“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.