26.2.09

Sometimes the dog will bite: MS sued TomTom for using Linux

It seems that the war has begun - the same war that everybody said is happening only in my imagination. Microsoft sued TomTom over using the Linux kernel which implements, as MS claimed before(2007), some of MS's patents.

I really hate to be right this time.
Quoting Shahar's comment in my anti-mono post:
The "patent war" is fought by MS by making threats. MS is not, and will not be any time soon, be suing anyone. When MS start suing end users, you will know it is time to dump their stocks. Suing your potential customers is a sure sign of a dying company (see SCO, and that's not the only example).

Not being able to sue, all MS can do right now is threaten. Taking these threats seriously means giving in to MS's strategy. Rejecting free software for no reason other than some obscure future threat means doing what you claim they want you to do!
Shahar can be very coviencing and I respect his opinion. I even wrote another post saying that I might be wrong and maybe MS really did changed it's ways (but I was still very skeptical).

It seems that the patents in MS lawsuit might be over the FAT32 implementation in Linux.
FAT has existed for almost two decades, and the FS driver in Linux for quite some time as well. So it seems like MS waited for their FS to become a standard so they could sue. FAT is used everywhere today - digital cameras, flash memory. No company is safe.

Where are all those people now?
Those who told me that MS will never use the patent weapon?
... that registering software patents is just a strategic weapon?
... that Mono/.net is safe for use and implementation?

Well, guess what - you better reimplement your Mono apps.
Happy porting!

2 comments:

aviram said...

I think Shachar meant that MS will not sue their *end users* (which is what SCO did). Suing your competitors is unfortunately a common business practice, and in the sad state of software patents there's just not much you can do to prevent it.

There also might be things we aren't aware of regarding this lawsuit. For example, why didn't Tomtom compile the kernel without FAT support and released an ext3 version and pull the rug under this patent lawsuit?

shlomil said...

http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1433731/linux-hardware-outfit-pays-microsoft