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ZDNet: Microsoft patents a threat to open source

Aug 28, 2001, 22:16 (35 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Peter Galli)

Debate continues over the Mono project and whether it's appropriate for open source developers to play ball with Microsoft over .NET:

"But while Jeremy Allison, a lead developer for Samba, confirmed that Microsoft holds the patent for the password change protocol, he believed this "was done with no malicious intent at all. All big companies patent software for protection. I also think this is probably a defective patent anyway," he said.

Microsoft's Mundie said he wasn't familiar with the Samba example, "but in any case where someone reverse-engineers technology -- and there's certainly lots of this in the Linux world -- there's always the risk they'll infringe on someone's patent. We highly value intellectual property and the laws created to protect this," he said.

But Samba's [Jeremy] Allison said the Mono Project is "a very bad idea -- in fact, it's a terrible idea. By doing this they are helping .Net become a standard. ".Net will become important if a majority of the clients use it, but it will not be mandatory if only, say, 50 percent use it, as Web sites will then still have to do Java stuff," Allison said. "By implementing an open-source version of this, they are making it easier for Microsoft to get to that magic monopoly figure."

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