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05.26.08

Links 26/05/2008: Red Hat Comes to South Africa, GNU Software Lands on Mars

Posted in News Roundup at 12:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

F/OSS

Microsoft

Xen Post Citrixsoft Takeover: More Windows Desktop, Less GNU/Linux Server

Posted in Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, Servers, SLES/SLED, Standard, Virtualisation, Vista, Windows, Xen at 12:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

…Novell being an exception

Consider this to be a quick addendum to a previous post about Xen, Novell and other members of the 'anti-VMWare' club. Here we have another exhibit that serves as a reminder of Xen’s direction. The headline, “Citrix – ‘Shifting’ Focus,” ought to give a clue.

Delivering services to user desktops leveraging virtualization has always been important to Citrix and one of the main reasons they acquired XenSource. So what is the “shift”?

Server virtualisation is what Xen used to be all about to GNU/Linux. A couple of months ago Citrix said it had acquired XenSource for the brand. Now, consider this:

Citrix and Microsoft Unveil New Branch Office Application Delivery Solution at Citrix Synergy 2008

Citrix Systems and Microsoft have announced the immediate availability of Citrix Branch Repeater. This new line of branch office appliances have been developed and marketed as part of a strategic alliance between the two companies.

Citrix Branch Repeater can now stage applications streamed to branch employees by Citrix XenApp (previously known as Citrix Presentation Server) at the front door of the branch.

Going back to Microsoft’s desktop virtualisation ambition, consider this new article which brings the recent and arguably mysterious acquisition of Kidaro into play:

Microsoft will Update Desktop Virtualization

[...]

The Kidaro software lets users run multiple versions of Windows and applications concurrently without having to open multiple virtual machine sessions. Microsoft has rebranded the Kidaro software as Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization and will release it in the first half of 2009.

In light of it all, in order to shed some more light on motivation, consider the following new article that explains Microsoft’s problem pretty well:

Meanwhile, another technology called “virtualization,” which allows multiple operating systems to run simultaneously on one PC or server, is diminishing the importance of products like Vista and raises questions about its future. “What is an operating system and what role should it serve?” asks Whitehouse. “The OS was originally intended as an abstraction layer between software applications and the computer’s hardware. But with the new abstraction layer between the hardware and the OS provided by virtualization and products like Adobe’s AIR that sit between the OS and desktop software applications, the role the operating system once played is becoming increasingly diminished.”

[...]

Despite these new developments, Microsoft finds itself at a crossroads, according to legal studies and business ethics professor Kevin Werbach.

“The platform for most uses of PCs today is the Internet, not Windows. Windows plays an important role in the ecosystem, but it’s not the center of the world in the way it used to be. … Microsoft needs to decide whether it cares more about the next 5 to 10 years, or the 20 years after that.”

[...]

At a conference on April 7, Gartner analysts Michael Silver and Neil McDonald argued that Windows is collapsing under its own weight and suggested that it change radically to become lighter and modular so that customers only have to use features they need. For Microsoft, its ecosystem and its customers, “the situation is untenable,” the two analysts stated.

Lastly, remember that the lesser-explored issue is the deep bond that’s formed not just between Xen and Citrix-Microsoft, but also with Novell. A quick reminder from a new article is this: (highlight in red to be considered)

Novell says its “SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 Service Pack 2,” or SP2, is the only Xen-based solution of its kind and includes support for Microsoft for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003 users.

Although this was pointed out before, it’s probably worth just repeating. Microsoft chooses who to play with and it tries hard to separate SUSE from GNU/Linux. Sounds familiar? Recall the replacement of the word “standards” with “interoperability” (interop != open standard). It is actually similar to what “open source” did to “Free software”. It throws away the key values, for self-serving reasons. It rids the exploiter from obligations and liabilities.

