yes, I understand that all new processors will be implemented entirely in software!
Imagine, you could download a new CPU off the interwebz. Awesome.
A top Microsoft legal eagle has moaned that Android smartphones and the like are profiting from cash that his bosses have invested in research and development. "These devices have moved from having a rudimentary phone system to being a full-fledged computer, with a sophisticated, modern operating system. In doing that, they …
1/ "...stood on the shoulder of companies like Microsoft"
Yes, "like" MS. That is, companies like AT&T, Sun, HP, Xerox etc. i.e - companies that have, over the years, been heavily involved in Unix dev. MS is a large tech company "like" these; but it has done nothing to improve Unix (and hence Linux that Android is built on); in fact it has waged a very very long campaign to destroy it.
2/ "Microsoft has invested for decades more money than anyone else in research and development directed toward the efficiency of operating systems"
Microsoft? Efficiency of the OS? I never thought I would ever see these two phrases in the same sentence! Some sort of Halloween joke maybe?
"2/ "Microsoft has invested for decades more money than anyone else in research and development directed toward the efficiency of operating systems"
Microsoft? Efficiency of the OS? I never thought I would ever see these two phrases in the same sentence! Some sort of Halloween joke maybe?"
To be fair though, he never said that they were successful
1/ It seems to me as if MS is trying to attack the very foundation of OSS here, a disturbing move IMO. After all; can't this easily be translated to: "Tech guy has a regular job, learns by experience some shortcomings of $preferred_os, Interested in IT he comes up with a solution in his spare time and releases this as OSS". Is this guy now "selling" the companies intellectual property or is this experience fully his own to with as he pleases? I'd say this seems like an easy issue at first; but never underestimate what strange things the law manages to come up with.
2/ Another dangerous statement. Because what they say can be fully true, yet it directs the attention away from the obvious questions; "What operating systems were involved and were the results of the R&D process publically available?"
Investing in, say Windows 98, Windows XP and thus leading up to Windows 7 doesn't seem like R&D based investments to me; more like mere development based investments. Something any company would have done; investing money in a development process in order to get an end product put onto the market, thus making more money.
2 arguments which IMO take the attention away of things which really matter.
Still... When looking at the Win8 preview one has to wonder about the real efficiency of said researchers too ;-)
Let's not forget that the little bar along the bottom of the Windows screen is just a poor implementation of the RISC OS icon bar... which may have come from something else before that...
It seems to me this patent stuff is being used more and more as a legally sanctioned weapon to get around what would otherwise be shocking antitrust and anticompetitive practice. Someday soon, the main customs entries into the United States are going to have a banner over them, and they will read "ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US".
Microsoft should be grateful to Google for utilising all those billions of R&D dollars to make a worthwhile mobile OS. That way they can at least recoup some of the investment through patent litigation.
I HATE windows mobile OSes, always have, right from CE to the new monochromatic Fisher-Price / Lego style thing.
Why should a user have to worry about keeping their system "clean" lest it start to run like a three legged dog?
Perhaps a better idea would be to develop an OS that is not based on a monolithic binary registry abomination that collects kruft faster than a cat with a bee stung arse?
Hmmm, there's an idea eh?
XBOX live works out better than PS3's or Wii's online network, hard to argue it doesnt but you are entitled to that opinion. And xbox as a franchise has been pretty successful. Sure there was a huge botch up with the 360's but Microsoft I believe made good on the issue, or at least tried as hard as they could by taking a hit to their pocketbooks to replace the units. My point at the end of this, if they dont screw up the next gen hardware so bad they have built more rapport with people than others.
I like my XBox and think it is good
It plays games, DVD's and television streamed from my PC: I find it useful because it does these things
Although I know people who have had Xboxes fail on them, mine is still going strong, and it is my first one. I have no issues with its reliability.
I'm not really bothered if its profitable or not, but there are more new games coming out than I have the money to buy or the time to play, so I'm happy.
I also have a Wii, which I enjoy, and have nothing against the PS3, before I get labelled a Fanboi.
...if you believe that Android is nothing more than Linux slapped together with some spyware then clearly the people that ought to be complaining about theft are AT&T rather than Microsoft since Linux is a variant of Unix and not some DOS clone.
If Linux is running afoul of any Microsoft patents they likely mainly involve "compatability".
