Microsoft has succeeded in fracturing the Linux and open-source community with the patent indemnity agreements it has entered into with several prominent vendors, Ubuntu leader and Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth told eWEEK.
The strategy behind that was to drive a wedge into the open-source community and unsettle the marketplace, Shuttleworth said. He also took issue with the Redmond, Wash., software maker for not disclosing the 235 of its patents it claims are being violated by Linux and other open-source software.
"That's extortion and we should call it what it is," he said. "To say, as [Microsoft CEO Steve] Ballmer did, that there is undisclosed balance sheet liability, that's just extortion and we should refuse to get drawn into that game. On the other side, if Microsoft is concerned about its intellectual property, there is no one in the free software community that wants to violate anyone's IP. Disclose the patents and we'll fix the code. Alternatively, move on."