The Monopolistic Digital Suppression Act (aka ACTA)

Posted in DRM, Free/Libre Software, Patents at 11:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Only a couple of days ago, Glyn Moody mentioned and warned about the ACTA. Readers’ attention is advised. It should ideally be diverted the following large-scale document that has just been posted to a blog. Accompanying remarks from Hans at LXer:

[This is news because May 22th a discussion paper appeared at WikiLeaks. In March, when it was yet unknown what ACTA would look like, IP Justice published the white paper the 'Full Story" links too. It's a paper about how the rich governments try to almost forbid P2P, stifle innovation through broader 'piracy protection', colonize poor countries and create more opportunities to spy on its citizens. All that in a secret undemocratic way; taking away digital rights. However, their excuses are quite good: Stopping dangerous fake-medicines, car parts etc. - hkwint]

In a separate yet related context, namely encryption of E-mail, especially now that Britain intends to snoop on every bit of communication, the following came up yesterday in conversation with a reader: “FWIW you’ll have to look for the original, to be authoritative, but here is a copy. Note points 29-33.”

All of this is related laterally to what we cover in this Web site. Think along the lines of “Trusted Computing” (computers that won’t trust you), back doors, DRM, borderless network filtering (censorship), software patents and DMCA law. All those Orwellian things which Free software prepared to combat are trying to raise their ugly heads with the help of politicians. Be alert and spread the knowledge.

“If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today’s ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today.”

Bill Gates

Links 26/05/2008: GNU/Linux in Cuba and Russia

Posted in News Roundup at 5:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

F/OSS

Microsoft

  • In search of: Startups that could upend Google and Microsoft
  • Vista selling well!?

    Whatever drugs Steve Ballmer is on they must be very, very good.

    [...]

    Here are the cold hard facts. Microsoft reported on March 25th that its Windows sales had dropped 24% in the last quarter. For the same quarter, IDC said PC sales were up 15%. Now, I’m no financial wizard, but I do know a thing or two. Microsoft’s Windows sales, to the best of my knowledge, have just suffered their hardest fall ever at the same time that PC sales were significantly up. This isn’t just bad, this is absolutely horrible.

    Back in March, Microsoft CFO Charles Liddell actually had the chutzpah to say that the drop in Windows sales wasn’t due to lackluster Vista sales. Instead, the problem was due to ‘unlicensed’ PC sales and the higher growth of emerging markets. If you can follow that logic and come up with the same conclusion he did, do let me know, because it makes no sense to me.

    If PCs are selling without Windows licenses attached to them that tells me that 1) Vista isn’t selling and 2) desktop Linux is selling.

OOXML Incidents Index: From [T]hailand to [V]ietnam

Posted in Africa, America, ECMA, Europe, Formats, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML at 4:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Index/Navigation

In this last part among six parts, we present some past coverage that contains pointers, translations, and snippets. These can hopefully shed light on the high level of irregularities in Microsoft’s pursuit for ISO’s rubber stamp. See the notes at the bottom about making a complaint.

Previous:

T

Thailand (Phone: +66 2 202 34 00-2):

Read the rest of this entry »

OOXML Incidents Index: From [P]akistan to [S]yria

Posted in Africa, Asia, Europe, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, Standard at 3:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Index/Navigation

The listing continues and there is nothing under the letter “O” (as in “Open”) so we start with “P” (for “Proprietary”, like OOXML).

Previous:

P

Pakistan (Phone: +92 21 920 62 60):

Read the rest of this entry »

OOXML Incidents Index: From [K]enya to [N]orway

Posted in Africa, America, Asia, ECMA, Europe, Fraud, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, Standard at 2:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Index/Navigation

The listing continues.

Previous:

K

Kenya (Phone: +254 20 60 54 90):

Read the rest of this entry »

OOXML Incidents Index: From [H]ungary to [J]ordan

Posted in Africa, Asia, Europe, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML at 1:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Index/Navigation

The listing continues, your help is needed

According to the following new article, we have until Thursday to ensure more national bodies join the voice of South Africa with its formal complaint.

South Africa is the first country to have made public its appeal. Other national standards bodies that took part have until May 29 to appeal the decision.

You can help by contacting your standards body and encouraging it to endorse the message from South Africa. We continue to share past incidents, country by country.

Previous:

H

Hungary (Phone: +36 1 456 68 00):

Read the rest of this entry »

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