@ Francis Irving -and others
Your comment is fail upon fail upon fail
"Why is Stallman letting the open source community be blackmailed by Microsoft - shouldn't an open source patent pool be defending us against this kind of threat by now?"
Hey, let's take the chance of being sued to oblivion, we might be able to retaliate? What kind of logic is that?
"Meanwhile, everyone continues to migrate to proprietary applications on the web (how many hackers do you know who would never use closed-source Outlook, but love closed-source GMail?)"
I think you made a typo somewhere, but I get the idea. You're comparing a proprietary "cloud" application built on open software with a proprietary desktop client (which is dreadful, btw) built on proprietary software. How can you draw the conclusion you seem to draw, the mind boggles. And no tech-literate person in their right mind would use Outlook. GMail is not advised, but almost OK for the most mundane stuff (no, I don't use it). So to your question ("how many hackers wouldn't touch Outlook with a bargepole but would consider using GMail"), the answer is: plenty. A metric fuckton, I would say. Most of them actually.
"and basic features like suspend/resume continue not to be certified for Linux on common laptops"
I don't understand what you mean by "certified", but hibernate and suspend work well in Linux on every laptop I've come by.
"(the Unix geeks I know seem to be slowly but surely fleeing to OSX)."
You know UNIX geeks that are not very representative of the UNIX geeks community then. Especially if they are fleeing because they can't get hibernate to work on their Linux laptop. But maybe by "UNIX geek" you really mean "Windows user who fled Vista and used Ubuntu once"?
And (to others) yes, published standards apparently can still be patented. Everyone can build a compiler, but MS can pull the plug at any time. It can be in 2 month or in 20 years (see TomTom), but they can. Actually the problem is not monetary. It's just that despite what MS tries to make you believe, C# is not, and will never be, an "open" thing. It is open as long as MS lets it open, which is the very definition of "proprietary". As such, no C# compiler should be included in free software packages. I don't see a problem with Mono going in the "non-free" Debian repositories, but I would certainly not code open source stuff in C#.