[Linux-aus] Microsoft is a reality, please just deal with it [Was: SMH and The Age :)]

Con Zymaris conz at cyber.com.au
Wed Feb 26 08:14:01 UTC 2003

On Wed, Feb 26, 2003 at 12:27:58AM +1100, Jeff Waugh wrote:
> <quote who="Brent Wallis">
> > But are not critical parts of .NET being prepared for patents?
> > http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PG0
> > 1&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1='20030028685'.PGNR.&O
> > S=DN/20030028685&RS=DN/20030028685


in general, I agree with your comments, excepting the following:
> Perhaps, but then, it has very little to no relevance with the CLI and C#
> standards ratified by the ECMA. The patent itself is awash with prior art
> anyway, so for your average Free Software hacker, it's not much of a
> worry... Do you remember what Linus says about patents? :-)

1) No one (not even Microsoft) has been able to clearly define what .Net 
actually is or does. This adds fuel to any pyre branding the technology 
problematic from the perspective of the FOSS community.

2) By applying for a patent on some parts of the .Net framework,
regardless of which parts and regardless of the merits or success of the
patent application, Microsoft is making its intention of proprietal
demarcation very clear. One cannot claim, in the same breath, that a 
technology is an open standard and also encumber it with patents. This is 
totally disingenous, and smacks of the RAMBUS wrangle of last year.

3) We, who are well versed in the nuances of licencing and of details
within technology, need to speak out when Microsoft claims adherence to
'open standards' yet patently does not do so. Others who use computers can
be easily misled by such announcements, and might invest in technologies
which they presume will find adherence with other technologies or
implementations from other vendors/groups, yet fail to do so. Does
everyone remember how Microsoft claimed that COM/DCOM would be available
on all Unix platforms (to counter CORBA) by the late 90's?

> The "ha ha Microsoft" posts on this list are getting tiresome. Microsoft are
> a reality in the marketplace, and we are not about to decimate them any time
> soon. They're not a laughing stock, they're a valid and credible competitor.


Publically belittling Microsoft in this way is a tactic fraught with
negative repercussions. Microsoft will be around in 20 years time, and
still a force in this industry. Our hope should be to assist them in
following IBM's footsteps in moving from strong-arm monopolist to a
powerful force benefiting the industry as a whole. IBM shifted from a
company which witheld crucial or breakthrough technologies (because these
unbalanced IBM's monopoly strategy,) to a company which is increasingly
respected for its technological prowess and in its execution of
competitive stretegies.


Con Zymaris
Con Zymaris <conz at cyber.com.au> Level 4, 10 Queen St, Melbourne 03 9621 2377 
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