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11.08.07

Hijacking the Web with Bundleware and Negative Pricing

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Xen at 3:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

How do you compete with free? You pay people to take it.

Let’s begin with a quote:

“[Microsoft] are willing to lose money for years and years just to make sure that you don’t make any money, either.” — Bob Cringely.

SharePoint is an integral part of Microsoft’s goals in joining hands with Linux companies. It is part of the push to hijack the World Wide Web [1, 2, 3], so it is definitely something to always keep an eye on. Matt Asay, being one of those who are most affected by SharePoint because he works at Alfresco, has some curious details.

What Brian did say about Sharepoint is potentially more troubling. Has the open-source community effectively given away a big chunk of the future’s software stack to Microsoft? And has it effectively ceded the role of data aggregation to Sharepoint? The open-source world has superior wikis like Socialtext and MindTouch to Microsoft’s internal wiki, but Microsoft’s half-baked bundled suite is likely to win out unless the open-source world doesn’t get together to present a viable open-source competitor.

Bundling is an issue here and so is the closed-source nature of the package, which will refuse to interact with ‘alien’ software.

What Microsoft does to elevate itself in the servers market is particularly worrisome. Consider this older bit of news for example:

Question: The OpenSourceParking.com announcement cites a Netcraft report, which found that GoDaddy.com’s migration from Linux to Windows caused Apache to lose server share. Was this event the sole impetus for OpenSourceParking.com?

[Bruce] Perens: Not the first. It’s part of a continuing behavior pattern by Microsoft that I think it’s fair to call “dirty fighting.” GoDaddy was using Apache (I assume on Linux) because it was a great technical solution. They didn’t switch to IIS on Windows Server 2003 for any technical reason. The switch was accompanied by a press release by GoDaddy, containing Microsoft promotional language. Now, I’ve changed many servers from one thing to another, but I’ve never made a press release about it. GoDaddy wouldn’t be doing that unless Microsoft had offered them something valuable in return. There has been talk in the domain business that Microsoft has been offering the large domain registries a wad of cash to switch their parked sites. There is no other reason to do this than to influence the Netcraft figures.

This is an example of something that has become a pattern. It’d part of Microsoft’s plan to simply buy the market rather than earn it. Remember that Novell was paid obscene amounts of money by Microsoft merely to accept the patent deal.

Mind you, Citrix seems to have hijacked Xen on behalf of their partner (they call themselves a “Microsoft Admirers“ in a very recent article). This was done in order to escape the GPL and the FTC and Xen is now controlled by Windows/Microsoft, by proxy.

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