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02.22.08

Microsoft Must Be Absolutely Terrified

Posted in Bill Gates, Finance, Microsoft, Novell at 7:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We receive a lot of mail today. In another interesting conversation it emerged that Microsoft is terrified and this fear is being recognised not only by our Web site.

As we showed before (e.g. start here and follow the references), Microsoft is running out of money and it’s bluffing like nobody’s business. WS08 (Server 2008, formerly known as “Longhorn”) is the next Vista and we mean this in a negative way.

“Yahoo proxy wars (leading to huge irreparable PR damage), SCO’s rebirth with Bill Gates’ fingerprints and filing of software patents at an amazingly high rate speak volumes.”We, as BSD/Linux users and Free software advocates just need to give Microsoft that last final push and “tilt it into the death spiral” (to borrow a notorious phrase that Microsoft executives use a lot in their internal communication).

A reader of ours, the president of a medium-sized company (these tend to be the quiet readers who never comment but drop us invaluable tips in private), told us just moments ago: “It’s fairly obvious that they are teetering on the edge of “the death spiral”. I suspect they are actually in it, it’s simply that the massive inertia of their cash-cow monopoly is covering the fact.”

This comes amid times when we make speculative arguments about what turned them around and drove them to acting like bullies. Sam Hiser’s assessment is based on what Joe Wilcox said yesterday. It’s short and catchy.

Microsoft: still a bunch of gangsters.

Yahoo proxy wars (leading to huge irreparable PR damage), SCO's rebirth with Bill Gates' fingerprints and filing of software patents at an amazingly high rate speak volumes.

Our reader adds: “Absolutely. Fear, and the desire to move into endgame before the world slips away from them. Fear and totalitarianism always signal the end of an empire…”

We might as well think about a case of cornering an animal and the way such an animal might react. We must watch Gates because he’s writing many checks in his so-called ‘retirement’ [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9].

This reader of ours, who is a very respectable person and a well-known figure, wishes to remain anonymous. Nonetheless, he end this discussions that we had with some strong words. “Gates’ ‘retirement’ is simply an arms-length marketing, lobbying, bribery and extortion department. As you’ve pointed out yourself many times, Microsoft places loyalists in apparently ‘external’ organisations to achieve its aims. Gates is more involved in Microsoft’s imperial ambitions than ever,” he concludes.

Watch this new comment from CNET: Fool me twice, shame on me

Never ever trust Bill Gates or Microsoft. Doesn’t anyone remember the great Novell and Microsoft client exchange? Microsoft then included a non-functioning NetWare client with Windows NT and made chumps out of Novell.

There is some very harsh Bill Gates critiques therein (inside the comment), which usually results in strong backlash. This typically comes from anonymous posters or those brainwashed by Gates-owned media companies. We’ll explain and explore more of that shortly (in future posts that cover offshoring at Microsoft, among other dark secrets). It’s all about ‘Saviour Gates’ with his Foundation as the ultimate moral shield. He cannot ever do any wrong, can he? Not having given away money (to make more more in the long term). Watch this space.

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32 Comments

  1. CoolGuy said,

    February 22, 2008 at 8:54 am

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    In India we have like 99.9% microsoft software – since no one pays for it and everyone just pirates it.This includes windows, office, dev tools, photoshop. Everything is pirated.

    We are a very poor country and we cant afford legal software (except for few rich people). Plus no one cares over here.

    I have spoken with many friends about this. They just dont want to use anything other than Windows – no matter what. It does not cost them anything and they can have all the latest versions for free. No one cares over here. So its kind of hard to get any Linux/FOSS developers over here.

    People cant loosen their grip on M$. Its like they are tied to M$ technology for years and dont want to change. They have learnt computers in classes where its M$ only – atleast the desktop part.

    M$ loves this. They want people to get addicted to winblows.

    Although there are some pockets where migrations have happened (few banks, stock exchange, few colleges, few companies).

    The desktop penetration is like very less.

    The FUD that Linux = Free. So developers want to avoid that. They think that they will have to give away their software for free.

