05.17.08

Gemini version available ♊︎

Competing by Crippling a Competitor’s Product

Posted in Finance, GNU/Linux, Office Suites, OLPC, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Windows at 7:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft: innovating or handicapping?

Return on investment (RoI, or even return on revenue (ROR)) is an interesting economical notion when you are a monopolist. On the one hand, if you introduce a new technology, then you add risk. If you introduce new products, you need to invest in development. So why develop anything? Why ever improve?

On the other hand, how about breaking compatibility or castrating features from rival products? How can this ever be achieved? How about subverting their development process and making them financially liable/obliged (e.g. using software patents and contracts)?

“To Microsoft, as history has shown many times before, sabotage of competing products has usually been seen as the more preferable choice.”In the face of strong competition, the situation can be further complicated. What would be the more financially-viable and thus the wiser response? Would it be to make better products or to simply to break the products of that newly-emerging competition? To Microsoft, as history has shown many times before, sabotage of competing products has usually been seen as the more preferable choice. Why improve your own when you can vandalise others’? Like a totalitarian regime, one needs to identify and then eradicate dissidents while they are young, just before their roots spread too widely and reach critical mass, exposure.

Increasingly — although it’s not entirely obvious — what’s described above is a tactic which is used not only against GNU/Linux and Free software, but also against competing office suites and disruptive trends like SaaS. Microsoft spent money on generating FUD ‘studies’ which mock Web-based applications (including office suites) before realising that it must adapt to/embrace them and therefore it can no longer suppress and fight them. The same goes for many other things (not just office suites), which is why Microsoft tried (and failed) to move Office online and sustain revenue. Subscription and ads were attempted also, but they are seen as experimentation.

Microsoft just loves to rave about OOXML as though it promotes competition and permits applications to inter-operate more nicely, but that’s just utter nonsense that can be made believable if it’s repeated often enough. The reality is, as BECTA put it very recently [1, 2, 3], that Microsoft just continues to limit choice, not only using OOXML but also using predatory licences.

In 2005, the same group published a study showing that British primary schools could save up to 50 percent of their software costs by choosing open source applications over “proprietary” ones.

In a related piece of its complaint to the EC, BECTA charges that Microsoft is displaying “anti-competitive practices” by requiring all computers on a school campus to carry Microsoft licenses, if any of the computers use such licenses.

Those who were led to believe that OpenOffice.org does not hurt Microsoft needn’t look further than articles such as this new one and also take a glimpse at Microsoft’s latest report which shows a decline in Microsoft Office sales. Appended at the bottom [1, 2] are a couple of separate yet slightly repetitive messages that I posted in public an hour ago.

All in all, OpenOffice 3.0 shows that you don’t have to pay a bundle for a great office suite. In fact, you don’t even have to pay a penny.

Returning to the key subject at hand, Microsoft’s fight against competing office suite is actually very similar to the way its fights GNU/Linux. It’s not about improving its own over-priced product, but about ensuring that others cannot work properly.

We recently wrote about the crippling of laptops (affecting both Windows and GNU/Linux, to Microsoft’s benefit) and artificial restrictions on motherboard-tied hypervisors. One reader mailed us to add: “Low end computers are about to swing 180 degrees away from Microsoft. Microsoft is really feeling the pressure and fighting back the only way it knows, not by improving, but by trying to trip up the competition.”

___
[1] If the numbers are still correct, Microsoft has pumped $36,000,000,000 into its stock because *real* investors was leaving (buybacks). This leaves Microsoft with the possibility of going into debt of about $30,000,000,000 pretty soon (they have a proxy fighter shooting heads inside Yahoo!) and the company’s value declined another $30,000,000,000 in the past 3 months.

Is Microsoft Aura Fading?

,—-[ Quote ]
| Yesterday’s early relief rally reversed, and Microsoft’s value has now fallen
| by more than $30 billion since it unveiled its bid for Yahoo on February 1.
`—-

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121004447596669953.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

To the extent possible, Microsoft will continue to use the press to feed people the illusion that the company is in good shape. It’s not. At the moment it sells Windows for just $18 (laptops). It has no choice because Linux was eating its lunch. How fat can the cash cow be at $18 apiece?

