Microsoft goes for the open source jugular

Microsoft was starting to look like they’d changed their ways, like they were going to compete on the merits of their software, not on the premise of litigating everyone else out of business. The large majority of these patents have prior art and never should have been granted, others are common sense.

This is a very offensive move from MS against a HUGE community of open source users, including you. Check out William Hurley’s article about what the world would be like without open source software if you don’t believe me. MS is grasping at straws here, and It’s certainly not going to win them any PR.

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Microsoft claims that free software like Linux, which runs a big chunk of corporate America, violates 235 of its patents. It wants royalties from distributors and users. Users like you, maybe. Fortune’s Roger Parloff reports.


But now there’s a shadow hanging over Linux and other free software, and it’s being cast by Microsoft (Charts, Fortune 500). The Redmond behemoth asserts that one reason free software is of such high quality is that it violates more than 200 of Microsoft’s patents. And as a mature company facing unfavorable market trends and fearsome competitors like Google (Charts, Fortune 500), Microsoft is pulling no punches: It wants royalties. If the company gets its way, free software won’t be free anymore.

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Author: ericskiff

Hi, I'm Eric Skiff - I'm a developer at, co-founder of NYC Resistor, and BarCamp planner here in NYC.

2 thoughts on “Microsoft goes for the open source jugular”

  1. Linux was developed from Unix, which was created by Bell Labs, in Jersey of all places! When the U.S. government forced the break-up of the Bell System into AT&T and the local Bell Companies like Verizon, it also forced Unix and all its patents into the public domain.

    This created the foundation for Linux and all other Unix based open-source operating systems.

    If anyone has claims to patents, it is one of these companies, not Microsoft. However, AT&T and the Bell companies were blocked from making these claims by the terms of the break-up. Otherwise, I don’t think Linux would have been possible, and the open-source movement would not be nearly as strong as it is today.

    Check out the history here:

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