Ballmer's newest statements re: Red Hat and patents

Carsten Agger agger at
Wed Oct 10 17:01:48 UTC 2007

On 10/10/07, simo <simo.sorce at> wrote:

> > > > But is there any real harm done by it - except for the FUD? Or is the
> > > > main harm done by such statements perhaps to Microsoft itself?
> > >
> > > Given that Red Hat has a real indemnification program (that covers also
> > > patent claims) it seem pure FUD to me.
> >
> > The problem with FUD is, it works. :-(
> Do you have proof of it working?
> So far I haven't seen MS FUD working so much against the FS community,
> it seem we always react very well.

In 2003 (i.e., after SCO had started suing IBM), I worked at CCI
Europe, a compaany supplying  solutions (editorial and advertising)
for large newspapers.

At one briefing, we were told that they were considering taking up
Linux as a server platform, but cited some Oracle support problems
(the alternatives being Solaris and AIX), and ended up adding: "Also,
there may be legal problems using Linux."

That was an example of SCO's litigation, which we now know (if anyone
ever  doubted it) was pure FUD, working at the business level. And it
is *intended* to work on a business level, i.e. not on the FOSS
community but at businesses considering using FOSS or maybe even
joining the community.

People were maybe not turned altogether off Linux, but they were  wary
of running what might seem a million-dollar risk. I can only imagine
what kind of things SCO's and Microsoft's salesmen have been saying
off the record while out there selling ...

On the other hand, I still think this FUD is a two-edged sword;
Ballmer may be damaging free software with his FUD, but he's also
damaging Microsoft. It still might work in the sense  of scaring some
large companies into sticking with Microsoft and the Windows platform,

- fordi tiden kræver et MODSPIL!

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