The report, by IDC analysts Stephen Graham and Alexandrina Boariu, says that Microsoft's policy indemnifying all end users over most types of intellectual-property claims "effectively raises the stakes for protecting software customers."
However, the report is fairly neutral on whether such protection is a major issue for customers. The report notes that outside of SCO's actions against Linux, major claims affecting software end customers have been fairly rare. At the same time, IDC notes that discussion of the issue has risen in the wake of.
"Recognize this for what it is--a differentiation strategy," the IDC analysts said in the report. "If customers value this basis of differentiation, they will act accordingly."
Microsoft, in particular, has been vocal on the issue, marketing it as the latest component of its anti-Linux "get the facts" campaign. In November, Microsoftto nearly all customers, whereas a previous policy was limited to volume license customers. The company has also it once had against such claims.
Martin Taylor, Microsoft's general manager of platform strategy, said the issue is of increasing concern to customers, particularly when it comes to core systems.
"It's really about how much do they care about it and what level of risk do they want to assume," Taylor said.
and have offered liability protection to some Linux customers, but both Microsoft and analysts have noted that those protections are more limited than the broad indemnity offered by Microsoft.