February 20, 2007 8:35 AM PST

Ballmer repeats threats against Linux

Steve Ballmer has reissued Microsoft's patent threat against Linux, warning open-source vendors that they must respect his company's intellectual property.

In a no-nonsense presentation to New York financial analysts last Thursday, Microsoft's chief executive said the company's partnership with Novell, which it signed in November 2006, "demonstrated clearly the value of intellectual property, even in the open-source world."

Steve Ballmer Steve Ballmer

The cross-selling partnership means that Microsoft will recommend Suse Linux for customers who want an environment mix of Microsoft and open-source software. It also involves a "patent cooperation agreement," under which Microsoft and Novell agreed not to sue each other for patent infringement.

In a clear threat against open-source users, Ballmer repeated his earlier assertions that open source "is not free," referring to the possibility that Microsoft may sue Linux sellers. Microsoft has suggested that the Linux operating system infringes some of its intellectual property, but it has never named the patents in question.

"I would not anticipate that we make a huge additional revenue stream from our Novell deal, but I do think it clearly establishes that open source is not free, and open source will have to respect the intellectual-property rights of others, just as any other competitor will," Ballmer said.

"But I don't want to eliminate in your minds the notions of risk of pricing that comes from competition with open source. We are higher-priced, but we bring greater value," he added.

Alongside the renewed threat over intellectual property, Ballmer was also bullish over winning large corporate accounts against Linux vendors.

"We have done very well versus Linux on the desktop and on the server, and I am hopeful that we will build share, particularly in Web servers and high-performance clusters, from Linux in the next year," he told analysts.

But Red Hat's chief executive was not impressed. Addressing a Merrill Lynch conference on Monday, Matthew Szulik urged his customers to use up their open-source coupons from the Microsoft-Novell partnership. These coupons entitle them to support and maintenance for Novell's Suse Linux Enterprise Server.

"We certainly expect that there will be those cases where customers will consume those coupons," Szulik said. "We're certainly encouraging one or two customers to consume all of them; let's get this over with."

As of January, Microsoft had already sold 35,000 open-source coupons out of the 70,000 it has committed to make available each year as part of the five-year partnership.

Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse Group and American International Group are among those to take advantage of the Microsoft-Novell collaboration to roll out a mixed infrastructure of proprietary and open-source software.

Richard Thurston of ZDNet UK reported from London.

See more CNET content tagged:
Steve Ballmer, Novell Inc., intellectual property, open source, Linux seller

152 comments

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My personal translation....
Our growth has slowed, our very existence is due in part to our monopoly. The only way to grow is to charge more for our products and lock them down with stricter licensing and Authentication.

Open source challenges our plans, we can't compete on price or features so we will spread FUD, welcome to SCO 2.0.

A note from the author....Which IP? That's all I want to know...which IP is he talking about?
Posted by LarryLo (164 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Does it matter?
Ballmer feels like they own all IP related to the computer world so
little details like being specific aren't necessary.
Posted by danielwsmithee (433 comments )
Link Flag
IP = Intellectual Property
not internet protocol, of course, in this context.
Posted by C_G_K (169 comments )
Link Flag
Another translation: I'm a big stupid loud mouthed idiot...
who can't keep his blabbering noise hole shut for two seconds.
Posted by fcekuahd (244 comments )
Link Flag
Ya al were told!
... that WINDOWS = CODE-BASE OS/2 and LINUX = PART CODE-BASE OS/2. So, now we see the missiles are about to be fired; re: " Steve Ballmer has reissued Microsoft's patent threat against Linux, warning open-source vendors that they must respect his company's intellectual property..." Do not forget to run for the hardened bunkers you PENGUINISTA guys!
Posted by Commander_Spock (3123 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Commander_Spock is a bot
He is a talkbot
Posted by t8 (3716 comments )
Link Flag
IP run amok
The US patent system has become so grotesquely abused as to merit a complete tumor-ectomy. Microsoft and others, who only own patents and have no operations, are literally milking legitimate businesses who are actually putting their capital at-risk. The twits who 'extorted' over 600 million from RIM are one example. The slimeball, now deceased--a patent lawyer, saw the opportunity-being privy to key IP--and patented the technology and sued RIM. Notwithstanding the legal precedent, I think these people are lower than scum. Those who invest the time, energy, capital and resources to commercialize a technology are being railroaded by these modern-day desperados in grey pin-striped suites.

