Typical-money drives the train, not customer satisfaction.

Story: IBM breaks OSS patent promise, targets mainframe emulator Total Replies: 3
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Apr 07, 2010
10:51 AM EDT
It looks like IBM decided that Open Source Software, the wave of the future, was not the way to go because, like Microsoft, once again drives the train. It appears to me that Microsoft's influence has bled over to IBM. Could there be a kickback from Microsoft to IBM? It makes one wonder. When will companies realize that it is better to sell a bigger volume of consumer goods and services to satisfied customers and also save them money than allow outside companies to influence their business practices and sell a smaller volume of consumer goods and services at a higher price to dissatisfied customers. The latter is why so many companies are failing in this poor economy. Since reading this story I have decided that there will never be an IBM/Lenovo product in my home or office (I am a voluntary Chapter Service Officer with the Disabled American Veterans.) Corporate greed and influence is what ruined this economy. I wish only bad things for companies such as IBM/Lenovo and Microsoft for continuing their predatory practices.

Apr 07, 2010
11:44 AM EDT
> It appears to me that Microsoft's influence has bled over to IBM.

Microsoft learned everything they know about monopoly behavior and FUD from IBM. IBM is, from memory, the largest patent holder in the world. This is nothing new for them.

> Corporate greed and influence is what ruined this economy.

Government mis-regulation and lack of oversight also played a significant role. There's plenty of blame to go around.

Apr 07, 2010
2:28 PM EDT
> Corporate greed and influence is what ruined this economy.

It's what was influenced that did the ruin. Buying favors from the great Granter of Monopolies has always been the "easy" way.

The term FUD was originally coined to describe IBM methods used for distracting people from competing products.

When IBM was sued for monopoly abuse, they kept the case going for so long that the government gave up the case as no longer relevant because of the rise of Amdahl, et. at.

Microsoft is a poor also-ran, which had to buy off the politicians. Putzes! Amateurs!

At one time, IBM made more microchips than any other company in the world. But they didn't sell chips, they were used internally. Their patents cover even the ways that have compressed how magnetic fields can be read and written that allow for gigabyte diskdrives that aren't measured in tons.

IBM has done two very Good Things(tm): The IBM PC was, except for the BIOS, entirely an open architecture. Any video card, any memory expansion, any IO or network card made anywhere in the world, would just plug in and work (in theory anyway).

This, just like the Linux "open" software later, crushed the price over the course of a few years as manufacturers ramped up.

IBM tried to put the genie back in the bottle with MicroChannel architecture in their PS/2, that fell flat on its face.

And around 2000, IBM was in serious danger of going under. The cheap server was obviously going to be more flexible, and cheaper, than their million dollar mainframes and million dollar support contracts. IBM caught the Linux idea and ran with it, very much re-making their business to support smaller installations with commodity hardware running commodity software, along with million dollar support contracts.

Gotta make a profit somewhere, ne?

IBMs contributions to Linux SMP and memory scaling are why Microsoft's tool SCO brought their copyright suit against IBM. Now that SCO has been ruled to now own those copyrights, I wonder when this suit is going to be dropped.

Unfortunately, IBM remains a public company, driven to "maximize shareholder value", hiring Harvard MBAs and lawyers, so they have every incentive to work the system to their own benefit and the talent to, at least, try.

It looks like they might be "trying" to see what works.

The patent promise was made by a company, not an individual. Who gets held to that promise?

Apr 07, 2010
4:13 PM EDT
Can someone explain to me about the folks who are accusing IBM of breaking its promises to the linux/oss community?

At first blush, it seems that an irrational hatred of big blue has got the facts get twisted in their own mind into an entirely unexpected (to me) shape.

Can one of the IBM bashers explain to me, what does a microsoft-funded business competitor to IBM have to do with the linux/foss community?

How does IBMs refusal to give away the store to this microsoft-funded business competitor affect the linux/oss community in any way whatsoever?

Do the IBM bashers somehow interpret IBM's promise not to sue the linux/foss community over these patents as a promise that they will never exercise their legal rights against anybody, ever again?

What's the thinking? Inquiring minds want to know!

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