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back to article Microsoft embraces another Linux company

Another day, another company developing Linux-based tech falls into line with Microsoft's intellectual property wonks. Japanese Flash maker I-O Data Device Inc has agreed to cough up an undisclosed sum of cash to Microsoft under a Linux software deal. This is the latest such agreement Microsoft has made with a tech company that …

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WTF?

this is a title

"Microsoft has a strong track record of collaboration with companies running Linux-based offerings, and this agreement is a reflection of our commitment to partner with industry leaders around the world"

What, you mean you've found a way to charge them for it? Despite it not being your product?

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Anonymous Coward

is this a title

It's called a Protection Racket.

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Unhappy

Only

"Despite it not being your product?"

Except that if it uses FAT, it is MS' product and patents apply. This may be yet another example of blatant stupidity on the part of the USPTO (are there actually any counter examples ?), but it is what it is.

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Gates Horns

This is a title

It used to be illegal when the Mafia did it. How times change.

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Anonymous Coward

this isn't a title

I didn't know that"partner with" means "ram up the arse", maybe in Redmond

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Oh Yes.

It does to my Partner.

....Sorry I couldn't resist.

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Anonymous Coward

Ceci n'est pas un titre

That has been the correct meaning of the sentence since time immemorial, or at least since IBM started using it.

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Anonymous Coward

Probably something to do with

file systems.

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FAIL

Sell Out

How many different filesystems does Linux support? And this I O Data company couldn't pick one for their product that WASN'T (possibly) covered by a Microsoft patent?

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Linux

filesystems

If your product is a file server, say, then one which is Windows-compatible is a good idea. (Although not in my house.)

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Linux

Re : filesystems

If it's a fileserver it doesn't NEED to support Windows filesystems. My SUSE fileserver uses ext3 but worked fine (*) with Windows boxes using Samba. I guess if you wanted to plug a FAT USB drive in that might be a different matter

* I'm an all Linux operation now

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WTF?

Microsoft compatible?

Um... if it's a self contained file server (say a box that has it's own internal hard drive and connects to a Windows/Mac/Linux machine via a network) then it doesn't make any different what filesystem is on there.

My old server was running Debian Linux and had a few drives setup for LVM and they were formatted in JFS format. I had no problems accessing the files on Windows as it was Samba which did mysterious voodoo to allow Windows to talk to the Linux box. As far as Windows was concerned, it was just another Windows machine.

Same goes for my current server, formatted to ext3, and my laptop which is formatted to ext4. I'm running Samba so Windows sees the shares perfectly well.

So unless someone is connecting say an external hard drive from which is shared between a server and a Windows box then it doesn't really matter what format is used as long as Linux supports it (and Linux supports a whole load of file systems). Heck, you can even get an ext2/3 driver for Windows!

Rob

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Anonymous Coward

orthogonal argument

If my product is a file server then it's the wire protocol that needs to be compatible. Samba takes care of that, and thanks to the EU there shouldn't be any patent liability. Windows will never see the filesystem, so you can use anything you want.

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Alert

Irrelevant

The underlying filesystem of a fileserver is important only to the server itself. You can have a linux fileserver using ext3 to store files and a windows client will be able to access any file allowed - the client is talking to the server, not the filesystem.

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Gates Horns

BS

"Microsoft has a strong track record of collaboration with companies running Linux-based offerings"

That's one way of putting it, I suppose. Howcome I-O data had to pay *them*? Supping with the Devil requires a long spoon...

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Gates Horns

What bridge?

Aside from what M$ believes who can say that M$ owns anything.

It smacks of bridge and various other landmark dealings in creative real estate.

This also harks back to the day, maybe even last week, when Microsoft took what they wanted and dared anyone to sue them.

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Silver badge

Unspecified amount

Thanks to Bilski: $0.02

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K T
Coat

Somebody had to

We are Microsoft. We will add your financial distinctiveness to our own. Your accounts will adapt to ours. Resistance is futile.

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N2
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What ever next?

Theyll probably claim that Microsoft invented Linux!

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Bronze badge

Well

They did have their own version of Unix at one time. But I think they sold it.

Funny thing though.. They seem quite keen on telling everybody who will listen about the deals, but keep quiet about the actual patents that are being cross licensed. Could very well be that MS are the ones getting patent coverage, not the target companies.

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Gates Horns

Indeed

"They did have their own version of Unix at one time."

Yes, Xenix.

"But I think they sold it."

Yes, to SCO.

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Gates Horns

Nice company you got here...

Wouldn't want anything bad to happen to it, would you? You wouldn't want all your nice chairs thrown about by a big,sweaty bald guy, capisci?

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The same trick again

This will happen often from now on.

