Skip to comments.Microsoft takes on the free world (Gates wants royalties on Linux)
Posted on 05/13/2007 4:05:27 PM PDT by Zakeet
Free software is great, and corporate America loves it. It's often high-quality stuff that can be downloaded free off the Internet and then copied at will. It's versatile - it can be customized to perform almost any large-scale computing task - and it's blessedly crash-resistant.
A broad community of developers, from individuals to large companies like IBM, is constantly working to improve it and introduce new features. No wonder the business world has embraced it so enthusiastically: More than half the companies in the Fortune 500 are thought to be using the free operating system Linux in their data centers.
But now 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 (Charts, Fortune 500), Microsoft is pulling no punches: It wants royalties. If the company gets its way, free software won't be free anymore.
(Excerpt) Read more at money.cnn.com ...
I love it.
64 bit versions of Vista can access massive quantities of memory. The 32 bit version can address 4GB of memory.
3GB is the practical limit for 32 bit Vista since 1GB is reserved for video memory, bios, etc.
It is just like the 640kB limitation under DOS. DOS could address 1MB of memory, but had to reserve 360KB for video and bios.
I didn’t realize Microsoft owned Unix. Who knew?
Is this another "hunting with Cheney" joke?
It seems to me M$ would have to reveal its source code if it wants to prove that Linux has stolen it.
The net result implied, of course, was that a company can get protected status for ... a series of keystrokes! The originality of the code apparently constitutes no defense.
Then imprison Bill Gates for violating every state law regarding rendering professional service without a license. Microsoft is the major reason software isn’t signed off upon by registered engineers. When Microsoft went around the law by promoting patent law over professional registration, he molded the industry so that his firm attempts to reclassify public service as a competitive service destroying thousands of professional jobs while creating a monopoly.
MS stole windows from X and UNIX, previously developed by Xeorx Parc but to mention a few.
IMHO, MS set the computer science industry back decades and stifled intellectual achienvement for millions of Americans, while riding the wave of PC software throughout corporate America to create his monopoly/oligopoly.
Considering the amount of lead start MS has held in OS SW, he only has himself to blame for incompetence in leading the market further. Now he has to further leach off of public domain SW created by thousands of unpaid programmers serving the public.
If the box says “Windows XP or better”, install linux.
According to the article, MS is claiming PATENT INFRINGEMENT. This can be demonstrated by an examination of the patent and the Linux source code in question. Any pertinent MS source code would not have to be divulged.
And Ballmer said “I am the Lizard King, I can do anything”
I hope Linux whips their backsides, they need to innovate, not litigate.
For a variety of technical reasons, many dispassionate observers suspect that software patents are especially vulnerable to court challenge.
Microsoft asserting this line of reasoning is a Good Thing. IMHO, software patents are a joke and by the time this all washes out, there will be far, far fewer of the absudrdities that are patented today.
But, still waiting for the definitive end of the IBM/SCO lawsuit.
The amount varies with hardware. There is no "hard" number of how much is wasted due to peripheral addresses.
I would also assume Linux is under the same restrictions as Windows and other 32bit operating systems.
Agreed. It surely will be a very interesting saga to watch as time goes by.
This paragraph from the article sums up MSFT's problem in a nutshell:
Now that Microsoft had identified the infringements, it could try to seek royalties. But from whom? FOSS [free and open-source software] isn't made by a company but by a loose-knit community of hundreds of individuals and companies. One possibility was to approach the big commercial Linux distributors like Red Hat and Novell that give away the software but sell subscription support services. However, distributors were prohibited from paying patent royalties by something whose very existence may surprise many readers: FOSS's own licensing terms.Microsoft has long been known to use FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) to intimidate its customers. Now Microsoft may be experiencing a little FUD itself. From the article (edited slightly):
... just last month the Supreme Court stated in a unanimous opinion that patents have been issued too readily for the past two decades, and lots are probably invalid. For a variety of technical reasons, many dispassionate observers suspect that software patents are especially vulnerable to court challenge.IMHO, lots of smoke and mirrors. A nonstarter.
Most of the arguments bandied around against software patents could just as easily be used against all forms of patents. The left has continuously argued against patents for the same reason that they won’t acknowledge the contribution capital; i.e., tools, make to economic prosperity.
That being said, I should divulge that I have been awarded 15 hardware/software patents over the last 15 years.
There seems to be a shake-up coming over software patents due to a legitimate complaint about them. Many have been issued for mechanisms which should have been considered “obvious”.
In fact, one of my 15 patents had just been issued when I got around to reading it. It had been prepared by our corporate patent attorney based on my disclosure. I found that the patent did not describe my invention correctly and instead described what I would consider to be an “obvious” mechanism for which a patent should not have been issued!
The ''patenting'' of software, or portions of it, almost invariably boils down to the patenting of an algorithm or algorithms, which is nonsensical pure and simple.
Imagine someone patenting, say, the method of taking square roots by hand. Impossible to conceive. Yet, software-based algorithms are patented every day, some of which are not even fully-defined logically.
Take dithering, for example. Most dithering algorithms utilise some randomness in setting the color of a 'fractional' pixel. This is an 'algorithm'?? Puh-lease!
Actually, it’s 2GB. There is a boot option to allow you to use 3, but it won’t work. But Dell will sell you 4 GB. Ask me how I know :)
I guess they're not getting the return on their SCO investment that they'd hoped for...
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