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Did Microsoft just sneakily patent an open-source tool?

By Scott Clark
on November 13, 2009

Raging through the tech blogs Thursday was a Groklaw report that Microsoft seemingly has sneakily patented an open-source technology called “sudo.”

Sudo (pronounced SOO-doo) is a computer command that allows a system user to input an administrative password to do a task, such as installing an application, the user doesn’t normally have permission to do. It’s an important part of Linux operating systems and Apple’s Mac OSX.

Naturally, Groklaw’s allegations immediately caught fire online. Sites like Gizmodo, ZDNet and ComputerWorld were all asking the question, “Did Microsoft just patent sudo?”

The answer, it seems, is a resounding no. “I really don’t think that that patent applies to sudo. I read through it and it seems to be something completely different,” said Todd Miller, the engineer who has managed and developed sudo since 1993. “That would be the answer I would say: ‘No.'”

Read the whole story at http://blog.seattlepi.com/microsoft/archives/184980.asp