    I always call it Freedom software and not free software. That I think is a better way of putting it. Open Source is also a very tricky thing. The best term according to me is “FREEDOM SOFTWARE”

    Its not the technology part, but the lack of understanding and resistance to change and peer pressure is whats hitting the Linux migration very hard. Constant awareness by media is needed to make that happen.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 22, 2008 at 9:06 am

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    The ‘infiltration’ of Linux into people’s lives will be very transparent and uncalled for. What you may not realise is that desktops are becoming more passe (already proven in Japan) and they get replaced with devices and appliances, many of which run GNU/Linux underneath. Examples include the Nokia tablets and the Eee PC.

    The change between operating system will not occur the way you predict it. Application layer is bound to be replaced by obsolescence and a gradual move to SOA, whereas desktop (with notorious hardware support woes) will be displaced and give way to a new class of computers. Why do you think Microsoft is so nervous about Google but less about Apple, whom Microsoft even collaborates with? Did you know that the desktop only accounts for 2% (or less) of all computers out there, assuming a computer is a processor?

    it is worth adding that your explanation about prevalence of copyrights infringement in India is also the reason why Microsoft fails to extract sufficient revenues with non-businesses, despite dominance in the area of desktops (slowly eroding due to Linux and Apple).

    In India, Microsoft wishes to successfully introduce pay-as-you-go computing, realising it may be viable as a revenue source that doesn’t lead to mass defection to GNU/Linux. More latterly, Microsoft decided to introduce the same concept in Russia, in some way mimicking its past approach in the Republic of China.

  3. André said,

    February 22, 2008 at 9:57 am

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    I am not very convinced of your recent Microsoft hate stories. The company can survive for long. What actually makes me proud is that if you play against the rules it gets more difficult every day. Short term victory, long term trouble.

    http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/08/106&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

    “The European Commission takes note of today’s announcement by Microsoft of its intention to commit to a number of principles in order to promote interoperability with some of its high market share software products. This announcement does not relate to the question of whether or not Microsoft has been complying with EU antitrust rules in this area in the past. The Commission would welcome any move towards genuine interoperability. Nonetheless, the Commission notes that today’s announcement follows at least four similar statements by Microsoft in the past on the importance of interoperability.”

    You know, Microsoft lacks an important asset: trust.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 22, 2008 at 10:09 am

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    I am not very convinced of your recent Microsoft hate stories.

    I would not describe any of these as “hate stories”, or even as “Microsoft bashing”. Writing critically about something, especially when backed by hard fact, does not make something hateful. This characterisation contributes to labels and shots at one’s credibility, so I wish for this to be avoided.

    As for that last point, trust is indeed lacking, but that is a well-earned position to be in based on past deeds, not to mention a concurrent proxy war for Yahoo’s wedding ring (making Yang a vassal of Ballmer). Kroes’ Commission must be well aware of this as it does not live under a rock. :-)

  5. Victor Soliz said,

    February 22, 2008 at 10:20 am

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    I am not very convinced of your recent Microsoft hate stories. The company can survive for long

    We just need it to enter the death spiral, it WILL last long, MS’ only possible end is a very slow death, but it may start soon, and once it starts it will be notorious.

    Perhaps there is something else required to do this, if ISO recovers the common sense it seemed to lose lately and does not accept OOXML, things will be set. Either way if it is accepted this will only harm MS’ image even more, a boycott on ISO and everybody pointing fingers at MS for the ISO debacle will just be as “good”.

    They have lost a lot of self respect when yahoo showed them they can’t really buy innovation anymore. There’s desperation in MS with the latest moves they are making, the reason they have done it is that if these moves like giving away tools for students or ‘opening’ things succeed they might survive, the catch is that if these don’t help, nothing will.

  6. CoolGuy said,

    February 22, 2008 at 10:21 am

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    hum.. that is true.

    M$ is also afraid of Google becuase they support FOSS and are giving away a huge amount of money for that. Apple is doing nada for FOSS, they are just another closed company like M$ but a much better one. That I think is another reason that M$ wants Google out.

    FOSS = M$ doom
    GOOGLE = FOSS

  7. CoolGuy said,

    February 22, 2008 at 10:33 am

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    Death spiral has already started. It will take years for their failure.

    Look at Ubuntu and RedHat success.

    What I predict is Windows is EOL. Linux code base is much stronger and works very well. It does not have to sell upgrades every few years. It works amazingly well.

