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Linux Violates 235 Patents, Says Microsoft

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May 14, 2007 6:09:36 PM

I just read this article that was posted over at digg.com and all I can say is:

WTF?

Anyone have any thoughts on the article?


http://digg.com/linux_unix/Linux_Violates_235_Patents_S...

here is the direct link to the article on CNN in case the other link is down from too many digg users.

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/...

-Zorak
May 15, 2007 1:19:46 AM

Didn't Microsoft just team up with Novell :lol:  What a way to stab a partner in the back!

Microsoft sue users, yeah, I'd like to see them try :lol: 
May 15, 2007 5:48:13 AM

If they try to sue me, I will scan an image of my ass and send it to their lawyers.

-Zorak
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May 15, 2007 3:56:18 PM

Part of their argument goes way back when they had lawsuits against anyone who could convert docs to/from Excel/Word. That was a few years back and OpenOffice was on their list. OpenOffice is again on that list. I don't think you'll see too many actual lawsuits against anyone but the big guys because it's just not cost effective, as MS found out in the past.
May 16, 2007 10:53:13 PM

Microsoft has found their way to strike at Linux.

One trend in patent development is building up a store of ammunition in case you get sued for patent infringement. Then you can look at your portfolio and use it to defend yourself by attacking the other company. Microsoft has probably done this quite a bit when they can.

The problem is, GNU/Linux doesn't have any patents to use for defense and the vendors probably aren't very patent heavy either.

At the end of the day, I think Microsoft is trying to control Linux. They are making Linux more expensive to purchase if they manage to get royalties from for profit companies that distribute it. They could also end up giving Novell an advantage in the marketplace, as their agreements may cover this sort of thing.
May 16, 2007 10:54:52 PM

Unbelievable. I refrained from hitting submit a second time when the page hung and I stilf got a double post.
May 21, 2007 7:13:43 PM

Quote:
2- are they going to sue the big guys? well let's see - M$ sue RedHat for patents and this forces RedHad to sell it's server edition a few $ more: do you think that this would hurt RedHat? well... NO - companies will still buy it for a few $ more! but will this hurt M$? YES!
....
3- M$ has no control or whatsoever over the open versions - even if they want to sue they have no one to sue - it's free anyways - and they will pay big time lawyers and big time professionals to prove that a free version of linux is kicking their but and they want them to pay? ya right - good luck!


1) They're putting an option out there. Who wants to build a business model around Linux when they know they can get their behind sued for patent infringement? Ouch. That right there kills off Linux for a while until new technologies can do the same as what MS has patented. Smart move by MS.
MS will also come out and say their patents are also worth X amount of money. That alone would make the server version expensive and help out MS. People who hate MS are going to continue hating MS. Those who like MS will continue liking MS. The status quo remains unchanged at the end of the day. In the end, it all benefits MS. After all, they are a business, Linux isn't.

2) MS has no control of the open versions. That's the issue. Wouldn't it be great if everyone in the world worked for free and everyone got what they wanted? Eventually people who write stuff for Linux will demand money or compensation if Linux grows to dominate a larger market. People will need to be paid. For Linux to succeed, a business model MUST form. Item #1 above ensures it will not.

Linux has reached its full potential for now.
May 22, 2007 12:39:16 AM

Only people I know that like M$ are people that didn't pay for the software :lol:  :wink:

Riser is our official Pro-M$ poster :wink:
a b 5 Linux
May 22, 2007 6:24:41 AM

You miss the point. MS has been sued in the past for patent infringement. They just paid off the aggrieved parties. You stand as much chance of MS being in Patent breach as you do Linux, just that having purchased the product you have protected liability.

SCO had a go at us and they have a huge MS investment behind them (it was 25% back when I used to be involved with them). The last bits of this case are about to be dismissed. I think it might be good to get this out of the way and clear up the issue once and for all.

MS is driven by Money, Linux is driven by passion. In a fight I know which I'll back.
May 22, 2007 1:23:58 PM

Slight update. No big surprise to most of us im sure

" Microsoft Will Not Sue Over Linux Patents"
http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/07/05/22/1224259.shtml

the original article is here
http://www.zdnetasia.com/news/software/0,39044164,62014...

