Red Hat Claims It Wanted To Talk Interoperability With Microsoft, Just Not Patents

from the you're-kidding dept

While Microsoft has signed a series of interoperability and patent deals with various Linux vendors, the biggest Linux distro, Red Hat, has refused to get on board. It was revealed last week, however, that the companies were at least talking at some point about doing some kind of a deal, though the details of the talks (which have fallen through) weren’t revealed. In clarifying the company’s position, Red Hat executive Paul Cormier said that Red Hat would love to work on interoperability with Microsoft but that it saw no need to establish any patent protection for itself. But Microsoft apparently was only interested in the two things together and had no interest in working on interoperability alone. That’s not too surprising, seeing as the interoperability stuff always seemed like a bit of a red herring. Through these deals, Microsoft has been trying to bolster its argument that Linux infringes on its patents. As for the other half, did anyone really think that Microsoft was concerned about establishing interoperability with Linspire? Of course not. For Microsoft, signing a deal with Red Hat would be the big prize, given its position in the Linux world. But unless Red Hat is willing to talk patents, there’s really no reason to think that Microsoft would be willing to deal.

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Comments on “Red Hat Claims It Wanted To Talk Interoperability With Microsoft, Just Not Patents”

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Art Thibodeaux says:

Linux patent versus Interoperability

I see that this as arrogance from Red Hat. The same kind that made Apple come back years later with hat in hand wanting to make nice with Microsoft. If Linux what to play with the big boys it needs to solicit main stream players not the fringe. This decision does not promote their growth. I would have respected a more non Steve Jobs response. I see no reason for their position except that think that can take on Microsoft and win.
I still sell Microsoft and not Linux. Paul Cormier has made my position more comfortable.

Chris Maresca (user link) says:

Re: Linux patent versus Interoperability

MSFT is actually delivering Linux to their customers via their deal with Novell. I’ve read that over 40,000 Linux ‘tickets’ have been handed out by MSFT. If you took part in that you could capture not just WinX sales, but also Linux opportunities…. And Linux is currently one of the fastest growing segments of IT (40% year-on-year growth predicted by Gartner).

I think that everyone playing nice with with everyone else is a good thing, certainly for end-users. Very few companies of significant size have only one vendor.

And, besides, Redhat != Linux. In fact, RH is probably more like MSFT than any other distro.


drjones says:

Re: Linux patent versus Interoperability


“If Linux what to play with the big boys it needs to solicit main stream players not the fringe.”

Linux is already playing, and is one of the big boys, and playing quite well at that. Maybe not on the desktop, but definately in the server space, and its quite a big boy in the embedded space as well.

Kudo’s to Red Hat. If they did make a deal that compromised open source or even appeared to in any way, developers would leave in droves. Their reputation would be ruined, and their key talent would go elsewhere.

Bignetbuy says:

Re: Linux patent versus Interoperability

Are you high? WTF does a monopoly have to do with anything? This is two companies that might have talked about something. There can and will never be a monopoly in the Linux world. That’s the power of the GPL.

Stick to what you know…and leave Linux for the professionals.

Harry says:

Patents is the question

Interoperability might be important, but the real issue here is whether Linux can be proven to infringe (or be made to appear to infringe) on Microsoft’s patents.

I find Microsoft’s motives very transparent, but maybe it’s because I’m seeing this from outside the Windows world. Just one (1) big lawsuit could make Linux a dead duck, or to be more exact, a dead penguin. Anything that will improve Microsoft’s chances to win in this future litigation is a good deal. Feed the cat another canary. And anyone who has read anything about Steve Ballmer will understand that for him, losing is not an option. Until that man goes, I will not buy anything with the M$ name on it.

Lacklustre Vista sales and big name endorsements (like Dell) of Linux makes Microsoft even more prone to go on the offensive. I don’t doubt for a minute that if it could, Microsoft would sue Linux out of existence. Right now they are just lining up the penguins before starting to shoot. When this will be I do not know, but I feel the potential is there and is growing.

happymellon says:

Re: Patents is the question

That doesn’t even make sense. The longer Microsoft leave the Linux issue alone and just threaten it the larger it becomes. If they did then “shoot it down” what would stop all these shops that are former MS and now Linux to move over to Solaris or AIX?
I mean if they’re running on Linux then the chances are they they are developing all their in house server software for Linux, which can then be run bit for bit on AIX or with little effort to move to Solaris. Windows would require a complete re engineer, which I’m sure managers would first claim is a good idea until they see the cost comparison.
If they had the ability to take it out they should have done it a while ago, as it is I’m watching more large shops drop Windows server for the flexibility of Solaris/Linux/AIX.

SailorRipley says:

Re: Re: Patents is the question

sure it makes sense…

IF M$ had a strong, winnable case, it wouldn’t need to wait, and the longer M$ waits (again, assuming M$ has a strong case), the more damage it would potentially do to M$, you are right about that.

but look at the first word of that paragraph….IF

if on the other hand M$’s statements are FUD (for whatever reason: there is no infringement, there is infringement but it would be immediately corrected once is known which patents, the patents in question could be challenged for obviousness, prior art,…., as I said, for whatever reason) then waiting, trying to get as many linux distributors to make a deal, might add to the appearance of legitimacy…not to mention that there are plenty of companies, large and small, that don’t (dare to) make the switch to linux, exactly because of M$’s FUD

boomhauer (profile) says:

no wanna play

if there is any chance of confronting ms’s patents, someone will have to stand up to them and face a challenge from MS. If they can survive a legal battle and invalidate some or all of ms’ ip, everyone will benefit from it. otherwise it will strengthen their claims, and who knows how valid the claims really are until they are challeneged.

Art Thibodeaux says:

Linux patent versus Interoperability (Revisited)

There may be enough room for an open architecture OS. But the supposed inference that everyone is running toward Linux and away from MS is fool hardy. In order for Linux to thrive it needs business leadership that is not blinded by the bigotry of engineers or commentators (most who have little knowledge but make their money on commenting on our correspondence). My comments were aimed at the progression of the OS in the business world. If you believe that a good product will survive without sound business sense I will remind you of BETA versus VHS.

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