Open Source

Microsoft: Royalties or royal pain?


Microsoft patent dispute with open sourceIn the most recent battle between open-source and proprietary software, Microsoft goes for the jugular by claiming that free and open-source software violates 235 of its patents. See the article from CNET Networks' News.com: "Report: Microsoft says open source violates 235 patents."

Here's an excerpt from the article:

"In an interview with Fortune, Microsoft top lawyer Brad Smith alleges that the Linux kernel violates 42 Microsoft patents, while its user interface and other design elements infringe on a further 65. OpenOffice.org is accused of infringing 45, along with 83 more in other free and open-source programs, according to Fortune. It is not entirely clear how Microsoft might proceed in enforcing these patents..."

For more information about Microsoft patent violations by open-source software, check out these other news takes:

Microsoft, which is usually on the other end of patent disputes, certainly isn't making any friends in the open source community. Do you think Microsoft is just in its claims and should receive royalties, or will this stab at open source turn people off and become a virtual nail in Microsoft's coffin? Join the discussion.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

Stay on top of the latest tech news

Get this news story and many more by subscribing to our free IT News Digest newsletter, delivered each weekday. Automatically sign up today!

About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

63 comments
Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

Take a look at this recent news story: "Experts say Microsoft's patent quest won't go far."

DanLM
DanLM

Lots of solid points in that. The only reason the lawers disagreed was due to them missing out on charging for patent search/research prior to any new development. Dan

