Balls and Noble

My mom (a Win/iOS user who won’t be converted) was happy to find an item via Barnes & Noble that she thought I’d have to ship over to the US from Europe. When I mentioned that that was another feather in the B&N cap given how they’re handling the Microsoft protection racket, she asked what that was all about.

I shared the following:

The Nook, like most non-Apple tablets, uses the Android operating system. Android is based on the Linux kernel.

Microsoft claims they hold patents on a number of aspects of Linux. For the last year or so they have threatened to sue manufacturers of Android devices if they don’t pay a fee. At this point, MS makes more money off of non-MS smart phones than they do off of Windows Mobile phones.

In fact, back in May, they were making more off the $5 protection fee they negotiated off the sale of HTC Android devices than they were off their own products. (Reference)

Here’s the MS announcement of their legal action against BN.

And a summary of the B&N response. (This is the payoff article and worth reading all the way through.) The long and short of it? MS’s claims are BS and in many cases the patents should have been denied based on prior art.

The fantastic Linux Outlaws podcast titled their last episode Balls and Noble in honour of B&N’s stance against Microsoft. (This suit got about 3 minutes in the podcast, but there are links to follow in the show notes here as well: http://sixgun.org/linuxoutlaws/238)

Kudos of all sorts to Barnes and Noble for taking this on. I’m sure I have more to say on the subject, but it’ll wait til further developments.

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Filed under Podcasts, politics

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