I'm unsure of patent laws so forgive the ignorance, but if your aware of a patent infringement is there a responsibility to report or to pursue the matter ? - Don't misunderstand me, i dont for one minute buy this FUD from MS.
May 22, 2007 6:47:09 PM

Yeah, I'm sure MS has somewhere patent infringements. Nothing with Linux since they never went out and patented anything.

MS has been able to pay off and put out royalities to those companies.

Linux is driven by passion. Microsoft by money. Remember, Microsoft at first started off as passion and had to progress into a business model to achieve money to finance that passion on a large scale.

Linux is at the same point that MS DOS was when Gates started off. The problem is no one is stepping up with Linux because they don't want to charge money.

Linux will not, can not succeed on passion alone. Nothing in this world works for free. Developers will soon want money.

MS makes a product with a business model around it. Companies make lots of money off this. Microsoft wants some of that money. Its a circle.

Now, Linux makes companies money. Google pays its Linux developers to create stuff for it. So basically, they sold out. Linux is now costing Google money to create stuff for it. Whereas you buy a product from MS and don't have to have an employee on hand to create applications for it.

Yeah, it might be cheaper to pay someone $80k to create apps all year long over paying $200k every 3 years to use something like SMS from MS.

Do the math and you'll see why Google uses Linux. They have enough cash to support developers yearly. Most companies can't do that.

Even with Linux, you have to hire someone who knows it, goes out and downloads the programs. I'm guessing the average Linux Admin gets paid around $60k or more.

Linux in the long run is more expensive than MS when you want innovation for your company. That is a fact. When you have a company creating stuff for your business it will be cheaper than paying someone within your company to create these applications.

At work we use Lotus Notes. Our developer for Lotus Notes costs us more in time and wages to create a database than it would for us to outsource it to a company to create it for us, or to purchase a canned version. The upper management doesn't see this because they can account for the yearly salary, not the unexpected costs of purchasing new software at a cheaper rate. This same logic applies with Linux.

I'm not against Linux. I just say it needs a business model to be successful. IF anyone pushes hard enough in a company and enough people are onboard, it can be successful. The hard part is keeping updated with it. How much time does the average Linux user spend researching Linux applications and searching for them compared to a MS user? Exactly. Far more than the MS guy.

Why?
MS has a business model to make it successful, Linux does not. And that is the major downfall to Linux. Build a business model around it, get around all the patent infringements and make the software 'legal' in the corporate market and you'll have yourself one hell of a business.
May 22, 2007 9:03:36 PM

I don't think I understand your post.

Are you saying that to use Linux you have to write custom applications? If so I must be doing something wrong.

Are you saying that if you are using a windows system your admin doesn't have to know what he is doing? That seems odd to me as well.

Are you saying that none of the Linux companies own any patents? If so why is M$ trying to sign cross patent agreements with Linux companies?

Are you saying that Linux usage isn't growing? We tell that to M$ so that can stop worrying about the growing threat of Linux.

Are you saying that no one makes Money off Linux? Then I guess we should inform Novell, Red Hat, Oracle, Canonical, etc. So they can get into a market where they can earn some money.

Are you saying that the applications that Google writes for Windows and Mac don't cost them any money? If that's true then I must me on Pluto or something.

How does Linux cost more for innovation? The OS has very little to do with the way the brains of you designers, developers, and other thinks work. The main thing to do when comparing the OS is to see how it fits with the way you want your business to work. Do I want to fight with viruses? Do I wan do deal with other malware? Do I want X company to tell how, when, where, and who can use my computer systems, or do I want to make those decisions? If I don't like how the OS does something do I want to be able to fix it? Do I want an OS that adheres to published standards ensuring I can freely exchange information? Or do I want one that uses it's own standards, ensuring I am at the whims of the the company I bought it from?
a b 5 Linux
May 22, 2007 9:43:41 PM

Nicely put.
May 23, 2007 12:08:04 AM

Very concise and to the point boomboom 8)
a b 5 Linux
May 23, 2007 2:41:45 AM

@theboomboomcars Yes indeed :-D :trophy:

Furthermore there is a vast amount of prior art which would surely invalidate the vast majority of the patents microsoft holds.

Unix has existed since 1969 and Unix and its predecessors produced a lot of the algorithms, ideas and other ways of doing things which microsoft, ahem, borrowed and based their stuff on.

Microsoft has incorporated a lot of open source software in their systems ( especially from *BSD ) that we know about and a lot we probably do not know about.

The prior art produced by *BSD and other systems which they derived, or borrowed code from essentially automatically invalidates a lot of the patents.

