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Re: [vox] [ot] OS/2 and Linux, why has IBM changed?
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Re: [vox] [ot] OS/2 and Linux, why has IBM changed?



> > http://www.informationweek.com/story/IWK20020816S0001
> > 
> > Maybe this type of extortion is already covered by contract 
> > and/or liability law.
> 
> That's a patent infringement case which Microsoft is losing; I'm afraid
> I don't see how it relates...?

Losing the right to include ActiveX style constructs in their OS
obviously would have a significant impact on their products.  Even
having to license this technology puts their anti-Java strategy in
disarray because they have to pay where my read of the patent, Java
would not. They are integrating ActiveX into Longhorn, so they have
a large liability here.  The initial position of the patent holder
is that they may not license it. Everyone has their price, so I 
suspect that either M$ will pony up enough money or find a technical
construct around the patent, but if it is shown that they have 
willfully violated the patent, M$ could have triple damages assessed
and that could add up to quite a bit of money depending on how the
patent is valued. To appeal it they may have to put up a huge bond
that would probably eat into their war chest.

This is just one case.  There are many others including antitrust
actions out of the EU and country after country using OSS as leverage
to eat into M$'s margins. They have significant business challenges
that their current management may not be current enough or flexible
enough to navigate. They are however aggressive enough to try and
that might count for something :-). That money may be able to buy
their way out of this box, either through strategic partnerships or
through outright purchase of technology.

You are right that they cannot do anything too dramatic because of
the current scrutiny on their company, but there are plenty of areas
where they can use their OS/Office package to leverage their way
into other businesses.

They have been trying to do this into the embedded world for a while
with CE. They have had some success, but not as much as Linux :-).

> 
> > I suspect that the current culture within Microsoft stresses
> > innovation over due diligence :-), though probably not bordering
> > on what could be defined as gross negligence. I am not saying that
> > product liability laws applied to software are going to be a healthy
> 
> I would definitely say it is gross negligence; I refer the court to
> Exhibit 'A', the most recent Passport exploit... *grin*

Obvious to you and I, maybe not obvious to a Jury of Microsoft's
peers.  That civil suit would probably disqualify anyone with
significant computer background.

> 
> > thing, but watch... It will be the largest growth area for the
> > legal industry since toxic mold, asbestos, and breast implants.
> 
> Hence why I plan on getting a law degree after I'm done with my
> anthropology degree. *grin*

Smart man.

Joel
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