Microsoft closes another patent deal with the dregs of the commercial Linux community

Microsoft signs another deal with open source's riffraff.

OK. Novell is a credible company. But look at the other companies with which Microsoft has consummated its patent pacts: also-rans, all of them. Today it was TurboLinux. Seriously, does anyone care if TurboLinux's one remaining user won't be sued by Microsoft?

I'm exaggerating, of course. TurboLinux has a decent share of the market in China [PDF] and throughout APAC. But that's not saying a whole lot.

Microsoft has yet to do more than rattle its rusty patent saber, and guess what? It will never do more than this, because it can't afford to commit corporate suicide. It's too smart a company to sue customers.

The two Linux distributions that matter most - Red Hat and Ubuntu - have both thrown down the gauntlet to Microsoft and derided its silly patent agreements.

So Microsoft has crowned itself king of the Linux losers. Well done. Now get back to selling value, not patents, to customers.

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About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

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