General discussion


Does Linux belong to Microsoft?

By Kiltie ·
In a recent Q&A session, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer declared his belief that the Linux operating system infringes on Microsoft's intellectual property.

I won't post any links, the tech news is buzzing about it.

Is not paying SCO to sue IBM and buying out Novell not enough?

(these aren't my comments, I've been just reading news, but i am concerned.)

Any comments folks?

EDIT: an obvious typo

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by TechExec2 In reply to Microsoft to face challen ...

"Does this only only address future release's?"

Yes. Only future releases of software licensed under the new GPL would be affected. If adopted by developers in the open source community, this cuts Novell off from all future releases of that software. Novell would have the right to distribute the old versions under the old GPL that was in effect when Novell received them.

This would be a severe **** to Novell, just as it should be. This would be a great response by the open source community to this dastardly thing done by Novell.

Microsoft Still Has Teeth

This has no effect on the Novell-Microsoft agreement -- the covenant not to sue in that agreement is NOT extended to all Linux users. It only prevents more agreements like that one from being possible with new releases of open source software.

And, it does not stop Microsoft from threatening and intimidating corporate Linux customers into paying for absolution in some way. Down the road, corporate Linux users may abandon Novell Linux (because it is then out-of-date), use RedHat Linux, and STILL choose to pay a fee directly to Microsoft for promise not to be sued over patent infringement.

Finally, no matter what is included in the GPL, Microsoft can sue anyone it wants at any time.


At some point, Microsoft is going to have to sue someone and make explicit patent claims. And, I predict they will. Only then will we know what Microsoft is claiming, and if the claim has teeth, or not.

edit: Additional information, clarification

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Here is an interesting point, I think?

by Kiltie In reply to Microsoft to face challen ...

Is this matter if litigation completely under M$s control?

Will M$ win every single time because nobody can afford to take that on, so they settle out of court?

M$ did a crafty one with SCO, they were not allowed to sue IBM directly, so they paid SCO to do it, or am I mistaken here?

US law and politics is very confusing.

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Here'sanother question

by Kiltie In reply to Does Linux belong to Micr ...

Recently I bought a DVD of Matrix,

I didn't have a DVD player as such, but I had the appropriate hardware, I installed the needed software and watched the film.

Although I had seen it before, the very first time I have ever done that (used a PC to watch a DVD, as I don't watch TV, I never go to movies, Computers are my whole world. ....I must be a geek I suppose...

However, the similarity of the concept of the Matrix, from the movie, and M% in it's current attitude, struck me as significant.

What do you think?

EDIT: too bothered to correct the obvious typos. ;-)

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IBM Speaks about the Microsoft-Novell Agreement

by TechExec2 In reply to Does Linux belong to Micr ...

IBM says that Microsoft should not be suing, or threatening to sue, customers over patent infringement claims. But, the Microsoft-Novell agreement is a good one for Linux.

I think that Microsoft is way out of line, as usual. In this case, it is making threats about suing Linux users over alleged patent infringement. I have said before that Microsoft works hard to be being hated by as many people as possible. This is another good example of it. If this was really about customers, and not about Microsoft, they would not have made the threats.


From where he sits, the Microsoft-Novell deal indicates that "Microsoft is coming to terms with the fact that Linux is an unstoppable force in the marketplace." Scott Handy, IBM VP of Worldwide Linux and Open Source.

"Unfortunately, embedded in Microsoft's recent endorsement of Linux are claims regarding customers' needing protection from patent attack. Those claims are baseless." Jerry Rosenthal, OIN CEO

Handy agreed and added, "We aren't sure what Microsoft's intentions are [in regards to patents]." However, "We have never seen any need for patent protection for Linux, and we don't see any need for it now. If legal claims exist, they should be resolved between vendors and not involve end-user customers."

IBM Speaks about the Microsoft-Novell Agreement

Open Invention Network (OIN)

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You know, I forgot about Oracle and Linux

by DanLM In reply to IBM Speaks about the Micr ...

Isn't Oracle only offering support(paid of course) for Linux?

This could have been the kick in Microsoft's butt though. Oracle and Microsoft are competitors for corporate DB software, witch I believe caused Oracle to lower their price's because Microsoft offered a lower end/cheaper solution. If I am incorrect in this, please excuse me. I am not versed well enough in the different DB offerings.

