Barnes and Noble is on the Warpath

Barnes and Noble has filed counterclaims against M$ asserting that M$ “is misusing these patents as part of a scheme to try to eliminate or marginalize the competition to its own Windows Phone 7 mobile device operating system posed by the open source AndroidTM operating system and other open source operating systems. Microsoft’s conduct directly harms both competition for and consumers of eReaders, smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile electronic devices, and renders Microsoft’s patents unenforceable.”
Further, Barnes and Noble describe M$’s actions as trying to tax the world of IT:
“3. Microsoft did not invent, research, develop, or make available to the public mobile devices employing the AndroidTM Operating System and other open source operating systems, but nevertheless seeks to dominate something it did not invent. On information and belief, Microsoft intends to take and has taken definite steps towards making competing operating systems such as the AndroidTM Operating System unusable and unattractive to both consumers and device manufacturers through exorbitant license fees and absurd licensing restrictions that bear no relation to the scope and subject matter of its own patents.

4. On information and belief, to perpetuate this scheme, Microsoft and its agents, including spokesman and chief executive officer Mr. Steven Ballmer, have publicly stated that through its patents Microsoft can dominate, control, and exclude from the market the AndroidTM Operating System, other open source operating systems, and open source applications such as Google Chrome. These statements are unjustified in view of the scope of Microsoft’s patents. Moreover, neither Microsoft nor Mr. Ballmer has ever identified to the American public the basis for these grand assertions of dominance.”

Further, Barnes and Noble accuses M$ of using NDAs to hide its claims during negotiations in order to keep the FUD strong.
Barnes & Noble and Microsoft then met on July 20, 2010, at the New York offices of Barnes & Noble.com. The meeting was attended by Dick Greeley, Director of Licensing for the Microsoft Intellectual Property Licensing Office, Carl Brandt, Associate General Counsel for IP and Litigation for Microsoft, Tony Astarita, Vice President of Product Development for Barnes & Noble.com, Bradley A. Feuer, then Acting General Counsel of Barnes & Noble, and outside counsel for Barnes & Noble. At the meeting, Microsoft alleged that the NookTM infringed six patents purportedly owned by Microsoft. Microsoft had prepared claim charts purportedly detailing the alleged infringement but insisted that it would only share the detailed claim charts if Barnes & Noble agreed to sign a non-disclosure agreement (“NDA”) that would cover the claim charts as well as all other aspects of the parties’ discussions. Noting that the patents were public and that the infringement allegations pertained to Barnes & Noble’s public product, Barnes & Noble refused to sign an NDA. Insisting that an NDA was necessary, Microsoft discussed the alleged infringement on a high-level basis only. Microsoft nevertheless maintained that it possessed patents sufficient to dominate and entirely preclude the use of the AndroidTM Operating System by the NookTM. Microsoft demanded an exorbitant royalty (on a per device basis) for a license to its patent portfolio for the NookTM device and at the end of the meeting Microsoft stated that it would demand an even higher per device royalty for any device that acted “more like a computer” as opposed to an eReader.
Further, the magnitude of “the tax” was more than M$ charges for a licence for Phoney 7:
“After sending the proposed license agreement, Microsoft confirmed the shockingly high licensing fees Microsoft was demanding, reiterating its exorbitant per device royalty for NookTM, and for the first time demanding a royalty for Nook ColorTM which was more than double the per device royalty Microsoft was demanding for NookTM. On information and belief, the license fees demanded by Microsoft are higher than what Microsoft charges for a license to its entire operating system designed for mobile devices, Windows Phone 7.”
Further, Barnes and Noble assert that M$ misled USPTO by not disclosing prior art in the field as they are required by law. This taints M$’s entire patent portfolio.

You can read it all at GROKLAW.

Thus the mighty giant of IT has become a patent-troll, suing the world claiming ownership to stuff it does not own and attempting to enslave the world by taxing other people’s products. No doubt this case will drag on for most of a decade while the rotting corpse of M$’s dominance in IT stinks up the place.

