Posted by: Anonymous Coward
on November 18, 2006 04:48 AM
re-read the article then have a glance over the previous articles from the inital anouncement.
The patent agreement validates a baseless claim that Linux and distribution code somehow contain Microsoft property. It further states that users of Suse are protected under Novell's unbrella however all other distributions that don't pay up to MS, are open to legal action; based on the fictitious IP.
This scares big business who are finally starting to consider FOSS software; "crap, if we use that solution M$ is going to pull us into court, we better not risk it." - and again (as often in the tech industry) the better solution looses out over the richer merketing and legal counsel.
That may be the short term goal but M$ has never been short sighten and has no problem sitting on a five year planned strategy when taking out competition to there profit margin. Thus the other concern is that has found a foothold in the Linux distributions (some of there biggest competition) where it can now sinc in claws in hopes of ripping the FOSS community from end to end.
"If the Microsoft corporation, whether it wishes to be part of this ecology in a genuine and sincere sense or not, if it succeeds in getting one distribution to pay royalties for the distribution of free software, other distributions will do so. They will have to. That will then succeed in marching the commercial sector away from the non-commercial sector, and Microsoft then will be able to use its patents to sue to block the development of software in the non-commercial sector without the fear of suing its own customers, which is the force that now constrains them from misbehavior with their patent portfolio."
If you where MS, after running os2Warp out of the OS market, nearly running Apple out of the OS market, running Netscape out of the closed source browser market, trying to run Sun Java out of their own market, and now being faced with a valid, free (as speech) and un-taxed (pay for service not software) alternative to your over priced and buggier than a month old corpse OS; what would you do to stomp it out?
MS has never won on the basis of quality of product. They win based on license agreements, lock-ins and legal action.
I'll give MS credit where due; admitting that they often surprise me but I won't be running Suse and had I written my Novell certs, I'd be sending them back for remittance.
MS will "extend" Novell's Suse to work with Windows the MS way rather than finding equal ground. Then, when that's in place, we'll see those old MS colours shine through again as they do everything to squeeze out the MS unaproved distributions.