepage Journal
          Anything that suggests Microsoft is doing something good is immediately shot down.

          I fail to see how "pay us and we won't crush you" qualifies as 'doing something good.'

          By that metric, the Mafia must be the best guys ever! All they want is your money, and they'll be ever so nice to you.

          • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward
            Mafia Enforcer: Hello sir! Give me your money and I'll be your bestest friend 4 evar!
            Linux Distributor: What if I don't want to be your friend?
            Mafia Enforcer: I'll break your fucking thumbs.
          • There's a subtle difference between the Mafia and Microsoft lately :
            - Mafia ask only money for protection.
            It's a one way transaction.
            Also note that the Mafia is known to have really attacked non paying victims.

            Microsoft usually make a two way transaction :
            - You pay us and we promise we won't crush you for reasons that we can't even show, but believe us there are 253 of them.
            - We pay you a big wad of cash and you'll work with us on interoperability (so we'll have some proof to show the EU ? or so they want t
            • That's like Microsoft making billions from destroying countless innovative corporations and personal developers' projects, then having Mrs. Gates give away money and getting people to call Bill a philanthropist.

              Wait a minute. . .
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ozmanjusri (601766)
            I fail to see how "pay us and we won't crush you" qualifies as 'doing something good.'

            It's not quite that simple. What Microsoft is doing is establishing a base of transactions for the underlying concepts used in FOSS projects, so they can take the projects from the community.

            The free software community works on a non-transactional basis. There's an expectation of delayed gratification from many contributors. For example, I write tools for my field, but I'm a poor coder. I taught myself programming out

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by thegnu (557446)
              I must admit I kind of think you're high. But then maybe it's just me.
            • Note how these deals are being made with commercial Linux vendors. And only the ones that have not made a success of it financially. Red Hat isn't interested. And Microsoft either isn't approaching developers directly or they're not interested either.

              Microsoft wants one thing out of all this patent nonsense - for Linux to no longer be considered viable as free beer software. For them, that's the driving force behind all of these deals. They don't really care about interoperability, but they don't mind
        • Oh, Give me a freaking break "Anything that suggests Microsoft is doing something good is immediately shot down."?

          I am one of many /. readers that would love to jump up and down praising MS (or any other vendor) for doing good. The problem is that so few do "good". MS in particular has kept a smile off my face much longer that and human should let a corporation affect them. It is just as a developer who uses the products on a semi regular basis, I can't totaly escape (yes, I even have a MSDN sub).
      • by kebes (861706) on Friday June 08, 2007 @05:22PM (#19444491) Journal

        It looks like this company is actually helping the community. They're eliminating the fear that if their product is used, they, the customer, won't have to worry about the big bad MS coming after them.
        I guess the problem is that different people have different definitions of 'the community.' Xandros (and you) seem to think that 'the community' is "Xandros and their customers." Whereas others think that 'the community' is "the developers and the users of the software" (and note that those "users" may or may not be Xandros customers).

        So, in effect, Xandros is making a deal that puts their 'community' above the community at large, whereas I would argue that the intent of the GPL in general, and the open-source developers that use it, is to create something that the wider community (all developers, all users, including Xandros and their customers) will ultimately benefit from.

        I think that as long as companies like Novell and Xandros keep thinking of the community of only being made up of their paying customers, they are missing the point of free software and ultimately will be missing out on the crucial developments that they require to maintain profitability.
        • others think that 'the community' is "the developers and the users of the software" (and note that those "users" may or may not be Xandros customers).,p/>

          But doesn't anything that hurts Xandros' customers also hurt the community as you defined them?

          • Re: I disagree (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Dolda2000 (759023)

            But doesn't anything that hurts Xandros' customers also hurt the community as you defined them?

            Be that as it may, you may notice that noone has yet (to my knowledge, at least) been hurt from Microsoft's patent threats. However, the very act of Xandros and Novell signing this deal with Microsoft very much hurts the community at large. Not only does it seems to lend credence to Microsoft's claims, but even worse: It essentially enforces the Microsoft tax even on Linux sales! It means that Microsoft still get

            • I don't know if I just didn't read enough fine articles or what, but I'm still not sure what this hush-money is actually FOR. I know what kind of net affect it's having on opinion (though openSUSE is still doing pretty well on distrowatch's [slashdot.org] HPD ranking), but I don't know why the money is changing hands. One /. post indicated that the newest release of SUSE didn't have some of the features that we all figured were now covered by protection money.

