EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

04.24.08

How Microsoft and Novell Make GNU/Linux More Expensive to Purchase Than Windows

Posted in Antitrust, Asia, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Virtualisation, Windows at 1:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Copyrights infringement and Novell as Microsoft’s ‘selling point’ strategy

Novell’s recent news about China [1, 2, 3] is pretty significant because this shows what tricks Microsoft and Novell hope to make more widespread and prevalent around the world, not just in Asia. It’s a symbolic start that illustrates just why Novell has become dangerous to GNU/Linux adoption (contrary to common belief). Remember that SUSE adoption (Novell profit) and GNU/Linux adoption are not the same thing. What we present here is intended to raise awareness and not to incite fear or anger however.

“Freedom values aside, it’s all just a question of price and any cost that gets assigned to Linux makes a tremendous difference.”Previously we warned that this was bound to become more serious an issue as the companies grow closer and closer. Bill Gates said last year that it’s easier to compete against Linux in China when there is ‘piracy’ [sic], referring to copyrights infringement of Windows, which Microsoft is happy with, by its own low-key admissions.

Freedom values aside, it’s all just a question of price and any cost that gets assigned to Linux makes a tremendous difference. This was said by Mark Shuttleworth last year and was also explained in the African press some months ago. In developing countries it’s more expensive to buy GNU/Linux because it comes burned on several CDs and harder to obtain/find, whereas Windows comes as a single CD-ROM you can get for a buck out on the street. You can find out how Microsoft’s former OEM chief perceived copyrights infringement in the following antitrust exhibit, which is a leaked document written by him [PDF].


PLAINTIFF’S
EXHIBIT

FY98 – A Foundation Year
Joachim Kempin
Sr. Vice President, OEM Channel

[...]

4. Increase bootable OS penetration in key development countries

[...]


The scan is too challenging for OCR (it’s tilted as well), but you can read and see it for yourself, or ideally extract the text and send it over for sharing in the public domain. This includes the mentioning of “Creating a grass roots movement” (think along the lines of astroturfing) and “We must continue to build competitive immunity” (think of chokehold on OEMs).

There are other recent stories that come to mind, such as Microsoft’s intent to use the same tactics that were used in China but applying them to Russia amid FOSS growth (this one was posted just hours ago and comes in addition to a massive defection of schools across the country to GNU/Linux). But returning to Novell again, here is the snag.

As you may recall, Dell sells laptops with SLED 10 in China. Microsoft gets paid for these. On the other hand, most computers that run Windows in this large nation do not have it licensed. Where does that leave Linux in terms of relative cost? This question is rhetorical of course.

Now they try a similar stunt on the server side. Watch what Microsoft fan Paul Thurrott had to say about the latest announcement from Novell.

Changing deep-set behavior and habits is difficult. I was reminded of that fact this week while writing a news story about a joint Microsoft/Novell effort to convince businesses in China to switch from free versions of Linux to paid, supported copies of Novell’s SUSE Enterprise Linux. At first blush, you might think that Microsoft’s cooperation in promoting Linux is central to that particular story. And certainly, that’s the tact I took in my own article (http://windowsitpro.com/article/articleid/98922/microsoft-novell-ply-paid-software-in-china.html ) about the event. But looking at it more deeply, what this is really about is changing behavior.

More specifically, Microsoft’s efforts in China aren’t really about promoting Linux, paid or otherwise. It’s about getting the fastest growing market on the planet to start doing something it’s never done–actually pay for software.

So, they rarely pay for Windows (and Microsoft is fine with that), but now Microsoft wants many of them to pay Microsoft… for GNU/Linux, not for Windows. How convenient — making Linux ‘more expensive’ than Windows (mostly gratis in China). Can you see the plot or at least the possibilities? They choose to crack down on GNU/Linux. They put the heat up not on unlicensed use of Windows, but on what they call “unlicensed” users of GNU/Linux.

