So does this mean any legal threat from Microsoft against Linux is over?
I don't think so. Here's why.
- Microsoft's claims are based on patents, and copyright is not at issue. That's what tripped up SCO.
- The SCO case cost millions of dollars to litigate. The threat of such expenses, even if they were right, must have been part of the calculus Linux vendors used before signing with Microsoft.
- Novell, which won the copyright portion of the SCO suit, signed the Microsoft patent deal.
- SCO went at the top of the food chain, attacking IBM first. Any Microsoft strategy will deal first with smaller vendors. That has been its business strategy since Novell.
Before going to court Microsoft needs to craft a case which will not bring in the OIN, against a vendor too small to protect itself. Killing some small vendor will put the fear of Redmond back into the market.
One more point. Microsoft has some very, very smart lawyers.
This story is not over.