Letter to my friends at Microsoft

Dear Friends –

Do you still feel that the company that you are with, is still an honest entity, worthy of spending your waking hours to help build whatever they are making? Do you believe in the notion of “software patents”? I would urge you to consider the actions of your US management in how they are threatening to “sue” people for alleged (and not thus far unknown) patent violations in FOSS. Is that the way anyone should be doing business? I am sure you will agree with me that the whole idea of software patents is ludicruous and something that has to be gotten rid of. But while it still stays on the books, I urge you to talk with your US management to tell them that enough is enough. Show the world what the alleged violations are, or shut up. Do the ethical thing. I left Microsoft in 1990 because I could not handle the unethical way Microsoft does business – and that was when they were an underdog and IBM was the bad guy. How did Microsoft inherit that title from IBM? IBM has put out patents into the open and free to anyone who wants it. Will Microsoft ever do that? I hope they will. You, my friends, can make it happen.

So, DanD, VikramN, DeepakS, you have made your money. Please either walk out or force a change – start an internal revolt. Do it for the good of innovation, honesty and conscience.

Harish (was t-harish@microsoft.uu.net, 1988-1990)

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