,—-[ Quote ]
| A prominent example of open source software is the Linux operating system…
| To the extent open source software gains increasing market acceptance, sales
| of our products may decline, we may have to reduce the prices we charge for
| our products, and revenue and operating margins may consequently decline.
`—-

http://www.microsoft.com/msft/SEC/default.mspx


[2] Microsoft’s greatest problem revolves around profits per unit. In their SEC they said:

,—-[ Quote ]
| A prominent example of open source software is the Linux operating system…
| To the extent open source software gains increasing market acceptance, sales
| of our products may decline, we may have to reduce the prices we charge for
| our products, and revenue and operating margins may consequently decline.
`—-

http://www.microsoft.com/msft/SEC/default.mspx

Recently a leaked document showed that they give Windows away for just $18, so the warning you see above is already a reality. Ballmer called Linux the company’s number 1 threat in February. Under a months ago we came to discover that the company’s sales of Windows declined 24%.

Also see this recent one (a week ago):

Wimpy: Why is Yahoo so afraid of Microsoft?

,—-[ Quote ]
| This has everything to do with business and nothing at all to do with
| technology. Wearing my business reporter’s fedora, then, I’ll point you back
| a week or so to Microsoft’s most recent earnings announcement, which
| disappointed Wall Street. This is significant because it is hard to find a
| Wall Street analyst who remembers the last time Microsoft’s earnings were
| disappointing. It simply doesn’t happen. That’s because Microsoft has a
| myriad of tools for adjusting the numbers to look just right.
`—-

http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2008/pulpit_20080509_004880.html

Shades of Enron, but never mind.

Around the same time:

A reminder of why Microsoft wanted Yahoo

,—-[ Quote ]
| Henry Blodget at Silicon Alley Insider has posted Tuesday a good look at how
| Microsoft’s Windows and Google’s search will stack up by 2009. The results
| aren’t necessarily surprising, but they’re certainly interesting to see in
| print: By this time next year, Blodget predicts, Google search will pass
| Windows in total revenue.
`—-

http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9943247-7.html

Recent:

Is Microsoft Aura Fading?

,—-[ Quote ]
| Yesterday’s early relief rally reversed, and Microsoft’s value has now fallen
| by more than $30 billion since it unveiled its bid for Yahoo on February 1.
`—-

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121004447596669953.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Gemini Milestones and Growth (Almost 2,000 Known Gemini Servers Now, 39,000 Pages in Ours)

    The diaspora to Gemini Protocol or the transition to alternative 'webs' is underway; a linearly growing curve suggests that inertia/momentum is still there and we reap the benefits of early adoption of Gemini



  2. [Meme] Get Ready for Unified Patent Court (UPC) to be Taken to Court

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent system that’s crafted to empower EPO thugs isn’t legal and isn’t constitutional either; even a thousand fake news 'articles' (deliberate misinformation or disinformation) cannot change the simple facts because CJEU isn’t “trial by media”



  3. The EPO Needs High-Calibre Examiners, Not Politicians Who Pretend to Understand Patents and Science

    Examiners are meant to obstruct fake patents or reject meritless patent applications; why is it that working conditions deteriorate for those who are intellectually equipped to do the job?



  4. Free Software is Greener

    Software Freedom is the only way to properly tackle environmental perils through reuse and recycling; the mainstream media never talks about it because it wants people to "consume" more and more products



  5. Links 25/1/2022: Git 2.35 and New openSUSE Hardware

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 24, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 24, 2022



  7. Links 25/1/2022: GPL Settlement With Patrick McHardy, Godot 4.0 Alpha 1, and DXVK 1.9.4 Released

    Links for the day



  8. Proprietary Software is Pollution

    "My daughter asked me about why are we throwing away some bits of technology," Dr. Andy Farnell says. "This is my attempt to put into words for "ordinary" people what I tried to explain to a 6 year old."



  9. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XV — Cover-Up and Defamation

    Defamation of one’s victims might be another offence to add to the long list of offences committed by Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley; attempting to discredit the police report is a new low and can get Mr. Graveley even deeper in trouble (Microsoft protecting him only makes matters worse)



  10. [Meme] Alexander Ramsay and Team UPC Inciting Politicians to Break the Law and Violate Constitutions, Based on Misinformation, Fake News, and Deliberate Lies Wrapped up as 'Studies'

    The EPO‘s law-breaking leadership (Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos and their corrupt cronies), helped by liars who don't enjoy diplomatic immunity, are cooperating to undermine courts across the EU, in effect replacing them with EPO puppets who are patent maximalists (Europe’s equivalents of James Rodney Gilstrap and Alan D Albright, a Donald Trump appointee, in the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, respectively)



  11. Has the Administrative Council Belatedly Realised What Its Job in the European Patent Organisation Really Is?

    The "Mafia" which took over the EPO (the EPO's own workers call it "Mafia") isn't getting its way with a proposal, so it's preventing the states from even voting on it!



