Perspective: Microsoft has OS patents; Linux has none

by admin December 4, 2006 at 1:23 pm

perspective – The uproar in the open-source community over Microsoft’s embrace of Novell says a lot.

It reveals that many open-source backers fundamentally don’t understand the software business. When vendors compete, customers win. This is good.

Contrary to the numerous rants in the open-source community, the recent deal between Microsoft and Novell–in which the companies have agreed to interoperability, reselling and patent protection–is actually an excellent business deal and a good thing for the open-source community.

Microsoft is growing up after its antitrust issues. It is actually listening to its customers. Chief information officers have been telling Microsoft for years that they are sick of interoperability issues and that Microsoft has to stop acting like a big baby and learn to play well with others. The good news here is that Linux is now woven into the business fabric of every major company.

The reality of the technology business is that virtually every deal between big companies includes bilateral patent protection. Company A cross-licenses its patents with Company B. Neither acknowledges that the other is ripping off any intellectual property. Rather, each now has a finger on a legal atomic football that threatens to blow up both businesses if either goes to court to litigate for some bogus market advantage.

Full article: CNET