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Mandriva Says No to Microsoft Linux Deal 150

Posted by Zonk
from the penguins-on-the-offensive dept.
Kurtz'sKompund writes "French Linux vendor Mandriva said no to dealing with Microsoft on open source patents. They're the third Linux vendor in a week to do so, joining Red Hat and Ubuntu in the 'against' column. TechWorld reports that Mandriva's CEO echoed statements from other open source leaders, saying essentially 'we don't need to pay protection money to do our job.' From the article: 'Jonathan Eunice, an analyst at Illuminata, said Microsoft's deals with Xandros and Linspire don't have the same impact as they would if they had been made with a major Linux vendor such as Red Hat. "I think Microsoft is going to second-tier players, and they're cutting deals with them because they are softer targets," Eunice said.'"
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Mandriva Says No to Microsoft Linux Deal

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  • So.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:21PM (#19597943) Journal
    So all these groups need to do is go "we'll make no deal" and they get free press on a bunch of geek news sites, more support from the community AND they get street cred?

    Wow, who would side with MS when you can get 3 priceless things which your entire business model relies on?
    • Re:So.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by madcow_bg (969477) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:40PM (#19598223)

      So all these groups need to do is go "we'll make no deal" and they get free press on a bunch of geek news sites, more support from the community AND they get street cred?

      Wow, who would side with MS when you can get 3 priceless things which your entire business model relies on?
      Which is very, very good indeed! It shows that the community matters!
    • You forget they also get (possibly but hopefully not) the highest paid lawyers in the world baying for your blood. Even though it's the case is completely baseless, it's still enough to make any geek cry I'd say.

      OJ Simpson anyone?
    • Re:So.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kungfoolery (1022787) <kaiyoung.pak@gmail.com> on Thursday June 21, 2007 @03:00PM (#19598459)

      I'm sure it's a bigger deal than that.

      Undoubtedly, Microsoft is waving a big bag of money in front of these vendors in order to entice them to sign. Turning away a deal with a devil that'll plop you tons of cash in your pocket to help fuel future R&D plus the promise of no future litigation from M$' army of lawyers so you can focus on said R&D might not be as easy to turn away as it seems.

      I will say though, this makes my respect for those vendors who have refused to sign that much greater

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by smilindog2000 (907665)

        I will say though, this makes my respect for those vendors who have refused to sign that much greater

        Agreed. Even further, how many of us now boycott the Linux distros that buckled under M$ pressure? I do, and have steered multiple companies away from Suse already. Xandros and Linspire weren't really on my radar anyway, but now I'll be on the lookout for opportunities to torpedo them. Is there any community group organizing such a boycott?
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          I have my boycott. I refuse to buy microsoft products actually. When my parents got their new(er) used computer the first thing I did was put feisty on it. Also in case anyone is wondering and would like to send a message to Mr Gates his fax number is 425-708-0600. It took some hassle to get it from the receptionist but I got it!
          • Also in case anyone is wondering and would like to send a message to Mr Gates his fax number is 425-708-0600.

            It's so hot and I'm so tired I'd read that you had Mr Goatse's fax number.

            Only on /. would that even make sense.

        • by Camael (1048726)
          Has anyone noticed in the euphoria over distros standing up to M$ that M$ has already won the first round?

          Look what happened :

          - Linux distros stand (more or less) united vs. M$
          - M$ issues FUD over patents
          - Some distros give in and licence with M$
          - Community gets upset with licensed distros and threatens to boycott them.

          So what happens if the community carries through its threat and boycotts Suse /Xandros /Linspire? They may, or may not die. If they die, the pool of competitors against M$ just go
          • by setagllib (753300)
            And if the boycott leads to a mass migration away from Suse + Xandros + Linspire, that's all the more users (and developers developers developers) taking up the properly free distros and giving them mindshare and therefore power. It's not like people ditching Linspire for siding with Microsoft will move to Microsoft itself.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jez9999 (618189)
            But what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. The remaining distroes will think twice before signing any similar deals, if that happens.
          • If the traitor distros die then we all stand united.

            If they don't (and I don't see how they can possibly continue now) they will become increasingly irrelevant.

            The moment MS commits the mistake to sue somebody, these distros would stop receiving any further support form anybody in the Linux world.