It sounds to me like Barnes and Noble intends to fight and is unlikely to accept a settlement on M$’s usual terms. The attempt to use NDAs to suppress information about the patents in dispute is absolutely disgusting. If there were a proper case of infringement of patents, the patent holder has a duty to disclose the infringement to prevent the world from infringing or continuing to infringe. This is not about patents but an attempt to stifle competitioin. The tyrant has no clothes.

UPDATE A blogger has written an article on how a “software-patent” may be reduced to mathematics.

see Paul

That is higher-level stuff. It becomes even more obvious when viewed in Assembler with a one-to-one relation to machine-language. Computers are logical processors. Programmes are lists of logical operations. Structures are just patterns of bits.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
This entry was posted in technology. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Barnes and Noble is on the Warpath

  1. oldman says:

    “Actually, Oldman, I’d be happy to talk specifics besides your obviously unique and frankly unbelievable case. ”

    Then

    “These things promote gnu/linux and are independent of the fact that non free software is immoral and impractical because it can not be proven free of malicious features and often contains them.”

    Why should I bother Mr. Twitter with discussing my requirements with you if you don’t believe what I am saying. I am especially disinclined, when I hear software described as malicious and immoral, because it pretty much seems to guarantee that you have no interest in my concerns and issues.

    Am I worng?

    “Instead of dealing with these issues, you run in ever expanding circles claiming that free software is unable to do so much as play music. Really?”

    If you have looked carefully, you would note that What I said was that I can play back fully notated musical score with realistic sounding instruments in a simulated concert hall or save it to disk as either a wav file or an mp3 file.

    Were I a musician who wanted only wanted a digital form of a tape studio and who was happy capturing my own performance via MIDI keyboard and then performing the music by attaching a midi interface to the computer and then driving external synthesizers through external reverb gear, than a distro like Musix might meet my needs. IN fact a fifteen years ago, I might have been thrilled with the current state of FOSS.

    The problem is, Mr. TWitter, is that I now have a set of applications that allow me to compose on digital paper, on a portable, anywhere I wish, No external synthesizers, no keyboard. I can produce a demo disk on the spot.

    And the FOSS solution that you would no doubt offer up at an alternative, is to be blunt cr-p in comparison.

  2. twitter says:

    Actually, Oldman, I’d be happy to talk specifics besides your obviously unique and frankly unbelievable case. You ignored the cases I gave which included personal experience with hundreds of average users and well known industry examples. Of course, Android is making a case all of it’s own for linux as powerful and easy to use. My Vista Failure logs are well documented and referenced. These things promote gnu/linux and are independent of the fact that non free software is immoral and impractical because it can not be proven free of malicious features and often contains them. Instead of dealing with these issues, you run in ever expanding circles claiming that free software is unable to do so much as play music. Really?

  3. oldman says:

    “”I don’t know who you are but I doubt you deserve a royal WE as a reward for your trolling. Market demand, when free, seems to favor free software like Android. You spend a lot of time here saying bad things about free software and promoting Windows. It’s not very convincing.”

    Perhaps the royal WE was a bit much – I should have said desktop computer users like me. However what I find a bit much is the temerity of your responses to my examples. You dont give counter agruements like Pog does, you just make statements like

    “People should not chose a malicious, malware infested OS because they might get better coupons out of it.”

    and

    “Any combination of these nitpicking details driving OS choice is a case of the tail wagging the dog. Users are better off in the free world.”

    Mr. Twitter, where do you get off dismissing someone’s requirements for using a computer as irrelevant because YOU don’t like the operating system! Do you have a substitute program for this function, or do you just expect the person to do without? Try that one on your boss in the doctor’s office (or YOUR wife for that matter) and see how far it gets you Mr. Twitter.

