Linux Supporters Say Microsoft Is 'Running Scared'

Lora Bentley

"Microsoft is running scared."


That's what Steven D'Aprano, open source advocate and operations manager for Cybersource, a Windows/Linux integration consultancy, told iTWire's Stan Beer recently. Discussing the software juggernaut's claim that Linux and other open source programs violate hundreds of its patents, D'Aprano says Microsoft is desperate to prevent customers from migrating to Linux rather than spending the raft of cash necessary to move to Windows Vista. What's more, he says, if Linux really did violate Microsoft patents, the company would have done something about it long ago.


A piece posted at yesterday lends credence to D'Aprano's view. The author of the report upon which Microsoft seems to rely in making its claims says the report is being misused; it doesn't say what Ballmer and others are telling you it says.


Dan Ravicher, who founded the Public Patent Foundation to serve "the public's interest with regard to the patent system," did the research last year at the request of Open Source Risk Management, the article says. Ravicher says his report proves the opposite of Microsoft's claims:

Ballmer makes a very bold statement by saying Linux infringes hundreds of patents.... That is extremely different than saying 'Linux potentially infringes x patent,' because the requirement to prove infringement is much more difficult than the requirement to simply file a case claiming infringement.


He misconstrues the point of the OSRM study, which found that Linux potentially, not definitely, infringes 283 untested patents, while not infringing a single court-validated patent.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
May 17, 2007 9:38 AM Avery Avery  says:
I have to say that i have never used or heard of "Linux" so apparently its not a very well populated Operating System. Reply
May 17, 2007 9:47 AM Michael Michael  says:
@Avery: You're kidding, right? Please tell me you're kidding. Reply
May 18, 2007 1:07 AM Iceman Iceman  says:
I simply love this!Every time Microsoft makes noise about Linux... Linux gets free publicity... and many more people like Avery get to 'hear' about Linux! Any publicity is good publicity.And if even one-in-ten such Averys look around the web for more on this new creature called Linux that Microsoft is threatening with patents... (everyone knows by now that MS threatens small companies that are about to walk onto lucrative MS turf) they'll find the flood of articles analyzing this move by MS to bits, with most of them saying good things about Linux!Fact: Linux is slowly but surely walking into the lucrative MS turf of Operating Systems. Microsoft acknowledges this with their patent threat. If MS thinks Linux can replace MS OS, then more users will too!Like I said, I'm simply loving this!! Reply
May 18, 2007 1:32 AM StevenEddy StevenEddy  says:
@ Micheal - yes - it surprises me too to hear that others haven't even heard of Linux. I actually had never heard of Linux until someone gave me a Knoppix disc.I feel enlightened and free now that I actually use Linux on a daily basis, no windows in the house, and I try to get others on board also, but, yes, I run into the same scenario all the time where look at me like I'm insane when I tell them about the "other" operating system, especially the ones that still use Win 98 for goodness sake.I would like to see more people using Linux, but I have realized that some people can barely use windows, so I leave them alone. These types of people will stay up all night trying to figure out the new Windows media Center PC they just bought, but when you tell them there is another way, they cringe.It really is a sad case for the computing world today. We need to get the younger ones on board with Linux because the older, "set in my ways " types will never change.@ Everyone reading this - Please use Ubuntu Linux and visit for any and all help. As a matter of fact, go to the forums first and read about installing and migrating first, before you make the Linux plunge. Go ahead, take the blue pill. Reply
May 18, 2007 5:39 AM johnnybee johnnybee  says:
@ StevenEddy -- the "blue" pill keeps you in windows. the story ends. You wake in your bed and you believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole pill = linuxblue pill = windows Reply
May 19, 2007 7:04 AM Ahmed Maawy Ahmed Maawy  says:
If we only have the force of users plunging onto Linux, we create the problems for the users on one aspect - The inadequate software available, as well as Device Driver Support. Lets face it: The verierty of Software available for Microsoft is even more than Linux.More focus has to be shifted to Commercial Software Vendors to also migrate efforts to Linux, and Device manufacturers for Device support. The software has to be "Commercial" and not open source for one reason - Most developers are in it for the cash. Open Source projects depend on Sponsors. Vendors make money on Open Source projects also through sponsors. So there has to be a major commercial effort and campaign on Linux.Only when the users are satisfied with the verierty that Linux would offer in comparison to Windows then, can they make migration an instant success. But we cannot run away from the fact that Even if Linux is open source, most corporations prefer Windows because the market that it has offers it the most accurate solutions they need, Linux will change what they call - already 100% perfect solutions. So I guess also lets also think corporate for migration purposes. Lets think of what the Big People and Software users expect to have, how they expect to be served. Linux needs a Commercial Market to beat microsoft. Reply
May 26, 2007 10:55 AM StevenEddy StevenEddy  says:
OK - take the red pill then.I just followed the white rabbit and found......... Reply
Jun 20, 2008 3:34 AM dgw dgw  says:
Linux os in all its flavours, is just an os, like MS Windows, I just cannot stand the zealots who proclaim you must use linux. After all it is about freedom of choice. There is room for both, I used to use windows , now I use Linux however still got a hd with xp. Microsoft are not scared they have their market already. Linux is good at what it does, and who it does it for. CHILL OUT AND STAY COOL. Reply

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