2018/10/24: Microsoft has always been a company by, of, and for developers. At this point in history, developers love open source."
Walli knows some people are worried that Steve Ballmer will return with his "Linux is cancer" rhetoric. But Ballmer's not coming back. Walli even quoted Microsoft's current CEO, Satya Nadella, "'Judge us by the action we have taken in the recent past, our actions today, and in the future.'"
And that includes how Microsoft is dealing with patents.
What we're seeing now is "a new world order with smart, creative people creating innovation at Microsoft with open source," Bergelt said.
What's happening now, Bergelt explained, is that legal development and collaboration are catching up with technical development and collaboration. They're now happening in parallel.
OIN's mission, Bergelt said, is to enable freedom of action and operation for vendors and users of Linux open-source technology. It does this through a patent non-aggression pact and licensing around the Linux system.
That's not to say you can run out and build an exFAT-based file system for your USB-drive tomorrow with no consequences. Only OIN members have a non-aggression pact with Microsoft. If you're not a member of the OIN, you still must license exFAT from Microsoft.
But there's nothing special about exFAT. The same is true of any Microsoft patented technology. If you're not an OIN member, you're not covered by its patent-protection pool.
Some people may ask, "Why is it so hard to say this patent is OK for this program?" But that's based on a fundamental misunderstanding of how software patents work. They describe a high-level view of how a program does a task.
"There is no one to one match between code and patent," Boehm explained.