Shuttleworth: Microsoft Not the Real Patent Threat

The founder of Ubuntu predicts that Microsoft and the Linux community could end up as allies rather than enemies when it comes to patent lawsuits. (Linux-Watch)

In a May 21 blog entry, Ubuntu leader and Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth explained that when it comes to patents, he doesnt "think Microsoft is the real threat, and in fact, I think Microsoft and the Linux community will actually end up fighting on the same side of this issue."

A week before this, Brad Smith, Microsofts general counsel, claimed that the Linux kernel violates 42 of Microsofts patents, while the Linux GUIs break another 65.

In addition, the Open Office suite of programs infringes 45 more and an assortment of e-mail programs violate 15 others, the company said, while various other free and open-source programs allegedly transgress 68 more patents.

/zimages/7/28571.gifClick here to read more about the reaction of the Linux and open-source community to Microsofts patent claims.

Microsoft, however, has not taken legal action. In addition, it has refused to identify these patents.

For that matter, Microsoft has refused to say how it determined that its patents were being violated.

Despite all this rhetoric, however, Shuttleworth said he believes that within a few years, "Microsoft themselves will be strong advocates against software patents. Why?

"Because Microsoft is irrevocably committed to shipping new software every year, and software patents represent landmines in their road map [that] they are going to step on, like it or not, with increasing regularity."

/zimages/7/28571.gifRead the full story on Linux-Watch: Shuttleworth on Patents: Microsoft Not the Real Threat

/zimages/7/28571.gifCheck out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.