Microsoft thows Linux a life saver

Report: Microsoft making patents royalty-free for Android OEMs

"We pledge our entire patent portfolio to the Linux system".

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.

"Microsoft's participation in OIN adds to our strong community, which through its breadth and depth has reduced patent risk in core technologies, and unequivocally signals for all companies who are using OSS but have yet to join OIN that the litmus test for authentic behavior in the OSS community includes OIN participation". Previously, Microsoft had a reputation that lead members of the open source community to believe that the company wasn't exactly doing all it could to make itself accessible and an ally to those within the collective. This is also the best way for Microsoft to show that it does not intend to use patents as a weapon against any free software, beyond just that free software which is part of OIN's specific list.

Andersen's mention of "friction" is putting it lightly. "The licensees range from individual developers and startups to some of the biggest technology companies and patent holders on the planet". This resulted in frequent clashes with the Android community and others but Microsoft is intent on leaving that behind.

Microsoft has made billions from its extensive library of software patents. In 2016, the company even became a member of the Linux Foundation. Members of OIN get access to the OIN's roster of patents and cross-licenses among the licensees of OIN without needing to pay royalties.

Microsoft joining the Open Invention Network comes a week after the Redmond company joined LOT Network as well to help fight patent trolls.

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