Windows / Microsoft
Well, Microsoft never committed to play fair. The company has entered into two more patent agreements with Fuji and Samsung, as reported by Matthew Aslett. As ever, Microsoft doesn't actually say there are any IP infringement problems with Linux (there aren't, at least, no more than Microsoft has in its own products), but rather uses these cross-licensing deals, innocuous and common in and of themselves, to hint at IP infringement.
A protester calling for free computer software and open source programming crashed a speech Friday by Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates at one of China's top universities.
Samsung Electronics has followed in the footsteps of Novell and Fuji Xerox and signed a patent agreement with Microsoft which indemnifies the Korean electronics giant from any possible Linux patent infringement claims that Microsoft believes it could lodge.
Microsoft has launched an effort to double its user base to 2 billion by 2015, offering students in developing countries entry level versions of Windows and Office for next to nothing. It's also an effort to keep users in poorer nations hooked on Windows and away from Linux.
The VAR Guy knows Windows Vista will eventually run on most corporate desktops. But early sales in the consumer market have been softer than some analysts expected.
“In 1995, Microsoft was the company that missed the Internet. In 2005, I don’t think you could say that. It was the company that missed open-source. In 2015, I don’t think you’re going to be able to say that. That’s my vision and the timeline I’m working on.”
Microsoft is frequently dinged for having insecure products, with security holes and vulnerabilities. But Symantec, no friend of Microsoft, said in its latest research report that when it comes to widely-used operating systems, Microsoft is doing better overall than its leading commercial competitors.
The answer to that question is probably not, though the thought had crossed my mind. In a way they already have done in a small way, they have given Novell approximately a quater's worth of net profit in return for what appears to be a cut of all Open Enterprise and SUSE Linux sales. Although no shares have changed hands, this, in itself, seems to me to be a kind of "virtual" company sale. This is even not considering the palaver regarding the patent covenants....