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SubjectMicrosoft Withdraws Linux NTFS Threats

I will again be able to offer these NTFS tools to repair NTFS
partitions. Please begin reforwarding requests from folks with trashed
disks to me, and I'll be able to assist folks. Microsoft has apologized
and withdrawn their statements.

We are very happy this thread ended on a happy note, instead of in
court. Microsoft will take no action against us for NTFS development on
Linux, which can now proceed without concern.

Jeff

Microsoft drops lawsuit threat Orem company says software
giant apologizes for miscommunication


09/30/2000



By PAT CHRISTIAN

The Daily Herald

OREM -- The CEO of a local computer company says
Microsoft has backed off on
a threat to sue his Orem company over alleged
violations of intellectual property
rights.

"Their attorney, Linda Norman, called us Thursday
night and issued an apology,"
Jeff Merkey, CEO of Timpanogas Research Group in
Orem, said in a phone
interview from the Networld Interop trade show in
Atlanta on Friday. "She assured
our attorney, Andrew McCullough, that there will be
no lawsuit."

Microsoft spokesman Jim Cullinan said he couldn't
immediately speak of the
agreement between Bill Gate's company and
Timpanogas.

However, he did say, "There is no truth there is a
lawsuit, but Microsoft does take
its (intellectual property) rights very seriously."

"It all kind of got out of proportion," Merkey said
of the threats. He spoke about them
only after some of his private e-mail was
intercepted and posted on the Internet.

Timpanogas is a corporation formed by Merkey and
other former Novell employees
to develop networking, clustering and storage
software solutions. The company had
been working with Microsoft engineers on Timpanogas
network file system products
for Microsoft's Windows NT 2000.

Development involved Microsoft intellectual
property. Like a lot of software
companies, Timpanogas was also working with other
operating-system developers
that Microsoft considers competitors, such as Linux,
developing Timpanogas
network products that would run with Linux.

"They (Microsoft) basically gave us a license to
build some tools to run on
Windows NT 2000," Merkey said.

At one point, Timpanogas wrote some conversion tools
to convert NetWare and
Linux file management systems and were giving them
to Microsoft.

But he said they also gave them to some Microsoft
customers who were using the
Microsoft network file systems on Linux.

But Merkey said this and his e-mail communications
with Andre Hedrick, a Linux
disk engineer, ruffled Microsoft's feathers.

"Microsoft has threatened us with litigation due to
our support of Linux NTFS
development, and we have dissolved our NTFS
licensing agreements with
Microsoft...," Merkley wrote in one of his e-mails.

Merkey said he has no idea how it happened, but
their e-mails first were posted on
an Internet weekly Linux newsletter and reposted
Tuesday on Slashdot.org.

Merkey said Norman described the fracas as "an
apparent miscommunication. And
she also said 'please don't post those e-mails.' "

Pat Christian can be reached at 344-2556 or at
pchristi@heraldextra.com




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