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Microsoft's Ballmer forced to eat his Linux words

PR disasters of our time
Wed Nov 22 2006, 08:25
MICROSOFT CEO Steve Ballmer has triggered a PR nightmare for his firme over his threats to down Linux with intellectual property based lawsuits.

Not only has his new Linux chum Novell issued a statement which said it disagreed with what Steve whispered to the press, Volish spinners have had to issue a statement toning down his original comments.

Ballmer had claimed that Microsoft's patent cooperation agreement it pushed on partner Novell was a way to protect corporate users of the SUSE Linux operating system from potential lawsuits.

Computerworld hacks have found a few SuSE Linux customers fuming at being called a "undisclosed balance sheet liability" by Ballmer and were never worried about being sued by Microsoft.

Sheesh-kebabBarry Strasnick, CIO of financial services provider CitiStreet told Computerworld that he took great offence to Ballmer's comments. He said that if Ballmer thought that Microsoft really thinks there is some code in Linux that violates its patents, it should publish those lines of codes immediately, instead of just posturing in the press.

Strasnick said that fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) might have worked for Microsoft when it was shafting IBM in the 1970s but not today.

It seems that Ballmer's comments might backfire with some CIOs indicating that they will not move to Volish platforms in the wake of Ballmer's comments. µ

L'INQ Computerworld


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