    - We need more companies to come on board linux (adobe, macromedia, autocad, etc..). People will move in droves. No wine but native builds.

    - We need better hardware driver support from hardware vendors. This is happening but will take time.

    This two things will make the MAJOR turning point is this war.

    I think this is going to happen over night. It will be like a volcano – mass migrations. Entire industry will be change in 1 year of this. It will be like party for FOSS camp.

    This will be followed by games and other cooler things.

    I predict that M$ will sooner or later use bsd kernel and/or open source their windows. But it will be too late by the time they do this. They will be one inch away from their grave. I will be smiling over this.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 22, 2008 at 10:34 am

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    In response to both Victor and “CoolGuy”, I’ve just come across the following new post that made me chuckle.

    “Just one more reason why the Microsoft-Yahoo merger, if it happens, will be hell:

    [...]

    Go[t] that? 10,000 core processors running GNU/Linux at the heart of Yahoo. Microsoft is damned if they do (rip and replace) and damned if they don’t. Go on, make our day, Steve….”

    http://opendotdotdot.blogspot.com/2008/02/hip-hip-hadoop.html

  9. CoolGuy said,

    February 22, 2008 at 10:40 am

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    I think Yahoo merger will be good for Linux camp.

    - they loose their cash and go in debt
    - they end up with a disaster and a big mess
    - divert their focus from windows/office, their cash cow & strong hold.
    - silverlight is doomed. just another hype bubble.

    they cant use linux, since with new gpl 3, they wont be able to use their patents againts other foss users (i suppose).

    haha i am waiting for the m$ to get yahoo. it is their poison pill. i hope this merger takes place.

    steve was acting too smart by releasing their offer in public. now this is going to be their nightmare….

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 22, 2008 at 10:49 am

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    In many ways, it is a lose-lose situation for Microsoft, but if they take Yahoo down to the grave along /with/ them, then I might lose Yahoo services I already depended on (I’ve been on Geocities since I was 15, for starters). Then there’s Zimbra and dozens more services that can be destroyed.

    Look what Microsoft did to Hotmail. I’d rather see Microsoft go without killing Yahoo, even if it means that Microsoft stays around for longer poking Free software with a bargepole.

  11. Yuhong Bao said,

    February 22, 2008 at 3:17 pm

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    I am not pushing either way. BTW, Server 2008 IS the server version of Vista.

  12. Yuhong Bao said,

    February 22, 2008 at 3:20 pm

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    In fact, I believe each OS have it’s own advantages and disadvantages.

  13. BoomBoom said,

    February 22, 2008 at 7:30 pm

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    “Death spiral has already started. It will take years for their failure.”

    True enough.
    The worry is how much damage M$ manages to do to open source on their way out via FUD, poisonware, patent extortion, manipulating governments, ect.
    Nothing open source won’t survive, I’m sure.
    At the end of the day, RIP Micro$uck and good riddance to them. The only ones that’ll shed tears are the poor sheeple fanboys and shills that’ll support the evil until the last gasp.

  14. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 22, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    Gravatar

    In fact, I believe each OS have it’s own advantages and disadvantages.

    You mean Longhorn and Vista? Despite the different names, those two are nearly identical in terms of their corpus. Based on last week’s news, they even receive merely identical patches (see Mary Jo Foley’s blog for details).

  15. Yuri said,

    February 22, 2008 at 9:26 pm

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    “In fact, I believe each OS have it’s own advantages and disadvantages.”

    If it was as simple as that, sites like boycottnovell would not exist. Many people using and promoting Microsoft are simply unaware of Microsoft’s shameful business practices, but what excuse is there for those who are aware and yet pretend that it’s just a matter of pros and cons of OS products? I do not know whether you are aware, but just because corporations have no ethics does not mean that human beings should not have them.

  16. Yuhong Bao said,

    February 23, 2008 at 2:26 am

    Gravatar

    “You mean Longhorn and Vista? Despite the different names, those two are nearly identical in terms of their corpus. ”
    Yep, I know that they are the same thing. I am talking about Windows vs Mac vs Linux.