    Whether one is better off in the “free world” is concerned, please feel free to explain to me why I should spend more time to get less done than I do now, because that has been the consistent reality of my experiences attempting to get work done using FOSS tools vs. using commercial ones. Please feel free to explain to me or any musician for that matter, how we are better forgoing our current abilities to play back our musical scores just to save the money that (unlike you) we have no trouble spending in the first place?

    In the end, I promote nothing and certainly do not expect to convince anyone here. It is YOU and Pog who promote a linux desktop and and FOSS tools* regardless of their quality or utility, or even, in your case, in spite of the desires of the would be owner of the computer.

    I gave you an honest answer outlining why I do not use FOSS dekstop tools as my primary toolkit, and you simply dismissed them without even trying to understand my needs. Your proposal for using the combination of LaTex and gnuplot as a substiture for Crystal Reports for building my reports was particularly illuminating. Had you proposed the open source business intelligence reporting tool BIRT (http://www.eclipse.org/birt/phoenix/) , I would have respected your opinion more. BIRT was the tool that i used to use, and which I gave up on because the features of crystal reports just had it beat by a country mile.

    However, As it standsnow, as far as I am concerned, you arguments are simply made from ignorance even of the tools that you promote.

    And you are as much noise to be ignored as as Mr. IP Bear.

  4. twitter says:

    Oldman said,

    “I am not unreasonable Mr. Twitter. I simply have requirements that the current Linux application set will not meet, period.”

    It is unreasonable of you to advocate Windows use based on the crazy edge case scenarios you labor under. Latex and gnuplot scripts would do better with your report situation than a spreadsheet, but quibbling over the details of that case loses sight of the fact that no one but you are tasked with that job. The coupon site example is equally absurd. People should not chose a malicious, malware infested OS because they might get better coupons out of it.

    The larger picture is that Microsoft has already lost the network effect that creates the nasty little edges you talk about and they never were worth it. No current Windows platform has more than 30% of the market, so websites and equipment makers are forced to target real standards or the business loses money. The tools available for Windows rarely are as good as those available for gnu/linux, but they come with all the strings and costs of Windows. Any combination of these nitpicking details driving OS choice is a case of the tail wagging the dog. Users are better off in the free world.

    You also say,

    “Ultimately, your problem pog, is that WE are the paying customers that are being courted by all concerned.”

    I don’t know who you are but I doubt you deserve a royal WE as a reward for your trolling. Market demand, when free, seems to favor free software like Android. You spend a lot of time here saying bad things about free software and promoting Windows. It’s not very convincing.

  5. oldman says:

    “Free is not about price but freedom. Having to do the silly things that M$ wants users to do just to keep them locked-in is too high a price to pay for using a PC that we purchase. Here is a list of silly things that do nothing for end-users that are required by M$ to use PCs that they purchase. People who use that other OS willingly make slaves of themselves:”

    So if I and others like me don’t want to use FOSS software that I consider inferior even if it is free or if I want to use a piece of software for which no equivalent exists in FOSS, and we FREELY CHOOSE to pay for the software that works for us, We are slaves.

    Is that what you are saying Pog?

    “Keeping track of the damned certificate of authenticity. I know lots of people who cannot even do this because the codes are too long and cryptic. The stickers are often in inconvenient locations. Let M$ hire its own clerks. End-users should not have to be M$’s watchdogs.”

    A non issue Pog. My certificate of authenticity with its key is pasted to my system on a label. This is how dell has done it for years, which you would know if you purchased systems instead of rolling your own.

    “Re-re-rebooting PCs just because the registry exists. I and others want to use our PCs, not reboot them. If time is money the re-re-reboots can be accounted and even at $1 apiece it is a huge cost per machine per year. We should be able to have our PCs work for us and not for M$.”

    Another non issue. My Desktop reboots once per month. My laptop boots in 20 seconds. And oh BTW, YOUR system will need to reboot as well in order to apply security related kernel updates. Or do you not bother to update your system because you feel that linux is invulnerable?

