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03.17.08

Links 18/03/2008: New Linux Success Stories, Biggest Wins Yet for the GPL

Posted in News Roundup at 10:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Selling Out to Microsoft Did Not Pay Off For Novell

Posted in Deception, Finance, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell at 7:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novellsoft

We will soon publish the 2,500th post in this Web site. It has become clear that focus has shifted somewhat since the Web site was launched by Shane. Looking back, Novell deserves less trust than ever before.

Since the very beginning, it was believed that Novell and Microsoft would grow closer. This has pretty much been confirmed since then, especially with remarks from Novell and even placements on the Web sites of the two companies (mutual promotion and advertising). In many ways, Novell and Microsoft are like Intel and Microsoft, or Citrix and Microsoft. They thrive in this ‘orgy of money’ and mutual protection/kickbacks (in the sense that the companies serve each others’ interests at the expense of all others).

“It may sound like Novell found itself in a marriage of convenience.”What this leaves us with is this opportunity to analyse not only the bond between Microsoft and Novell, but also various similar relationships that are reminiscent of that which Novell is in with Microsoft. Notably, there are several alliances and even an approach towards Free software projects which mimic the Novell deal. The intention there is to distract, to have rivals assimilated and to guide — preferably from the inside — the direction of companies which Microsoft hopes to make money from, typically at the expense of platforms like (Open)Solaris and GNU/Linux.

It may sound like Novell found itself in a marriage of convenience. It may seem as though Novell will play the role the fat cat sitting on the lap of an affluent householder. But it isn’t quite the case. Like all Microsoft partners, they tend to get 'screwed'.

Matt Asay shows that the deal with Microsoft did not exactly have a wonderful impact on Novell’s share value.

By mid-2004, however, Novell’s stock price settled into the $6 to $8 per share range that it has maintained for the past four years. Analysts have waited for Novell’s Linux and open-source story to fully materialize. Despite Novell’s hype on the importance of its November 2006 patent agreement with Microsoft, the agreement has had no lasting impact on the value of the company. It helped to lift Novell’s stock price in 2007…only to see it crumble back to the too-familiar $6 per share level.

We saw some analysts blindly praising Novell, but the claims were not backed by compelling evidence (nor were they justified and validated by actual positive performance).

Internet Society of New Zealand Comes Out Swinging Against OOXML

Posted in Formats, Microsoft, Open XML, Standard at 7:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“What he [Vint] said.”

For those in the audience who continue to believe that OOXML’s opposers are just IBM and Sun or that the SFLC is their “front”, here is yet another protester, joining the likes and the ranks of many more.

Speaking in favour of something is almost natural (just watch the impressive lists of ODF supporters), but speaking against something, as opposed to keeping silent, is another. InternetNZ has just found it important enough to openly express its sentiments against OOXML. [via Bob Sutor]

InternetNZ (the Internet Society of New Zealand Inc) strongly supports calls from Internet pioneer Vint Cerf opposing Microsoft’s proposed OOXML (Office Open XML) document standard.

[...]

Vint Cerf, widely regarded as the “father of the Internet”, was recently quoted, “If OOXML is adopted, it leads to a problem of duplicate formats for document exchange. That duplication is bad for interoperability. In the Internet world standards-makers work hard on agreeing one way to do things, and then evolving it – We don’t reinvent the wheel”.

InternetNZ fully supports Cerf’s assertion, and is also concerned about the technical quality of Microsoft’s OOXML standard.

While on this issue of multiple standards (or a real standard versus a vendor-specific de facto spec/implementation/filter/standard), watch this bit of news about the impact of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer deliberate deviation from Web standards.

Internet Explorer 8 Could Break Applications, Gartner Warns

[...]

That’s because many Web- or intranet-facing applications used in business were built to work with previous versions of Explorer, in which Microsoft often favored its own protocols over universal Web standards.

It is only natural to expect the consequences. Microsoft decided to go its own separate way and now it is paying the price. Everyone is paying the price.

