Patent Wars

Can anyone follow this any more? It was Open Source software developers being attacked by the Redmond Giant on the grounds that they utilized conceptual design ideas that were proprietary intellectual property of Microsoft in Open Source software, in such a manner that those "borrowed" aspects were key aspects of the open software, which, as a result, became direct competition for Microsoft's products. duh. that's what we're all about, right? Not necessarily. We, as the Open Source Community, seek to keep aspects of the software design process open, freely accessible to the public, to each other, so that we can learn from each others' trials and successes and build efficient and productive software quickly. It also allows multiple contributors to each product. Take Mozilla or KDE or OpenOffice.org. These large products receive contributions from all over the globe. Then think of our core, the Linux Kernel. Same design. and our compiler, the GCC package. Same structure.

Then Microsoft tries to make some money off of us and step on the competition - Novell and Linspire... signed with Microsoft in such a way that they would be immune from lawsuits against the Open Source community in this regard. Thankfully Red Hat and Ubuntu refused to sign such an agreement.

Ok we pay for Microsoft products, big time. You get your new PC or laptop computer. It comes with Vista Home Premium, but you need a little more, so you upgrade to Business edition. more money. Then you must have Office 2007. way more money, possibly half the price of the system all over again. Look at Red Hat and Novell. Each of them has moved from consumer "little people" business design to targeting the enterprise "big people" market. They continue to be the traditional sponsors of their respective free distros, Novell for openSUSE and Red Hat for it's RHEL product. This is where they make their money, from corporations that require such reliable and productive solutions as Linux offers, with the support and maintenance programs that are included with these products. For the little guys, we have the free versions. What about Microsoft? They'll charge you from the bottom up, any way they can. Consider the OLPC project - One Laptop Per Child. Microsoft bid down to $3 per copy for its software to try to get in on the project. OpenOffice.org is free. now what? It just seems ridiculous how Microsoft owns the market and still manages to beat down on the competition that is already squirming on the ground. I would argue that Linux is gaining much speed, especially since the advent of Ubuntu Linux. As a Slackware user, I have coincidentally never gotten any other distro to work quite perfectly, no matter how many I try, I always end up back home with Slackware. openSUSE works quite well, but I have had endless trouble with Fedora and Ubuntu.

Oh well, just don't give up on your tried-and-true penguin rig, and hope that Linus' successor continues the great work with everyone who has contributed so that the Linux kernel can triumph once and for all.

Registered Linux User #370740 (http://counter.li.org)
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