            They are a bunch of shortermist @(@!)(@@#!%^#

      • Re:So.. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by bonefry (979930) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @03:36PM (#19598983)

        Turning away a deal with a devil that'll plop you tons of cash in your pocket to help fuel future R&D ...
        You forget that it's the community that does the actual R&D ... and Novell, Xandros and Linspire will feel this when major projects start going GPL3, and they are left behind with old forks that need maintenance.

        That's what happens when you bite the hand that feeds you ;)
      • by CrazedWalrus (901897) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @04:29PM (#19599771) Journal
        ... is one with each other. Some sort of mutual defense agreement. If MS does decide to sue, they should all come to each other's aid. Maybe one company is too small, but the combination of those in the 'against' column might stand a fighting chance.

        They should also highly publicize this agreement. It will go a long way against the MS patent FUD. Actively recruiting players who were not approached, like IBM and Oracle, would go even further.

        In the end, a couple things might happen:

        1. MS doesn't sue, and good PR was had by all (except MS).
        2. MS sues and gets a run for its money. They might even lose, all dollars being equal. Either way, they need to disclose their patents at that point, which ends this particular FUD campaign.


        In any case, mutualy defense is a win for F/OSS.

        • by Xymor (943922)
          An United front against the Empire? Like a 'Resistance'?
          Man, we better start training more Jedis now.

          I remember reading a site with the statistics of foss coders and the contribution of private companies that lead me to believe the majority of code in were written by companies like Sun, IBM, Linux Foundation, Mozilla, Canonical, etc...

          And GP, the private sector must boycott these sellout distro too, otherwise we might see a rush of people seeking safe haven from MS suits(I mean those who bought MS-FUD-
        • by imroy (755) <imroykun@gmail.com> on Thursday June 21, 2007 @05:45PM (#19600947) Homepage Journal

          MS sues and gets a run for its money.

          MS won't risk it. No, the FUD value is *far* more valuable to them. They can scare people away from F/OSS and scare others into making their own deals.

          • If MS does not take any action in enforcing their "patents", then many people would start to question if MS really has anything at all.

            FUD like this is the short term strategy of the technological scoundrel, innovative companies are busy doing actual useful stuff.
        • by Jokkey (555838)

          ... is one with each other. Some sort of mutual defense agreement.

          That's already been done, more or less, with the Linux Foundation [linux-foundation.org] and the Open Invention Network [openinventionnetwork.com]. Groups like Red Hat and IBM are members of both; Novell, somewhat ironically, is even a member of OIN.

      • From the movie Gangs of New York, Leonardo De Caprio's character shares a bit of wisdom.

        "It's a funny feeling being under the wing of a dragon. It's warmer than you think"
      • "Contracts are what you use against parties you have relationships with." - Darl McBride
      • by oztiks (921504)
        It's the case of the hand being bitten by what feeds you. Linux is community based, upset the community and you upset your chief product, The choices made by Novell were done because OpenSuse wasn't their whole hearted asset whereas with RedHat it is, without Linux, RedHat dies.

        At the end of the day Linus has the power to axe certain companies from benefiting from future versions of Linux.

        But bravo and well done to the companies that have said no, at the end of the day its built the computing industry to wo
    • It is better than stealing everyone's IP, claiming everyone is stealing yours, getting street cred, and having press in all the trades and regular news media.
    • I don't think that it is a big deal for *this* particular distribution. Red Hat, yes. But Mandriva is based outside the US (no clue what % of Mandriva Club users are in the States), and has never really recovered the high position it once held. It's like an Ubuntu you pay for.
      • by Nataku564 (668188)
        A few points I feel the need to bring up. First, you don't have to pay for it - just like RedHat, there is paid supported version (with proprietary drivers and stuff), and a free version for everyone else. Second, they money does help. Mandriva's hardware support beats out every other distro I have used. I popped it in my shiny new (formerly windows) dev box, and it recognized everything, installed, and worked. No other distro could do that - generally the display crapped out.
    • So all these groups need to do is go "we'll make no deal" and they get free press on a bunch of geek news sites, more support from the community AND they get street cred?
      These distributions are doing what the commmunity wants, so they get community support. It does seem obvious, doesn't it? Perhaps because it is obvious?