Head over to this other article which suggests that virtualisation is a major component of these recent moves in China.

The collaboration in China will focus on two emerging areas of interoperability: high-performance computing and virtualization. The cross-platform virtualization offerings include Microsoft Windows Server 2008 with Hyper-V and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 with Xen technology.

Remember who practically owns Xen and also remind yourself of the fact that Hyper-V excludes every GNU/Linux distribution but Novell. Microsoft plans to preinstall Hyper-V on Windows and shut some doors this way.

The following article about Novell’s affairs in China is equally unhelpful and it quotes Microsoft shill Al Gillen quite extensively (he speaks in favours of whoever pays him). It also states:

Microsoft has spent the past year and a half inking deals with a handful of Linux OS providers, promising not to sue them. Novell was the first company to sign such a deal, which was announced in November of 2006. Other Linux OS providers that joined Microsoft’s licensing initiative include South Korea’s LG Electronics and Xandros Inc.

Yesterday we wrote about rPath, which appears to have gotten cozy with Microsoft and Novell. Now comes the short post from CNET with the headline “rPath plays the sucker for Novell and Microsoft,” which is probably right.

While I am not shocked that rPath is working with Novell instead of continuing with their own Linux flavor, I am completely shocked that Billy Marshall, rPath CEO and former Red Hat bigshot sales guy is citing the Microsoft patent protection as the reason why. Nothing is said about Suse being better in any way. Instead its about this unproven patent protection.

Novell needs to be stopped because Microsoft’s ambition is to have Novell replace free GNU/Linux distributions — not replace Windows — and then charge, as in extract money from them. This not only makes another revenue stream for Microsoft, but it also gives the impression that GNU/Linux becomes expensive. If it’s bad for Free software, which it is, Novell cannot care much less because it receives a form of compensation from Microsoft. They work together… for their shareholders, regardless of public opinion.

Novell error message

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

3 Comments

  1. Logan said,

    April 24, 2008 at 5:26 am

    Gravatar

    The sky is full of stars, the earth is full of whores.

  2. temho-seargant said,

    April 24, 2008 at 6:50 am

    Gravatar

    …and this blog is full of nutters. 8D

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 24, 2008 at 7:05 am

    Gravatar

    Author : cuss (IP: 92.227.197.152 , g227197152.adsl.alicedsl.de)

    Author : temho-seargant (IP: 78.50.91.26 , f050091026.adsl.alicedsl.de)

    Hi, ‘eet’. How’s the weather over there? Still trolling at all costs and hopping between IP addresses to obscure your identity?

What Else is New


  1. Links 22/1/2020: Wayland 1.18 Alpha, ODF 1.3 Approved

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 21, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 21, 2020



  3. Poor Excuses for Granting Poor (and Often Illegal/Invalid) Patents

    A quick look at some of the latest examples of software patents advocacy (not by actual software professionals, obviously) and why it's deeply misguided (or guided solely by greedy law firms)



  4. A Simple Plan For a Universal Free Software Community

    "For software to be free as in freedom, we need more people to care personally about software freedom."



  5. Links 21/1/2020: Wine 5.0 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 Beta

    Links for the day



  6. Startpage/System1 Almost Definitely Pay for People to Lie About Their Surveillance

    A longterm investigation suggests that there are forces in the debate that aren't objective and are being super evasive and dodgy; this typically happens only when somebody has much to hide



  7. The Internet is an Appalling Medium for News and It Has Only Gotten Worse

    Something ought to change in the way people gather and assess news; at the moment — as proper journalism runs out of steam (and budget) — things only deteriorate and quality suffers; this rapidly exacerbates as people come to rely on — and then relay — hearsay, not fact-checked bodies of work



  8. Media Reactions to the EPO Coming to Grips With Fake Patents That It Granted (Spoiler: the Media is Controlled by Lawyers of Monopolists and EPO Partners)