You can tell when their coming. The smell of hair gel, cologne and custom-made shoes preceeds them.
Posted by Schratboy (122 comments )
Link Flag
Commander_Spock is a talkbot
Not human.
Posted by lesfilip (496 comments )
Link Flag
Put up or shut up
MS may have deeper pockets then the company they sacrificed to try and kill Linux, but they have no more proof then SCO does. If they had any legitimate proof they would have tried to use it against OSS by now.

This is just more FUD, just like Gates' completely dishonest remarks in Newsweek recently.MS can't compete on a level playing field so they are reduced to throwing small rocks. Pathetic
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Stupid question
Perhaps I'm going to embarass myself here but... Which companies sell linux? I'm pretty sure the companies that make money from linux sell support services. I don't believe linux is "for sale" by anyone. Alternately, who in their right mind would "buy" linux when the source code is free?
Posted by scdecade (329 comments )
Reply Link Flag
re
Many companies sell retail boxes of their linux distro. The cost is mainly the packaging and support. I have seen Linspire, openSuSE, RedHat, Mandriva and a few other on retail shelves. It is not a bad way to go if you have dial-up and are new to linux. Although, many magazines have one or more full distros on DVD each month.
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
Link Flag
vapid answer :)
> Perhaps I'm going to embarass myself here but...

Not at all.

> Which companies sell linux?

Several - Slackware, Red Hat and SuSE spring immediately to mind.

> Alternately, who in their right mind would "buy" linux when the source code is free?

Like you mentioned before, companies will pay for a support contract with the provider of the distribution. i.e. they *could* have just downloaded it free of charge, but they want a neck to grab if things go awry.

For individuals? It's just a way of saying "Thank you" to the company that took the time & effort to make a distribution that's convenient to use. And when a brand new distribution with a printed manual can be had for $69, it's actually a pretty good deal.
Posted by 60AmpRelay (17 comments )
Link Flag
I think that was part of his point
Enterprise versions of Linux such as Red Hat Enterprise cost just as much as windows.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.redhat.com/rhel/compare/server/" target="_newWindow">http://www.redhat.com/rhel/compare/server/</a>

Running mission critical applications on a Enterprise version of Linux will cost just as much or more to support. If some system goes down that generates $$$$$$$ per hour you want a support contract for the app, the OS and the hardware.

Windows support from vendors has been around and is well established.
Posted by Lindy01 (443 comments )
Link Flag
Open source isn't FREE
People buy open source because they believe their costs are lower than buying "licensed" crap from Microsoft. There are clear investments required by running open source, requiring skills administrators and users just as is the case with any other software people buy. In the latter case, you pay for the software plus support as a separate item. Open source is no different. If you want bare bones, open source is quite good. If you want to buy the support package from Red hat or whomever, it's available.

Open source requires skilled people, investments of time and money and constant upkeep...just like any application, equipment or whatever!
Posted by Schratboy (122 comments )
Link Flag
Mandatory drug testing for CEOs and their boards and officers
This just proves how badly this legislation is needed. Is he on drugs? Can we be sure? How? Do we need people with this much power running around with brains that have been blown on on amphetamines and coke? I don't think so.

MS knows that it can't compete on features, price, value of innovation and that its lock-in BM (that's Business Method, but you're free to be creative) is toast.

It's time for mandatory, random drug testing for all the officers and boards of all publicly traded corporations. Punishment will be swift, certain and severe. They will have their assets dissolved and be forbidden from being an officer or board member of any corporate entity, public of private.

F***ing crankheads. G***d*mn speed monkeys. I say, root the disease out at it's core !

Our symbol- an empty urine cup, waiting to be filled.

