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Microsoft Sues Salesforce.com Over Patents

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the few-selected-gems-from-the-collection dept.

Microsoft 243

WrongSizeGlass writes "CNET is reporting that Microsoft is suing Salesforce.com in Seattle federal court, claiming it infringes on nine patents. Two of the patents in question are a 'system and method for providing and displaying a Web page having an embedded menu' and a 'method and system for stacking toolbars in a computer display.'" Microsoft says it first notified Salesforce more than a year ago about the alleged infringement.

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243 comments

What's the angle? (3, Insightful)

mozumder (178398) | more than 4 years ago | (#32260712)

Looking for the MSFT agenda here. Are salesforce.com people going after microsoft sales reps? Has the saleforce.com people brought too much competition to MSFT? What gives?

Re:What's the angle? (5, Interesting)

Yo Grark (465041) | more than 4 years ago | (#32260754)

Yes, SF continues to win contracts from Dynamics or whatever MS is calling their latest CRM this week.

SF are just WAY too nimble in their catering to companies needs while MS expects companies to buy upgraded hardware, software, consultants, etc to conform data to THEIR system.

SF: Here you go, we figured out how to provide x for no extra charge.
MS: Sorry we can't do that without $100,000 and even then there's no guarantee.

So yeah, SF is kickin MS's a$$ets and putting their attempts at a CRM to shame.

Next up, MS buys SF.com. *sigh*

- Yo Grark

Re:What's the angle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32260826)

Ya, homie, ok... maybe you want to check Salesforce's profit margin. Maybe that's going to quiet down this fantasy of yours.

Re:What's the angle? (1)

Yo Grark (465041) | more than 4 years ago | (#32260982)

As a business grunt, I was just alluding to a string of good sites/companies being gobbled up by bigger fish. Makes me cringe as I've never seen the parent company take the product or service in a better direction.

Yo Grark

Patent Armageddon? (3, Funny)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261022)

First Apple turns patent troll on HTC, now it's MSFT's turn? I thought these two were kinda well behaved and used patents only as a defensive measure, guess I was wrong.

Re:What's the angle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32261310)

I work for VMware and we just bought them, so i don't think you need to worry about MS buying them.

Re:What's the angle? (4, Interesting)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261400)

Yes, SF continues to win contracts from Dynamics or whatever MS is calling their latest CRM this week.

SaleForce.com is winning customers away from Dynamics because Dynamics is an absolute pile of crap. If you managed to wade though the absolutely stupid way to customise Dynamics 3.0 you quickly found out that you needed to start from scratch again with 4.0 because MS changed everything and it's still a pile of crap.

Businesses wont use Dynamics despite MS giving away free licenses with every MAPS and partner subscription.

Oh, and the reasons the parent mentioned.

Re:What's the angle? (3, Funny)

Johan_Munich (1814766) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261772)

Before you go pushing your agenda to bash Microsoft get some facts right. Firstly sorry Microsoft changed product name from MS CRM to Dynamics CRM a few years ago. Secondly, Dynamics CRM is available as a software as a service just like Sales Force. The only requirement for this model is an internet connection and internet explorer. However many businesses still like the idea of owning software so the tool is available for on premise installation which is the choice for most enterprise solutions. Any serious software roll out will require consultants and customizations because no out of the box solution can cater for all business processes. Small business can be up and running without customizations and consultants using the base Dynamics CRM sales, marketing and service modules. Disclaimer, Yes, I am a Dynamics CRM consultant and just wanted to give what I truly believe is a great business software a fair chance.

Re:What's the angle? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32260780)

Looking for the MSFT agenda here. Are salesforce.com people going after microsoft sales reps? Has the saleforce.com people brought too much competition to MSFT? What gives?

Oh, I dunno. I fly for business around 2 or 3 times a year. It's kind of a mixed bag.
Having to take off your shoes and remove everything from your pockets and take your laptop out of your bag sucks.
Sitting around the terminal for an hour and a half because you misjudged how long the security line would be sucks.
Buying an overpriced snack from the shops in the gate area to avoid buying an even more overpriced snack on the plane sucks.
Sitting around in the airport bar makes things suck less until you get the tab, then it sucks a whole lot.
Forgetting to go to the bathroom before boarding and ending up having to piss while cramming your 6'3" frame into a tiny room with a 4 foot ceiling sucks, especially after having spent an hour and a half in the airport bar.
Sitting in a seat with two inches of legroom, half of which is taken up by your bag because the jackass next to you decided to bring his entire life in his carryon bag and (with the help of several flight attendants) crammed it into the overhead bin, taking up every available inch of space while knocking you in the head several times, sucks.
Trying to make your body as small as possible to avoid touching the aforementioned jackass who is snoring fitfully in the seat next to you for 4 hours sucks.
Trying to rest in a tiny seat that reclines half an inch sucks.
Trying to ignore the screaming pain in your knees while the person in front of you reclines their seat, which somehow seems to recline at least 2 feet, sucks.
Arriving late at the airport and sprinting to your connecting flight only to find that it's been delayed for 4 hours sucks.
Finally arriving home to find your luggage has been mysteriously rerouted to Poland sucks.

But then, of course, there are the upsides...
Experiencing the exhilarating feeling of lifting off the ground in a giant metal tube kicks ass.
Seeing the ground fall beneath you kicks ass.
Flying over big cities and seeing how the buildings that look so massive up close seem so small from up there kicks ass.
Flying over the plains and seeing the massive farm fields, especially the giant circular ones, kicks ass.
Flying through clouds for several minutes and suddenly rising above them and seeing the fluffy white cloud tops just below you dazzlingly lit by the sun kicks ass.
Flying through a storm and seeing the lightning flash around you while the plane rocks and sways kicks considerably less ass, but it's still kind of cool.
Flying at night and seeing all the lights, from tiny rural towns to massive cities, kicks ass.
Descending over an ocean, slowly getting closer and closer to the water and, just when it looks like you're about to be fish food, seeing a runway suddenly appear below you, kicks ass.
Landing, having the wheels make contact, and having the engines suddenly roar while the plane decelerates rapidly kicks ass.
Getting across the country or across the world in a day kicks serious ass.

