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Red Hat Rejects Microsoft Patent Deal Overtures

jamie posted more than 7 years ago

201

Geekgal writes "Red Hat has slammed the door shut on any possibility of entering into a patent protection deal similar to the one Microsoft recently announced with Novell, eWeek is reporting. While Microsoft has repeatedly said it wants to work with Red Hat and would like to structure a relationship where its customers can be assured of the same thing as Novell's customers now are, Mark Webbink, Red Hat's deputy general counsel, says 'we do not believe there is a need for or basis for the type of relationship defined in the Microsoft-Novell announcement.' Interestingly enough, Microsoft also says that it has not ruled out going it alone and providing some sort of indemnification for its customers who also use Red Hat Linux." Meanwhile, Eben Moglen, the FSF general counsel, promises that GPLv3 will explicitly outlaw deals like this. (Of course everyone's on v2, so calling the Novell deal "DOA" would be premature.)

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Good for them (2, Funny)

Epeeist (2682) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869030)

If I wasn't running Kubuntu they would get my business.

Re:Good for them (5, Funny)

diersing (679767) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869206)

And by business, we mean free downloading.

Re:Good for them (1)

sentientbeing (688713) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870280)

Yeah. Theyd better straighten up or Ill take my free downloads and homegrown support elsewhere.

Re:Good for them (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869410)

So switch to Fedora. I did- and you're going to love Compiz.

  http://lyricslist.com/ [lyricslist.com]

WHY!? (5, Interesting)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869064)

Microsoft also says that it has not ruled out going it alone and providing some sort of indemnification for its customers who also use Red Hat Linux.

WHY!? Why on Earth would Microsoft feel the need to offer indemnification to someone's customers in the first place? Why not just, y'know, not sue them without making some big announcement? How is it possible that we've entered a time when a software company saying "We've decided NOT to sue someone" will actually create positive PR?

Re:WHY!? (5, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869154)

Because Microsoft wants to turn Linux into a platform for its products -- a last ditch effort to try and marginalize FOSS. First, they sign a deal with a few prominent Linux vendors, claiming that they will indemnify only those particular distros. Then, having given all the big enterprise Linux users a reason to switch over to those distros, Microsoft starts publishing software for those distros specifically, keeping it all closed of course. Finally, after a few years, Linux has become a platform for proprietary products...and is no longer a threat to Microsoft. By ensuring that only major Linux vendors are in on it, Microsoft helps sideline other FOSS projects, killing the culture of openness and freedom and limiting choice. Notice that no overtures have been made for non-commercial distros or distros that are popular among home users: Microsoft is not threatened by them. It's about the server market, and about Microsoft's continuing inability to maintain more than a 30% market share.

Correctamundo!! (1)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869208)

And the worst part?

There aint a damn thing anyone can do about it. Money talks.

Re:Correctamundo!! (4, Funny)

fangorious (1024903) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869824)

There aint a [got] damn thing anyone can do about it.

Get these mother f'in .nets off this mother f'in linux?

Re:WHY!? (5, Insightful)

ookaze (227977) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869642)

Then, having given all the big enterprise Linux users a reason to switch over to those distros, Microsoft starts publishing software for those distros specifically, keeping it all closed of course

Where is the problem exactly ?
Especially since you can install these binaries in any Linux distros, just by creating a custom package. Just like some distros did for firefox binaries.
This doesn't make the OS closed at all.

Finally, after a few years, Linux has become a platform for proprietary products...and is no longer a threat to Microsoft

Why is it not a threat anymore ? It runs lots of proprietary products and all the FOSS products, and yet, you magically believe that it would no longer be a threat ?
It would be a far greater threat on the contrary : that's exactly what some company deny us now, and what people are asking for.

By ensuring that only major Linux vendors are in on it, Microsoft helps sideline other FOSS projects, killing the culture of openness and freedom and limiting choice

Which is BS. I fail to see how what you say ensure anything.
Oracle was available on RH only, it didn't sideline any FOSS database project at all, Oracle even had to buy some afterwards !!
It didn't kill culture of openness and freedom either. That's complete wishful thinking on your part, that goes contrary to factual evidence.

Notice that no overtures have been made for non-commercial distros or distros that are popular among home users: Microsoft is not threatened by them. It's about the server market, and about Microsoft's continuing inability to maintain more than a 30% market share

But MS has no valuable patent on the server side where it matters for Linux OS. So what you're saying seems like nonsense to me.

Re:WHY!? (1)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870134)

"But MS has no valuable patent on the server side where it matters for Linux OS. So what you're saying seems like nonsense to me."
Surely the point is that they *would* have valuable patents on the server side? Like Active Directory for Novell Linux, or a mail server that pushes readily to Windows Mobile devices etc etc...

Oracle available on RH only? (1, Offtopic)

Mariner28 (814350) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870320)

Oracle was available on RH only, it didn't sideline any FOSS database project at all, Oracle even had to buy some afterwards !! It didn't kill culture of openness and freedom either. That's complete wishful thinking on your part, that goes contrary to factual evidence.

Get your history straight. Oracle was available long before Red Hat was around. Hell, it was available long before Linux was around. Hell, I attended an Oracle workshop back in 1986 when the company I was with was implementing Oracle on a VAX-11/785. It originally ran on a PDP-11 under RSX. The only *nix on an Intel-based PC was Xenix on an AT

You can somewhat redeem yourself if you identify who produced the VAX and PDP, and the founder of the company.

Re:Oracle available on RH only? (1)

(A)*(B)!0_- (888552) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870906)

"Get your history straight. Oracle was available long before Red Hat was around."
I think he was talking about the availability of Oracle software on various Linux distributions, not the entire history of Oracle.
"You can somewhat redeem yourself if you identify who produced the VAX and PDP, and the founder of the company."
Lame.

