Microsoft a big softie. Will not sue over alleged patent infringements.

A ZDNet UK article says that Microsoft will not sue over the alleged patent infringements by free software.

Aw, aren’t they just swell? What a bunch of great guys.

But wait a minute. If they sued they’d have to prove the alleged infringements, and in turn would get sued back since they surely have dirty laundry in the form of patent infringements of their own.

So it appears their plan is to act like a charitable behemoth, yet still drop tidbits to the press about how free software violates 235 of their patents. And they’ll do this without ever having to prove it, or even name the patents involved! This would be classic FUD. If they repeat it enough (and get it in the papers) without opposition then it will soon be assumed to be true.

I think Linux and other free software organizations should cry foul. If Microsoft isn’t suing, then they should shut up about these so-called infringements. Since they probably won’t, every time they drop this notion the Linux community should make it a point to mention that there are no official allegations, no specific patents mentioned, and they have no knowledge of any infringements.

Sure, this is strictly a war of words, but you lose those if your opponent is the only one talking. Bottom line is free software should not be silent on this, and at least offer a “canned” response every time Microsoft goes into their act.