Our slogan- shut up. You pants are coming down, b*tch.

Thank you, and have a nice day.
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Reply Link Flag
My Vote for best Comment....
EVER! :)
Posted by umbrae (1073 comments )
Link Flag
lol
lol

Depands on what kind of drugs they are using and you are talking about. If Ballmer is smoking crack, smack, meth, snorting powder on a regular basis, than, ya, test him/them. By the way, no Drug test is required to get a job at Microsoft.

If all they are doing is smoking some pot after a hard day of work and stress dealing with retarded people all day long (and this is for anyone, not just Balmmer), then no.

I am all pro against all hard drugs, but not MJ, it's a wonderful natural drug used by many with medical problems, hell even Jesus used it (if you believe in God) less all the side effects of moderns drugs.

Wow, maybe I should say hell and Jesus in the same sentance, I go to hell now.

Just my 420 cents.
Posted by RompStar_420 (772 comments )
Link Flag
msft is red eyed...
i heard the early devs (win3.1) would smoke pot in the woods during lunch... and I lived with a guy who smoked more pot than anyone I have ever known and he ported code for clustering...

so what are you saying? that america isnt being drunk driven?.. or should there be some sort of balance with the rest of the world?
Posted by wone123 (32 comments )
Link Flag
cocaine's a hell of a drug
I think that although Ballmer thinks he can sue everything and anything he can to get his money , no matter were , there is only one answer to all this : Cocaine's a hell of a drug .

:))
Posted by tasehagi (19 comments )
Link Flag
uh, oh yeah... then there's this Ballmer , uh, indiscretion
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://battellemedia.com/archives/001835.php" target="_newWindow">http://battellemedia.com/archives/001835.php</a>
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Link Flag
Maybe the problem is that Ballmer is off his meds
That big fat stupid loudmouth blowhard needs to get back on the Thorazine.
Posted by fcekuahd (244 comments )
Link Flag
Gates vs Jobs
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHO8l-Bd1O4" target="_newWindow">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHO8l-Bd1O4</a>

Also very funny.
Posted by open-mind (1027 comments )
Link Flag
Get over it
If Linux truly infringed upon the Microsoft Windows OS, you can be sure there would be an army of Microsoft lawyers seeking to shut down Linux. It is quite apparent that Microsoft is taking it's time because it is trying to figure out how Linux infringes a Microsoft patent, if there is even infringement at all. I use both Windows and Linux (I'm a newbie) and I like Ballmer's enthusiasm but the guy is way off base attacking Linux. If he were a true competitor, he would concentrate his efforts on making something for consumers and businesses to get excited about and cut with the meager, overpriced interval OS offerings (ie, Windows ME and XP SP3 (Vista?). Stop whining and get back in the game, Ballmer.
Posted by fcekuahd (244 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Retarded...
Actually I take that back. To call Steve Ballmer retarded is to do a
disservice to retarded people (yeah I know, politically correct it's
mentally challenged). Just trying to make a point here people. He
should retire with his $000,000,000's and let the innovators put
their products out there for us THE CONSUMERS! (you know Steve,
consumers... the people who put your kids in the good schools)
Posted by Jschneeky (23 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Dick
Seriously, Ballmer is a huge dick. He should be fired. Any other
company and he would have been fired a long time ago. He's failed
completely as CEO.
Posted by jd29 (14 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft Will Fail Just Like AT&T Did
CNET headline should have read:
Ballmer Makes Desperate Attempt To Sow FUD
.
Many years ago AT&#38;T felt threatened by the rise of Berkeley Unix against their own AT&#38;T Unix. Remember their line of 3B computers? They filed lawsuits and succeed in driving BSD customers away. It worked in the short run, but it motivated folks like Linus Torvalds to develop Linux, which was AT&#38;T code-free. In effect, Linux became AT&#38;T worst nightmare, and they exited that business having failed miserably.

