Simon Phipps pointed me at Protest the Microsoft-Novell Patent Agreement, saying “The emotion is remarkable”, and he’s right, it is. The more I thought about that deal the less I worried about it. Sure, software patents being what they are, GNU/Linux, like every nontrivial chunk of code, doubtless infringes lots. So who’s Microsoft gonna sue? Any large-scale Linux user is also a large-scale Microsoft customer; that would be bad for business. They could go after Red Hat or Canonical, but that’d end up hurting their customers, helping Sun, and anyhow you could no more squish Linux that way than you can squeeze water in your fist. “Never ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetence” they say, and it’s true too; so maybe some Redmond strategist thought the vague FUD cloud would actually move the needle. Well, it has; but perhaps not quite as planned.