Ballmer’s latest tirade was aimed specifically at Red Hat, which is the leader in enterprise Linux and just reported another strong result. If you can stand some registration headaches, a video of his talk is here.
This does not mean Microsoft is about to call in the lawyers. The relevant quote is “People who use Red Hat, at least with respect to our intellectual property, in a sense have an obligation to compensate us.” (The italics are mine.) As in, it would be nice if they did.
There are a few ways this could go. Microsoft could send letters to Red Hat Enterprise Linux customers asking that they pay it not to sue. Or it could simply wait for another patent holder, say Eolas, to file the suit. After all, Eolas beat Microsoft out of $521 million in August.
In Oct. 2007, ZDNet cites to a June 2007 post on VNUNet (Microsoft to fight Eolas patent again), even though Microsoft settled with Eolas in August 2007. IT people have a real problem with the Eolas matter, and one notes the terms of the August 07 settlement are confidential.
Of the comment below, the commenter failed to understand that the link to the zdnet article was right in the title to this post. Separately, the June 2007 article is a link to vnunet.