So yeah, there are a lot of things I hate about flying, but there are a lot of things I really love about it too.

Re:What's the angle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32260796)

You're obviously taking Microsoft's side in this without ever considering Salesforce.com's position at all. I think you're being rather unreasonable.

Re:What's the angle? (-1, Offtopic)

Billy the Mountain (225541) | more than 4 years ago | (#32260846)

Did someone just learn to cut and paste today? Hmmm?

Re:What's the angle? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32261054)

umm... what?

Re:What's the angle? (1)

no-body (127863) | more than 4 years ago | (#32260838)

Maybe they refused that unrefusable offer?

Is this defensive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32261248)

Don't people usually pop up in the Microsoft stories to tell us that "at least Microsoft only uses its software patents for defense" or some such thing?

Because I'm pretty sure this is a big counter-example...

Re:Is this defensive? (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261398)

No, they say that about IBM (which is even more ludicrous)

Re:Is this defensive? (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261814)

They do tend to say it about Microsoft, because I think this is the fourth exception ever, and I think at least some of the previous exceptions were not software patents (?). Also, salesforce.com isn't exactly a small, scrappy garage business just trying to break into the field. For most of their history (~35 years), it had simply never happened.

Still, this definitely is a great way to lose some of the remaining little drops of sympathy in the vast desert that is slashdot's favour for Microsoft.

I refuse to wade through the legalese to figure out if I think any of these patents have merit (I'm not necessarily sold on the idea that software patents are a bad idea, though I'm also not sure that they're a good idea; the arguments I usually see on both sides drift into topics I don't care about).

Damn you msft (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32260728)

Yeah,

Maybe Imma troll or maybe I've been drinking too much, but it kinda seems like this.

Microsoft: You infringe on our patent about everything:
Salesforce: Fuck Off you Fucking Troll
Microsoft: We're gonna sue you.
Salesforce: Fuck Lff you Fucking Troll
Microsoft: You goto hell now, you die.

Could be stolen code. (1)

Sowelu (713889) | more than 4 years ago | (#32260730)

One angle I could see on this: Sure, everyone might want to make their webpages look this way. But if you rip off the exact code MS is using, change some variables, and get caught, well hey, looky here, we patented that beyotch.

Just a vague idea though.

Re:Could be stolen code. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32260768)

question about this.
I'm not a real 'programmer' but a systems admin.
For example, if I create shell scripts and use them where i work, then use the same scripts that i created at a new job, the new company can get sued for infridgments?

Re:Could be stolen code. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32260804)

Typically employers make their employees sign an agreement when they are hired that any intellectual property they create while performing their job becomes the intellectual property of the employer and the employee loses the rights to it.

Some agreements are even as strict as to say that anything you create while you are employed becomes the IP of your employer. So if you wrote something at home while you are "off the clock" it would still technically be the property of your employer. Booo!

Re:Could be stolen code. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32260850)

Theoretically yes, look up "work product." Depending on how rigid the old company is you can just write it into the contract that you retain copyright of your scripts and they have perpetual and derivative use in any context, or vice-versa, or however you want to structure it.

As a practical matter, it's probably unlikely to come up due to the cost of a lawsuit. (Unless they're really valuable scripts or there's a lot of personal animosity.) Plus they have to find out about it.

There are also issues as to whether the new company will get sued, or just you. Either of you can, of course, but who winds up having to pay is a different question, which probably depends in part on whether the new company knows (or is willfully avoiding knowledge of, etc...) it is infringing, etc...

There are also a number of complexities you'd look into. Injunctions, whether any of these jobs are independent contractor jobs, etc...

Note that the case in the story is about patents, not copyrights. Also, none of this is reliable, but is an off-the-top-of-the-head thought. IANAL.

Re:Could be stolen code. (4, Informative)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#32260794)

One angle I could see on this: Sure, everyone might want to make their webpages look this way. But if you rip off the exact code MS is using, change some variables, and get caught, well hey, looky here, we patented that beyotch.

Just a vague idea though.

Nah, that would be copyright infringement.

Re:Could be stolen code. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32260890)

Taking the code is infringement. Using it would also violate the patent.

Re:Could be stolen code. (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#32260904)

Taking the code is infringement. Using it would also violate the patent.

But, Microsoft sued them for patent infringement. If they had taken the code and used it in their products, then Microsoft would have sued them for copyright infringement as the fines can be exhorbitant. Heck, look how much a few infringed 99 cent songs can be?

Re:Could be stolen code. (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#32260974)

How the crud do you patent HTML? I mean seriously.

Re:Could be stolen code. (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261316)

They didn't patent the HTML, they patented a method for doing whatever it is they did with that HTML. (You don't patent end results, you patent methods or processes. End results are covered by copyright.)

(Please don't construe this comment as support for MS's actions... I think software patents are completely stupid.)

Re:Could be stolen code. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32261450)

Well, one angle could be this. Maybe you beat your wife, abuse your children, and have sex with your dog. Just a vague idea, you know.

In different words, stop f*cking making things up.

Re:Could be stolen code. (1)

kiwix (1810960) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261552)

No, that's not what patent protect. That would be protected by copyright, which an entirely different beast.

Eh... What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32260732)

Perhaps MS's new path to profit after Google takes over the world is to sue every website that has an "embedded menu" or application with "stackable toolbars"

Reciprocal angle. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32260744)

MSFT must have recently gotten their hands on salesforce.com's source code, and can proceed with euthanizing their competitor. Much better ROI than acquisition.