              This new activity makes me very nervous. Like a known enemy
        • I think that as long as companies like Novell and Xandros keep thinking of the community of only being made up of their paying customers, they are missing the point of free software and ultimately will be missing out on the crucial developments that they require to maintain profitability.

          It goes a little deeper than that for me. Myself and many fellow Xandros users spent hours helping each other out and paying Xandros for their distro in the perhaps naive belief that we were helping make Linux profitabl

          • by mrbcs (737902) *
            Agreed. They also show us their true colors by making it so Xandros won't work with Debian sources. When they turned into the Microsoft of Linux I dumped em too.

            Version one would install almost anything from debian sources. In version two, Xandros would scream and holler and then finally screw up totally if I tried to install kpackage. I was not happy... I wanted it so I could install BZflag. Kpackage was normally like a 1 meg install... damn thing... installed for almost an hour then screwed up half of X

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Ragingguppy (464321)
          Yeah I agree. These guys don't see the damage that they are doing by signing such a deal. They are giving Microsoft legitimacy to bully people in the community. The companies of Xandros, Novell and LG will never be free of Microsoft who provides them with no benefit when it comes to the Linux Community if they keep doing this. I guess they don't realize that what the community is fighting for is ultimately better for them then what Microsoft is offering.

          The reality is that software patents are bad for the
      • After all, wasn't this the exact same issue that kept folks from adopting Linux when the whole SCO thing was just getting started because they were afraid, and rightfully so, that SCO would come after them?

        No. Ever since SCO first started talking, Linux has never stopped gaining market share.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by RLiegh (247921) *
          >No. Ever since SCO first started talking, Linux has never stopped gaining market share.

          That is a trend I'm sure the market will correct now that Microsoft has begun to assert its' right to protect its' investment in its' intellectual property.

          It will be interesting to compare Windows Server market share versus Linux market share a year from now.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by drinkypoo (153816)

            It will be interesting to compare Windows Server market share versus Linux market share a year from now.

            It sure will, given that at least up until this whole thing began (I don't have stats for after it) Linux was the only operating system gaining market share, though Windows was mostly holding. This is because Linux takes more seats away from Legacy UNIX than it does from Windows.

            Frankly I think that the whole patent flap will have little to no effect on Linux adoption.

            • by dgatwood (11270)

              Nah. Apple has been slowly gaining market share for a while, so Linux isn't the only OS gaining market share.

              • He's probably talking about servers, given that he responded to a post about Windows Server and was mentioning Legacy Unix. And who the fuck buys an Apple server? I know they offered one as a testbed for OS X but the server is one place Apple has never really tried to get in on.
                • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                  by dgatwood (11270)

                  They're pretty popular for people who run computer labs full of Macs (schools, for example). The netboot and ARD stuff makes it much easier to install new machines, distribute cloned images to their drives remotely (or remove the hard drives entirely and netboot them all), set up network home directories and domain-wide login accounts, etc.

                  That said, you're right that Apple has never really pushed the enterprise server market.

      • It looks like this company is actually helping the community. They're eliminating the fear that if their product is used, they, the customer, won't have to worry about the big bad MS coming after them.
        You are exactly right. The customer won't have to fear that MS is coming after them, they will know it for a fact
      • In the end, they aren't helping anybody. They are, in effect, affirming all the FUD that MS has generated about Linux violating their software patents. The community can potentially get screwed over because anyone not using Novell or Xandros are then subject to lawsuits.
      • by walterbyrd (182728) on Friday June 08, 2007 @07:15PM (#19445777)
        Just the opposite.

        Msft wants the public to believe that *only* novell and xandros can be used without fear. Where does that leave redhat, which has about 75% of the enterprise market? Or Debian, or Ubuntu, or Mandrake, or Slackware?

        The very fact that these deals are made makes Linux look dirtry - which is of course the idea. These companies take msft fud money to help msft imply that linux is a legal mine-field.
      • by burnin1965 (535071) on Friday June 08, 2007 @07:23PM (#19445829) Homepage

        They're eliminating the fear that if their product is used, they, the customer, won't have to worry about the big bad MS coming after them.

