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Despite managing to put me off with a recent blog entry, Helios has done well with a quite interesting entry this time. He is nicely describing a point, in not too many words, that Microsoft is pants-down scared off GNU/Linux on the desktop at this point. Who would have thought that, while we continue debating way to "world domination" Microsoft has already made their mind about where exactly GNU/Linux could be heading, right piercing through their desktop bubble I suppose. Smiling

The famouse Chuck E. Owens, as usual in Helios' recent entries, is portrayed as a good open minded GNU/Linux friendly corporate exec. Well, he just might be only one of many corporate CEOs realizing that Microsofts days might actually be numbered soon enough.


Someone from the GNU/Linux community took on the effort to launch a web site which directly solicits a response from Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer. Steve is being asked to "show us the code":

"It's come to many in the Linux community’s attention you have claimed again and again, that Linux violates Microsoft's intellectual property. Not only that, but it's been reported Microsoft has convinced businesses to pay for a Linux patent that you can't provide.

Therefore, this website will serve as a response to this accusation, and within it, a request. The request is simple, since you, Microsoft, claim to be so sure of yourself: Show Us the Code. Show us the Code and Show Us the Patents. Lets make this crystal clear."


While Ian Murdock of the "Linux Foundation" is being invited to the Microsoft "power lunch" where he intends to explain that GNU/Linux's success doesn’t have to be a threat to Microsoft and its business model Ballmer is basically making more threats and spouting more FUD against GNU/Linux.

"In a no-nonsense presentation to New York financial analysts last Thursday, Microsoft's chief executive said the company's partnership with Novell, which it signed in November 2006, "demonstrated clearly the value of intellectual property, even in the open-source world.""

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After a Russian school principal was sued for using illegal versions of Microsoft software and is facing 5 years in prison, Mikhail Gorbachev appealed to Bill Gates to pull the strings for dropping the charges against the principal. However, without success.

This is, however, now prompting Russian schools to switch to GNU/Linux for the sake of "license purity", escaping the risk of getting sued for copyright infringement, as reported by The Inquirer:

"Microsoft says that the incident has nothing to do with them, but it appears that Russian schools in the area are so scared about being shipped off to a Siberian Gulag, that they are buying Linux gear instead."

Novell Sells Out?


Update: Groklaw reveals more: "MS FUDs like SCO, Red Hat Responds. and MS/Novell Transcript Available" - It's worth a read as the situation is getting ever more interesting with the latest words from Ballmer, calling for patent talks with competing GNU/Linux vendors
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Groklaw has some strong words in regard to the recently forged partnership between Novell and Microsoft. There are a few intriguing points to consider. The first is the seeming legitimization of Microsoft's software patents rights over some of GNU/Linux code by Novell's royalty payments to Microsoft which implies that Microsoft has just set up the only legal and licensed route to distributing GNU/Linux through Novell (as Bruce Perens explains). The second is a potential violation of GPL that may have ensued by the initiation of the patent license between Novell and MS.