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A Quick Look at Microsoft Latest strategy Against GNU/Linux

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, Standard, Steve Ballmer at 12:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“[If I ask you who is Microsoft's biggest competitor now, who would it be?] Open…Linux. I don’t want to say open source. Linux, certainly have to go with that.”

Steve Ballmer, February 28th, 2008

“Microsoft, by its own admission, thrives in extending (read: breaking) standards and ensuring only its own products work properly.”In an attempt to catch up with the latest news, one finds many headlines which come from events Microsoft attends this week. There are many statements worth quoting and analyzing. Here is a brief overview.

In recent posts which cover Opera’s complaint against Microsoft (e.g. [1, 2]) we showed that Microsoft is likely to pretend to have complied. The company must still keep the World Wide Web at least partly closed, never a commodity. Microsoft, by its own admission, thrives in extending (read: breaking) standards and ensuring only its own products work properly.

Joe Wilcox did not buy Microsoft’s latest fake gesture, but sadly enough, the rest of the press drank it straight from the water cooler (press room). No surprise here.

News Commentary. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 press release is shameless propaganda.


Microsoft claims the move is “consistent with its efforts to promote further interoperability across the Web.” The press release reads like Microsoft is taking some new, bold interoperability position with IE 8.

You can start reading about all the technical details in just about any technology site, but many journalists fell for the spin. This comes on pretty much the same day that Steve Ballmer talked about avoiding EU fines.

Microsoft’s efforts to open up on how its products work should keep it out of further legal trouble, despite a record fine levied by the European Commission last week, CEO Steve Ballmer said today.

Here it is from another source.

Microsoft’s efforts to better detail how its products work should keep it out of legal trouble, despite a record fine from the European Commission last week

The IE8 promises are broken promises, just like the Taxoperability Program which left the EU unimpressed and underwhelmed ahead of the latest fine. People just need to look beneath the press release and think laterally.

A good start for Microsoft to reach compliance would be not to bribe for ISO (which is another ongoing investigation in the EU). Microsoft’s SEC filing showed that as the company approaches debt, those fines matter a lot. Additionally, the pattern of misconduct continues to this date, which does not help the aspect of trust.

Interestingly enough, Steve Ballmer makes a surprising mention of the “R” word (retirement). Might he be joining many others?

Bill Gates is retiring from Microsoft this year and the exec he left in charge, Steve Ballmer, is ready to leave in nine years.

9 years sure seems like a long shot, but he can always hope.

The main barrier for Linux to break at the moment seems to be numerous attempts to subvert it from the inside. Software patents aside, Microsoft continues to use its money to ‘steal’ software from Linux. Zend , for example, continues its loveaffair with Microsoft. From yesterday’s news:

Microsoft and Zend have been collaborating to enable PHP applications to run on Windows. Microsoft has a feature called FastCGI intended to enable PHP to run reliably on Microsoft’s platform, said Gutmans.

Remember the WAMP-LAMP war, Linux/FOSS-as-the-ISV strategy and the Apache flings [1, 2]. Microsoft has some recovery plans which need to be fought against. Awareness is the key here.

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