Nothing new to see here, folks.

Re:Reciprocal angle. (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#32260802)

I guess that means Microsoft will finally have a real customer for one of its CRM products.

If you cant beat them...your Microsoft. (5, Funny)

TRRosen (720617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32260786)

The're just pissed that SalesForce is using FireFox in all there screen shots.

Re:If you cant beat them...your Microsoft. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32261350)

damn. you need a grammer nazi following you around.

Re:If you cant beat them...your Microsoft. (2, Funny)

bbqsrc (1441981) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261662)

Grammar. I see that alot, ironically.

Re:If you cant beat them...your Microsoft. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32261982)

And I'm just pissed people still don't know the difference between 'there', 'they're' and 'their'.

Rage inducing (5, Funny)

Bovius (1243040) | more than 4 years ago | (#32260810)

I consider myself a pretty calm person. I don't get riled up about much. I've never been one to throw a game controller, to punch a pillow to vent frustration. I see stupid things and I don't like them, I talk about how stupid they are, but that's as far as it goes. I'm about as easy going as they come.

And yet every time I see a story about the activities supported by the US Patent and Trade Office, I want to lift the nearest piece of electronics and dash it against a distant wall.

Re:Rage inducing (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32260958)

And yet every time I see a story about the activities supported by the US Patent and Trade Office, I want to lift the nearest piece of electronics and dash it against a distant wall.

Wow, your keyboard can really take a pounding and still work great... which brand?

Re:Rage inducing (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261044)

Considering keyboards are designed to be pounded constantly...

Re:Rage inducing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32261084)

That sounds most intriguing. Can one marry a keyboard?

Re:Rage inducing (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261362)

Ummm...

Me :4
Keyboards: 0

Re:Rage inducing (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261048)

I'm fairly sure that if a Model M experiences excessive force, it simply breaks the user and continues on its implacable course...

Re:Rage inducing (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32261240)

When the world ends, the only thing left will be cockroaches scurrying across Model Ms.

Re:Rage inducing (1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261328)

In all seriousness.... Logitech. I have seen somebody literally hit one down the middle so hard (javascript rage) and chuck it against the wall, that every key but TWO exploded from it. Along with the battery cover and all 4 double A's.

Took me about 15 minutes to find the keys. One was actually embedded in the ceiling tile. Another 5 minutes pushing keys into the keyboard, batteries back in... and completely working keyboard.

To this day we all use the saying, "as tough as a Logitech keyboard" around the office.

Re:Rage inducing (1)

Yuioup (452151) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261780)

I consider myself a pretty impulsive person. I get riled up often. I've always been one to throw a game controller, to punch a pillow to vent frustration. I see stupid things and I don't like them, I rant about how stupid they are, but that's not only as far as it goes. I'm far from easy going as they come.

And yet every time I see a story about the activities supported by the US Patent and Trade Office, I want to cuddle a nearby puppy and take it out for walkies. I don't even own a dog, go figure.

Leader AND innovator? (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#32260816)

"Microsoft has been a leader and innovator in the software industry for decades and continues to invest billions of dollars each year in bringing great software products and services to market," deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez said in a statement.

I wonder, if like many other companies do, they included that statement in the court documents? While they have been a leader in various software segments, there isnt a single one they've been an innovator in. Would that obvious bit of perjury in such a document get them in trouble? ;-)

Re:Leader AND innovator? (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#32260856)

Yup... they went that far...

Microsoft has a long history of technical innovation in the software and hardware products it develops and distributes.

Re:Leader AND innovator? (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261020)

It would be fascinating to learn what pops up as the definition of 'innovation' in Microsoft Office, as it is installed and configured on the computers used by upper management at Microsoft.

First, it would totally clear things up if it went something like: copy features of competing products into your own product in a hodge-podge fashion, and announce you had planned to add those features long before they appeared in competing products, and/or announce you will be coming out with a product/version that is so much better than any of the competition, while not actually working on or intending to actually produce said product/version.

Second, if it isn't like the above, but is actually the same/similar to the common definition of innovation that we [referred to as "riff-raff" by upper management] use, do they giggle anymore when they drop the i-bomb anymore?

Re:Leader AND innovator? (3, Insightful)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261364)

Laugh all you want, but office has had a number of innovative ideas, whether you like them or not. Assistants (ie. the universally despised clippy), The Ribbon, OLE integration of different kinds of docuemnts within a single document, OLE Automation control (Yes, we all know about ARexx capable word processors on the Amiga, but that was really only a tiny fraction of the capabilities that OLE automation exposes).. hell, Word was the first word processor to provide live spell-checking with the red squigglies.. (again, whether you like it or not.. lots of people do like the feature, lots don't).

Don't you think it's just as dishonest to claim there is no innovation when there is, as claming more innovation than there is?

Re:Leader AND innovator? (2, Interesting)

JDAustin (468180) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261612)

The ribbon is one of the worst UI changes ever to a application. Most experianced Excel users find their productivity going down due to it.

Re:Leader AND innovator? (0)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261660)

What part of "whether you like it or not" don't you understand? An idea doesn't have to be liked or even good to be novel.

Re:Leader AND innovator? (1)

msclrhd (1211086) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261906)

The ribbon is essentially a tabbed multi-sectioned set of wrappable toolbars.

Borland have had tabbed toolbars for a long time in their IDE and tabbed UIs are not new.

Microsoft have allowed you to create dialogs as components that can be docked to any side of the main window, so complex dockable/docked UIs are not new.

Java and other UI toolkits have had the concept of arbitrary wrappable content for a long time (since at least when Java Swing was created), and a toolbar is just a container of icon-based buttons (and possibly other controls), so this is not new.

