If Linux violates Microsoft's patents, let's see the proof

Summary:If Linux really is in violation of Microsoft patents, as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said this week, I think Microsoft needs to show it and prove it by making some code snippets available for all to see.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said this week what Microsoft's head of Bill Hilf, Microsoft's general manager of platform strategy, wouldn't (or couldn't) a couple of weeks ago: Microsoft believes Linux violates Microsoft patents.

(For the record, Novell execs recently denied that SuSE desktop and server Linux violated any Microsoft patents.)

So what does Ballmer know that Novell and others don't -- or won't admit? Some are saying Ballmer is doing nothing but trying to spread FUD -- to make non-Novell/SuSE customers worried that they might be targets of Microsoft lawsuits.

If there is offending code, I think Microsoft should show it and prove it. Why not set up a Web site with a few code snippets that show how Linux violates Windows patents -- if such snippets really exist?

Topics: Microsoft


Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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