"There's a disturbance in the gadget force everyone. You
probably aren't aware of it because most you are Mac or Windows
users, but those who've been using Linux on the desktop or on
servers have known for some time that Microsoft has been bullying
Linux software vendors with threats of lawsuits for infringing on
their intellectual property (IP). Remedy: sign our "patent
agreement" and share your technology in exchange for immunity.
"Microsoft claims that most parts of what makes up the GNU/Linux
OS infringes on Microsoft's closed-source patent war-chest. To put
it in simple terms, they claim that they came up with X process or
X functionality first and they have a patent on that feature. I'm
not a IP or patent lawyer, so I can't get into specifics, but I can
tell you that the Free Open Source Software (FOSS) movement prides
itself on being open and sharing code with others to be used how
one sees fit. And, if you make an improvement, to share that
improvement back with the community. FOSS developers like to look
at a proprietary app and say, we can make that… and not only
can we make it, we'll make it better through the inspection of
thousands of users who will voluntarily test the code, kill bugs,
improve upon the feature-set, and so on and so on.
"OK, so you now get the gist of FOSS and open-source in general.
Well, this week Microsoft has announced that they have come to a
"patent agreement" with mobile phone maker HTC for their use of the
open-source Android (Linux) OS. What's more, Microsoft, under the
agreement, will collect a royalty on each HTC Android device sold
— a deal not even Google gets."