Swapnil: Microsoft continues to attack Linux and now they are attacking Android. What do you say about such attacks?
Linus: I think they are getting better about it. The patent system is just broken and I wouldn’t even blame Microsoft so much as the system itself. Yes, Microsoft then takes advantage of the fact that it is a broken system. It’s sad and discouraging but happily I don’t have anything really to do with it.
I think that is indicative of Microsoft changing and losing some of their clout that they used to have. They actually used to hate courts, because they were the ones who were getting sued over copyrights, sometimes over patents. They were in court a lot and they actually tended to, I think, see the courts as a problem and they could solve their own problems by being so dominant that they could force the hardware manufacturers to do what they wanted. That has changed.
Personally, I am of the opinion that going to court is a sign of a business that is dying. I am not saying that Microsoft is dying, it’s a sign, not a complete indicator.
If you look at Microsoft’s dominance 10 years ago, and Microsoft’s dominance now, I think one of the reasons they are going to court is that they are losing a lot of their clout and they are looking for other ways to kind of enforce what they want – their money stream basically.
Personally, I am of the opinion that going to court is a sign of a business that is dying. I am not saying that Microsoft is dying, it’s a sign, not a complete indicator. But I think in this case it’s somewhat true that their court and legal strategy has changed because they lost a lot of power outside the lawsuits and now they are trying to game the system and trying to stay on top. If I was Microsoft, looking at Android on cellphone and Apple on both cellphones and laptops and desktops, I would be very, very nervous, I bet they are. Nobody likes them.