Sunday, June 03, 2007

Microsoft is not the real threat

Mark Shuttleworth of Ubuntu fame feels Microsoft is not the real threat to the open source community! I loved reading each bit of this article and appreciate Mark's thoughts.

Much has been written about Microsoft’s allegation of patent infringements in Linux (by which I’m sure they mean GNU/Linux ;-) ). I don’t think Microsoft is the real threat, and in fact, I think Microsoft and the Linux community will actually end up fighting on the same side of this issue.

The article is a great read, available here.

And I’m pretty certain that, within a few years, Microsoft themselves will be strong advocates against software patents. Why? Because Microsoft is irrevocably committed to shipping new software every year, and software patents represent landmines in their roadmap which they are going to step on, like it or not, with increasing regularity. They can’t sit on the sidelines of the software game - they actually have to ship new products. And every time they do that, they risk stepping on a patent landmine.

So, Microsoft is not the real patent threat to Linux. The real threat to Linux is the same as the real threat to Microsoft, and that is a patent suit from a person or company that is NOT actually building software, but has filed patents on ideas that the GNU project and Microsoft are equally likely to be implementing.