Yes, it has some complex reflow logic where pane content is size-dependant. This is probably new and innovative (I can't think of examples). NOTE: This is different to toolbar items hiding when there is not enough room, the items change size/shape and position.

Other than that, though, it is not really that innovative.

Re:Leader AND innovator? (3, Insightful)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261618)

Laugh all you want, but office has had a number of innovative ideas, whether you like them or not. Assistants (ie. the universally despised clippy),

in a word processor which they were not the original authors for, which was the first use of a piece of clipart for a function other word processors already had in help panes, status bars, tool tips or pop-ups... (wow, that's innovation... someone else's idea - with a piece of clipart)

The Ribbon

Which still confuses users of older versions of Office to this day by the way it can take what was a simple, easy to use interface and mangle it - and which other word processors did a long time ago in a better fashion by simply hiding and showing the appropriate toolbars for the task at hand...

OLE integration of different kinds of docuemnts within a single document

...which was an idea long since in existence in the Xerox Star systems...

OLE Automation control (Yes, we all know about ARexx capable word processors on the Amiga, but that was really only a tiny fraction of the capabilities that OLE automation exposes)

While on the other hand, REXX enabled word processors had even greater capabilities than OLE automation, as did various competitor products in the Windows and non-Windows marketplace marketplace... and even in the areas where OLE Automation shone, it also caused a bunch of security issues due to it's poor implementation with no thoughts of the consequences caused by it's design (but thats a topic for a different discussion).

.. hell, Word was the first word processor to provide live spell-checking with the red squigglies..

As long as you discount various TSRs for word processors as old as the DOS (non-Windows) age version of word processors, a variety of other implementations on non-PC systems, and the fact that Microsoft introduced it in Word 95, almost 20 years after a team for IBM came up with the concept and 8 years after Spellbound came out with that functionality you tout as having been a Microsoft innovation.

Other than those points, I guess you are right! Either that, or you bought into Microsoft's propaganda (errr... marketing, I mean).

;-)

Re:Leader AND innovator? (2, Funny)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261778)

(wow, that's innovation... someone else's idea - with a piece of clipart)

You show a fundamental lack of knowledge of what you're actually talking about. Assistants weren't simply animated ways to access help text, they could actually analyze what you're doing and supply recommendations. That was innovative. Annoying, but innovative.

Which still confuses users of older versions of Office to this day

What part of "Whether you like the idea or not" don't you understand? You or anyone else liking the idea has no bearing on its novelty.

You don't do your argument any justice by making fallacial comments like this.

which was an idea long since in existence in the Xerox Star systems

The star had document embedding, but it wasn't live document embedding. You couldn't edit documents in place, and you couldn't update the document elsewhere and have it be updated in the embedded document.

Don't confuse "Someone once did something kind of like that" with lack of novelty. It's not just the base concept, it's the entire concept.

8 years after Spellbound came out

That's interesting, sicne I can find no reference to any word processor called Spellbound... And the only reference to a spell checker is the firefox extension, which certainly did not come out 8 years before Word 95.

I'm also suspect of your IBM reference, given that you seem to conflate way too many concepts to believe your arguments. Do you have a reference?

Re:Leader AND innovator? (3, Informative)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261894)

(wow, that's innovation... someone else's idea - with a piece of clipart)

You show a fundamental lack of knowledge of what you're actually talking about. Assistants weren't simply animated ways to access help text, they could actually analyze what you're doing and supply recommendations. That was innovative. Annoying, but innovative.

You glossed over the "not the first to do it, just the first to use a piece of clipart" part (paraphased)

Which still confuses users of older versions of Office to this day

What part of "Whether you like the idea or not" don't you understand? You or anyone else liking the idea has no bearing on its novelty.

You don't do your argument any justice by making fallacial comments like this.

You skipped the (again paraphrased) "others did it ages before that by selectively hiding toolbars that did or did not apply to the task at hand" part.

which was an idea long since in existence in the Xerox Star systems

The star had document embedding, but it wasn't live document embedding. You couldn't edit documents in place, and you couldn't update the document elsewhere and have it be updated in the embedded document.

Don't confuse "Someone once did something kind of like that" with lack of novelty. It's not just the base concept, it's the entire concept.

Hmmm... sites that seem to have put far more research into the Xerox Star systems disagree.

8 years after Spellbound came out

That's interesting, sicne I can find no reference to any word processor called Spellbound...

Hmmm... have you tried Google? If so, you just didnt dig far enough. It was released by Sector Software in 1987.

And the only reference to a spell checker is the firefox extension, which certainly did not come out 8 years before Word 95.

I'm also suspect of your IBM reference, given that you seem to conflate way too many concepts to believe your arguments. Do you have a reference?

I could just drop a lot of references, but as you've apparently intentionally skipped the important parts of points I have made (as in the first two), why should I bother? Nonetheless, I did give you a few more hints above.

Sure, I am sure Microsoft innovated something... the KIN being one possibly (never seen more than the commercials and a few online reviews, so I am not sure about that one, but it seems a pretty innovative way of integrating many smartphone and other electronic device features in a novel way)... but the stuff you mention does not fit the category. Nor is the "first 32bit PC operating system" claim Microsoft used to make for Windows 95. Or "their" creation of an improved interface for Windows XP (and 95)... oh wait, they licensed that from SDS. Stop believing marketing hype and actually research what you talk about.

Re:Leader AND innovator? (5, Funny)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261332)

Microsoft, like most other companies, has indeed had it's share of "innovation", popular opinion not withstanding.

It's easy to find things that are "kind of like" a new invention, that can be said for every single product in existence. It's just fun to do it for Microsoft.

Can you name a single software invention by anyone else that was truly unique? Anyone? Bueler? I guarantee anything you name can find something that is "kind of like" something else. That's how invention works, and that's why patents always have a list of references to other patents which the new patent draws upon. Unfortunately, you can't list things that aren't previously patented.

