Archive | November 18, 2004

Throwing down the gauntlet

Did Ballmer Drop the Linux Patent-Violation Bomb?. “Did Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer say that Microsoft believes Linux violates 200-plus software patents? Or was Ballmer simply citing a study claiming that same fact? In either case, Ballmer found himself on the Linux hot seat for remarks he made to a group of Asian government leaders in Singapore on Thursday.” From Microsoft Watch from Mary Jo Foley

The irony is that Microsoft is likely to violate just as many patents, if not orders of magnitude more, but that’s a lot tougher to determine with closed-source software.

Microsoft claims they will indemnify their customers, but the limitations of that indemnification make it look pretty flimsy to me. Big tip of the hat to for the insight into this one and many other legal issues.

First, Microsoft dissed Linux as amateurish. Then, Linux was “viral” and “un-American.” Next, Microsoft twists studies to “get the facts.” Now, they have resorted to threatening their customers. I find this trend disturbing. What’s next?

Is email retention a good thing or a bad thing?

“ says Microsoft destroyed evidence. In court documents made public this week, accused Microsoft managers of telling employees in 2000 to destroy evidence contained in old e-mails.” From Computerworld News

Robert X. Cringely wrote about this case back in October:

One huge issue in Burst v. Microsoft is missing e-mails that should have appeared in the discovery portion of the case, but didn’t. Burst knows there are lost messages because many of them were to and from Burst, itself, so they have their copies. But not only are the known messages lost from Microsoft’s e-mail archive, so are any messages on the same subject that may have been sent between the Microsoft people, themselves, and not shared with Burst — messages that Burst only believes to exist, but it’s a pretty fair assumption that some such mail did happen. I have written about this before, and it plays back to a haphazard corporate e-mail retention policy at Microsoft that seems to conveniently lose any damning evidence.

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.