FOSS, money, patents and Microsoft

CNN have a very interesting article about Microsoft, FOSS and all of the controversy surrounding their claim that Linux infringes upon Microsoft's patents. Apparently, Ballmer reckons the exact number of violations is at 235.

Microsoft counters that it is 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."

Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith and licensing chief Horacio Gutierrez sat down with Fortune recently to map out their strategy for getting FOSS users to pay royalties. Revealing the precise figure for the first time, they state that FOSS infringes on no fewer than 235 Microsoft patents.

The fact remains that the software idea patenting system is a complete mess and you would be hard pressed to find a non-trivial application that infringe's someone's patents. As far as I'm concerned, Microsoft's move here is just FUD and hyperbole.

Nevertheless, it's actually a very interesting (and long) article on the subject, so it's well worth a read through if you're interested.

Avatar for peter Peter Upfold - http://peter.upfold.org.uk/

Peter Upfold is a technology enthusiast from the UK. Peter’s interest in Linux stems back to 2003, when curiosity got the better of him and he began using SUSE 9.0. Now he runs Linux Mint 9 on the desktop, runs a CentOS-based web server from home for his personal website and dabbles in all sorts of technology things across the Windows, Mac and open source worlds.

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