Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Are We Seeing A New Microsoft?

Have the courts forced Microsoft into this, or did they see this as ANOTHER division and ANOTHER revenue generator for the company.

Technology Review has a story about traffic prediction and avoidance. Pretty neat technology but there's one sentence in the article that should make people look at Microsoft in a different light.

The company uses algorithms that originated in the labs of Microsoft Research; its technology is the first fruit of Microsoft's initiative to license intellectual property to venture capitalists and startups

Instead of taking years to embed a new application into an OS or new device, they license the IP and let others develop it. How long, and how could, Microsoft even attempt to implement all of their IP.

All the years Nathan Myhrvold and Intellectual Ventures (do a Google if you don't know who they are) have been buying up patents. What do you think they will do with them?

How much revenue do you think Microsoft can generate from Nathan's visions? (Wink wink, hint hint, nod nod)

Microsoft is in a position where they can go to court with anybody, so there would definitely be an incentive to license versus fight.

Will Microsoft create a licensing arm? Will this be their answer to Web 2.0?

Thoughts comments?


Serge said...

Microsoft can go and f*** itself. Really, I can just easily outsource all development to a country where all IP patent talk is considered serious. And then I'll be reselling finished product in the developed world.

Do I bear responsibility whether that company developed its own IP or "stole" it (really, can you still common knowledge?). I don't think I do. I just re-sell the software.

Much love.

Scott Shaffer said...

I think you meant to say that you would use MSFT IP and develop in a country where IP patents are void.

Then resell back in the States.

Just because you outsourced the manuf/development of a product that you will sell in the place where the IP is valid doesnt get around the patents.

You are contributing to infringement.

The point I am trying to make is MSFT has deep enough pockets that they can force companies to license their IP.

The transformation could be interesting to watch. They turned a negative (monopoly/court rulings) into a positive.

IMO this is where the New American Business Model lies.

As Tom Friedman explains in the The World Is Flat, the US isn't producing enough engineers. Maybe there aren't anough engineers, but there certainly is enough intellectual property being created.