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Saturday, January 22, 2005

Is Indemnification Microsoft's Savior?

IT Jungle story - Microsoft's Strong IP Protections Give Window's an Advantage

In the ongoing platform wars, it's not always enough to have a superior operating system or better technical support on your side. Increasingly, giving customers a more thorough intellectual property (IP) indemnification policy, and backing that with a gaggle of lawyers, is the key to winning over customers. This is an important area where Microsoft has held an advantage over Linux, its key competition in the entry and midsized server space. But how long will the advantage last?

Yankee Group report found on Microsoft's website - Indemnification Becomes Open Source's Nightmare and Microsoft's Blessing (the full report here (PDF)):

The Yankee Group advises all companies to thoroughly review the terms and conditions of their existing and proposed licensing contracts. This report provides recommendations for important checkpoints to help you get the strong intellectual-property protection you need.

Indemnification is a big-ticket item that is included as a standard component in proprietary software licensing contracts. That is not the case with Linux, where indemnification is limited or lacking altogether. The necessity of having to purchase outside indemnification for Linux could negate the perceived savings of the so-called "free" Linux licenses over Microsoft's proprietary Windows.


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