Microsoft must really be hurting…..they just made the claim that Linux violates 235 of it’s patents. SCO tried this recently and got it’s butt humiliated. The linux community didn’t have to do anything.
Some of he claims according to this article:
“But he does break down the total number allegedly violated - 235 - into categories. He says that the Linux kernel - the deepest layer of the free operating system, which interacts most directly with the computer hardware - violates 42 Microsoft patents. The Linux graphical user interfaces - essentially, the way design elements like menus and toolbars are set up - run afoul of another 65, he claims. The Open Office suite of programs, which is analogous to Microsoft Office, infringes 45 more. E-mail programs infringe 15, while other assorted FOSS programs allegedly transgress 68.”
I have researched the Novell, Microsoft pact and realized that Novell pretty much claimed that the Linux operating system infringed on Microsoft patents. They did this by their portion of the deal stating that Microsoft could not sue them for patent infringement against the Novell Suse Operation System. They had nothing to worry about. Programs/Operating Systems are code and code falls under mathematical equations according to patents. You can’t patent a mathematical equation.
With all the hoopla about patent law and software, it should all come to a head soon. The “hoopla” consists of the U.S. Government admitting that patents have been handed out too frivolously the last 2 decades. The courts are starting to disagree with some of the software patent claims.
I’m not worried and nobody else should be.
When Microsoft starts to try and collect royalties from it’s clients because they know they can’t do it from Linux distributors, I predict a major shift in the Operating System usage market.
UPDATE: Great quote from the article:
“It’s a cold war, and what keeps the peace is the threat of mutually assured destruction: patent Armageddon - an unending series of suits and countersuits that would hobble the industry and its customers.”
P.S. I just got one of my brother-in-laws (1 out of 5) to switch to Ubuntu. It was awesome.