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

http://tinyurl.com/2tz245 This is the text from the story as posted in the above link Is Free Software Doomed? MS Claims 235 Patents Violated, Part 1 by Bill Lindner on 20070516 @ 02:00AM EST | google it | send to friends Channel: Windows | Bill's Links and More | (related terms: patent, patents, microsoft) In what's being labeled by some as an attempt to deflect questions surrounding their floundering Vista reception and sales, Microsoft is threatening law suits aimed at open source distributors and users, claiming that Free Open Source Software (FOSS) violates 235 of their patents ... and they want royalties from it. If they get their way, free software won't be free any more. According to Microsoft. The Linux kernel violates 42 Microsoft patents, the Linux graphical user interface (GUI) violates 65 patents, the Open Office suite of programs violate 45 patents, Email programs violate 15 patents, and other assorted FOSS programs allegedly violate 68 patents. FOSS has a large community of developers, including large companies like IBM, and it's thought that more than half of the companies in the Fortune 500 are using free operating systems like Linux in their data centers. Microsoft claims that it's just a matter of principle. "We live in a world where we honor, and support the honoring of, intellectual property," says Ballmer in an interview. FOSS patrons are going to have to "play by the same rules as the rest of the business," he insists. "What's fair is fair." The FOSS community is unwavered by Microsoft's claims. Legal strategist Eben Moglen contends that software is a mathematical algorithm and, as such, is not patentable. The fact that Microsoft might possess many relevant patents doesn't impress him. "Numbers aren't where the action is," he says. "The action is in very tight qualitative analysis of individual situations." Patents can be invalidated in court on numerous grounds, he observes. Others can easily be "invented around." Still others might be valid, yet not infringed under the particular circumstances. FOSS also has a lot of powerful corporate patrons and allies. The Open Invention Network (OIN) was set up by IBM, Sony, Philips, Novell, Red Hat and NEC in 2005 to acquire a portfolio of patents that might pose problems for companies like Microsoft, which are known to pose a patent threat to Linux. If Microsoft ever sued Red Hat for patent infringement, OIN might sue Microsoft in retaliation. What's kept the peace so far is the threat of mutually assured destruction -- patent Armageddon -- an unending series of suits and countersuits that would only cripple the industry and their customers. Copyrights are typically obtained on entire computer programs and usually prohibits exact duplication of the code, but may not bar less literal copying. Patents are obtained on innovative ways of doing things, meaning a single program might implicate hundreds of them. In December 2003 Microsoft began licensing its patents to other companies in exchange for either royalties or access to their patents (cross-licensing) and signed cross-licensing pacts with Sun, Toshiba, SAP, Siemens and others. Microsoft refuses to identify specific patents or to explain how they're being infringed because FOSS advocates would start filing challenges to them. Intellectual-property (IP) Attorneys have said that this is an attempt to spread fear, uncertainty, and make people hesitant to use open source software as an alternative to commercial products. "There may be a link between the timing of Microsoft's claims against open source and the release of its Windows Vista product. Rather than add features to Vista that would make business users want to adopt it, the operating systems distinguishing characteristic is the addition of an engine that will shut down users access to Vista if they are using a counterfeit or pirated version of the software" says Stuart Meyer, partner at Fenwick & West in Mountain View, CA. "Why do people want to want to switch to an OS that just includes new hurdles that have to be cleared?" he said. Microsoft may have decided that enforcing its IP through litigation is more important than offering innovative software that can compete on its own merits, a strategy that may leave many users unimpressed, Meyer suggested. Not specifically identifying which patents are being violated also shows they're less that serious about initiating litigation suggesting the company knows it will be a tough battle to fight he said. "If Microsoft wanted a lawsuit, they would have brought the lawsuit first," Meyer said. Others argue that Microsoft is at a turning point as they try to build a successful business around online services and advertising, waiting too long to adopt new business models similar to the ones that Google successfully launched. The Xbox 360 game console and the Zune digital media player have also proven to be unsuccessful. A January 26, 2007 Memo issued by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) CIO Dave Bowen states he might permanently bypass upgrading the FAA's desktops to Windows Vista due to stringent hardware requirements and application incompatibilities, instead considering migrating workers to PCs running a combination of Linux and Google's online Google Apps productivity tools. NASA and the DOT have also resisted upgrading for similar reasons. Other contributing factors include Dells decision to start offering Windows XP due to customer demands. A lot of the "20 million" units reportedly sold by Microsoft in February are still sitting on shelves somewhere, not in end users' hands. Vista pre sales from the final quater of 2006 were deferred to the first quarter in 2007, accounting for $1.2 billion in sales, a quarter of the reported Microsoft gains. Just yesterday, Bill Gates announced at a hardware developers conference that over 40 million copies of Vista have been sold so far. Accounting changes have inflated Windows revenues. Until now, Microsoft reported income from Windows deferred 25% of the income over a 3 and a half year period. A Wall Street Journal story details how accounting treatment reflected the costs of upgrades and other add-ons Microsoft provides over the life of a system. In various news reports, Microsoft claims that three quarters or more of its Windows sales are Vista. With businesses, that doesn't mean much. IDC analyst Al Gillen says "a business purchasing new laptops or desktops today is getting Windows Vista...but they typically strip Vista off and re-image with Windows XP so the system fits into their corporate standard." Others claim that some of the "improvements" such as the Vista GUI and side bar widgets are copy cats based on Apples operating system. Some have even gone so far as to refer to Vista as the Windows ME 2. Major faux pas involving their Vista upgrade program haven't helped matters either. Hardware vendors haven't seen boosts in sales for upgrades they expected when Vista was introduced. DRAM and CPU manufacturers haven't either. PC Magazine goes so far as to speculate that Microsoft's goal is to put old PCs out to pasture and that without Vista, consumers would have no compelling reasons to buy new PCs or to upgrade existing ones. Will Microsoft be able to collect royalties from end users? It's hard to tell, but in all probability, unlikely. Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft VP of intellectual property and licensing said that Microsoft won't discuss specific patents publicly, but they have discussed them in private with companies such as Novell that struck deals with the company to exchange patent royalties for indemnification against litigation. "Microsoft's recent claims are an attempt to avoid going to court rather than to pick a legal battle with open source companies" he said. "We've come up first with a licensing mechanism that is a reasonable way for companies in the business of distributing open source software to reach an understanding with us" he said. He also acknowledged that Microsoft's decision to seek royalties for patents is a business one. "Microsoft invests over $6 billion in research and development a year, and that's an investment that results in innovation," he said. "Our shareholders have a right to expect that we are going to protect that innovation." Comments from Readers What's your take on this story? Is Open Source Software doomed, or is Microsoft grabbing straws in hopes of resurrecting lost Vista sales? Email us your comments: http://www.infopackets.com/contact.htm?subject=ms_patent_claims Visit Bill's Links and More for more great tips, just like this one! -- Related newsletter articles: 2007/04/17 Vista Sales: Fact or Fiction? (vista) 2007/05/03 Vista Drags Down Apple's Mac Sales (vista) 2007/03/27 So, Why Are Vista Sales Low? (vista) 2007/04/24 Microsoft to Offer Software to Developing Countries for $3 (microsoft) 2007/04/24 Microsoft Sued for Being Windows Vista Incapable (vista) 2007/05/08 Retailers Drop Price of Microsoft's Zune, New Device to Come? (microsoft) 2007/03/23 Microsoft offers Businesses Paid Incentive for Search (microsoft) 2007/03/16 Microsoft Pays Big Bucks to Acquire Tellme Networks (microsoft) 2007/04/04 Windows Vista Reportedly Causing Delay of Mac OS X Leopard (vista) 2007/03/15 Updated Visual Studio 2005 Gives Developers Power of Vista (microsoft) 2007/04/06 Microsoft to Purchase DoubleClick? (microsoft) 2007/03/15 Microsoft Criticizes Google's Stand on Copyright Issues (microsoft) 2007/05/09 Warning! New Trojan Identified by Symantec -- This One's Crafty! (microsoft) 2007/04/26 Bill Gates, Americans Look to Asia for Next ... Bill Gates (microsoft) By my reading of this M$ appears to be attempting to patent things that are in common usage and claim them for themselves via agreements with third parties like Novel, Samsung and the like. The entire system if allowed to proceed will only serve to do one thing and that is as indicated in the above article instigate [b]MAD Mutually Assured Destruction[/b] where no matter who is involved M$ will be buried in the dust and any unaffected companies will be free to continue to do business as they please. What I'm interested in seeing is just how M$ look at Debian which isn't a corporate identity but a bunch of Programmers World Wide who contribute code. They would be the logical place to hit first as Debian doesn't have the resources to stand a long Legal Fight with M$ and the associated appeals but I honestly don't think that any of the rest of the Linux Community would stand around ideally and watch as far too much of all Linux is based on the Debian Framework so this is the one single Open Source Operation that couldn't be allowed to go under but all that may be required is to move the base of operations off US Shore into some third world country to defeat the entire process. But M$ doesn't appear to be attempting to make it's own patents stable but to make the Patents that it has got by association from agreements with other parties which may not have been possible to actually Patent in the original countries Patented in the US and then forcing everyone to pay them for the privilege of using that so called exclusive Patent that should never have been awarded and will not be recognised in most other countries around the world. Seems that M$ is painting itself into a deeper corner to stop any competition which is what is at the root of all M$'s current problems. They are one company who can not stand competition as they have never actually developed anything but just copied existing concepts starting from the DOS that they bought all those years ago to the GUI that they where shown by Xerox along with a pointing device that was first used on consumer products by Apple but by the looks of things M$ wants to claim the rights to these basic items that they never developed or had a hand in developing but stole as there was no direct Copyright Violation involved. This single reason is why IP should be outlawed world wide so that companies with at best suspect Business Practises are unable to prevent innovation by claiming that they are owed something for others work. [b]Talk about Money For Nothing & Your Drinks For Free![/b] This is the one single reason why this entire practise should be declared Illegal and all existing patents covering IP torn up and copyright relied upon to prevent any cases of product stealing. Col

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

in all countries USED to require you to prove the concept or method was yours, and yours alone, and new. Now the USA system seems to allow you to patent anything and it's yours until someone challenges it and proves it isn't. Any patent on a GUI should fail under a court challenge as there is plenty of evidence of prior art by people never involved with MS. And the fact they've allowed free use of their IP by so many for all these years should have stopped anyone from lodging a patent for it. But that's not how the USA system works now, and nearly all the patents involved in this harassment have no legal standing outside the USA. So, should MS win any case, all we'll see is the mass migration of IT development out of the USA into other countries.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

supposed to have been in violation. Since no one can see the MS source code but everyone can see the Linux source code, MS can't claim Linux intentionally took it. Also they've always been able to see what Linux and Open Source had. If, as it appears, some of these claims are the Open Source community have been in violation for some years, then MS have tacitly approved the use by Open Source and have seriously weakened their case to stop them.

apotheon
apotheon

For the most part, source code is irrelevant to patent infringement. Maybe you're thinking of copyrights.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

in general patent law, if you can come up with another 'how' of doing something, you aren't in violation of the patent. Copyright protects the idea or concept when it's solid enough to warrant protection, patent is to protect the physical product of what you make. The concept of a stick applying graphite to make letters and drawings is not a patent, but the method in which the graphite and stick are created to do this are, thus the patent for a propelling pencil is different to that of a wood and lead pencil - despite the concept being exactly the same. However, the USA patent laws are so messed up now, they're allowing people to lodge patents on natural things and ancient concepts that have been in use for hundreds and thousands of years. Strictly speaking a case statement process should be a different patent to the same choices provided in an IF statement process.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

applying for patents on - they think they already have enough of that as they manufacture a lot - they make so much they have to ship it out in shinny blue and green boxes.

