Tag Archive for 'microsoft'

Microsoft “licenses its patents” to Android manufacturers, sues if they don’t agree

There’s never been any evidence that Microsoft goes after Linux based products, right? Hog wash.

Well, now it’s just Tom Tom all over again. So, we know that Microsoft has numerous patent licensing programs in place, including exFAT, FAT, .NET (Novell), and now Android. We know that Microsoft claims that Linux violates a few hundred of their patents. We know that as a part of these licensing agreements, companies sign a Non Disclosure Agreement so that they can’t let everyone else know the details. We know that if companies don’t agree to this extortion, Microsoft sues them.

Despite all this evidence, people still think .NET technology in Linux is not a risk. Wake up and smell the bananas, you morons.

Microsoft states that Android infringes on their intellectual property:

The Android platform infringes a number of Microsoft’s patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect our intellectual property rights.

Microsoft has a patent licensing program in place for Android, which companies like HTC have signed:

To facilitate that we have established an industry-wide patent licensing program for Android device manufacturers. HTC, a market leader in Android smartphones, has taken a license under this program.

Microsoft is suing Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec (link above) because they did not take a license.

Microsoft Corp. today filed legal actions…against Barnes & Noble, Inc. and its device manufacturers, Foxconn International Holdings Ltd. and Inventec Corporation, for patent infringement by their Android-based e-reader and tablet devices that are marketed under the Barnes & Noble brand… We have tried for over a year to reach licensing agreements with Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec. Their refusals to take licenses leave us no choice but to bring legal action to defend our innovations and fulfill our responsibility to our customers, partners, and shareholders to safeguard the billions of dollars we invest each year to bring great software products and services to market

You know what will happen now. They will settle and Microsoft will continue this racket.

-c

I-O Data pays Microsoft to use Linux

Another day, another Microsoft cross-patent licensing agreement for companies who use Linux.

Japan-based I-O Data Device Inc. has agreed to cough up an undisclosed sum to the software giant for using Linux and other open source software applications in its devices and routers.

Now I-O Data joins the ranks of Samsung, LG, Kyocera, Fuji Xerox, Brother and TomTom (and others which we don’t know about).

Microsoft says:

Microsoft has a strong track record of collaboration with companies running Linux-based offerings, and this agreement is a reflection of our commitment to partner with industry leaders around the world.

Thank goodness we aren’t doing anything crazy like deliberately putting Microsoft technologies such as .NET into Linux distributions. That would just be insane.

Jeremy Allison talks about the Microsoft Elephant in the room

Jeremy’s talk at LCA 2010 provides a personal perspective on Microsoft in relation to Free software. Jeremy has of course had a lot to do with Microsoft, being a principle Samba developer.

“We have a system that is absolutely free that we can do anything with, so why are we so obsessed with picking on Microsoft? Shouldn’t we leave the elephant alone and stop poking it with sticks? Well, the problem is they aren’t going to leave us alone.”

A call for the Government to use Free software

It has just been revealed that the Australian Government spends “over half a billion dollars each year” on proprietary software licenses. That’s somewhere over $500,000,000.

The Greens are heading a call for the Government to use free software and for the first time in my life I find myself agreeing with them.

Greens communication spokesman Scott Ludlam said:

“We know [software] costs are sky high and governments are a huge revenue source for companies like Microsoft, but there are also very strong public policy grounds for using open-source software. And one is to make sure that government information is accessible to the largest number of people as possible at no cost to them.”

It was on the front page of the Canberra Times yesterday.

If the PM wants to save money, here’s a great way to do it. In fact, for the cost of licenses for a single year, the Government could hire 5000 full time highly paid open source developers. By leveraging existing free software it wouldn’t be too hard to build anything and everything that the Government uses for it and the Educational sectors.

