back to article Android 'stands on Microsoft's shoulders', says MS lawyer

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 …

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  1. David Dawson
    FAIL

    Software Circuits

    yes, I understand that all new processors will be implemented entirely in software!

    Imagine, you could download a new CPU off the interwebz. Awesome.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      You can already you muppet, have you heard of FPGAs?

      1. David Dawson
        Trollface

        You can already you muppet, have you heard of FPGAs?

        ---

        Yes kermit, I have, and I'm pretty certain our legal friend who I was taking the piss out of was not referring to FPGA's.

        Boom Boom!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Software Circuits

      And what do these software processors run on??

      1. David Dawson
        Facepalm

        And what do these software processors run on?

        ----------

        The cloud!!

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Rich 2 Silver badge
    Stop

    A couple of quotes stand out

    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?

    1. Armando 123
      Coat

      Well, ...

      "Microsoft? Efficiency of the OS? I never thought I would ever see these two phrases in the same sentence!"

      I've seen them together before, connected with "NOT"

    2. Shaun 1

      To be fair

      "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

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Rich

      Agreed.

      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 ;-)

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        ¿ Innovation @ ♡ ?

        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".

    4. Mark 65

      Android may have stood on the shoulders of others, but that's only after Microsoft trampled on their heads.

  3. Ianbcn

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Just their mobile OSes?

      Can't say I'm particularly impressed with this POS Win7 that's turning my core i5 laptop into a 486.

      1. Trib
        FAIL

        You must really be bad at keeping your system 'clean'. Do you install every software program you can find and never remove them?

        1. MicroNix
          WTF?

          No Microsoft will take care of it

          Just install Windows updates. Microsoft will take care of your speed....all in due time

        2. Goat Jam
          WTF?

          "You must really be bad at keeping your system clean"

          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?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ah, you wanna download yourself a better fpga

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sour grapes..

    Whilst Microsoft was wasting their time on follies like Zune and Xbox, Google were making a fantastic OS...

    Now Microsoft have woken up, their only defence is FUD.

    1. The Fuzzy Wotnot
      Pint

      The Zune was a disaster but I would hardly call the XBOX a folly.

      1. cloudgazer

        Xbox was a folly if you view it from an ROI perspectie It's unclear if MS will ever recoup their investment, nevermind their cost of capital.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Xbox IS a folly

        It's got all the hallmarks of a folly:

        It's not very good

        It's not very useful

        It's not very reliable

        It's not very profitable

        Is that enough?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          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.

          1. Miek
            Linux

            "XBOX live works out better than PS3's or Wii's online network"

            Why? because you have to pay for it ?

        2. squilookle

          @AC 13:33

          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.

      3. Kevin Bailey

        The Xbox cost billions - at one point I read it had cost MS six billion dolla. Not sure how much MS make from the games but it my take forever to get the initial cost back.

        1. Tinker Tailor Soldier
          Thumb Down

          No different from any other console then?

          In the 8 year life of a console, you maybe make your money in year 7 and 8. *IF* you are successful. And that's all from game licenses.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC

      By making a fantastic OS, do you really mean buying someone else's linux distro, slapping a slightly different skin over the top and putting loads of spyware into it, then passing it off as their own?

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        The fantastic OS

        ...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".

  5. Heikki Härkönen

    It's doubtful that microsoft is able to turn the patent screw on linux for long.

    For example the FAT patents don't have long befoore expiration. If I remember correctly the first ones will be gone by 2013.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Err...

      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.

      1. Goat Jam

        Here's Something to consider

        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

  6. Dazed and Confused

    Demanding money with menaces

    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.

    1. spodula
      Meh

      Alas

      As the law is written by Failed Lawyers (Politicians), they are exempt from Such minor inconveniences as the rules the rest of us live by.

    2. Red Bren
      Pirate

      If we're going to have crime...

      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!

  7. alain williams Silver badge

    What has Gutierrez been smoking ... ?

    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.

    1. dogged
      Trollface

      he's trolling for fandroids.

      It worked, too. It worked really well.

  8. David Lawrence
    Stop

    Ah yes and M$ have nnever done that themselves.....

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I won't diss them for most of that

      Better M$ than some of the laughable cheap photo/video/DVD software included with burners.

  9. slack
    Linux

    Cry me a river

    "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..

  10. Giles Jones Gold badge

    BS

    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.

