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View Full Version : Microsoft suing Linux Devs is kinda silly...



tobydeemer
March 12th, 2008, 02:47 PM
Based on their history anyway...

We all know the Windows interface was taken from the Macintosh and Xerox's development.

But Microsoft went on to violate an agreement with Apple regarding the use of GUI elements, and was sued by Apple. Obviously the situation in the end shook out to the benefit of MS, but that doesn't change the fact that back in the day, they did exactly what they're accusing the OSS world of doing.

Here's a link to a article reprinted from PC magazine, 1988.

http://www.guidebookgallery.org/articles/sortingoutfactfromfiction


I just thought it was interesting. Not trying to start anything, just a funny point of interest in light of the past year.

Sorry if everyone knew about this or it's been hashed too many times.

Perpetual
March 13th, 2008, 04:03 PM
Interesting read. Thanks.

Landon.

DrMega
March 13th, 2008, 04:13 PM
I don't think the open source world has much to worry about. MS know they don't have a chance at claiming ownership of the GUI concept. I was using a GUI OS on my Amiga while PCs were still running DOS. I don't think MS can even claim that the name "Windows" is original to them. I remember at Uni many years ago using Unix on Sun Microsystems terminals. It ran a GUI on top of Unix which I believe was called "X-Windows" if memory serves me right.

fatality_uk
March 13th, 2008, 04:23 PM
Microsoft won't suing over GUI, patents or the time of day! they have no rights over a GUI as DrMega stated, the GUI was a concept long before anyone from Redmond put finger to keyboard.

In addition, any claims MS made against a Linux developer would have to be accompanied by the relevant patent. To date, MS have not made clear which, if ANY, patents that Linux may infringe.

UBUSNAFU
March 13th, 2008, 04:44 PM
Oh for the days long before Apple or M$ when CP/M (almost) had a wonderful thing called a Graphical Environment Manager. But who else would pick the difference between something called Windows, a GUI, or GEM but somebody who does not comprehend that it is a computer OS designed to perform the function that it was meant for. Although being the original inventor has not always triumphed in the legal arena historically M$ just has too many competitors who have been in the field long before they were.

perce
March 13th, 2008, 06:06 PM
I remember at Uni many years ago using Unix on Sun Microsystems terminals. It ran a GUI on top of Unix which I believe was called "X-Windows" if memory serves me right.

It's the same you're using now with Ubuntu I think: X-Windows is still around and is the layer between the kernel and Gnome: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-windows

Teber
March 13th, 2008, 06:22 PM
I don't think the open source world has much to worry about. MS know they don't have a chance at claiming ownership of the GUI concept. I was using a GUI OS on my Amiga while PCs were still running DOS. I don't think MS can even claim that the name "Windows" is original to them. I remember at Uni many years ago using Unix on Sun Microsystems terminals. It ran a GUI on top of Unix which I believe was called "X-Windows" if memory serves me right.

add atari's desktop, apple's gui and the gui originally for the C64 to the list. there would be more guis that preceded windoze?

edit: as a former amigoid i might have said: even atari preceded M$. no matter: i don't think anyone could claim a patent on gui, just like patents on the mouse as such were not recognized by courts. next time someone will claim the patent on the wheel?

phrostbyte
March 13th, 2008, 06:30 PM
Xerox made the first PC GUI with the Xerox PARC.

Apple took this idea but also added a lot of ideas to it, words and concepts we use all time time today like "applications", "folders", and "desktop" were created by Apple to give their Mac a more familiar jargon and feel. Microsoft took both Apple and Xerox's ideas when they made Windows.

Moral of the story is everyone copies everyone else and sometimes improve the ideas of others. This is natural in the tech industry. Microsoft can go jump in a river.

phrostbyte
March 13th, 2008, 06:36 PM
I don't think the open source world has much to worry about. MS know they don't have a chance at claiming ownership of the GUI concept. I was using a GUI OS on my Amiga while PCs were still running DOS. I don't think MS can even claim that the name "Windows" is original to them. I remember at Uni many years ago using Unix on Sun Microsystems terminals. It ran a GUI on top of Unix which I believe was called "X-Windows" if memory serves me right.

X-Windows when referring to the protocol is still being used today and is the foundation of both Gnome and KDE. X.org is an implementation of it. The X protocol which was often called X-Windows predates Microsoft Windows.

The word "windows" while refering to a GUI window or a real window is considered a generic term by the US courts. In fact, the only time in history where Microsoft tried to assert it's trademark to the word "Windows" the court held that the word is not a valid trademark, and Microsoft had to pay $20 million dollars to the defendant (Lindows) to get them to agree to drop the case.

LaRoza
March 13th, 2008, 06:42 PM
The word "windows" while refering to a GUI window or a real window is considered a generic term by the US courts. In fact, the only time in history where Microsoft tried to assert it's trademark to the word "Windows" the court held that the word is not a valid trademark, and Microsoft had to pay $20 million dollars to the defendant (Lindows) to get them to agree to drop the case.

Also, Windows was just a copy of OS/2

samwyse
March 13th, 2008, 07:06 PM
It's called X Window System, not X-Windows.

tobydeemer
March 13th, 2008, 10:24 PM
Hey guys-

I like the feedback. Here I was all upset that no one replied within an hour or so... and I come back the next day here we are. ;)

Anyway, I just think it's a little sad that they're so intent on the monopoly, and not content with their huge market share, that they're resorting to such low-brow tactics. (I'm not at all surprised though. It is MS afterall.)

Thanks all for the input.

Forrest Gumpp
March 14th, 2008, 12:43 AM
I'm a little surprised at the muted emphasis upon the emptiness of this bullying tactic of MS.

There is little point in suing a developer having little in the way of attachable assets to sieze in the event of a successful lawsuit.

It is true that having to endure the due process of the law of equity could be for many individuals quite devastating. That's the fear factor MS is relying upon.

There may be a fear factor operable in the opposite direction against MS by Linux developers and their supporters, if one or a number of lawyers in the US wanting to establish or enhance their reputation wish to do a bit of pro bono legwork and legal research. The issue that constitutes the fear factor may well be encapsulated in this thread: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=722031

In using the acronym MS to represent Microsoft, let me make it clear that I am not trying to give the disease, multiple sclerosis, also referred to as MS, a bad name.

Chame_Wizard
March 14th, 2008, 12:45 AM
M$ is using FUD mainly at GNU/Linux,i think they are getting desperate .Thinking that money will solve anything(buying companies ,just for the technology)

Forrest Gumpp
March 14th, 2008, 02:35 AM
Good distinction made with respect to the X Window System. One less nail for MS to hang its hat on in any vexatious litigation it may care to engage in against Linux developers.

OT, like your avatar. It seems to constitute proof positive that CGE Mannerheim was not the last of the Teutonic Knights after all! What's the image' title - "Tux, Marski Suomilainen, inspects an honour guard linuxed up from the Graduating Class of the Finnish Military Academy"?

Or is it "Finland, all present and correct, Your Excellency, USSR nowhere to be seen! - an Antipodean salute to the final outcome of the Talvi Sota"?

DrMega
March 14th, 2008, 12:07 PM
It's called X Window System, not X-Windows.

I've just had a bit of a google about. I was sure it was X-Windows on the Sun terminals I used at Uni. It seems I was right, that's not to say that you are wrong. One is probably based on the other, and in Linux nowadays it seems it is "The X Window System". :)