EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

08.26.07

Microsoft Set for Lock-in-backed Hijack (and Novell Helps It)

Posted in ECMA, Europe, Formats, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Steve Ballmer, Vista, Windows at 11:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell’s helping hand in the fight against FOSS

Time after time we warned that with the arrival of Windows Vista comes a novel lock-in strategy. It must not be ignored. Proprietary and patent-encumbered technology will be named “open” and then gradually extended. It is a trap which is disguised by disinformation and third parties like Novell and Ecma.

This strategy of lock-in stretches well beyond file formats. It also creates lethal and viral (as in “transferable”) integration of the server side and the desktop side. As mentioned many times before, all of this is happening quietly. It’s happening quietly for a reason. You never yell when approaching a rabbit.

The following bits of information may not be news, but they circulate around the Web at the moment and they are extremely vital to be aware of. Rather than taking an ‘holistic’ approach to analyse this lock-in strategy, let us take a look at its pertinent components. The scope of the Grand Scheme is incompatible with the scale of blog posts.

One lock-in component, among roughly half a dozen, is Silverlight, which Miguel de Icaza and his co-workers have been ‘kind’ enough to infect Linux with. Make no mistake. It is not cross-platform as Microsoft would have developers believe. It is highly Windows-dependent and it even encapsulated anti-consumer elements such as Microsoft DRM.

What remains astounding is the level of attention Silverlight gets, even in the open source world.

Under the hood, Silverlight 1.1 is an extended subset of the .NET 2.0 framework.

It appears as though many people conveniently ignore some nasty consequences. At times of bizarre IP debates and even saber rattling (see below), this is definitely the wrong route to take.

Google and OIN certainly have no interest in starting a legal war. While Microsoft’s efforts with just ‘talking about’ patent violations have manged to gain attention from the less popular distributions, the funny thing is Xandros, Linspire and Novell all produce quality products, it would take all three of them together to even hold a candle to the user-ship seen with Ubuntu. At the end of the day, the only real accomplishment here for Microsoft is to hold onto the enterprise market, since no one else has even batted an eye about the alleged IP violations.

It is dangerous and worrisome to see some folks striding bravely with their eyes shut. They easily fall for Microsoft’s “open” initiatives and projects. With disinformation, a lot of possible. More about this was discussed in SJVN’s article new on Microsoft’s so-called open source software. What about SharePoint? Steve Ballmer called it the new operating system. It’s the mother of all lock-ins. These are all things to study and consider. They are all closely integrated and they are very Microsoft-centric.

Microsoft uses the “big guns” to seed its new lock-ins. Here in the UK, the BBC seems to have become the Novell of the broadcasting world. What makes it different from Wal-Mart, which is also uncomforably close to Microsoft and is usually Linux-hostile in terms of delivery methods, is the fact that it’s funded by taxpayers, many of whom use Linux. This is similar to Novell’s use of Free software. It uses other people’s labour (like tax money) to punish those very same people. Silverlight and Microsoft DRM are among the nasty bits that will spread through the BBC’s Web site and services, based on plans, not just rumours and specualtions.

Gordon Brown and other Microsoft sympathisers in the UK are said to be poisoning businesses with tomorrow’s lock-ins, including SharePoint. Britain is a huge Microsoft victim/player in that respect. It consumes and forces upon others the use of Microsoft technologies.

These technologies (DRM, XAML, OOXML, SharePoint, among more) must be shunned. Giants like IBM have already approached the EU asking to make Vista illegal because of these and it’s worth repeating.

An industry coalition that has represented competitors of Microsoft in European markets before the European Commission stepped up its public relations offensive this morning, this time accusing Microsoft of scheming to upset HTML’s place in the fabric of the Internet with XAML, an XML-based layout lexicon for network applications.

Protests against such moves have proven to be effective in the sense that they are visible. The ‘other side’ is being heard.

“The future of iPlayer, the BBC’s new online on-demand system for delivering content, is continuing to look bleaker. With ISPs threatening to throttle the content delivered through the iPlayer, consumers petitioning the UK government and the BBC to drop the DRM and Microsoft-only technology, and threatened legal action from the OSC, the last thing the BBC wanted to see today was street protests at their office and at the BBC Media Complex accompanied by a report issued by DefectiveByDesign about their association with Microsoft.”

Despite all the noise, the BBC, which is too closely tied to Microsoft now, continues with its plans

The BBC have developed the “iPlayer” at a cost to the BBC license fee payer of £130 Million and rising.

[...]

FSF Executive Director attending the protest spoke about the corrupting influence of Microsoft, “BBC values have been corrupted because BBC Executives are too closely associated with Microsoft. BBC values have been corrupted because the iPlayer uses proprietary software and standards made under an exclusive deal with Microsoft. BBC values have been corrupted because license fee payers must now own a Microsoft operating system to download BBC programming. BBC values have been corrupted because license fee payers must accept DRM technologies that spy and monitor on the digital files held on their computers. We are here today to help BBC Director General Mark Thompson, clean up this DRM mess, and to encourage the BBC Trust to reverse course and eliminate DRM from the BBC iPlayer”

The discussion here does not stop at DRM. That’s where Novell fits the picture. Microsoft intends to use its ‘special’ deals to spread and make vital the use of Silverlight and .NET. Novell is among the biggest contributors (if the only one) to semi-baked ports of technology that should not be adopted in the first place. Novell gives customers and prospective developers the wrong impression — the impression that Free software will be compatible with technologies that Microsoft controls. It turns Linux into ‘cheap Windows’ that is enslaved to a monopoly.

As long as Novell endorses and builds Microsoft’s lockins, Novell deserves a boycott. Novell took the money and it’s now working to promote Microsoft’s own agenda, which includes eliminating Free software rivals.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

2 Comments

  1. tracyanne said,

    August 27, 2007 at 10:47 pm

    Gravatar

    Get rid of the damned animated Favicon, it’s so annoying that I couldn’t be bothered reading you blog.

  2. alex said,

    August 28, 2007 at 9:34 am

    Gravatar

    I just remembered Mark Thompson saying ” it took us ages to get content creators to let us use their material and part of that was DRM” – not an exact quote.

    That made me remember a comment I submitted to the BBC consultation. Don’t use their content. Use only BBC content and no DRM. They would soon start to say use my content please if the other stuff is beating theirs. It would have been a chance for the clout of the BBC to mean something.

What Else is New


  1. Cautionary Tale: ILO Administrative Tribunal Cases (Appeals) 'Intercepted' Under António Campinos

    The ILO Administrative Tribunal (ILO-AT) is advertised by the EPO's management as access to justice, but it's still being undermined quite severely to the detriment of aggrieved staff



  2. Asking the USPTO to Comply With 35 U.S.C. § 101 is Like Asking Pentagon Officials to Pursue Real, Persistent Peace

    Some profit from selling weapons, whereas others profit from patent grants and litigation; what's really needed right now is patent sanity and adherence to the public interest as well as the law itself, e.g. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions



  3. BT and Sonos Are Still Patent Bullies, Seeing Patents as a Backup Plan

    The companies seeking to complement their business (or make up for their demise) using patents are still suing rivals while calling that litigation "research and development" (the same old euphemism)



  4. Jim Skippen, a Longtime Patent Troll, Admits That the Trolling Sector is Collapsing

    Canada's biggest patent troll (WiLAN) bar BlackBerry doesn't seem to be doing too well as its CEO leaves the domain altogether



  5. From East Asia to the Eastern District of Texas: XYZ Printing, Maxell, and X2Y Attenuators

    The patent aggression, which relies on improper litigation venues, harms innocent parties a great deal; only their lawyers benefit from all this mess



  6. Links 14/7/2018: Mesa 18.1.4, Elisa 0.2.1, More on Python's Guido van Rossum

    Links for the day



  7. Number of Oppositions to Grants/Awards of European Patents at the EPO Has Skyrocketed, Based on Internal Data

    The number of challenged patents continues to soar and staff of the EPO (examiners already over-encumbered by far too much work, due to unrealistic targets) would struggle to cope or simply be compelled to not properly deal with oppositions



  8. 'Transaction' Complete: Former EPO Executive From Belgium Takes the Seat of António Campinos at EU-IPO

    Rumours that Belgium made a back room deal with Battistelli may be further substantiated with the just-confirmed appointment of Archambeau



  9. EPO Abuses Against People With Disabilities Followed by Legal Bullying?

    The new President of the EPO is not (at least not yet) obeying court rulings from ILO; The above move seems like an attempt to derail ongoing cases at the ILO’s Administrative Tribunal (ILO-AT), i.e. yet more strong-arming



  10. Weeks Later António Campinos Still in Noncompliance With the Courts (ILO's Tribunal)

    'report card' for the ever-so-intransparent (or nontransparent) new President of the EPO, who does not even bother obeying court rulings



  11. Links 13/7/2018: Kube 0.7.0, Trisquel 8.0 LTS Reviewed

    Links for the day



  12. Constitutionality and CJEU as Barriers, the UPC Agreement (UPCA) is Already Moot in the United Kingdom

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) isn't going anywhere and the UK merely "explores" what to do about it; for Team UPC, however, this means that the UK "confirms intention to remain in Unitary Patent system after Brexit" (clearly a case of deliberate misinformation)