    1. AJ MacLeod

      I think you'll find that samba is in fact quite heavily used by all sorts of devices...

      The claims of the MS lawyer are almost hilariously ridiculous though.

    2. Jeremy Allison
      Linux

      Samba does not infringe any Microsoft patents.

      Just want to be *very* clear about that. Microsoft has to notify us of any patents they claim cover the implemented protocols. See the EU agreement for details.

  11. CABVolunteer
    WTF?

    And on whose shoulders does Microsoft stand?

    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.............

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: UNIX

      MS were actually the owner of UNIX for a while, before they decided to focus on DOS.

      Anyway, I think that he was actually referring more to UI development, which MS has clearly spent a lot of money on.

      1. cloudgazer

        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.

        1. Lars Silver badge
          Pint

          NEVER has to be repeated.

          Still the tragedy, the biggest so far in IT, is that MS did not build Windows on Xenix. What a difference that could have meant for us, consumers.

        2. Richard Plinston

          > 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.

        3. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          @cloudgazer

          Right sentiment, wrong details. According to the Levenez timeline document, Xenix was derived from 32V, which was a 32 bit port of Version/Edition 7 for the Interdata 32 system. As far as I am aware Version/Edition 5 did not make it outside of Murray Hill.

      2. MicroNix

        And what part of the Microsoft UI does Android even resemble?

    2. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      The idea

      that the NT was based on VMS is an other myth that lives on and on. It was not, something anybody who has worked with VMS knows very well. I suppose this myth is due to the fact that one guy who worked with VMS later worked for MS with the NT.

      1. Alex.Red
        Coat

        Not exactly a myth...

        Do youself a favor, google for Dave Cutler, NTFS, HPFS.

        The man was a main lead on both projects: VMS and Windows NT.

  12. hplasm
    Windows

    Standing on MS's shoulders?

    Soon they will be standing on their throat. Can't wait for that.

  13. Craigness

    Palm

    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!

    1. cloudgazer

      It DID all start with Apple, with the very first PDA, the Newton. Lots of other firms have contributed since then though, Palm not least of them.

    2. cloudgazer

      Oh correction - the first PDA was of course Psion, the Newton was the first thing to be called a PDA and was the first handheld touchscreen device.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Newton not first

        Not first PDA or touch screen. It failed in the market unlike some others.

      2. heyrick Silver badge

        The first PDA?

        Of course the Newton was the first to be called a PDA, for the then-CEO of Apple coined the term to describe what we'd be calling an "organiser" for years.

  14. Kay Burley ate my hamster

    M$ dropped the ball ages ago

    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.

    1. Armando 123
      Windows

      I disagree with this most strongly and will fight your claim that MS dropped the ball years ago! They never had a ball to drop ...

  15. DigiGuy
    Linux

    Poor Horacio, so deluded.... and a lawyer too.

    Poor M$, such a parasite on society.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FTFY

    Microsoft has invested for decades more money than anyone else in research and development directed toward the *obfuscation* of operating systems

  17. markl66

    quite absurd and incorrect

    "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

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Profiting from the R&D of others

    And to where exactly does MS post those cheques to Volta, Farady etc for all their hard work in developing the electricity that I beleive is a requirement for modern computing

  19. Dazed and Confused

    SAMBA?

    Nope that were forced to license that for nought and to provide full documentation to allow compatible SW. Europe were fining them €1M a day for about a years and half since MS were not able to provide any documentation on how the protocol actually worked.

  20. peter 45
    Angel

    What gave it away?

    Clue that it is a load of dangles

    Clue 1... "MS"

    Clue 2 ... "Lawyer"

  21. AJames
    FAIL

    This is the same Microsoft whose core OS is based on Quick&Dirty OS from Seattle Computer Products and the Windows interface they licensed and then ripped off from Apple in the 1980s (who in turn copied it from Xerox)? You gotta love lawyers!

    1. Armando 123

      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.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder...

    How many people are complaining how rubbish Windows is whilst simultaneously posting said message from a Windows PC.

    Enough to make you wonder i reckon...

    1. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      First in the wild on a Falcon

      > 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.

    2. Paul Shirley

      if you steal enough a good product becomes possible

      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 ;)

    3. eulampios

      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. -

    4. LaeMing
      Linux

      On a tech site like this

      a lot less than you probably think.

  23. JohnG

    Software patents

    "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.