        And exactly what is the Xandros product? Just an FYI, Xandros does not own linux, they distriute linux which is licensed to them by the owners of the copyrights under the GPL. The Novell and Xandros deals are BS because they are linux distributors and at best a small player in the development of linux.

        From the base of the kernel source code I ran an egrep -ir "Xandros" * | egrep "Copyright" and came up with nothing, for Novell there was only one. If you try something like "Red Hat" or "IBM" or "Hewlett" you come up with a list of multiple copyrights.

        So is Microsoft signing a deal with Xandros to not go after their customers for the services that Xandros provides? Its definitely not for any Xandros intellectual property.

         

        wasn't this the exact same issue that kept folks from adopting Linux when the whole SCO thing was just getting started because they were afraid, and rightfully so, that SCO would come after them?

        It is the same issue, both are based on posturing rather than facts, linux adoption did not stop, and there was no reason to fear The SCO Group unless you were a previous customer of the original SCO. The SCO Group professed loudly the same threats in the press but in the end they didn't go after a single linux user, they went after their own customers who did business with them in the past.

        So if The SCO Group is any hint of what will happen its likely the people who are signing deals with Microsoft are the ones who will get screwed.
      • Not quite... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Eric Damron (553630) on Friday June 08, 2007 @08:58PM (#19446643)
        "They're eliminating the fear that if their product is used, they, the customer, won't have to worry about the big bad MS coming after them."

        No, they're trying to create fear that Linux contains their IP. They want to eliminate all free as in beer versions of Linux. This is just step two of their plan. The SCO litigation was step one.
        • by Dan Ost (415913)
          I think that Linux and the Linux community have been made stronger by the whole SCO fiasco.

          Let's hope that phase 2 of Microsoft's plan is equally successful.
    • by RevHawk (855772) on Friday June 08, 2007 @05:16PM (#19444391)
      "We're dissapointed in the way the community is handling this..." Here's a note for you Xandros & Co. - The community owes you nothing. Not dignity. Not respect. Nothing. The community continually develops and improves a product for free - you take it, modify it, and profit from it. Without them your business doesn't exist. Stop complaining. Communities are fickle.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "It's almost beyond belief that these guys keep giving the community a great big "FUCK YOU", and yet are always surprised when we don't welcome them as liberators, with flowers and open wallets."

      Why shouldn't Xandros?

      Some guys on Slashdot wrote a few +5 Insightful posts like yours?

      In the end the open source world will fall all over themselves trying to prove just what a 'reasonable' bunch of people they are and 'look for the good side of the deal' and spout drivel like 'you know, Microsoft isn't ALWAYS evil
      • by toby (759) *
        'you know, Microsoft isn't ALWAYS evil'

        I never said anything like that! Check my posting history if you don't believe me, kthxbai
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by wwrmn (42399)
      There's 2 ways to look at it that I see:

      1) They're buying 'insurance' so they won't get out-lawyered and sued out of existence by an 800 pound gorilla in the future, a gorilla that out foxed the US Justice Department IMO, and did it while the *rest* of the US government was still paying them money ass over tea kettle to do it.
      2) They're paying 'protection money', like insuring your store from the mob and an 'accidental' burning.

      There's probably more I haven't thought of, and while I don't agree with their d
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by HermMunster (972336)
        Microsoft does not seek to indemnify the Linux industry. It does not seek to indemnify Novell nor Xandros, nor LG, nor any other. It seeks to divide. By dividing they conquerer. If they can cut into the unified front they'll have a greater chance of winning against some or many. The companies that enter such agreements should be shunned as entities within the Linux industry. They should be considered non-entities and not part of Linux. They should not be allowed to continue to distribute Linux in any
    • these guys keep giving the community a great big "FUCK YOU"

      I suspect that, like with Novell, the deal is that a struggling company takes a big pay-day from Microsoft without doing anything. I hereby dub my copy of Fedora 7 as Citizen of Earth's Linux Distribution, Release 1.0 and indicate to Microsoft that I am open to accepting $BOATLOADS from them in an 'interoperability' agreement.

    • If you've looked at Xandros lately you know they are basically trying to be a lesser version of Linspire only they are failing. Xandros is far too restricted in what they produce and how often they do so. The bottom line is that it doesn't take this agreement they've entered into to make the Linux industry resent them. The lack of quality and of product does that itself.

