Microsoft seeks new unfair competition laws... OSS/Linux/Android attack ?

You’ll love this… a bit of a read, but worth it.

Excerpt from Groklaw page (link above) -

Microsoft seems to be trying to get its own personal unfair competition laws passed state by state, so it can sue US companies who get parts from overseas companies who used pirated Microsoft software anywhere in their business. The laws allow Microsoft to block the US company from selling the finished product in the state and compel them to pay damages for what the overseas supplier did. You heard me right. If a company overseas uses a pirated version of Excel, let's say, keeping track of how many parts it has shipped or whatever, and then sends some parts to General Motors or any large company to incorporate into the finished product, Microsoft can sue *not the overseas supplier* but General Motors, for unfair competition. So can the state's Attorney General. I kid you not. For piracy that was done by someone else, overseas. The product could be T shirts. It doesn't matter what it is, so long as it's manufactured with contributions from an overseas supplier, like in China, who didn't pay Microsoft for software that it uses somewhere in the business. It's the US company that has to pay damages, not the overseas supplier.

Awful, I know. But the real question is, Why? Why is Microsoft doing this? Does Microsoft need a new revenue stream, now that folks are switching to smartphones instead of PCs? Or is it something worse, something Machiavellian? I ask that because I noticed two things, one, that Microsoft said that it came up with the laws because it is dissatisfied with patent law and two, something odd and frankly alarming in the Washington State version of this bill that leads me to suspect that this is Microsoft’s Plan B in its litigation storm against Linux – its Ace in the hole in case the Supreme Court decides that its software is unpatentable.

This is not about “proving” ANYTHING, it’s about tying up competitors in a protracted legal case with a simple “allegation”, allowing M$ to sell their wares whilst the competition cannot… think “mobile phones” etc.

eg. MS “alleges” a chinese company supplying say, HTC, uses an unlicensed copy of Windows somewhere… just the allegation is enough to stop HTC selling any phone that contains a component from that chinese supplier whilst the case is ongoing, and these cases take years.

Open Source Software (and maybe anything covered by the GPL ?) would be specifically excluded from cover under these laws… allowing M$ to make allegations about OSS/Linux (scaring prospective corporate users), but not the other way round… another FUD attack on the way (if they get their way) ?

Mmm, SCO used to be Linux’s biggest competition, indeed they had the Unix/PC market sewn up when Linux hit the scene.

Once Linux took hold, SCO decided to take on the community ‘legally’ and indeed with funds provided by … well … you know who.

‘’’ … and now it’s time for another episode of “where are they now?” , today we’re focussing on SCO Unix, but unfortunately we can’t find them ! … ‘’’

Here’s the real question;

The rest of the World won’t be affected by these laws, it’s just going to stunt the US and the US economy. So the real question is, how bright / how bent
are the US politicians who’re going to be deciding which way this goes, are they going to act in the USA’s best interest, or are they going to take M$'s
money - metaphorically speaking of course ?!

Windows is dead as an OS, everyone knows it including M$.
M$'s mobile strategy has failed and it’s $1Bn to Nokia is a last ditch attempt to do something with it, but it’s dead too.
People are starting to switch to OO and Google Docs, so Office is dead, which is why they put $10Bn into R&D last year for their on-line office project.

  • Can M$ survive on a diet of Online Office and Cloud … more chance I think of a hippo surviving on water crackers, so not unless it undergoes massive shrinkage.

What do big companies do when they know they’re going down?
Well SCO would be a good yard-stick … watch this space for lots of legal stuff that will ultimately fail … unless they start copying the ‘other’ Steve, I think it’s about all they have left in the cupboard (!)

I’ve had to use Windows recently, indeed Windows server 2003, 2008 and Windows 7.
Talk about a step backwards, it’s like falling into a straight jacket … ! Why on earth do so many people put up with it ?!

My only thought is, they don’t know of any alternative !

What baffles me is, HTC are selling these “phones” with Windows on them which in my view looks like good business & publicity for M$ right? So why, would M$ claim allegations that their selling unlicensed copies if M$ is advertising them on MSN, Hotmail and all other “Windows Live” services? To me, after these cases are done with I reckon M$ will just die off (YEY!). It won’t bother me if HTC go down as well, because I’ve always used Samsung mobiles, nothing more reliable IMO. Had my tocco lite for just under 3 years now ::slight_smile: and before that I had the Samsung Soul for a year and a half I think.

Well I’ll be waiting with my LiveCD in my hand for the day when M$ dies. The companies days are numbered.