Microsoft licensing Linux
Proprietary giant is licensing open source to its partners. What is going on?
Over the past few weeks Microsoft has been licensing Linux to a number of its partners, most notably Amazon. Although the idea of Microsoft, a company steeped in proprietary software, licensing open source software is ludicrous it's not completely unexpected. It's also not the first time Microsoft has played the Linux patent game and we can expect to see more deals in the future. So what's going on?
Back in 2007 Microsoft stirred up the open source community by claiming that Linux infringed on more than 200 of its patents. Although the specific patents were never actually revealed it was enough to stir emotions and kickstart a campaign in which Microsoft planned to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt among corporate users.
Last year Microsoft sued TomTom, the GPS maker, claiming it infringed on Microsoft's patents with its implementation of the Linux kernel in its devices.