Microsoft forages for patent deals in the world of the also-rans

Microsoft strikes yet another patent deal with a tired, also ran of a Linux company. When will the winners capitulate?

Microsoft has continued its patent crusade by signing a patent deal with Linspire. You remember Linspire, right? Oh, well, maybe not.

Unfortunately, it appears that Microsoft is having zero success signing up any credible vendors. Novell (once credible, now...not so much), Xandros, and now Linspire. Who would have thought that Microsoft's efforts would so poignantly and clearly reveal just how pathetic its patent threats are?

The day Microsoft signs one of these "historic" deals with Red Hat or IBM will be the day that i believe there's actually some substance to its allegedly good intentions. [Interestingly, just as I typed those words I received an email from a friend who has "intel" (good or bad, who knows - I suspect bad) that Red Hat is talking with Microsoft about a patent deal. I hope not....] In the meantime, Microsoft, get back to selling product. Your efforts to sell your patents are not finding customers. Not the kind you'd want, anyway.

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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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