Stories by Robert McMillan

New service brings digital music to eBay

A 60-person startup company called PassAlong Networks, believes it discovered a way to encourage fans to legally share digital music: Cut them in for a piece of the action. On Thursday, the company is set to launch a music download service and "sharing network" that will let customers earn free music by referring songs to friends.

Microsoft, HP, IBM safe from Kodak software patent

Though a Friday patent lawsuit verdict against Sun Microsystems Inc. could potentially have a wide-ranging impact on the computer industry, the ruling appears unlikely to affect three of the world's largest IT companies, who have licensed the technology in question. Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp. and Microsoft Corp. are licensees of the software patents in question, the patents' owner, Eastman Kodak Co., confirmed Monday.

Former BEA execs launch open source company

Three former BEA executives who left earlier this year have resurfaced as founders of a Seattle startup that plans to begin integrating and supporting a variety of open source server software next year.

Gartner: Piracy driving Linux PC shipments

Although Linux may be shipping on a growing number of PCs sold in the emerging markets of Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe, about 80 percent of PCs shipped with the open source operating system this year will eventually run pirated versions of Windows, industry research firm Gartner estimated in a report issued September 21.

IBM seeks dismissal in second part of SCO case

IBM is seeking dismissal of a second major component of the lawsuit filed against it last year by Unix vendor The SCO Group, according to court documents filed Friday by IBM. The documents, filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, argue that SCO's breach of contract allegations should be dismissed from the lawsuit.

Novell moves again to dismiss SCO's claims

Two months after a Utah judge refused to dismiss a slander lawsuit filed against Novell by The SCO Group, the Linux vendor has again moved for dismissal in the case, according to documents filed late last week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah.

HP exec calls for fewer open source licenses

The open source community needs fewer licenses and the large number of software licenses used to release open source code is becoming a significant issue for developers and users, according to a senior HP executive speaking at the Linuxworld Conference & Expo.

NASA to build 10,000-processor Linux computer

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has given the green light to a project that will build the largest ever supercomputer based on Silicon Graphics' (SGI) 512-processor Altix computers.

BayStar threatens SCO with lawsuit

The SCO Group and investment firm BayStar Capital are apparently unable to agree on whether or not a June stock repurchase agreement between the two companies has closed, and BayStar now intends to file a lawsuit against the Unix vendor, according to statements issued by the two companies on Friday.

Court dismisses bulk of SCO's DaimlerChrysler lawsuit

The SCO Group Inc. has been dealt a setback in its quest to hold customers accountable for its copyright claims. On Wednesday, a Michigan judge granted a motion dismissing all but one of the software vendor's counts in its lawsuit with auto giant DaimlerChrysler AG, according to DaimlerChrysler spokeswoman Mary Gauthier.

Novell releases Mono 1.0

After three years of development, open source developers now have an alternative to Microsoft's .Net application development platform, thanks to Novell, which on Wednesday released version 1.0 of its Mono development platform.

Microsoft unit accuses Brazilian official of defamation

Microsoft Corp.'s Brazilian subsidiary has initiated legal proceedings against the Brazilian government official credited with developing the country's open-source strategy, saying he defamed the software giant in statements published in the magazine Carta Capital.

IDC: Linux to take 29% of 2008 server shipments

The Linux operating system will account for 29% of units shipped into the worldwide server market in 2008, up from 12% last year, according to predictions published by the IDC research firm.

US patent office to review FAT patent

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has agreed to review Microsoft Corp.'s software patent covering the FAT (file allocation table) file system, in response to a request from a New York-based patent watchdog group.