Re:WHY!? (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870778)

While your facts might be right, it doesn't matter. What matters to companies is customer perception. If Microsoft becomes part of the Linux market (presumably by selling commercial software on top of it) they will automatically become the dominant force in the eyes of customers. Many businesses will look to them first for solutions, rather than going the FOSS route. And even if they held no patents to anything in Linux, many customers would still be scared and want indemnification.

It doesn't matter if Microsoft can't technically stifle openness and freedom. What matters if if companies think Microsoft is in control of the platform. That's what'll keep the money flowing to Microsoft.

Re:WHY!? (2, Insightful)

novus ordo (843883) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869694)

I think it's more of Microsoft looking for another player to embrace. In about 6 months it will be time for the last stage of this disease. But unlike you I don't believe that Linux will ever be a platform for proprietary products. The RTFM culture with proprietary make it easy software? HA!

What Linux has and Microsoft is drooling over is developers, developers, devel... Who else would waste their time learning Linux? It's a case of the eagle hunting the fly. I actually think that Microsoft will pull a fast one and try to ride atop Linux like Apple rides OpenBSD. If you think about it, Microsoft has very little to offer Linux; the other way you can already see the dollar signs. Also fits very well with Microsoft's history of innovation. I guess they are just building their "IP bridge" Ballboy kept mentioning in the Novell press conference.

Re:WHY!? (1)

random coward (527722) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870404)

They don't have enough time to be successful integrating a Windows Linux before Linux becomes a major player in the desktop. If Vista had been what you suggest they would pull it off. All the evil DRM in vista, all the problems it will cause over the next 4 years which is the time frame they would need to make a Windows Linux and it will be too late. Instead of it being "ooh I can run office on linux and its easier to configure MS's Linux this is great" it will be a "so what I've been doing all this for years."

Re:WHY!? (1)

sam0vi (985269) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869982)

Plain simple: YOU are wrong. THAT is never happening

Re:WHY!? (2, Funny)

shashi (56458) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870228)

Plain simple: YOU are wrong. THAT is never happening

Wow. Your skills at debate are astounding. Too bad there isn't a +1, Nuh uh! just for you.

Re:WHY!? (2, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870772)

Because Microsoft wants to turn Linux into a platform for its products
Between multi-core CPU chips and virtualization, Windows is looking like a big loser in the enterprise. Why not shrink the server "farm" to a "garden", run Linux, and stick it to the man?
Linx on the desktop and OpenOffice remain tomorrow's threat, but the fact that XP is Vista's chief competition is undeniable. And what about the costs of developing Vista? It would be interesting to see how much the profit margin has really shrunk for the OS.
MS Office remains the cash cow for Redmond. Now that Mono is mature enough that Gnome desktop applications are cropping up, e.g. F-Spot [linuxjournal.com] (which hasn't really been touted for Windows, but should run readily, right?) look for Redmond to start pushing MS Office assemblies that "just happen to work real fine" on SuSE.

Re:WHY!? (4, Insightful)

muellerr1 (868578) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869162)

I think what they mean to do is sell the indemnification directly to Red Hat users. Maybe the RIAA should think about doing that, too. That wuld just make it easier to know who to sue--anyone whose indemnification 'subscription' expired.

Though the government used to call behavior like that 'racketeering' and 'extortion'.

scaredy cats (2, Insightful)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869862)

Microsoft are scared, really scared. If they can't get some leverage in the linux world, then they lose their monopoly. Can you list how many products Microsoft have released outside of a monopoly position that have made money?

Offering indemnification regarding other peoples products is crazy, unless they need to in order to hold their position as market leader. They can only be hoping to stir up more doubt.

Re:scaredy cats (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869992)

Zune!

Re:scaredy cats (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870086)

dammit, I was drinking when I read that, now I have to clean my desk... :-)

Sounds familar (0, Troll)

davewalden (1028118) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869900)

Yeah... one could compare this to a Mafia Don sending out his lackies to pick up the protection money from the local stores.

Re:Sounds familar (1)

webheaded (997188) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870478)

That's an awfully nice operating system you've got there...it would be a shame if something were to happen to it.

Re:WHY!? (2, Insightful)

Rhett's Dad (870139) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869234)

As has been said in many posts in many venues since the Novell announcement, the fact that these companies felt the need to declare that such indemnification is necessary for the protection of Linux-using companies, so then Microsoft will feel the need to extend such indemnification to Linux customers of companies that don't sign agreements with it. It is by declaring such a blanket indemnification that they imply to the world that such indemnification is needed, and that without it the Linux-using companies are in violation of Intellectual Prostitution ^H^H^H^H^H Property protections.

Their 2007 State of the Monopoly address will be titled "All Your Earth Are Belong to Our Patent, But Litigate We Not... Maybe"...

Three years (4, Interesting)

overshoot (39700) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869306)

WHY!? Why on Earth would Microsoft feel the need to offer indemnification to someone's customers in the first place?
Read the coverage of the Microvell deal -- the "promise not to sue" expires in three years.

First, get them dependent on MS technologies such as Mono, then tell them time is up and they have to pay or get sued into oblivion.

"Nice little enterprise IT setup you have here. Pity if a court slapped an injunction on it."

Re:WHY!? (5, Insightful)

molnarcs (675885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869456)

WHY!? Why on Earth would Microsoft feel the need to offer indemnification to someone's customers in the first place?

Wrong question - because it is not what they are doing, actually. Let me translate Microsoft's offer: there are patent problems with linux. That's what Microsoft's offer means, no more, no less. A subtle, distressing and unfair FUD machine. Your question is understandable, because they offer doesn't make sense at all, unless you examine not what it says, but the message it conveys. That message is clear: linux might be encumbered with patents belonging to MS.

It is such a pity that Novell has become a partner to this for perceived short term gains. No wonder that the free software community is up in arms (ranging from groklaw through Perens to the Samba team) - MS simply tries to single out commercial linux companies to support its own FUD propaganda. They offer these distributions a new tool to compete with: patents. So far, commercial linux distributions competed on two fronts: technical excellence and quality of support and services. Even Oracle. Novell, by accepting Microsoft's offer, introduced a new tool: patents. This is against the spirit - if not the letter - of the GPL, which tries to enforce a level playing field, and was successful until the Novell-MS deal it was successful. (That's the main gripe of the Samba team [samba.org] with Novell. Microsoft is fishing for others now.

