Feeds

Torvalds weighs in on Microsoft's patent dance

Nyaah, nyaah, nyaah

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Linus Torvalds has reportedly piled into Microsoft after its senior legal eagle after claimed the Linux operating system violates hundreds of the company's patents.

Torvalds, the Linux trademark holder, told InformationWeek's Charlie Babcock it's more likely Microsoft is a violator of patents given most work on operating systems was done long before Windows, or Microsoft, were a glint in Bill Gates' eye.

He's also called on Microsoft to effectively put up or shut up, by naming which patents violate Microsoft's intellectual property instead of saber rattling.

"The whole, 'We have a list and we're not telling you,' itself should tell you something," Torvalds said. "Don't you think that if Microsoft actually had some really foolproof patent, they'd just tell us and go 'nyaah, nyaah, nyaah'."

According to Torvalds, naming patents would let open source coders fix any problems, should they exist.

Torvalds' comments follow those of Sun Microsystems' chief executive Jonathan Schwartz who blogged about the wisdom of taking a SCO-like approach and putting the squeeze on customers by suing for licensing revenue.

"You would be wise to listen to the customers you're threatening to sue - they can leave you, especially if you give them motivation," Schwartz wrote.

Microsoft latest statement - carefully placed to attract the more discerning IT purchasing decision maker in Fortune - appears to be upping the ante on open source. Microsoft has failed to rack up more Novell-like relationships with Linux and open source vendors to - in Microsoft's view - protect IP it claims exists in open source and Linux.

The 235 claimed violations claimed in Fortune are actually down from the 286 number Ballmer inaccurately cited years ago, a number based on a survey by Open Source Risk Management (OSRM), which actually stated that 287 patents existed - different to patent violations - inside the Linux kernel.®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.