Earlier this week Microsoft and Amazon signed a patent deal covering Amazon's Linux-based Kindle and its use of Linux-based server systems. Amazon will pay Microsoft an undisclosed amount as a result of this deal. I know it's just me but what the hell is up with that? I don't have a lot of details of this deal but why would Amazon have to pay Microsoft anything for the use of Linux on its Kindle or on its use of Linux-based servers? Your guess is as good as mine.

My guess is that this is more Microsoft FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) forcing Amazon into a deal that isn't good for Amazon. I assume that Microsoft thinks it owns some patents for software used in Linux. My other assumption is that Amazon figured it would be more cost-effective to give in rather than fight about this in court.

What I also assume is that Microsoft tried to purchase Amazon and Amazon said 'no.' Microsoft, in turn, decided to exert some imaginary force on Amazon by "suggesting" that the two enter into this deal to "protect" Amazon from any future patent disputes.

Thanks Microsoft. That's so awesome of you. Always thinking of someone else. Thinking of someone else's money that you can tap into, that is. My question to Microsoft is:

"Are you the new SCO?"

It's hard for me to believe that you have that much to gain in these situations. And what's in it for Amazon?

To Steve Ballmer: Steve, come on, why can't you focus on making Windows better? Why do you either have to own everything or screw up everything? Do you have some sort of mental issue? I have some ideas for you.

1. Focus on Microsoft and making your products great.

2. Spend some time with your family. Consider retirement.

3. Consider a drug called Lithium to treat your manic depression.

Lithium is used to treat the manic episodes of manic depression. Manic symptoms include hyperactivity, rushed speech, poor judgment, reduced need for sleep, aggression, and anger. It also helps to prevent or lessen the intensity of manic episodes.

Please note the part about poor judgement.

If it weren't next to impossible to speak with someone at Amazon, I'd conduct an interview to bring you some details. I've given up on speaking with anyone there. They just aren't willing to speak to journalists even on nonvolatile topics such as virtualization, their EC2 offering or any other item of general interest.

Yes, again, something's rotten in Redmond. Who'd have ever thought that Microsoft could cook up something this maligned and ridiculous.

Here's the Microsoft business plan:

Everyone must use Windows and pay us a lot for the privilege. Those who don't use Windows still have to pay us a lot because we allegedly own the patents to the software they use.

I've never been to Redmond but it must be a wondrous place with constant rainbows, chirping birds, butterflies and a constant 72 degrees Fahrenheit. All except for Steve Ballmer's house. It has a dark cloud hanging over it.

What do you think of this "deal"? Do you think Microsoft is justified or is Amazon getting ripped-off?

About the Author

My new book, Practical Virtualization Solutions, is out.

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