Linux Controversies of 2011: Is Microsoft Out to Get Linux ?

From the ‘Patent FUD’ files:

In the early days of Linux the anti-Microsoft controversies and conspiracies were everywhere.

In recent years, Microsoft has come to an accommodation of sorts with open source and Linux. Though the deals that they have made – that accommodation – continued to be a source of significant controversy in 2011.

Back in 2007, Microsoft first alleged that open source software infringes on at least 235 Microsoft patents. That allegation led to multiple companies including Novell (and now SUSE) signing patent deals with Microsoft.

In 2011, Microsoft’s patent focus seemed to sharpen on Android. Except for Motorola, Microsoft now has every major Android phone vendor in some kind of deal over intellectual property.

No, Microsoft did not pursue a ‘SCOsource’ type license going after individual Linux users or even distros. Microsoft has chased the money and gone after big consumer electronics vendors.Their ‘SCOsource’ is all about the big Android vendors.

Is this still the same battle against Linux from years past?

That was a big controversy in 2011 and will remain one in 2012 (and likely for years to come). Microsoft will continue to protect what it sees as its own intellectual property. The Linux community in turn will continue to ask for proof in instead of just FUD.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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