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Ballmer: Linux Users Owe Microsoft

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In comments confirming the open-source community's suspicions, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Thursday declared his belief that the Linux operating system infringes on Microsoft's intellectual property.

In a question-and-answer session after his keynote speech at the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) conference in Seattle, Ballmer said Microsoft was motivated to sign a deal with SUSE Linux distributor Novell earlier this month because Linux "uses our intellectual property" and Microsoft wanted to "get the appropriate economic return for our shareholders from our innovation."

The Nov. 2 deal involves an agreement by Novell and Microsoft to boost the interoperability of their competing software products. It also calls for Microsoft to pay Novell US$440 million for coupons entitling users to a year's worth of maintenance and support on SUSE Linux to its customers. In addition, Microsoft agreed to recommend SUSE software for Windows users looking to use Linux as well.

A key element of the agreement now appears to be Novell's US$40 million payment to Microsoft in exchange for the latter company's pledge not to sue SUSE Linux users over possible patent violations. Also protected are individuals and noncommercial open-source developers who create code and contribute to the SUSE Linux distribution, as well as developers who are paid to create code that goes into the distribution.

Many open-source advocates criticized the deal, nevertheless.

Full Story.

re: Ballmer

Uh...not exactly. Perhaps the OWNERS of a Linux Distro owes MS money for their IP (assuming they used some - and I'm not saying that) but the USERS do not.

If I go to HERTZ and rent a car, and it turns out that HERTZ didn't buy the car but stole it, I don't go to jail for car theft, HERTZ does.

IBM is currently suing Amazon.com for IP infringement, and even though I just bought some books from Amazon, I'm not losing sleep wondering if IBM will be knocking on my door next, nor is Amazon.com shutdown in the meantime.

It would be interesting to see if MS was gutsy enough to go down that path after the proven backlash demonstrated by SCO.

At last....

We can see, that all the nice talking a thinking is worth a damm. Why? Becuase it is just 15 days after signing and MS CEO is poiting his finger on "the other Linux". What the hell? From November 2006 we got the one right GNU/MS/Linux and that is SuSe and everything else is a violations of patents and MS intelectual property.....
If I am not wrong, or I am mistaken what has Windows kernel and linux kernel common, yes the word kernel... Is kernel patented?
Novell opened a door for a stranger (yes MS is a stranger/alien in the world of GNU) so he got what he wanted, but all the inhabitans of the house where not asked.... If one piece of chain is week the whole chain is worth a damm.....

When will the legal war begin?

Ballmer's statements make me suspect Microsoft's itching for a lawsuit (or lawsuits) against Linux. Sooner or later, it would seem, that's what it's going to come down to.
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><)))°> Kanotix: Making Linux work. http://kanotix.com

Re: When will the legal war begin?

When will it begin? It has already begun!

The first shot fired in anger was when SCO started filing the legal documents!

Phase 1 was when Microsoft conducted a proxy legal war with Linux, by financially supporting SCO. They lost that battle, and SCO is pretty much on life support. But the war rages on, as MS thinks about Phase 2.

And now, with the collaboration with Novell, this is Phase 2.

The real goal is to cut the business legs off of Linux. Without the business end, Microsoft can then take all the very profitable business contracts! They instill FUD in CIOs, etc.

This is delibrate and by design...Everything you've heard about "playing nice" is nothing but a facade! A lie.

And what of Novell?

They're dead to me. Boycotting them would be the best message to send to Novell. But that's just me. Smile

re: When will the legal war begin?

Yes they will sue, but it would be easier and cheaper if they can get people to just roll over like Novell did. So Microsoft will keep spreading FUD for a bit I suspect before they drop the hammer and begin suing. I think they will sue some of Red Hat's bigger customers first, rather then Red Hat itself.

EDIT: I seldom post without an edit.

Never...

Think about it for a moment. Linux has been eating Microsoft's lunch in the server room for years now. If MS could have killed off that challenge with a patent lawsuit it would have done so by now. The fact that they haven't been able to and had to resort to fighting a proxy war through SCO and FUD tells me they have jack.

And that is why so many are upset at the Novell deal, it offers us no benefit but gives MS a huge drum to bang in its FUD campaigns.

John.

Ballmer on Novell, Linux and patents

Since the announcement of the patent and business collaboration deal between Microsoft and Novell two weeks ago, some have labeled Novell a sell-out for making the agreement. But during a session this morning at the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) summit in Seattle, an audience member turned the question around on Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, asking if the Redmond company was selling out by collaborating with a Linux vendor.

Ballmer answered the question with a long explanation of the Novell deal, from his perspective. I'll post the full question and answer in the extended entry, below. In particular, it will be interesting to see how people react to Ballmer's comments on Microsoft, Linux and intellectual property -- including his view that, because of the Novell deal, "only a (Linux) customer who has Suse Linux actually has paid properly for the use of intellectual property from Microsoft."

Additionally, he reiterated Microsoft's interest in striking a similar patent deal with Red Hat, something Red Hat says it won't do.

Full Story.

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You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

I'd like to thank God, the academy, and Microsoft

You know how when people win awards, like an Oscar for example, they get up there and gush things like “I’d just like to thank my parents, and the academy, and my fifth grade drama teacher, and God for this award, omigod!!!”? Well, if I was put in a position today where I was going to have to gush on stage about, say, my computer use, then I know what I would say. There I would be, staring into the sea of admiring faces, and I would gush: “I would just like to thank my PC, the internet, and Microsoft... because as a Linux user I have naturally been complicit in intellectual property infringement and therefore owe Microsoft a good deal of money. Thanks baby, couldn’t have done it without you. Oh, and the cheque’s in the mail.”

Or that’s what Steve Ballmer reckons I should say, anyway.

Full Story.

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You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

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