Lots of people called this for what it was. FUD. Pure and simple. Marketing by threatened litigation.
This evening, information-week posted more discussion, including Linus Torvalds viewpoint. Not so oddly enough, his view was quite similar with my thoughts.
That wasn’t what struck me. It was the backpedaling.
My thoughts are, simply put, what utter hogwash. Their comments were a carefully prepared shot across the bow. It was meant to have marketing impact.
I don’t think they anticipated the backlash. Whats more, Linus raised a point in sharp relief that I had only hinted at:
The issue is unfortunately not behind us. One day this will need to be resolved, in court. Which means that one day, Microsoft is going to have to get specific, in public.
But, as I indicated, it is worse than simply that. Microsoft signaled the opening of a new front, and marketing by litigation. I will hazard a guess that they are going to regret doing so.