      Why would this guy be disappointed. He knew the overall industry reaction when Novell entered into the agreement. He's simply making
    • Any chance of unplugging Xandros developers from Debian repository access?
  • by CaptainPatent (1087643) on Friday June 08, 2007 @05:07PM (#19444247) Journal
    Until Microsoft actually reveals the patents that are being "violated" it really can't be judged what patents (if any) do and don't violate Microsoft patents. Until this happens, all we are being fed is hearsay and speculation.
    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by WilliamSChips (793741)
      Until McCarthy actually reveals the people in the State department that are "communists" it really can't be judged which people (if any) in the State Department are and aren't communists. Until this happens, all we are being fed is hearsay and speculation.
    • Until Microsoft actually reveals the patents that are being "violated" it really can't be judged what patents (if any) do and don't violate Microsoft patents. Until this happens, all we are being fed is hearsay and speculation.

      Let me fix that for you...

      Until Microsoft actually reveals the patents that are being "violated" it really can't be judged what patents (if any) do and don't violate Microsoft patents. Until this happens, all we are being fed is Fear, uncertainty and doubt.

      There, much better...

    • by rhizome (115711)
      Until Microsoft actually reveals the patents that are being "violated" it really can't be judged what patents (if any) do and don't violate Microsoft patents. Until this happens, all we are being fed is hearsay and speculation.

      Microsoft is the Dick Cheney of the computer industry (and/or Dick Cheney is the Microsoft of politics). There are as many Microsoft patents being violated by Linux as there are WMDs in Iraq. Trust the words of Microsoft at your peril.
    • by pimpimpim (811140)
      Well, that is what fud is, and it is very damaging because shareholders and PHBs tend to pay more attention to million dollar deals being made on this, than on the fact that people on slashdot think it is bullshit. But their plan is amazingly smart. They just don't even sue, as they saw by SCO that this didn't work well. Also, there is no money to gain by sueing. This way they end up weakening the position of linux and actually get paid for it instead of having to pay their lawyers for it. Now the sueing wi
  • by div_2n (525075) on Friday June 08, 2007 @05:07PM (#19444253)
    FTFA: The customer in the market place is dictating what we are doing, not my engineers

    You are using a tremendous amount of software your engineers didn't write. I'd say that inevitably, the authors of that software will dictate what you are doing. You and the customers are just enjoying the ride with their permission. Try to remember that the next time you throw dirt in their eyes--assuming you get that chance.
    • That's the nice thing about free software - everyone is always invited to the party.

      GPL 3 is going to sink such deals, so the outcome is little more than noise and some M$ money in Xandros pockets. Sure I'm disappointed, but I'm not going to let it worry me.

  • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Friday June 08, 2007 @05:08PM (#19444261)
    So you made a deal with Microsoft without even knowing what the deal covers. How dumb is that? Would you ever make a deal with me under those grounds?

    Especially when significant money is involved?

    Are you competent to even run this company?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by QuantumG (50515)
      That's what insurance is.

      Personally, if I could get Microsoft to sign something saying that would never sue me (for anything), I'd find the money somewhere to pay for it. In fact, if I can find someone who will give me a get out of jail free card for any major corporation, I could have a lot of fun :)

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        That's what insurance is.

        How so? If I buy car insurance, I know what risks I am covering: collision, uninsured drivers, etc. If I buy house insurance, I know what risks I am covering: fire, flood, etc. If I buy "Microsoft insurance for Linux", what risks am I covering? Citing "un-specified patent violations" is not good enough, you cannot buy insurance for "unspecified threats", unless it is the mob coming by to compliment you on your car or house and how shameful it would be if something bad happened t

        • by russ1337 (938915)
          I agree. I also notice that insurance companies come looking for more money each term.... how long till microsoft asks for more money? (Just like the mob).

          i.e We won't lawyer up on you (break your knee caps) unless you pay us money... or at least until we want more money.
      • Protection Money (Score:4, Insightful)

        by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Friday June 08, 2007 @11:39PM (#19447827) Homepage Journal
        That's what insurance is.

        The difference between insurance and protection money is that the insurance company isn't threatening to burn down your store.
  • If they don't believe that their product violates any of Microsoft's patents then why did they enter into this arrangement?

