Linux Foundation To Microsoft: Touch One Of Us, Fight Us All - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
News
5/25/2007
07:02 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
7 Key Cloud Security Trends Shaping 2017 & Beyond
Dec 15, 2016
Cloud computing is enabling business transformation as organizations accelerate time to market and ...Read More>>

Linux Foundation To Microsoft: Touch One Of Us, Fight Us All

Microsoft's Windows operating system and Office desktop applications are threatened by open source code, but the company will be reluctant to file a patent suit, foundation officials said.

"Touch one member of the Linux community and you will have to deal with all of us," Linux Foundation director Jim Zemlin warned Microsoft in a column that appeared May 25 on the BusinessWeek "Viewpoint" slot of its Web site.

Labeled the foundation's "formal" response to Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith's statements earlier this month, the column suggested that the foundation was prepared to step in with countervailing patents if Microsoft took action against anyone. The foundation's board of directors includes representatives from AMD, Bank of America, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, NEC, NetApp, Oracle, and Microsoft's newfound Linux partner, Novell.

The Linux Foundation in San Francisco is the organization that resulted when the Open Source Development Labs and Free Standards Group merged earlier this year. It continues to sponsor the work of Linus Torvalds, Linux originator and holder of the Linux trademark. Zemlin also urged Microsoft to "stop engaging in FUD [fear, uncertainty, and doubt] campaigns" and help make the U.S. patent system do what it was originally intended to do: both spur and protect young inventions.

Microsoft's statements about its patents being violated by open source code are "a glimpse of a threatened giant struggling to keep a grasp on its empire," Zemlin claimed in the column.

What's really going on, in addition to "a rather bizarre public relations campaign," is a company compulsively engaged in "trying to protect its privileged position," he added.

Microsoft's products most threatened by open source code are the Windows operating system and Office desktop applications, and both are "not coincidentally those most threatened by Linux and Open Office," he wrote in the column.

Microsoft realizes $1 billion a month in net profit coming largely from those two products, he continued.

On the other hand, Microsoft will be reluctant to initiate a patent war. "It has too much experience with the downside of such litigation," including its recent loss in a suit by Alcatel-Lucent over MP3 patents that led to a $1.5 billion judgment against Microsoft.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll