Earlier these days, it absolutely was revealed that Microsoft was suing one more company for infringing on their patents. The target this time? Barnes & Noble. Yes, Microsoft is suing a book chain. Why? as a result of they claim the Nook e-reader (which runs Google’s Android OS) copies standing bars from Windows CE. Or one thing. If you’ll excuse my bluntness, it’s all a bunch of bullshit.
Devin contains a sensible overview on CrunchGear of what the patents in question really are. the full factor is laughable. and everybody is aware of that except one party: Microsoft. the corporate has become utterly drunk on their patents and subsequent lame lawsuits. And as a result, they’re quickly losing the hearts and minds of almost everybody that doesn’t work in Redmond.
So what’s behind all of this? Is Microsoft very attempting to prevent Barnes & Noble from selling the Nook? No. Instead, they’re attempting to force them to license the employment of the patents from them therefore Microsoft will get a chunk of the action for every Nook sold. How do I know? Well initial of all, it’s a tactic Microsoft has been using for a short while currently.
In October of last year, Microsoft sued Motorola over their Android-powered phones. What was odd was that they weren’t suing HTC for a similar factor — as a result of they reached a patent licensing agreement with HTC for that terribly reason. Microsoft’s maneuver was merely attempting to urge Motorola in line to try to to a similar. And currently they’re doing a similar factor with Barnes & Noble.
At least these days they’re not beating round the bush anymore. Microsoft’s own General Counsel, Horacio Gutierrez, has place up a post on the problem with a title containing the words “Licensing is that the answer.”
And to pre-empt posts like this one, Gutierrez notes, “Microsoft isn’t a corporation that pursues litigation gently. In fact, this can be solely our seventh proactive patent infringement suit in our 36-year history. however we have a tendency to merely cannot ignore infringement of this scope and scale.”
Okay, let’s examine that “scope and scale” in Microsoft’s own words. within the post, Microsoft notes the subsequent infringements by the Nook:
- offer individuals straightforward ways that to navigate through info provided by their device apps via a separate management window with tabs;
- Enable show of a webpage’s content before the background image is received, permitting users to interact with the page faster;
- permit apps to superimpose download standing on high of the downloading content;
- allow users to simply choose text in a very document and modify that selection; and
- give users the power to annotate text while not changing the underlying document.
“Easily choose text”? “Navigate through information”? “Annotate text”? I mean, it reads sort of a joke, however it’s not. Next up, Microsoft goes to sue over the power to sort, look, and perhaps even breathe. I’m positive they patented those things at some purpose over the past thirty years. they need one thing ridiculous like twenty,000 patents.
And again, the worst half is that the suits are hollow. Microsoft very doesn’t care concerning Nook sales being stopped as a result of they’re copying their “innovation” — they’re happy to own them keep selling, simply as long as Barnes & Noble pays them for every one sold.
Other firms, like Apple, for example, could also be no additional within the right over these bogus software patents. however a minimum of they very believe that firms like Google (by manner of HTC) have copied their intellectual property and need them to prevent doing it. For Microsoft, this can be a business model.
The truth is that this laughable model is simply an extension of the one that created Microsoft, Microsoft: licensing. Microsoft grew to where it’s these days as a result of pc manufacturers licensed Windows and workplace. however as we have a tendency to dive into the mobile age, that model isn’t solely broken, it’s been destroyed. Google is licensing Android — however they’re doing it for complimentary. It’s precisely why they were therefore simply ready to kill off Windows Mobile.
Of course, Microsoft doesn’t perceive that this model not works and they’re still attempting to urge OEMs to obtain their new Windows Phone OS. In fact, they’re even creating new buddy Nokia pay them a licensing fee per phone! (While at a similar time paying them back in billions of bucks in selling and development prices.) it’ll not work.
And currently we’re on to licensing fees a pair of.0: patents. How long till Microsoft is creating more cash on patent licensing than from their mobile unit? Serious question. perhaps they already are.
Even worse is that the manner Microsoft goes concerning all of this: straight-up bullying. That’s the sole reason they’ve included Foxconn and Inventec within the most up-to-date suit. Those guys don’t have anything to try to to with the infringements in question, however Microsoft is attempting to use pressure from all sides. And as additional firms build product using Android, they’ll keep doing a similar factor.
“To facilitate firms address Android’s ongoing infringement, we’ve established an industry-wide licensing program,” Gutierrez writes.
How swell. What nice guys.
“Last year, HTC took a license covering its Android-based smartphones, confirming the viability of our license-first approach. within the e-reader area, Amazon.com signed a patent license with Microsoft last year covering its Kindle device. and lots of alternative device manufacturers have conjointly taken licenses to Microsoft’s patents beneath variety of existing licensing programs,” he continues.
If your friends jump off a bridge…
The bottom line is that this must be stopped. Microsoft is threatening innovation across a spread of industries with their commit to instill their next nice business model. the foremost bullshit business model of all time. this can be the longer term of Microsoft, people. Is it any surprise why they’ve fallen out of favor with the final public? nobody likes rooting for a jackass.
My favorite a part of all of this can be simply how oblivious Microsoft is. Not solely do they need Gutierrez writing ridiculous posts just like the one these days. they need their PR company, Waggener Edstrom, sending out emails to the press trumpeting the lawsuit! Hip hip hooray!
Microsoft still has several proficient individuals doing nice things. Kinect and even Windows Phone (the product, not the strategy) jump to mind. however the suits and lawyers are burying all of that beneath 700 metric heaps of bullshit.