Yes, but that's only FAT16, the FAT32 specific and long filename specific patents have a lot longer to run. The key is the long filenames, but it's also highly likely that a large chunk of the settlements that MS is making with the android producing companies are to do with their replication tech with Exchange/Outlook. Probably a lot more.
Yes, I suspect that you are correct and that most of the patents are related to compatibility, specifically FAT and long file names.
Apparently it is considered important that people be able to plug devices into a Windoze PC and have it show up as a "drive".
With that in mind, consider that the market, for better or worse, is moving to a model where devices can only be accessed via a proprietary client.
This trend was "poplularised" by apple with itunes (although Sony were the original <ahem> innovators in this area) and even Microsoft are copying this model with WP7 which (I beleive*) requires their Zune app for access.
So, given that (apparently) the ability to mount a device as a drive is no longer important then it becomes less necessary for devices to include that functionality, and therefore there are no MS patents to breach.
The current (disturbing) trend to use proprietary applications to access devices may indeed have a silver lining after all.
* I may be wrong, I have never owned a WP7 device
Until MS come out cleanly and say which of their patents they feel are being infringed then their legal campaign is little different from a mugger holding a knife to your throat in a dark alley demanding you cough up a pile of money.
Last time a checked demanding money with menaces was a criminal offence. Surely any lawyer engaging in such activities should be arrested and thrown in the slammer.
Let's have organised crime.
"their legal campaign is little different from a mugger holding a knife to your throat in a dark alley demanding you cough up a pile of money."
But you do get a receipt, and the reassurance that you won't be mugged again, for a while at least.
Welcome to Ankh-Morpork!
I want some!
I never cease to be astounded what people will say because they hope to extract cash from someone. Not unlike the bloke with an asian accent who phoned me this morning saying that he had detected a security problem on my Windows computer (news to me - since I run only Linux) ... and accused me of being a poor liar when I repeatedly asked for his 'phone number so that I could call him for future assistance.
Oh no not at all. They single-handedly invented Networking, Web Browsers, CD Burning Software, DVD Burning Software, Photo Editing, Video Editing etc etc, and innocently built them into their OS without even knowing that in doing so they would put other software houses out of business.
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.
"These devices have moved from having a rudimentary phone system to being a full-fledged computer, with a sophisticated, modern operating system"
If that is true then they have done it despite MS, not because of anything MS has managed to botch together and foist off onto the gullible..
There are very few patents that Linux infringes on. FAT32 (whoopee) and some other Windows compatibility options that aren't really used such as SAMBA.
This is merely a PR stunt to get more Android device makers to back down and pay up for licences. It's a bit late now as all the big names have paid up.
What are all these investments? as far as I can see the development of most desktop OSes has largely fallen into maintenance mode. Just tweaking and improving the code and GUI. Nothing astounding has appeared in years. The last big jumps where Windows XP and OSX.
If DEC had rigourously patented all the developments* in VMS, I wonder how far MS would have got with NT/2000/XP?
Just how blinkered do you have to be to speak for Microsoft? But then it's always been impossible to embarrass a lawyer.
* excluding all the prior art in Unix, RSTS, etc upon which VMS itself was built.............
MS were NEVER the owner of UNIX. They were the owner of Xenix a licensed variant of System V. Unix was owned by AT&T, then sold in its entirety to Novell. Novell sold some rights and future license revenues to SCO, but as recent litigation has concluded, Novell retain copyright on the UNIX source code.
> Xenix a licensed variant of System V.
Xenix was originally a licenced variant of _Edition 5_ which was "System I". Much later, long after it had been sold to SCO, it became System III as OpenServer and then did move to System V.
> Novell retain copyright on the UNIX source code.
There is doubt that there is any protectable copyright in Unix SVRx, but if there is then much of the code has different copyright owners (eg BSD, plus much other donated code). All that can be said is that Novell did not transfer any copyrights to the source code, especially the ones it did not own.
As a former Palm user I'm disappointed to see so little recognition of Palm's shoulders in debates* such as this. Rudimentary phone system my arse! I had touchscreen, apps, mobile web, music, video, syncing etc in 2005, but I was a late adopter. These advancements have come from a number of different corporations but young folk these days seem to think it all started with Apple. Who is it that has the patent on combining a phone and a PDA? I believe it's HTC.