    “We want our PCs to work for us and not for criminals. Let M$ produce an OS with greater immunity for malware instead of forcing people to buy it because M$ makes it the only choice in retail stores.”

    When I last checked, it was not a crime to purchase microsoft software, and it definitely was not a crime to purchase the software sold by ISV’s that run on microsoft platforms. This being the case you have no grounds for even suggesting that my PC works for anyone else than ME!

    “If M$ sells hundreds of millions of PCs per year with their licence aboard, they should charge less because the world can replace the software M$ provides for much less. Effectively M$ is overcharging and purchasers are paying M$ for nothing. Further, many of the applications used on PCs are used only because others who are locked-in use them. This is another place where users are over-paying.”

    And yet the world chooses to continue to purchase commercial software based on Microsoft’s offerings, and they DO choose it Pog. Furthermore, just who are you Pobert Pogson, to think that you have the right to set the price of goods or dictate its terms? The market does this, not you.

    IF you don’t like it, you should not only keep doing what you are doing but you should make sure that anyone you recommend Linux to is directed to an ISV who sells systems pre-installed with Linux on them. Direct enough business an ISV’s way and you may get their attention. But if you insist on continuing to promote the reuse of old computers and building your own computer as you do now, dont complain when retailers don’t want to sell Linux based systems.

    “Using a PC is about processing information, not keeping M$ on welfare.”

    I use my PC to process far more information that you do Pog, and I have no problem spending my money on the software that gives ME the best bang for the buck. I gladly pay the ISV’s that provide me with those tools., because their offerings help me be more productive.

  6. Free is not about price but freedom. Having to do the silly things that M$ wants users to do just to keep them locked-in is too high a price to pay for using a PC that we purchase. Here is a list of silly things that do nothing for end-users that are required by M$ to use PCs that they purchase. People who use that other OS willingly make slaves of themselves:

    Keeping track of the damned certificate of authenticity. I know lots of people who cannot even do this because the codes are too long and cryptic. The stickers are often in inconvenient locations. Let M$ hire its own clerks. End-users should not have to be M$’s watchdogs.
    Re-re-rebooting PCs just because the registry exists. I and others want to use our PCs, not reboot them. If time is money the re-re-reboots can be accounted and even at $1 apiece it is a huge cost per machine per year. We should be able to have our PCs work for us and not for M$.
    We want our PCs to work for us and not for criminals. Let M$ produce an OS with greater immunity for malware instead of forcing people to buy it because M$ makes it the only choice in retail stores.
    If M$ sells hundreds of millions of PCs per year with their licence aboard, they should charge less because the world can replace the software M$ provides for much less. Effectively M$ is overcharging and purchasers are paying M$ for nothing. Further, many of the applications used on PCs are used only because others who are locked-in use them. This is another place where users are over-paying.

    Using a PC is about processing information, not keeping M$ on welfare.

  7. oldman says:

    “However, I would not accept your evidence as typical of “normal” users. In my family there is no one that uses PCs as you do and everyone except the toddlers have their own PCs, sometimes in multiples. I have worked with thousands of people in education. None would make such demands on a PC.”

    Nonetheless I would submit that there are plenty of users that are more like me that you will accept delivery on. And even for those users who needs are not as demanding as mine, it only takes one unsupported application to undermine the viability of the Linux desktop.

    In the case of my wife, it was the firefox plug-in that allowed her to print coupons for groceries. There is a Mac version of the plug-in and a windows version of the plug-in, but no Linux version. Since one of the only things that she does with her pc is print these coupons, the Ubuntu loaded portable I tried to give her got re-paved over with windows XP Pro SP3. End of story.

    Ultimately, your problem pog, is that WE are the paying customers that are being courted by all concerned. It is you who with your insistence on paying nothing for software and keeping your hardware around until it collapses into dust that represents the non market. So long as we as custoomers outnumber you as a customer, there will be few to no desktop computers with linux preinstaleld in retail stores.

    “Applications are not holding back GNU/Linux. Retail shelf-space and lock-in do however, just as M$ planned and you, oldman, support.”

    I support what get my tasks done on MY terms. I do not accept as you seem to what I consider to be an inferior solution just because it meets some ideological need, in your case the obliteration of microsoft.

    Thanks to Microsoft (and Apple) the stable of ISV’s that build solutions on their platforms, I have the applications that I need. Linux as a desktop does not have the applications that meet my needs. That is the end of the story.

    And whether you accept it or not, there are a hell of a lot of people like me who, unlike you are actually willing to pay for what we want.

    It is not my concern that I cant purchase a desktop with linux installed because I can run any version of Linux I want in a VM under windows. In fact, it actually works better than if I would give Linux control of the bare metal. running as a VM, I’ve rarely had any problems associated with what some call the “biannual forced death march”

  8. Thanks for your comment, oldman. I don’t doubt that you find that other OS advantageous. However, I would not accept your evidence as typical of “normal” users. In my family there is no one that uses PCs as you do and everyone except the toddlers have their own PCs, sometimes in multiples. I have worked with thousands of people in education. None would make such demands on a PC.

    Gaming is often trotted out as an example where GNU/Linux lacks applications (games). However, if you try to measure the size of the “serious gamer” population, it is tiny so does not really hold back GNU/Linux in a meaningful way. Same with Intuit, Adobe or AutoDesk. They serve small slices of PC usage. Mainstream folks can use GNU/Linux quite successfully. Studies confirm that GNU/Linux thin clients can meet 80-90% of use even in business where specialized applications abound. The most specialized applications are made in-house and can be readily ported. Applications are not holding back GNU/Linux. Retail shelf-space and lock-in do however, just as M$ planned and you, oldman, support.

    The few real short-comings of GNU/Linux are rapidly disappearing thanks to rapidly increasing usage. Actual users appreciate GNU/Linux but they do place new demands on it. It’s all good.

  9. oldman says:

    “I think you are being unreasonably perfectionist about software or unreasonably obstructionist. GNU/Linux worked wonders for me as a graduate student, an independent contractor and in my current job in a doctor’s office.”

    I’m glad that Linux worked wonders for you Mr. Twitter. As a secondary desktop it works quite adequately for me in the job I perform as part of a team that manager 400+ servers (300) of which are running enterprise line of business applications on Linux. I’ve been working with Unix and Linux for over 30 years now and I probably use or have used all of applications that you find so wonderful. In fact I’ve probably done more work with linux as a server than you ever have.

    Unfortunately I have other requirements both personal and professional that the desktop applications running on Linux simply are inadequate for. Data manipulation tasks that I can perform just using the remove duplicate record function in Microsoft excel would take a combination of pre processing scripts (perl being my scripting language of choice) and Open office to accomplish. The reports that I create using crystal reports 2008 would be an order of magnitude more laborious to create with any of the report generating tools available in the FOSS world. And the powershell script that I created to extract information about the current state of our VMWare based virtual infrastructure using vendor supplied powershell extensions and then use COM object automation of Excel to directly put the extracted data into a spreadsheet format for presentation was created in a fraction of the time that a similar project I had using Perl on Linux took – And the tools I used (VMWare PowerCLI, microsoft powershell, and Quest powerGui) were all free to boot.

    As an amateur musician, I regularly use the combination of MakeMusic Finale 2009 and the Garritan Personal Orchestra, Garritan Marching Band and East West Symphonic Choir sampler libraries to go from notated music to a fully rendered quasi realistic sound orchestral performance that is suitable to master to CD. There are NO applications even close in function to this combination available for Linux.

    I am not unreasonable Mr. Twitter. I simply have requirements that the current Linux application set will not meet, period.

    And their are quite a few other like me for whom that is true as well.

    “Now please stop telling people to use Windows, you do them a great disservice.”