  17. Yuhong Bao said,

    February 23, 2008 at 2:30 am

    Gravatar

    I do hate the MS-Novell deal, yes, and the thing that I consider fatal to the deal is that it effectively can make Linux non-free software (and not just by fake threats, I mean by real patent lawsuits), removing one of the advantages and betraying the open source community.

  18. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 23, 2008 at 2:53 am

    Gravatar

    Yuhong,

    Be aware that Microsoft would not sue Linux or Free software projects to accomplish this. It stated it would not do this (although no clear obligation was made).

    Instead, Microsoft is likely to use third parties (proxies) like SCO to do the legwork. We have identified at least two large firms that comprise former Microsoft employees and expressed Linux disdain. They are only patent holders. That’s all these firms really are. Yes, ‘patent trolls’.

    One of them even sued Red Hat and Novell (over Linux). I doubt NetApp and Trend Micro are at all part of this, but Free software has more foes than just Microsoft. For more information about Microsoft’s by-proxy lawsuits consider some of our many older posts:

    Google, IBM, maybe even Apple make good examples of companies that are maybe be sued by Microsoft, by proxy. With Google it’s pretty much a fact and with IBM there is just strong evidence (e.g. Microsoft’s investment in SCO and BayStar’s role, in addition to — more recently — the mainframes across Europe).

  19. helios said,

    February 25, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    Gravatar

    Roy, ‘

    Will you help us perpetuate the death spiral? We could use some bigger names helping us get the word out.

    Ken

    http://linuxlock.blogspot.com/2008/02/linependence-2008.html

  20. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 25, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Gravatar

    Hey Ken,

    I actually spread the word about this in USENET just a couple of hours ago and I’ll go further with this later on today, including here. :-)

    Good name by the way. I see that you chose to focus on the EULA and on freedom (not cost), which is precisely what one should do. Here are some contextual links of interest that I accumulated for this. You might find them handy.

    EULA: What Are You Signing Away?

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | EULAs are not negotiated or negotiable, they are rarely read, and they are
    | frequently difficult to obtain, said Rasch. “I just bought an iPhone and
    | couldn’t even see the TOS until I opened the box, synched the iPhone and then
    | agreed to the TOS — and had to pay a restocking fee and activation fee if I
    | disagreed,” Rasch commented.
    `—-

    http://www.linuxinsider.com/rsstory/58451.html

    Unusable EULA’s

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Microsoft’s instant messenger app had a surprisingly readable EULA,
    | but was a snooze-inducing 12 pages and 6,343 words long.
    `—-

    http://www.usabilityblog.com/blog/archives/2007/03/unusable_eulas.php

    MSN AdCenter – Impossible to read TOS

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | As you can see from the screenshot above (click it to enlarge), the
    | MSN AdCenter TOS is enclosed in a small box, approximately 1-inch
    | wide by about 1/2-inch tall! Maybe it’s because I was using Firefox
    | and not Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, but I still find it comical to
    | the point of absurdity. I still signed up, but I wonder what Microsoft
    | is hiding in that tiny box?
    `—-

    http://grownupgeek.blogspot.com/2007/01/msn-adcenter-impossible-to-read-tos.html

    Windows Vista’s new spin on licensing

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | As with corporate software licenses, the primary end goal here seems
    | to be to maximize revenues for Microsoft, but MS’s moves have the
    | unfortunate secondary effect of eroding the consumer’s fair-use rights
    | –or at least the very useful illusion of fair-use rights–in the
    | process.
    `—-

    http://techreport.com/etc/2007q1/vista-licensing/index.x?pg=1reve

    Vista’s legal fine print raises red flags

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | For greater certainty, the terms and conditions remove any doubt about who
    | is in control by providing that “this agreement only gives you some rights
    | to use the software. Microsoft reserves all other rights.”
    |
    | [...]
    |
    | When Microsoft introduced Windows 95 more than a decade ago, it adopted the
    | Rolling Stones “Start Me Up” as its theme song. As millions of consumers
    | contemplate the company’s latest upgrade, the legal and technological
    | restrictions may leave them singing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”
    `—-

    http://www.thestar.com/Business/article/175801

    A sneaky change in Windows licensing terms

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | With a retail version of Windows XP, there are no restrictions on the
    | number of times you can transfer the software from one computer to another
    | in your household or office. That’s about to change for the worse in
    | Vista, with only one lifetime transfer allowed. It makes the outrageous
    | price difference between retail and OEM copies even more difficult
    | to justify.
    `—-

