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Barnes and Noble Caves to Microsoft 
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Post # 299703
Post Barnes and Noble Caves to Microsoft
It looks like MS has won another battle in the patent fight. http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57423957-75/barnes-noble-microsoft-ink-$300m-deal-on-e-reading/

I purchased a B&N Nook on Black Friday because I wanted to support them in their fight against MS patents. Now that they have signed a patent agreement and are starting a new ebook company with Microsoft, I feel used.

How long will this patent issue go on? Will anyone stand up to Microsoft and force them to declare which lines of code they own the patents on? Can anyone stand up to them? Or is Microsoft too big. Even as a user I would like to know if MS really does have patents or copyrights or any real rights that they are able to exhort fees from Android and Linux companies.

I read another interesting article today in which GM is using Linux for its infotainment center. It sounds like Toyota, Nissan, and others are also working on Linux systems. http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2012/05/automakers-betting-on-linux-for-future-infotainment-systems.html So will GM or someone else stand up to Microsoft? Microsoft is in the car computer business with Ford already. They want it all. At some point they will approach GM and others and demand payment for their code that they claim is in Linux. Will GM cave and just pay MS or will they fight for the system they have created without MS?

I long for the day that Linux is clear of any doubt whether on not MS code is in there. The sooner this gets to court and is settled the better. Why doesn't the Linux Foundation or someone put together a collition to take MS to court over this? This really needs to be settled. Microsoft is making way too much money on Android and Linux by claiming they own patents on it.


Wed May 09, 2012 7:42 pm
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Post # 299704
Post Re: Barnes and Noble Caves to Microsoft
The main problem is the government. I can not understand how Microsoft is not seen as a monopoly. The fact that they aren't is solely based on huge contributions to political entities. I'm ashamed.

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Post # 299706
Post Re: Barnes and Noble Caves to Microsoft
Time for me to be pilloried again on this subject which keeps coming up. MS engages in aggressive business practices which may be unsavory, but strictly speaking MS is not a monopoly.

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A monopoly (from Greek monos μόνος (alone or single) + polein πωλεῖν (to sell)) exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly

They engage in aggressive business practices which may be unsavory

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Wed May 09, 2012 8:07 pm
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Post # 299708
Post Re: Barnes and Noble Caves to Microsoft
richb wrote:
Time for me to be pilloried again on this subject which keeps coming up. MS engages in aggressive business practices which may be unsavory, but strictly speaking MS is not a monopoly.

Quote:
A monopoly (from Greek monos μόνος (alone or single) + polein πωλεῖν (to sell)) exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly

They engage in aggressive business practices which may be unsavory


I agree. The irony of it is, as long as Apple, Linux, or any other open source OS exist, they are not a Monopoly. What makes me most mad is the things our government gives patents out for. Most of the things MS has a patent on should not be patentable. It would be like if the guy that invented plumbing had a patent on 1/2" and 3/4" piping and every other company had to use a different size piping? What a nightmare that would have been.

I can't really blame MS. They are doing what ever they can do to increase their companies growth and profit. Even if the legalities of it are questionable from time to time. But some of their practices sure make me made.

I think what makes me the most mad is how they are able to say they own patents on Linux but are never forced to put forward which lines of code they have the patents on. Everyone just backs down and pays them. I'm surprised that Google hasn't pushed MS to reveal which patents they think they have. But then again, to my knowledge MS hasn't approached Google for writing Android. They go after the smaller fish that use it. But Google really should step up to the plate and defend those who are using their products. In this respect they are more evil than MS. If you use an MS product you know that MS is behind you and will defend their legal rights to the product. Google seems content to not worry about the legal rights of their product as long as the money is coming in.

Another thought comes to mind. Don't patents expire after 20 years? So how do we know the MS patents, there ever were any, haven't expired.


Wed May 09, 2012 8:44 pm
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Post # 299709
Post Re: Barnes and Noble Caves to Microsoft
richb wrote:
Time for me to be pilloried again on this subject which keeps coming up. MS engages in aggressive business practices which may be unsavory, but strictly speaking MS is not a monopoly.

Quote:
A monopoly (from Greek monos μόνος (alone or single) + polein πωλεῖν (to sell)) exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly

They engage in aggressive business practices which may be unsavory


Strictly speaking doesn't matter. Legally, one doesn't have to have 100% control of the market to me engaged in monopolistic practices, and that is what is illegal.