Ballmer's bullying tactics won't work here either. There is massive support for Unix. Some of the most successful companies like Google and Amazon run their operations on Unix. If Ballmer gets really nasty and starts taking people to court, the Unix community will band together and remove whatever (if any) Microsoft IP code. The resulting worldwide bad publicity will just further erode MS market share. This could be the beginning of a great unravelling of MS. The world really doesn't need MS anymore, anymore than then need IBM mainframes and OS 370. Linux distributions like Ubuntu, apps like Open Office, and a plethora of image editing and media player software have evolved to the point of being good enough to compete. And let's not forget the Mac platform either. A vote for Mac is a vote against Microsoft. What's Ballmer's next move? Threaten a lawsuit against Apple because the Ipod is more successful than Zune?
Posted by Stating (869 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Zune is a joke
Zune's a total and absolute market failure. I remember reading an article about how stores aren't even offering them anymore because they just sit there. There's egg on your face, man. They put a bundle into that; they might just as well have taken a big pile of money and lit it on fire.

Oh wait. That's called Vista.
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Link Flag
What really killed AT&T
First the DOJ broke AT&#38;T up into smaller companies, and then paid trillions to Sprint, MCI, etc to form their own long distance communications network to compete with AT&#38;T and forced AT&#38;T to allow Sprint, MCI, and anyone with a long distance company operating out of their basement to have access to the AT&#38;T long distance network for free.

Bell Labs aka Lucent Technologies was the one that made computers and worked on Unix. They ran up huge debts in research in order to move into networks, modems, and the Internet and not a lot of it paid off. Eventually they sold the rights and IP to Unix to SCO and Novell in order to pay off debts. Anyone remember those Lucent WinModems and how awful they were? Lucent took a beating from 3Com, Cisco, in the Internet and network equipment areas as well.

There was a time before Windows that Microsoft had a product called Xenix that was a Unix OS licensed from AT&#38;T that ran on personal computers. It was very much like Linux before Linux was developed but eventually got sold to SCO to become SCO Unix or Unixware, whatever. Except that unlike Linux, it was closed source. When Linux came out not only did it upset AT&#38;T Bell Labs but also SCO who competed with it and saw that a free to download Linux threatened their business models. AT&#38;T was broken up in the mid-1980's far before Linux was developed, so nothing they could do about it anyway.

With what was left of AT&#38;T was broken into several smaller companies. Those that were incompetant like Bell Labs aka Lucent got bought out or merged with baby bells that were sucessful. Before you knew it the new AT&#38;T was really the old Southwestern Bell, Bellsouth, Cingular, and what was left of smaller AT&#38;T companies driven into almost bankrupcies, and AT&#38;T was bought out just to have a famous name. Ironically AT&#38;T DSL partners up with Yahoo and has DSL software that only supports Windows platforms with limited Linux and Mac support.

If Microsoft follows AT&#38;T, first the DOJ needs to break it up into several parts. Then projects like WINE and ReactOS need to be given the full hidden APIs in order to provide an alternative to Windows using Windows API calls to run Windows programs without needing a copy of Windows. Then the baby Microsofts need to become incompetant and make a lot of mistakes and the more successful ones will buy out the least successful ones after 20 years of blundering.
Posted by Orion Blastar (590 comments )
Link Flag
permaID(dot)com will win microsoft!
within next 6 months
Posted by yamio (8 comments )
Link Flag
permaID(dot)com will win microsoft!
within next 6 months
Posted by yamio (8 comments )
Link Flag
SCO got sued for this type of behavior
ie making unsupported claims of infringement. Red Hat sued SCO for trade libel, disparagement, and tortious interference among others. Not surprisingly Microsoft backed SCO.

Let's not forget Microsoft has ripped off plenty of people's IP. If anyone should get a lesson in respect it's them.
Posted by unknown unknown (1951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
...and SCO is choking on its own fiscal blood right now
Google for "SCO Baystar" - the rest is plain as day.

I find it interesting that SCO is currently choking on its own blood in a Salt Lake City courthouse, even as we speak... then we see Ballmer thinking he might want to take the [i]same route[/i]?

Gah - he'd be an idiot to try, esp. since there's a minefield of code in there, each one marked "IBM built this"... get IBM involved, and MSFT will have a fight on their hands that they could never hope to win (what, you wanna get in a patent war against IBM? go ahead... if you like watching your company's liquid assets vaporize in a thermonuclear patent countersuit fireball). Lots of other mines in there too... SCO found that out the hard way when Novell came down against 'em on the UNIX front.

Ballmer's basically bluffing IMHO, else he would've went for it by now.


/P
Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Link Flag
DOJ ARE YOU LISTENING???
This is illegal anticompetitive behavior. Ballmer is threatening to use Microsoft's resources to pursue spurious patent cases against his competitors. I'd like to see criminal charges against him for 'uttering threats'.
Posted by Hardrada (359 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The Cult of Windows!
And people claim Mac users are members of a cult. Hardy-har-har.
Microsoft is THE source of all evil in the computer industry and
nobody wants to do anything about it. Windows users take
whatever Ballmer decides to cram up their poop-shoots and
respond with a smile on their faces, "Please, sir, may I have some
more?"

Steve Job's RDF doesn't hold a candle to Ballmer's sledgehammer.
Ballmer truly is Big Brother, right out of the novel.
Posted by lkrupp (1608 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Open source is the future
Solaris has been open sourced, HP has always been open sourced. I bet if Microsoft would make Windows open source they would have a lot better product, and the support of the community. What they have now is code for hire. Only money talks in the Microsoft world. Sure they have made our lives a little more easier, but now let us help. As far as infringing on Microsoft code, dirt dos which started all of this was an infringement on version 5 of the unix operating system. I do not see them trying to sue everyone who uses windows.
Posted by cbcooper79 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Open Source, the Internet and the Decline of Microsoft
see recent post

www.drdreg.com.

MS is running scared, and talking tough to cover up marked
erosion in the server market share, and impending erosion on the
desktop by GNU/Linux and Mac OS X.
Posted by DrDreg (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
"the Decline of Microsoft"
The "Decline of Microsoft" is now entering the second half of its second decade. Microsoft's imminent demise has been "12 months away" since the mid 90s.

Post *EXACTLY* the same resurface each year, replacing the "threat du jour", and then (here's the important part) claiming that "THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT".

Yes, one day it will be different. No company can last forever. However, Based on over 10 years watching C/ZDNet forums, I'm quite certain that the folks that will see it coming are not posting here.

I'm pretty sure that if I choose to, I can read these exact same posts 10 more years from now. Same posts, new folks, talking about the "immenent demise of Microsft in 2018". :-)
Posted by KTLA_knew (385 comments )
Link Flag
What stats are you making up?
I read the report but the majority of the facts listed are out of context.

Anyone who can google can check the facts on there own. Okay So 25% Market share no, its not 25% market share its 25% of the new market share, implementation. Both Microsoft and Linux are expanding there bussiness in this market. Moving into areas held by IBM, and SUN.


<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/ITFacts/?p=12180" target="_newWindow">http://blogs.zdnet.com/ITFacts/?p=12180</a>

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.clickz.com/showPage.html?page=3089611" target="_newWindow">http://www.clickz.com/showPage.html?page=3089611</a>
Posted by wolivere (780 comments )
Link Flag
Erosion of the desktop
As a a Mac user myself, I wouldn't really count Mac OS X in as a great threat to Microsoft. Those who want macs will use Mac Os X, those who like windows will install windows on their MacBooks (and other PCs, of course). What is a bigger threat is the emergence of stronger interoperable standards.

Interoperable standards mean it doesn't matter what OS or even device you use: whether its a desktop PC running Windows, a flavor of linux, bsd, or solaris, or a handheld, or a network terminal.

As long as everyone can open and manipulate files from others, the need to standardize on an OS (or device) is less important.

Maintaining OS hegemony for support is also less important as the update process becomes automatic from online sources.
Posted by Maccess (610 comments )
Link Flag
MS problem is Govn't eyes
If I was the Government, I would teach Microsoft a lesson, they are getting too cocky and oversteping their legal bounds, time after time.

