The war is heating up and Microsoft says Linux infringed 235 of its patents.At last some number.
- Linux kernel - 42
- The Linux graphical user interfaces -65
- The Open Office suite of programs -45.
- E-mail programs infringe -15
- Other assorted free and open-source software(FOSS) programs-68.
I think this whole issue will again rise the debate whether software programmes should be patentable.It looks like Microsoft may strike deals with Linux vendors to collect royalties like it did with Novell Inc..But question is whether Redhat and others are ready to accept that??Open source have the backup of biggies like IBM,Oracle,SUN and HP.Problem with large companies is they have thousands of unused patents and they are not opening them to startups to encourage innovation.SUN and IBM did some thing towards that direction and Microsoft can follow them.
Open source has always been threat to Microsoft 'coz they milk out their profits from license.If you ask me there should be 2 or more suppliers of Windows to discourage monopoly.In the hardware field for example Nokia gets same type of chips from two different suppliers to curb any monopolistic practices.But in software, Microsoft made it increasingly difficult for customers to switch.Office is one great example in that.I think its now or never for open source and they have to settle the scores with Microsoft to benefit customers.