In fact microsoft is in danger of being sued for violating the licensing terms of some of the code they used.

If microsoft keeps bragging about the 235 patents they own that Linux allegedly infringes then IBM, RedHat and many other Linux companies along with the Linux patent consortium could probably produce 10,000 patents they own that microsoft is violating.

Do we really want to start a patent war?

Quite frankly I think everyone would probably lose in the process.

I believe the patent system is broken and needs to be fixed.

Software patents are even worse than regular patents.

:-D
May 23, 2007 7:29:57 PM

Chop ya up a bit here in reposnse.

Quote:
Are you saying that to use Linux you have to write custom applications? If so I must be doing something wrong.


No. I'm saying that you have to go down and hunt the programs down or pay for support to find applications that you may not be aware of. There is also extra tooling around required at times to make things work. Not that it doesn't happen with Windows either but extra steps are sometimes needed to make apps work on Linux that were designed for Windows.

Quote:
Are you saying that if you are using a windows system your admin doesn't have to know what he is doing? That seems odd to me as well.

I'm saying that if I want to do something, I call up my MS rep and say "hey, I want to do that. Is there a way I can do that?" They give me the answer. I don't have to search around to find some obscure named program to do that job. Its more likely I have a problem with the naming convention of some of the Linux programs.

Quote:
Are you saying that none of the Linux companies own any patents? If so why is M$ trying to sign cross patent agreements with Linux companies?

No. I'm saying that MS and other companies went out and made a lot of patents before a company pushing Linux did.


Quote:
Are you saying that Linux usage isn't growing? We tell that to M$ so that can stop worrying about the growing threat of Linux.


No. I said that Linux use has reached its full potential until a company builds a business model around it. I'm sure it will gain a couple more percentage points by people getting curious about it, reading more about it and hearing talk of it. But its not going to pull 40-50% or a large market share.

Are you saying that no one makes Money off Linux? Then I guess we should inform Novell, Red Hat, Oracle, Canonical, etc. So they can get into a market where they can earn some money.

Quote:
Are you saying that the applications that Google writes for Windows and Mac don't cost them any money?

Not in that sense. The jobs they're hiring for in my area want people who are innovative and can write apps for Linux to create their own business stuff, as opposed to going out and buying a canned program.
Does Linux have something like Windows SMS? Not that I'm aware of. For a large company, SMS is very beneficial and makes life easier. If you know of a program, please tell me. I'm unaware.. because I don't have the time to sit around surfing and reading each vaguely titled program to figure out what it does.

Linux will work on a small scale because people are putting effort into it. But it will not take a significant market share unless a business model is put around it and companies have easier access to information on it.

You seem like you spend a lot of time dealing with Linux and probably spend more than a couple hours reading Linux forums and researching stuff. Most people can't and won't do that because they're already busy enough.

As far as Novell using Linux.. Novell is dead, they had to do something. Database apps have to go with Linux too because it keeps their products cheap and Linux works well in those environments. Its a cheaper alternative.
Its also a business model. But they're pushing their apps, not Linux. If a company wants to put forth the effort, they could have a Windows shop with a Linux server running to host their already expensive Oracle software.
May 24, 2007 2:43:56 AM

Riser,

What kinda of programs are you having troubles finding an equivalent or better in Linux? For general business, I see it as the following:

Microsoft - Linux/Open Source

Windows -> Ubuntu - More Secure
Office -> Open Office
Internet Explorer -> FireFox/Opera - More Secure
RDP -> TSC - Also does VNC, which is great for Admins!

Where I work, we could switch to Linux tomorrow if the board of directors would approve of it 8) The only difficulty we would have is that our main software package is 32-bit and currently windows based. So we could just keep the servers on Windows and let the rest of the PC's go Ubuntu and use TSC to replace RDP..

By switching over 100 PC's to Ubuntu, it would save us a sh*t loads. No XP Pro, No Office, No Anti Virus and No Spyware costs(Time).... XP = $150, Office = $550, Norton = $80, that's a nice $78000 saving for the company I work for...

We could then use that money to go buy two $12000 terminal servers to reduce the load on the current two, and they could give me a pay rise for saving them sooo much money and making things a lot more simple 8) We already run Open Office on our servers to save us $55000+ in what we would technically waste with M$ Office...

