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June Pelo
01-06-07, 22:56
Microsoft Corp. made its broadest challenge to date against open-source software, including Windows rival Linux, claiming such programs violate 235 Microsoft patents and that it will seek license fees. Microsoft said that various open-source packages violate patents it holds in areas relating to graphical user interface, e-mail programs and other technology.

Linux is the most popular type of open-source software. The packages, which are available free, have gained in popularity, taking market share from Microsoft.

Linus Torvalds, a Helsinki native who is the "father of Linux," hit back at Microsoft, announcing that the software giant should reveal the list of violations so the open-source community can respond. Torvalds said that Microsoft should either come clean about what it thinks is being violated or keep quiet.

"It's certainly a lot more likely that Microsoft violates patents than Linux does," Torvalds said, adding that if Microsoft's Windows was put under a similar microscope it would be violating patents owned by other companies itself. Torvalds says that instead of just spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt, Microsoft should name the patents that are being infringed so developers can either re-write offending code of so that the claims can be tested properly - namely, in court.

FAR, June 2007

June