The problems introduced by Internet Explorer 8 were already discussed in:

  1. Microsoft Pretends to Obey Web Standards While Novell+Microsoft Phase Web Standards Out
  2. Microsoft and Novell Pull Another Netscape Using Silverlight, OOXML
  3. Quick Mention: Microsoft’s Web Standards Abuse May Incur the Wrath of Europe
  4. Does Internet Explorer 8 Have a Web Hijack Plan in Store? If So, Does Novell Help It?
  5. Suspicious OOXML Fanboyism, Clues About IE8′s New Engine
  6. A Quick Look at Microsoft Latest strategy Against GNU/Linux
  7. Microsoft’s ‘Interoperability’ Already Broken on All Fronts

Microsoft has already broken the Web. It intends to continue this destruction, which Google warned about just a few days ago. Don’t let Microsoft to continue to ruin a path to nirvana of document exchange between different platforms and different applications. To Microsoft, money — not ethics — is a top priority. Lock-in means money. Real standards mean no lock-in.

Quick Mention: Novell’s Case Against Microsoft Goes Ahead

Posted in America, Antitrust, Corel, Courtroom, Microsoft, Novell at 7:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jim Allchin on Novell

I am still held back by the nuisance which was mentioned yesterday, so I haven’t much time to blog. One set of headlines worth mentioning, however, is about the Novell-Microsoft lawsuit [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Here is the article from Bloomberg.

The U.S. Supreme Court turned away a Microsoft Corp. appeal, refusing to stop a multibillion-dollar Novell Inc. lawsuit that accuses the world’s largest software maker of undermining the market for the WordPerfect program.

The justices, without comment, today left intact a lower court decision that said Novell can sue Microsoft under federal antitrust law. Novell says Microsoft used the dominance of its Windows personal computer operating system to destroy the market for WordPerfect, the word processing program Novell owned during the mid-1990s.

For further information about this lawsuit and also some discussion in light of the Microsoft/Novell partnership see:

  1. Quick Mention: Novell’s WordPerfect Lawsuit Against Microsoft Resurfaces
  2. The WordPerfect Lawsuit and the Abused Wife Called Novell
  3. Novell’s Annual Report 2007 – Quick Analysis
  4. Blast from the Past: A Look Back at Microsoft’s Predatory Response to Novell
  5. A Peephole into Novell’s Past Sufferings from Microsoft
  6. Bill Gates and His ‘Attack Groups’
  7. Novell Should Learn from Microsoft’s Assault on WordPerfect

A recent summary about Corel (WordPerfect) you can find here. The last thing Microsoft needs at the moment are more fines.

____

[1] Microsoft,In Supreme Court Appeal, Fails To Stop Novell Suit

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday rejected a plea from Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) to stop an antitrust lawsuit brought by Novell Inc. ( NOVL), which has sued over 1990s practices by Microsoft in the word processing and spreadsheet software markets.

Novell sued Microsoft in 2004 in a case that is related practices at the heart of the federal government’s landmark antitrust settlement with the computer software giant. Novell sold WordPerfect and Quattro Pro – the software products at issue in the case – to Corel Corp. (CREL) in 1996.

[2] US Supreme Court will not hear Microsoft appeal on Novell case

It’s a very quiet ending for one of the important antitrust cases in the history of the software industry, as justices were apparently satisfied that a decision in Novell’s favor on the WordPerfect matter was justified.

[3] High Court: Novell case against Microsoft can go forward

The U.S. Supreme Court denies request by Microsoft to halt an antitrust suit that Novell filed against the company for anticompetitive behavior

[4] Supremes reject Microsoft’s Novell request

The Supreme Court rejected an attempt today to throw out a claim by Novell that Microsoft tried to undermine the market for Novell’s WordPerfect in the mid-90s.

[5] U.S. Supreme Court rejects Microsoft antitrust appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied a Microsoft appeal to an antitrust case that dates back to Novell’s desktop PC software business in the mid-1990s.

IDC Analyst Attacks ODF and Praises OOXML Ahead of Crucial Vote (Corrected)

Posted in Deception, Finance, Formats, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 7:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[See corrections in the comments. Dennis Byron no longer works at IDC.]

The general rule still stands: those who shill for OOXML are in Microsoft's pocket

A weeks ago I briefly mentioned Dennis Byron's accusations against me, as well as his new pro-OOXML and anti-ODF obsession. Having realised that something might be amiss, I came to realise that he now blogs about this topic almost exclusively. More importantly, it turns out that he works for IDC, which pretty much explains it all (I did not know this before). IDC is working closely with Microsoft and, if I recall correctly, also has investments from that direction (perhaps it was Bill Gates who invests). IDC was also paid by Microsoft to conduct at least one ‘study’ on this subject — a study which, needless to say, favours OOXML (Microsoft paid the bill and instructed).

