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Tuesday, 05 February 2008 11:41

Microsoft will not sue Linux

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Torvalds claims the threat is just spin



Microsoft's threats to sue Linux for breaching its patents was a PR tactic designed to deal with the Open Source movement through PR.

Über geek Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernal, doubted that Microsoft ever intended to sue anyone and the whole thing is a marketing stunt. He said that while Microsoft had been sued for breaching patents before, it had not used patents as a weapon against rivals.

However Microsoft is perfectly happy to use anything at all as fear, uncertainty and doubt in the marketplace, Torvalds said. Patents was one thing its sales teams could say there was uncertainty, if it had Microsoft bouncing up and down threatening to sue. Speaking to the Linux Foundation, Torvalds said that Microsoft was a convicted monopolist and suing competitors over patents was really insane.

He also had doubts that Microsoft's efforts to improve interoperability with Linux was something that the whole company wanted. Vole had people inside the organisation that wanted to improve interoperability, but there were also a large number who wanted to stab
its competition in the back. Generally it has been the backstabbers who have won out, so Torvalds did not trust them.

One thing that Torvalds did say in the long interview which has found itself into the Washington Post, is that virtualisation was not a big deal. He said that it had been around for decades and was interesting for a small niche market. However anyone who things that it will change things radically are just fooling themselves.

He believes that real change will come from entirely new uses of computers.

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