Microsoft Corp. said the Linux operating system and other freely distributed programs violate 235 of its patents, and it wants makers of such software to pay royalties.
The world's largest software maker would rather license its technology than litigate, Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft said Monday in an e-mailed statement.
Microsoft had earlier said Linux and so-called open-source software violate its patents without detailing the claims. Last year it struck a deal with Novell Inc., the second-largest seller of Linux, in which both agreed not to sue each other's customers. Two weeks later Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said Linux "uses our patented intellectual property."
Some of the patents that Microsoft claims have been violated relate to the Linux graphical design, e-mail, the operating system core and the Open Office word processing and spreadsheet programs that compete with Microsoft Office.