Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Liz McMillan, William Schmarzo, Karthick Viswanathan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

Microsoft CEO Ballmer: "In the Linux World, Nobody Stands Behind Patent Claims"

Microsoft CEO Ballmer: "In the Linux World, Nobody Stands Behind Patent Claims"

"I'm not trying to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Wednesday in an address to members of the Massachusetts Software Council, "I just think people should go out and research this for themselves."

Ballmer was referring - what else? - to Microsoft's claims that, since MS platforms interoperate more readily with other MS technology such as .NET, the TCO of Windows is less than that of Linux. Ballmer told Council members too about how his contention was backed up by the now-infamous Forrester Research Inc. study, which was sponsored by Microsoft.

For someone "not trying to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt" Ballmer then elected to do what many observers feel is exactly that, mentioning that those who go with Linux need to worry about SCO's various lawsuits - against IBM, DaimlerChrysler, and Novell - while Microsoft, even if it loses its current patent dispute with Eolas Technologies, would stand four-square behind its customers and indemnify them from any financial ramifications of the potential $500 million-plus award.

"In the Linux world, nobody stands behind patent claims," Ballmer declared - the clear inference being that in the Microsoft world, Microsoft does.

He also took the opportunity of this Boston speaking event to claim that Windows developers as a community are more cohesive than the open-source development community.

In other words, he pulled no punches. It was in some way reminiscent the time back in July 2000 when, at Microsoft's annual financial analysts meeting in Seattle, Ballmer ranked Linux the no. 3 threat to Microsoft after Sun and Oracle.

Back then Ballmer underlined "the competitive threat, and in some senses the competitive opportunity, that Linux represents."

"Linux is a tough competitor. There's no company called Linux, there's barely a Linux road map. Yet Linux sort of springs organically from the earth."

Ballmer back then went on to talk about "the characteristics of communism that people love so very, very much about it. That is, it's free. And I'm not trying to make fun of it, because it's a real competitive issue. Today, I would say, we still don't see a lot of Linux competition in most quarters on the desktop, and we see a lot of Linux competition in some server markets. And we could either say, hey, Linux is going to roll over the world, but I don't see that happening. That's not what's going on right now."

Four years on, not all that much has changed in Ballmer's approach. He still sees the Achilles heel of Linux as being the fact that no-one is in charge.

Ballmer was keynoting the Massachusetts Software Council's Fall Membership Meeting, attended by several hundred members of the region's software industry leaders. Aside from Linux, he spoke about new technologies and trends, Microsoft's research and development focus for the next 10 years, and the future of IT spending.

More Stories By Linux News Desk

SYS-CON's Linux News Desk gathers stories, analysis, and information from around the Linux world and synthesizes them into an easy to digest format for IT/IS managers and other business decision-makers.

Comments (13) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Wesley Parish 09/07/04 07:23:53 AM EDT

Microsoft stands four-square behind their customers? In the Software Patent field?

I heard a wedding-day joke about how the happy couple should never buy their bed from such-and-such a supplier, because they always stood behind their products ... ;^) um, yeah?

Seriousness aside, I'm on the receiving end of some of Microsoft's more interesting contributions to software security, stuff that can clog up even a solely Win98 network. I would like to think Microsoft has the integrity needed to stand behind the indemnity claims a non-profit organization such as mine, has against Microsoft for its colander-style Windows security model. Standing behind patent claims, etc, has no merit, because that doesn't affect us, and besides, as Free/Libre Open Source Software users to the extent we can persuade others, we don't believe in Software Patents anyway - they're a set of bureaucraticisation of software and criminalization of independent creativity, and violate completely and utterly, all conceivable anti-trust/anticompetitive behaviour laws.

And thus, Microsoft is aiming to get a Manhattan for a few copper coins and blankets again.

Ballmer's statements lack commitment to anything real, Ballmer's comments are empty of any serious importance.

Ballmeritorious 09/04/04 11:31:21 AM EDT

Anyone ever read the dvorak column where he alleges Steve Ballmer has a secret blog. "A slew of insiders at Microsoft are now blogging. Steve Ballmer is supposed to have a secret blog someplace" - is it true?

Boston Tech Party 09/03/04 02:29:01 PM EDT

Google beware: Ballmer also said in Boston that Microsoft is "hell bent" on taking search to the next level because "people still have a hard time finding what they want to find on the Internet."

Goldman Sachs Knows Best 09/03/04 09:46:10 AM EDT

>>Every time Red Hat reports earnings, >>Microsoft seems to take a hit,' says >>Goldman Sachs software analyst Richard Sherlund.

Great quote!

Forbes2004 09/03/04 09:39:02 AM EDT

At least MSNBC which is a Microsoft-NBC joint venture reports accurately. On Aug 6 MSNBC's site carried a report from Forbes which said Microsoft "has finally met its match against software that is largely downloadable for free."

Investors discount it into the stock price, the Forbes report said, adding: "In a private meeting with executives in May, Ballmer griped that Microsoft's profits have more than doubled in the past six years, but the stock, at $29, is right where it was then. 'Linux creates a cloud of uncertainty over Microsoft. Every time Red Hat reports earnings, Microsoft seems to take a hit,' says Goldman Sachs software analyst Richard Sherlund."