    As I said to Mr. IPbear, I only respond to Robert Pogson, the owner of this site. He can ban me at any time that he wishes. You on the other hand, have no standing here – You are nothing more and nothing less than a poster like myself.

    I will NOT accept any attempt to muzzle me when I tell MY side of the story.

  10. twitter says:

    Oldman said:

    “those of use who wish to get certain tasks done both professional and personal, the applications that exist on linux just dont cut it, period.”

    I think you are being unreasonably perfectionist about software or unreasonably obstructionist. GNU/Linux worked wonders for me as a graduate student, an independent contractor and in my current job in a doctor’s office. Wall Street uses gnu/linux to keep the books, Google uses it to organize most of human knowledge, NASA uses it to guide spaceships, Apple and Sun used it to compile their software, Hollywood uses it to make movies and publishers use it to make books and news papers. I mention my wife and kids as examples of average Joes and Aunt Tildes. They use EEE PCs out of the box for everything they need and I don’t end up wasting my time trying to fix broken Microsoft junk. As far as I can see, there are no tasks gnu/linux can not handle except to “do this task exactly as I’ve always done it with Windows” but Microsoft’s “refresh cycles” make that impossible for Windows users too. Rather than admit the reality of gnu/linux, oldman, you sit here and tell people to use Microsoft’s new poison. How nice of you!

    There are, sadly, a few vendors who waste their time with Microsoft – it costs them dearly in terms of reliability – but free software is able to deal with it. Where I can’t put the load on free software, it is still easier to virtualize Microsoft so that I don’t have to take care of physical machines.

    Mr. Pogson’s experience with Windows is typical, as is most service people’s. My family’s placid computing is a stark contrast to the hundreds of people I helped fix 98 and XP as a retail computer repair and service person. No one can fix Microsoft’s junk, it’s designed to fail and be replaced.

    Here you have some small point but I think you will regret having asked,

    “unless you are working professionaly with current windows products as I do, how can you presume to comment on its reliability?”

    I don’t have to use Windows to know it sucks because other people have told me. I’m the curator of a Vista Failure Log and a Windows 7 Failure Log wich detail customer and industry dissatisfaction with modern versions of Windows. My collections of YouTube videos are probably more amusing than the Vista train wreck, but I think you get the point. Though fewer than 10% of businesses have made the Vista/Windows 7 mistake, we can all know exactly how bad it is by listening to them. The easy way to learn is to learn from the mistakes of others. I can easily extrapolate from my own experience and know that things have gotten worse, not better in Microsoft land. Now please stop telling people to use Windows, you do them a great disservice.

  11. oldman says:

    “The noise of cooling fans for multi-socket+multi-core servers choked with RAM and storage is obscene in a desktop situation.”

    I simply don’t know where you get this from Pog. There is more noise from the HVAC blowers in my office than there is from my Dell Studio xps desktop. In fact NONE of the computers I use, be it laptop of desktop, make much noise at all. But, then again, I don’t waste my time building computers out of cheap white box junk like you do – I buy them from companies like Dell who who can deliver a far better product at a cost I can live with.

    ” A modest thin client serving as an interface to such systems is the way to go. ”

    Yes indeed, in an enterprise or institutional setting thin clients we are investing in thin client based VDI. Our student labs will probably be virtualized and pr3esented using citrix technology., and I am the architect for a project to start up virtualized desktops for our training room and for consultants to log into. It is important to note however, than no one is going to propose removing everyone’s personal desktops are replacing them with thin clients. You just don’t get to undo 30 years of desktop computing overnight, nor do YOU get to tell someone how to get their job done. If profession X or senior analyst Y has a high end workstation and can demonstrate their productivity with dedicated hardware, your opinions wouldn’t count.

  12. The major use of PCs by consumers is content consumption.

    In business there tends to be more content creation because products are being produced and resources managed, but GNU/Linux can do that as well or better than that other OS.

