Taking a Leading Position

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-02-09 Print this article Print

Microsoft also believes it has now taken a market leading position in this regard, especially when compared to the indemnification offered by other device software makers and the open-source or Linux brands, Kaefer said. However, Hewlett-Packard Co., Novell Inc. and Red Hat Inc. have all made moves to protect their enterprise Linux customers.
Red Hats Open Source Assurance Plan is designed to protect customers Linux investments and ensure that they are legally able to continue to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux without any interruption.
Novell, of Provo, Utah, set up a Linux Indemnification Program for its SuSE Enterprise Linux customers, under certain conditions, to protect against IP challenges to Linux and help reduce the barriers to Linux adoption in the enterprise, while HP will indemnify its customers against any legal liability from the use of Linux. To read more about HPs Linux indemnification program, click here. "I think of a device maker building a device with software that is not indemnified is like building a boat without life preservers," said Jason Stolarczyk, marketing manager for Microsofts Windows Mobile and Embedded group. "This is an extra level of insurance from us for folks to feel confident in building devices that meet the requirements of their customers." Several high-profile IP disputes, most notably that of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, had increased the awareness of the need for indemnification among partners and enterprise customers. "They were now being offered the assurance that there is a single point of responsibility, and that is Microsoft," he said. Click here to read more about the possible RIM shutdown. Stolarczyk said that Microsoft was taking the market leadership on the IP indemnification front and "we are hoping that others see the value in that and that other software makers see that this is something companies are going to be requesting." Rob Enderle, the principal analyst for the Enderle Group, agreed, saying that Microsofts indemnification was one of the most comprehensive in the market and set a high bar for competing platforms. "Intellectual Property litigation has been increasing steadily for the last several years. As a result, indemnification against this litigation not only has become a requirement for any technology purchase, it strongly pushes companies towards the buy side of the build versus buy decision," he said. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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