SOFTWARE MONSTER Microsoft has hit back at Google's patent claims, and offered the firm some advice and a reminder that it could have got in on the Rockstar bid, but decided not to.
Possibly with part of the Google blog post ringing in his ears, Microsoft's general counsel Brad Smith tweeted, "Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no."
Oooh. Looks like Drummond has a short memory.
Microsoft staffers are on hand to help though, and Frank Shaw, who is in corporate communications at Microsoft, added, "Free advice for David Drummond - next time check with (Google Chief Council) Kent Walker before you blog. :)" before linking to a email from Walker in which the offer was politely declined.
"Brad," it says. "Sorry for the delay in getting back to you - I came down with a 24-hour bug on the way back from San Antonio. After talking with people here, it sounds as though for various reasons a joint bid wouldn't be advisable for us on this one. But I appreciate your flagging it, and we're open to discussing other similar opportunities in the future. I hope the rest of your travels go well, and I look forward to seeing you again soon. - Kent."
That seems like quite a congenial exchange, which is perhaps why Microsoft is so annoyed.
Take this punch from Google about the Nortel bid: "They're doing this by banding together to acquire Novell's old patents (the 'CPTN' group including Microsoft and Apple) and Nortel's old patents (the 'Rockstar' group including Microsoft and Apple), to make sure Google didn't get them."
Now this looks like a weak and low blow and, a rare thing, a criticism that Microsoft could easily bat away. And it did. µ
Tabs to more Ctrl and less Win. Such Fn.
Either that or it's a really intense holiday