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Microsoft Sees No Conflicts With Patent Initiatives

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the maybe-they-should-look-again dept.

Microsoft 84

AlexGr writes "According to Eweek's Peter Galli, Microsoft sees no contradiction between its open-source community building efforts and the more-than-thinly-veiled legal threats at Linux and other projects. Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's vice president of intellectual property and licensing, actually states: 'One makes the other possible, especially at a time like this, when interoperability is so important. Microsoft recognizes the importance of interoperability, which is why we are doing the things we are in our products, why we created the Interoperability Executive Customer Council, and why we are listening to customers.'"

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84 comments

Vader quote. (4, Funny)

u-bend (1095729) | more than 7 years ago | (#19342957)

"There IS no Conflict"

In other news... (4, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343109)

  • War is Peace
  • Freedom is Slavery
  • Ignorance is Strength

..brings up a current topic; non-logical stances. (4, Interesting)

mollog (841386) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343675)

This seems to be a very widespread phenomenon; apparent illogic in public positions.

At even the hint of a suggestion that Microsoft has made a living from using other people's ideas, Bill Gates will immediately start into a harangue about how Microsoft is a leader because of its innovation. As most people familiar with the subject (and not predisposed to believe what Microsoft/Bill Gates says) already knows, Microsoft is not an innovator.

Many very big corporations like Microsoft, and all politicians, have learned to make statements that are based on false logic, falsified logic, and plain illogic. Big Tobacco denying the link between tobacco and cancer, Big Oil explaining their profits. I'll leave the political stuff alone because that seems to bring out the trolls.


That Microsoft will openly state that there is no tension between its 'support' of open standards and software, and their other work which supports and extends 'closed' technology is not a surprise. But what disappoints is that this rather open hypocrisy seems to be so readily accepted, especially by the mainstream media.

Have we become so jaded that truth and fact no longer matter? Am I the only one who tires of this open hypocrisy?

Re:..brings up a current topic; non-logical stance (1)

cyborg_zx (893396) | more than 7 years ago | (#19345207)

'Tis the nature of the game. If you can win by playing it that way then it really doesn't matter to the player. Take comfort in the fact that it is not a strategy conducive to long term success; lament that short term success is always attractive enough so that tis doesn't matter.

Re:..brings up a current topic; non-logical stance (1)

andydread (758754) | more than 7 years ago | (#19347311)

No you are not. Open hypocrisy is in style these days. The main stream media rarely challenges it. its disgusting really

Re:..brings up a current topic; non-logical stance (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#19347565)

The main stream media rarely challenges it.

The mainstream media protects and fosters hypocrisy. Corporate media is one of the big players creating modern politics worldwide.

You might be interested in this critique of AP's role. http://www.projectcensored.org/newsflash/ap_bias.h tml [projectcensored.org]

Re:..brings up a current topic; non-logical stance (1)

Ragingguppy (464321) | more than 7 years ago | (#19349257)

Hmmm.... You know in some countries telling lies about another person, or group could be construed as slander and is a suable offense. I think Microsoft should be careful in what they say. If they don't identify the patents that they are accusing the open source community is violating then the Open Source community has a good case to sue them for slander in those countries.

It's not accepted, it's perpetuated (1)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 7 years ago | (#19350923)

That Microsoft will openly state that there is no tension between its 'support' of open standards and software, and their other work which supports and extends 'closed' technology is not a surprise. But what disappoints is that this rather open hypocrisy seems to be so readily accepted, especially by the mainstream media.

It's never accepted, it's only repeated in hopes to perpetuate it. If Bill Gates can only be quoted as saying one thing, how is anyone going to show him in another light unless they resort to allegations? Using allegations makes you look like a tabloid, and reporters can't be bothered to do a whole lot of research, especially on topics that involve newfangled technology that are then mired in Microsoft's buzzword-happy marketspeak. If Microsoft is good at doing one thing, it's muddying the waters.

On the other hand, a reporter can take a facts based approach, but that requries doing your own research instead of re-printing paraphrased MS press releases. Plus, it requires educating the public on a situation they might not already know about something they probably don't care about already, so you need to convince them to go through the strain of learning something new, and then looking at it critically, systematically, and logically.