MS extortion(TM) .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869520)

"Why on Earth would Microsoft feel the need to offer indemnification to someone's customers in the first place?"

Threats and intimidation. Do business with us or get sued, by us!

was Re:WHY!?

Re:WHY!? (1)

BecomingLumberg (949374) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869850)

Gates to Stallman: im in ur linux stealin ur rightz

You WILL become one ........with the Borg. (3, Interesting)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869068)

As Novell becomes THE Linux for companies with a Linux-Windows infrastructure, Red Hat will look back on this day as when they lost warp field containment and got stuck in Redmond tractor beam in search of revenue.

Bet me.

Re:You WILL become one ........with the Borg. (4, Insightful)

div_2n (525075) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869172)

I'll bet you a cookie. Do you really think Microsoft reps are going to promote another company's products let alone a Linux product? Think again.

I'll throw you a cross bet--this is just one more link in the FUD chain for Microsoft to suggest Linux has "intellectual property" problems and, more specifically, it has patent issues.

Microsoft shops that want to deploy Linux must have something very specific in mind. I'd wager they'll use whatever they think is best. It may very well be Suse, but that will probably be for reasons that have nothing to do with Novell and Microsoft forging some sort of strange and obscure patent deal.

And you will LOSE that cookie, (2, Interesting)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869292)

Microsoft if anything, is pragmatic. If they can squeeze the market down to a few Linux vendors that either play well with Windows or don't, that can leverage .NET or not, that can integrate into an Active Directory solution or not, you think they wont help market that?

How many companies and vertical markets does Microsoft have to kill off before some of you get it?

Re:And you will LOSE that cookie, (1)

div_2n (525075) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869538)

Samba 4 will be able to integrate quite nicely into Active Directory without Microsoft's help as a full domain controller. You can already integrate the latest versions of Samba 3 into AD as a file server and it works quite well actually. With version 4 you will allegedly be able to, theoretically, run an Active Directory network without a single Microsoft product on the server side.

What further integration do you need since Samba 4 will be distro agnostic?

Re:And you will LOSE that cookie, (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16870324)

Prediction: in five years time, Trusted Computing hardware will be widespread and Microsoft's networking software will be using trusted network connects. In other words, you won't be able to connect to a Microsoft machine unless you are running code that has been blessed (signed) by a Microsoft key.

Re:And you will LOSE that cookie, (1)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870670)

Well, that might well be the best thing for F/OSS OS adoption.

Re:And you will LOSE that cookie, (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870092)

If they can squeeze the market down to a few Linux vendors that either play well with Windows or don't...


There, you said it. If.

While there are a lot of shops that might actually care to use something that's officially 'blessed' by Microsoft, there are actually very few all-Microsoft shops, and the most of the rest don't actually care whether they have Microsoft's blessing or not.

Samba 3 supports ActiveDirectory as fileserver just fine, thank you very much, and Samba 4 will be able to run an ActiveDirectory without any Microsoft software at all. As for .NET, as if anyone actually cared, there's always Mono. But, really, from where I sit, Java is still alive and strong in the areas that .NET seeks to control. I know of at least 5 Fortune 500 companies that have standardized on J2SE and J2EE for that type of development, including the one I work for

Wake up and smell the dead, rotting carcass that is Microsoft. Microsoft is not the 800 lb. Gorilla it once was. They are running scared. They don't have anything close to the stranglehold on the server market they thought they were gonna get, and they are not far off from losing their stranglehold on the desktop market.

Re:You WILL become one ........with the Borg. (1)

Ocular Magic (948250) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869954)

Microsoft shops that want to deploy Linux must have something very specific in mind. I'd wager they'll use whatever they think is best. It may very well be Suse, but that will probably be for reasons that have nothing to do with Novell and Microsoft forging some sort of strange and obscure patent deal.


That's what we did at the company I work for. The only reason we went with Suse was because it's the only distro out of Red Hat, Ubuntu, FreeBSD, Gentoo, Debian, and Suse that would just flat out install and run with a minimal amount of tweaking/looking for drivers on PC's that I tried to put it on. Those PC's were my wife's Dell laptop, my Grandmother-in-laws HP, my moms laptop, and my custom built PC. Red Hat wouldn't install at all on the HP, it just stopped during the install and gave me an error saying it can't install. Ubuntu on my wife's laptop had issues with the touchpad sensitivity. I'm guessing it was a driver problem but I couldn't find a good solution online. There were various other problems with the other distros and for me, Suse allowed me to put it on whatever I wanted and was generally configured to my liking right off the disc. So, when it came time to upgrade our servers here at work, I picked Suse because I had good experiences with it. It had some descent backing (Novell) to go along with it, which I saw as a plus.

So now, they made a deal with Microsoft which may be good or bad, I just don't know yet. But, I don't really care that much. If it goes bad, I can just copy all of the config files for Samba, Users, Groups, etc. and move them all over to another distro with a minimum amount of fuss. Sure, it might be a bit of a pain, but that's one of the beauties of Linux. Nothing is really locked down to that distro, so if I need to change, then I can, and it won't cost me anything! Of course, I'll have to research which distro is the best for my situation again, but I can deal with that.

Bwuaahhhh! (1)

Mariner28 (814350) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870418)

I'm very impressed with your company's due diligence in investigating Linux Operating Systems upon which it will grow its marketshare:

Those PC's were my wife's Dell laptop, my Grandmother-in-laws HP, my moms laptop, and my custom built PC.

Um, what about the server platforms? ;-)

Re:You WILL become one ........with the Borg. (1)

ImaLamer (260199) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870692)

Do you really think Microsoft reps are going to promote another company's products let alone a Linux product?

