Microsoft: All huff and no puff

All huff and no puff

What game is Microsoft playing? First the software maker throws down the gauntlet to open source claiming it infringed on 235 of its patents.

Then a week later (a less aggressive) Microsoft says it's OK we're not going to sue for the violation of our intellectual property rights.

I'm sure there was a collective sigh of relief from open-source vendors and corporate customers. As yet, no-one from the open-source community or end-user's have asked for that in writing. Maybe they should.

And the change of heart? Apparently Microsoft wanted to give "peace of mind" to customers worried about patent litigation.

However, the issue may not be so much peace of mind, but encouragement to use software that Microsoft has given the thumbs up to, such as that from Novell whom it signed a deal with late last year.

What else can be read into this: "We conducted research into the best way to give customers peace of mind. For patent violation we give unlimited indemnification to customers (using Novell)," Microsoft's Nick McGrath told ZDNet UK.

The question is: will Microsoft's implied threat tactics backfire on them?

What do you think? Has Microsoft's infringement allegations made any difference to the way you think about your software? Talkback below or e-mail me at edit@zdnet.com.au.