foobar on computers, software and the rest of the world


Gartner warning about Microsoft's 'patent trap'

, posted: 29-Feb-2008 09:54

A few days ago, I wrote about Microsoft's new openness pledge. Although announced with much fanfare, many have quickly pointed out the problems with Microsoft's strategy. Particularly troubling is the promise not to sue open source developers who make use of Microsoft's information, but still requiring patent license fees for any commercial applications of thus developed open source software. I wrote then that this results in: Microsoft IP contaminated open source, not suitable for bundling or commercial distribution. It throws a nice wrench into open source software in general.

Today then analyst-firm Gartner issued just such a warning to its clients: Don't follow Microsoft's invitation to use its documentation, or else risk patent lawsuits and other legal troubles down the road. Even non-commercial open source developers should beware. There is an article about the Gartner report on InformationWeek (nice comments below the article), and also a good summary here at The Inquirer.

Gartner writes that Microsoft's openness pledge "is not wholly altruistic". Mind you, large corporations, Microsoft or any other, are never going to be altruistic in anything they do. There is always some business reason behind it. So, somehow this doesn't come as any surprise at all.


Other related posts:
PC World: Move your business to Linux, not Vista
And you thought your computer would do what YOU wanted...
The great 'Windows collapse' of 2011?






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New Zealand


  • Who I am: Software developer and consultant.
  • What I do: System level programming, Linux/Unix. C, C++, Java, Python, and a long time ago even Assembler.
  • What I like: I'm a big fan of free and open source software. I'm Windows-free, running Ubuntu on my laptop. To a somewhat lesser degree, I also follow the SaaS industry.
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