Sure. But then again, you've got o know sales and your customers. When a salesmen knows that Linux (just the idea/word) turns his customers on then he likes the idea that he can always fall back on that. It's about increasing sales and revenue, not power.

Re:You WILL become one ........with the Borg. (2, Insightful)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869222)

As Novell becomes THE Linux for companies with a Linux-Windows infrastructure, Red Hat will look back on this day as when they lost warp field containment and got stuck in Redmond tractor beam in search of revenue.

I think you swapped "Novell" and "Red Hat" in that sentence.

Rich.

Re:You WILL become one ........with the Borg. (1)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869336)

No, I am saying that Microsoft is giving vendors a choice now to either assimilate or they will whip out their cutting beam and start fucking up your ship. Too many fail to realize the sheer power of money on the thinking of executives. Red Hat will be re-thinking this decision.

Re:You WILL become one ........with the Borg. (1)

ajs (35943) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869462)

No one that I've run into is seriously looking at Novell software. This is, after all... NOVELL. All they have going for them right now is that they bought two small companies that were very good at what they did, but you have to wonder how many of those people are left, and how long into the Microsoft dance of "good night Wesley, most likely kill you in the morning," they will put up with before seeking a company that suits their temperment (like Red Hat).

Keep in mind that those of us who have followed Red Hat with some hope (and even some investment dollars) over the years have specifically been waiting for this moment. We believed that one day, Red Hat would go toe-to-toe with the "big boys". If Oracle and Microsoft don't count, then I don't know what does, and I'm hopeful that through the combined strength of open source software and solid business wit, Red Hat will have a good chance of standing their ground.

Re:You WILL become one ........with the Borg. (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869696)

Your post makes me think of that Tiananmen Square photo.

I'll take that bet (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869466)

We were standardizing on SUSE but switched to RHEL afterthe Microsoft-Novell pact. For the desktops we use Kubuntu. And we don't have a single problem. And Microsoft threatening to sue and bullying vendors into contracts without telling them what patents they think they are violating is called 'extortion'.

Nice software you got here... shame if something happened to it.

Extortion works. (1)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869610)

We are talking about Microsoft, right? Knowing that most CEOs are risk-averse, they really have a good FUD program working now. Just when I thought the gangster had repented, too. But, Microsoft has 50,000 mouths to feed. They dont care what we think of their morality.

Novell may become Microsoft's prison bitch, but at least they will get lube and a cigarette.

Re:Extortion works. (2, Interesting)

molnarcs (675885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870678)

LibertineR, you forget that RH already offers complete protection from any patent litigation to its customers. Basically, they want to force Microsoft's hands. MS doesn't want to sue actually, with the EU decision hanging above their heads, and countless of patents others might have (OIN, SUN, even RH), especially in the server space.

The Novell-MS "protection" is simply worthless compared to what RH has to offer [redhat.com] . On top of that, FSF is going to release glibc/gcc/etc. under GPL v3 - which will explicitly prohibit MS-Novell deals. Which means, that in probably less than a year, Novell will be in a legal poopoo, or will remain stuck with the latest glibc that was released under GPL v2 - in other words, it will be at a technological disadvantage compared to other distroes. Actually, it is Novell whose days are numbered, not RH (especially with SUN's GPLing java, and RH owning Jboss!)

you forgot something... (1)

Morphine007 (207082) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870958)

Oh SNAP!

there ya go ;-)

Re:You WILL become one ........with the Borg. (1)

sankyuu (847178) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869774)

Paranoid, but I'd be more scared about Novell's future, with Microsoft's history of screwing the companies it works with--e.g IBM (OS/2), Spyglass, Adobe, PlaysForSure, etc.
/tinfoil hat

Re:You WILL become one ........with the Borg. (1)

molnarcs (675885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870376)

As Novell becomes THE Linux for companies with a Linux-Windows infrastructure, Red Hat will look back on this day as when they lost warp field containment and got stuck in Redmond tractor beam in search of revenue. Bet me.

If what Ebem Moglen promises is true, and GPL v3 will prevent such deals, than in a few years, Novell will be stuck with the latest glibc/gcc/etc. released under v2. I wouldn't put any bets on Novell surpassing RH in the next few years... in fact, I wouldn't bet on it's survival either. They hoped for a short term advantage by employing patents as a competitive tool, and all they got was animosity from the community at large, and legal poopoo once software owned by FSF gets released under GPL v3. Meanwhile, SUN gpl-ed JAVA, is friendly to GPL v3 - in fact, it is participating in its creation -, and RH is the proud owner of Jboss, offers indemnification to its clients from any patent litigation, has a customer satisfaction unparalleled in the open source world (well, maybe except Trolltech's), and owns ~80 of the market. Still wanna bet?

Easy to do. (2, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869088)

Hilf, who has been touring Europe since the announcement, admitted that there's been a lot of negativity about the deal in the open-source community. "Our intention with this deal was not to create a problem, but rather to solve one," he said.

As such, Hilf is trying to be more clear about the company's true intentions and trying to translate all the legalese around the deal into something that a layman can understand.

That's easy to do.

Simply explain to them why Ford would pay hundreds of millions of dollars to Chevrolet for an agreement not to sue Mom (who drives a Chevy) for violating Ford's patents.

There, that shouldn't be so difficult, right?

Don't you hate car analogies (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869384)

But mom uses Ford gasoline to drive to church and back, and Chevy isn't licensed to provide compatibility with Ford gasoline. They think they've gotten it to work, but there's not been a real review of the system, and Ford might still manage to win in a patent dispute.

You wouldn't want mom to miss bible study...would you?

Re:Easy to do. (1)

XMyth (266414) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869926)

Why WOULD Ford pay Chevy not to sue someone for violating Ford's patents? Isn't it Ford that would be doing the suing?

Let's break it down a bit. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870556)

First off, either there are or there are not Ford patents being violated by Chevy.

Case #1. There are - So Ford pays Chevy lots of money and Ford can promise not to sue Mom for driving a Chevy. This is going to be a bit difficult to explain as Ford could just save the money and not sue Mom anyway.

