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In a move that's going to raise a lot of eyebrows, Microsoft has joined the Open Invention Network to 'protect Linux and other important open source workloads from patent assertions'.

For those who haven't heard of the OIN, their mission statement is quite a simple and honourable one "The Open Invention Network is a shared defensive patent pool with the mission to protect Linux.". To find out more about the OIN see here.

Hold the phone, this isn't gaming news?

Correct. However, this is still very interesting and extremely surprising from a company that has been pretty hostile to Linux in the past. It's the kind of move that could result in some big shifts in the entire industry.

We know Microsoft’s decision to join OIN may be viewed as surprising to some; it is no secret that there has been friction in the past between Microsoft and the open source community over the issue of patents. 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. 

Surprising is one word for it! Honestly, I'm in shock at this news. Does this mean we can firmly put the "Embrace, extend, and extinguish" phrase to rest and replace it with Embrace, extend, and protect? With Microsoft joining, they're bringing with them around 60,000 patents.

Moves like that, makes me seriously think about how Microsoft have changed, especially since their previous CEO Steve Ballmer called Linux "a cancer".

I think it also shows how far Linux has come as a platform for all things too, especially with Microsoft having a "Windows Subsystem for Linux" along with their support for running Linux on their Azure cloud computing platform.

What do you think to this?

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Tags: Editorial, Misc
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Brisse 10 October 2018 at 5:53 pm UTC
So maybe they want to start pushing code upstream that benefits Azure or any of their services but are subject to patents? Either way, this is probably good news, but maybe they know something I don't.

QuoteHold the phone, this isn't gaming news?

It might impact the system we choose for gaming so it's related enough
GustyGhost 10 October 2018 at 5:55 pm UTC
QuoteDoes this mean we can firmly put the "Embrace, extend, and extinguish" phrase to rest and replace it with Embrace, extend, and protect?

Betteridge's law
Liam Dawe 10 October 2018 at 5:57 pm UTC
QuoteDoes this mean we can firmly put the "Embrace, extend, and extinguish" phrase to rest and replace it with Embrace, extend, and protect?

Betteridge's law
I am well aware of that. Given this move, it's a legitimate question and I didn't end the headline in a question mark so shh ;)
TemplarGR 10 October 2018 at 5:57 pm UTC
Linux is going to conquer the whole world. It is a matter of when, not if. So Microsoft is making the right moves... I expect them to turn Windows into a Linux distro + proprietary libraries/API/DE at some point. It will be cheaper for them to maintain, will be able to enter most markets Windows can't enter/dominate now, like mobiles/servers, and will still allow them to be top dog, assuming they create a good and polished Linux based desktop OS and make linux-compatible versions of their stuff like Office...

People may laugh at this idea now, but it is an inevitability. Trust me. It may not happen in 5 or even 10 years, but it will eventually... The traditional "pay for a Windows licence" model is dead.
Nevertheless 10 October 2018 at 5:58 pm UTC
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First thought: Lie deception infiltration...
No second thoughts have emerged yet...
mortigar 10 October 2018 at 6:03 pm UTC
Never know maybe they know that the eco system is going to change over time and are pre-pairing to start pushing their own shitty drm riddled products onto linux, wouldn't sup prize me in the slightest.

Or even worse their own flavour of linux that supports drm riddled practices.

Last edited by mortigar on 10 October 2018 at 6:04 pm UTC
jordicoma 10 October 2018 at 6:13 pm UTC
I still don't trust Microsoft.
FurbyOnSteroid 10 October 2018 at 6:18 pm UTC
I have such big trust issues in microsoft that I can't think in any other way than how they will turn this one into an evil plan nobody thinks of at this time.
1xok 10 October 2018 at 6:27 pm UTC
Linux has become a kind of demilitarized zone. I think Linux is still better for Microsoft than Fuchsia. Its license and publishing policy may change at any time, just like that of Apple's Darwin. For example, until last year Apple had not released the kernels for iOS as open source. Such tricks do not work with Linux, because the whole kernel is under the GPL.

Apart from that, Microsoft uses Linux very intensively in its cloud. Their cloud switches run on Linux.
amatai 10 October 2018 at 6:29 pm UTC
Has Microsoft stop lending patent to patent troll attacking GNU/Linux users?
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