Microsoft (MSFT) claims that freeware like Linux violates 235 of its patents. This means the company wants royalties to be paid by distributors and users.
Let’s cut to the chase. Microsoft has never been pro-entrepreneur…even in its infancy. Bill Gates was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and presumably got some very good legal advice from his lawyer father, a partner in a major Seattle law firm, when negotiating with IBM regarding MS-DOS.
Now that Windows Vista has shown the emperor is without clothes, Mr. Softee is trying to choke the competition out of existence. Back in 1998, The Onion created a satire piece titled “Microsoft Patents Ones, Zeroes.” Truth is stranger than fiction.
I hope that the Fortune 500 users of Linux stop this Microsoft shakedown. The average open source software user isn’t going to have the financial means to fight Microsoft in court.
In presidential politics, it looks like Congressman Ron Paul with his libertarian views would be most likely to rein in a patent system run amuck. However, at the moment he’s a dark horse candidate.
Hat tip to Roger Parloff at CNNMoney.com.