      SHOCKER:When a major distro makes an important decision, it comes up on slashdot.
  • I was afraid everyone was going to cave in to M$.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MollyB (162595) *
      Thank God all you want, but don't forget the brave developers, coders, programmers and others who, collectively, stood up to The Bully.
      They are our liberators, not a Supreme Being (may I be struck dead by lightning if it ain't so)!
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      See..... who said the French are a bunch of spineless, cheese eating, nazi lovers! They may roll over for the Germans but not for the Devil!
      1. Don't mention God. You'll start another flamewar and we'll have to hear about FSM [wikipedia.org] vs Kthulu [uncyclopedia.org] all over again for no good reason because TFA isn't about that. That nonsense is what fark [fark.com] comments are for.
      2. Using M$ for Microsoft is pedantic. Don't do it. Lots of people hate the Beast but like money. Like the devil in old folk tales, don't name them but talk about them less directly. You see how I'm referring to them as if they were the culture assimilating soul destroying Borg without actually saying it?
  • by Urusai (865560) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:25PM (#19598013)
    What does Microsoft think it will get from these deals with distributions? I doubt most of them have patents that can be cross licensed. I gather most patents in OSS are retained by individuals, or by companies like IBM or Sun.
    • by klingens (147173) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:29PM (#19598069)
      They get acknowledgement for their patents. They have proof that people settled for their patents they can show in lawsuits down the line. Now their patents have assigned some value. And those deals won't last forever either:
      Do you think MS still pays money to distros 5,10 years down the line? No, then they want to receive money, at least from the ones still around.

      MS is in for the long haul here.
      • by zCyl (14362)

        Now their patents have assigned some value.

        Err, right. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the true value so far being shown in negative dollars? :) Microsoft had to pay Novell to take the deal, which says their ambiguous patents are more trouble than value. Lawyers fighting future cases will not be blind to this fact.
        • by KarmaMB84 (743001)
          Microsoft simply had to pay more in licensing fees since their revenue is higher.
          • by zCyl (14362)

            Microsoft simply had to pay more in licensing fees since their revenue is higher.

            In the world of reality, I believe this is what we call an excuse. Every so often that world of reality leaks into the legal process and has an impact on it.
      • Could poor vista sales be the reason for Microsoft brandishing vagues patent threats?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by init100 (915886)

          Only Microsoft knows that, but it is a suspicion I've had for some time. Issuing public threats is bad PR, and would only be done in an emergency. If Vista and Office 2007 sales were shooting through the roof, why hurt the company's reputation by starting to make vague threats left and right?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by CastrTroy (595695)
        Who cares if I get people to acknowledge my patents. Does that mean they are valid patents? Would a judge even consider this? I don't see how getting people to pay for licenses for you patents adds any validity to them. Especially when nobody even knows what the patents are.
      • They get acknowledgement for their patents. They have proof that people settled for their patents they can show in lawsuits down the line. Now their patents have assigned some value

        I don't think so. The only thing acknowledged is that Linux vendors are dealing with Microsoft regarding patent issues. You might say that this shows, in some vague way, that Linux vendors believe Microsoft has patents that might be relevant. But which ones are they? A lawsuit would have to specify; but the Microsoft-Linux vend

      • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @03:24PM (#19598799) Journal
        Red Hat and a few other major players have openly contested MSFT's claim that Linux violates its patents. So the value of "Look Ma! These guys agreed and paid me money" argument is very low.

        Further to sustain, "they paid us money" argument, they have to show that these companies paid more to MSFT than the recieved in concurrent deals. Already they can show that it is MSFT that paid Novell and not the otehr way around. They will move for discovery to see what kind of deals it offered to others who signed on. That is a can of worms MSFT would not like to open.

        Further, many open source advocates have openly challenged MSFT to identify the alleged violations and they claim if there were really violations they could work around it easily. By not identifying these patents, Linux advocates could argue that MSFT has abandoned whatever rights it had. In copyrights/trademarks, if a company knows there is a violation of its trademark/copyright and still takes no action, it loses the trademark. This is one argument Linux could make.

        In my opninion, IANAL, the strong, open and vocal dispute over the claims MSFT made over Linux has completely voided any residual "why would they have paid us money if they had not violated my patents?" arguments.

        • by KarmaMB84 (743001)
          IIRC, if any of these companies DON'T deny that the code they distribute is violating patents, the GPL would require them to cease distribution...
        • Patent/copyright infringement does not require the same level of defense as trademark infringement. Really, it doesn't require any, but I think a few patent trolls have been flattened by laches.

