[affs-project] [Fwd: Microsoft Warns Asian Governments of Linux Suits]

Richard Smedley richard.smedley03 at ntlworld.com
Fri Nov 19 09:59:56 GMT 2004

If the figures about patent violations turn out not
to be nonsense then the article below can be turned
around to provide support against software patents:
-----Forwarded Message-----
To: linux-government at freelists.org
Subject: [linux-government] Microsoft Warns Asian Governments of Linux Suits
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2023 09:42:36 +0100
Thu 18 November, 2004 19:35
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp. MSFT.O warned Asian governments on 
Thursday they could face patent lawsuits for using the Linux operating system 
instead of its Windows software.
The growing popularity of Linux -- an open-code software that is freely 
available on the Internet and easily modified by users -- is a threat to the 
global dominance of Microsoft's Windows.
Linux violates more than 228 patents, according to a recent report from a 
research group, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said at the company's 
Asian Government Leaders Forum in Singapore.
"Someday, for all countries that are entering the WTO (World Trade 
Organization), somebody will come and look for money owing to the rights for 
that intellectual property," he added.
The Open Source Risk Management Group said earlier this year that potential 
intellectual property claims against Linux could expose users to unexpected 
claims that might result in lawsuits.
Software developer SCO Group Inc. SCOX.O , which claims that Linux is based on 
its Unix software, is suing companies including International Business 
Machines Corp. IBM.N .
Singapore's Ministry of Defense last month switched 20,000 personal computers 
to run on open-source software instead of the Microsoft operating platform.
Other governments in the region are also looking to use more open-source 
software. China, Japan and South Korea this year agreed to jointly develop 
applications running on Linux.
At a conference in Milan later on Thursday, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates 
avoided a direct answer when asked whether he was worried about competition 
from Linux.
"In the market where Microsoft is, there's a lot of competition," he said. "We 
compete with Unix and we're doing very well because the Windows (market) 
share has increased every year. It's out there; it's something we compete 
The Chinese government, in particular, sees its reliance on Microsoft as a 
potential threat. Conspiracy buffs believe certain patches in the Windows 
code might give U.S. authorities the power to access Chinese networks and 
disable them, possibly during a war over Taiwan.
Ballmer said the security fears some governments had about using Microsoft 
software were overblown.
"We think our software is far more secure than open-source software. It is 
more secure because we stand behind it, we fixed it, because we built it. 
Nobody ever knows who built open-source software," he added.
Grants for Free Software development in the UK:

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