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

how much do I owe MS now??? wait, another thought, ah crap! I also think that they applied for patents (still pending) for eating, walking, sitting, sleeping, moving, blinking, rolling eyes, and flirting.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

If it isn't, it soon will be. edited to fix typo.

jck
jck

In the past (I don't know if MS still does it the same), it used to be like this: 1) Anyone who will see the source code must sign their huge, practically unreadable (unless you're an attorney) legal-ese non-disclosure agreement. 2) Pay lots of money That's what I had to do when I worked for my former employer and was working with NT's source...sign the NDA. And I didn't read it. Would have been like trying to read Greek. I just signed and did my work. I really think Gates will try to patent thoughts next...haha

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

smilies have been in use in various forms before MS was created. All that's different is the method of transmission. If MS is allowed to patent that, then anyone can patent writing and go them for breaches created by the MS Word software. Patents are the way of protecting the how of doing something, and that's why most countries use intelligent patent laws and don't allow the patenting of software, but leave it under the copyright laws where it belongs.

apotheon
apotheon

Source code isn't necessary to determining whether an algorithm patent -- which is the sort of patent I think you're thinking about -- has been infringed, either. Algorithms, for instance, could be determined using a hex editor. Unfortunately, doing so is often illegal now, thanks to the DMCA -- so determining patent infringing algorithms in MS software is effectively illegal without explicit access granted by Microsoft. Fat chance. There are other software patents out there besides algorithm patents, however. Most of Microsoft's patents aren't really algorithm patents, though Microsoft may have pitched them that way. Are you aware of Microsoft's patent application for graphical display of smilies in IMs as recipient translations of emoticons? There's nothing in that patent application that relies on any particular software algorithms.

jgaskell
jgaskell

And throwing in a bit of trademark law as well there, I think. Trademark law requires that a holder of a trademark actively defend their trademark in order for it to be protected. So, you can't let someone use your trademark for years and then try to ping them for it. Of course, that's not relevant here, either.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

infringement and don't take timely action to stop it, you severely weaken your case against the infringing people. The biggest concern is that under current USA law it is possible to lodge patent applications for things that are not lawfully patentable in other countries, so enforcement of such patents in other countries would be very dicey, and these cases are unlikely to be enforced outside of the USA as they haven't been able to get world wide patents.

Tig2
Tig2

I can claim to be an avacado. That doesn't mean I AM one. Microsoft can claim whatever it likes. The fact is that if they push to the point of legal scrutiny, they will swiftly find themselves on the wrong end of the argument. From a legal standpoint, who do they attack? And where? As has been pointed out, MS is an American company doing business in America. But I will still find *nices at any website not hosted in America, regardless of any decision by any US court. All MS is doing by this is proving that they are wimps and whiners. But they have seriously misread the audience here. At least, in my opinion.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

It's common knowledge the GUI that Windows is based on is stolen from Apple who took it from PARC. So it should NOT be possible for MS to have any patents on the GUI as prior knowledge belongs to other people not MS. But then the US patent system is a lot of rubbish with some rather large piles of smelly stuff all the way through it. Since MS do NOT make their code public they can't claim anyone has intentionally violated any of their patents or code as they have no way of finding out what MS have done to go about ripping them off. Since much of what MS does is based on prior knowledge and patented work done by others, it would be interesting to see how many breaches they have once they make their code public. If the Open Source community stands firm and forces this to court, I think MS will lose. Another aspect is to consider the validity of the MS claims in regards to Open Source code developed outside the USA. Many countries do NOT accept the loose patentability aspects of the USA system and would not uphold patent claims for things they don't regard as able to be patented. Thus MS may get some technical wins in the USA that would not affect Open Source outside the USA.

roaming
roaming

The Managed Trade Agreement that the Australian government signed with the U.S. may allow U.S. patents to be enforced in Australia.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

of USA patents except where they are in breach of Australian law and out Intellectual Property laws include some list of things that can't be patented. Thus any USA patent breach that rested on something from those lists would not be enforceable here. Mind you the last time I looked at this was before they signed the FTA and I was doing research on the application of the FTA on Aust IP. If they made further changes between when I did the research and they signed, things may be different.

The family Jules
The family Jules

but money talks, and MS still has a lot, about $30 billion. (http://money.cnn.com/2007/05/04/technology/microsoft_yahoo/index.htm) can't post the Wall Street Journal articles i read, but there were two recent patent rulings that would seem to make it more difficult for MS to pull this off. The article, "Patent Holders' Grip Weakens" (May 1, 2007; Page A3), was written by Jess Bravin. (KSR v. Teleflex, and Microsoft v. AT&T)

m.klein
m.klein

Ok there is a little problem with this open source community. Ok let me remember here. Mac is based on linux/unix. Mac is charging for their OS. Wouldn't Microsoft be better to go after Apples. Why point figured at small programmers that are not out there to make money.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

And BSD has already been through this legal mess and come out smelling of roses so Apple can not be attacked for their use of BSD. Besides they have a deal with M$ so that wouldn't be in M$ best interests to kill off Apple as where could M$ get all it's new ideas from? Col

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

The entire thing is ridiculous that some Unix version of a GUI is somehow infringing on a patent of M$. This is one that I would love to see hit the courts as M$ would have to make their [b]Source Code Public Domain[/b] to attempt to uphold their claim that somehow a Unix Based system that was in operation long before Windows was dreamed of somehow violated M$ Patents. If anything M$ should be Violating the Unix Patents that are some how related to Linux through it's close association with Linux. But as BSD will remain uninvolved in this mess there is no reason to prevent people going with Free BSD and using that to work on as opposition to M$. But the quote that I really did like was attributed to Steve Ballmer [i]"What's fair is fair," Ballmer told Fortune. "We live in a world where we honor, and support the honoring of, intellectual property." [/i] Now this is something that M$ has never supported in the past when it's been stealing other companies IP so why should M$ be given any chance to do to others what they have been doing for years all by themselves? At best their business practises are suspect as they have yet to actually win a case that has been brought against them for IP infringement so I find it funny that they are now claiming that they are somehow affected by this when there is no possible way that their core product Windows can possibly be affected. And if Open Office was such a breach of IP why wait till now to start complaining? Seems that M$ is in a panic because Vista has failed to meet sales expecations is now in a frenzy to attempt to kill all competition which is really funny as it's been the lack of competition that has brought M$ to the state that it is in today. Sorry but I for one can not see it happening though M$ does have a sufficient large Legal Team on hand and they cost M$ the same if they are sitting in their M$ Offices picking their noses or sitting in a Court Room arguing a case. That by it's very nature they are going to advise M$ that they have a case. I've yet to see any paid Legal Person tell a client that they are wrong and forget about it when they have the ability to charge more for work that has no chance of winning and will result in a long drawn out Legally Complicated Action that just may prove that M$ is the one in breach of IP issues as they are the Johnny come latellies to the computer OS field. Col

maxwell edison
maxwell edison

you said, [i]"Seems that M$ is in a panic because Vista has failed to meet sales expecations....."[/i] Oh really? What were the expectations and what were the sales results? Care to share your sources? You couldn't be more wrong. http://www.philly.com/inquirer/business/20070427_Microsoft_earnings_increase_65_percent.html http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,39285445,00.htm http://www.pcplus.co.uk/news/home_news/windows_vista_sales_exceeding_expectations http://www.idm.net.au/story.asp?id=7904

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

While M$ ids putting a positive spin on Vista Sales the simple fact of the matter is that they have fudged their accounting to make them look better than they actually are this was stated in the above link posted to the original Blog if you took the time to actually look instead of looking up make believe sites that are doing M$ bidding and attempting to convince people just how good Vista is and that every one needs it [b]NOW![/b] Here is another listing from an article [i]In general, searching for potential software patent violations isn't practical, given the number, breadth and opacity of patents in the United States. Not only that, but it's at odds with Microsoft's own policy to wait for patent holders to get in touch with it if they think there's infringement. In fact, searching for potential patent problems can actually leave a company financially exposed: if a lawsuit concludes a patent was infringed, a company or individual that knew about the potential infringement must pay triple the financial damages compared with an unknowing infringement. "The fear of willfulness is so great that often firms instruct their engineers not to look at patents," said Matthew Schruers, senior counsel to a tech lobbying firm called the Computer and Communications Industry Association. Because of the willfulness issue, the expense of searching patents and the difficulty of actually understanding them, "It's gotten to the point where most software application developers cannot plausibly say they've conducted complete patent searches," he said. (The CCIA, although counting Microsoft among its clients, scorned its patent move on Monday as "very troubling.") Though Microsoft has paid $1.4 billion in three years to license others' patents, the company indicated that it takes a more passive role when it comes to licensing others' patents. "If a company believes we are using its intellectual property, they should come talk to us," the company said in a statement. It didn't respond Tuesday to questions about whether it has notified specific parties such as Red Hat or Linux kernel leader Linus Torvalds of any of the alleged infringements.[/i] Available to read the entire text here http://tinyurl.com/352kwu Actually I didn't make any of that up either but used figures directly from M$ themselves at a recent Roadshow where they showed a Graph of Sales for Windows now and over the last 5 years for this time of the year Jan to April and except for the sudden spike at the end of January beginning of February the sales of Windows Products have been down substantially they only started to improve when Dell and others started offering XP again seems that the bulk of people don't want Vista Yet. You can make of that what you like but they are M$ figures not mine or made up ones unless M$ is less than truthful with us Certified Partners. :D Col

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Far too many people want o bash M$ for Vista and not look at the real problems. While I am unable to comment on the Upgrade Option to any Windows Product as I've never actually used one well once on a end users home computer from 98 to XP original but that was many years ago now and it was only on the one occasion. I've always used either OEM or Volume License product and most has been Volume License with the odd OEM sprinkled in for the small business and the occasional Home Computer for companies that I support and even then the Home Computers are more Good Will than anything else as far as I'm concerned. Before Vista was released I was saying that I was going to have an extended Hospital stay till all the bugs got worked out and then come back, well that didn't happen but I'm plodding along slowly and finding solutions to problems that crop up. What I do find interesting is that both the M$ Branded Multimedia Keyboards and Fingerprint Readers don't have any Vista Drivers so you can no longer program the individual Keys to do what you want and the Fingerprint readers just don't work. Where as the logetech units work perfectly so there seems to be a problem between the software and hardware sides of M$ as well. I still haven't managed to work out how to program individual keys or mouse buttons on M$ products and the Finger Print readers are a waste of time unfortunately as they are a reasonable price and work very well. They where one of the things that did surprise me no end when I hit those problems but I could just switch to a different supplier of the hardware and everything worked perfectly. To me it seems that M$ is rushing this product and doesn't have all the bases covered quite yet. Yes I can understand why this has happened but what I do have problems with is how quite a lot of the other M$ products don't work properly with Vista when they are current Models of the stuff I would have thought that this would have been a priority to get working properly but apparently from what I've been told is that the Default Drivers in Vista allow the units to work which they do provided that you don't want to program any of the special keys of change Mouse Buttons to do different things. This reminds me of the top end Force Feedback M$ Joysticks that where fully programmable under NT4 and 98 but fell back to defaults when used with XP but you didn't have to install any drivers so it was better. That still gets to me as I used a Force Feedback Joystick to exercise a broken wrist on 98 and when I first started I could go maybe 3 minutes before it felt like my hand was falling apart at the wrist on the lowest setting, if I had of used that same Joystick on XP I wouldn't have been able to even move it initially and if I could have I would have broken my wrist the first time that it snapped back after taking a hit or whatever that game that I played did. It was the best therapy that I've ever done and what made it useful was that I didn't have to do it but I continued to as it built up the wrist and muscles and there was no pressing reason not to play that game. Actually that was the only game that I've ever loaded onto one of my computers and I maybe be able to find the disc's even now though I haven't touched that game for years. On the other hand the Logetech Force Feedback Joysticks and steering wheels work perfectly and are making major inroads into M$ Market share as a result of this. When I was playing that game some space flight shoot up thing I was telling all the other patients that had broken wrists just what I was doing as therapy as I was having excellent results at every appointment and I wasn't doing a single exercise that was recommended but I was the Tourter's Star Pupal because I was getting stronger and better range of movement than ever expected. Unfortunately that type of thing can no longer happen with M$ Joysticks of that type as they are no longer programmable which is OK for fit adults but it must make it hard for people like me who where using this as Therapy or young children who just lack the strength to hold the things when they kick in. I still have that MS Joystick but now if I was ever to break another wrist would be using a Logetech one to do the same thing again. Anyway if you would like to PM me with what you've found I'm interested. Currently I'm running the Beta version of Longhorn Server with the Vista installs and it does seem to work better than with the previous 2003 Server editions but there are still some bugs to iron out before the RTM product gets released. Col

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

think these issues shouldn't be there in the release version at all. What's getting up a lot of people's noses is the MS media statements about how perfect Vista is, and its full of all these issues which are due to poor product development management or poor coding. Then the way they went about force feeding it to people. For over a decade they've been telling us how secure Windows is, and how easy it is to use. Yet your own post tells us about how difficult it is to use, essentially showing us how much they've lied - as does all the security aspects they've finally tried to add into Windows. And this thread started about the MS claims about patent violations in a manner exactly opposite to their own position on reporting patent violations. In effect, MS are hypocrites operating in a predatory manner without concern for their users. If you or I acted like this, we would have some significant client problems. If any other supplier treated you like this you'd probably be up in arms as well. BTW Every NT based version of Windows to date can be installed as clean install by side stepping the 'Upgrade check routine.' The simplest way to do this is with W2K and XP is to use a set of boot floppies to set up a basic RAM OS and then drill down into a certain directory (usually I386) and run the original NT load program called WINNT. I used to use a Win98 boot floppy to do this a lot with NT4, W2K and XP installations on systems that didn't have an autoboot capability on their CD or DVD. I wouldn't be surprised if it still worked with Vista.

maxwell edison
maxwell edison

....that discusses Vista issues and how they're being resolved. My installations haven't been issue free, not even close. But instead of taking the [i][b]!@#$%^& Microsoft[/i][/b] approach, I've been taking an analytical approach, seeing it as a challenge, trying to find out what makes it tick, so to speak. For example: I bought the upgrade version, since my current W2K Professional qualified for an upgrade. However, I wanted to do a clean installation on a freshly formatted drive, and I assumed that Vista would prompt for the qualifying upgrade media early in the install process. Nope, it didn't do that. It told me that I must perform an upgrade from a current installation. Okay, I thought, let's see what happens. So I installed another drive with a W2K installation, and ran the upgrade. However, it told me that Vista was unable to upgrade W2k, and that a new installation would overwrite the current one -- a perfect reason to install on a freshly formatted drive, which it wouldn't do. Well, I had to figure out a way to "fool it" so it would install an upgrade version on a freshly formatted drive, and still get the thing properly activated at the end. I discovered a very simple solution, and I'd bet others might want to know about it. Another strange thing it did was to behave erratically in a dual-boot scenario. I not only had W2K on a separate partition, but on a whole different physical drive. However, when I created a user on the Vista drive, and later deleted that user from the Vista drive, it ALSO deleted the SAME USER from the W2K drive. How strange, I thought. No wonder this user account was behaving flaky. I later learned that while Vista will (or should) behave nicely with an XP dual-boot setup, it does not like to play nice with a W2K dual-boot configuration. I still haven't figured this one out, other than to "dual-boot" the old fashioned way -- plug in and unplug the dang drives. While I don't have the answer to this, if I started a new discussion, I'd bet somebody does. I was having an issue with Vista maintaining a trust relationship with my domain controller. Why would it work fine one minute, but not the next? I think I have this one figured out as well. Okay, where's my administrator account? Not only that, but when you assign a user account administrative privileges, it really doesn't have full administrator privileges. I eventually found the answers (and the administrator account) and restored it, and perhaps I could save some other poor sod some aggravation by sharing the necessary steps to get it back. And then there was...... Vista's a different animal, to be sure. It's not problem-free, but the solutions lie more in understanding the product, not necessarily because of flaws. Like I said in a previous message, the good thing about Vista is all the added security levels; and the bad thing about Vista is all the added security levels. But Colin, if I started a new discussion to mull over various Vista issues with an intent to find a way around them or to understand them, we both know that it would be hijacked by the [i]Microsoft Bashers[/i], and soon turn into a gripe session about Microsoft and/or Vista. So I suppose I'll keep all my answers to myself, and continue to search for the elusive ones. But I'll guarantee one thing: by year's end, I'll have every client workstation in my office (~50) running Vista and their applications without a glitch.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

I agree the MS planners who set out what they wanted in Vista listed a lot of security matters as part of that list. But what I meant about it being an add on, is they didn't write Vista from the ground up with the security items as part of the design plan. They took the existing operating system plan from XP, and then set about working out where they wanted to tack on security aspects. Be it in software design or building design, unless the security aspects are included in the design at the start and built in as you construct it, it's nowhere near as good. Vista has the operating system, and then an add on package to provide the security aspects. To give this stronger aspects to the user, the redirected some of the OS commands through this new application, instead of building the security aspect code directly into the actual OS. I've had two experiences with Vista, both at someone else's expense. After WGA screwed over my system early last year I switch my personal systems to Linux, with one still running XP at SP1 only - no WGA. In both cases where people wanted my help with Vista, they'd upgraded their systems to the MS advertised specs, bought Vista and couldn't install it. Both systems met the advertised specs. The main problems were their graphics cards, just over two years old, and top of the range when bought. No corporate Vista drivers, and the default ones loaded by Vista didn't work. Luckily, I had a brand new card on hand that we tried and reinstalled - then Vista wouldn't work the modems properly. Turned out to be the old problem, USA drivers don't work here and Vista kept removing the Australian drivers as they weren't digitally signed by MS. But the real beauty was when Vista refused to work with Office 2000 or Office 2003. It isn't even compatible with MS's own software. As well as that, I had a good look at a Vista Dell in a store, one of the staff I know well had been playing with it for two weeks and said "It looks pretty, damn shame it doesn't actually work worth a damn." He set out to demonstrate what he meant. Vista had no new useful functions for the average user. The bad way the security was set up makes it so annoying for most people, they turn it off in self defence. Better to use XP with a Firewall, get the same security and better productivity. The majority of the people I work with a small to medium businesses and private individuals. All use their computers for basic office functions and running some specific software. The only software available that will work with Vista for sure is Office 2007 and they see no reason to buy a new copy since their existing software works perfectly. Add in that none of the people who provide the critical applications they use (over 30 all up) have any plans to write Vista compatible versions any time during the next 18 months; there's no reason for them to shift, and all the reason for them not to. However, this sub thread was originally about comparing Vista in the first few months with XP in the same period. Some of the complaints are the same, but most of the harshest criticisms are different. Some of the versions of Linux give you graphics as fancy as Vista but with a lot less resources - surely that says something about the problems it has. Corporate software needs good functionality over 'looks pretty' and what you get with Vista is 'looks pretty' and damn little else. The aim of home sue software is ease of use and Vista does not give you that. Any way, the number of major government and corporate houses who are saying no to Vista is growing daily.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

