SHY, RETIRING CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer told a conference in the UK last week that Red Hat Linux users should have to pay Microsoft, says a story at VNUnet.
As a video on a Youtube-alike shows here somewhere Ballmer said: "People who use Red Hat, at least with respect to our intellectual property, in a sense have an obligation to compensate us."
The term "intellectual property" doesn't really mean anything, and Ballmer knows this. Is he talking about copyrights, about patents? He's not saying, using the intentionally vague term "intellectual property" instead. And so Red Hat users have an obligation to Microsoft "in a sense" supposedly. In what sense? In the sense of cold hard cash? In the sense of a nod?
Red Hat doesn't agree, having talked with Microsoft some months ago and sent it packing, refusing to pay it so much as a dime. But that doesn't stop whispering Ballmer, of course.
If Microsoft had any valid claim against Linux, it would be calling on the major Linux users asking to be paid. It's not, and it won't. Microsoft doesn't have anything of value that any Linux user needs to pay it for. Unless it can show something real, Ballmer's just whistling. µ