Mueller's blog post, at FOSS Patents, makes clear IBM should now be apostate in the eyes of open source "because the one thing everyone in open source always feared the most was that a large player like this could use patents against an open source project."
What makes this even more appalling in the eyes of open source people is that IBM, as my blog explains, even holds two patents against TurboHercules that IBM promised five years ago never to assert against open source.
Never is a long, long time.
As Exhibit A for the prosecution Mueller offers the letter IBM sent Turbo Hercules claiming its open source mainframe emulator infringes on IBM's patent rights.
Of course, Mueller himself points out why IBM is contradicting itself. The company still earns $25 billion a year from mainframe software sales, he says. Most companies would kill their corporate mothers for that kind of dough.
In many ways that's just what we're talking about. IBM's mainframe dominance was hard-won. Everyone knows the System 360 project nearly broke the company in the 1960s, but an operating system running on multiple machines is the seed from which all modern computing springs.
Microsoft is just as desperate to maintain its desktop monopoly, which it won almost 25 years later by outmaneuvering IBM in the Windows-OS/2 wars. Such events are at the heart of a corporate story. And they keep thousands of people employed.
The question is just how much IBM credibility might be lost as a result of TurboHercules. Mueller wants to make certain it's a lot.
To each his Dulcinea.