Is this partnership partially to address Oracle's entry into the Linux support market? Was Novel's acceptance of the partnership partially because of Oracle's entry into the support market? Where is Red Hat going then? They are now against two major money players.

Microsoft, I still think is trying to scare customers(corporate) away from Linux. But, there are other issues that gets raised also.


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Oracle Linux and more comments

by TechExec2 In reply to You know, I forgot about ...

From what I read, Oracle is taking the source code for RedHat Enterprise Linux, removing all of the references to "RedHat", and replacing them with "Oracle". So, Oracle Linux is RedHat Linux in disguise. Of course, this is completely legal, proper, and allowed by the GPL.

I think that the major difference between RedHat and Oracle vis-a-vis Linux is that RedHat has people on the payroll who develop open source Linux itself and Oracle does not (or very few). Except for that, RedHat and Oracle are selling the exact same thing: Paid support.

Oracle and Microsoft: Yes. These guys are locking horns over relational databases.

"Is this partnership partially to address Oracle's entry into the Linux support market? Was Novel's acceptance of the partnership partially because of Oracle's entry into the support market? Where is Red Hat going then? They are now against two major money players."

No. The Microsoft-Novell agreement is not directly connected to Oracle Linux. They just happend to become public at about the same time. In my view, each one of these guys did what they did for their own reasons:

Microsoft did their part for their own reasons: Patent saber rattling against Linux. Get some revenues from Novell Linux sales. Intimidate some weak-minded customers to drop Linux and run Windows. Intimidate other Linux distributors to sign a similar deal that funnels revenues to Microsoft.

Novell did their part for their own reasons: Establish Novell Linux as the only Linux you can use that will protect you from big bad Microsoft (at least for now). And, there's also that little thing about the $350 million cash that Novell got up front from Microsoft. Note: Novell has lost over $800 million over the last 5 years. Despite appearances, they need the money. Lots of people making deals with Microsoft are losing money. Did you know? Sun Microsystems has lost $5.4 BILLION over the past 5 years?

Oracle did their Linux offering for their own reasons: Give customers an Oracle-branded and fully supported and complete platform alternative to Microsoft's Windows and Redhat's Linux. This is Oracle's attempt to leverage Linux and Oracle's database against Microsoft's Windows and SQL Server platform. And, it is Oracle's attempt to avoid losing customers to RedHat's Linux, JBoss, and RedHat's "own" database (based on PostgreSQL) platform.

"Microsoft, I still think is trying to scare customers(corporate) away from Linux."

Yes and no. I agree that this is their ultimate wish. And it will work, but only just so far. If a corporation really wants to run Linux, they are going to do it. Other companies offering Linux solutions already offer patent suit indemnification. If Microsoft's PRIMARY goal was to scare customers away from Linux, they would not have opened the door to Novell Linux as a "safe" way to run Linux. That would have been a dumb primary goal. Scaring customers away from Linux is a secondary goal.

I don't think Microsoft can stop corporations from running Linux now and they know it. The truth is that customers do not need to run Novell Linux to be safe from Microsoft. Microsoft knows this. It is a ploy. It is a lie. It is a bluff. It is...par for Microsoft, the FUDmaster.

Hey...On a positive note: Have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

edit: typo

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;o), happy thanksgiving to you also

by DanLM In reply to Oracle Linux and more com ...

Thanks TechExec for the info. And I hope you and your family have a happy thanksgiving too.


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I think this is an American expression

by Kiltie In reply to Does Linux belong to Micr ...
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Pretty scary guy, huh??

by TechExec2 In reply to I think this is an Americ ...

Steve Balmer is a pretty scary guy, huh??


P.S. Pretty close. The actual expression is "Would you buy a used car from this man?" When you buy a used car from a guy, trust plays a larger role than most everyday things. The expression has been modified various ways because it is so useful whenever trust is the subject.

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I was going to say ...

by stress junkie In reply to Pretty scary guy, huh??

... that it made Howard Dean look timid but that's kind of an American inside joke too. Here is a clip of the famous Howard Dean yell.

You know, I really don't think it was all that nutty.

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