Microsoft embraces open source community by joining Open Invention Network

Microsoft thows Linux a life saver

Microsoft announced on Wednesday that the company is joining the Open Invention Network (OIN), a group that provides a licensing platform for Linux of an estimated 2,400 companies.

The move will help protect open source software and projects from falling victim to patent lawsuits.

With Microsoft's contribution of 60,000 patents, the OIN has seen its patent library multiple nearly 50 times over. Enterprise cloud computing depends heavily on Linux and other open-source technologies, and any type of patent dispute involving open-source technology would send shock waves through the system.

OIN works by providing patent cross-licenses between companies that have joined it, these covering Linux tech. As a result, Android vendors were pressured to ink deals, forcing them to pay royalties to Microsoft.In 2001, Microsoft's previous CEO Steve Ballmer also famously derided Linux as a "cancer" on intellectual property. This has led Microsoft to soften its stance on the operating system and open source development.

U.S. student challenges Israeli entry ban in court
It also has identified 20 activist groups from around the world whose members can be denied entry upon arrival. Israel, and Erdan in particular, have come under widespread criticism for their handling of Alqasem's case.

Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, The Linux Foundation offers his thoughts below.

The Verge added some things, like Windows desktop and desktop application code, will not be going open-source, though that's to be expected. 'For others who have followed our evolution, we hope this announcement will be viewed as the next logical step for a company that is listening to customers and developers and is firmly committed to Linux and other open source programs.

OIN supplies a license platform for Linux for around 2,400 companies - from individual developers to huge companies like Google and IBM - and all members get access to both OIN-owned patents and cross-licenses between other OIN licensees, royalty-free.

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