Microsoft goes after TomTom -- and Linux

The Linux community has a message to Microsoft: Back off

But if Microsoft wants to push the matter, "The Linux Foundation is working closely with our partner the Open Invention Network, and our members, and is well prepared for any claims against Linux," he said. "For now, we are closely watching the situation and will remain ready to mount a Linux defense, should the need arise."

Jay Lyman, an analyst at The 451 Group, thinks that the lawsuit isn't really about open source. "I think it's interesting that Microsoft is going out of its way to say that this is not aimed at open source," he said. "It also stressed that it is 'TomTom's implementation of the Linux kernel' that's the focus of the infringement suit. Think back to when Microsoft announced its agreement with Novell and there were subtle indications about the value of IP protection from Microsoft for Linux users. That has largely died down and now the company is going to great lengths to minimize the focus or even mention of Linux and open source, not only in its response to me and others, but in its press release and court filings."

So what is Microsoft up to then? "I've been hearing about vigorous competition in both the automotive IT and GPS spaces, so perhaps this has more to do with staking out some ground there, as well as continuing the company's IP licensing strategy and business."

Said Updegrove: "The only reason to maybe have some concern is Linux-based netbooks and mobile devices -- that is a real concern to Microsoft, especially after their last quarter's numbers. That could be a reason why they might want to fire a load of FUD across the bows of the marketplace, particularly since many of the device makers are smaller companies that presumably don't have the kinds of in-place cross licenses that a Dell or HP would have in place with them."

Stephen O'Grady, a RedMonk analyst, is more cautious. He doesn't think "this is the long-awaited patent offensive against Linux that it's being made out to be in some quarters. That said, I strongly suspect that the circumstances around the litigation are anything but accidental. ... Microsoft understands well that it is walking a fine line between compelling respect for its patent portfolio and triggering a massive legal battle."

Gutierrez insists that the case is just about TomTom. "Our intention is to enter an [intellectual property] licensing agreement with TomTom. As we have said before, we are committed to licensing our IP on reasonable terms. But in the most exceptional cases, when a pragmatic business solution is not attainable, we will pursue litigation to protect both our innovations and the partner companies who license these innovations from us."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags MicrosoftLinuxGPStomtomautomotive IT

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?