MS is also becoming a threat to the U.S. Government, and I feel that they will do something about Microsoft into the future.

That's just my two cents, I smoked the other 400.
Posted by RompStar_420 (772 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Re: I feel that (the govt) will do something about Microsoft
Not this administration. They had MS dead to rights and either blinked or . . . .

At this point the only governmental agency showing any backbone is the EU and it appears they may be starting to go soft.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Link Flag
MS the problew?
Hmmmm. I wonder who else might be in your sites as a potential problem?

Wal-mart: placing America at-risk selling inexpensive Chinese-made microwaves and sewing machines.
Posted by Schratboy (122 comments )
Link Flag
Let the counter-suits begin!
IBM sues Microsoft for Windows having OS/2 code.

The ghost of DRI sues Microsoft for MS-DOS and Windows having CP/M-86 code.

Amiga sues Microsoft for Windows having AmigaDOS code.

Apple sues Microsoft for Windows Vista having OSX code.

Linux and *BSD Unix makers sue Microsoft for the TCP/IP stack and other parts of the Windows OS using their code.

Lotus and Corel sue Microsoft for Excel using Lotus 123 code, and Word using Wordperfect code.

Commodore, Atari, Coleco, Sinclair, and other computer companies put out of business by Microsoft have their IP holders sue Microsoft for using their IP and also putting them out of business.

Sony sues Microsoft for the XBox using Playstation IP.

AOL sues Microsoft for MSN using AOL IP.

Intuit sues Microsoft for MS Money using Quicken technology.

MySQL and Oracle sue Microsoft for MS SQL Server using their IP.

PHP group sues Microsoft for Active Server Pages using their IP.

Sun sues Microsoft for J# and C# using Java IP.

Google sues Microsoft for the Microsoft search technology using their IP.

Think you can defend them all, Uncle Fester?
Posted by Orion Blastar (590 comments )
Reply Link Flag
IP? Who cares who owns it. We'll use it anyway
Microsoft definitely has more cash and probably more flea-infested lawyers than any corporation in the US. Having a demonstrated penchant for megalomaniacal behavior, I have no doubt Ballmer would launch an assualt against open source providers just to suck their cash reserves and take their eyes of the ball.

As for Microsoft's products, they're passable. Corporate America buys their crap because it's easy and comes with all the bells and whistles even if they have to double their overall investments just to make them semi-secure and operational. They perform above what's considered to be acceptable as normal business task, not mission critical mind you, and well beneath what you or I would consider safe if it were a medical procedure. Just my opinion of course.
Posted by Schratboy (122 comments )
Link Flag
Just as long as they respect others' IP
Linux and other open source projects have a lot of IP of their own that Mr. Ballmer doesn't seem to have any respect for. It's just that the people who contribute to those projects license it with a special license which puts special conditions on the IP.

I'm getting sick and tired of Microsoft's and in particular Steve Ballmer's rhetoric about IP when they are essentially hypocritical about it. I personally have chosen to only buy Microsoft's products when it is a work necessity, which isn't that frequent any more... They have turned me off as a customer both in the personal and business world and I look forward to the day when their current executives, especially Steve Ballmer, have left the company.
Posted by jeromatron (103 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Intellectual Property
The biggest oxymoron since Microsoft Security, Microsoft Works, and Microsoft Innovation.
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ballmer is a fascist and an idiot!
WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS!
WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS!
WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS!
WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS!
WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS!
WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS!
WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS!
WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS! WINDOWS!
WINDOWS!
Posted by Lara Jass (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Dear Mr. Ballmer: Put Up or Shut Up.
So... which MSFT patents/IP is supposedly being "violated"?

Funny how there's never any specifics... just empty bluster.

Maybe MSFT is scared of discovering to their horror that the ones they think may be in contention are previously patented by IBM (who subsequently lets Linux use mauch of their portfolio)?

I'm curious to see what exactly Ballmer is crying about... give us some specifics, please, or ****.

