A new deal struck between Microsoft and its Linux ally Novell (SuSE Linux) is headed for mainland China. Microsoft claims now that Linux violates 42 of its patents (down from over 200 a year ago) and that purchasing SuSE Linux will indemnify Linux users from lawsuits for patent infringement.
Thanks Microsoft but no thanks.
Who knew that when Novell signed their pact with the Evil Empire that it would mean an all-out attack on emerging markets like China, India, and Brazil? Hey Microsoft, haven’t you heard that the median income in China is about $3,400 per year and in India, it’s about $2,000? China is also primary target for Microsoft extortion because it’s at the top of their software piracy list.
I think it’s odd that Microsoft is pushing Linux to the Chinese instead of its flagship Vista software. They hope to convert Linux users—who are violating their patents—to SuSE Linux.
The scenario goes something like this:
Microsoft: Hi, we’re Microsoft and Novell and we want you to buy our Operating System. It’s Linux and it protects you from violating our patents.
China: But we get Linux free under the GPL. Moreover, we rip off your software anyway because we don’t recognize or care about your patents or copyrights.
Microsoft: But we’re Microsoft and you should compensate us for using our patented technology. Purchasing SuSE Linux will do that for you.
China: We’re China. We don’t care.
Microsoft: You can’t use Linux for free. It isn’t…isn’t American!
China: Hey, what about Vista? Even our pirated copies don’t work. When are you going to fix that?
Microsoft: <No Response> Ballmer explodes into a million tiny annoying bits of non-environmentally friendly fluff.
Microsoft ultimately responds by obtaining a patent for oxygen.