          Really, I think the main goal for MS here is to go for a "chilling effect" vice lawsuits. The main targets would probably businesses that are considering a move to Linux, and MS wants to stop them cold with the fear of a patent lawsuit somewhere down the line. Going after distributors is pointless in that regard (and
      • The 3 distro-traitors had at least the decency to say that Linux is not infringing on any patents whatsoever.

        And completely bypassing their worthless opinion in the subject, it is not for them to say or not if there are patent problems, since MS is not telling them what is there and most likely it would not be up to them to fix the problem anyway.
    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:30PM (#19598073) Journal
      It doesn't give a damn about that. It wants, like SCO before it, to have some trophies on the wall, so it can point at them and say "See, these guys think there's a violation of our IP rights going on!" I'm sure they expected guys like RedHat and Ubuntu to tell them to kiss their shiny metal asses, but still, they've got a few, and now they'll milk those PR wins for everything they're worth.
      • by organgtool (966989) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @04:02PM (#19599327)
        Good point. In addition to that, deals like this go further to fragment the growing Linux community. Let's not forget that with contributions such as Xgl, Mono, Beagle, and AppArmor, Novell is no slacker when it comes to Linux development. If the Novell-Microsoft agreement makes Novell unable to release their code under the GPL3 like some people have speculated, that would not only punish Novell but all of the Linux users who could benefit from Novell's projects.
        • Well, to be honest, I think the strategy will be an abject failure. I simply don't think Novell, through its marriage to Microsoft, is going to hurt the Linux community, so much as it's going to slowly drift into irrelevance. My impression from the Open Source development community is that while they like guys like Novell contributing, it's not like Novell is some sort of crux of open source development. Most of the really important projects are not at all reliant on Novell, so I think it's very easy to
        • ... the other distros are more like losing some bad hair frankly, they were bit players and now I hope they go down the drain.
    • It wants stronger FUD mojo...

      Microsoft has got to know that if it really sued for patent infringement it would lose. Any minor infringement that did make it to litigation would be coded out ASAP. They wouldn't get billions and billions of dollars but they would lose their FUD talking points.

      This can be a good thing. We are now separating the distros who have integrity from those that don't.
    • Obviously MS is paying off companies to avoid getting sued in future. Marketing spin is used to make it look like it is the other way around, but if it is unclear, follow the money. MS paid Novell M$40 not the other way around. What exactly it is that MS did that is making them scared of getting sued, I don't know, but it will probably come out in the next ten years or so. I guess they misappropriated a bunch of GPL code and is feeling guilty.
    • by Dcnjoe60 (682885)
      Maybe these specific Linux distributions have patents or rights to something that Microsoft is infringing on. Microsoft could care a less about a few linux distros, even Suse. However, if, in these agreements, it is getting protection from it's own infringement, well, then that's a whole different story.
  • Microsoft's patent threat can only go so far.

    a) Acting out a patent lawsuit against a European company would be an utter political disaster for Microsoft. As soon as MS starts filing patent lawsuits against European companies, the EU will invent a reason to sue Microsoft again and again.

    b) Acting out a patent lawsuit against an American company that is well funded, such as IBM, would be a disaster for the software industry and invite federal involvement, which no one wants.

    c) Microsoft, like many tech companies, has managed to alienate Republican support. Ballmer might be a Republican, but Gates has already said he's, sigh, for the other side. So, I wouldn't expect a great many Republicans leaping to the defense of MS in the event some sort of legal war goes against them. And surely, Democrats aren't exactly going to rush to defend an oligarchical billionaire's company. Microsoft doesn't really have the allies on the hill that it thinks it has, and Republicans remember MS didn't do them any favors after they got a sweetheart anti-trust deal to begin with.

    Bottom line is this: Microsoft's patent threat is a threat only, one that would it be stupid to use, and Linux distros shouldn't be afraid of it.
    • by greg_barton (5551) *

      Microsoft doesn't really have the allies on the hill that it thinks it has...

      Maybe that's why the only cable news network that's listing to the left is MSNBC...
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by aichpvee (631243)
        I think you mean the only cable news network that hasn't listed so far to the right that it's sunk. BTW, last time I heard Bill Gates was a Republican. Is there any evidence that this is no longer the case?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by mp3phish (747341)
          Bill Gates also heavilly donates to the RNC and to republican candidates

          How do you think the political appointment of Ashcroft went through so smoothly and what was the first thing on Ashcroft's agenda? Dissolve the push for a harder MS settlement.
    • by oliderid (710055)
      Microsoft cannot sue any European companies on software patents...Because there is no software patent in Europe (with very few exceptions). Only copyright can prevail in Europe (particularly in the MS case). Thus there is no point for Mandriva to protect itself from a non-existant threat.