So, consider this a warning. Dennis Byron is IDC. Don’t forget what IDC is to Microsoft [1, 2].

Plan B: Acquire to Extinguish Life’s Greatest Projects

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Mono, Patents at 6:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

If you can’t win it, break it

Bad Silverlight

With little doubt in mind, the Internet — and particularly the World Wide Web– is one of humanity’s largest accomplishment. In terms of scale, the Web has grown to be almost as large as the ‘network’, i.e. the capacity of all computers that are connected to the Internet.

“In another embrace-and-extend move, Microsoft thinks it can ‘pull another Netscape’.”What enabled the Web to grow quite so quickly was the encouragement of free and open interchange and exchange of information. It also gave birth to or breathed life into companies which capitalised on the many new possibilities. One such company is Google, which used the platform to disseminate information and applications that are delivered over the Web.

Microsoft was caught outside the network. It very stubbornly focused on the isolated workstation — a legacy cash cow. Moving away from it would be a case of cannibalising cash cows, so there was clearly reluctance. Freezing development on the Web was a better route for increased profits.

Microsoft knew over a decade ago that this reluctance was going to cost it and it never caught up, despite dirty tricks which derailed Netscape.

In another embrace-and-extend move, Microsoft thinks it can ‘pull another Netscape’. By joining forces with Yahoo it believes that it can spread .NET over the Net. Google does not want to mention Silverlight, OOXML and SharePoint by name, but it knows all too well what Microsoft has got planned for Yahoo. It’s already protesting loudly and not for the first time, either.

Google says Microsoft’s Yahoo buy might hurt Internet

[...]

“We would hope that anything they did would be consistent with the openness of the Internet, but I doubt it would be.”

Schmidt pointed to Microsoft’s past history and “the things that it has done that have been so difficult for everyone,” but he did not elaborate.

In other related news, be aware that Microsoft has licensed — whatever that actually means — some of Adobe’s own binary components that are spread over the Web.

Microsoft Corp. has licensed Adobe’s software for viewing online videos and other files on cell phones, the companies said Monday.

GNOME FlashPDF, unlike Flash, is now considered an ISO standard, but there remain gaps. And Microsoft, using the ECMA proxy, has plans for XPS already [1, 2, 3, 4]. It’s the hope of ‘pulling another MOOX’ and leading to further fragmentation. Will Microsoft at some stage (re)try to replace TCP/IP with its own proprietary ‘standards’ as well? Either way, let us keep an eye on things.

Dot Not Use This Version of Ruby

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Windows at 5:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft ‘extending’ Ruby with .NOT [sic]

Among the good news today is the fact that Apache continues to gain, despite Microsoft's attempts to game the system. At the moment, Microsoft tries to snatch Apache away from GNU/Linux and put it on top of Windows instead [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

GNOME textPerformance tweaks is one thing, but what if Microsoft ‘extended’ software or languages its own way just as it did with Java? The news today comes from the Register and it speaks about the .NET-oriented version of Ruby. You might still recall the recent news about a project dying/being merged so that developers fall under Microsoft’s wing (or wrath). Here is the latest:

Microsoft hopes to deliver the .NET-tuned implementation of the phenomenally popular Ruby, IronRuby 1.0, by the end of this year.

We wrote about Ruby in this context on several occasions in the past [1, 2, 3, 4]. Always remember that Microsoft wants Ruby developers to be Windows-dependent, Microsoft-dependent, Microsoft licence-dependent and it wants to deprive rival platforms. It remains a selfish gesture whose purpose is only to serve Microsoft. Nothing has ever changed at Redmond, except pretense.

“Don’t encourage new, cross-platform Java classes, especially don’t help get great Win 32 implementations written/deployed. [...] Do encourage fragmentation of the Java classlib space.”

Ben Slivka, Microsoft

Links 17/03/2008: Apache Gains at the Expense of IIS, Firefox Shames IE, Linux-based KPC Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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