* I originally misspelt that at "debases". How Freudian!
WinMo was embarrassing, WinPho useless by comparison unless you want a 'feature' phone that looks like a smart phone.
So this is how they can keep their mobile division profitable. Simple business practises like demanding money from competitors in exchange for protection from litigation.
"These devices have moved from having a rudimentary phone system to being a full-fledged computer, with a sophisticated, modern operating system"
Android is actually based on Linux derived from Unix an OS that I was working on in 1984 and existed earlier than that, at a time when it was already ahead of where MS Windows is today and before I ever heard of MS. I fail to have any idea what patents they can be talking about. Is it not true that Windows phone 7 has only just managed to handle multi-tasking? Apple Max OSX is also built on basically BSD Unix, is that two derived from MS? I was using Unix in 1984 on a computer that could handle 30+ students logged on at once, that is not a modern operating system, but one certainly more advanced than any MS has come up with. lol
A minor point, but over at http://www.apple-history.com/ they have information on the Xerox/Apple/GUI thing, with accounts by Frank Ludolph, who worked at Xerox then worked on the Apple Lisa desktop. Xerox got there first, but Apple was working on a GUI as well and a lot of the shared ideas probably go back in time to another person/entity/etc. Bruce Horn's account (http://www.apple-history.com/?page=gui_horn1) is interesting, as is Jeff Raskin's response and corrections.
> How many people are complaining how rubbish Windows is whilst simultaneously posting said message from a Windows PC.
I could be posting this from an Atari Falcon if not for the fact that Microsoft muscled most everyone else out of the home computer business. Proprietary network effects tend to quickly favor a single computing vendor.
I could migrate off of kludge clones in a heartbeat if another option presented itself.
Microsoft have demonstrated that spending decades stealing from others can eventually lead to a half decent product. However inept or outright evil your company is.
What it can't do is make them more honest about that or stop them trying to harass or kill competition by fair means or foul, mostly foul ;)
As I myself use MS Windows only when forced to, refusing to touch it even at the college where I teach and hence bring a live Ubuntu usb with me.
However, assuming some people do post from MS Windows. Weren't they made use it in the first place? Schools teach MS (rarely but equally evil Apple) , colleges teach and make you use MS and force you to pay for it. MS sides with OEMs and make you use Windows whenever you buy a PC. -
"So the question of whether software should be patentable is, in a sense, the same as asking whether a significant part of the technological innovation happening nowadays should receive patent protection."
No. It is down to the international treaties which the USA and many others signed up to. If the yanks want to bin those, I am sure the Chinese would be only too pleased to join in.
Now the world's population has reached 7 billion, we may need a cull - we could get by with fewer lawyers, especially IP and patent lawyers.
...is whether allowing such patents would be of benefit to society AS A WHOLE. That is, after all, the whole point of the patent system, not to allow individual people/companies to gouge their associated industries for personal gain dis-proportionate to their contribution. Regardless of what they generally succeed in getting people to believe these days.
For the same reason USB drives use FAT based file system. Its supported by virtually all existing operating systems so making data transfer between any machine/computer trivial. This could be from a full PC to an MP3 Player
FATs not going away anytime soon even though MS has deprecated it as you say
The reason why better filesystems hasn't went into Windows and Mac (via IFS, not a hack) is easy as nobody cared that much and the cost of getting the certificate it requires. Tests etc. Google is big and got money. After Nokia gave up symbian android will be the only smart phone os that relies on fat for that massive complex and personal data. Its fans can keep downvoting me, hope they never have to recover hundreds of photos because of a kernel crash etc.
So, we'd better start worrying about all the work Babbage did and pay his estate dividends, and of course the work of the druids constructing stonehenge, or the ancient Chinese for the invention of the Abacus. In fact, the whole thing is based on number systems invented by... and the list goes on. Not the first time a lawyer has had to argue an unarguable argument. He will probably win too.
Patent: 5,664,133 Context sensitive menu system/menu behavior...
A method and system are described for a computer system for retrieving and presenting a set of commands in the form of a pop up context menu for a selected object. The context menu is displayed in the proximity of the selected object and is determined primarily by the class of the selected object and secondarily by the particular container in which the selected object resides at the time of selection. The context menu displays a number of useful features which enable the user to quickly and easily invoke commands upon the selected object.
I wonder how many years of research it took them to come up with this one... It is a small miracle you can still type your own name without tripping some ridiculous patent.
ah aha ... so it means that the Linux developers wait eagerly that some wonderful idea is filed as patent by MS (ah no, he said no ideas, way to implement, that is) , and then translate in Linux code.
Well, in windows 8, Metro interface, there are many ideas coming from Android: the multitasking without any close command; the separation of OS and apps, so you can change OS without reinstalling evrything, and so on
Toronto-based technology company i4i Inc.had it's software stolen by MS, who had years earlier pinched the name Internet Explorer as well as some hardware utility.
I guess if Henry Ford had been like Jobs, we would be driving black cars.
Hopefully saner heads will prevail and patent law, like other international activities, will be governed by an internationally established common practice that will be adopted by all countries.
In the case of Metro, for instance, 4 tons of Bolivian marching powder and a shipping container full of finger paints. These things aren't cheap.
I notice he calls Droid "a full-fledged computer, with a sophisticated, modern operating system." Evidently he's one of Ballmer's "Computer Scientists™".
"One interesting characteristic of Star Trek: The Next Generation—one that separated it from the original series and most of the early films—was its widespread use of smooth, flat, touch-based control panels throughout the Enterprise-D"
1) By the nature of this thought, either Adam and Eve or Cro-Magnon should get a cut.
Who knows, maybe will all end up with MS Stock and then we won't have to worry about the economy anymore.
Let the lawyers figure this one out.
2) Microsoft licensee of Xenix, a multi-user multi-tasking operating system provided with RadioShack hardware. But I'm sure they would have never borrowed any technological info.
3) Just because Microsoft doesn't use or acknowledge the Unix/Linux doesn't mean they aren't looking at it's code very hard everyday. (?barrow from your neighbor lately?
--Gutierrez said "Microsoft has invested for decades more money than anyone else in research and development directed toward the efficiency of operating systems", and it was these efficiencies that its patents relate to.--
How does money spent matter? Flinging lots of shite against the wall doesn't mean any of it will stick.
Until M$ divulges these mystery patents, I'm going to continue to assert that this is a strongarm tactic and no more.
Surely now is the time for Microsoft to thank Xerox and Xerox PARC for creating the idea of windows (WIMP) in the first place and the thousands of developers and early adopters they regularly use as unofficial beta testers.
I do not have a problem with people patenting actual new ideas and inventions, the problem here is that most of what these companies patent is obvious to anyone with a brain and the US patent office is now just a marketing arm of the American legal system
Is the removal of all IP/Copyright/Patents and redo from start. This is a mess that's been turned from "little guy protector" to "little guy annihilator"
Basically, if you try to start up a company now - there are so many patent trolls, copyright trolls, IP trolls that there's nothing you can do without paying license fees to half a dozen giants in the industry or buying (for a retarded amount of money) what basically amounts to the rights to someone else's work and ideas.
This is, quite frankly, so mentally retarded it should be riding a short bus and wearing a safety helmet so it doesn't harm itself further.
But no, instead we go, "Oh, yeah, it's completely screwed up, but you know...it's what we got so that's okay..."
For years, all big corporations have been making extra on legal ... and then:
Apple has successfully demonstrated that you can base your legal disputes on absolutely nothing and still be a PITA
(like "I built the (not actually true) first fondleslab, and thus you cannot ever build one that looks like ... a fondleslab)
And now the others are realizing they can get a piece of the cake too ... wonderful -
Either way, google is making money off major O.S. contributions, I don't think that qualifies as "don't be evil" - and their O.S. is still far from fantastic still, being mostly copy/paste and so far with an overall slower app stack than even apple's i-fail-OS.
Conclusion : f*k Microsoft, f*k Apple, f*k Google and Samsung, either way they never gave me any money.. oh and ... f*k Apple again for paving the way to generalized retarded lawsuit war.
The leading MS ambulance chaser....is trying to suggest that MS has shared openly its valuable R&D data with the lot...which is absolutely not true... to suggest that ideas spawned there made it verbatim into open source is ridiculous...
MS is patent trolling and they should be called on it... the idiots eagerly signing patent deals with MS aren't doing us and the open source community any favours and will only hurt the development.
Alex.Red is correct google Dave Cutler... who is now heading the Azure platform... without Cutler MS would be lost in the ether...
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