  12. [Meme] Team UPC is Celebrating a Pyrrhic Victory

    Pyrrhic victory best describes what's happening at the moment (it’s a lobbying tactic, faking/staging things to help false prophecies be fulfilled, based on hopes and wishes alone), for faking something without bothering to explain the legal basis is going to lead to further escalations and complaints (already impending)



  13. Links 24/1/2022: Scribus 1.5.8 and LXLE Reviewed

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 23, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 23, 2022



  15. [Meme] Team UPC Congratulating Itself

    The barrage of fake news and misinformation about the UPC deliberately leaves out all the obvious and very important facts; even the EPO‘s António Campinos and Breton (Benoît Battistelli‘s buddy) participated in the lying



  16. Links 24/1/2022: pgBadger 11.7 Released, Catch-up With Patents

    Links for the day



  17. The Demonisation and Stereotyping of Coders Not Working for Big Corporations (or 'The System')

    The war on encrypted communication (or secure communications) carries on despite a lack of evidence that encryption stands in the way of crime investigations (most criminals use none of it)



  18. On the 'Peak Hacker' Series

    Hacker culture, unlike Ludditism, is ultimately a movement for justice, for equality, and for human rights through personal and collective emancipation; Dr. Farnell has done a good job explaining where we stand and his splendid series has come to a close



  19. Links 23/1/2022: First RC of Linux 5.17 and Sway 1.7 Released

    Links for the day



  20. Peak Code — Part III: After Code

    "Surveillance perimeters, smart TVs (Telescreens built to Orwell's original blueprint) watched over our living rooms. Mandatory smart everything kept us 'trustless'. Safe search, safe thoughts. We withdrew. Inside, we went quietly mad."



  21. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 22, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 22, 2022



  22. Links 23/1/2022: MongoDB 5.2, BuddyPress 10.0.0, and GNU Parallel 20220122

    Links for the day



  23. A Parade of Fake News About the UPC Does Not Change the General Consensus or the Simple Facts

    European Patents (EPs) from the EPO are granted in violation of the EPC; Courts are now targeted by António Campinos and the minions he associates with (mostly parasitic litigation firms and monopolists), for they want puppets for “judges” and for invalid patents to be magically rendered “valid” and “enforceable”



  24. Welcome to 2022: Intentional Lies Are 'Benefits' and 'Alternative Facts'

    A crooks-run EPO, together with the patent litigation cabal that we’ve dubbed ‘Team UPC’ (it has nothing to do with science or with innovation), is spreading tons of misinformation; the lies are designed to make the law-breaking seem OK, knowing that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos are practically above the law, so perjury as well as gross violations of the EPC and constitutions won’t scare them (prosecution as deterrence just isn’t there, which is another inherent problem with the UPC)



  25. From Software Eating the World to the Pentagon Eating All the Software

    “Software is eating the world,” according to Marc Andreessen (co-founder of Netscape), but the Empire Strikes Back (not the movie, the actual empire) by hijacking all code by proxy, via Microsoft, just as it grabbed a lot of the world’s communications via Skype, bypassing the world's many national telecoms; coders need to fight back rather than participate in racist (imperial) shams such as GitHub



  26. Links 22/1/2022: Skrooge 2.27.0 and Ray-Tracing Stuff

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 21, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, January 21, 2022



  28. Peak Code — Part II: Lost Source

    "Debian and Mozilla played along. They were made “Yeoman Freeholders” in return for rewriting their charters to “work closely with the new Ministry in the interests of all stakeholders” – or some-such vacuous spout… because no one remembers… after that it started."



  29. Links 22/1/2022: Ubuntu MATE 21.10 for GPD Pocket 3, MINISFORUM Preloads GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  30. Computer Users Should be Operators, But Instead They're Being Operated by Vendors and Governments

    Computers have been turned into hostile black boxes (unlike Blackbox) that distrust the person who purchased them; moreover, from a legislative point of view, encryption (i.e. computer security) is perceived and treated by governments like a threat instead of something imperative — a necessity for society’s empowerment (privacy is about control and people in positions of unjust power want total and complete control)


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