Case #2. There are not - So Ford pays Chevy lots of money for no reason and Ford promises not to Sue Mom for driving a Chevy. This makes even less sense.

See?

Stand Tall and Wave Your Red Fedora! (5, Insightful)

Rhett's Dad (870139) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869100)

Good for them! I admit I've been one of the complacent ones over the last several years, feeling like Red Hat was the Linux business big dog, and that I was a hipper hacker for spreading my use/support around to other distros. No more...

The big company I left this year was one of those whose IT bureacracy monsters that would not sanction open source, so informed and competent programmers had to use it in the dark. My new company is a Red Hat user, and I'm more proud of that today than I was yesterday. Shame on me for yesterday...

I'd like to teach the world to sing "Red Hat Is The Way"...

Re:Stand Tall and Wave Your Red Fedora! (1)

UnixSphere (820423) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870392)

Red Hat may be the way but we are stuck with Fedora, plus I don't like being a guinea pig so Red Hat can profit off users contributions in bugs and otherwise and implement them in RHEL as 'stable'. If people are happy with a watered down version of a good product, that's fine with me, but I want the best. In Red Hat's case and what they have to offer is RHEL, not Fedora.

Re:Stand Tall and Wave Your Red Fedora! (1)

Rhett's Dad (870139) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870646)

That's why I called it a "red" fedora, rather than a black one. The Fedora Core distributions use a black fedora as their logo, as opposed to the red fedora used by Red Hat Enterprise.

I personally wear a black fedora, so I probably assumed the difference in my terms was easier for others to realize than it actually is... my bad.

This sounds like SCO all over again (1)

nottestuser (166818) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869112)

"My, that's an awfully nice operating system you have there. It'd be a shame for anything bad to happen to it."

Re:This sounds like SCO all over again (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869230)

Are you hinting at the existence of the not-so-elusive bigfoot-like creature, MicroSCOft?

So Essentially ... (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869152)

Let me get this straight, essentially Microsoft has successfully divided the Linux community in twain [slashdot.org] by making some sort of psuedo-deal with Novell. The details of which are pretty shady and the specifics are hard to find. Both companies are using generic speak to describe the deal they've sealed. Except that it's not sealed yet as there's still some tweaking yet to be done [zdnet.com] . And now people are spreading all kinds of rumors and the SAMBA group is upset at Novell and suddenly it's like I'm back in high school again and Microsoft asked Novell to go to the senior prom--but we all know he only did that because Novell will put out in the back seat of Microsoft's dad's Cadillac. Everyone else is pissed.

The "alternative to Microsoft" community is divided and all Microsoft had to do was dump $500 million on Novell & play some mind games with them about possible suits if they didn't take this deal. Masterfully done, Microsoft. Once again, your business strategy is state of the art while your technology doesn't really have to be.

Re:So Essentially ... (4, Interesting)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869262)

Yes, it's particularly brilliant how MS have done this FUD without even specifying any supposedly "infringed" patents. They've made sweeping statements about "owning" this that and the other (eg. "owning" ".Net") which it simply isn't possible to do, and everyone is repeating their FUD. Well done Microsoft.

Rich.

Re:So Essentially ... (2, Interesting)

heroofhyr (777687) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869406)

Is there some way anyone could see what patents they've allegedly got that are being infringed? I know Dan Ravicher supposedly compiled some list which includes 20+ patents owned by Microsoft, and that because of the "engineer no looky at law breaking listy" rule in US patent legislation it isn't widely available, but is it actually available at all or do we just have to take his word for it that it exists and is accurate? If it's the latter, that seems an awful lot like those ethereal Communist lists compiled by Joseph McCarthy. Can't I just click through some MS-style EULA and promise not to use any of the information myself? It can't be a coincidence that the guy who made this list nobody is allowed to see just happens to own a company that provides "insurance" to programmers against patent infringements, can it?

Re:So Essentially ... (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869726)

What the best part is, is that they actualy did not do anything. They just posted it and let all anti-microsoft people do all the work.

Well done Anti-M$ people.

Oh, some nice link that nobody will believe: http://www.novell.com/ctoblog/ [novell.com]

Re:So Essentially ... (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869424)

Let me get this straight, essentially Microsoft has successfully divided the Linux community in twain by making some sort of psuedo-deal with Novell

Actually, they haven't divided anything. Unless you believe Novell is even part of the "Linux community", or that their part is significant, or that big corporate buyers are part of the Linux community. None of this is true though.
This split is wishful thinking from FUDders.

The "alternative to Microsoft" community is divided

Again it's not. It's no more divided than before the deal.
You think it's divided, because you think Linux-MS shops are part of the "Linux community". I doubt most of them contribute a lot to FOSS though.
I don't see anyone divided, what I see is lots of people that fear for Novell : they're basically toast once GPLv3 is out.
Or you actually believe they will succeed in maintaining a fork of the GNU toolchain and libraries ?

Re:So Essentially ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16869482)

I have to think the people at Microsoft who made this deal have to be shaking their heads in disgust at just how easy it was. There just isn't any satisfaction or honor in defeating someone in battle if the just roll over and die without effort.

After countless numbers of people have explained in detail just how bad this move was for Linux point by point, there are still huge numbers of Linux users out there that are still treating Novell and mono talk as some tinfoil hat subject.

The fact that a rabid Microsoft fanboy was able to hijack Linux application development with a Microsoft patent time bomb like mono should scare the fuck out of anyone who cares about the future of Linux.

Re:So Essentially ... (1)

novus ordo (843883) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870192)

You fail to see the deal. They are essentially cross-licensing with Novell. Which means they are using Novell as a proxy to acquire Linux IP. This shouldn't be possible with the GPL, but they've done it. I doubt they would just throw half a billion dollars down a rabbit hole to scare a few "hobbists." They are pursuing a longer-term strategy.

