I don't want to spawn an MSFT tirade, but it is irresponsible to hold such enmity towards a single company when there may be larger threats lurking.
The tricky thing with corporations is that they are unpredictable. MSFT, under Bill Gates, was generally anti-patent. Gates publicly warned against software patents. I don't know so much about Ballmer, and even less about whoever might preside next.
If you want to be snarky about it, MSFT isn't an innovator - they're a copier - and as such could be a great ally against software patents. But in reality, they didn't like getting sued by Apple or the other patent trolls and I think that like most engineering-minded entities, they would rather not have to deal with any of that.
The money behind the SCO suit could have been "testing the waters" as some suggest; it could be cronyism (which runs rampant in certain circles, from my experience); or it could be something as simple as "doing the right thing" (by paying for these [maybe not phony] licenses) while being mildly amused by the tempest it creates, because - hey - you've got more money than you know what to do with and it's not going to hurt your business.
So for those reasons it's valid to keep an eye on what MSFT is doing, but also to recognize that - at least for now - they may not be the biggest threat out there.
I do have to admit that I don't follow a lot of these interactions closely and so may not be adequately informed, but Oracle seems to fall into a scary "litigious bastards" camp, and doesn't seem to prefer to use its patents defensively. They also own all of Sun's IP, and we're still learning how that's going to play out ...
That being said, Patent Trolls are a _major_ threat because there is no "defensive patent" contingency that can be used against them. The embedded/small-device market is becoming extremely litigious as well, which is likely to spill over into Linux usage and growth there.
I think defending against these "pure play" patent threats is more beneficial than tirades and pages and pages of conspiracy theories surrounding MSFT. Like all amoral and schizophrenic corporations they need to be watched, but not at the expense of ignoring armies gathering at the back door ...