Microsoft was found to be a monopoly under the law, guilty of engaging in monopolistic practices, and a breakup was proposed. But before any remedies could be levied, the GWB DOJ caved and agreed to a settlement.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Microsoft

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Wed May 09, 2012 9:37 pm
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Post # 299711
Post Re: Barnes and Noble Caves to Microsoft
I am not a lawyer, just an English speaker. Pillory away.

The entire company was judged a monopoly or a product or practice they were engaging in?

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Wed May 09, 2012 9:45 pm
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Post # 299712
Post Re: Barnes and Noble Caves to Microsoft
richb wrote:
The entire company was judged a monopoly or a product or practice they were engaging in?


Yes.

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Wed May 09, 2012 10:21 pm
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Post # 299713
Post Re: Barnes and Noble Caves to Microsoft
uncle mark wrote:
Strictly speaking doesn't matter. Legally, one doesn't have to have 100% control of the market to me engaged in monopolistic practices, and that is what is illegal.

Microsoft was found to be a monopoly under the law, guilty of engaging in monopolistic practices, and a breakup was proposed. But before any remedies could be levied, the GWB DOJ caved and agreed to a settlement.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_v._Microsoft


Interesting read. I think your being a little too political by saying the GWB DOJ caved. I don't think it was a partisan issue. The court of Appeals overturned the case and found the first judge to be in violation of the Code of Conduct for US Judges. Besides, Microsoft is a much bigger supporter of the Democrat party than the Republican. Giving 3 times more to Dems than to Rep according to this website. http://www.campaignmoney.com/microsoft.asp It actually would have been in GWBs favor to break the monopoly. Sorry if I misread your reply.

Anyway, its an interesting read non-the-less. Especially seeing that it went all the way back to 1991. Its easy to forget how long MS has been at their games.

To answer Richs question, the entire company wasn't found to be a monopoly. Only that it was practicing monopolistic practices by bundling Explorer with the OS. The initial ruling was that they couldn't bundle Explorer or any other programs. It is too bad that ruling didn't stand. Although I wonder how much of a difference it really would have made. If the ruling had stood we wouldn't have Firefox now.

But in all honesty its not just the bundling that is the issue in my opinion. Thats definetly a part of it. But I think the bigger issue, as stated by Jean-Louis Gassée, CEO of Be Inc, in the article is "Microsoft's true anticompetitive clout was in the rebates it offered to OEMs preventing other operating systems from getting a foothold in the market". Of course now that MS has that power, the issue is does MS really have the patents they say they do. I think that even despite Microsofts monopolistic practices, they would fail as a company if it can be proven they do not have any patents to Linux. I think a lot more companies and organizations would gravitate towards Linux if they knew it was free and clear of any legal issues. Major companies just can not afford to take that risk.


Wed May 09, 2012 10:35 pm
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Post # 299714
Post Re: Barnes and Noble Caves to Microsoft
Fargo wrote:
Of course now that MS has that power, the issue is does MS really have the patents they say they do. I think that even despite Microsofts monopolistic practices, they would fail as a company if it can be proven they do not have any patents to Linux. I think a lot more companies and organizations would gravitate towards Linux if they knew it was free and clear of any legal issues. Major companies just can not afford to take that risk.


It's not up to anyone else to prove they don't, it's up to them to prove they do. (Besides, you can't prove a negative anyway.) And since the Linux source is there for anyone to see, it wouldn't be hard to prove, as long as the claims had merit.

All they've done is claim and threaten, and then play the protection racket game (see SuseNovell). All it will take is for them to take on Google or another big player that calls their bluff and their claims will crumble.

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Post # 299717
Post Re: Barnes and Noble Caves to Microsoft
I'd like to point out that having 90% or so of the market for operating systems isn't technically a monopoly. But it is anti-competitive in the extreme. Add that to the business practices they use and you have a real can of worms. One that no one seems willing to take on.

I agree that no settlements should be allowed unless the code involved is put forth. This is just the big guy with deep pockets using those deep pockets to wear down anyone that dares to stand up to them. I just don't have any real hope due to the system of justice and then there's the power of moneyed interests in the political arena.

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Thu May 10, 2012 1:45 am
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