Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently made some interesting claims about Microsoft code appearing in various Linux distributions, especially Red Hat. Now he's made a comment that all Red Hat users 'owe' Microsoft. He hasn't put a dollar amount on what they owe, or made his claims on exactly why 100% clear. All we know is that the claim has to do with 'borrowed' code, a term that Microsoft themselves aren't exactly unfamiliar with.
This isn't the first time that Microsoft has made such claims about Linux, in fact the Redmond software firm ranks only behind SCO when it comes to organizations who actively pursue legal action against various forms of Linux.
You'd think that being in such illustrious company would be a good thing, but SCO is on the verge of collapse after a disastrous law suit brought on by Novell. We're quite sure that Novell would like nothing better than to win a major law suit against Microsoft as well.
So what do Linux developers and distributors think of this? Here's a snip:
“Red Hat has repeatedly stated that it will not engage in a patent licensing deal similar to the Novell-Microsoft partnership, referring to its as an 'innovation tax'.
Microsoft has been the second most aggressive party in pursuing alleged intellectual property claims against Linux and open source in general.”
It might seem ironic for a company that has been accused on multiple occasions, and even found guilty from time to time, of 'borrowing' ideas from other companies to in turn sue other companies for doing the same to them.
Still, the possibility of killing off a few of the more popular Linux variations might help Windows stay on top of the OS world for a longer stretch of time.