June 22, 2007 5:25 AM PDT

Mandriva latest to reject Microsoft

Mandriva has followed the lead of other Linux distributors, such as Canonical and Red Hat, in publicly spurning Microsoft's advances for a patent protection deal.

Last fall, Microsoft and Novell signed an agreement in which Microsoft agreed not to sue Novell for patent infringement. This agreement has since been followed by similar deals with Linux firms Xandros and Linspire.

The Windows maker claims that open-source applications infringe hundreds of its patents, but it has so far failed to specify which patents are involved.

Francois Bancilhon, Mandriva's chief executive, wrote in a blog this week that, despite rumors to the contrary, Mandriva was not next on the list for a deal with Microsoft.

"Interoperability between the Windows and Linux world is important and must be dealt with, and anything that helps this interoperability is a good thing," wrote Bancilhon, adding that "the best way to deal with interoperability is open standards."

"As far as (intellectual property) is concerned, we are, to say the least, not great fans of software patents and of the current patent system, which we consider as counterproductive for the industry as a whole," Bancilhon continued. "We also believe what we see and, up to now, there has been absolutely no hard evidence from any of the FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) propagators that Linux and open-source applications are in breach of any patents. So we think that, as in any democracy, people are innocent unless proven guilty, and we can continue working in good faith."

Bancilhon said bluntly that Mandriva did not believe that it is necessary to pay "protection money" to Microsoft or anyone else.

His words echoed those of Mark Shuttleworth of Canonical, the company behind the popular Ubuntu distribution. "A promise by Microsoft not to sue for infringement of unspecified patents has no value at all and is not worth paying for...people who pay protection money for that promise are likely living in a false sense of security," Shuttleworth wrote in a blog last week.

Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution in the world, according to open source-monitoring site DistroWatch.com. Novell's OpenSuse is second most popular. Red Hat's Fedora is No. 3, followed by Debian and then Mandriva.

David Meyer of ZDNet UK reported from London.

See more CNET content tagged:
Mandriva, Linux company, interoperability, patent, Novell Inc.

22 comments

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Put up or shut up, Microsoft
They won't show what patents are so-called infringed, and are
striking a FUD campaign to force open source partnership.

What a piece of sh** company.

Drop Microsoft technologies, don't support a predatory company
that limits choice.
Posted by MaLvaDo39 (365 comments )
Reply Link Flag
My thoughts exactly
I have MS Word but don't have it on my PC. It is a piece of crap just like the company that made it.

I use Open Office and Google Docs and Spreadsheets.
So my MS Word CD can be a coffee coaster for all I care.

I don't need that **** company.
Posted by t8 (3716 comments )
Link Flag
yea, like...
by your logic, you shouldn't buy an automobile also. its amazing that for some reason when it comes to software, all the rules of running a company seam to be evil. at least Microsoft doesn't force you to purchase the hardware they make also (apple anyone?)
Posted by zeeboid (92 comments )
Reply Link Flag
forced purchase
Oh, get real. Apple isn't forcing you to do anything. If you don't like what they're offering, then don't buy it.
Posted by herkamur (115 comments )
Link Flag
Bad anology
It's more like Ford trying to force all the other auto makers to pay protection money on every car they make, based on unspecified patents.
Posted by Phillep_H (497 comments )
Link Flag
Spoken like a true ignoramus
Microsoft are one of the worse companies in the world for breaking the law and for stealing other people's stuff.

They are a bunch of thieves and they give nothing back to anyone.

So why stick up for them, unless of course you own their stock or work for them.

Apart from that, it is in the public's interest to dump Microsoft if they can. Open is better and we live in the Internet Age now. It isn't the 90s anymore. Boxed bloatware costing hundreds of dollars is now the past.

You will never get me buying software in a box ever again. Why would you when you can do most things with a browser, broadband, and Web 2.0.
Posted by t8 (3716 comments )
Link Flag
Um, I'm not seeing your point
If a automobile manufacturer came to me and said "The car you make infringes 235 of our patents but if you sign this agreement we promise not sue you or the people who bought your car" my response would be the same as Red Hat, Canonical and Mandriva....until you show me exactly what I'm infringing to prove I actually am, I aint changing nothing (because we both know if I started doing it first your so call patent is null and void).
Posted by ittesi259 (727 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Seems like Protection Money
Yeah, that's exactly what it is. Corporate Extortion by Microsoft to not break their knees, err, cost them money and time in a bogus trial.
Posted by Dr_Zinj (727 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Be happy they are doing this
They funded SCO and failed. So they know better to go to court.

They funded lots of FUD studies and that failed.

They tried to copy Linux with Vista and that failed.

This is all they have left to "compete" with Linux.
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
Link Flag
Distrowatch
Is meaningless numbers.

When legitimate news organization quote distrowatch, they at least say it doesn't track downloads or actual number of installations.

It is gratifying to see that most of the people behind the distros see this for what it is: a alst ditch, desperate effort to slow down Linux.

No one cares about Linspire or Xandros, but when Novell foolishly signed that nonsense, they harmed themselves.

Which is a shame, because SuSE is one of the best operating systems on the planet. For desktop use, only OSX can compete with it.
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Good for Mandriva - Best Strategy
MS is probably going to assert against the non-surrendering distros and probably use some clause in the deals they have now with Novell and the legion of surrendered distros that they will try to use to compel them to join the suit or likely suite. The assertion suits have already been drafted by MS counsel in the development of the Linux-elimination strategy.

MS' plan is to divide the OS distros into two camps, sue the non-compliant crowd like Mandriva and turning Novell and Co into community pariahs.

That will throw Linux development into chaos and give Windows another 10 years as the cases wend their way through courts all over the world. While the case is proceeding, meanwhile, MS will be delivering infringement notices to every OS developer on the planet who goes near Linux.

Nice.
Posted by Sumatra-Bosch (526 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wow. He NAILED that sucker!
"Interoperability between the Windows and Linux world is important and must be dealt with, and anything that helps this interoperability is a good thing," wrote Bancilhon, adding that

_"the best way to deal with interoperability is open standards."_ ---RIGHT THERE, BABY.
Hear, hear!!!

Good job with silverlight's open spec, Microsoft. First thing you've done right in a while.
(It'll be funny when the OSS implementation will be better than M$'s own ;)
Posted by ethana2 (348 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yeah, Not a Fan of the U.S. Patent System
That explains it in a nutshell. Because deep down he knows that open source most likely violates patents that others thought of first, so he wants to change the rules midcourse. Nice try, but I don't buy the open source mantra of our patent system as being broken. It's suited the country well for over 200 years and has not hampered innovation one bit!
Posted by WJeansonne (480 comments )
Reply Link Flag
lol
If MS had a valid claim they would be doing it in the courts, not through paid idiots like you.

Secondly, the patent system today has been perverted by corporations like MS. It is not as intended by the US Constitution.
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
Link Flag
Ther patent system IS broken
Patents were set up for hardware and hardware innovations. Software is "intellectual property" and should be covered by copyrights not patents.
Posted by willdryden (271 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Can someone tell me how to get Linux 4 free,? and whats so great about it?
Posted by INtheZONE71 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

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