    A server is a better tool than most PCs for doing lots of jobs: database, file-serving, archiving/backup, number-crunching, and clustering/virtualization. People who are really serious about content creation use clusters of servers to get the job done. e.g Pixar, super-computers, search engines, databases. No single PC can match the throughput of a bunch of good servers working together. A lot of “normal” ATX cases are limited to a few hard drives, for instance. Some servers can hold more than a dozen. The noise of cooling fans for multi-socket+multi-core servers choked with RAM and storage is obscene in a desktop situation. A modest thin client serving as an interface to such systems is the way to go. There are far more situations where a modest PC will do than where a power-house is desirable. One counter-example often cited is gaming, but statistics show that is less than 10% of PCs. Same with PhotoShop or AutoCAD etc.

  13. oldman says:

    “Thus, we can gripe about past performance and the market seems to agree the value is not there for that other OS. This last quarter, operating income for that other OS was only $2.7billion and $1.3billion of that was “unearned”, coming from products/services not yet delivered. Nearly 90million PCs were shipped in that period of time and they made only $30 each. Only a few years ago they were making $50 each. ”

    I believe that a case can more convincingly be made that the world wide economic slowdown that started in 2007 has more to do with this. In countries where business needs and not ideological concerns are foremost, commercial software running on windows based computers is the norm.

    “This year or next, Linux will ship on more personal computing devices than that other OS. The market is speaking. ”

    The market is speaking, but its not saying what you think it is. the explosion of smart mobile devices based on a new commercial operating system known as Android is primarily a content consumption market where people will mostly be paying for commercial software. Most people in this market will give a damn about Linux, FOSS, or any of the community’s concerns.

    “The world wants small cheap computers and they will get them one way or the other. What oldman and M$ want to sell does not matter.”

    No Pog, YOU want small cheap computers because it is your belief that they are “all people need”. What you seem to dismiss is the possibility that someone might actually benefit from having a computer that is not small and cheap, but which is properly sized to get the job done.

    As far as sales are concerned, you well know that I sell nothing Pog. In contrast, your entire blog is one big “sales job” for what you believe in.

  14. @oldman:
    Without using that other OS, one can observe that

    • M$’s share of units shipped has declined sharply,
    • M$’s profit per unit shipped has fallen over the last few years, and
    • Linux’s share of units shipped is accelerating dramatically.

    Thus, we can gripe about past performance and the market seems to agree the value is not there for that other OS. This last quarter, operating income for that other OS was only $2.7billion and $1.3billion of that was “unearned”, coming from products/services not yet delivered. Nearly 90million PCs were shipped in that period of time and they made only $30 each. Only a few years ago they were making $50 each. This year or next, Linux will ship on more personal computing devices than that other OS. The market is speaking. If the OEMs and retailers of “PCs” would not sell what consumers wanted, new OEMs rose up to do so. The world wants small cheap computers and they will get them one way or the other. What oldman and M$ want to sell does not matter.

  15. oldman says:

    “I’m always interested (but rarely surprised) at how so many Microsoft boosters have such basic literacy skills.”

    I’m never surprised when Linux boosters think that an attempted putdown substitutes for a debate.

    Do you have anything to actually contribute to this discussion?

  16. oldman says:

    “I replaced Windows for myself and my family ten years ago and have been much better off for it.”

    And thats fine, for you, Mr. Twitter. For those of use who wish to get certain tasks done both professional and personal, the applications that exist on linux just dont cut it, period.

    As an aside, unless you are working professionaly with current windows products as I do, how can you presume to comment on its reliability?

  17. Mike Brown says:

    > Its microsofts IP … [etc]

    I’m always interested (but rarely surprised) at how so many Microsoft boosters have such basic literacy skills. (And I don’t mean computer literacy skills either.)

  18. oe says:

    Gotta definitely go buy myself a Nook….

  19. twitter says:

    Microsoft is a patent troll, oldman, because they don’t really have a product. People call it Phoney 7 because none of the major carriers will touch a warmed over WinCE device. In this case, Microsoft takes patent trolling to a new level by refusing to reveal the patents in question. This is a naked case of judicial extortion.