  • by John Jamieson (890438) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:31PM (#19598101)
    Way to go Mandriva. This affirms that MS is only able to pick off the weaker/greedier distro's.

    Mandriva/Mandrake has held a place in my heart for a long time. It is up to date, and it has about the nicest install.

    If you are going to give a linux PC to a newbie, they are one of the first I would recommend. They have configuration tools (drake) that are second to none.

    It is a very nice distro, and now with the assurance that we are free from MS worries, I would highly recommend trying it to see if it is the right distro for your friends.
    • by sconeu (64226) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:50PM (#19598333) Homepage Journal
      Been using Mandrake/Mandriva off and on since 2001 (8.1).

      The x.2 and the 10.x (through 2006) were pretty ugly. 2007 and 2007.1 seem to be pretty good.

      Until Ubuntu, MDK had the rep as *THE* newbie friendly distro. The installer is still second to none (with the caveat that it seems to overwrite the MBR with grub even if you tell it to install grub on the root partition instead).
      • by simong (32944)
        Mandrake 10 was appallingly flaky. I could never upgrade a machine with it, just do a clean install, and different parts of the installer failed with different versions on the same machine. I gave up on desktop Linux for a while until Ubuntu matured because of it.
    • Way to go Mandriva. This affirms that MS is only able to pick off the weaker/greedier distro's.

      When in battle, don't you always pick off the low hanging fruit first? It will "strengthen" their position in our corrupt court system when it comes time to take SCO's place in the battle.

  • Who paid whom? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:32PM (#19598111) Journal
    We know that MSFT actually paid Novell to get them. Something like Novell pays X$ to "license" the patent infringing technology from MSFT and MSFT paid Y$ to Novell to distribute some "coupons". Y > > X. May be some other such deals with Linspire and Sandisk/Samsung or whoever else who signed with MSFT.

    Let us not forget. MSFT does have a large war chest, and we cant be sure if it backs up a huge truck load of money on to the driveway of these players, these guys wont have a change of hearts and sing a different tune. So let us not celebrate it too much.

    • Redhat, Ubuntu, and now Mandriva are not just holding out for more money from MS before caving in on the patent threat.

      You can take that to the bank. And celebrate!
      • by drinkypoo (153816)
        I find it highly interesting who has and hasn't caved. RedHat, who arguably gives more back to the Open Source and Free Software communities than any other vendor, told them to go fuck themselves. But then SuSe has given a lot back, too, and they did. Does anyone know of a page that charts relative contributions (hopefully some way better than kLoC, but that would be better than nothing) of different Linux distributors?
        • Between Red Hat and Novell, the deciding factor is likely that Red Hat is profitable and Novell isn't. They couldn't get their Linux business jump-started fast enough to replace the dying NetWare business, and lost money and people. Red Hat's fairly well off (although they're likely in the crosshairs should legal action initiate), and most importantly, so well identified with "FOSS" that a backlash would likely sink them.
        • by schwaang (667808)
          Yeah Novell had financial problems.

          Does anyone know of a page that charts relative contributions (hopefully some way better than kLoC, but that would be better than nothing) of different Linux distributors?

          Jonathan Corbet at LWN has been charting out who contributes patches [lwn.net] to the Linux kernel. It's an imperfect measure and of course doesn't include all the other significant stuff outside of the kernel, but it's kind of interesting if you're into that kind of thing. Among corporations, Red Hat has the mos

    • by rahvin112 (446269)
      Initially Y >> X, but the deal requires yearly payments from Novell for basically the remainder of their existence. In the long term X >>>>>> Y. Sure Novell gets a very much needed cash infusion, but long term they sold their soul to the devil. Those yearly payments to Microsoft are going to get very ugly when/if Novell is low on cash again. You don't ever want to trade a large cash settlement for smaller payments with no end date because the day will come when those payments exceed
  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @02:40PM (#19598209)

    "I think Microsoft is going to second-tier players, and they're cutting deals with them because they are softer targets," Eunice said.