A short list of things which Microsoft has innovated (off the top of my head, without even googling) in would include (whether you like the ideas or not)

The Ribbon
Photosynth
COM (originally OLE)
Internet Explorer Protected Mode

If you google around, you find lots of tongue in cheek and sarcastic comments, and comments like yours that say point blank that microsoft has never innovated anything. It's certainly true they've bought a lot of their technology, but not all of it and even when you consider technology they bought, they've often improved it with their own new technology (IE Protected Mode, for instance).

Also, Microsoft certainly has their share of bad technology they've implemented. ActiveX, for instance. Whether it's a good idea or not, it's still a novel idea (no, plug-ins weren't novel, but auto-installing them, and creating a generic model that could be used by more than just web browsers was).

So in reality, comments like your really are just hyperbole. It's simply not true that Microsoft has never created anything novel. Hell, Clippy anyone?

Re:Leader AND innovator? (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261504)

Yes, a lot of people act as if innovation was the same as invention, which isn't true.

Re:Leader AND innovator? (4, Informative)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261688)

I proved you wrong on a bunch of these above... but let's go at it again.

The Ribbon

Already covered in my last post - done better by others before. Or do you think the fact that they call it "The Ribbon" is the innovation part of mangling an idea others already had?

Photosynth

They funded a University of Washington project which became a MS Live Labs project. Their other related "innovations" were acquired by a company called SeaDragon and various others. So, even the ones that are innovative werent innovated by Microsoft.

COM (originally OLE)

Covered above... Xerox Star (and others) and for COM implementation (ie: more than just OLE), it was to catch up with IBM and OS/2, the Mac and numerous other non-PC based implementations.

Internet Explorer Protected Mode

Even if they were first, it doesnt count because it would actually have to work first. And there are already exploits that can bypass IE in protected mode on operating systems (Vista onwards) that support it. That aside, various programs did this far better than Microsoft's implementation before Microsoft licensed various technologies for it and wrote the rest. One such is a package from a big software firewall company (I'll give you a hint...ZA). That aside, Chrome manages it better than IE and Vista/Win7 - even without all the added work that Microsoft did to Windows itself to enable this feature in IE.

So... where were we? Oh yeah... I remember. Microsoft MAY have innovated something, but you cant think of anything. Well, here's one. Edlin.

Re:Leader AND innovator? (5, Insightful)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261858)

done better by others before. Or do you think the fact that they call it "The Ribbon" is the innovation part of mangling an idea others already had?

Saying it does not prove it. Show me the prior art. Bear in mind that merely being a tabbed toolbar doesn't make it the same thing. The Ribbon's functionality is what makes it innovative, not the fact that it has tabs.

Regarding Photosynth, All new ideas are based on research of others. Newton said something about standing on the shoulders of giants, doesn't make his work any less innovative. Photosynth, as a product, was highly innovative.

it was to catch up with IBM and OS/2

Are you fucking kidding me? OS/2 was created by Microsoft and IBM together. Microosft wrote nearly all of OS/2 up until OS/2 1.3, and COM and OLE goes back to 1987, the same year OS/2 was released *WITHOUT A GUI OF ANY KIND*.

Wow, you are ignorant of history. Wow, that's just plain stupid.

And Xeros Star had nothing like COM or OLE. It's object embedding technolgy was entirely different.

Even if they were first, it doesnt count because it would actually have to work first

Now you're just being stupid. Of course it works. Just because it can't protect from every possible exploit doesn't make it useless or "non working". By that argument, just because someone can root a unix box, that means all of it's security doesn't work.

Wow, I just can't believe what passes for logic these days.

Re:Leader AND innovator? (2, Insightful)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261956)

done better by others before. Or do you think the fact that they call it "The Ribbon" is the innovation part of mangling an idea others already had?

Saying it does not prove it. Show me the prior art. Bear in mind that merely being a tabbed toolbar doesn't make it the same thing. The Ribbon's functionality is what makes it innovative, not the fact that it has tabs.

Corel used a similar method, various word processors I use on OS/2 did. They were tabbed toolbars that were dockable and undockable, and hid or displayed different tools depending on task... toolbars - not "the ribbon" - the only "innovative" difference.

Regarding Photosynth, All new ideas are based on research of others. Newton said something about standing on the shoulders of giants, doesn't make his work any less innovative. Photosynth, as a product, was highly innovative.

They WROTE it for Microsoft. And yes, it IS innovative - I already said that. It wasnt Microsoft's innovation though. It was the university's innovation that Microsoft procured and perfected. An innovator is the one who comes up with the novel way of doing something - not the person who buys/funds/procures/packages it. Unless the packaging happens to be really novel too I guess.

it was to catch up with IBM and OS/2

Are you fucking kidding me? OS/2 was created by Microsoft and IBM together. Microosft wrote nearly all of OS/2 up until OS/2 1.3, and COM and OLE goes back to 1987, the same year OS/2 was released *WITHOUT A GUI OF ANY KIND*.

Wow, you are ignorant of history. Wow, that's just plain stupid.

No, YOU are ignorant of history, OS/2 2.0 written by IBM and... oh... just IBM... it was in beta in 1990, already had SOM/DSOM. COM came out in 1993. Microsoft, who had a cross license agreement to the SOM/DSOM (and other OS/2) technology, decided to go it on their own and came up with COM - and still havent managed to make something as versatile as SOM/DSOM. Something, to this day, I notice whenever I am managing a Windows server or using multiple true OS/2 apps in comparison to their Windows equivalents... or when I use the WPS. COM still sucks in comparison.