The mainstream media is mainstream because it's brain candy, not because it makes the reader work, and the mainstream media has to make money too. So you cater to the money. Which is also easy because MS hands you what to say in their marketing materials, or whenever they put up sites with complicated muddied misinformation that nobody can bother to sift through on each and every single point, and if they do, nobody bothers to read it... so that's why you still have sites around like microsoft.com/getthefacts [microsoft.com] . Can you believe that's still around, and still probably being taken seriously?

Re:..brings up a current topic; non-logical stance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19354017)

I feel sorry for the people at Microsoft. They can't even explain things in English. It's all half-lies, half-truths, and legal mumbo-jumbo. I don't know how they can relate publicly without being able to form simple sentences that are understandable to the general population, not just lawyers.

Microsoft isn't calling ANY of the shots when it comes to the open source community. And what Microsoft doesn't seem to understand is; Open source software IS inherently differently than commercial and yes one IS indeed possible without the other.

Goodbye Microsoft. Goodbye.

Re:Vader quote. (4, Interesting)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 7 years ago | (#19344921)

Only veiled lies are part of any Microsoft statement about interoperability. Microsoft wants proprietary and it to be theirs to lock you into their OS and their technologies. This is not new. Let us be wary of the fact that Microsoft wants the IP from the open source community and are willing to extort it through blatant lies about IP violations. An attorney I spoke with just today while we were discussing this informs me that Microsoft's failure to disclose the patent numbers is essentially abandonment.

Microsoft has been trying to extort IP from the open source. That's their only reason behind the threats. The Open Source community doesn't need to agree to Microsoft's terms. Microsoft needs to agree to the Open Source communities terms, or whomever has the IP. Since the Open Source community has little to no reason to cross license and are willing to remove any infringing code, Microsoft has no choice but to pay up to open source.

It will be pretty funny when everyone comes to the realization that Microsoft has a significantly greater number of IP violations than open source does and they'll refuse to pay up when the time comes for the disclosure. They simply claim that the open source community didn't pay up when they were given a chance so Microsoft decided to play judge, jury, and executioner and make the balance themselves.

Microsoft is like the big oil company threatening to sue the individual car driver, and any major company that uses cars, because those people are using gasoline that may be refined using some portion of their process that wasn't "allegedly" legally licensed. It doesn't matter that this big oil company probably stole the process to begin with. Nor does it matter that they won't tell you which part was infringed so the process can be adjusted.

Microsoft's motives are not altruistic. They are not after interoperability. They are after the IP of these companies intellectual property. It is that simple. It is method of extortion. This moron that is in charge of the IP section is obviously crazy.

mmmmmmmmmm (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19342979)

thin veal....

Of course (3, Funny)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | more than 7 years ago | (#19342995)

Threatening us with lawsuits is part of their plan to HELP us... How did I not figure that one out... It's so obvious

Re:Of course (2, Interesting)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 7 years ago | (#19344329)

Microsoft's new slogan: "We sue you because we care about you"

Re:Of course (1)

AlgorithMan (937244) | more than 7 years ago | (#19344447)

yes... it helps us switch to the right software...

Re:Of course (1)

someone1234 (830754) | more than 7 years ago | (#19344983)

Don't forget interoperability. Threatening to sue anything that would talk to a M$ application is for interoperability!

Re:Of course (1)

Tribbin (565963) | more than 7 years ago | (#19345601)

It's sort of a paradox.

They could just file the use of patents as bug-reports so the FOSS community can actually be aware of it and DO something about it.

But I guess it would be against their strategy to avoid people from using their patented ideas.

Hmmm ... (3, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343001)

'One makes the other possible, especially at a time like this, when interoperability is so important. Microsoft recognizes the importance of interoperability, which is why we are doing the things we are in our products, why we created the Interoperability Executive Customer Council, and why we are listening to customers.'
I think he forgot 'And that's why we're threatening to sue people ... to ensure we have interoperability in courtrooms.'

How could it? (5, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343051)

"Microsoft Sees No Conflicts With Patent Initiatives"

MS is a corporation. So among other things, we know that:

(1) It doesn't actually "see" anything. It's comprised of individual humans (mostly) that see things.

