Microsoft claims that free software like Linux violates over 200 of its patents

Apple Store“Microsoft claims that free software like Linux, which runs a big chunk of corporate America, violates 235 of its patents. It wants royalties from distributors and users. Users like you, maybe,” Roger Parloff reports for Fortune.

“There’s a shadow hanging over Linux and other free software, and it’s being cast by Microsoft. The Redmond behemoth asserts that one reason free software is of such high quality is that it violates more than 200 of Microsoft’s patents. And as a mature company facing unfavorable market trends and fearsome competitors like Google, Microsoft is pulling no punches: It wants royalties. If the company gets its way, free software won’t be free anymore,” Parloff reports.

Parloff reports, “The conflict pits Microsoft and its dogged CEO, Steve Ballmer, against the ‘free world’ – people who believe software is pure knowledge.”

“Caught in the middle are big corporate Linux users like Wal-Mart, AIG, and Goldman Sachs. Free-worlders say that if Microsoft prevails, the whole quirky ecosystem that produced Linux and other free and open-source software (FOSS) will be undermined,” Parloff reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft is in a much shakier position than Ballmer, Gates, or large holders of MSFT would like anyone to believe. Contrary to popular belief, it can all come crashing down rather quickly; even as it’s being methodically dismantled today. It’s not only on this open source issue; Microsoft is being attacked on many fronts. Microsoft is lashing out in fear, yet again – like the big, stupid, cornered dinosaur that it is.

Those who think it’s Google, Google, Google, with a bit of Linux thrown in for good measure amuse us; ’tis Apple that Microsoft fears most – or should fear most (besides karma, of course), if they had adequate management that wasn’t blinded by hubris, headed by an uncouth used car salesman plucked by fate and random dorm assignment to front an immoral purveyor of global mediocrity, and therefore unable to accurately assess risk.


  1. I thought royalties are paid based on a percentage of what a product is sold for. Even if they had 100% royalties from Linux, doesn’t that mean they get 100% of nothing?

  2. and how many patents of other companies is microsoft violating.

    and does ms cares if it violates other companies patents, no. their attitude is let them sue ms and ms will grind them up with lawyer fees and court cost and drag their lawsuite out for decades.

  3. “The Redmond behemoth asserts that one reason free software is of such high quality is that it violates more than 200 of Microsoft’s patents.”

    Then why isn’t Microsoft’s own software of the same high quality???

  4. How can Micro$oft recover…simply make something that works good. Quit making money and start making products. Quit being businessmen and start being innovators. Start knowing people so you can start knowing what people need.

  5. Henri Witteveen, amen to that brotha!

    If MS has tens of thousands of employees and cannot produce software that out competes free OSS competition though higher quality, what does that say about MS?

    MS is truly the wastebin of technology where the lowest common denominator rules, and intelligent capable people are sucked in like a black hole and never come out again with anything worthwhile.. good ideas from people in MS enter some alternate dimention of pure beaurocratic grativy that sucks them in and crushes the life out of them til they have little resemblance to their original selves.

    Only when products fail to generate any excitement whatsoever, and are completely bland and tasteless and lacking in any sense of style, consistancy or elegance are they allowed to ship with an MS branded logo.

  6. Doubtful that infringements are to make anything BETTER.

    They’re just to make things WORK with the (illegal monopoly) purveyer of Windows software.

    MS would rather nothing at all competed with Windows.

  7. Wait till Ballmer’s uncle will get the Zune and the first social network will get functional. First squirted song: “For whom the bell tolls”.

    And: starting from now, no more double-clicks, MS holds the patent for this innovation.

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