Microsoft is an evil empire, whether it wants to or not. That in summary is what Lawrence Lessig told delegates at the Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco today.
His thought line:
1. Microsoft is a monopoly (proven in court – the case just conveniently dwindled away after Bush became president)
2. Microsoft is threatened by open source
3. It's a historical fact that monopolies will spend whatever they can on protecting their monopoly. It is also their obligation to shareholders.
Since Microsoft is insanely rich, the company has equally insane amounts of money it can spend on its war against open source.
Microsoft's weapon of choice, according to Lessing (who is a law professor at Stanford university) will be patents. "We hear a huge sucking sound out of Redmond. A sucking sound of them hiring as many patent lawyers as we can produce."
Microsoft is a threat to the world, worthy of a James Bond movie. We should take this threat very seriously, Lessig warned. Because if we let the company get away with using patents to stop competitors from entering the market, everybody loses.
Lessig warns against the great evil from Redmond
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