“In comments confirming the open-source community’s suspicions, Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer today declared his belief that the Linux operating system infringes on Microsoft’s intellectual property,” Eric Lai reports for Computerworld.
Lai reports, “In a question-and-answer session after his keynote speech at the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) conference in Seattle, Ballmer said Microsoft was motivated to sign a deal with SUSE Linux distributor Novell Inc. earlier this month because Linux ‘uses our intellectual property’ and Microsoft wanted to ‘get the appropriate economic return for our shareholders from our innovation.'”
“‘Novell pays us some money for the right to tell customers that anybody who uses SUSE Linux is appropriately covered,’ Ballmer said. This ‘is important to us, because [otherwise] we believe every Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability,'” Lai reports.
“‘My reaction is that so far, what he [Ballmer] said is just more FUD [fear, uncertainty and doubt],’ said Pamela Jones, editor of the Groklaw.net blog, which tracks legal issues in the open-source community. ‘Let him sue if he thinks he has a valid claim, and we’ll see how well his customers like it,'” Lai reports.
“Jones also challenged Ballmer to ‘put his money where his mouth is’ and detail exactly what part of the Linux kernel source code allegedly infringes upon Microsoft patents, so that ‘folks will strip out the code and work around it or prove his patent invalid,'” Lai reports. “Ballmer did not provide details during his comments today. But he was adamant that Linux users, apart from those using SUSE, are taking advantage of Microsoft innovation, and that someone — either Linux vendors or users — would eventually have to pay up. ‘Only customers that use SUSE have paid properly for intellectual property from Microsoft,’ he said. ‘We are willing to do a deal with Red Hat and other Linux distributors.’ The deal with SUSE Linux ‘is not exclusive,’ Ballmer added.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft and “innovation” go together like Steve Ballmer and antiperspirant.
Microsoft’s Windows Vista is basically Microsoft’s version of Mac OS 9.3 – October 11, 2006
Microsoft Windows Vista: If you can’t innovate… try to impersonate Apple’s Mac OS X – August 10, 2006
Ballmer: I’m Microsoft’s ‘primary champion of innovation’ – July 27, 2006
Microsoft botches another copy job: Windows Vista Flip3D vs. Apple Mac OS X Exposé – June 26, 2006
Windows Vista rips-off Mac OS X at great hardware cost (and Apple gains in the end) – June 13, 2006
Computerworld: Microsoft Windows Vista a distant second-best to Apple Mac OS X – June 02, 2006
Thurrott: Microsoft going to get eaten alive over Windows Vista’s resemblance to Apple’s Mac OS X – March 09, 2006
NY Times’ Pogue on Gates’ CES demo: Most of Vista features unadulterated ripoffs from Apple Mac OS X – January 05, 2006
Analyst: Windows Vista may still impress many consumers because they have not seen Apple’s Mac OS X – January 05, 2006
Apple’s talent and innovation vs. Microsoft’s hype – October 25, 2005
Microsoft’s Windows Vista strives to deliver what Apple’s Mac OS X already offers – October 10, 2005
Thurrott: many of Windows Vista’s upcoming features appeared first in Apple’s Mac OS X – September 26, 2005
Microsoft’s Ballmer: It’s true, some of Windows Vista’s features are ‘kissing cousins’ to Mac OS X – September 18, 2005
PC World: Microsoft innovation – an oxymoron – September 14, 2005
eWEEK Editor Coursey: Longhorn so far ‘looks shockingly like a Macintosh’ – April 25, 2005
Due in late 2006, many of Windows Longhorn’s features have been in Mac OS X since 2001 – April 25, 2005
Microsoft’s new mantra: ‘It Just Works’ ripped straight from Apple’s ‘Switch’ campaign – April 22, 2005
Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Microsoft’s Longhorn: ‘They are shamelessly copying us’ – April 21, 2005
Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn will bear more than just a passing resemblance to Apple’s Mac OS X – April 15, 2005
Steve Jobs: Microsoft copied original Apple Mac with Windows 95, now they’re copying us again – February 08, 2005
Novell CEO: ‘Microsoft sucked $60 billion out of IT industry that could have used for innovation’ – September 13, 2004
Apple CEO Steve Jobs: Mac OS X Tiger ‘is going to drive the copycats crazy – June 28, 2004
PC Magazine: Microsoft ‘Longhorn’ preview shows ‘an Apple look’ – May 06, 2004
Charles Arthur: Microsoft’s definition of ‘innovation’ different from everyone else’s – April 27, 2004
Windows ‘Longhorn’ to add translucent windows that ripple and shrink by 2005 – May 19, 2003