Omni Magnus 09/03/04 08:52:10 AM EDT

Linux and open source will never beat Microsoft. Microsoft will crumble from within, and beat itself.

Use this link 09/03/04 08:43:24 AM EDT

We know Gates has earned around $5.3 million a day for the last two years via sales of MSFT stock...anyone know what the figure for Ballmer is?

Wagner 09/03/04 08:26:50 AM EDT

Ballmer also said the company is "humbled" by recent security lapses and promised to to fix the problems. Problem is, when Ballmer uses the word "humble," he's not using the word as you and I would use it. Here are some of the people Ballmer considers humble: Mr. T, Muhammad Ali, Liberace, Michael Jackson, and Jackie Gleason.

IP matters 09/03/04 08:22:29 AM EDT

Patenting software is like patenting the text of a book. Neither are necessary to protect IP

ChangeOrDie 09/03/04 08:19:10 AM EDT

Patents don't mean jack if the patent owner can't forcibly enforce them. The only technological reality is market presence, everything else is pretence to blur the mind. It puts the F and U in FUD. Tell "John Smith" to stop copying patented ideas, he will. Tell "China" to stop copying patented ideas, and a whole different thing occurs.

This is why patent extension and attempted enforcement of patents is so frightening. The US is hiding from the opening up of knowledge on a broad front. Business models must change, or die. Microsoft is no exception.

Anon 09/03/04 08:17:37 AM EDT

Linux is probably the very safest Operating System out there from a patent point of view, because undoubtedly Baystar/SCO and friends would have searched for any such patents critical to Linux and tried to acquire them.

I challenge Ballmer to hire someone to go through the Windows source code searcching for IP violations with the same dilligence SCO has used looking for ways to own Linux.

Respeeeect 09/03/04 08:05:26 AM EDT

As recently as April of this year here on LinuxWorld you reported that this lack-of-a-center aspect was what spooks MSFT most: "IBM's endorsement of Linux has added credibility and an illusion of support and accountability, although the reality is there is no 'center of gravity,' or central body, investing in the health and growth of noncommercial software or innovating in critical areas like engineering, manageability, compatibility and security." Back then Ballmer's conclusion seemed more respectful: "Linux requires our concentrated focus and attention" he told the troops in Redmond.

Ballmer Schmallmer 09/03/04 08:01:47 AM EDT

Steve "FUD" Ballmer, ah yes - isn't he the one who also said, back in 2001, in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times: "Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches."

Such a level-headed choice of words Mr Ballmer. NOT!!

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Channels, a cybersecurity firm, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Channels, Inc. offers several products and solutions to its many clients, helping them protect critical data from being compromised and access to computer networks from the unauthorized. The company develops comprehensive data encryption security strategie...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sudarshan Krishnamurthi, a Senior Manager, Business Strategy, at Cisco Systems, discussed how IT and operational technology (OT) work together, as opposed to being in separate siloes as once was traditional. Attendees learned how to fully leverage the power of IoT in their organization by bringing the two sides together and bridging the communication gap. He also looked at what good leadership must entail in order to accomplish this, and how IT managers can be the ...
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
There is only one world-class Cloud event on earth, and that is Cloud Expo – which returns to Silicon Valley for the 21st Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center, October 31 - November 2, 2017. Every Global 2000 enterprise in the world is now integrating cloud computing in some form into its IT development and operations. Midsize and small businesses are also migrating to the cloud in increasing numbers. Companies are each developing their unique mix of cloud technologies and service...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
SYS-CON Events announced today that App2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. App2Cloud is an online Platform, specializing in migrating legacy applications to any Cloud Providers (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud).
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. Jack Norris reviews best practices to show how companies develop, deploy, and dynamically update these applications and how this data-first...
Intelligent Automation is now one of the key business imperatives for CIOs and CISOs impacting all areas of business today. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Boeggeman, VP Alliances & Partnerships at Ayehu, will talk about how business value is created and delivered through intelligent automation to today’s enterprises. The open ecosystem platform approach toward Intelligent Automation that Ayehu delivers to the market is core to enabling the creation of the self-driving enterprise.
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, shared examples from a wide range of industries – including en...
Consumers increasingly expect their electronic "things" to be connected to smart phones, tablets and the Internet. When that thing happens to be a medical device, the risks and benefits of connectivity must be carefully weighed. Once the decision is made that connecting the device is beneficial, medical device manufacturers must design their products to maintain patient safety and prevent compromised personal health information in the face of cybersecurity threats. In his session at @ThingsExpo...
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
Because IoT devices are deployed in mission-critical environments more than ever before, it’s increasingly imperative they be truly smart. IoT sensors simply stockpiling data isn’t useful. IoT must be artificially and naturally intelligent in order to provide more value In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Engineering System Architect at Greenwave Systems, will discuss how IoT artificial intelligence (AI) can be carried out via edge analytics and machine learning techn...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, will examine the regulations and provide insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence a...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics ...