Microsoft has signed up to the Open Invention Network. We repeat. Microsoft has signed up to the OIN

That 60,000 patents in your pocket or are you just pleased to see us?

Who would have thought it? Not content with signing with LOT Network, Microsoft has taken the next step in patent cuddling and joined the Open Invention Network.

A month shy of its 14th birthday, the Open Invention Network (OIN) was obviously very happy to welcome the beast of Redmond, and 60,000 or so of its patents, into the group, which consists of nearly 2,700 companies and includes the likes of Google and IBM.

OIN is all about Linux, and protecting its fans from trolls waving the Intellectual Property (IP) stick at the platform. OIN does this by providing a royalty-free licence to its strategic IP portfolio and cross-licensing patents between its members. In return it expects that licensees do not assert their patents against the Linux community.

Satya Nadella speaking at a Microsoft cloud event

Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'


Microsoft signing up is therefore yet another big step in Redmond’s attempts to distance itself from its "Linux is cancer" past, and demonstrate its open-source chops.

In words that would have made Microsoft bosses of yesteryear choke on their penguin burgers, corporate veep (and deputy general counsel) Erich Andersen reckoned the move would mean “Microsoft will be able to do more than ever to help protect Linux” from patent assertions, before adding: “We bring a valuable and deep portfolio of over 60,000 issued patents to OIN for the benefit of Linux and other open source technologies.”

Wow. Now, that's not all of Microsoft's 90,000-odd technology patents. It's keeping the ones that cover specifically Windows and other products. But, still. Microsoft "protecting" Linux after previously laying siege to it. Wow.

CEO of OIN Keith Bergelt was chuffed to welcome the Windows vendor into the fold, saying that “through its participation in OIN, Microsoft is explicitly acknowledging the importance of open source software to its future growth” before modestly going on to say that “the litmus test for authentic behavior in the OSS community includes OIN participation”.

Soon-to-be-CEO of GitHub Nat Friedman excitedly tweeted about the news, which led to one Twitter wag reminding everyone of Microsoft’s earlier habit of collecting billions of dollars in patent license fees from makers of Linux-based Android phones, anyone who dared to support the Windows FAT32 file system, and so on. Perhaps with those patent royalties dried up or settled, Redmond has now happily handed over its exhausted war chest?

Friedman’s reply was to simply point at the Open Invention Network’s definition of the Linux system. Classy. ®

Other stories you might like

  • Running Windows 10? Microsoft is preparing to fire up the update engines

    Winter Windows Is Coming

    It's coming. Microsoft is preparing to start shoveling the latest version of Windows 10 down the throats of refuseniks still clinging to older incarnations.

    The Windows Update team gave the heads-up through its Twitter orifice last week. Windows 10 2004 was already on its last gasp, have had support terminated in December. 20H2, on the other hand, should be good to go until May this year.

    Continue reading
  • Throw away your Ethernet cables* because MediaTek says Wi-Fi 7 will replace them

    *Don't do this

    MediaTek claims to have given the world's first live demo of Wi-Fi 7, and said that the upcoming wireless technology will be able to challenge wired Ethernet for high-bandwidth applications, once available.

    The fabless Taiwanese chip firm said it is currently showcasing two Wi-Fi 7 demos to key customers and industry collaborators, in order to demonstrate the technology's super-fast speeds and low latency transmission.

    Based on the IEEE 802.11be standard, the draft version of which was published last year, Wi-Fi 7 is expected to provide speeds several times faster than Wi-Fi 6 kit, offering connections of at least 30Gbps and possibly up to 40Gbps.

    Continue reading
  • Windows box won't boot? SystemRescue 9 may help

    An ISO image you can burn or drop onto a USB key

    The latest version of an old friend of the jobbing support bod has delivered a new kernel to help with fixing Microsoft's finest.

    It used to be called the System Rescue CD, but who uses CDs any more? Enter SystemRescue, an ISO image that you can burn, or just drop onto your Ventoy USB key, and which may help you to fix a borked Windows box. Or a borked Linux box, come to that.

    SystemRescue 9 includes Linux kernel 5.15 and a minimal Xfce 4.16 desktop (which isn't loaded by default). There is a modest selection of GUI tools: Firefox, VNC and RDP clients and servers, and various connectivity tools – SSH, FTP, IRC. There's also some security-related stuff such as Yubikey setup, KeePass, token management, and so on. The main course is a bunch of the usual Linux tools for partitioning, formatting, copying, and imaging disks. You can check SMART status, mount LVM volumes, rsync files, and other handy stuff.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022