…well, we’ll probably never know – because the source code for these Microsoft products is not available to be checked against. In a sort-of mental experiment, ZDNet’s Ed Burnette describes in his blog entry a possible scenario of the “shoe being on the other foot”… where MS is actually in violation of some other companies’s patents — 532 is the number he’s using. Then he asks,

“Would that make you any less likely to use Microsoft software?”

He then concludes with what I think is the real question at hand here…

“So the question really becomes, what are you going to let guide your open source decisions? Threats and numbers picked out of the air, or the real business benefits that come from using and contributing to open source?”

Based on my own personal experiences – I can tell you that in almost all of my customer discussions the topic rarely comes up.