Microsoft Patents Sudo?!!

Lordy, lordy, lordy. They have no shame. It appears that Microsoft has just patented sudo, a personalized version of it.

Here it is, patent number7617530. Thanks, USPTO, for giving Microsoft, which is already a monopoly, a monopoly on something that’s been in use since 1980 and wasn’t invented by Microsoft. Here’s Wikipedia’s description of sudo, which you can meaningfully compare to Microsoft’s description of its “invention”.

This is why what the US Supreme Court does about software patents means so much. Hopefully they will address the topic in their decision on Bilski. Sudo is an integral part of the functioning of GNU/Linux systems, and you use it in Mac OSX also. Maybe the Supreme Court doesn’t know that, and maybe the USPTO didn’t realize it. But do you believe Microsoft knows it?

Perhaps Microsoft would like everyone in the world to pay them a toll at least, even if they don’t want to use Microsoft’s software? Like SCO, but with more muscle behind the request? Or maybe it might be used as a barrier to competition? What do you personally believe Microsoft wants patents on things like sudo for? To make sure innovative new companies can compete on an even playing field with Microsoft?

And how do you like the final wording of the patent?:

Although the invention has been described in language specific to structural features and/or methodological steps, it is to be understood that the invention defined in the appended claims is not necessarily limited to the specific features or steps described. Rather, the specific features and steps are disclosed as preferred forms of implementing the claimed invention.

Please don’t ever again write to me that software patents are good for us because they include full disclosure, so others can build on the “invention”.

And to the USPTO, whose representative just argued in oral argument in Bilski that software should be patentable and that software can make a regular computer a special use computer, and all that drivel, please put those thoughts together with this patent, and consider the market implications of giving anyone that kind of monopoly, and especially the implications of giving it to a monopoly named Microsoft. It’s like giving a serial killer his very own machine gun, stronger than any gun his intended victims are allowed to purchase. You have to ask, what were you thinking? Read the full article at Groklaw.

Related Posts

Honda Connect in-vehicle infotainment system has Tegra inside and runs Android Honda Connect is an in-vehicle infotainment system built on a Tegra processor and runs Android, specifically, Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. It ...
Joli OS and Jolicloud Desktop Environment to be discontinued Joli OS and Jolicloud Desktop Environment will no longer be supported after December 31 2013. That, for Jolicloud users, is the bad news from the P...
Ready for a digital world where the OS is the browser? I believe it was Scott McNealy, the former CEO and co-founder of the now defunct Sun Microsystems, Inc. who first tried to sell us on the idea of Clou...
How to build a Kali Rolling ISO of doom Editor: When you've finished building your Kali Rolling ISO of doom, take another step and enhance your ethical hacking and online penetration testing...
How to develop your own Raspberry Pi operating system Why use an existing operating system if you can bake your own? Well, for one thing, writing an OS is not an easy feat. It requires a lot of knowledge ...
Social Engineering infographic: Phishing and vishing If you have any interest in social engineering, here's a nice infographic for you, courtesy of the folks at Social-Engineer.org. Here are a few tid...

We Recommend These Vendors and Free Offers

Launch an SSD VPS in Europe, USA, Asia & Australia on Vultr's KVM-based Cloud platform starting at $5:00/month (15 GB SSD, 768 MB of RAM).

Deploy an SSD Cloud server in 55 seconds on DigitalOcean. Built for developers and starting at $5:00/month (20 GB SSD, 512 MB of RAM).

Want to become an expert ethical hacker and penetration tester? Request your free video training course of Online Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking

Whether you're new to Linux or are a Linux guru, you can learn a lot more about the Linux kernel by requesting your free ebook of Linux Kernel In A Nutshell.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*