CyberTech Rambler

June 5, 2007

Hidden message behind Microsoft anti-Linux Patent Agreement

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 7:42 am

Ed Burnette asked whether Microsoft is winning the FUD in the board room. He is focusing on the fact that Microsoft manage to snare a few “open source” company. I would not put JBoss, XenSource and Samsung in the same category as Novell and Xandros since companies in the first category does not distribute GPLed software. The first two companies makes GPLed software, but no purveying other people’s GPLed software. There are arguments that Xandros’ agreement is different from Novell’s as it looks like box-standard patent agreements that GPL/FSF has no problem with. But it is message received.

A while ago I blogged that the current sessions of FUD is targeted at CEOs and CFOs who are clueless about IP issues. I concluded that FUD on developers no longer work, but there are mileage with CEOs and CFOs who uses Linux and  have different set of priorities. Burnette’s piece turned the table around and says the FUD is succeeding with CEOs selling Linux and this complete the circle of FUDs in the broadroom. Do CEOs and CFOs have different priorities than developers? Yes. Don’t believe me, look at court filing in the SCO case. HP and Google had talks with SCO about SCOsource license. They are said to even offered money for SCO to go away.

My believe is the Patent agreement is a smoke screen to cover something else, notably MS EU anti-trust case. Why? It is explicit in Xandros case where Xandros will “Xandros will license a broad set of Microsoft server communications protocols“and Novell appears to be working on the same goal. This will help Microsoft with mileage in its current appeal against EC’s decision.

I understand the inclusion of OOXML in MS-Novell’s deal but is less certain of the value of including this in the Xandros deal. The only reason I can think of is that Microsoft to trying to get a foothold for OOXML in business systems. Hence, prepare to see another round of FUD in ODF vs OOXML battle. This time Microsoft is going to argue that OOXML is more useful in business system, nevermind the battle ground that Microsoft has to win is actually what is known as Office Applications (Word Processor + SpreadSheet mainly) rather than business processes (invoicing/inventory keeping) where most companies procedures will remain the same as it is today many years later.

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