Microsoft CEO says Linux “uses our intellectual property”


Ballmer: Linux users owe Microsoft

In comments confirming the open-source community’s suspicions, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Thursday declared his belief that the Linux operating system infringes on Microsoft’s intellectual property.

Microsoft officials, including Ballmer, were mum on whether the Linux kernel, which is governed by the General Public License and takes contributions from programmers all around the world, violated Microsoft’s patents.

Ballmer was more open Thursday.

“Novell pays us some money for the right to tell customers that anybody who uses SUSE Linux is appropriately covered,” Ballmer said. This “is important to us, because [otherwise] we believe every Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability.”

“My reaction is that so far, what he [Ballmer] said is just more FUD [fear, uncertainty and doubt],” said Pamela Jones, editor of the blog…

My question to Ballmer is, how Microsoft can come out in front of the world offering only a gussied up version of Windows NT4 (1995 technology now with transparencies and gradients!) like Windows Vista … compare it to something infinitely better … and then claim the better system actually used Microsoft’s intellectual property?

If they did, they sure did a hell of a lot more with it than Microsoft.

read the whole thing here…

Update: Here is the video!