(2) Because it's actually a collection of minds that don't necessarily agree with each other, it doesn't tell us much that it's engaging in two actions that are potentially un-reconcilable. When we hear that a *person* "sees no conflict", we find that interesting because we figure maybe the person has discovered some reason that they two ideas in question can be reconciled. For a corporation of multiple persons, maybe no such reconciliation of the two ideas exists.

Plus it's also quite plausible that MS management has private motives that are very different than its public motives. In that case perhaps the (inauthentic) public motives are in logical conflict, but the private motives held by MS's management are actually completely self-consistent.

Law in economics (3, Insightful)

DrYak (748999) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343995)

(2) Because it's actually a collection of minds that don't necessarily agree with each other, it doesn't tell us much that it's engaging in two actions that are potentially un-reconcilable.


There needs to be a law in economics that states that any corporation big enough, will starts to show symptoms of the corporate equivalent of Alien hand syndrome [wikipedia.org] once it has crossed a specific size.

The recent mix-up at Microsoft (one hand is trying to be nice to open-source because FOSS is the current hyped buzzword of the day while at the same time the other hand is desperately trying to find a way to crush this "evil" concurrence that threatens to overthrow them from their dominant position in the market) is a perfect illustration of such dual minded corporate behaviour (for the exact reason stated above : it's made up of too many people to have a single coherent goal).

Duble Plus Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19343065)

This is Double Plus Good. War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery.

Now back to work before Big Brother finds you reading slashdot on company time.

Quick, everyone chant... (1)

Ai Olor-Wile (997427) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343075)

Embrace, extend, extinguish! Or something. Only they're extinguishing and embracing at the same time--possibly 'extending' at the same time too, thanks to the EU. Maybe Gates' official Fürher status was like a timing signal... now they've gotten everything all mixed up.

Re:Quick, everyone chant... (2, Insightful)

NoMaster (142776) | more than 7 years ago | (#19348503)

Bingo!

There's a market developing in Free software - a small market, mind you, at the moment, but showing every sign of growing - and Microsoft want to own it. It's as simple as that.

Doesn't mean they actually need to produce Free software though - they just need to own the mindspace. Their strategy over the last few years, right up to the recent events, has amounted to
  • "Oh, but we do embrace free software"
  • "Uh, but we're cautious because there may be some IP problems associated with it"
  • "Look - we said there may be IP problems, and we found some!"
The next step being, of course
  • "Hey, but as long as you stick to MS-brand "Free" software, you'll be fine..."
It may be 4 steps rather than the stereotypical 3, but "Profit!" is still at the end of it...

There is no Conflict (1)

Twixter (662877) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343093)

There is only Zuel.....

Please spell your fake Sumerian gods properly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19344543)

I believe you meant Zuul.

Re:Please spell your fake Sumerian gods properly (1)

Twixter (662877) | more than 7 years ago | (#19345307)

I did. Damn those fake Sumerian gods....I should have Guugled it.

Another open letter (2, Insightful)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343103)

I would write another Open [slashdot.org] Letter [slashdot.org] , but at this point, I give up. They won't respond.

Brad Smith & Co: If you're listening at all, just give up the threats or sue us. Piss or get off the pot. Otherwise, maybe some open source developers might get fed up and sue YOU for slander and libel.

Re:Another open letter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19343165)

Both SLANDER AND LIBEL? Whoa! I guess someone didn't go to law school. Why don't you write an open letter about it?

Re:Another open letter (2, Insightful)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 7 years ago | (#19344999)

Slander is a false statement made publicly knowing it is false and that it will be believed by others and do harm to whomever it was made about. Libel is the printing of the same thing. It isn't difficult to see both slander and libel in what the Microsofties said/printed.

Re:Another open letter (1)

thebdj (768618) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343385)

Seriously, you are not helping. First, do you really think you are proving anything with this "open letter." It is a slashdot post in which you placed "Dear so and so". It is hardly a letter and almost guaranteed not to be read, since I really doubt most lawyers at this firm are really sitting around slashdot in their free time. Second, your letters hardly do anything other then yell and curse at the individuals. I hope you would be a bit better prepared then this when talking in a courtroom.

