NewsForge reports on a two-year-old HP memo that forecasts Microsoft patent attacks on free software. The recently re-discovered memo briefly explains a patent cross-licensing deal between HP and Microsoft, and asserts that Microsoft will soon be launching a patent-based legal offensive against Linux and other free software projects.
A few interesting nuggets:
"Basically Microsoft is going to use the legal system to shut down open source software, and for all of its cleverness, the GPL makes it fairly easy unless a white knight steps in."
"At this point we have no information on who would defend open source with another patent portfolio. IBM does not appear to have a plan. Dell backed out of a lot of Linux activity and laid off their Linux marketing group, and Intel went radio silent on Linux publicity in March( I guess that they figured this out before, possibly from a new patent cross license activity!!!)."
Read the memo and HP's response, which basically says the memo is not relevant today...