But again, as you pointed out earlier (the only accurate thing in your post - even though it didnt apply), my likes are irrelevant. So, back to the fact. SOM/DSOM was in testing 3 years before COM was released. And SOM/DSOM was released a year before COM.

And Xeros Star had nothing like COM or OLE. It's object embedding technolgy was entirely different.

Even if they were first, it doesnt count because it would actually have to work first

Now you're just being stupid. Of course it works. Just because it can't protect from every possible exploit doesn't make it useless or "non working". By that argument, just because someone can root a unix box, that means all of it's security doesn't work.

Wow, I just can't believe what passes for logic these days.

No... it does none of what is promised. various ZoneLabs and other products do what it claims to do. It simply put, does not work. Not "works most of the time" but "barely works at all, while Zone Labs and others figured it out in a method that works with more than one browser instead of just IE7+"

Re:Leader AND innovator? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32261908)

Or do you think the fact that they call it "The Ribbon" is the innovation part of mangling an idea others already had?

The innovation part is "mangling an idea others already had". That's what innovation is.

They funded a University of Washington project which became a MS Live Labs project

Yep. ...your point?

Even if they were first, it doesnt count because it would actually have to work first...

It does work, Chrome's is not better and definitely came later (why do you think it's better, btw?), and I'm really curious about what Zone Alarm did, but I'm pretty confident that it's different from something built into the browser and you're doing EXACTLY what the GP complained about by pointing to something with some vague similarities and claiming therefore that it's not innovative at all. What technologies, btw, do you think they licensed?

Anyway, fine. Multiprocess tabbed browser. IE8's beta was the first, beating Chrome's beta by about half a year. Or IE8's tab groups. Every time I mention that people point out some extension in Firefox that isn't remotely similar (often they'll pick the one that randomly colours every tab). Or continuous spellcheck. Or the taskbar from Windows 1.0. Or Powershell. The tablet computer. The market may not be roaring, and the iPad has the buzz, but Microsoft was there long ago and in this case it's clearly Apple that's taking that idea and putting an Apple spin on it. Xbox Live. No service compared to it at the time and it's arguably still the best. Notice how Google looks a lot like Bing lately?

It's not just Microsoft that innovates, but the meme that Microsoft -- and only Microsoft -- never innovates, only copies is beyond ridiculous. And citing counterexamples where they did copy (helllllo Zune) doesn't really support the point.

Re:Leader AND innovator? (3, Insightful)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261976)

An not to forget:
- Clippy and the Windows XP Search Dog

Also I think Microsoft is the main innovator on user annoyance technology.

Competition (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#32260878)

  1. Force.com is a direct competitor to Windows Azure. Who needs Microsoft's PaaS, when SF has a better one?
  2. MS wants to get in the same business, likely. But another company already has a hegemony there. MS does what they do best, (usually) embrace, extend, extinguish. They have already embraced PaaS, and are working on extend... this is their first move towards extinguishing the dominant leaders in this industry
  3. They are pissed, possibly, that SF is written using Java server pages, and using SOAP for web services, instead of the .NET framework, and MS proprietary APIs?

Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (4, Informative)

Grond (15515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32260882)

Once again a Slashdot patent story is posted with reference to the titles of the patents. Patent titles are legally meaningless. The patentee doesn't even have to supply one; the Patent Office will write one for you if you leave it out. What matters are the claims read in light of the specification.

Anyway, from the complaint, the patents in question are:
7,251,653 [google.com]
5,742,768 [google.com]
5,644,737 [google.com]
6,263,352 [google.com]
6,122,558 [uspto.gov]
6,542,164 [google.com]
6,281,879 [uspto.gov]
5,845,077 [google.com] (the leading 5 was left off in the complaint, but this is the right patent)
5,941,947 [google.com]

The '768 patent was originally assigned to Silicon Graphics. It was one of several SGI patents assigned to Microsoft in 2002 as part of a $62.5 million deal [theregister.co.uk] .

Some of the patents are related. The '164 patent, for example, was the result of a continuation application based on the application that eventually became the '879 patent.

Anyone looking at these from a prior art perspective should bear in mind that the patents have quite early priority dates. Most of them seem to date from the mid-90s. The '164 and '879 patents, for example, stretch back to June 16, 1994.

Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (3, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261078)

Some of the patents do have claims are more specific than the titles would lead you to suspect, but some of them actually aren't much more specific. The '077 patent, for example, is literally patenting the following: generate a list of installed software, send it to a remote server, the remote server checks for updates, and sends back notification of available updates to installed software, with a description of the problems those updates fix. Essentially, any update scheme that checks on the server side (fortunately, this means something like Debian's 'aptitude' is not covered, since it compares the list of available updates to the list of installed software on the client side). Is the idea of asking for a list of updates to a list of installed software really non-obvious, even in 1995?

For reference, this is Claim 1 in its entirety:

In a computer system having a first computer in communication with a remote second computer, the second computer having access to a database identifying software remotely available to the first computer, wherein at least one item in the database identifies software installable on the first computer, a computer implemented method for identifying computer software available for installation on the first computer, the method comprising, at the second computer:

retrieving from the first computer to the second computer an inventory identifying at least certain computer software installed on the first computer;

comparing the inventory of computer software with the database to identify computer software available to the first computer and not installed on the first computer;

preparing for presentation at the first computer software information indicating software available to the first computer and not installed on the first computer; and

sending the software information to the first computer, said information including an alert about a defect in software on the first computer correctable by software available to the first computer and not installed thereon.

Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32261148)

wtf?
Why the fuck was this even patentable in the first place?

does that mean that if I have the same system setup, but a THIRD computer recieving the data from the second computer and doing exactly the same thing, it's a different setup? hey only mention 2 computers in the patent.

Shit. I have to pay royalties now because there's a patent for the "method of creating data wherein there exists software thereof where therein there exist thereof finger actions representing said data thereof therein the unsaid hardware therein. Thereof."

Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261258)

I'm having trouble seeing how this could be relevant to salesforce.com at all, as there is no software installable on the first computer - it is all run on the server.

Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (2, Interesting)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261378)

Actually, I can't think of a single software vendor that was doing what Windows Update did in 1995. Can you?

Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261482)

My comment wasn't a prior-art comment, but an obviousness comment. It's sending a list of software, and getting back a list of updates, which can then be installed. I have trouble believing that someone "skilled in the art" as of 1995 would have considered that to be an actual invention, as opposed to an obvious and straightforward application of existing technology.

Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261574)

No, but my point is that if something is truly obvious, then prior art will exist. If, as you say, it should have been obvious, where is the prior art?

Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261600)

I agree that's often the case, but even for obvious things, someone has to be the first to do them. I don't think you should get a patent for something just because you were first, unless it was also sufficiently novel...

Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261654)

The question of novelty can be solved by whether two or more people independantly come up with the identical idea (not merely similar) without any knowledge of each others work (or anyone else with similar ideas).

Think about the wheel. If patents had been around when the wheel was invented, would the wheel be obvious? It certainly is to anyone today, and you can list lots of reasons why. But the wheel was probably based on rolling logs. Someone looking at a log on the ground and watching it roll around may or may not consider cutting it to create smaller logs to allow the transportation of heavy objects.

Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (2, Insightful)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261434)

Also, the first claim is always the most general. The patent must take all claims into account, not just the first one. It's patenting everything together, not each indidvidually.

Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261474)

My understanding is that patent claims are standalone, so it's not only the most narrow conjunction of claims that's actually claimed.

Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261548)

Yes and no. More specific claims are built upon less specific claims. The more general the claim, the more likely the claim is to not withstand a validity test.

So while claim 1 may not be valid as a patentable item, when claim 13 is based upon claim 12, based up upon 11, etc.. is.

For example, if you created a new mousetrap, and wanted to patent it, your claim 1 would probably sound a lot like every other mousetrap in existence, but your final claim would not.

Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261566)

As an example, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claim_(patent) [wikipedia.org]

Possible invalidity of base claim: It is impossible to know, when beginning the application process and even at the time of patent issuance, if a patent claim is valid. This is because any publication dated before the application's priority date and published anywhere on earth in any language can invalidate the claim (excluding publications by the inventor published during the grace period in certain countries such as U.S., Canada and Japan). Furthermore, even applications that were not yet published at the time of filling, but have a priority date prior to the priority date of the application, can also invalidate the claim. As it is impossible to gain an absolute and complete knowledge of every publication on earth, not to mention unpublished patent applications, there is always some degree of uncertainty. If the independent claim is determined to be invalid, however, a dependent claim may nevertheless survive, and may still be broad enough to bar competitors from valuable commercial territory.

Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (3, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261122)

I love the fact that the '768 patent uses Netscape in its screenshots. The main claim seems to be that they are using an applet (or separate chunk of code) to create a menu.

So the standard HTML drop down menu wouldn't apply, it is a menu created with a separate chunk of code. I'm not sure I saw that kind of thing before 1998, so there may not be any prior art. However, that doesn't mean its not a silly patent. It should have been obvious to any programmer who was thinking about that sort of thing. I don't think I even have a problem so much with software patents, although they are a bit annoying. I have a problem with patents that are so obvious that anyone could figure them out. 1-click purchase is an obvious example.

Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (1, Interesting)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261414)

The problem with ideas is that they seem obvious in hindsight. Prior to that, clearly nobody had implemented it.. so the idea couldn't have been that obvious. Obvious ideas have lots of simultaneous prior art because, well, they're obvious..

The thing about knowledge is that if you know it, it's obvious. If you don't, it's not. 2+2 = 4 is obvious to us, but it wasn't before the invention of math. Hell, the concept of "0" seems obvious to us, but nobody figured it out for centuries after math was around until the Arabs thought of it.

The question is not "Is the idea obvious today, given hindsight". It's "Was the idea obvious when it was patented".

Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261508)

And in this case, and many other software patents, the answer is, "hell yeah, that was obvious"

Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (2, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261554)

The problem with ideas is that they seem obvious in hindsight. Prior to that, clearly nobody had implemented it.. so the idea couldn't have been that obvious

You're saying: because something hasn't been implemented yet means it must not be obvious?

I'm saying: Perhaps M$ just got to the patent office first with an obvious idea... (much like the Bell's Telephone [wikipedia.org] )

Since the patent examiners are not professionals skilled in the art It's obvious that they aren't qualified to make the non-obvious distinction, or else we wouldn't have so many of these obvious patents.

----

FYI Menus existed in 1995. Menus on a webpage == fnck!ng obvious esp. to any professional skilled in the art of making menus and web pages.

Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261596)

You're confusing obviousness with theft of idea.

The telephone was not an obvious idea when invented, but yes, Bell made it to the patent office first.

In fact, your example proves my point. The telephone patent was a case where prior art existed, and the patent should not have been granted or should have been invalidated. It wasn't an "obvious" idea.

Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (1)

Percy_Blakeney (542178) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261628)

The problem with ideas is that they seem obvious in hindsight. Prior to that, clearly nobody had implemented it.. so the idea couldn't have been that obvious.

This is true in perhaps many cases, but not so with the '768 patent. Displaying menus using applets? That wasn't an innovative idea, it was taking a very, very old idea (menus) and implementing it using the technology-of-the-month (applets). If you consider this patent to be non-obvious, then you'll be really impressed with my next innovation: menus using the HTML5 canvas tag! Or my other one: menus using SVG!

Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261812)

Given that both menus via HTML5 canvas tag and menus via SVG already exist, there's prior art.. and lots of it. So you wouldn't be able to get a valid patent on it.

