What are these patents that MS owns in Linux? More and more people are paying.
First it was Amazon in 2010 for their datacenters and now Microsoft is licensing technology that they own the patents when it is used in a Linux datacenter. Of course no one is disclosing what the actual patent is or what it stands for, but these companies are growing in paying Microsoft just to have the right to use them.
We all know that Apple just wants to shut you down when you violate their patents and Microsoft "plays nice" and has you pay for them. What is in Linux that Microsoft has the patent for and does it also apply to Trisquel? Will we have to pay Microsoft if Trisquel is used in a datacenter?
This is disturbing. MS isn't supposed to have any part in linux other
than the code it contributed to the linux kernel who knows when. This is
part of why I use linux, to get away from the MS corporate structure.
Now they're involved in linux? Sighs.
FAT32 patents. Most Android devices use this partition format (at least for microSD cards) so they must pay Microsoft patent royalties or use an open format instead such as ext2 and supply drivers for Windows and Mac which they probably won't do as it won't work out of the box and Google requires FAT format if you want access to their market. FAT16 can also be used, but is limited to 4 GB so it won't work on large microSD cards.
As shipped out of the box, the shared storage MUST be mounted with the FAT filesystem. It is illustrative to consider two common examples. If a device implementation includes an SD card slot to satisfy the shared storage requirement, a FAT-formatted SD card 2GB in size or larger MUST be included with the device as sold to users, and MUST be mounted by default. Alternatively, if a device implementation uses internal fixed storage to satisfy this requirement, that storage MUST be 2GB in size or larger, formatted as FAT, and mounted on /sdcard (or /sdcard MUST be a symbolic link to the physical location if it is mounted elsewhere.)
Exchange patents. Android cannot provide full support for Exchange without paying Microsoft. Evolution does (at least partially) support Exchange, so I'm guessing it is possible to provide partial support by reverse engineering (or maybe Novell obtained specifications via their agreement with Microsoft).
If that is the case, that really sucks becuase FAT32 is everywhere and supported on old operating systems that people still use like Windows XP, supported on cameras and video game consoles, and of course modern Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.
The sad reality is that people want things to work "out of the box" and FAT32 has offered that for a long time. Another problem exists is the support of more flexible and open formats that Apple and Microsoft will choose not to use. It would be great if the EXT file systems worked natively on Windows, but Microsoft wouldn't do it. They would keep peddling their FAT and NTFS file systems which are patented.
Why is Microsoft doing this? They aren't a small business scrapped for cash in any way. Are they trying to feel relevant? Or are they trying to justify the employment of tens of thousands of people in the Seattle area?
It also seems easy to code around if that's all it is. There are lots of other file system formats that are free. And why any Linux-kernel-based device would choose FAT32 for its default file format seems very odd to me. I would expect ext3 or ext4 to be used. I wonder why that choice was made?
FAT32 could easily die on Linux devices. People could use one of the likely several FAT32-to-other free software file system converters which would change everything on-the-fly without data loss, requiring only a reboot to then be free from Microsoft's dominion. It could probably be an app downloaded from Google Play.
I would advise everyone to completely avoid any areas where there are patents hinging over "standards" like this. Flash, file systems, digital media formats in general, all of it. I don't care how widely in use it is, stop using it for anything new, and begin changing it in every new version to support free and open standards. It profits nothing, except the patent holder, which means it profits nothing.
In a physical device, it takes a long time to perfect it, get it working, and then patent it. And the replication of a physical device by another company is a significant endeavor that can't be easily achieved.
The same is not true of software. A brilliant developer could, off the top of his head, write a few thousand lines of code in a short period of time, using fundamental ideas to data manipulation within the given system (CPU, motherboard, hardware devices), and probably half of those ideas he naturally came to on his own by looking at the way the system was designed and is implemented, trip over patents.
It shouldn't be like that for software. Patents serve no purpose except to hinder innovation, whereas the patent system was originally considered in the U.S. Constitution, for example, to actually expand the sciences because it took a real effort to produce a thing. It's not true with software, and it takes almost no effort to copy it, which means once something is known about, everyone on the planet can get a copy of it without affecting the original in any way, shape or form, within minutes.
Such a thing has never been possible in this world before. Digital media is a completely new creation, and it demands a completely new framework for how it's governed.
I personally believe the physical / mechanical system which operates the software should be the ONLY component patentable in a computer system, because ONLY that device has limitations on use. The software can be configured within that system however it can be, but it is the machine itself that physically executes it.
It's like trying to patent math. A person could patent a calculator design, but the idea of performing this computation, then this one, and actually patenting that sequence of formula use, or number processing ... it's literally insane.
The same is true for software.
Rick C. Hodgin
--- On Wed, 7/25/12, tegskywalker [at] hotmail [dot] com <tegskywalker [at] hotmail [dot] com> wrote:
> Subject: Re: [Trisquel-users] What are these patents that MS owns in Linux? More and more people are paying.
> To: trisquel-users [at] listas [dot] trisquel [dot] info
> Date: Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 12:10 PM
> If that is the case, that really
> sucks becuase FAT32 is everywhere and supported on old
> operating systems that people still use like Windows XP,
> supported on cameras and video game consoles, and of course
> modern Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.
> The sad reality is that people want things to work "out of
> the box" and FAT32 has offered that for a long time. Another
> problem exists is the support of more flexible and open
> formats that Apple and Microsoft will choose not to use. It
> would be great if the EXT file systems worked natively on
> Windows, but Micorosoft wouldn't do it. They would keep
> peddling their FAT and NTFS file systems which are
> Why is Microsoft doing this? They aren't a small business
> scrapped for cash in any way. Are they trying to feel
> relevant? Or are they trying to justify the employment of
> tens of thousands of people in the Seattle area?
I do not think "[digital media] demand a completely new framework for how it's governed". The copyright law is appropriate. It would however need some fixes such as making it expire quicker (e.g., 10 years after the first publication instead of the current 70 years after the death of all main authors). An improvement that would specific to software would be requiring the publication of the source code once the work become public domain.
As for patents, they indeed to not make any sense in the software world. One of the best references to realize it is this short movie.
This is a great movie, I watched it a couple of years ago and it really points out the flaws in the patent system, especially in the case of software.
I am not surprised by this though, just more of the same from MS.
Patents are everywhere. There are tons of patents on various formats like video and audio. It is unlikely you would be able to avoid them. Software patents shouldn't be valid.
Because it's a company rotten to the bone. Here's some dirt on them
And that archive doesn't contain the new crimes, like ooxml and the uefi business.
There might be another reason for all these patent deals. Microsoft probably offers their products at a reduced price (and advertising money to sell hardware which includes their products) in return for these patent deals just like they give OEMs a cheaper price for Windows if they write "Dell/Asus recommends Windows 7" on their websites. Microsoft might also offer to give a certain amount of the next patent deal they sign to the OEMs. So it's a pretty good deal for hardware OEMs to get access to Microsoft patents for a few bucks per unit, which provides them a cheaper Windows license for the laptops they sell.
I saw this a couple of days ago with Microsoft trying to hide the revealing of patents that they say they own and have been charging people for. It is really slimy with MS turning into patent trolls that want to keep the details of their actual patents a secret as they go after companies of all sizes threatening them to pay.