If you really want to do something, post the letter in a forum where they might actually read it. Make the letter contain some actual substance, like an argument in defense of Linux and open source, then have the balls to print that letter, sign it, and mail it to the people you are addressing. Stop with the "I am the cock of the walk" show you are putting on here at slashdot and take action. There are actually a few rather legal ways I could determine to force Microsoft to show their hand. They are not necessarily the smartest ways, but it would be achievable.

Instead of telling everyone else to "put up or shut up", perhaps it is time for you to take your own advice.

Re:Another open letter (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343467)

I did e-mail the letters to the respective e-mail addresses.

However, I *will* get an open letter published -- with more actual substance -- in a major trade rag if I have to write letters to the editor of every major trade rag on the planet.

Re:Another open letter (1)

SoulRider (148285) | more than 7 years ago | (#19344065)

You know its coming, they are trying way too hard to convince everyone they are not going sue anyone.

Re:Another open letter (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#19350037)

I'm betting on it.

What? (4, Insightful)

peipas (809350) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343105)

So they're thickly veiled threats?

Re:What? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343883)

Duh. If they're listening but can't hear, and visibility through the veil only works one way, it would have to be horribly thick and probably made of several layers of aluminium-coated wool.

Are you surprised?? (2, Insightful)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343121)

Of course they see no conflict. Alternatie would be that they admit that have a conflict, and then do what? There action is not a shorterm play. The reality is that MS is scared to death about the longterm of the software industry. The OSS model kills legacy applications, which is a good thing in most peoples minds. At some point, you need to stop charging for same application. Winzip comes to mind here... If OSS didnt exist, this simply would not happen.

Re:Are you surprised?? (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 7 years ago | (#19344625)

I'm starting to really believe that this is the end of the road for MS' crappy development and release model. The open source movement has been growing for over 25 years and it's turning out to be a real competitor to MS windows. There are more and more articles about Joe Computer columnist installing Ubuntu and *not* encountering any fatal flaws. More and more apps are available for Windows, OSX and Linux. The endlessly delayed Vista with no real improvements and incredible system requirements shows the fundamental brokenness of MS' development process. Meanwhile OSX and the various Linux distros have given us release after release, with actual improvements, for little or no cost. On top of that, the various Windows emulators might provide a complete Windows experience in the next few years. It looks like MS really may not be able to keep up with open source in the next 5-10 years.

I expect MS to fire up the DRM/legal side of their battle. Utilizing software patents, allying with the various MAFIAA outfits, getting draconian legislation passed -- that seems to be their last and only defense.

Corporations will always trust buying software and maintenance from other corporations rather than those supplied by independent developers. It's still safe to go with MS, no matter how crappy they are for the time being. It will be a long, slow, torturous death for MS.

Disconnect (2, Interesting)

Smight (1099639) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343169)

What customers say: "This open source stuff is starting to look pretty good, and free isalot cheaper than what I'm paying now." What microsoft hears: "All this extra money and constantly updated software is confusing and scary. I wish someone would destroy these companies and maintain the status qou."

Interoperability Executive Customer Council (1)

TopSpin (753) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343175)

Interoperability Executive Customer Council
What?! Why are they now using spaces in these new .NET class names? What's wrong with InteroperabilityExecutiveCustomerCouncil? What was so difficult about reading InterlockedCompareExchangeRelease that they have to start with this new convention?

Microsoft. White Canes "R" Us. (1, Funny)

swschrad (312009) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343213)

they never see wrongdoing on their part.

Microsoft. the reason there is braille on the keys of the drive-through ATM.

Re:Microsoft. White Canes "R" Us. (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#19344069)

Microsoft. the reason there is braille on the keys of the drive-through ATM.

I would have figured it's just cheaper to make ALL keypads with braille than to manage two production lines, one with and one without...

Re:Microsoft. White Canes "R" Us. (1)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 7 years ago | (#19344697)

Hm. I thought it was because people sometimes walk up to them.

The Interoperability Executive Customer Council (4, Interesting)

psema4 (966801) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343221)

TIECC - This Is an Exceedingly Clumsy Concept.

What does "Interoperability Executive Customer Council" mean? An interoperability "council" of customers' executives? An executive council of (for?!?) customers?

Try as they might, I cannot see how M$ can declare war on either side of the Patented/Open software fight. Do they really think that they can exist in both camps at once and still come out a winner?