Every time M$ is asked a patent agreement from another company, in case this company uses any kind of Open Source software, the deal will only be made if she accepts that a press release will be made, stating that Linux or OSS was covered by the agreement, and paid for that.

Otherwise, M$ will charge them more money.

The same scheme will be applied when M$ find a OSS user violating some of their true patents.

I doubt that they will ever try to sue any OSS user, out of the above mentioned conditions.

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Anonymous Coward

The same trick again

This will happen often from now on.

Every time M$ is asked a patent agreement from another company, in case this company uses any kind of Open Source software, the deal will only be made if she accepts that a press release will be made, stating that Linux or OSS was covered by the agreement, and paid for that.

Otherwise, M$ will charge them more money.

The same scheme will be applied when M$ find a OSS user violating some of their true patents.

I doubt that they will ever try to sue any OSS user, out of the above mentioned conditions.

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Megaphone

So do you want to be anonymous....

...or not?

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Gates Halo

Everybody has a price...

I bet for the right amount even Torvalds would let MS say they invented Linux. Principles don't pay the bills or keep you warm at night.

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here we are

Gleened from these very pages:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/12/04/ms_tightens_ip_grip/

I suspect this is the same cause for legal wranglings with TomTom.

There's no reason your Lights Out embedded linux or whatever environment should HAVE to use FAT, or any other filesystem - it will be the only one using it.

Fileservers though... Fairy 'nuff, in _normal_ operation the internal filesystem shouldn't matter (unless it doesn't support extensible metadata used by the clients).

But, when the fit hits the shan, unless your server is using RAID5, any customer would naturally expect the ability to remove the drives from failed server, and read them using another host machine. You don't want to discover that your precious data is effectively 'encrypted' in some obscure filesystem.

I'm not saying ext3 is obscure, of course I'm just highlighting a flaw in your logical thinking.

That said, I also wouldn't be overly pleased with my "server" using FAT or FAT32. neither of which have particularly robust error correction hashes

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Anonymous Coward

*cough*

Ahem ... ZFS, anyone?

http://features.techworld.com/storage/2744/zfs--the-future-of-file-systems/

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Anonymous Coward

I love this FS

For those uncertain about RAID 5 at home, here are some short experiments I did with RAID using ZFS and memory sticks ...

http://linuxcrusade.blogspot.com/2009/12/zfs-in-action.html

A ZFS pool can be exported form an OS and imported in to another OS that supports ZFS.

...and for those who didn't hear the news a couple of months ago, NetApp failed to patent troll ZFS - http://www.sun.com/lawsuit/zfs/

Granted, the days when cameras and sat navs need more than the 2TB of storage on board that basic FAT 32 provides is a bit of a way off yet, but talk of ZFS on Windows has been fermenting for three years. It should pop up at some point.

Indeed, if it did, the Linux would likely be the only OS to lose out.

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Grenade

No-one will read this if I put OS/2 in the title

I use OS/2 every day all day in my office and have done for years and find no reason to move on.

On where?

MS adopted a strategy of targeting developers of OS/2 killer apps. Taking them over... and out.

None of you will have heard of Faxworks (now PMFax).

Your loss.

Cheers

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Gates Horns

M$nOw WhitE and the 7 Dwarfs !

Linux is Linus And USPTO is Ours

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Google Android Phones

Strange how MS hasn't yet gone after Google for FAT patent infringement on the Linux kernel in Android phones.

I guess that way we'd finally find out if the MS patents were enforceable, and that would potentially be the end of this FUD patent protection racket. Something I doubt MS would want.

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Err...

Considering that noone knows which patents have been licenced, why is everyone presuming that they aren't legitimate patents and MS are just playing bully-boys to the licencee? There have been some pretty big companies that have paid licence fees to MS, I have to presume that they know what they have licenced, rather than just paying money to MS for unspecified licences. Now, that means that the question is:

Knowing that MS have patents and that they wanted to implement the tech in the patent, why would they pay if the patent wasn't valid or enforceable?

There are a few possible answers:

1) They are scared of being sued by MS. (Not likely in the case of the larger companies)

2) The licence fees are tiny, so why bother with going to court. (Unlikely)

3) MS have a legitimate claim to the tech to be licenced. (Fairly likely)

There may also be an element of all three.

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Anonymous Coward

I'd go with your 1 + 2

otherwise Microsoft and the victim would have no trouble at all telling what is the patent in question.

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Megaphone

Come on ...

Will some manufacturer ... any manucfacturer ... any device that has to be shipped with drivers or software anyway ... PLEASE.... PLEASE .... PLEASE ... use something other than FAT on your device and ship a windows file system driver for it.

PLEASE .... somebody ... put the world out of this FAT obsessed nightmare and start the ball rolling on us poor punters being saved the odd cent or two.

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Unhappy

No end

Haven't you noticed, NTFS is the new FAT. It will never end.

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