-c

Microsoft’s policy of allowing piracy in China backfires

During a speech at the University of Washington in 1998, Bill Gates said:

“About 3 million computers get sold every year in China, but people don’t pay for the software. Someday they will, though. As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Now that China is addicted to Windows, Microsoft is indeed coming to collect, but thanks to Linux their plan could backfire, badly.

Windows based Internet cafés “illegal”

I never realised before, but Windows based Internet cafés violate Microsoft’s license terms, because:

Windows desktop operating system and Microsoft Office system licenses do not permit renting, leasing, or outsourcing the software to a third party.

Interesting.

Now however, by paying an extra licensing fee to Microsoft café owners can become legit.

Seems to me that a Linux based kiosk with OpenOffice.org is just going to become even more attractive..

Microsoft’s new “Patent Pledge for Open Source Developers”..

..is complete rubbish.

Essentially, Microsoft has made a pledge (note, not a promise!) NOT TO SUE “open source” developers who create software for “their flagship products” SO LONG AS THEY DON’T SELL IT.

If You engage in the commercial distribution or importation of software derived from an open source project or if You make or use such software outside the scope of creating such software code, You do not benefit from this promise for such distribution or for these other activities.

I’m pretty sure that will be in violation of anti-competitive laws in just about every country in the world.

Microsoft calls this promise:

The most comprehensive commitment to the promotion of interoperability in the history of the software industry.

HAHA, now that is funny. Guess they’ve never heard about a little thing called open standards and the free software movement.

Jeremy Allison on Mono (and how it differs from Samba)

Jeremy Allison has spoken up about Mono, Novell’s implementation of Microsoft’s heavily patented .NET platform. He recommends that it be put into “restricted” repositories until the licensing issues can be sorted out.

Mono is controversial as it is a re-implementation of Microsoft’s .NET technology, in much the same way as Samba is a re-implementation of Microsoft’s Server Message Block (SMB) file sharing protocol. The genesis of each project and how they have developed over the years is somewhat different however…

But my basic issue with the Microsoft Community Promise is that Miguel doesn’t have to depend on it like everyone else does. Miguel’s employer, Novell, has a patent agreement with Microsoft that exempts Mono users from Microsoft patent aggression, so long as you get Mono from Novell. Miguel takes pains to point this out. This is not a level playing field, or software freedom for all. This is a preferred supplier trying to pretend there is no problem. Sure there isn’t a problem, for them. If it isn’t good enough for Miguel, why is it good enough for other developers?

If .NET is not a risk to free software, then why did Novell get patent cover from Microsoft for their clients?

Had Novell arranged a royalty-free agreement with Microsoft for everyone (and not just their clients) like Andrew Tridgell did for Samba, then Mono would not be a problem.

Of course, once software patents come crumbling down this won’t be an issue at all. Until then it is wise to play safe..

Mono is a trap – evidence

Still aren’t convinced that Mono is a trap which ultimately only benefits Microsoft?

Take a look at this “Highly Confidential” document from Microsoft (from Comes vs Microsoft case) entitled “Effective Evangelism” and decide for yourself. It exposes Microsoft’s game plan for dominating the market with their platforms (which we already know, but some choose to ignore).

Here are a few beauties from the included slide show:

“We’re Just Here to Help Developers[, Not]”

Here To Help Microsoft

“We Are Here to Help MICROSOFT”

Here To Help Microsoft

“Mission: Establish Microsoft’s platforms as de facto standards”

Evangelism is WAR!

Continue reading ‘Mono is a trap – evidence’

Quote for the day..

Our mission is to establish Microsoft’s platforms as the de facto standards throughout the computer industry. Our enemies are the vendors of platforms that compete with ours… The field of battle is the software industry… Every line of code that is written to our standards is a small victory; every line of code that is written to any other standard, is a small defeat. Total victory…is the universal adoption of our standards by developers, as this is an important step towards total victory for Microsoft itself..

James Plamondon, Microsoft Technical Evangelist., from his “Highly Confidential” paper “Effective Evangelism“.

Think about that next time you’re programming your .NET applications with Mono..