  13. It's Not About EPO 'Backlog' But About Faking 'Production' by Lowering Standards

    Remarks on the EPO dropping all pretenses of genuine care for patent quality; it's all about speed now, never mind if wrongly-granted patents can cause billions in damages across Europe (a lot of that money flows towards patent law firms)



  14. Links 12/7/2018: GTK+ 4.0 Plans, OpenBSD Gains Wi-Fi “Auto-Join”

    Links for the day



  15. The Anti-35 U.S.C. § 101 Lobby Pushes Old News Into the Headlines in an Effort to Resurrect/Protect Software Patents

    The software patenting proponents (law firms for the most part) are still doing anything they can -- stretching even months into the past -- in an effort to modify the law in defiance of Supreme Court (SCOTUS) rulings



  16. Thomas Massie and Marcy Kaptur Are Promoting the Interests of Patent Trolls and Patent Lawyers While Calling That “Innovation”

    Remarks on the ongoing effort to promote patent trolls’ interests under the guise of “helping small businesses” — a very misleading propaganda pattern that we have been finding in Unified Patent Court (UPC) lobbying at the EPO



  17. Links 12/7/2018: Mesa 18.1.4 RC, Curl 7.61.0

    Links for the day



  18. Texas: When Trade Secret 'Damages' Are Almost 1,000 Times Higher Than Patent 'Damages'

    It's possible to deal with conflicts and disputes using means other than patents; a new trade secret misappropriation case and a new study from Ofer Eldar (Duke Law) and Neel Sukhatme (Georgetown Law) bring examples from Texas



  19. Cellspin Soft Will Likely Need to Pay the Accused Party's Lawyers Too After Frivolous Litigation With Patents Eliminated Under 35 U.S.C. § 101

    Pursuing bogus (questionable) patents and going even further by asserting them in court can be worse than a waste of time and money; it can actually cause the target of assertion to be compensated (legal fees) at the plaintiff’s expense — a critical fact largely ignored by the patent ‘industry’



  20. The Lack of Genuine, Honest Discussion About Patent Quality Means That Under António Campinos Software Patents Will Continue to be Granted, Campinos Strives to Make Them 'Unitary'

    The agenda of the litigation 'industry' is still being served by the existing EPO administration; this is a problem because not only do they grant patents on just about anything but they also attempt to broaden litigation jurisdiction



  21. Links 11/7/2018: Xen 4.11, Ubuntu Infographics, Lockbox and Notes

    Links for the day



  22. Links 10/7/2018: Wine 3.12, FreeNAS 11.2 Beta, GNU Helps Journalism

    Links for the day



  23. Patent Trolls Rally/Advertise Thomas Massie's Bill to Abolish PTAB and Promote Software Patents in the US

    Vocal patent maximalists (or think tanks of the litigation 'industry') want us to think that the US is too restrictive when it comes to patents (the opposite is true) and tries to change the law so as to plague/saturate the system with patent lawsuits they stand to gain from at the expense of practicing companies



  24. The Demise of East Texan Courts and the Ascent of PTAB, Alice and a SCOTUS-Compliant CAFC May Mean That US Software Patents Are Officially 'Dead'

    Companies come to grips with the need to divest and distance themselves from abstract patents; such patents are simply not tolerated by courts anymore (even if patent offices continue granting many such patents for the sake of profit)



  25. Signs of Upcoming Changes at EPO: Raimund Lutz, Željko Topić and Other 'Team Battistelli' Folks Are Being Replaced

    Vice-Presidents of DG1, DG4 and DG5 are being replaced just over a week after the Campinos tenure began (decisions actually made last week); Might this suggest the imminent implosion of so-called 'Team Battistelli'?



  26. Polaris Innovations is a Patent Troll and Polaris Industries is a Patent Aggressor

    A look at the ongoing activity at the USPTO, which is still granting some abstract patents, and some of the resultant shakedowns and lawsuits



  27. Actions -- Not Mere Words -- Are Needed to Improve Patent Quality and Climate at the European Patent Office

    The new President of the European Patent Office is more of a "public relations" expert (saying nice words), but his policies and actions have thus far shown no divergence from Système Battistelli



  28. Links 9/7/2018: Linux 4.18 RC4, Red Hat's APAC Push

    Links for the day



  29. Apple Has Far More to Lose Than to Gain From Patent Maximalism; Apple Needs to Fight for Patent Sanity

    It might be time for Apple to rethink its legal strategy; patents are costing the company a great deal of money and have yielded almost nothing for the company's bottom line (unlike the company's lawyers, perpetrators of this misguided strategy)



  30. Project Battistelli: Documenting the Ugly and Illegal Things Battistelli Did at the EPO

    The efforts to shed light on what Battistelli did when he was in charge of the European Patent Office (both told and untold stories)


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts