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Microsoft threatens Linux again

But can't go further than spinning
Sun Feb 25 2007, 10:09
THE ONE STORY I was waiting to come from Ballmer's threats against Linux on IP grounds last week never materialised, so it is time to do it myself.

Isn't it ironic that the company at the top of the list of losing lawsuits over IP won't do anything when others are purportedly doing the same to it? Why just threaten?

Now before you say that Microsoft didn't threaten Linux or any of that, read the article in BetaNews where it pretty much confirms it. It is a sad state of affairs that gets sadder by the day, but it is a pretty obvious step along the path to obscurity for Microsoft.

The short story is that Ballmer stood up in front of financial analysts and repeated the tired old Microsoft threat that Linux infringes its patents. Wall Street sheeple for the most part are unwilling to consider anything not handed to them on a silver platter from a source they have a financial stake in. From the sound of it, they are buying the line of bull and threats, some have already voluntarily paid the protection money.

Microsoft on the other hand got dinged for a billion and a halffor patent infringement a few days ago, just another in a long long line of guilty verdicts for IP infringement dating back to the Stac suit and before. There is a decent list of the IP shenanigans here, and some more light reading here if you care.

Microsoft and its legal team has decades of experience with IP infringement, it can spot it a cube away, possibly farther. It knows all the ins and outs of IP infringement law, and has spent billions because of it.

When it come to Linux, it should be pretty cut and dried. Either it does or does not infringe on Microsoft patents. If it does, Microsoft can and should sue those who are guilty, the law is plain, simple and clear. It has the resources and personnel to shut down its biggest competitor almost overnight if the threats are true.

So, why isn't it? Basically because there is no IP infringement in Linux. It tried with SCO as a proxy and failed miserably so now it is resorting to veiled threats.

Instead, Microsoft has to fight Linux with a vastly more expensive, insecure licensing nightmare that no one wants, or can spin. Guess which road it is taking? The threats to Linux are made to the stupid rich, not to anyone with the ability to think and research.

So, the FUD continues. Microsoft will never document the threats because it cannot. It has no claims, no sway, and no leg to stand on. The Linux community on the other hand has shown it can track, document and prove where its code came from. And so the spin continues, instead. µ


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