    The only reason I can think of is if Microsoft paid them some big bucks like they did with Novell. If this is true then Microsoft appears to be willing to pay through the nose for a FUD campaign.
    • Microsoft certainly has the available cash, the motive (FUD Linux), and no downside - it's not like the Linux community is looking to them for friendship.

      Face it, this is the real face of Microsoft becoming manifest at last. Ignore any "Linux Evangelists" they hire.
  • i expected a list of infringing patents accompanied by a 50-page NDA. you knuckled under in the face of a bunch of hot air.
  • The modern software world is pretty much ruled by GCC. It would be interesting to see what happens when that one's license changes to GPL3.
    • erm... not much

      The output of GCC is still not covered under the GPL, never has been, never will be.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by 2short (466733)
      "The modern software world is pretty much ruled by GCC"

      What color is the sky in your world? GCC is a mighty fine thing, but it's not remotely the only (or even the dominant) compiler out there.

      "It would be interesting to see what happens when that one's license changes to GPL3."

      Why? It won't effect programs compiled by it any more than the current license does. Even in your fantasy-land where GCC is a major player in commercial software development, it going to v3 wouldn't make any difference.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        What color is the sky in your world? GCC is a mighty fine thing, but it's not remotely the only (or even the dominant) compiler out there.

        GCC is however by far the dominant compiler in the Free Software world, and Linux is made of Free Software.

        • GCC is however by far the dominant compiler in the Free Software world, and Linux is made of Free Software.

          It should be noted that the grandparent to your post said the "modern software world" is pretty much ruled by GCC. Not "Free" software. The modern software world.

          Free software is by no means even the majority of the modern software world. By that token, GCC is nowhere close to ruling the modern software world.

          In reality, GCC is basically a bit player in the modern software world. Granted, it's a ve
          • Wonders: what percentage of new code generated over the last three years was Open vs Closed? Does anyone out there estimate this sort of thing for a living?
            • Considering the fact that most companies I've had dealings with keep most of their stuff closed (and this holds true for pretty much all of my friends in the business as well), I'd say the percentage is pretty small.

              Granted, there are a number of companies that sponsor open source projects and quite a few people that work on open source software in their off time (usually as a hobby, to learn a new skill/language, or to scratch their own itches), but I'd say they're heavily outweighed by the places that cre
  • IMHO, Microsoft's patent claims lack merit, for several reasons: prior art; obviousness; and limits on patenting math. Let's turn up the volume on our doubt of Microsoft's claims. Please challenge Microsoft to sue you (yes, you AND your company) by signing this list of 1,395 people who doubt Microsoft's patent claims:

    http://digitaltippingpoint.com/wiki/index.php?titl e=SMFM_list_page_11 [digitaltippingpoint.com]
  • It's a rare company that has survived a close friendship with Microsoft. Still, it's always good to have an example to warn off future companies who think that they can deal with Microsoft as equals.
  • TMBG quote FTW! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by drinkypoo (153816)
    "Can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding" -- Your Racist Friend [lyricsdepot.com] by They Might Be Giants (from the album Flood)
  • From TFA:

    "We did not discuss patents [with Microsoft] and we don't think Linux violates any patents and we were not asked about it," Typaldos said. "It is a non-issue for us."

    ...then...

    "Linux says it does not infringe on patents, Microsoft say otherwise. But customers say let me buy some insurance because if there are any flying sparks I don't want to be caught in the middle of that."

    Typaldos says that was the genesis of Monday's deal with Microsoft that covered interoperability and IP licensing and included "covenants" to protect customers using Xandros software from any potential patent-infringement claims from Microsoft.

    If Microsoft is running around shrieking about patents, and if your customers are demanding you do something because they are feeling vulnerable about patents, and then you strike a deal on that very issue - but don't talk about patents, then you don't know what the hell you're doing.

    This chicanery hasn't yet hit a distro that I use, but it's a trend that really should stop.

    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday June 08, 2007 @05:23PM (#19444501) Homepage Journal

      This chicanery hasn't yet hit a distro that I use, but it's a trend that really should stop.

      It bothers me too, but at the same time we're learning valuable lessons about who we can and cannot trust.

      Everyone who signs one of these agreements with Microsoft simply goes on my "do not buy -- ever" list. And I would assume that many others are doing the same.

