08.21.08

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SCO and Microsoft/Novell: A Deja Vu

Posted in Dell, GNU/Linux, HP, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, SCO at 10:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

What might Hewlett-Packard and Dell have in common? We can’t tell for sure, but have a look at the following.

2002: HP memo forecasts MS patent attacks on free software

The memo — its full text is provided later in the story, along with HP’s response — briefly explains a patent cross-licensing deal between HP and Microsoft. By itself, that’s not a big deal, especially since it was sent two years ago. But the memo asserts that “Microsoft will soon be launching a patent-based legal offensive against Linux and other free software projects.” Leaders in the open source community have been warning of such attacks for some time. The memo reveals there may be very good reason for the worry.

Then came SCO, suing the entire world.

2007: Dell joins Microsoft Linux ‘protection’ deal:

Dell has become the first systems maker to join last year’s Linux pact between Microsoft and Novell covering interoperability, technical support and intellectual property rights.

[...]

In mid-November, shortly after the pact was announced, Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer said companies that sell or run Linux, but aren’t covered under the Novell deal, are illegally using Microsoft’s IP. “We believe every Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability,” he said.

He said in a later meeting: “I do think it [Novell deal] clearly establishes that open source is not free.”

Less than a week after Dell had joined this very obscure “‘protection’ deal”, Microsoft launched a massive attack on GNU/Linux, demanding payments.

Yesterday we brought up old evidence that could suggest SCO had hooked up with Microsoft, or vice versa.

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7 Comments

  1. Hun said,

    August 21, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Gravatar

    Is microsoft going to the most hated tech company followed by sco

  2. Sagar said,

    August 21, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Gravatar

    Hi,

    I have only recently entered into the wonderful world of linux.(2 months now windows free)
    What is all this stuff I read about deals with microsoft and what is this intellectual property of microsoft that linux users are infringing?

    Sorry if I sound like n00b but I am one, well to linux anyway.

    Sagar

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 21, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Gravatar

    Hi Sagar,

    Welcome to a good world of Freedom. As you may now, some companies are hurt by this freedom, so they collude to harm it for profit. I recommend the following as background readings:

    http://technocrat.net/d/2006/11/2/9945
    http://techp.org/petition/show/1
    http://boycottnovell.com/no-to-novell/

    If you need more information, please tell us. We’re happy to help.

  4. Sagar said,

    August 21, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Gravatar

    Hey Roy
    thanks for the links.
    Ok I understand it a bit more now.
    theres some IP owned by microsoft that they claim is being used by linux users right?
    ok so what IP are they exactly talking about?
    is it to do with the user interface? ie window manager?
    or is it to do with some underlying kernel code?
    or maybe some other part?

    thanks

    Sagar

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 21, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    Gravatar

    Sagar,

    They choose not to say because these patents, if they exist at all, are likely to be invalidated or worked around trivially. More importantly, they are only applicable in about 5 counties in the world. Software patents are illegal almost everywhere, but Microsoft just wants to scare people. That’s just what it has done to decades. It’s safe to ignore Microsoft, which is desperate and thus it resorts to FUD tactics.

    As for Novell, it liaised with Microsoft and its Linux is not free. There are much better options out there, such as PCLinuxOS, Red Hat, Ubuntu, and Mandriva. Choice is a wonderful thing, isn’t it? :-)

  6. Sagar said,

    August 22, 2008 at 10:19 am

    Gravatar

    Yes choice is definitely a wonderful thing.

    I had first tried out linux back in 2001. back then I tried out mandrake, turbo linux and red hat…it looked good but there were a few applications that I needed that weren’t there on linux at that time so I had to go back to windows.

    I now use ubuntu on my desktop and xubuntu on my laptop.
    they are both brilliant and I love the gtk toolkit.
    I use wine for a couple of applications.
    I have also started a bit of coding.
    written a couple of automation scripts and have started dabbling in a bit of c and java.
    I would have never even thought about command line back when I was using windows. these days its just natural to me and sometimes i prefer using that to the graphical method like when updating and installing programs. Choice is definitely wonderful.

    not to worry then I ain’t gonna use novell, xandros, linspire or even turbo linux. they are all selling out by dealing with microsoft imo.
    why sign a deal when you don’t even know what the patents are actually about. do these guys at novell know what these patents are?

    Sagar

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 22, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Gravatar

    They signed these deals because they hoped that Microsoft would help them defeat ‘those other’ distros.

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