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Microsoft Patents Linux

Should Microsoft's Amdocs Deal Worry Data Center Operators? 32

On Tuesday, Microsoft signed a patent cross-license agreement with Amdocs Software Systems. They specifically noted in their press release that the agreement covered Amdocs' use of 'Linux-based servers in its data centers,' and noted that Amdocs paid them money for the privilege. In light of the current state of mobile device licensing, with Microsoft getting a cut from most Android device sales, should data centers operators worry about having to pay Microsoft for their use of Linux servers? From the article: "To date, Linux advocates have been hypersensitive to any move Microsoft has made against the open-source OS—which, to be fair, Microsoft has seen as a threat since its inception. It's certainly possible that Amdocs approached Microsoft for a patent cross-license for its own purposes; but if that's the case, Amdocs would likely have disclosed that fact. Amdocs representatives declined to comment on the deal, and the arrangement has been completely ignored on the Amdocs Website. ... The question, though, is whether Microsoft will begin eyeing data-center operators as a similar source of licensing revenue. The company has avoided directly challenging Linux developer/distributors such IBM or Red Hat, instead targeting partners and customers."
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Should Microsoft's Amdocs Deal Worry Data Center Operators?

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  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Friday July 27, 2012 @04:52PM (#40795775) Homepage

    The company has avoided directly challenging Linux developer/distributors such IBM or Red Hat, instead targeting partners and customers."

    Don't do business with Microsoft. If this is their new business model, sell your MSFT stock.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 27, 2012 @05:02PM (#40795869)

      Actually they're brilliant.

      They're slowly and quietly geting a hold of linux by using their patents. Quietly, I mean because there are no big lawsuits. They're easing into every possible niche where you find Linux.

      Apple on the other hand, uses it's patents to bash anyone who opposes them, rocking the boat and pushing everyone out of their comfort zones. They're actually forcing the change of the patent laws.
      I'd say it would be for the better, but considering how many laws got twisted back into something even more restrictive, I won't hold my breath. Well, in the USA anyway, the EU, seems to follow a different logic set.

      • Microsoft is only brilliant in the short-term. If they do this enough times, sooner or later they either encounter another big bully or piss off enough of the little kids they'll have a rebellion on their hands. Short-term profits, but long-term Microsoft could be generating so much ill-will that people would prefer not to do business with them unless absolutely necessary.
    • Who says they did even do business with MS?

      For all we know this patent settlement could be $0 and nothing is paid for. In fact, it's pretty likely given the patents that B&N already showed that MS was trying to use for this purpose.

  • The Details (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arbiterxero ( 952505 ) on Friday July 27, 2012 @05:04PM (#40795897)

    See if you look at what they're doing, they're not actually trying to stem the flow of their "IP".

    If their IP was valuable, or if they had a reasonable case, they'd take it to redhat, etc...

    I mean if I invented something and someone big was selling the same thing.... and I had a case for it.... Why would I go after small potatoes Users rather than the big guy with $1billion dollars?

    Unless my goal is to just extract small payments out of everyone because I know that I don't have a real case. Just be enough of a nuissance that people pay me to go away rather than fix the problem. I have no interest in fixing the problem, that doesn't benefit my wallet. Especially if the problem is trivial.

    Where's the IBM suit? Oracle? Redhat? no, they could change things so that I wouldn't get my paychecks.

    Why not at least tell people what's infringing so that I can be honest? Patents aren't secret anyways, so any patent I have is already public, but how I'm using them isn't. NDA's all around so that nobody ever knows and can't file a class-action for my security payments..

    Pay me or I'll smash up your small bar.

  • by carrier lost ( 222597 ) on Friday July 27, 2012 @05:21PM (#40796127) Homepage

    Should Microsoft's Amdocs Deal Worry Data Center Operators?

    I wouldn't get too worried about it.

    Microsoft is just trying to stay ahead of Apple, Sony, Disney and Oracle as the world's most odious hi-tech/media company.

    The ball was in their court this month.

  • by fmachado ( 89905 ) on Friday July 27, 2012 @05:24PM (#40796153)

    Does anyone still believe MS really has a patent that can affect Linux that hard? There should be tons of Unix and similar O.S. from the 70's to nuke any patent. Every supposed patent MS tries to show will get scrutinized and destroyed in no time. As long as we can see them, of course. How can your judicial system allow for a patent based suit, which includes a government granted monopoly, with the option for the plaintiff NOT disclosing the exact terms supposedly being infringed? If the company received a monopoly grant if also receives some obligations, not only rights.

    The reason companies are signing patent agreements with MS is that it's painfully expensive to defend from a patent infringement suit and even more to invalidate a patent. So the cost to pay for each product is relatively small comparing to the millions spent on a trial. Look at the bill of costs from Google in Oracle vs Google: 4 million dollars on only DIRECT expenses, not counting time, bad image and so on.

    This system cannot survive as it is, no new tech will ever be developed at USA (which is almost the case now), leaving USA as only leeches of other countries technology advances. If that happens, somewhere in time the other countries will stop paying USA for doing nothing, ACTA like treaties will be declared void and USA will reach a new low. No one will keep paying for rectangular shaped with round corners patents forever.

    My hope is that the sanity prevails in short-to-medium time, cause it's already affecting all the economy, not only the USA. Can't you see the storm coming? This system is only making lawyers rich, the cost is growing for every one.


  • How Israeli Backdoor Technology Penetrated the U.S. Government's Telecom System and Compromised National Security
    An Israeli Trojan Horse
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2008/09/27/an-israeli-trojan-horse/ [counterpunch.org]
    B&N was fighting this FUD but looks like that they capitulate.... http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Barnes-Noble-Microsoft-deal-settles-patent-dispute-1563990.html [h-online.com]

  • I think the posters here have read the press release (or at least the summary) exactly as Microsoft hoped they would. But there's a lot less threat to Linux in this than it may seem. The news is that Microsoft and Amdocs have signed a blanket cross-licensing agreement and Amdocs has paid some money. That's it.

    Should Amdocs' cafeteria be using Microsoft-patented techniques in making their breakfast burritos, that's cool now -- It's covered in the agreement (even if it's not likely). And if Amdocs is usi

  • Amdocs, ...seems like the perfect company for Microsoft to be involved with to compliment everyone's paranoia about Skype. They (Amdocs) have an interesting history and have access to a lot of information, and perhaps other things: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SBWJ8jaFrg [youtube.com] (part 2 of 2). But I guess this is a little off topic.

Order and simplification are the first steps toward mastery of a subject -- the actual enemy is the unknown. -- Thomas Mann