      Making these deals now might help them retain or even attract certain specific customers, but in the long run when we are all looking back on this, we'll be avoiding those companies which knuckled under and kowtowed to Microsoft.

      I went with Linux [originally] specifically to get away from Microsoft! It's become my refuge from their incompetence, and I refuse to help anyone who compromises that.

    • by Locutus (9039)
      what would be helpful is a fork of every distro that buckles to Microsofts sweet candy of cash for protection. Also, the public should be told that any distro which co-mingles Microsofts software with its Linux code must be isolated since Microsoft will NOT let Linux exist with Windows. Windows is what makes Microsoft work, Windows is what gives Microsoft control, Windows is what Microsoft has gone out of it's way both legally and illegally for almost 20 years. They will not let Linux users continue to use
  • Didn't this happen at least ten times with SCO?? A company/CEO signs a deal with a very unpopular/hostile to the free/open source movement and the CEO/PHB always manages to be "shocked" by the angry response of the community... Do these guys read anything besides pr0n? The Novell (and reactions from the 'community') deal was front page news... This guy must be looking for a job in the White House
  • ...the signal they are sending to customers and (worse yet) potential customers is what matters...
    ...and that signal is: "Yes we do belive Linux is violating Microsoft's patents."
    Do not sign those deals, Microsoft will kill you wheather you sign or not and you are giving them more ammo to kill you with.
  • Maybe the linux kernel & lots of gnu software does infringe on microsoft patents. That's a very real possiblity, I don't know for sure though. What sucks is that microsoft can hide any patent violations in their closed/hidden source software. Is there a way to force them in court to open it up so third parties can go on a fishing expedition of their code?
  • by jpetts (208163) on Friday June 08, 2007 @05:41PM (#19444787)
    Is it me, or do these companies not see that for the majority of distros these are simply an complex form of suicide?

    It looks as though they get whispered blandishments from MS that this will make them special and unique, and improve their attractiveness to their customers, but all I can see is that a lot of individuals and SMEs will automatically exclude them from consideration as a distro after the deal is inked.

    An alternative interpretation is that the people who sign the deals stand to make $$$ from the deals, and they see that as better than being YALD (Yet Another Linux Distro).

    I'm likely missing something, of course...
  • Defendant: I'm *not* guilty, I totally didn't kill that guy.

    Community: But.. [looks in a the report paper] why did you bought the judge flowers, then bribed her, then threatened her if "she doesn't behave"?

    Defendant: Have you seen her? She's a very hot chick. I just totally dig her. It's got nothing to do with my case. I mean, we all like a hot chick. You gays or something? I'm disappointed.
  • The target that you should be aiming for regarding these patent agreements is not Xandros, or Novell, or even Microsoft. It should be the borked Software Patent laws that you've got in the US. Fix those, and you'll have no need of any patent agreemetns, or any patent clauses in the GPLv3.

    So, where are the details of the letters you're all sending to your Senators / Congress-people? (You ARE sending them aren't you???) Where is the campaign to change the law? If you lot spent half the time trying to amend le
  • I find it amusing and utterly hypocritical that Microsoft is pulling the IP rights trick. They've literally written the book on such maneuvers. I don't think I have to enumerate them here as the audience is probably quite well versed on this. You can basically write the entire NT kernel and Explorer shell from examples garnered elsewhere - open source or not. Good luck on trying to prove this case, btw. IP is literally a galaxies worth of spiderwebs interspersing billions and billions of lines of code
  • Microsoft will soon go "open source" in a more wide way and are just making sure they pre-emptively strike these licensing deals because their code is already full of GNU and BSD code. So all this is just Microsoft covering their hind quarters.
    • by fishybell (516991)
      Oh troll, I know I shouldn't feed thee...

      I assume you meant GPL code, rather than GNU code, as GNU is a set of tools, rather than a copyright license. That aside, five dollars to man who finds me some GPL'd code in any Microsoft product not licensed under the GPL.