    Let's hope that perception catches on. Only second-tier Linux players go in for a Microsoft deal.

    Want to give everyone the perception that you're one of the major players? Refuse to deal.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by aichpvee (631243)
      Which way to the Microsoft Make a Linux Deal Department? I wouldn't mind the cash or free entry into second-tier Linux distribution status for my umm... Debunhat Enterprise Linux...
  • I hope now that a few distros have stood up, that every other one Microsoft approaches say NO!
    Keep it real, Linux users!
  • by sleekware (1109351)
    This is the best thing that Linux distributions and other oss vendors could be doing - rejecting Microsoft's deals. They are based on F.U.D. and have no basis in fact. That's why Microsoft is so vague about it. F.U.D. is one of Microsoft's main marketing and business tactics.
  • what if (Score:1, Interesting)

    by uglydog (944971)
    Let's just say that MS had something that they could use against Redhat, Ubuntu, and Mandriva. And say MS somehow shut them down.

    Could Linspire (or some other company that did cut a deal) take up the old source code, call it the Enterprise version or something, and distribute it, without worrying about getting sued?
  • The "pay protection money" makes the sweet folks at Microsoft sound like evil mobsters.
  • Since they went with the bizarro agreement in the first place, I guess that makes them the ultimate second-tier vendor.

    Oh, I'm curious about these software patents. Can some one please show me a piece of software?

    I'd like to hold it and examine it.... ...i'm waiting...

  • How many more? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Statecraftsman (718862) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @03:12PM (#19598617) Homepage
    I wonder how many more Linux vendors have to say no to Microsoft before they remember what got them in the position they're in. Didn't they at some point develop and ship software people wanted to use?

    Note to Bill: Fire the lawyers and improve Vista. See the accompanying discussion to this article [slashdot.org] to begin pulling your head out.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Zantetsuken (935350)
      Maybe you still think its just the lawyers influencing these decisions and that Ballmer and Gates still actually would care about the company if "we just swayed them in the right direction" - these decisions would still happen, if not more often and more aggressive attacks against the open source community even without lawyers. Quoting Steve Ballmer off of Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] (and the source from the wiki quote: http://news.com.com/2100-1001-268520.html [com.com])

      He has referred to the free Linux software system as a "[...] ca

  • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Thursday June 21, 2007 @03:38PM (#19599015) Homepage Journal
    http://distrowatch.com/stats.php?section=popularit y [distrowatch.com]
    by happy coincidence, lists 357 distros.
    Redmond has bought off a couple already, and certainly a healthy chunk have a userbase in a low power of two. That leaves a couple hundered in the middle somewhere.
    So the strategy can't be to try to bail out the ocean. Redmond's business acumen is way beyond that.
    I'm thinking that this is all about hedging against further anti-trust litigation:
    "But dad! We played nice with a whole bunch of those kids. That pile of human wreckage over in the corner is just a bunch of lazy whiners."
  • Nice business you have there. It'd be a shame if I started a Linux distro... 300 Million and it won't happen...
  • Go European (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Burz (138833) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @04:49PM (#19600125) Journal
    Novell should move to Europe (where the SuSE distro probably should have stayed, in hindsight) and tear up their MS patent agreement into little pieces.

    Or heck, Red Hat (having rejected MS patents outright) could even go first, with Linus in tow.

    It would make perfect sense if the MS threats weren't also aimed at users.
  • by CodeMunch (95290) on Thursday June 21, 2007 @04:59PM (#19600291) Homepage
    So, MS convinced some sucke...errr..vendors to cough up dough for licensing. If they don't pursue action against those that didn't bend over, how pissed off will those that shelled out $$$ be if others are getting it for free?
  • Jonathan Eunice .. I prefers Leinuce over Eunice.
  • Since Linux can be re-distributed by anybody who wants to, couldn't I grab Debian/Red Hat/SuSe, re-brand it, throw up a website, and write an email to MS claiming they should send me boatloads of cash for a cross licensing agreement?

    If I recall correctly, the MS deals are based on userbase, so I wouldn't have to pay MS very much money, but since their userbase is huge, they'd have to pay me quite a bit.

    Would this work? I don't think MS has a leg to stand on, but if they want to pay me millions of do

  • It'd be a shame if something happened to it.

The unfacts, did we have them, are too imprecisely few to warrant our certitude.

Working...