This really doesn’t really have anything to do with Ubuntu, but maybe indirectly. This is a rant, so if you like Microsoft, you may want to leave… now.
When one company can not compete with another company by making better products, fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) will be used to make customers feel uneasy about product B. This is exactly what is going on with Microsoft. The problem is that Microsoft can’t pull out products as fast as the open source development model. So, instead of pumping millions into making better products, they turn to FUD to scare people away from Linux.
The only thing in the way of MSFT’s FUD campaign was somebody that they could use to make it look as if patents were violated. Enter – Novell. They entered the famous (or infamous) deal back in November with dreams of interoperability dancing around their heads. Then, Steve Ballmer made the announcement that the deal included patent protection. It was sort-of slid into the announcement to make it look as if Novell was agreeing that patents were one of several reasons they signed on to the deal. Terrible, really, that someone would get thrown into the deal like this.
Now that Microsoft has a puppet in their FUD campaign, they can go ahead and make numerous claims that Linux infringes on MSFT’s code. This is where I see a company that believes that they can do or say anything, because they believe that they rule the industry. Their latest claim is still the same old game… say that patents have been violated – but not which ones.
Evidence Microsoft’s FUD attacks and plans to fight Linux date back to the Halloween documents. In one of the documents, in a section devoted on beating Linux, a line stated something like this:
– The effect of using patents against Linux has not been tested.
This means that if all the other options didn’t work, FUD was going to be used. I knew something smelled fishy in Redmond…