The world's largest purveyor of crappy, bloated and corruptible software is belching about litigation to bring Linux and free and open software to heel. Microsnot is threatening patent actions against the open source movement. Elizabeth Montalbano's article in PCWorld speculates that it might have to do with the lack of consumer enthusiasm for the Vista inoperative system.
"There may be a link between the timing of Microsoft's claims against open source and the release of its Windows Vista product, said Stuart Meyer, partner at Fenwick & West in Mountain View, California. Rather than add features to Vista that would make business users want to adopt it, the OS' distinguishing characteristic is the addition of an engine that will shut down users access to Vista if they are using a counterfeit or pirated version of the software, he said.
"Why do people want to want to switch to an OS that just includes new hurdles that have to be cleared?" he said. Microsoft may have decided that enforcing its IP through litigation is more important than offering innovative software that can compete on its own merits, a strategy that may leave many users unimpressed, Meyer suggested."
Thus far, Microsnot is refusing to specify exactly which patents they believe are being infringed. It looks like the blue screen of greed is rolling out the threat machine in the hope that folks will knuckle under and pay royalties rather than get dragged into costly litigation. I switched from PC to Mac years ago, to escape the stranglehold of their shitty OS after viruses ate one machine and after losing work to endless crashes. I'm not surprised that they're looking at every possible means to cling to their marketshare but perhaps they'd be better off if they made a quality product and stopped acting like shit heads.
To celebrate the panic in Redmond, in the next few weeks I'll be loading Ubuntu Linux and Open Office onto my old G3 laptop. In the meantime, I'll enjoy thinking of Steve Ballmer sweating through another pile of shirts.