    Appalling quality of reporting and truly awful bias in the media, primarily owing to the fact that it is dominated/manned not by actual reporters but the firms looking to patent life itself; they use their lawyers and operatives who are literally funded by these lawyers (wearing "journalist" badges to mislead)



  9. Links 21/1/2020: EarlyOOM Fedora Decision and AMD Zen 3 Microcode

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 20, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, January 20, 2020



  11. Links 20/1/2020: MNT Reform, Linux 5.5 RC7, KMyMoney 5.0.8

    Links for the day



  12. Mansion of Pedophilia – Addendum: Accessing and Assessing Court Documents

    How anyone out there can do the job the media failed to do (after an apparently unprecedented arrest at the home of Bill Gates)



  13. Mansion of Pedophilia – Addendum: Progress on Police Request

    9 updates from the police department of Seattle but still nothing material/concrete, only promises and major delays



  14. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 19, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 19, 2020



  15. Mansion of Pedophilia – Part VIII: More Than 4 Months of Waiting for Police Department to Send Over the Files They Claim to Have an Issue Opening

    The police department (PD) of Seattle is unable to open its own files about arrest for pedophilia at Bill Gates' home; it has been unable to open these files for several months, it claims...



  16. Starting a GNU Replacement for GitHub, Possibly Based on GitLab

    "It might be easier if we start from the GitLab software," Stallman said



  17. European Commission Pushes for Even Greater Patent Maximalism Instead of Rationality, Patent Zealots' Site Cherry-Picks China as Whipping Boy

    Fear of China is being leveraged to promote an agenda of patent maximalists; the general idea they promote is that granting millions of low-quality patents is the only way to compete, even if in reality that merely handicaps the whole market



  18. CRISPR Patents Disallowed, But Where Are the Journalists?

    The narrative surrounding last week's decision against CRISPR patents may have been virtually monopolised by the litigation think tanks and law firms; it certainly feels like no journalism is left to rebut them, fact-check, and introspect



  19. Links 19/1/2020: Wine 5.0 RC6, Alpine 3.11.3

    Links for the day



  20. Judges Reject EPO Patents on Life as Constitutional Complaints Against the EPO Pile Up in Germany

    EPO judges throw out patents on life (CRISPR at least); there's now growing hope that they'll have the courage to do the same to patents on software



  21. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 18, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 18, 2020



  22. StartPage (System1) Found New Spin Allies. Some Have Been Offered StartPage Jobs. Some Might Already be Working for StartPage in Secret.

    Pro-StartPage voices appear to be paid (or have been promised pay) by StartPage; the key strategy of StartPage seems to be, attack and betray people's privacy while paying people in particular positions to pretend otherwise



  23. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 17, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, January 17, 2020



  24. Links 18/1/2020: Mir 1.7 and GNU Guile 3.0.0

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 16, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 16, 2020



  26. Links 16/1/2020: Mozilla Layoffs, PinePhone Braveheart Shipping, KDE Plasma 5.18 LTS Reaches Beta

    Links for the day



  27. Microsoft is a Market Leader in Lying and Corruption

    Microsoft is working hard to describe itself as the exact opposite of what it is and what it has been; ‘Internet rot’ helps a lot with this agenda, not to mention control of the media (the narrative)



  28. The European Patent Organisation Continues to 'Piss All Over' Separation of Powers

    The EPO continues to scatter invalid patents (IPs) that are European Patents (EPs) all over Europe and nobody can stop this, not even the judges of the EPO because they lack independence (by their very own admission)



  29. Zealots of Team UPC (Patent Litigation) Now Attacking the Courts and the Judges, Removing Their Mask on the Face of Things...

    The tactics of Team UPC aren't changing, only the shamelessness associated with these tactics is changing (because it looks like the end of days to them)



  30. Microsoft Now Uses or Leverages Software Freedom Against Free Software

    A reader's explanation of what Microsoft is trying to accomplish with its so-called 'embrace' and what steps will come next (how they manifest themselves)


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

Recent Posts