    1. LaeMing
      Flame

      What it really comes down to...

      ...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.

  24. Ilgaz

    please tell

    How come a google sized company with an army of lawyers make such a mistake of including a filesystem which ms itself depreciates?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Because

      they are an advertising company and they don't really do software?

    2. SoftFox

      Re: please tell → #

      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

      1. Ilgaz

        Google is huge

        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.

  25. OperandError
    Happy

    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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well, our number system is called 'Hindu Arabic'

      Which I assume means we need to send a lot of dollars to western-asia. No doubt that is how they intend to support themselves once they are out of oil. Will the US invade them in their "War on Numeracy?"

      1. Frumious Bandersnatch

        "war on numeracy?"

        Judging by other wars in their "War on X" range, it would be "War on Numbers", not numeracy. X has to be something that, technically speaking, you can't fight against.

  26. voidp
    FAIL

    years of research....

    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.

    1. AdamWill
      Joke

      royalty demand

      I hold the patent on posting examples of ridiculous software patents to comment threads about software patents. Pay up, sunshine.

  27. druck Silver badge
    WTF?

    Bull

    Anyone stood on the shoulders of Microsoft would still be waist deep in their bullshit.

  28. Gian

    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.

    That's it?

    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

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "And to where exactly does MS post those cheques to Volta, Farady etc for all their hard work in developing the electricity that I beleive is a requirement for modern computing"

    Clueless argument.

  30. JaitcH
    WTF?

    If Android stands on MS shoulders, MS stands on Toronto-based i4i Inc.?

    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.

  31. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Pah!

    It's a conspiracy I tell you! Once again, when I think they can't get any more crazy they go and prove me wrong.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    OK, I am usually unsympathetic to companies that litigate instead of innovate

    But this MS scheister really lost me when he started spouting off about how MS invested billions promoting the "efficiency of the operating system"

    Two words in response to that--Windows Vista....

  33. Mark Burton
    Headmaster

    Is this a real ms lawyer

    He says "So two different means of getting to the same end would be independently patentable,"

    So, unless the source is exactly the same and compiled with the same tools nothing is going to infringe ms patents. Game over

  34. duncan campbell
    Pirate

    more bald-assed lies

    from a pack of thieves.

  35. Majid
    Joke

    Wrong bodyparts

    Easy mistake to make (especially if you are a lawyer), you mean toes.. not shoulders..

  36. Medium Dave
    FAIL

    "billions of dollars in investments"

    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™".

  37. Pete 8
    Trollface

    Get that man a box of tissues

    and ask him to google the inventor of the wheel - which MS's computer still rolls around on.

  38. Microphage
    Alien

    Some very prior art

    "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"

    http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2010/08/how-star-trek-artists-imagined-the-ipad-23-years-ago.ars

  39. Dribbly Joe
    Joke

    previous work

    I know an ancestor of mine invented the wheel. I think I'm due a HUGE payout anytime soon.

  40. Mips
    Childcatcher

    Pot Kettle Black

    "Microsoft who made all these billions of dollars in investments". Yeah and made all those tens of billions profit. They owe us I reckon.

  41. Stuporhero
    FAIL

    If Android stands on Microsoft's shoulders

    Then Windows wobbles precariously on IBM and Xerox PARCs.

    I thought lawyers were smarter than that.

  42. 2cent

    Reference points

    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.

    https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Xenix

    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?

  43. Figgus

    --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.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    hmmm

    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

  45. peter 45

    Android 'stands on Microsoft's shoulders', says MS lawyer

    Clue that it is a load of dangles

    Clue 1."MS"

    Clue 2."lawyer"

  46. shadowphiar
    Facepalm

    "Android's success has yielded … a hostile, organised campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents".

    Of course Android only violates bogus patents. Or as the rest of the world calls them, patents.

  47. BinaryFu
    Mushroom

    What we need...

    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..."

  48. Morg
    Terminator

    Whodathunk

    Really ...

    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.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Google were making a fantastic OS..."

    Should actually read:

    "Google were making an OS based largely on copying Apple with their iPhone and using other peoples technology / IP..."

    Are Google going to step up and indemnify people selling solutions based on Android - no thought not.

  50. rsmig29
    Mushroom

    Total BS

    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...

  51. david 63

    Microsoft Invented Computing Shocker!

    Fixed the headline for you...

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