Posted Jun. 18, 2007 at 7:58 a.m.

Premium Lock Red Hat Says ‘No’, But Microsoft Still Wants a Deal

Published: 2007-06-18 07:58:05
Updated: 2007-06-18 07:58:05

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C – Microsoft continues to pursue a n indemnification deal with Red Hat, but the Hatters are saying no way, according to media reports.

IDG News Service reported Monday that Microsoft is still interested in making peace with Red Hat over potential software patent infringements. The Bill Gates-led behemoth has struck deals with several other Linux developers, including Novell.

"We'd love to do the same deal with Red Hat," Tom Robertson, general manager of corporate interoperability and standards at Microsoft told IDG. "We're always open to talking with them."

But Red Hat has said no in the past, and spokesperson Leigh Day reiterated that view to IDG.

"We continue to believe that open source and the innovation it represents should not be subject to an unsubstantiated tax that lacks transparency," she told IDG.

However, IDG said rumors “suggest a pact might be imminent.”

Microsoft has stated that Linux violates its intellectual property. Red Hat and others have denied it, but Microsoft paid Novell several hundred million dollars to become a partner. The latest to accept Microsoft’s plan is Linspire, which signed on last week.

The deals include working out interoperability issues between Microsoft products and Linux and shielding of Linux customers from potential lawsuits.

Red Hat has said no such protection is necessary, and if lawsuits do occur Red Hat will offer support.

In South Africa at a conference, David Postel, sales manager for Middle East and Africa, told customers that it was “very unlikely” Microsoft would take legal action. If there is legal action, he said Red Hat offers protection in two ways, according to the publication Tectonic

"In the first instance Red Hat will repair or replace any software found to infringe patents,” he said. “And Red Hat will also pay to defend any customer that does have to face ligitation.

"We want customers to be able to choose the products they use based on quality, not on legal and IP issues."...

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