    http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=156

    Microsoft flip-flops on Vista virtualization

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Software like Parallels Desktop for the Mac or Microsoft’s own Virtual
    | PC for Windows allow multiple operating systems to run simultaneously.
    | When it announced licensing rules for Vista last year, Microsoft said
    | that only Vista Business and Vista Ultimate could run as guest
    | operating systems. The company said virtualization presents inherent
    | security risks and that it hoped by limiting which versions of the OS
    | could act as virtual machines, only sophisticated users and businesses
    | would employ the tactic.
    `—-

    http://news.zdnet.com/2100-3513_22-6191787.html

    Microsoft is bad for business

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | I recently read an article regarding the copy protection methods of
    | Microsoft’s next Operating system, Vista. And my jaw literally dropped to
    | the floor.
    |
    | Microsoft is, in essence, a control freak.
    |
    | [...]
    |
    | Microsoft is bad for business because they take this level of
    | annoyance to the highest level in Windows Vista.
    |
    | [...]
    |
    | Microsoft, hear what your customers are saying. You’re doing a lot of
    | things wrong lately. You’re making the wrong choices in your business
    | decisions. Other available operating systems are staking a claim at
    | your dominance of the market. What will you do next?
    `—-

    http://techstuff.goboardz.com/forum_topic.asp?ID=1102

    Vista’s EULA Product Activation Worries

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Mark Rasch looks at the license agreement for Windows Vista and how its
    | product activation component, which can disable operation of the computer,
    | may be like walking on thin ice.
    |
    | [...]
    |
    | “Does the Microsoft EULA adequately tell you what will happen if you
    | don’t activate the product or if you can’t establish that it is
    | genuine? Well, not exactly. It does tell you that some parts of the
    | product won’t work – but it also ambiguously says that the product
    | itself won’t work. Moreover, it allows Microsoft, through fine print
    | in a generally unread and non negotiable agreement, to create an
    | opportunity for economic extortion.”
    `—-

    http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/423

    TechnoFile: Incomprehensible gobbledygook and you

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Another fun tidbit: “The software is licensed, not sold. This
    | agreement only gives you some rights to use the software.
    | Microsoft reserves all other rights.” So you don’t own your
    | operating system, Microsoft is just lending it to you.
    |
    | [...]
    |
    | Compare these terms with Ubuntu, the Linux distribution I use:
    | “You may modify your copy or copies of the Program or any portion of
    | it, thus forming a work based on the Program, and copy and distribute
    | such modifications or work.” I’m free to copy and change it as I please,
    | and then to give those changes to other people. I sincerely doubt
    | Microsoft will be issuing those terms anytime soon.
    `—-

    http://www.mcgilldaily.com/view.php?aid=5712

    Tough new rules on Vista “OEM”

    ,—-[ Quote
    | This marks the death of the popular once-off ‘I’ll take one hard drive
    | and an OEM copy of Windows with that, thanks’ flavour of
    | OS-sundae.
    |
    | Microsoft has also tightened up the specific rules around what
    | hardware an OEM copy of Windows can be sold with.
    |
    | Straight from the horse’s mouth — “spokesperson” at Microsoft
    | Australia:
    |
    | “OEM versions of Windows Vista must be distributed to end-user
    | with a fully assembled computer system and must be pre-installed.”
    |
    | Dang!
    |
    | To make the matter even more complex, Microsoft says that even with a
    | “transfer to a new PC as many times as you like” retail edition, you will
    | only be allowed to transfer your licence for Vista to someone else once.
    `—-

    http://apcmag.com/node/4347

    Vista licensing also limits benchmarking

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | License transfers aren’t the only thing the End User License Agreement
    | (EULA) for Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Vista OS limits. The license
    | also puts restrictions on how benchmarks of certain components of
    | the OS can be published, another issue that is raising eyebrows as
    | Microsoft still has not clarified how changes will specifically
    | affect users.
    |
    | According to the Vista EULA, because the OS contains “one or more
    | components” of the .Net Framework 3.0, users can conduct internal
    | benchmarking of those components, but can’t disclose the results
    | of those benchmarks — or measurements to compare rival products
    | — unless they comply with conditions found at a Microsoft Web
    | site.
    `—-

