Microsoft Continues To Get Companies To Pay It For Non-Microsoft Software

from the this-is-not-a-good-thing dept

We’ve discussed in the past just how ridiculous it is that Microsoft has a “licensing program” for Android — someone else’s technology. And, of course, for many years, Microsoft has been running around insisting that Linux infringes on hundreds of its patents, though it gets pretty shy when asked to identify them. Every so often, Microsoft convinces some company to cough up some protection money for being Linux users — though usually it’s for companies selling Linux-based hardware.

Now Microsoft has convinced Amdocs to fork over some cash for running a Linux-based service. While (of course!) details are sparse, Microsoft made sure in the press release that it was clear that the license was for “Amdocs’ use of Linux-based servers in its data centers.”

This really does seem somewhat offensive. Microsoft is getting other companies to pay it for software that it had absolutely nothing to do with (and which many people use, in part, because it keeps them away from having to pay Microsoft).

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Companies: amdocs, microsoft

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Comments on “Microsoft Continues To Get Companies To Pay It For Non-Microsoft Software”

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Anonymous Coward says:

so, instead of keep coughing up money to these robbing arse holes, why dont they get together, share costs and take Micosuck to court? they have never been the flavour of the month with courts and i doubt if they would be in this instance either. if no one takes them on, they will just continue ripping companies and individuals off til the year dot!!

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If Microsoft makes its license cheap enough, no individual victim is inclined to take the risk of going to court.

Sooner or later, someone will. Like when SCO unwisely picked IBM to sue as its first victim. (Facepalm!) It would have been very cheap for IBM to just settle or even outright buy SCO. Some other company might very well have done so.

I guess it didn’t help that SCO wanted $5 Billion. If Microsoft is being cheap enough on its license, it may be considered just a cost of doing business. Disgusting, I know.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

1. Government/Do(i)J* goes after microsoft for fraud and extortion.
2. Ruling suddenly makes this sort of shakedown illegal.
3. A lot of useless companies suddenly find their favorite(and sometimes only) source of income cut off.
4. Government/Do(i)J: ‘Holy crap where did our kickbacks go, reverse that ruling!’

*Department of (in)Justice, for those that were wondering about the extra letter. Seemed time to update the name to reflect reality.

Chris-Mouse (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It’s more likely the lawyers looked at the numbers.

– Pay a small percentage of your income, and it all goes away.

– Tell Microsoft to forget it, and risk a lawsuit. With a lawsuit, you’d have to pay your legal bills up front, possibly costing millions. If you win, there’s a good chance you’ll still be stuck with paying your legal bills. If you lose, you pay your legal bills, millions in fines, and possibly even have to pay Microsoft’s legal bills.
Win or lose, it’s going to tie up most of your attention and energy for the next several years at least.

Looked at it that way, it’s not hard to figure out why such a shakedown racket works.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

How exactly does one murder an imaginary person?

Is it murder or self-defense? In this case, a company is using a potentially lethal weapon against you in what amounts to an assault (though, unfortunately at this time, a legal one.) In most cases, that would be grounds for self-defense.

If they take you for everything you own, how are you going to eat? Hence the lethal part.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

There is, technically, a way to do this. It even used to be common, in the olden days.

Corporations exist through a charter with the state the corporation operates in. The charter is like a contract, and comes with terms the corporation must abide by.

If it doesn’t, the charter can be revoked — which is the corporate equivalent of a death sentence.

This is still possible to do today, but it rarely happens (although it does happen occasionally). The reason it rarely happens is the same as why all kinds of other things have gone badly: corruption.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“the IT guys at Amdocs”

From my experience, they would probably have been the last guys to be consulted about this kind of thing other than to check if they were actually using Linux. This is more of a legal/management CYA move, and probably happened despite opposition from IT staff. I doubt anyone technically minded was in the decision making role.

Anonymous Coward says:

How the hell can you say this:

You’re an MS troll, vgrig?
I mean, your posting here without any facts.

But here’s a fact – they didn’t disclose what patents linux infringing on TO YOU.

What you’re claiming is that MS just walked in and said “you’re infringing on our patents”, with Amdoc’s resonse as “We are? Well just sell me a license, and we’ll call it a day over lunch!”

What scenerio do you think is more accurate?

-William Farrel

With a serious face?

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yes. What Microsoft is doing is capitalism unchained, a degraded form of capitalism — and the most prevalent kind in the US today.

This is what Adam Smith warned about in The Wealth of Nations: capitalism is good, so long as it is properly regulated. Unregulated capitalism degrades, becomes harmful and abusive, and ultimately becomes monopoly.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It’s a huge hassle, but you can get Microsoft to pay you if you purchase a computer with Windows preinstalled, if you wipe the hard drive and install a different OS on it without ever booting up the Windows installation.

Microsoft makes the process as difficult as possible, and there’s a few gotchas, and the payoff isn’t big (it’s the OEM price the computer manufacturer paid, not the retail price, that’s reimbursed) — but it can be satisfying nonetheless, if you enjoy symbolic victories.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: simple solution - stop using Linux

That’s not really a solution. The only reason that BSD isn’t subject to the same abuse is that it has only a fraction of the adoption rate that Linux has. If everyone started using BSD instead of Linux, then we’d see the same issues with BSD.

The problem isn’t with Linux or BSD specifically. The problem is that the major software players don’t own those things.

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