/P
Posted by Penguinisto (5042 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ballmer: Take your (stolen) marbles and go home
OHMYGAWD. Ballmer is worried about ethics and propriety???

Wow, who's the genius behind this marketing ploy / distraction?
I can see the ads now: Vista may be lame and buggy -- but at
least the world's most powerful corporation won't sure your
arse...

MICROSOFT IS DEAD MEAT. And as users awaken to the fact
thay they've been bludgeoned, beat, coerced, threatened and
sued into supine compliance with a mindless bully (read,
Ballmer et. al.), they will switch to any reliable OS vendor with a
clue... Apple and many others.

Monkey boy should have split when Allchin did -- and bought a
Mac.
Posted by avfolk--2008 (37 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ballmer: Take your (stolen) marbles and go home
OHMYGAWD. Ballmer is worried about ethics and propriety???

Wow, who's the genius behind this marketing ploy / distraction?
I can see the ads now: Vista may be lame and buggy -- but at
least the world's most powerful corporation won't sue your
arse...

MICROSOFT IS DEAD MEAT. And as users awaken to the fact
thay they've been bludgeoned, beat, coerced, threatened and
sued into supine compliance with a mindless bully (read,
Ballmer et. al.), they will switch to any reliable OS vendor with a
clue... Apple and many others.

Monkey boy should have split when Allchin did -- and bought a
Mac.
Posted by avfolk--2008 (37 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Better idea for microsoft (free as in free beer)
Patent the patenting process itself - that way it is easier to get a cut from all the future patents in the world.

- a life longs developer of Microsoft technologies
Posted by noname_h (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Or is the plot to kill Novell?
Is MS/Ballmer really just undermining Novell? If he gets the
opensource community to kick out Novell for the patent
agreement, then abandons Novell, is Novell done for?
Posted by littlejon2 (17 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ballmer proving my thesis.
I've always asserted that Microsoft's primary skill set is not software design. Their primary skill set is in the acquisition, propagation, and extension of monopoly power through timely and shrewd contracting and not a little bit of raw intimidation. That they are doing this in the software industry is an accident of history. A century ago Rockefeller did the same thing in oil.

And here comes Mr. Ballmer doing what they do best.

How about hiring a few good programmers and industrial designers and just build a better product eh, Mr. Ballmer? Your company is looking more and more like GM you know.
Posted by tundraboy (494 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The reality is that Balmer is RIGHT!...
Now that I caught your attention, let me explain.

Microsoft probably does hold a couple of patents that if push came to shove, a competent lawyer could use it for grounds a lawsuit.

But Microsoft will never sue anyone.Balmer's comments are to create FUD amongst corporate America who is looking for more cost effective desktops.

Balmer's comments are meant to cause risk adverse managers to stay within the Microsoft camp. Nobody but IBM or Microsoft could afford to toss money away on frivilous lawsuits.

So on the surface, Balmer is correct. They hold patents. And that there may be some infringements on one of these untold number of patents. So why risk a lawsuit?

Should this stop anyone from purchasing a Linux distro for corporate use? No.

Balmer is no idiot. His comments are measured and are carefully worded in an effort to create FUD while minimizing any potential backlash.

Scary huh?
Posted by dargon19888 (412 comments )
Reply Link Flag
He who has more money and lawyers wins
Regardless of the validity of patent infringement claims, whomever seeks to defend a patent must have the cash and legal resources in place to do so. MS has a humongous advantage over everyone else. If if MS is on shaky grounds, just the basic due diligence would cost millions or dollars, bleeding cash from their opponents may be just one vector for attach from the gods at MS. The path of least resistance is an out-of-court settlement, which, of course, MS wins. Again, he who has the most money and lawyers wins. Point to the pasty-faced Stevie B.
Posted by Schratboy (122 comments )
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Check again
Microsoft owns hundreds of patents that open source is stepping on. They paid people to develop and patent the technology.

I can't think of any reason they shouldn't be able to defend them and more then any other company has a right now.

Go do your homework next time.
Posted by J. Blow (193 comments )
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