If I'm not mistaken, the Art of War deals pretty specifically with choosing one's sides/opponents carefully.

If they wish to push for interoperability, why threaten (however thinly-veiled) the Open Source community? Particularly when they themselves are "trying" to be more open?

Re:The Interoperability Executive Customer Council (1)

psema4 (966801) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343377)

"TIECC - This Is an Exceedingly Clumsy Concept.

What does "Interoperability Executive Customer Council" mean? An interoperability "council" of customers' executives? An executive council of (for?!?) customers?

Try as they might, I cannot see how M$ can declare war on either side of the Patented/Open software fight. Do they really think that they can exist in both camps at once and still come out a winner?

If I'm not mistaken, the Art of War deals pretty specifically with choosing one's sides/opponents carefully.

If they wish to push for interoperability, why threaten (however thinly-veiled) the Open Source community? Particularly when they themselves are "trying" to be more open?"

Rrrgh - sorry for the double post.

The point that really bothers me is that if they are TRULY worried about INTEROPERABILITY, why then would they be solely interested in THEIR customers points of view? Why not their "opponents?" (Er, I mean... friends)

After all, interoperability is about making sure that MOST (if not ALL) parties can communicate.

Re:The Interoperability Executive Customer Council (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343501)

If I'm not mistaken, the Art of War deals pretty specifically with choosing one's sides/opponents carefully.

I think this might be the key. They don't know which side to take so they are throwing out BS until one looks like a winner. MegaCrap isn't known for being the first on the block on anything but stealing other peoples stuff.

Re:The Interoperability Executive Customer Council (1)

BobDigiDigi (957534) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343509)

Do they really think that they can exist in both camps at once and still come out a winner?
Yes. They are making sure that either way they don't loose.

Gotta love WeaselWords. (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343305)

"'...and why we are listening to customers.'"

Big difference between "listening" and "hearing"....

Re:Gotta love WeaselWords. (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343473)

and twisting someone's arm until they yell loudly enough to suit you

Re:Gotta love WeaselWords. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19344435)

The scurrilious pig-dogs using open-source are not their customer -> they do not need to be listened to.

And should be crushed.

Re:Gotta love WeaselWords. (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 7 years ago | (#19346689)

The scurrilious pig-dogs using open-source are not their customer -> they do not need to be listened to.

Actually, I was thinking about their track record with DRM... Just *which* customer *asked* to be treated as a criminal by default?!?

Dear Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19343343)

I would like to gift you a huge sum of money but I'm going to sue you into bankruptcy for undisclosed reasons. There's no conflict here.

The truth is that my suing you will enable me to gift you money, so it's in your interest to settle before this ever goes to court. I guess what I'm really trying to say (and it's business method you appear to be familiar with) is "give me money or else"!

Thank you,

AC

OK... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19343361)

"Microsoft recognizes the importance of interoperability, which is why we are doing the things we are in our products, why we created the Interoperability Executive Customer Council"

- Recognizing importance of interoperability? So why always making things Windows-only? Aside from that being one way to ensure revenue and a stable market position..
- Internet Explorer remains Windows-only...
- Since when does one have to set up a council to oversee interoperability issues (aside from bureaucratic and logistical reasons)? It's not obvious yet?

obligitory Uncle Jimbo (South Park) quote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19343405)

so you see kids, if we don't kill them they'll die...

Did Microsoft just wake up? (4, Interesting)

anubi (640541) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343411)

Ok... Imagine Microsoft did indeed start flinging litigation all over the industry...

Then any adopters of Linux ( rest of world ) will be afraid of "embracing" Microsoft, for fear of the lawyer letter in the mail.

Then Microsoft is relegated to an American-Only protocol with not a helluva lot of political clout outside the US.

This will leave businesses which have embraced the Microsoft Representative with a crippled system incapable of communicating to every customer.

Unlike open source, which will.

The businessman who shook the hand of the Microsoft rep may have to stand before the CEO and explain why he should keep his job, given the company's competitors can talk to everyone, and his company, under his signature, can only talk to a subset of the customer base.

The handshake with the Microsoft rep could be the handshake of death for many corporate CIO, as the love of universally compatible systems - and systems open to verification of their operation - become the norm.

