Microsoft hasn’t formally rescinded its declaration that Linux violates its patents, but one Microsoft executive admits that the company’s earlier battle stance was a mistake.
Jean Paoli told Network World Microsoft loved open source and had been working with open source for a long time now.
He admitted it was a mistake to equate all open source technology with Linux. It did that a really long time ago and “We understand our mistake.”
Paoli is the general manager of Microsoft’s interoperability strategy team and the co-creator of the XML specification.
Recently he has been involved in a new Microsoft initiative to promote interoperability among the key components of cloud networks. While it is not an open source project it does illustrate Microsoft’s evolving relationship with open technologies.
It seems that one of the motivations is that Microsoft can benefit in the public relations game from unpopular moves by Oracle.
But then again Microsoft itself also launched a patent lawsuit against GPS vendor TomTom last year, forcing TomTom to pay Microsoft licensing fees, and was able to force HTC to pay it royalties over use of Android.
Paoli says Microsoft knows that its customers use a mix of proprietary and open source technologies.