Feeds

Polygamist Microsoft picks Amazon as latest Linux wife

Online retailer empties tills in Redmond pockets

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Amazon has agreed to a cross-licence patent deal with Microsoft over the online retail giant's use of technology in its Kindle e-reader product and Linux-based servers.

The financial tie-up, terms of which have been kept secret, is the latest in a series of agreements Microsoft has struck with vendors that use Linux in their products.

In March last year it signed an IP licensing deal with TomTom after the companies exchanged sue balls in court. The pair eventually agreed to play nice, much to the chagrin of many in the open source world.

Under the latest cross-licence patent deal, Amazon will pay Microsoft an undisclosed amount of cash, presumably to prevent the Windows and Office vendor from accusing the retailer of infringing its patents. However, legal threats were kept out of Microsoft's latest statement on its demands for payment.

"The agreement provides each company with access to the other’s patent portfolio and covers a broad range of products and technology, including coverage for Amazon’s popular e-reading device, Kindle™, which employs both open source and Amazon’s proprietary software components, and Amazon’s use of Linux-based servers," said Microsoft.

"Although specific terms of the agreement are confidential, Microsoft indicated that Amazon.com will pay Microsoft an undisclosed amount of money under the agreement."

In the past Redmond lawyers have claimed that free and open source software violated some 235 MS patents.

“Microsoft’s patent portfolio is the largest and strongest in the software industry, and this agreement demonstrates our mutual respect for intellectual property as well as our ability to reach pragmatic solutions to IP issues regardless of whether proprietary or open source software is involved,” said Microsoft deputy IP legal counsel Horacio Gutierrez.

The Linux Foundation's Jim Zemlin dimissed what some might view as Amazon making an unholy pact with Microsoft over patents.

"It is worth noting that most technology companies have invested heavily in patents and that a cross-licensing agreement is a non-news event. The fact that two entities with expensive stockpiles of outdated weapons felt the need to negotiate détente is not surprising," he wrote on his blog.

"Let’s avoid second-guessing and implication. There’s nothing to see here. We have real code to write." ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.