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. The European Patent Office Goes Down a Very Slippery Slope by Promoting and Defending Patents on Life/Nature in Defiance of Parliament and the EPC

    The reluctance to obey the law at the EPO is very much noteworthy; things have gotten so bad that nature and life itself become 'corporate property' or monopoly



  2. Software Patents Are in a Freefall in Courts Worldwide, But the EPO Keeps Granting and Promoting These

    Courts are tearing down abstract patents, but this has neither deterred nor discouraged António Campinos from coming up with new buzzwords and acronyms by which to promote these and grant these to applicants



  3. Team UPC Excited Over Nothing, President Campinos Rarely Even Mentions UPC Anymore

    President Campinos started his term with UPC advocacy, but he has barely even mentioned the acronym since then. In fact, it seems increasingly unlikely that UPC can ever materialise with just month left before Brexit



  4. Battistelli's Bodyguard Has Been Arrested, But Battistelli Should Join Him

    Alexandre Benalla and Vincent Crase end up in prison; will French investigators bother checking Benalla's past with Battistelli as well as other Battistelli scandals (incidents of law-breaking and of corruption)?



  5. Links 22/2/2019: GNOME 3.32 Beta 2 Released and Fedora 30 Flicker-Free Boot

    Links for the day



  6. Links 20/2/2019: digiKam 6.0.0, Cockpit 188, Mesa 19.0 RC5

    Links for the day



  7. How Long Can the EPO Bend the Rules Before the Avalanche of Invalid Software Patents?

    A 35 U.S.C. § 101/SCOTUS moment in Europe will likely squash loads of abstract European Patents granted by the EPO; shouldn’t the EPO foresee this and immediately cease granting such obviously bogus patents, whose main beneficiary is a bunch of patent trolls?



  8. Battistelli Trashed 223 Millions (of Stakeholders' Euros) on a System That Destroyed the European Patent Office and Made Few Private Corporations a Lot Richer

    A quarter of a billion euros later the EPO finally admits in private that this was a massive failure



  9. Links 19/2/2019: Mesa 18.3.4, Cutelyst 2.7.0, Plasma Pass 1.0.0

    Links for the day



  10. What Happened in the United States Now Happens in Europe: Lots of Patents Turn Out to Be Bunk, Fake, Bogus, Invalid and Thus Worthless

    Worthless patents — not opposition to such patents — are the greatest threat to the legitimacy of the patent system, yet bureaucrats fail to heed the warning in the name of short-term profits



  11. Stephen Rowan's and Nellie Simon's Letter to EPO Staff: eDossier Has “Not Reached the Required Quality Levels.”

    We've just commented on it; here is the raw letter in full, explaining that eDossier and related frameworks will be abandoned entirely and indefinitely within less than a fortnight



  12. Search Matters Not at the European Patent Office

    The EPO has found out that "System Battistelli" has been catastrophic for the quality of patents; it stops short of openly admitting it as such and in fact it keeps the message strictly confidential (explained to insiders, who will inevitably notice a system being abandoned)



  13. António Campinos Still Needs to Undo Battistelli's Union-Busting Activities at the EPO

    Solidarity and support for Laurent Prunier are needed because the new French president lacks empathy even for fellow Frenchmen whose sole 'crime' is that they represented EPO staff



  14. Links 18/2/2019: Linux 5.0 RC7, RISC-V Spreading Fast

    Links for the day



  15. António Campinos Still Needs to Hold Team Battistelli Accountable for Illegally Bringing Weapons to the EPO

    It is imperative that, in order to repair the reputation of the European Patent Office (EPO), António Campinos should pursue accountability for the managers who brought Benalla and firearms to the Office (very serious breach of German law, jail sentence included)



  16. Links 17/2/2019: Compiz 0.9.14.0, Geary 0.13.0, GNU FreeDink 109.6, Debian 9.8, Texinfo 6.6

    Links for the day



  17. Amazon's Patent Policy Should be Enough of a Reason to Boycott Amazon and AWS

    There are many things to criticise Amazon and its founder for; but rarely does the mainstream media bring up the company's appalling patent policy



  18. Don't Use Cloudflare Because You Impose This on People Who Least Want It

    Reasons to stop making the World Wide Web so heavily dependent on some dubious companies like Cloudflare, which already has a worrisome track record



  19. How Many/Most EPO Examiners View 'President' António Campinos

    Based on what readers/insiders have told us, there’s a prevalent perception that António Campinos is afraid of (thus controlled/directed by) Bergot, who is still doing Battistelli’s biddings at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  20. Techrights' Priorities Over the Years

    An old priority of ours, eliminating software patents in the United States, is no longer quite so relevant because such patents are perishing in US courts, with or without outside intervention such as activism



  21. Courts in Disagreement: Warning on Wrongly-Granted European Patents and the Looming Collapse of All Software Patents in Europe

    By devaluing patents and reducing their perceived worth (as is happening in China and Europe) patent offices risk decreasing participation in the very system they fundamentally depend on



  22. Computing Will Not Necessarily Make the World a Better Place

    The vision of "happy world" (because each person has a so-called 'smart' 'phone') is a yuppie delusion that overlooks business models and corporate interests



  23. EPO Grants Fake European Patents -- Including Software Patents -- and European Courts Keep Rejecting These

    The demise of the legitimacy or perceived validity of European Patents is measurable and the system isn't the same anymore; the EPO makes no effort to change this for the better, either



  24. Nobody But Patent Trolls and Litigators Will Benefit From the Corruption of the European Patent Office

    IAM, EPO leadership, Iancu and the rest of these raiders are enabling corruption and facilitating or supporting a racket; that money they collect comes at the expense of future victims of their "clients" or "customers" (that's what they call applicants, to whom they grant dubious monopolies as a matter of urgency)



  25. WSL is a Misleading Acronym/Name Because There's No Linux in It, It's Just Windows

    When Microsoft says "Linux" (as in "Microsoft loves Linux") what it actually means is Windows and/or Azure



  26. Links 16/2/2019: Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS, PyCharm 2019.1 EAP 4

    Links for the day



  27. Outline/Index of the Alexandre Benalla/Battistelli Scandal

    Our writings about the scandals implicating Benalla and the European Patent Office (EPO)



  28. Reading Techrights on a Mobile Device Running Android

    A new Android app for reading this site is being tested



  29. Links 14/2/2019: “I Love Free Software Day” and Mesa 19.0 RC4 Released

    Links for the day



  30. “EPO Lawlessness Again”

    Blackberry uses bogus European Patents (on software) for lawsuits; "all of them pure software patents. Patents on programs for computers as such," as Müller puts it


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