Microsoft has now shown their hand... its got claws in it. Do you want to trust it? The smiling face of someone anticipating getting you into their cat trap could turn into a gun pretty fast if it doesn't get its way.

I don't expect the American government to do much, but I do expect compatibility with the rest of the world will do it.

When you live to face the ramifications of your selections, ignorance is NOT bliss.

Re:Did Microsoft just wake up? (1)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 7 years ago | (#19345053)

And that's why the USA uses metric!

Re:Did Microsoft just wake up? (1)

JohnBailey (1092697) | more than 7 years ago | (#19349587)

Didn't NASA have a little problem with that a few years ago?

Re:Did Microsoft just wake up? (2, Funny)

xant (99438) | more than 7 years ago | (#19345589)

Microsoft has now shown their hand... its got claws in it. Do you want to trust it? The smiling face of someone anticipating getting you into their cat trap could turn into a gun pretty fast if it doesn't get its way.

I think that metaphor was the octopus of death.

Off world PR writer? (-1, Flamebait)

baomike (143457) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343425)

This is kind of like finding out the Pope's wife is having an abortion.

sense of humor (2)

baomike (143457) | more than 7 years ago | (#19346513)

The moderator might examine the subject (sense of humor).
It has been found to be useful , even in real life circumstances.

NB: As a start to developing a sense of humour(ease into it) , you might begin by reading the works of Camus.

No one should be surprised (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343457)

No one should be surprised that Microsoft sees no conflict with anything that makes them money. I seriously don't mean this to be a troll but it's true.

Oblig. Billy Madison (1)

Critical Facilities (850111) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343515)

Customers did not want to have to solve this problem themselves, they wanted industry leaders, their vendors, to solve the interoperability problem for them, he said. "The only way that's possible is for companies to really be open to licensing arrangements and building these bridges that people thought were impossible before, among different providers and among different software development models," he said.

Mr. Madison, what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Re:Oblig. Billy Madison (2, Interesting)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 7 years ago | (#19346013)

How many friggen times do I have to say it. They are after IP cross licensing. They will do anything. Open Source has no real need to cross license. Microsoft has a great need. They have been getting sued over and over and over and over, and loosing nearly 100% of the cases. This means they have to cross license instead of outright stealing. Open Source is starting to set the stage and those that participate have large portfolios of IP. If they can't enter into a legal cross license they will threaten suit in the law instead.

Microsoft is NOT innovative. These are hard cold facts. They have repeatedly stolen IP from other companies. No one trusts them. If IP went away they'd be happy. If IP doesn't they'll use their strong arm tactic to force companies to cross license. They can't afford to keep loosing hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars to lawsuits. If they can't outright steal they will steal in a round about way.

It's the apocalypse stupid! (1)

ivanmarsh (634711) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343533)

Any time a representative of Microsoft uses the word "interoperability" in a sentence we're drawn one step closer to the abyss. Quick, everyone start chanting "Embrace and Enhance" to hold back the tide.

This just in... (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343641)

Company says it is working for its customers. More at 11.

More than? (1)

kbolino (920292) | more than 7 years ago | (#19343701)

"According to Eweek's Peter Galli, Microsoft sees no contradiction between its open-source community building efforts and the more-than-thinly-veiled legal threats at Linux and other projects."

More than thinly veiled? I'd say the veil was long ago taken off completely.

Am I reading that right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19343823)

Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's vice president of intellectual property and licensing, actually states: '...Microsoft recognizes the importance of interoperability, which is why ... we are listening to customers.'
So, I guess, if Microsoft didn't recognize the importance of interoperability they wouldn't listen to customers?

Geez, I guess Microsoft's customers sure are lucky that Microsoft recognizes the importance of interoperability!

Myself, I think they should endeavor to persevere.

This does make sense, in a twisted way (1, Insightful)

Darkforge (28199) | more than 7 years ago | (#19344425)

I actually read TFA. Microsoft is cheerfully threatening the spirit of Free Software: individuals freely contributing code to a shared project.

However, Microsoft's point here is that they're happy to make patent licensing agreements (like the Novell deal) with open source software vendors. Remember, MS has stated publicly that they're happy to make the Novell deal with Red Hat, Canonical, etc.

