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Open Letter to Steven Ballmer

Your repeated claims that Linux violates Microsoft's intellectual property has come to the attention of the Linux community. Not only that, but it's been reported Microsoft has convinced businesses to pay for a Linux patent that you can't provide.

Therefore, this website will serve as a response to this accusation, and within it, a request.   The request is simple, since you, Microsoft, claim to be so sure of yourself: Show Us the Code.  Show us the Code and Show Us the Patents.  Lets make this crystal clear.

If Linux developers are made aware of the code and patented ideas, then the code can be omitted and Linux can re-write necessary aspects of the kernel or operating system.  This is a fairly simple request and common courtesy. Why wave around lawsuit threats, threats that will cost Microsoft in a court room as well as the defendants? It lacks logic, especially when you consider that there are developers around the world who would be more than happy to work with Microsoft to resolve this issue. Don't you owe it to your shareholders to work with others to ensure their intellectual property isn't being violated?

Also, we were under the impression you wanted to work with the open source community. That's what Port 25 is all about isn't it?  That's what the Novell deal is about, correct?  Here's your chance.  If you're right you'll silence thousands upon thousands of open-source advocates  and make your competitors scramble for ways to not violate your IP.

Linux community members do not want your code.   We don't want lawsuits.  We don't want non-free code.   And much to your dismay, we don't want Microsoft's code specifically. 

So this is what we're requesting.  We are requesting the support of the Linux community.  We are calling out to Richard Stallman, Linus Torvalds, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Dr. Eric Schmidt, Mark Shuttleworth, Kevin Carmony, and Matthew Szulik, as well as any and all developers for any Linux distribution or any company that feels threatened by your non-existent lawsuits:  

Publicly pledge your support for Microsoft showing the public the code within Linux that violates their intellectual property by May 1st, 2007.  

How many corporations, how many organizations, how many community members will it take to call your bluff, Steven?  

We are not the first (1, 2) to request this of you, but we are willing to take it to the next level.  If you or Microsoft cannot comply with a response by the date outlined, everyone who endorses this will consider your threats and claims to be empty and libelous.  Anyone paying attention to the marketplace should as well.


Happy code hunting. 

Note: If you work for or own a company, or partake in maintaining, selling, or providing Linux services or services and products via Linux, then you are encouraged to contact me privately.  I will be building a page that will display each person's professional request for Steven to provide the code.