    Something that seems to have escaped Pogson and you is that B&N also claim coercive monopoly. Nokia’s public dedication of patents to extorting Android is an illegal trust agreement to stifle competition.

    Microsoft is forced to these measures because their own product is bloated garbage. Cell phones and tablets do what most people want computers to do and it’s killing the old Wintel monopoly. It had to happen sooner or later, PCs were doomed by Moore’s law to go the way of pocket calculators. Microsoft and Intel colluded to force ever more bloated software on the public in a planned obsolescence scheme that makes GM look positively angelic, though also bankrupt. The scheme is busted and we should not allow them to rescue themselves by abusing the courts. I replaced Windows for myself and my family ten years ago and have been much better off for it.

  20. Ҥ 284. Damages

    Upon finding for the claimant the court shall award the claimant damages adequate to compensate for the infringement, but in no event less than a reasonable royalty for the use made of the invention by the infringer, together with interest and costs as fixed by the court.
    When the damages are not found by a jury, the court shall assess them. In either event the court may increase the damages up to three times the amount found or assessed. Increased damages under this paragraph shall not apply to provisional rights under section 154 (d) of this title.
    The court may receive expert testimony as an aid to the determination of damages or of what royalty would be reasonable under the circumstances.”

    See, M$ cannot set its licensing fee so high as to exclude competition. That is not the legal purpose of a patent. The fees have to be reasonable. It is not reasonable to charge more than the licensing fee of Phoney 7 for a tiny fraction of the code in Android that might infringe some of the patents in question.

  21. oldman says:

    “Charging more for a handful of features than Phoney 7 licensing fees is absurd and makes no business sense.”

    Why?

    Its microsofts IP. Nokia got “caught” using microsoft IP in their product. Micorosft as the owner they get to call the shots on its use and set the fees as THEY see fit.

    “The actions of M$ attempting to prevent use of Android rather than just cashing in on inventiveness is a red flag.”

    Actually Barnes and Noble opened themselves up to this when they went ito the market without checking. perhaps they, like you, decided that microsofts patents were bushwah, and are taking a calculated risk that they can win this.

    That may be a very stupid and costly move.

    “I would not be surprised to see a fund set up to support the actions globally”

    I would be very surprised so see such a thing. Any company who has their own software patents tio protect isnt going to help an IP violator.

    Again, we shall see.

  22. Even if B&N lose the suit, they can get the court to rule on “fair and reasonable” licensing fees. Charging more for a handful of features than Phoney 7 licensing fees is absurd and makes no business sense. Further, there is a great probability that this matter could trigger further anti-trust action. The actions of M$ attempting to prevent use of Android rather than just cashing in on inventiveness is a red flag. Once the world sees this an ant-hill will be stirred. Even if the patents are valid in whole or in part, M$ is mis-using the patents.

    I would also be willing to bet that Google is standing behind B&N. I would not be surprised to see a fund set up to support the actions globally. M$ has a lot of enemies and the world will be harmed if M$’s action prevails.

  23. oldman says:

    “The tyrant has no clothes.”

    I think that kind of statement is excessive, Pog. Microsoft is the major platform for most of the desktop commercial applications and produces the major development tools in use by ISV’s. Attempting to ignore this fact doesnt do much for your arguement.

    No doubt, Microsoft also has numerous software patents to their name. Whatever you or barnes and noble thinks of those patents, they are both legal and as of now a reality. It is not being a patent troll to defend your property, in fact Microsoft pretty much HAS to do this in order to maintain the “integrity” of their patents.

    So Barnes and Nobles management chose not to take the easy way out. No doubt they thing that they are calling microsofts bluff, but the reality is that they may also get to try to defend themselves in court and to try and get the microsoft patents invalidated.

    We shall see how they fare.

Leave a Reply