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05.29.08

Novell: Cannibalisation is Growth

Posted in Deception, Finance, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell at 11:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell accountants plays with buckets

It has been a while since we last mentioned Novell's admission of cooking the books. In the past, we also explained the Novell business dilemma and its sales cannibalisation.

To give the gist of the story: old products from Novell are moving to an underlying platform that is Linux, OES being just one example, so Novell can then claim a rise in its Linux business. But at whose expense? It’s a rhetorical question.

“…old products from Novell are moving to an underlying platform that is Linux, OES being just one example, so Novell can then claim a rise in its Linux business.”Novell paints a deceiving picture that some trade journal will buy without caution. Microsoft too relies on such tricks and Cringely wrote about that easier this month. Neither Novell’s nor Microsoft’s future seems all that bright from the inside. Remember: PR lies.

As usual, Novell’s latest press release about financial results for this quarter only empahsises figures that may look good, but it hides the rest. Novell tells you what to see. Staff reductions, for example, are unaccounted for.

Matt Asay misses the point. Again. He passes the PR message as though PR does not lie (it almost always does). How quickly he forgot what Novell, his former employer, had done. Novell must be proud. It sells an illusion and finds buyers in the media.

Ron Hovsepian bored

Links 29/05/2008: New GNOME, Linux Devices Abound

Posted in News Roundup at 12:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

Web Browsers

F/OSS

Leftovers (Legalised Crime and Security)

Another Win for OpenDocument Format in the Making

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Formats, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 12:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ODF and Accessibility

Some months ago we wrote about Wikipedia's embrace of OpenDocument format. This actually had Boycott Novell placed at the front page of OpenOffice.org for quite a long time. Here comes what seems like yet another encouraging sign from those who manage literature digitally.

Many people have no access to most published books. European researchers are trying to remedy this by adapting new technologies to provide accessibility on demand for the visually impaired.

[...]

The partners from the project are also trying to set up a new entity that will use the Open Document Format to provide publishers with the ability to electronically plug in to the system and get their books automatically formatted for accessibility.

As Mr. Korn exclaimed quite a long time ago, ODF is optimal for accommodation of these special needs. Microsoft spread a lot of FUD which revolved around the accessibility factor, so this is important.

OOXML on the Ice

OOXML suffered some defeats recently, with the exception of Microsoft-obedient ISVs. InternetNews doesn’t sound very optimisic.

With a national standards body criticizing the ISO’s process for approving OOXML, will Microsoft’s quest for standards status survive?

The Forgotten Link

How easy it is to forget that the world's largest population, whose representative votes “No” to OOXML, has its own document format, which ODF and OOXML competed to build a bridge with. The following little gem from Microsoft’s latest vapourware announcement [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] (the one before Windows 7apourware) is definitely worth noting.

The Office update will also bring support for Uniform Office Format (UOF), the national document file format standard used in China, Microsoft says.

Half-hearted Support

There is always the possibility that Microsoft does not have a malicious agenda (well, it has investors, so…) and that it is really serious about supporting ODF (version 1.0, how come?), but come to also recognise the fact that Microsoft is pressured from many directions to change its attitude.

Historically, Microsoft has eschewed interoperability — developers of rival office suites, such as OpenOffice.org, have had to decipher Microsoft’s proprietary file formats to support them in their own products.

In recent years, though, Microsoft has come under growing pressure, from regulators and customers (especially governments), to be less hostile to open standards. The jury is still out about whether it is prepared to embrace open standards fully, or whether it will merely pay lip service to the idea, while working behind the scenes to poison and subvert those standards.

We might not know for at least another year what Microsoft has in mind. The development process of Microsoft Office, for example, is not at all transparent. Even cautious optimism seems slightly premature.

Microsoft is Stealing… Open Source

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 11:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Merry men escape interiors of giant wooden horse

The title isn’t intended to cause great alarm, but it’s an ongoing process that we track of. Earlier on we wrote about a dungeon called "Fort 25", where GNU/Linux-only programs get tortured or tamed (ported to Windows).

Here are some of the latest findings which cover Microsoft’s erotic escapades inside its number-one rival’s territories. Remember Bill Gates’ motto? Keep your enemies closer. In this scenario, it seems more like a case of “keep your enemies assimilated.” (to Microsoft of course).

Watch and learn.

Microsoft’s deceptive advertising, again.

Does Microsoft think we the Linux and Open Source user base are just a bunch of morons? In the latest advertising campaign of the closed sourced software giant that’s exactly what they are hoping for. Go ahead and check out for yourself. At http://www.microsoft.com/opensource they try to make it look like they are all for Open source software. They even have what they call the Hero Pack, fill out a form and they will send you a pack of “open source” tools that will help you become an “Open Source Hero”. What a giant load of crap how does “evaluation copies” of server 2008 and Visual Studio rank as open source software. They are so cheap it’s not even full versions (like I’d use it if it was).

You must also remember: "Open Source Heroes Are Silverlight"

“Microsoft gains influence deep inside its rivals’ turf, even in the OSI.”Let’s backtrack a little. Speaking of Microsoft sponsoring SourceForge awards and boasting its wares (Visual Studio) in the process, watch which application has just been elected project of the month at SourceForge? That’s right, it’s an establishment managed by former Microsoft employees. This little nugget of information made the project a tad notorious in some circles. Remember Black Duck, which is also headed by a former Microsoft employee?

Are all of these observations merely coincidences? Probably. But let this teach you how Microsoft ‘extends’ into SourceForge et al, using sponsorship that later have fear-inspiring awards up for grabs. We covered these issues before. Microsoft gains influence deep inside its rivals’ turf, even in the OSI.

There are some other examples. Asay and Rosenberg, for instance, left InfoWorld and put it in the hands of Microsoft's Open Source 'Heroes' and some bloggers. Have they sort of conquered InfoWorld’s only open source blog (“Open Sources”)? Not quite, but it doesn’t look all that encouraging, either.

“The Free Software movement is dead. Linux doesn’t exist in 2007.”

Bill Hilf (Microsoft's 'Linux Guy'), May 2007

Novell Responds to Legal Assault by Betrayed Partner

Posted in Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Novell at 11:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

You know what they say: it’s expensive to fight Microsoft(‘s buddy) in court

Several days ago we wrote about the lawsuit which Astrum had launched against a betraying company called Novell. Yes, Novell does not just betray the GPL and counterpart FOSS vendors. Like Microsoft, Novell’s ethics seem poor and shallow. Novell was approached for a response about this lawsuit and it all seems ironic.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Novell’s SuSE Appliance program and the “just enough” operating system around which it is centered. It seems not everyone is happy about that appliance program.

[...]

Since I had no idea who sent the e-mail or whether the complaint was authentic, I sent it to Novell for reaction and/or comment. In response, Novell spokesperson Kevan Barney sent this statement via e-mail:

Novell is aware of the claims being asserted by Astrum and believes such claims are without merit. Novell intends to aggressively defend against these claims.

Hey, Novell, did you also believe that Microsoft’s asserted claims against Linux were “without merit”? Did you “aggressively defend yourself against these claims”? No, of course not.

“It is helpful to see how well Novell treats Microsoft while mistreating its former partner Astrum.”Like the coward and sellout Novell decided to be, it grabbed Microsoft’s wad of cash and ducked down when Microsoft shouted out that Linux violates and steals. In essence, Novell happily received a bribe monetary compensation to bear the message that Linux was “tainted”. Nice move, Novell. It is helpful to see how well Novell treats Microsoft while mistreating its former partner Astrum.

As a side note, in the context of this story, Boycott Novell’s criticism was mentioned and quoted in the low-key press the other day. We intend to continue covering this exceptional case of hypocrisy.

Novell got new friends; old ones be push out the sandbox!

