[x]Blackmoor Vituperative

Thursday, 2007-05-17

Microsoft dredges up old, bogus patent claims again

Filed under: Intellectual Property,Linux,Software — bblackmoor @ 17:06

Microsoft is back with more vague threats and bogus claims concerning their patents being violated by open source software.

In an interview with Fortune, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, claims that the Linux kernel violates 42 of its patents, the Linux graphical user interfaces run afoul of another 65, the Open Office suite of programs infringes 45 more, e-mail programs violate 15, while other assorted free and open-source programs allegedly transgress 68.

(from eWeek, Microsoft Claims Open-Source Technology Violates 235 of Its Patents)

You first heard this noise back in 2004. It was piffle then, and it’s piffle now. The fact that a company would continue to make empty threats like this, year after year, should be enough reason for you to stop doing business with them.

That’s aside from the practical ramifications of using Microsoft’s software. Anyone who runs a mission-critical server on a Windows machine rather than a Linux or Unix machine, anyone who runs a web server on IIS rather than Apache, anyone who chooses to use Microsoft Office instead of OpenOffice, anyone who chooses to use Internet Explorer rather than Firefox — these people are all technological illiterates who shouldn’t be allowed near a computer keyboard or an IT architecture meeting.