CyberTech Rambler

November 21, 2006

He says, she says, but ultimately, he wins

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 11:59 am

Suppose the recent Microsoft-Novell deal is a marriage, we are seeing the first argument in the relationship. Novell says Microsoft wanted the patent deal and that it believe that Linux does not infringe on Microsoft Intellectual Property. Microsoft begs to defer. In the end, it is said that the couple agrees to disagree.

Again, using the marriage analogy, while nobody sees Novell as being bullied into the relationship, most people will agree that Novell is not on equal footing with Microsoft. With Microsoft flogging the agreement as “Linux infringes on Microsoft IP” and Novell having to go on the defensive, are we seeing “Battled Spouse Syndrome” here?

The question is, in the end, who is the winner?  Microsoft of course, whether is there infringement or not. If there were infringement, Microsoft obviously have the upperhand. If not, there is just sufficient publicity to plant the seed of doubt. Microsoft is in the same league as HP, IBM and Oracle where they can afford better lawyers than you do in such a way that even if they spread half-truth, joe public are unlikely to be able to afford to sue them. At least joe public is not Novell, Novell as a effigy in Microsoft public caning.

The best quotes so far are from Mary Jo Foley:

“You know a partnership isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when the parties involved need to spend more time explaining (and defending) themselves than actually delivering on what was promised.”

“…Microsoft basically is calling Novell and other Linux vendors thieves. Under what circumstances would a pro-customer company encourage its users to buy software from a partner who was stealing its own IP?”


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