But now as of 20-5-2007 I don't as yet think that Vista is ready for corporate release YET! Granted I haven't been playing with the RTM version all that long only since the Volume License stuff became available November 2006 when I preordered a 5 site License of Vista and Office 2007 and am running it in suitable hardware. Some of the ABIT drivers are still Beta's and while most of the Beta drivers have now been replaced with production drivers there are enough Beta's still available not to make Vista Feasible as yet for the Business market unless they have one specific overriding application that needs it and they absolutely need it now on some limited workstations. Where possible I prefer to have a standard setup across an entire business so everyone is using the same hardware/Software combinations and can move from computer to computer and do what is required without trouble. Currently I find that the same application running on XP performs faster and is more reliable than it is on Vista. But I have a vested interest in not supporting Vista at the moment I don;'t want that [b]Government Work[/b] back ever again. They where one of the first to jump onto the Bleeding Edge and I got rid of them finally after 6 years and a favour to M$ Tech Support here. Currently I get given copies of the new software as it becomes available to test and as yet I've yet to be given anything that doesn't run faster on XP than it does on the same hardware on Vista which is to be expected as XP has a smaller Footprint than Vista currently does. But with the release of Vista and M$ actions in strong arming the OEM Builders to adopt Vista I'm just not sure that this was a wise move. Now I do understand why M$ did it as when XP was released 98 consistently outsold it but then 98 cost more than XP did in OEM Form but now the Enterprise Version of Vista is dramatically more expensive than XP Pro so M$ has a reason to want to sell Vista but I'm not sure that business will accept the increased price and reduced performance. Currently I have Vista and Debian Dual Booting on my personal NB which goes out to every job and what I'm currently hearing is that no one is interested in Vista as they see it as an unnecessary expense. Even the complete networks that will be replaced before July 007 are looking at XP as the OS of choice for the time being with my customers at least. Other business might see things differently but every one of my customers first question is Why is it better and what makes the increased cost worth the switch to Vista from XP? Granted these area all Volume Licenses so there is a clear cut increase in price here between the 2 OS's and while there are some things in Vista that I really like I'm not happy with the idea of only allowing Digitally Signed Hardware when the Major Service Pack hits the streets in about 2 years time and on the next version requiring Digitally Signed Software in about 4 years time. Maybe it's just me but I'm suspicious of having all my eggs in the one basket with a supplier who is telling me what I can and can not use I don't see this as [b]Good Business[/b] as once I'm totally reliant on them I'm and my customers are opened to be screwed by them as often and as hard as they like. M$'s main problems currently and even with Vista is a lack of competition and reducing that competition even further is only going to make M$ products less technologically advanced than they currently are as M$ will have no reason to improve their products to meet the challenge of Competition. With XP it was fairly obvious that it would eventually become the OS of choice as it was a big improvement over 98 as it moved everyone to the NT Kernel but currently I can not say the same for Vista and WGA is something that I've had some massive problems with already on XP and in Vista it's far more Imposing to the OS and being able to kill the thing by shutting it down. When this happened with XP a In Place Install was required and then all the service Packs and Patches needed to be reinstalled which tool quite a lot of time to complete. I'm more than a bit worried that Vista will have bigger problems right now which may be cured in a few years but as yet I don't think that it's quite there yet. So I'm happy to sit back and use the older version of Windows for the bulk of my clients as I have no need to move to Quad Cores for quite a while as yet so currently there is no advantage to be gained and I've just got the bulk of them moved to XP Pro as up until recently there where still quite a few 98 SE Boxes running and while there will be support for NT4 and DOS for quite some time to come for me at least it's all related to CAM Equipment which has no ability to be migrated from their current OS's believe me I've tried to move all the NT4 to XP or at least Y2K without any success. The DOS stuff on the other hand will be around for a very long time yet and one place has only fitted new plant to the production floor within the last 5 years so they will not be looking at changing anything for a long time as it takes them about 12 months to replace all the production Floor CAM Equipment and a new place that I'm currently in the process of setting up can either run on DOS or 98SE and as the machines haven't as yet arrived I'm not sure what will end up being used there right now. Maybe in 3 years time Vista can be rolled out if it proves itself but in the meantime I'm being cautious as I can not see any major improvement for the additional costs incurred in using it. Col

maxwell edison
maxwell edison

You suggest that Microsoft added security to Vista as an after though? Heck, Vista was built with security in mind. It was built on a foundation of providing security. That's been the slam against MS in the past -- the need for continual security upgrades because of their nagging security holes -- and Vista was built with that very thing in mind. I won't say they did it perfectly, because they didn't -- or at least, it wasn't clear-cut. On one hand you could say that a good thing about Vista is the added levels of security built into it; on the other hand, a bad thing about Vista is the added levels of security built into it. It all depends on how you looks at it. Figuring it all out has been my biggest challenge, but if approached with an open mind and in an analytical manner, it can be figured out easily enough. I've got several of them on my network with my production applications installed, and they're humming along just fine. I'm giving them a good workout and a long evaluation period, however, before I roll it out onto all my client stations. If you've "left MS behind", as you say, then we can assume you've not had a good look into Vista on a personal level; you haven't installed it and used it to determine things for yourself. Is that a correct assumption? If so, then you are relying on hearsay and others' opinions to form your own. That's not exactly a "qualified" opinion, Ernest.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

I won't say wrong because this is a grey issue not a black and white one. When XP came out some people did say certain things against that were similar to some of the things being said about Vista now. Many of those things said then were true at that time, as they are true of Vista now. However, MS have made the situation worse through some of the retrograde features they've introduced into Vista - the most troublesome being the Vista WGA variation. They tried to add security as an after thought and have bungled it, and that's resulted in lots of people turning it off in order to be able to work, thus no real point in putting it in. Like you, I have no doubt that MS will be able to bludgeon a lot of people into accepting and using Vista - can't by a new release Dell or HP machine in the shops here except with Vista - want XP you have to buy from Dell direct over the Internet. However, I'd be having a close look at some of the people who are jumping off the MS Windows ship - they include some very significant and influential USA government departments. Others will follow. It's a very telling situation when bureaucrats actual take time to really look at something and decide they'll spend the time and effort changing instead of updating. Anyway, I've already left MS behind and glad of it. edited to add a missing, but important word

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

In two or 3 years, Vista should have a number of problems resolved, but certainly not all of them would be moot. Hal would make a grand off of you just on that point alone! The second is a bold statement. Not enough info to be proper. treated by who? MS? Vista is treated differently by MS, manufacturers, and vendors than XP was. When XP was released, it was not 'pushed' onto everyone by removing the older OS first. So will MS treat the next release like Vista's release, or like XP's release, or somewhere in-between, or totally different? If I was a betting man, I would take you on with both bets, but I guess that is why I am still poor...

maxwell edison
maxwell edison

I would be willing to wager $1,000 that in two or three years, Windows Vista will be the operating system of preference on more than 75 percent of PCs in use. Windows XP will be a fading memory, and all the "Vista issues" will be moot. I'd also wager another $1,000 that the next operating system developed by Microsoft, and rolled out in 2011 or 2012 will be initially treated the SAME WAY as Vista is today, and as XP was six years ago, and as......

maxwell edison
maxwell edison

Give me a friggin' break! The links I provided were MORE than just Microsoft's spin. For Pete's sake, don't make stuff up to support your argument. This is the same Windows XP argument all over agin -- just six years later.

jgaskell
jgaskell

Leaving aside the merits of the case, I don't see any reason why MS would have to expose their source code to take this action. We are talking about patents here, not copyright. Copyright protects the actual expression of an idea, but patents basically cover the idea itself (which is why software patents are considered by many to be a "very bad idea" (TM). So, the source code itself would be protected by copyright law, but the elements that are implemented by that source code are protected by patent law. If MS is arguing that their patented ideas have been stolen, then the actual source code used to implement those ideas is irrelevant. If MS wanted to mount an argument based on copyright law, however, then the source code would be directly relevant, but that doesn't appear to be what they are doing.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

Copyright protects a fully formulated idea or concept; such as using graphite rods to make a pencil. Patents is how you protect the physical way, or how, of making something that someone uses; thus a wood and graphite pencil is a different patent to a propelling pencil, although both use the same concept and copyright item. The how of software is the source code, thus only the source code should be patentable. A selection of items via a CASE statement is a different how to the selection through a set of nested IF statements - thus they should be different patents. The USA patent system is very messed up at the moment, MS have been able to apply for patents on things in the USA for which they can't get world wide patents (tougher requirements). Many of the USA patents MS has recently obtained are not recognised as patentable in other countries and not enforceable outside the USA. So much of this can safely be ignored by people operating outside the USA anyway.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

if you get a patent for a basic accounting program every other accounting program is in breach. That's why most countries won't patent software, it's more in the copyright realm. Look at the ring pull tab on cans, over the years the same basic concept has been delivered in a dozen different ways, each of which has different patent because they use a slightly different how to do it. With Rawlings and copyright, the copyright isn't the base concept of boy at a wizard school but a boy at a wizard school doing certain things - write another story close enough to me an almost direct parallel and you'll be in breach of copyright - there's been enough court cases over that sort of thing over the years, especially in regards to movies that are very similar to books. Some concepts are too basic to be copyrighted, but more detailed variation on them are. That's why, in one post, I spoke of the concept being 'solid enough to warrant protection' Boy meets girl, fall in love, have troubles, sort them out - it's a basic concept but too intangible to warrant protection, but a detailed summary of Romeo and Juliet is solid enough to warrant protection. A tray like container with a wheel on each corner, a seat at the front and a motor is not solid enough, but the detailed designs of the various early motor cars is. Regardless of what logic says, the various lawyers are going to twist this whole thing about for their personal gain.

jgaskell
jgaskell

I'm no lawyer, but I don't agree with your interpretation of copyright vs patent. Copyright doesn't protect a concept, it protects the specific expression of the concept. JK Rowling doesn't hold the copyright for the idea of a boy going off to wizard school, but she does hold the copyright for the Harry Potter books. As for patents, the idea that it is the source code that is patentable is quickly shot down by the fact that patents must be publicly disclosed. Would Microsoft have taken out so many patents if it meant disclosing the underlying source code? Notwithstanding Wikipedia's faults as a source, the distinction is explained well there: "Patents cover the underlying methodologies embodied in a given piece of software, or the function that the software is intended to serve, independent of the particular language or code that the software is written in. Copyright prevents the direct copying of some or all of a particular version of a given piece of software, but do not prevent other authors from writing their own embodiments of the underlying methodologies." and "In fact, one of the most recent EPO decisions T 424/03 clarifies the distinction, stating that software is patentable, because it is basically only a technical method executed on a computer, which is to be distinguished from the program itself for executing the method, the program being merely an expression of the method, and thus being copyrighted."

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

Some versions of BSD are using KDE and are now becoming more user friendly. If any of the violations are in KDE then PC BSD may be in violation as well. And I disagree with the Vista remark, I think MS launched these things close together on purpose. This puts them in a unique position. On the one hand they would be force feeding their license agreement, while simultaneously keeping people and companies from jumping ship and moving to alternate solutions.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

"On the one hand they would be force feeding their license agreement, while simultaneously keeping people and companies from jumping ship and moving to alternate solutions." Play the bully to the max!