Movell and Nicrosoft

More Microsoft Shenanigans: Microsoft Rep Shoots Down Brazil’s Appeal Against OOXML

Posted in America, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML at 8:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rememeber how Brazil spilled the beans on the BRM in Geneva? Well, it was prepared to appeal ISO’s decision today (the last day), but watch what happened.

At the end of this presentation, the representative of a company (guess which ???) has taken the line of defense for his companions in the room: “I am not prepared, at this meeting, to evaluate the arguments and decide. I need more time. “It is worth highlighting that this meeting was scheduled on May 8th (date of our last meeting) and officially convened on May 19th (lack of time !!! again !!!).
From this point on, I understand that the meeting has become almost a hospice, because it is insane to accept that at this point of our lifes, after all the things that we saw, the main argument of opposition is the “lack of condition to discuss”.

I say that became a hospice, because the OpenXML supporters was tied to a fragile and indecent argument that “we’re not prepared to discuss,” saying that in this way, Brazil could not make the protest against the whole process by “lack of consensus” (as if consensus and unanimity was the same thing). Just to clarify, at the ISO directives “Consensus is the absence of reasoned opposition.”

The final decision is that we will only “protest” against the BRM and against the lack of final version of the specification text, pretending that we didn’t identified any problems during the Fast-Track, as if we were a bunch of blind and incompetent idiots. The ABNT undertook to send our “protest” to ISO on this Thursday.

ISO in moneyThis is absolutely disappointing. Once again Microsoft is permitted to get away with its “brutal and corrupt” behaviour, to borrow Tim Bray's words. Remember the AFNOR incident, which had a European government delegate compare Microsoft to a "Scientology cult"? This clannish behaviour has gone too far. This entire process continues to be a sad shame.

Last-Minute Call: OOXML Complaints and Formal Appeal

Posted in Free/Libre Software, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, Standard at 7:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Golden opportunity to free our documents

The deadline is here and Associated Press has just issued this article:

South Africa is appealing a decision to make Microsoft Corp.’s Office Open XML format an internationally recognized standard for electronic documents, officials said Wednesday.

The South African Bureau of Standards sent a letter of protest to two Geneva-based organizations that held a worldwide ballot on Microsoft’s application last month, complaining that the process was poorly conducted and rushed.

Today is the last day for another appeal to be filed.

Please consider contacting your national standards body. You can ask them to join South Africa’s appeal, which should not be hard now that an initial complaint has been smacked on ISO’s desk. Another appeal would have a significant impact on ISO’s final call and also cast shadow on the validity of the process, which has already suiffered delays due to South Africa’s complaint.

We have put up information about Microsoft’s OOXML abuses. Along with the names of countries we have put up the phone number of your national standards body in order to make the job easier. Some people have already phoned and reported back.

Protest against OOXML

Links 29/05/2008: Migrations to GNU/Linux and More Success Stories

Posted in News Roundup at 3:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

Google

F/OSS

Rumours and Vapourware

Leftovers

  • Information, Globalization and Democracy: The Utopian Moment?
  • Private Copying Levy: Hardware Makers Ready For Europe-Wide ‘iPod Tax’?
  • Five reasons to fire Ballmer

    1) The Vista Technology Flop. Technically, Vista was crap.

    [...]

    2) The Vista Business Failure: Microsoft has managed to sell junk before but this time it had set itself an impossible job.

    [...]

    3) The Yahoo Fiasco: If Microsoft had pulled off the hostile takeover of Yahoo…

    [...]

    4) The Fall of Microsoft Office. Remember when Microsoft was talking up how great the initial sales of Office 2007 were? A year later, in Microsoft’s third quarter results, we see that Office’s operating income has dropped from $3.4 billion, to $3.1 billion.

    [...]

    5) Who doesn’t love you baby? The stock market that’s who. Today, Microsoft’s stock is wobbling just over $28. The 52-week high was $37.50. What do you think will happen to Microsoft’s stock when Bill officially retires? It won’t be pretty.

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