Re:So Essentially ... (1)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870448)

You fail to see the deal. They are essentially cross-licensing with Novell. Which means they are using Novell as a proxy to acquire Linux IP. This shouldn't be possible with the GPL, but they've done it.

You fail to make sense. Microsoft is going to acquire "Linux IP", is it? By the fuzzy term "Linux IP" I assume you mean that Microsoft will acquire copyrights on sections of the Linux kernel, gcc, libc, etc. That's quite an achievement. Pray explain for us how they will do that.

Rich.

not much though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16870306)

It's not divided much at all, just cruise around and look at the blogs and forums, sentiment is running 99% anti the MS/Novell deal. So technically, ya, "divided", but all I see is a more insistent camp in linux land. Heck, it gave a huge boost to GPL 3 for that matter, because now more people can see what can happen without the added protection that will be addressed there. I mean, I know it might be out there, folks going "golly gee whizz! Man, I'm a-gonna switch to Suse right now because they partnered up with MS!!1!!", but I sure haven't seen it, just a lot of the opposite or at best a wait and see sort of neutral stance. *Most* of what you see is "how could they be so stupid? and "they can go to hell, suse is now off the table at my home/shop/org!". Maybe I'm just on an alternative intartubenets or something, but after looking at any number of places, I see revulsion mostly at that deal. Not all, but mostly.

Open source is one of those things you either "get it" or you just slap don't, even with folks who use it. You have to really understand the long term ramifications of going to open source to see how to use it and how it will eventually result in just a superior over-all experience. grok or not-grok.

Microsoft tax, now also for Linux! (3, Insightful)

pugdk (697845) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869192)

Eh? I don't get it. So Micro$oft want us to pay them for Winblows even if we don't use it, so we don't get sued? Sounds like Micro$oft wants people who use Linux in their business to obtain a Micro$oft license to do so.

In other words, Micro$oft want us to pay a Micro$oft tax for using something that has nothing to do with them. I got two word for you Bill Gates: Piss off.

Re:Microsoft tax, now also for Linux! (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869488)

Well, if you use ideas or knowledge that they own, then you owe them money, don't you? PS: I don't think the government should pretend that people can own ideas or knowledge, but that's a side issue.

Re:Microsoft tax, now also for Linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16869506)

oh you're so clever! Micro$oft?? Winblows! Wow...you're such a perfect slashdotter.

Re:Microsoft tax, now also for Linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16870304)

I'm a member of a forum where you get banned for that dollar sign in Micro$oft and other similarly overused idiotic crap. And "lol" is censored.

That alone raises the intelligence of discussions monumentally.

Re:Microsoft tax, now also for Linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16869674)

I'm sure Bill Gates has two words for you too: proper spelling.

Poison Pill (1)

overshoot (39700) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869248)

It's a good indicator of just how toxic that "offer" from Microsoft is that they're willing to go unilateral on it.

Red Hat refuses to take the "pill" so Microsoft "forces" it on them? This is something good?

Obligatory Gandhi quote (3, Insightful)

Sr. Zezinho (16813) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869250)

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then they provide indemnification."

Re:Obligatory Gandhi quote (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870298)

I think that Redhat should offered subscription based indemnification to all MSWindows clients. Just to muddy the waters, of course. :-)

Time For Reflection In The Open Source World (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16869296)

Over the past few years as the number of people involved with open source software like Linux has grown tremendously. However, as many of those people came from the Microsoft/Windows world, and probably having known nothing else ever in their lives, brought a dangerous "Microsoft ain't so bad" mentality that was allowed to take hold. It was a sign of just what a reasonable person you were if you used Linux but were open to Microsoft tech regardless of the patent issues. Think back to how many +5 Insightful posts from people lecturing others about how "Microsoft isn't ALWAYS evil, you know" and "put your tinfoil hats away about this patent silliness".

It's time for anyone with any illusions left about Microsoft's intentions to wield patents as their primary weapon against Linux and the entire open source world to wake up. Microsoft is now in open war with Linux. This is no half-hearted FUD games with SCO. This is serious shit that could very well do tremendous damage things you have worked hard for either in development or use and participation.

Spend some time on groklaw. Get up to speed on patents and copyright law. Do your part of at least being an informed member of the community - if you aren't already of course.

OK, microsoft is shilling GPLv3 now? (4, Interesting)

Medievalist (16032) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869314)

Meanwhile, Eben Moglen, the FSF general counsel, promises that GPLv3 will explicitly outlaw deals like this.
Up till now everybody's been saying "GPLv3 is too complex and restrictive for actual use, GPLv2 has proven its worth and we're going to stick with that".

But I'm guessing GPLv3 just got a big boost in popularity. I wonder if the FSF is going to send Ballmer a thank-you note?

Re:OK, microsoft is shilling GPLv3 now? (2, Funny)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869646)

Nah, they'll send him a cake.

Re:OK, microsoft is shilling GPLv3 now? (1)

0x15e (961860) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869916)

What, did the FSF see this coming months in advance and include a clause to handle this specific situation or are they now going back to add it?

As bad an idea as I think this MS / Novell deal is, statements like that really make GPLv3 look more like a political statement than a viable, useful license. It may make people feel good to put things like this in there but it doesn't change the fact that it's still a highly complex and restrictive license.

Re:OK, microsoft is shilling GPLv3 now? (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870074)

As bad an idea as I think this MS / Novell deal is, statements like that really make GPLv3 look more like a political statement than a viable, useful license. It may make people feel good to put things like this in there but it doesn't change the fact that it's still a highly complex and restrictive license

What you say doesn't make sense.
There's a license, someone try to circumvent it and it's not clear if the license can prevent it.
Now, they add some text in the license so that it's sure it could not be circumvented by this method, and by some magic, you see a political statement in this ?
That would just be a fix for a hole in the license, which is basically the goal of GPLv3 compared to GPLv2.
You rather seem like the one that put strawmen to say the fixes are political statements, and you're not alone.

Re:OK, microsoft is shilling GPLv3 now? My joke! (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870362)

"But I'm guessing GPLv3 just got a big boost in popularity. I wonder if the FSF is going to send Ballmer a thank-you note?"

Hey, that's my joke:

http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=206202&c id=16815084 [slashdot.org]

Let's call this a case of great minds think alike. We never heard 'fools seldom differ' - no, not us! ~;-)

all the best,

drew
http://www.ourmedia.org/node/262954 [ourmedia.org]
Sayings - Deterred Bahamian Novel

Red Hat, you have my deepes respect and admiration (2, Insightful)

Ice.Saoshyant (993846) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869368)

Even if in the long run, it might be your demise, you have not sold out yourself and your users to Microsoft. For that, you have our gratitude—mine and of those who'll see in the future that in spite of all odds, you made the right choice.

Way to go Red Hat (2, Interesting)

pbailey (225135) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869380)

Thank goodness these guys didn't get into bed with M$ too. There is still hope. Won't be doing any business with Novell/Suse in the future though....

Thank you, RedHat. (2, Insightful)

Lethyos (408045) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869486)

Accepting any deal of the sort from Microsoft is tantamount to giving legitimacy to a corrupt system and buying into blackmail.

Score one for the 'good guys' then (3, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869742)

Microsoft is SOOOOO stupid in that matter.

It is evident that due to their corporate heritage/understanding, they still think that they can manipulate the whole world by dealing with a number of big corporations.

So, novell, red hat and similar will succumb to their schemes, and we, millions of developers, system admins, it managers will oblige by them ? duh ?

am i missing something here ? we 'the people' in the field were the ones to make linux come to where it is today, not the single handed effort of any company. zillions of our contribs made linux come to this point.

not only that, but we as a whole are the bulk of the community that will advise our top brass, decision-makers, bugdet planners, policy-makers in our corporations and workplaces as to what should be the best course to take.

we did not oblige by microsoft crap then, and you can easily deduct that we will never do. and you can guess that our advice/move on that matter would be to avoid more microsoft crap.

we will just scratch anybody who deals with microsoft to that kind of harmful extent, and build on something new. im not putting a prophecy here - im talking about the social dynamics and previous experience - new distros can be done, new platforms can be put together, even now-obscure operation systems/platforms may rise to prominence.

this is the power of people. microsoft has rowed against the river before, got carried away with it, STILL trying to do as such. do not make the same mistake again. and as for novell, we are already wary about you.

do not take these as the babblings of a fanatic - this is being spoken from bitter experience with these stuff and a great deal of practical concerns.

red hat has the go for now.

Ideals of Redhat vs Novell (3, Insightful)

mythz (857024) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869768)

This fiasco clearly shows the ideals of these two 'opensource' companies. Redhat is driven by both the idealism of open source and basis its revenue model on the value proposition and technical superiority of its products.

Novell on the other hand is a stagnated giant, it only turned to Linux in a bid to generate some revenue to comabat the decline in its directory sales. Novell is clearly driven by profit as is demonstrated by this deal with MS. With this deal Novell is no longer just competing on the strength and value proposition of its products, it has created an artificial barrier (FUD / illusion customer protection) where they are now hoping customers will consider their products of greater value as it has this 'added' protection. If Novell really believed in open source and not as just a way to make profit it would have open sourced NDS a long time ago simarily to what redhat had done with its acquisition and opensourcing of Netscape directory services.

Now I have to ask what is with the 3 year exclusive deal with MS? Surely this is not a restriction MS has imposed on itself? This must've been a directive from Novell, which makes me think that Novell is more than a puppet in this MS sponsored charade.

Re:Ideals of Redhat vs Novell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16870274)

If one looks at this from a legacy infrastructure perspective, it make at least some sense. Your friend who just likes to look at donkey porn, and doesn't want to be a zombie for penis pills, well a flavor of Mandrake, Kubutu, etc is probably fine, and this isn't meaningful.

But if Novell becomes the "we'll support your legacy infrastructure and integrate it into your 2000, 2003 domain, and you can get rid of all that 98, old NT crap, painlessly, and cheaply" choice leader. This helps both parties. If Novell and Microsoft develope useful tools, enterprise or otherwise, outside the permissive license, but still free at least as binaries, to individual users, and of nominal expense to enterprise customers it's very good for both of them. And it's good for the rest of the free software zoo too, in the form of providing a pressure to provide similar increased functionality.

Yes Microsoft is made of money. But half a Giga-dollar is a lot to pay for a mind-fuck. It's functionality that Microsoft customers demand, it's functionality which is far from convienent as is. This is a very real market to be exploited. It's something all the companies being sought as suitors would like to do better. Something Microsoft more or less recognizes it does pretty poorly.

A middle ground where they get to keep their cards hidden, and their customers have cheap-ish, quality solutions available sounds like a perfectly reasonable end for them to pursue.

Microsoft is a funny old beast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16869776)

Microsoft seems to like playing these token good guy gestures only to be a c**t later.
It's frankly insulting that marketeers these days think that the public are so stupid as to not see through these basic games.

I think software patents are pretty fucking stupid all round and I'm glad that some of the European countries keep making sure that this doesn't get sneaked in on the end of a fisheries bill or some other nonsense.

The only people for software patents as far as I'm concerned are useless eaters living on bulls**t.

GPLv3 (3, Insightful)

metamatic (202216) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869782)

Meanwhile, Eben Moglen, the FSF general counsel, promises that GPLv3 will explicitly outlaw deals like this. (Of course everyone's on v2, so calling the Novell deal "DOA" would be premature.)

Yeah, Novell might decide to fork the entire GCC toolchain, the standard C libraries, the file utilities, the shell, the bootloader, and go it alone maintaining the entire system without the benefit of the Linux community. Yeah, that'll work well for them.

Indemnification from WHAT ? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16869794)

Someone please tell me what patents Microsoft has over Linux ! Don't they have the cart before the horse here, ala SCO ? "We won't sue you" Great. How are they going to sue us now ? Don't we have to infringe on something not to be sued ?

