16 April 2002

in its antitrust settlement with the justice department and nine states, microsoft promised to publish technology that would allow competing products to interoperate with windows. but microsoft has sidestepped the penalty by crafting a technology license that excludes the company's only viable competitor.

linux, which was described by windows division vice president brian valentine as the long-term threat against microsoft's core business, is banned from interoperating with its common internet file system, otherwise known as windows file and printer sharing.

the microsoft license specifically excludes software under the general public license, commonly known as the gpl. the gpl is the software license used by linux and by samba, a popular open-source program that allows non-microsoft systems to share files and printers with windows.

microsoft has also banned software under the lesser general public license, or lgpl. that license is used by the mozilla web browser, the gnome graphical desktop, and many of the software libraries shipped with linux. the gpl and lgpl are the most popular licenses used for open-source software, and cover tens of thousands of free programs.

a second microsoft license on extensions used in windows 2000 and windows xp will require royalty payments, excluding all software produced by the open-source developer community. because microsoft has patented features of the file-sharing protocol, open-source developers who implement the protocol could be sued for infringement.

more on the microsoft penalty that isn't [news.com]

what me and windows have is a love-and-hate relationship... i sure wish to be able to use linux+kde+star_office as good as i use windows+ms_office.. when i can do that, i'd be glad to dump this windows machine..

err.. at the second tought, this machine has windows licensed by my company, so i guess i'll dump it from the pc at home (when it's viable, that is)...


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