If you're MS, and your goal is to make more Novell deals, then it makes perfect sense to make noise about your patents.

lets look at their interoperability policy (1)

AlgorithMan (937244) | more than 7 years ago | (#19344597)

Microsoft recognizes the importance of interoperability, which is why we are doing the things we are in our products
microsofts products aren't even interoperable with each other (Office and Works? OneCare and Outlook[ Express]?)...
if they really wanted interoperability, then why
- are you not allowed to write a 100% openXML compatible office software based on the docs?
- is smb changed just when linux support was finally good?
- is the default filesystem changed just when linux support for ntfs got kinda working?
- do they threat to sue the wine project, just because its kinda compatible to the windows api?

liars...

Thing about Microsoft.. (1)

hhcv (1094593) | more than 7 years ago | (#19344771)

No one will not actually trust that which lurks under the Surface.

The Analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19345117)

"According to Eweek's Peter Galli, Microsoft sees no contradiction between its open-source community building efforts and the more-than-thinly-veiled legal threats at Linux and other projects. Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's vice president of intellectual property and licensing, actually states: 'One makes the other possible, especially at a time like this, when interoperability is so important. Microsoft recognizes the importance of interoperability, which is why we are doing the things we are in our products, why we created the Interoperability Executive Customer Council, and why we are listening to customers.'"
"According to Eweek's Pope Bendict, the vatican church sees no contradiction between the ten commandments and the less than rubber-veiled clerical genitalia waving at choir-boys' open mouth. Cardinal Dingdong, the vaticans vice president of pornographic relics, actually states: 'One makes the other possible, especially at a time like this, when the ten commandments are so important. The vatican church recognizes the importance of the ten commandments, which is why we are doing the things we are to our choir, why we created the Ten Commandments Executive Choir Council, and why we are molest...LISTENING to our choirboys."

MS PR gives other PR a bad name for honesty (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 7 years ago | (#19345497)

It's quite a difficult job, but MS has been quite successful at it. They've made PR statements even less trustworthy than they used to be. And, amazingly, they've been able to keep it up for several years running. I think that they hold the undisputed title for most years in the past decade. Many years they even debase political PR.

Now, of course, this is assuming that you tar all PR with the same brush. And there may well be honest PR people out there. Sorry, but if they are offended, then they should send their complaints to the offenders.

Stategy: Pay Microsoft to use Open Source (1)

pilbender (925017) | more than 7 years ago | (#19345513)

Asked by eWEEK why, then, Microsoft had decided to not only release the 235 patent violation number, but also to detail what open-source software was violating them, Gutierrez said the company felt that once it had created a solution to the problem, it was appropriate to talk about the depth of the problem.
This pretty well sums up their strategy of controlling what customers do by any means they can. Notice how they never consider the obvious solution of building good customer solutions and providing good customer service. They've intentionally created the above stated problem so they can charge YOU for a solution.

"Microsoft has no intention or design to limit that arrangement to just Novell, and we have been saying openly that we are open to entering into similar agreements with others. You would expect that to happen over time as customers manifest to their vendors that IP indemnification is an area they care about given the realities of litigation on patents," he said.
I take this to mean they I should be afraid of being sued by Microsoft unless I use a blessed vendor? Only vendors who pay Microsoft and pass the charges down to the customer are okay? I have a solution. Tell me and the rest of the open source community what we're violating so we can avoid it completely. Some of us don't like your customer service and don't like your products. Create a better one and we'll use it! I don't choose software based on who is or is not going to sue me. I base those decisions on quality, cost and how effectively it solves my problem.

Microsoft also did not believe that litigation was an efficient way of dealing with these issues, he said, before adding that, "this does not mean you may not have to go there some day, but it is not a preferred option, and certainly not a preferred option for us. We are hoping that this can be addressed in a different way. Our focus is on solving this through licensing, and that approach should work between the worlds of open source and proprietary software," he said.

I have a problem with this. There is only one solution to this problem and it doesn't involve paying Microsoft for "services" (like not being sued) that I don't want. Instead of empty FUD about litigation and nonsense about licensing (which we already have... and it's working fine... we already have good licensing like the GPL, Apache, BSD, etc.), tell use what's being voilated so we can fix it.

