Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Slashdot | Ballmer Repeats Threats Against Linux

I think we can expect much more sabre rattling like this:

Slashdot | Ballmer Repeats Threats Against Linux

Now that the SCO action against Linux is failing Microsoft need a FUD generator to put in it's place, and this patent threat (sadly enabled by Novel) is it.

It's all rather messy and seems to rely on software idea patents, but Microsoft won't say which ones (just as SCO were unable to say exactly what their complaint was either, despite the court requiring them to do so). If the FOSS community knew which patents Microsoft felt were being infringed upon something could be done about it, such as re-writing bits of code or knocking down the patents because they are un-original or fail in some other regard.

But Microsoft don't want to have the problems fixed because that would remove the FUD weapon. No, they want to go on threatening unspecified doom and gloom. This kind of behaviour might even be illegal, but who is big enough to take on Microsoft in court?

But why would Microsoft open themselves up to being laughed at or even possibly taken to court? Because the FOSS community is taking an increasingly large bite out of Microsoft's potential revenue, and they are scared.

Beware the cornered rat.

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