By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2004-11-12 Print this article Print

-Linux Lawsuits"> I believe that Microsoft is getting ready to use its IP holdings to attack open source and Linux in the courts. It may not happen anytime soon, but as Linuxs market share continues to climb, I know that Microsofts attorneys must be thinking about where they can attack open source.

After all, Microsoft has already done it indirectly. First by helping to fuel SCOs anti-Linux lawsuits by licensing $21 million of Unix IP, and then by leading BayStar to SCO, which lead the contentious Unix firm to getting an addition $50 million in funding.

Of course, I think the SCO cases are going nowhere fast. If theres anyone out there whos still frightened of buying Linux because of SCO, I dont know who it could be.

So, heres what I see happening. First, Microsoft is launching a new FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) campaign, with indemnification at its heart.

Second, look at what Microsoft has been doing recently in its court cases. Microsoft has been settling a lot of its ongoing litigation. Long-running battles with Sun, Novell and the CCIA (Computer & Communications Industry Association) have all been cleared up in recent months. Could Microsoft be clearing the decks for a massive legal battle against Linux? Stay tuned, folks. Senior Editor Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has been using and writing about operating systems since the late 80s and thinks he may just have learned something about them along the way.

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.

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