    http://www.itworld.com/Comp/2218/061101vistalicense/index.html

    Vista EULA stirs up a storm

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Is Microsoft trying to stop people from copying their icons?
    | The same icons that were stolen from the likes of varying
    | icon sets under Linux? Are they trying to keep the layout
    | or organization of their screens protected as an IP right?
    | I think that was done away with in the 90s when Apple sued
    | Microsoft over Windows and the judge said basically thats
    | ome things just can be copyrighted. Is Microsoft worried
    | that the Linux community might try to copy their structure
    | and implement it into various distibutions of Linux?
    `—-

    http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=35184

    Vista EULA restricts display to one person

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Paragraph 3C of the EULA states that while the software
    | is running, you can use but not share its icons, images,
    | sounds and media.
    |
    | If Microsoft means to word the EULA this way, that implies
    | you can’t use projectors or linked video monitors if there’s
    | more than one human being present.
    |
    | It also implies that you can’t take a screen shot of the
    | Vista desktop.
    `—-

    http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=35108

    Do Microsoft’s EULAs have any real legal basis?

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | “Microsoft has no special exemption from the sale of goods act.” Well,
    | no, probably not – but it might still be selling you “services”
    | instead of “goods”. But the real point to remember is that it doesn’t
    | matter a jot what the “logical” position is, it is what the courts
    | decide that matters.
    |
    | As far as I know, no one has tested Microsoft’s EULAs in a UK court
    | and, until someone does, Microsoft will just go on assuming that they
    | work. And I don’t fancy the risk of taking on Microsoft’s expensive
    | lawyers in court myself…
    `—-

    http://www.regdeveloper.co.uk/2007/04/25/microsoft_eula/

    Use Health Vault, Lose Your Rights

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Microsoft has announced (NY Times Article) Health Vault. What should have
    | followed here is a review of the service by my actually trying it.
    |
    | [...]
    |
    | Heard enough? So had I. I’m absolutely going to pass on Health Vault. In
    | addition to looking like the Microsoft Passport debacle redux, this is a very
    | one-sided contract. They can harm you but you cannot harm them. There is no
    | way for any 3rd party to verify that their privacy and security software
    | works.
    `—-

    http://www.linuxmednews.com/1191521272

    HealthVault: No Commitments and a Sleeping Watchdog.

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Has Microsoft committed to keeping the promises that it has already made? No,
    | just the opposite. Their privacy policy concludes:“We may occasionally update
    | this privacy statement”
    |
    | Which means that when the commitments that Microsoft has made regarding
    | HealthVault become inconvenient, they will simply change them.
    `—-

    http://www.fredtrotter.com/2007/10/22/healthvault-no-commitments-and-a-sleeping-watchdog/

  21. Yuhong Bao said,

    February 26, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Gravatar

    And Microsoft is not the only vendor that loves EULAs, in fact all non-free software vendors have EULAs.

  22. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 26, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Gravatar

    True, but let’s solve one problem at the time.

  23. beeman said,

    February 28, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    Gravatar

    Very nice list Roy… :)

  24. libervisco said,

    February 28, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Gravatar

    @CoolGuy

    There is actually a movement towards using the term “Freedomware” instead of “Free Software”, “Open Source” or indeed as you suggest “Freedom Software”. “Freedomware” already is a catchy short hand for “Freedom Software”. There is an organization, GNU/Linux Matters, dedicated to Freedomware Marketing which is to adopt the term soon (I’m actually its member) and some others would likely follow.

    The term has also been used for Freedomware Gamefest which is nearing its completion: http://www.freedomware-gamefest.com

    About the “death spiral” of Microsoft, there is a theory that they might as well survive, but as they’ve already begun, increasingly focus on hardware appliances and internet services which need good interoperability support on any operating system to be fully successful, not just Windows. They might, as they go down this path, even start genuinely adopting and supporting Freedomware.

    Also, it may be worth thinking about the consequences of Microsoft’s death, or at least the immediate benefits. How many users would just switch to Apple? How many would for quite a while still keep using the old Windows? In essence, the question is, how many people would really become free of restricted or illegal bad software? The greater thing we could hope for is for MS to start supporting Freedomware than to just roll over and die.

