Taking a Leading Position
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.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.
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.