And even if Microsoft does have a patent or two buried in Linux, don't they have to give fair warning and wouldn't the OS Community just rewrite around it ?

I totally don't understand any of Microsoft's involvement with Linux. It seems to me like they are trying to scare people into getting an "indemnification license" to run Linux ! They can't control the OS itself, so they can't license that, but somehow they can extort a patent license from it ?

Doesn't make sense to me.

Let's call it Mafiasoft Insurance (1)

yukk (638002) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869852)

It's an long established business plan. Look at it as a specialised form of insurance. "That's a nice software comany you have there. I'd hate to see anything happen to it."

Go FSF! (2, Interesting)

Zonk (troll) (1026140) | more than 7 years ago | (#16869960)

I for one will be welcoming the GPL3.

In the mean time, though would it be possible to create a GPL 2.1? Maybe add a clause like this (taken from the CPL):


b) Subject to the terms of this Agreement, each Contributor hereby grants Recipient a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free patent license under Licensed Patents to make, use, sell, offer to sell, import and otherwise transfer the Contribution of such Contributor, if any, in source code and object code form. This patent license shall apply to the combination of the Contribution and the Program if, at the time the Contribution is added by the Contributor, such addition of the Contribution causes such combination to be covered by the Licensed Patents. The patent license shall not apply to any other combinations which include the Contribution. No hardware per se is licensed hereunder.

c) Recipient understands that although each Contributor grants the licenses to its Contributions set forth herein, no assurances are provided by any Contributor that the Program does not infringe the patent or other intellectual property rights of any other entity. Each Contributor disclaims any liability to Recipient for claims brought by any other entity based on infringement of intellectual property rights or otherwise. As a condition to exercising the rights and licenses granted hereunder, each Recipient hereby assumes sole responsibility to secure any other intellectual property rights needed, if any. For example, if a third party patent license is required to allow Recipient to distribute the Program, it is Recipient's responsibility to acquire that license before distributing the Program.

...

If Recipient institutes patent litigation against a Contributor with respect to a patent applicable to software (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit), then any patent licenses granted by that Contributor to such Recipient under this Agreement shall terminate as of the date such litigation is filed. In addition, if Recipient institutes patent litigation against any entity (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit) alleging that the Program itself (excluding combinations of the Program with other software or hardware) infringes such Recipient's patent(s), then such Recipient's rights granted under Section 2(b) shall terminate as of the date such litigation is filed.


Then, the "or later" clause could be use on existing software and all new versions could hopefully be switched to the 2.1 version.

what are the patents anyway? (2, Interesting)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870058)

Does anyone have a list of Microsoft patents that affect GNU/Linux?
Like, what exactly are they providing indemnification for?
And how many of them likely have plenty of prior art that could be used to fight in court?
Are there any that we should specifically be worried about?

Additionally, another thing I don't get about this is that by making this Novell deal, they seem to be indicating that they are willing to sue customers of other distros for patent infringement. But since when do CUSTOMERS get sued for patent infringement? Last I checked it was only the vendors of infringing products that could get sued for patent infringement.

english? (1)

trwww (545291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870098)

From TFA:

But Hilf acknowledged that it is an awkward situation having Microsoft's customers who use Novell's SUSE Linux covered by the covenant not to sue, while those Windows users running Red Hat Linux are not.

WTF? Maybe its just me, but I can't even read that. First time I read TFA in a month and this is what I get.

Nice :) (1)

Delifisek (190943) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870106)

I believe this will lead massive GPL V3 translation...

Yes M$, please sue us, please scare us...

Execpt others we fight against our fears

Cringely on MicroSuse (or is it Sues, now?) (4, Informative)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870264)

Here's Cringeley's tak on it:

http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2006/pulpit_200 61110_001188.html [pbs.org]

Relevant quote from Cringely article:

We saw this happen before when 3Com tied its fortunes to Microsoft in the late 1980s with the lamented 3Com-Microsoft LAN Manager network operating system, which was ironically Microsoft's answer to Novell at that time. Then 3Com CEO Bill Krause felt the only way to compete with Novell was through an alliance with Microsoft. So 3Com bought its way into the relationship, ended up doing all the work (MORE THAN all the work if you count recoding Microsoft blunders), then had to BUY ITS WAY BACK OUT when the product failed.
After that deal was over and the blood had dried, 3Com founder Bob Metcalfe claims that a Microsoft exec told him, "You made a fatal error, you trusted us."
I still think Microsoft is less evil than Sony though... but only just.

Deja Vu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16870428)

Didn't Microsoft try this with Corel some time ago?

Patent Protection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16870554)

The protection offered by MS is WORTHLESS unless it applies to ALL open source players, from embedded to commercial to super computing. By working with Novell, it protects commercial SuSE users AFIK, but what we need really are assurances by MS that they will not abuse the broken patent system in the US against private, commercial, or government users, developers, supporters, and sellers of Linux and related products. The specific patents MUST be identified and protection extended to ALL players.

MS is filing a very large number of patents. The open source crowd needs to file even more, in addition to efforts to collect bodies of prior art. So long as patents in the US are granted on software, we NEED to play the game whether we like it or not as it is the law of the land and the US is a MAJOR player in software. That does not preclude working with your newly-elected congress critters to get things changed. It also does not preclude working in your country to stop the adoption of software patents and the like.

Thank you for the irrelevant indemnification (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870740)

Yea microsoft, you didnt have any right on any single shit in linux, but hey, you still decided to provide us who use it with indemnification.

apparently toes at microsoft are unaware of what their head is thinking.

Sebben might say... (1)

Duggeek (1015705) | more than 7 years ago | (#16870900)

Ha Ha Ha! Lawyers!

Bird-man! Get on the phone and call our lawyers! I want us to be right in the middle when they infringe on that GPU patent!

You! Get on that phone and keep calling this phone. I want that phone working at all times!

Lastly, you! Get me one of those red hats.

[slam!]

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