Sorry if it wasn't obvious. I'm pissed because AndyC has his head stuck so deep in Microsoft as$ that he doesn't see this suit as what it is: LAME PATENT TROLLING.
Way to make your case.
I'm not sure why you seem so excited about this. It looks like the usual tit-for-tat patent nonsense that every tech company gets involved in at some time or another. MS sues Motorola, Motorola countersues Microsoft. After two years and enough money spent to put the kids of twenty lawyers through Harvard, they settle.
I agree, something is seriously broken, but what's needed is an effort to overhaul it. Not sure how slinging insults around a forum is going to help with that.
Every decent developer looks at this with horror as to what it means to the craft. It means lawyers became much more important then developers. It also means that Microsoft can halt any development. New OS? New browser? New calendar app? New anything in CS? Call Microsoft first to arrange for a payment, unless of course you are not in direct competition with it.
And why are we singling out MS here? Are they the only ones doing it? Apple seems think it owns the patent on rectangles. They know it's ridiculous, but if these companies aren't seen to be protecting their intellectual property then they'll become vulnerable to theft of the stuff that really does matter.
Having said that though, it seems to be that both MS and Apple are trying to use the system to stifle competition. So rather than attacking one company, let's attack the system because that's where the problem is.
EDIT: And all AndyC sees in this is just: OMG I learned Microsoft technologies for ages. And now everything is going down the drain. How can the world not see that Silverlight is the greatest thing on earth? How can the world like an operating system based on Java? Don't they see that C# is much greater the old Java. If this lawsuit is the thing that would bring back 2002 i'm all for it.
You want an operating system based on Java? Okay.
There are a fair number of Java developers (I'm one of them) who believes that C# is a better language than Java, which is not surprising really. MS had the opportunity to see the mistakes that were made in Java and improve on it. And dissatisfaction with Java is a good thing because it led to the development of JVM languages that are better than Java and C#. That's how progress works.
EDIT: I suppose I'd better qualify what I mean by 'mistake'. Well, tying the package system to the file directory hierarchy was really, really stupid, since they must have known that this would be very fragile under Windows.