      As far as BSD code...so what? It's perfectly legal to take BSD code and put it in a closed-source commercial application. They did just that, but can you blame them? If the code is good, why not include it? That was the spirit in which the BS

    • by heybo (667563)
      Actually their code is full of BSD code. Take a Hex editor and look at ftp.exe. Look at the code in UNIX Services for Microsoft. They have always stolen code.
  • by Blob Pet (86206) on Friday June 08, 2007 @06:06PM (#19445107) Homepage
    When I go to linuxworld at SF in August, I'm going to have so much fun taunting the people running the Novell and Xandros booths.
  • Henry Ford spent a not inconsiderable sum invalidating the patents of one George B. Selden [wikipedia.org], whom many auto manufacturers simply paid off [bpmlegal.com] just to be rid of him. Ford correctly foresaw the legal and financial troubles that would pursue him were he to simply pay off Selden, and beat him even though it meant spending a sizeable amount of money and despite the fact that there was only a year left on the patent at the time Ford finally won in appeals court.
  • And in response to the ceo's statements the linux community responded with "Who the fuck is Xandros? I mean does anyone actually use this distro".
      • "Xenu" is the name of the alien overlord that caused all of the problems that Scientologists claim to fix with their "tech".

        However, it is interesting to note the methods used by Microsoft seem to match what L. Ron Hubbard said was the way to deal with critics of Scientology. First off, you accuse them of various crimes or violations. Then, when accused, one announces publicly that they welcome an investigation of their critics.

        So, to hammer the comparison home with a tac-nuke, Microsoft accuses various Lin
  • One Day They Came... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cmarkn (31706) on Friday June 08, 2007 @09:59PM (#19447131)
    First they came...
     
    First they came and they took Novell
    And I said nothing because I did not use SuSE
    Then one day they came and they took the people of the Xandros faith
    And I said nothing because I had no faith left
    One day they came and they took LG Electronics
    And I said nothing because I had no Xbox
    One day they burned Open Office.org
    And I said nothing because I was born to use Emacs
    Then one day they came and they took me
    And I could say nothing because I was as guilty as they were
    For not speaking out and saying that all men have a right to freedom
    On any land
    I was as guilty of genocide
    As you
    All of you
    For you know when a man is free
    And when to set him free from his slavery
    So I charge you all with genocide
    The same as I
    One of the 18 million dead Jews
    18 million dead people
    -- from Charles Mingus, after Martin Niemöller
    • by Wudbaer (48473)
      To even relate some (admittedly shady) license deals between some minor Linux player and MS with the Holocaust or genocide in general is not only somewhat tasteless but impossible to take seriously. If some people around here wouldn't be such drama queens and take themselves and their movement much too seriously it would make it easier for them not to be taken for some nutjobs in the non-technical world (which has to happen if you ever really want to make a change in patent law and how MS and its deals are
  • by Gutboy (587531) on Friday June 08, 2007 @10:06PM (#19447193)
    From the article: "Indeed, the Free Software Foundation is rewriting its GNU General Public License (GPL) 3.0 to prohibit such patent deals in the future." GLP 3.0 does no such thing. What it does is extend any such patent protection deals to all users of the GPL 3.0 software, not just the group that made the deal.
  • no suprise (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jakeroberts (1113299)
    Hello, it only helps to prove that Bill is starting to worry a little more about Linux Now that it is becoming competitive. Also, they are using a well known strategy by attempting to coerce and subdue and enemy they can't beat outright. Rome wasn't deposed by any mighty army but instead consumed from within by people who didn't care about Rome at all. All Microsoft has to do is screw Linux up enough to make the average desktop user sensitive to FUD and they will have snuffed the Linux revolution from wi
  • by ylikone (589264) on Friday June 08, 2007 @10:45PM (#19447455) Homepage
    It was nice knowing you. Too bad that a single bad management decision killed you. Bye bye now.
  • This cruisade seperates the wheat from the chaff in the Linux world, and makes it clearer to all what MS has become.(sadly)

    When the moral decay and corruption breaks through the glossy corporate veneer, we finally have to address what they really are, this is a good thing!

  • "In the last six months, we have been delivering BridgeWays and the focus is to tell customers, who really do not want to be boxed into Windows or into one version of Linux, that they have freedom of choice. And to manage all of that stuff, they don't need to learn a different product every time," said Typaldos.

    Just how can I be Linux locked in? Their all free. If I don't like one I wipe it out download another distro and load it. Yes where I work as Senior Engineer of a data center we use only one dis

FORTRAN is a good example of a language which is easier to parse using ad hoc techniques. -- D. Gries [What's good about it? Ed.]

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