Microsoft/Amazon Deal: Nothing to See Here

By February 22, 2010Blog
Microsoft today issued a news release to announce a patent cross-license agreement with Amazon. And, the news release, in the lead, explicitly calls out a set of technologies covered by the agreement: the Kindle, which employs open source software, and Amazon’s use of Linux-based servers.

Companies reach broad cross-license agreements all the time, never disclose the patents involved and don’t often issue press releases about it. Amazing how despite the “broad range of products and technology” covered in their cross license, Microsoft chose to focus on Linux and open source – distinctly calling it out from “proprietary software” and wasn’t specific about any patents.

It is worth noting that most technology companies have invested heavily in patents and that a cross-licensing agreement is a non-news event. The fact that two entities with expensive stockpiles of outdated weapons felt the need to negotiate détente is not surprising.

Let’s avoid second-guessing and implication. There’s nothing to see here. We have real code to write.