    We have to note that Microsoft is certainly not alone among the companies disrespectful towards individual’s digital freedoms. Take adobe with their flash monopoly and the market grip they have with their *proprietary* productivity applications. Or look at Apple – they might as well be the next biggest threat to the continued progress of Freedomware. They are a vital, yet very closed-culture company with an immense power of market deception. They might be having the most powerful marketing machine on Earth due to their shiny product designs, catchy and trendy messages and slogans etc.

    To an average consumer, Apple could be an epitome of modern lifestyle – and the horror in this is that this life style does not include full individual freedom but *independence on Apple*.

  25. Yuhong Bao said,

    February 28, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    Gravatar

    On that matter, I hope that Windows will be open sourced instead of the source code just thrown away. Windows is a good OS and many people depend on it, even if the company owning it is doing unethical things.

  26. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 28, 2008 at 9:55 pm

    Gravatar

    Also, it may be worth thinking about the consequences of Microsoft’s death, or at least the immediate benefits. How many users would just switch to Apple?

    Yes, I worry about this too because (objectively speaking) Apple is worse than Microsoft in some attitudinal ways. There is also the hardware monopoly.

    Yuhong Bao,

    Windows Vista lacks modularity, so going open source might not help much. It’s a very different story with the underlying structure of Mac OS X. Closed-source software is developed differently and that’s why Apple threw away a lot of OS 9 code, just as Palm ditches Palm OS. We shall see what happens with Symbian in the long run because Linux is expected to grow significantly in the area, whereas Windows Mobile barely ever gained (lost $billions each years and its long time Head jumped ships 3 weeks ago to join Vodafone)..

  27. Yuhong Bao said,

    February 28, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    Gravatar

    >Apple is worse than Microsoft in some attitudinal ways. There is also the hardware monopoly.
    And unfortunately I doubt that the open source part of Apple can do much about it. It is one of the part of Apple that don’t have much influence.

  28. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 28, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Gravatar

    Be aware that Apple can hardly ever grow a very big monopoly, primarily because of upgrade cycles, weight and other factors. Apple can do extraordinarily well in more wealthy countries, but it’s a different story in poorer nations that will never approach Vista (or higher). Unless, of course, Apple decided to open up to any x86-based machine (as opposed to opening up and freeing more code)…

    The iPod is a different story altogether.

    Bear in mind that Woz hates open source, but anyway, let’s deal with Wintel first. Apple is not a Linux antagonist as aggressive as Microsoft (and to an extent Intel as well).

    Google continues to weaken Microsoft. From the news:

    Google Goes After Another Microsoft Cash Cow

    The Internet search giant on Wednesday is rolling out a rival to Microsoft’s SharePoint, a program used for collaboration among teams of workers. Google’s program, called Google Sites, will become part of the company’s applications suite, which includes e-mail, calendar, word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software. Like other elements of Google Apps, it will be free and require no installation, maintenance or upgrades.

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/27/google-goes-after-another-microsoft-cash-cow/?ref=technology

    I sometimes wonder if Google make Microsoft more nervous than Linux and the GPL do.

  29. Yuhong Bao said,

    February 28, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    Gravatar

    >Apple is not a Linux antagonist as aggressive as Microsoft (and to an extent Intel as well).
    Especially because some part of Mac OS X is open source as part of Darwin.

  30. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 28, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    Gravatar

    Then again, Microsoft used BSD-licensed code as well. I suppose the UNIXy crowd in Apple is why the company has to be nice to Linux.

  31. Yuhong Bao said,

    February 28, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Gravatar

    >I suppose the UNIXy crowd in Apple is why the company has to be nice to Linux.
    Unfortunately, as I said, I doubt the Darwin team can do anything about the non-openness of the iPod or the iPhone. Keep in mind that I think that the Darwin part is along the other “enterprise products” part of Apple that probably have only a little bit of influence over Apple compared to the consumer-oriented part of Apple.

  32. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 29, 2008 at 12:43 am

    Gravatar

    I was thinking less about the Darwin team and more about Apple’s customers, many of whom are UNIX admins.

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