Sun's answer to the Microsoft litigation threat

Microsoft’s announcement yesterday that they are going to charge open source companies and users for patent infringement is largely being seen as

  1. an act of desperation
  2. a scare tactic to get enterprise open source users to pony up more money to Microsoft (or buy Microsoft software) in lieu of litigation and
  3. a great way to, once again, succeed in annoying the majority of people on the planet

Jonathan Schwartz, CEO of Sun Microsystems, has a great post on his blog today in response to the threat by Microsoft.

In his post Jonathan outlines how when beset by difficulties, Sun chose to open source their products instead of litigating!

He concludes his post by saying:

no amount of fear can stop the rise of free media, or free software (they are the same, after all). The community is vastly more innovative and powerful than a single company. And you will never turn back the clock on elementary school students and developing economies and aid agencies and fledgling universities – or the Fortune 500 – that have found value in the wisdom of the open source community. Open standards and open source software are literally changing the face of the planet – creating opportunity wherever the network can reach.

That’s not a genie any litigator I know can put back in a bottle.

One thought on “Sun's answer to the Microsoft litigation threat”

  1. Well, there is nothing new in Open Source community in this case. Like with MP3 or AAC codecs, you can have the codec sourcecode for your personal needs, but you have to pay if it’s going to be used with a commercial purpose. If Microsoft has some technologies patented, they may want to ask for some money from companies that use that technology in their business. The only major side effect of this new “war” is that a business based on an open-source software now needs to share a little bit more money than before.

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