Maybe it's just me, but I cannot see why you would pay money for something you can get for free... :p 
May 24, 2007 6:16:53 AM

Quote:
Maybe it's just me, but I cannot see why you would pay money for something you can get for free...


Free sounds good on paper... but with MS you're not just paying for the software. Yes, you can get support for Linux, but they do tend to charge for that... which invalidates the whole "free" idea.

Now quite obviously you're still going to realize a huge cost savings up front... no one can deny that. I would like to see a TCO comparison done over the long term to see how things work out in the long run.

Riser has a point... there has to be more Redhats out there for Linux to be a complete success. I simply couldn't believe all the bitching from people about 6 versions of Windows Vista... yet how many Linux distros are there to choose from? Choice is great; but the sheer number of distros hurts Linux more than it helps. Redhat is successful because it has a business model behind it... and that is what's needed to attract big corporate customers.
a b 5 Linux
May 24, 2007 9:35:51 AM

Yes this is very true :-D

And if you are impatient you have the option to pay someone to help you.

YOU have a choice, you can pay for it or not pay for it based on your needs.


Quote:
since when did microsoft started giving free help?
last time I called them for help they charged 10$ a minute...
there are no official support forums which are free as far as I know for microsoft...

so talking about support - MS charges for both support and product - so what's the big deal about Linux charging for Support which YOU CAN GET FOR FREE in all support forums if you can wait.
a b 5 Linux
May 24, 2007 9:38:21 AM

I have posted this before, here it is again:

http://www.levanta.com/linuxstudy/

:-D


Quote:
Maybe it's just me, but I cannot see why you would pay money for something you can get for free...


Free sounds good on paper... but with MS you're not just paying for the software. Yes, you can get support for Linux, but they do tend to charge for that... which invalidates the whole "free" idea.

Now quite obviously you're still going to realize a huge cost savings up front... no one can deny that. I would like to see a TCO comparison done over the long term to see how things work out in the long run.

Riser has a point... there has to be more Redhats out there for Linux to be a complete success. I simply couldn't believe all the bitching from people about 6 versions of Windows Vista... yet how many Linux distros are there to choose from? Choice is great; but the sheer number of distros hurts Linux more than it helps. Redhat is successful because it has a business model behind it... and that is what's needed to attract big corporate customers.
May 24, 2007 5:38:38 PM

Quote:
I have posted this before, here it is again:
http://www.levanta.com/linuxstudy/

It would be more believable if it was from a less biased source. I never believe the MS support companies that have studies that state the opposite either.
May 25, 2007 2:09:19 PM

support.microsoft.com
technet.microsoft.com

Free support for you.

Also, Microsoft has an exceptionally large Newsgroup you can use and subscribe to sections to be updated. Its so much data coming in that it will require time to figure out what you want and don't want.

Oh, you want to chat with someone? That's just like hiring a consultant. Same thing happens with any other OS. You pay to chat with someone.

Microsoft charges a lot because there are other consultants out there who they want you to use. We can buy chunks of time with consultants for fairly cheap when you look at ROI against my time researching a problem.
May 25, 2007 2:12:53 PM

Quote:
Riser,

What kinda of programs are you having troubles finding an equivalent or better in Linux? For general business, I see it as the following:


What replaces:

Windows Systems Management Server (SMS)?
Windows Exchange Server
Microsoft Project
Cisco VPN - Does it work on Linux? (I don't know know personally)
Active Directory - Which options, I've seen many listed but no real "support" on how to use them.
Remote Installation Services?
SysPrep?

Just to name a few commonly used things.
a b 5 Linux
May 26, 2007 1:08:26 AM

Quote:
Riser,

What kinda of programs are you having troubles finding an equivalent or better in Linux? For general business, I see it as the following:


What replaces:

Windows Systems Management Server (SMS)?
Windows Exchange Server
Microsoft Project
Cisco VPN - Does it work on Linux? (I don't know know personally)
Active Directory - Which options, I've seen many listed but no real "support" on how to use them.
Remote Installation Services?
SysPrep?

Just to name a few commonly used things.


SMS -> openssh

Exchange -> The Bat! or OSER

Project -> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_project_management...

Cisco VPN -> yes but you are better off with a native VPN, openVPN, SWAN, SSH, etc

ActiveDirectory -> openLDAP

Remote Install -> PXE + kickstart

SysPrep -> kickstart or SystemImager


Semper Fi Carry on :-D
!