There efforts to "charge" the open source community to use open source software are nothing short of laughable!

Re:Stategy: Pay Microsoft to use Open Source (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 7 years ago | (#19346131)

Microsoft doesn't really give a flying fuck about the license fees. Period. They are not after indemnification of your customers or to make your products inter-operable with theirs (hell, theirs aren't inter-operable with their own). What they are after is indemnification of themselves. They can only get this by first creating a problem and making their solution the only one and then by holding the feet of every other companies to the fire. After they cough up enough IP (that indemnifies them against future lawsuits from you), then they indemnify your customers. It is the IP they want, not the license fees and that IP is to protect themselves, not to open standards and create interoperability.

Schizophrenic (1)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 7 years ago | (#19345553)

Microsoft seems to have multiple personalities. One minute they're threatening the competition, the next they're embracing standards and coming to agreements with competitors.

One thing is for sure, you'll have an easier life if you avoid relying on their software for your own commercial gains. You won't end up building solutions using their software and then ending up being a competitor to one of their solutions or infringing on their patents.

Re:Schizophrenic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19346887)

"Microsoft seems to have multiple personalities. One minute they're threatening the competition, the next they're embracing standards and coming to agreements with competitors."

should read:

"Microsoft seems to have multiple personalities. One minute they're threatening the competition, the next they're talking about embracing standards and coming to agreements with competitors."

Re:Schizophrenic (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 7 years ago | (#19352225)

Nope its not a multiple personality disorder.

If you have a large php or java servlet running linux you are less likely to switch to windows.

MS is only helping build compability so when they go after your boss for patent infringement they can sell windows as a replacement for your linux apps.

It goes hand in hand.

Do Open Source Advocates see no contradiction? (1)

edbarbar (234498) | more than 7 years ago | (#19345805)


On the one hand, open source advocates embrace a business model some intend will put the for profit software model out of business, and then seem indignant when the for profit businesses attack the threat.

How many types... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19346907)

...of businesses exist right now? Tens of thousands most likely, right?
Now, how many of those businesses use software in some manner? most of them?

That's how you "make money" with FOSS, you go out into the world and "do business" with it. As a stand alone, sure, niche, sorta silly really, as the tools needed to go do "useful stuff", it's a deal.

Why anyone would bemoan the fact of good free tools is just astounding, or the idea that by cooperative sharing you keep getting more and more and better tools. Go ahead, go do business PLUS pay through the nose for software, shoot yourself in the foot.

  Coders and businesses who grok FOSS, who "get it", can work for any of the umpteen thousands of different types of business who have to USE software, that's where their long term checks can come from. Dinosaurs like MS were OK to get the show on the road, but that was a QUARTER CENTURY ago, time to realize that there are enough tools now to go ahead and get to work with them.

Energy Use? (1)

bandersnatch (176074) | more than 7 years ago | (#19346229)

Awash in the near-infrared

five cameras

So much for energy efficient computing.

Hey MS, I'm cheap! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19346455)

Microsoft recognizes the importance of interoperability

Pay me a fraction of Horacio's salary, and I'd be happy to lie out my asshole too.

mod dOwn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19346799)

To hAve to decide

I don't see one either (1)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19349015)

Microsoft used to be an evil, monopolistic company that has won big by taking advantage of their users instead of delivering value. After starting self-serving "community projects", publishing source code that only works on Windows, obtaining patent-encumbered standards, and attempting to wage a patent war on FOSS, they still are.

The best way to deal with this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19350339)

IMO Those companies that are found to be monopolies should be stripped of patent rights. All patents they own should be made public domain, and they should be refused new patent applications as long as they are legally recognized as monopolies...

I now see Microsoft's goal (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 7 years ago | (#19352201)

It makes sense that Microsoft wants to promote php, apache, and jboss on Windows. It helps their customers running Linux to switch to Windows when they threaten to sue them.

Why not switch to windows where there is no liability risk? After all you can run your same applications.

After this will be the attempt to switch former linux users into a pure Microsoft environment with all microsoft products.

Why are we discussing this? (1)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 7 years ago | (#19356563)

We KNOW Microsoft never utters a word without LYING!

This is a truth on a par with "the Earth revolves around the sun."

Nothing to see here, move along.

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