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).


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 12:26pm

    This is what Microsoft was trying to do through a proxy (SCO) nearly a decade ago. (March 2003)

    I guess they got it right the 2nd time figuring that patents were the way to go.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Oblate (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 12:27pm

    MS missing the bigger market...

    How much would we have to pay to get Microsoft to just stop making software? I think there's huge potential here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 12:27pm

    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!!

     

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  4.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 12:27pm

    Re:

    With patents, you can be very vague. With copyrights, you had to show that something was actually copied, it had to amount to something of value, and you had to (gasp!) prove you owned what was copied from.

    Patents, you just do hand waving and some mumbo-jumbo and sue in East Texas.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 12:28pm

    It's the mafia shaking down local shops for protection money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 12:30pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 12:44pm

    Why isn't the Justice Department investigating Microsoft for fraud & extortion over this?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 12:46pm

    There's a part of me thinking that if the IT guys at Amdocs are dumb enough to think that MS has any licensing rights to Linux - one of the most recognized pieces of free open-source software - they deserved to get swindled.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    There's a part of me thinking that if the IT guys at Amdocs are dumb enough to think that MS has any licensing rights to Linux - one of the most recognized pieces of free open-source software - they deserved to get swindled.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    There's a part of me thinking that if the IT guys at Amdocs are dumb enough to think that MS has any licensing rights to Linux - one of the most recognized pieces of free open-source software - they deserved to get swindled.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    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?

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    gnudist, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    You know, I could feel something for the little artist who has a hard time making a go of it even if I don't agree they have a moral right to a state monopoly.

    But Microsoft is just extorting money for othr's hard work.

    Fucking scumbags

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 12:49pm

    Re:

    Blech - obvious browser barf. Sorry for the trip post.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    AzureSky (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 12:53pm

    this is capitalism at its best, making money from other peoples work with very little effort of your own....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Prisoner 201, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 1:03pm

    Re: Re:

    "Patents, you just do hand waving and some mumbo-jumbo and sue in East Texas."

    Where is the "sad but true" button when you need it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Jeremy2020 (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 1:06pm

    Re: MS missing the bigger market...

    How much did Windows Vista and Windows 8 cost to develop?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Chris-Mouse (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 1:08pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
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    Charles (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 1:09pm

    If you want to research Microsoft...

    go to www.groklaw.net and check out the links to documents at the top, especially http://www.groklaw.net/staticpages/index.php?page=2007021720190018

    I have been using linux since the early days of the SCO saga. I knew about linux before, but Pamela Jones' excellent articles convinced me to convert to linux.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    backlord, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 1:17pm

    ss

    not much has changed.classic windows

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Shmerl, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re:

    The problem is, racketeers never go away. The only way to break free is to fight them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    DaveL (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 1:37pm

    Jealous?

    I think you're just jealous Mike...

    You just need to figure out how to get the Slashdot guys to pay YOU every time someone visits their site.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Jealous?

    +1

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re: Jealous?

    mod parent up

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

    I've mod points blah blah

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

    latest meme goes here

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    gnudist, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 1:47pm

    Re:

    What microsoft is doing is a twisted mockery of capitalism.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 1:48pm

    Seriously. that's all that would happen.
    Or an endless off-topic flame war on Obama/Romney , K&R vs Allman brace style or fanboi/fandroid nonsense,

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    gnudist, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 1:50pm

    Re:

    EVERYTHING'S COMING UP MILHOUSE!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    rallen, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 2:10pm

    Re: Re: MS missing the bigger market...

    Not enough.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
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    Tunnen (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 2:18pm

    Re:

    A fool and his money are soon parted? =P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    Tunnen (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Re:

    That's a nice server farm you have there... It'd be a shame if something were to happen to it... =P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    Tunnen (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 2:21pm

    Re:

    Likely has something to do with the large sacks labelled with a large $.

    =P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
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    gnudist, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 2:29pm

    Re:

    *iSheep versus fandroid

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 2:32pm

    Many who pay up fall to the FUD (Fear Uncertainty Doubt)it's clear that a more educational approach is required when dealing with Microsoft.
    If you create a FOSS (Free and Open-Source Software)system you need to have a chat with the people involved with GNU/Linux so that you are not paying money to uncle Bill.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
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    Jacob Blaustein, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 2:44pm

    Why doesn't Google sue Microsoft for false representation?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2012 @ 3:10pm

    Now I think Microsoft needs to pay me for every time I've had to use their software. Fair is fair.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Re:

    Yes, this is an often overlooked point. Microsoft learned a lot from its involvement in the SCO fiasco, and the main thing it learned is that if you want to get away with extortion, you have to be careful not ask for too much money in one whack.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 3:11pm

    Re:

    I can guarantee that the IT guys had exactly no say in this issue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 3:16pm

    Re:

    I believe that Google has no standing to do any such thing. It's very telling, though, that Microsoft doesn't sue Google directly, but rather extorts from third parties in a way that Google cannot weigh in on at all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 3:21pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
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    lucidrenegade (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 6:03pm

    Re: Re:

    Exactly. Both Microsoft and Apple know that Google has the financial and legal muscle to fight them for as long as it takes. Neither one has the balls for that, so they pick on HTC, Samsung, etc.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 7:35pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    alternatives(), Jul 25th, 2012 @ 8:02pm

    simple solution - stop using Linux

    Just swap it out for FreeBSD.

    Problem solved.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jul 26th, 2012 @ 12:41am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
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    Josef Anvil (profile), Jul 26th, 2012 @ 1:49am

    Re: Re: MS missing the bigger market...

    Vista and Win 8 are being subsidized through Android and Linux.

    So basically the development was free and may even turn a profit soon.

    TYVM

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jul 26th, 2012 @ 3:11am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Or shoot them in the head. But seeing as corporations are people in the US...

    How exactly does one murder an imaginary person?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
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    The eejit (profile), Jul 26th, 2012 @ 3:14am

    Re: Re:

    Milhouse is not a meme, dammit!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    gnudist, Jul 26th, 2012 @ 5:06am

    Re: Re:

    New from Apple: the iJustice.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Jul 26th, 2012 @ 5:25am

    Re: Re: Re: 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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
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    Niall (profile), Jul 26th, 2012 @ 6:03am

    Re: Re:

    No, that describes most capitalism. Just look at the average banker...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 26th, 2012 @ 6:29am

    Re: Re: MS missing the bigger market...

    > How much did Windows Vista and Windows 8 cost to develop?

    I don't know about Windows 8.

    Vista, six years and $9 Billion. That's more money than some country's space program.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
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    DannyB (profile), Jul 26th, 2012 @ 6:31am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Another thing Microsoft learned from the fiaSCO is to be careful who you try to extort.

    Make the extortion seem mutually beneficial. With some bigger companies, for example, the announcements talk about a patent cross licensing. This can actually be good for the company paying extortion to Microsoft for, say, Android.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 26th, 2012 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: Re: 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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 26th, 2012 @ 9:49am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 26th, 2012 @ 9:55am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    gnudist, Jul 27th, 2012 @ 2:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    LOL what? this is only possible BECAUSE OF goverment regulation.(patent monopolies)

    Capitalism unchained would mean the death of this particular brand of bullshit. It'd also mean the birth of other bullshit but that's a whole nother discussion.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Antalya, Dec 17th, 2012 @ 7:46am

    Re:

    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. 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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    side, Mar 30th, 2013 @ 3:26pm

    Re: Re:

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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