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

See, sometimes I actually have thoughts! Some would disagree though...

Larry the Security Guy
Larry the Security Guy

--- But the quote that I really did like was attributed to Steve Ballmer "What's fair is fair," Ballmer told Fortune. "We live in a world where we honor, and support the honoring of, intellectual property." --- Somehow, I don't think old Steve was implying "we" included Microsoft.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

As M$ is above such trivial things as the LAW and steals what it wants to use when it wants to use it. But as I said above I find M$ Business Practises Suspect to say the least. Some may cal them down Right Criminal but as they have yet to be convicted of theft and not just fined you can not really say that can you? Col

DanLM
DanLM

1). Is anyone surprised? Seriously. 2). They should be required to allow an independent committee to review all of their code for violations of open source patents and licensing. And no, I don't hate Microsoft. But, this is B.S. Again, they should be required to open their source code to independent review. To be fair it should be under non disclosure agreement with financial penalties for any violations.. But, let's see how much they have stolen from others. Dan [i]Edited to remove: [/i] The duplicate entry of my name. I do this all the time. grrrr

jck
jck

1) No, I'm not. 2) I totally agree. Microsoft thrives on the double-standard that their monolithic enterprise and financial influence grants them. Microsoft is the epitome of the golden rule of business: He who has the gold...makes the rules. I don't hate Microsoft personally. I do, however, think they have abused their status and power in the computer world. It is delineated in that article that Microsoft has been filing patent claims at an astonishing rate. I assume that, at some point, Bill Gates will eventually do as the old tech joke jested and file to patent 0, 1 and pi. I agree with you. Microsoft should be made to put their own code under the same scrutiny as anyone else whom they claim has done wrong to them. Of course, why hasn't Microsoft been made to pay for stealing the concepts? Mac had the "open apple" button long before a "Windows" key was available. Mac had a "trash can" long before a "recycle bin". Apple created the GUI which interacted with a mouse long before Microsoft (Apple Lisa, circa 1982/1983?) Are any of those "obvious"? If they were so, why didn't Microsoft come up with them first? I really hope that Apple joins with the others who have backed open source, and legally goes after Microsoft full force. I think the ship is sinking at M$, and they are trying to find new "revenue streams" to perpetuate their financial gluttony.

jgalen
jgalen

A trip to Xerox PARC by Apple Computer's Steve Jobs in 1979 led to the graphical user interface and mouse being integrated into the Apple Lisa and, later, the first Macintosh[2]. Steve Jobs was shown the Smalltalk-80 programming environment, networking and most importantly the WYSIWYG, mouse-driven GUI interface provided by the Alto. I saw the Alto successor the "Star" exhibited at the convention center in downtown San Jose in 1981. The GUI and the mouse were being seen by the general public and the small computer industry for the first time and drew tremendous interest among attendees. Basically PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) invented the GUI & mouse. Then Jobs 'stole' it for Apple and Gates 'stole' it from Apple. I typed 1981 but it was actually 1980 when PARC exhibited the Star and I saw it.. (Edited for accuracy)

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

While they have the money to bash it out in court if necessary and even outlast M$ if worst came to worst their main Linux Suppliers are Novel who have already signed a pack with the Devil and Red Hat who seems close to doing the same thing so if both where to sign up with M$ IBM would be removed from any legal Action. Personally I can not see IBM wanting to move away from their main Nix suppliers as they currently have a very close working relationship with both companies and promise a 48 hour turn around for any Nix problems that require recoding to cure on their decent sized Blades. M$ would have to be completely insane to pick a fight with IBM as they are way too big for M$ to deal with all by themselves even though IBM doesn't have the profile that M$ has IBM is still very big and getting bigger all the time and working in the background where very few pay much attention. Col

DanLM
DanLM

I thought routers, at least some. Also used Linux as it's OS? Dan

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

I think that both IBM and Oracle should lead an assault on MS, and defend open source. But, I also believe that it will and should take many more players. Sun already got beaten down and are still crippled by MS, so the Linux community as a whole and all players that are involved in linux should be a part of this. Dell is already giving MS a shiner by offering Linux. They will have a bigger stake than most manufacturers. HP is big on open source as well. Many other manufacturers of consumer electronics use linux kernal to operate as well. Sony, if they use embedded linux in devices, should also be a leader here. I am unsure which manufacturers use the Linux kernal, but I would guess quite a few. I also think that I read somewhere that Motorola used it in their cell phones.

DanLM
DanLM

Say IBM and Oracle? Both have a stake in open source, and this could affect their long term business plans. And they have serious cash. That would be a huge help right there. Not saying these two will step up. But, it would add a lot of credibility to the open source cause that they say they support. Dan

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

until Apple could not pay for it anymore, and would settle. During this time products made by Apple would have 'quirks' when used with Windows and the mass majority if dimwits would switch to alternatives without 'quirks'. Isn't that what was done with Sun for Java??? To put MS in its place, their would have to be many major players attacking MS at once. The EU fines of $2mil a day did nothing to MS. They have the cash to keep everyone that they have gone after in court for several years. That is why they have been picking and choosing their targets so far, that and the more deals like this that they sign would help to sway the corps' opinions when MS comes a knocking. After all, the more that sign, the more of a standard it becomes.

jck
jck

I didn't think there was a WYSIWYG interface (GUI) integrated to the mouse prior to the Lisa. Thought they were all text-based terminals with mouse-controlled cursor function. I knew Xerox PARC had made the mouse years ago...and basically shelved it. Didn't know they had a true GUI as well. You learn something new every day. Thanks. One thing I did learn though by reading an article today about GUIs: [b][i]"One critical advance from the Lisa team came from an Apple engineer who was not a former PARC employee, but had seen the demonstration of Smalltalk. He thought he had witnessed the Alto's ability to redraw portions of obscured windows when a topmost window was moved: this was called "regions". In fact, the Alto did not have this ability, but merely redrew the entire window when the user selected it. Despite the difficulty of this task, regions were implemented in the Lisa architecture and remain in GUIs to this day."[/i][/b] - [i]http://arstechnica.com/articles/paedia/gui.ars[/i] Guess Microsoft should open their source to see if they use "regions" in their implementation, and if so should start paying back-royalties to Apple for so 20 years of infringement on their original design of it?

Editor's Picks