I agree the the 768 patent is pretty vague, and probably would not stand up to scrutiny, but given that it was filed in 1996 by Silicon Graphics, and awarded to them (before Microsoft bought the patent as part of a patent portfolio sale) I wouldn't blame Microsoft for it. SGI patented it.

Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (1)

msclrhd (1211086) | more than 4 years ago | (#32262002)

The point was not that examples exist, but that a technology (HTML5 canvas tag or SVG) do not supply them inherently and the concept being applied already exists. It's like TV concepts where you say "this is XYZ... in SPACE!"

Lets say you create a new programming language (like Google's Go) and don't provide in-built support for certain data structures. Is implementing a linked list or queue in that programming language innovative (given that no-one has written one in that language yet (not Go, but the new programming language you have created))? Sure, the different paradigms (procedural, object-orientated, functional) allow you to implement them in different ways, but the concepts are already there.

Now, you could say that template meta-programming in C++ is innovative because it was not known that templates created their own turing-complete language that you could use to compute complex static results at compile time. That was something that was non-obvious in the facilities provided by the language.

Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (2, Interesting)

Giltron (592095) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261180)

So if you look at 7,251,653, it basically describes a method for implementing customization of multi-tenancy for databases. (pivot tables) If this is allowed to stand then it basically means most companies delivering SaaS offerings can be sued. I see it was filed in 2004. I'm thinking maybe Salesforce was already using this prior to the patent filing.

Re:Patent titles in the summary are meaningless (1)

hokusai (1801552) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261852)

It would've been awesome if the patents were actually some really hardcore CRM/sales models. Not some arbitrary "webpage with menus" crap :(

Hmm this patent seems way too bogus (1)

I!heartU (708807) | more than 4 years ago | (#32260918)

http://www.google.com/patents?vid=USPAT7251653 [google.com] From what I can derive from the claims. They patented database stored views? They do have the magic wort Piviot in there.. whatever that means. All I can derive from the pivot table is, its another table defined by table data. Not like every database in existence is implemented this way already.

wow, these patents are bad (1)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 4 years ago | (#32260948)

Look them up: these patents are absolutely awful; they make the FAT patent look innovative by comparison.

Who to root for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32261010)

One gang of vertically integrated enterprise shovelware merchants is squaring off against another - who to root for?

Bill Gates (3, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261082)

I remember a few years back when Bill Gates said that Microsoft had been sued over patents, but never sued anyone else. They insisted that like IBM and other big companies, they had massive patent portfolios just to protect themselves. But then they sued TomTom over FAT patents and now this. What happened to Microsoft doesn't believe in suing over patents? Is this indicative of Gates handing the reigns over to Ballmer, the guy who threatened to sue anyone running Linux?

Re:Bill Gates (1)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261110)

Yea, I know. In fact, I still remember the Amazon 1-Click patent disaster, where something similar happened, and it was covered on Slashdot over the years, and I always have wondered why too.

Re:Bill Gates (4, Informative)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261470)

Microsoft sued TomTom over a range of patents, one of which was the FAT patent. It wasn't specifically about the FAT patent, and in reality, TomTom had threatened MS with patent suits first. Microsoft responded to the threats by actually filing a suit, effectively calling their bluff when they settled so fast after a feeble attempt to modify their original threatened suit to be a counter-suit. TomTom was no saint and had sued a half dozen other companies previously after shakedown attempts. They chose the wrong victim when they went after Microsoft.

This is, to my mind, the first time Microsoft has ever filed a truly offensive (as in offense, not offending) patent lawsuit. I have to think there's more to the story here than meets the eye. Microsoft is seeking injunctive relief, not damages. As such, they're not using this as a revenue model.

About that menu... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32261164)

Not to pick sides but the salesforce.com menu looks nearly the same as microsoft.com's. Even the page is structured the same way.
Top-level menu is horizontal, hovering pops up a box beneath; the sub-menu titles are bold, the items are stacked beneath; everything's arranged into columns. When I look at it I actually think "this looks like Microsoft's".

(Yes, I know there are probably other sites like this. Question is: are they infringing on the (admittedly stupid) patent too?)

East Texas (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261228)

CNET is reporting that Microsoft is suing Salesforce.com in Seattle federal court,...

A software patent trial outside of East Texas? How will the court system ever know how to handle such a thing?

Re:East Texas (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261340)

If you have a public company with a massive workforce and huge PR campaigns that pretty much everyone from the entire metropolitan area knows someone who works for them personally you hold your lawsuits in the city because of the home court advantage. It would be silly for MS to sue anyone outside the Seattle metro area because of the effect being a massive local employer will have on the Jury. It'll be damn near impossible for salesforce to reject every Juror that has a direct family connection to MS and in a case where the decision is preponderance of the evidence rather than unanimous the effect of those connections could be the difference between winning and losing. Picking Seattle could also force salesforce to settle rather than risk a trial in MS's home court.

Re:East Texas (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261484)

I think they're depending on a large bias in the jury pool towards Microsoft, given that a large percentage of the population depends on them either directly or indirectly.

Wait, Seattle? Not Texas? (3, Funny)

Nyder (754090) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261260)

Guess I better go register to vote so I can hopefully get jury duty for this. lol

Hahaha I've got them (1, Funny)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261298)

Microsoft is screwed.

I have a patent (#666666) on applying basic logic and common sense, with a smattering of visual composition intuition, to any problem at hand.

You've been punk'd

No you haven't (3, Funny)

LukeWebber (117950) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261456)

Nope. No way have Microsoft ever applied common sense. You'll never make money from that patent.

They'll be fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32261490)

I don't think they have anything to worry about, at all.

I think I might care no its just gas (1)

skyggen (888902) | more than 4 years ago | (#32261680)

Did Microsoft hire everyone SCO had to lay off?
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