BT et C

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Categories

Ballmer has (to his detriment) got a bit more specific with his FUD on free software violations of Microsoft's patents.

He says that the Linux kernel - the deepest layer of the free operating system, which interacts most directly with the computer hardware - violates 42 Microsoft patents. The Linux graphical user interfaces - essentially, the way design elements like menus and toolbars are set up - run afoul of another 65, he claims. The Open Office suite of programs, which is analogous to Microsoft Office, infringes 45 more. E-mail programs infringe 15, while other assorted FOSS programs allegedly transgress 68.

Thanks, Steve. We're going to go ahead and second guess you, because we know it takes awhile before you and your kind get around to telling people why exactly they owe you money.

PS: There are no "Linux graphical user interfaces" -- don't know if this was the reporter's error or yours, but we'll assume you meant KDE and GNOME and, um, change "the way design elements are set up". Hehe. This'll be fun.

PPS: I have just downloaded copies of your 6900+ patents. Some friends and I are going to look them over. We'll get back to you sooner than you probably wanted...