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Those Redmond Lawyers Are At It Again

Did you read the new agreement between Sun Microsystems and Microsoft as it relates to office type software (specifically MS Office and Star Office)? In the article, "Sun-Microsoft Pact Excludes OpenOffice Users," TechWeb's Antone Gonsalves reports that MS won't sue Sun for products sold prior to the agreement. Understand, that was signed when the Moon was in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars. This agreement lasts for 10 years.

However, if you own or use OpenOffice, then you're not safe, nor is Sun. As my friend from TechWeb so clearly wrote, OpenOffice is a free alternative to both MS Office and StarOffice. Most of the original code, and financial support comes from Sun, and StarOffice.

OpenOffice is a nice package, but lacks certain refinements that are second nature in MS Office. In my experience, I found this to be true in its word processor and spreadsheet (I didn't play with any other aspect of the software). Will it replace MS Office, which I am reliably told (ok, repeating) accounted for 30% of Microsoft's revenue last year? I highly doubt it.

So, what's the hub-bub about? Money (isn't it always?). Microsoft is starting to feel the heat from Linux, and is beginning to flex its powerful legal muscle to stifle the growth of an operating system that could potentially remove Microsoft from the future lexicon.

What or who will the legal beagles of Redmond go after next? Maybe they should have a talk with Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and Brian Kernighan? Afterall, they're the ones who invented Unix.