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07.28.08

Microsoft Allegedly Pressures Companies to Stop Selling GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 2:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Here’s a discount. Help us fight actual competition.”

Just because others are doing ‘it’ without ending up in prison does not make a particular behaviour acceptable. As many people know by now, Intel’s bribery techniques are coming under heavy fire at the moment. This story goes as far back as 2 years ago when Intel was found bribing Dell billions of dollars (out of investors’ sight) to take its competition off the shelf. This primarily hurt AMD and injured the consumer, in due time.

Microsoft, much like its long-time allies at Intel, is using similar pressures to elbow competition and maintain a monopoly. There are many examples of this in the past, but in this post we merely wish to show that nothing has changed. In Intel’s case, there is already antitrust action in multiple continents with compelling evidence, whereas with Microsoft it’s typically circumstantial evidence but no ‘smoking guns’. There are a few exceptions.

We wrote about ASUS just a few days ago [1, 2] and drew a connection to this. Now comes a short article from Free Software Magazine suggesting that the sufferer will be ASUS rater than GNU/Linux.

Then, one of the makers of Netbooks will release a fantastic product using the paid Ubuntu/Netbook Remix, which will make us all forget about the EeePC — or, maybe we’ll remember it as one of the makers which used GNU/Linux in order to launch a product, and then gave in to Microsoft’s pressure.

The real question is: will the next maker manage to resist Microsoft’s pressure? Or will everybody end up closely tied up with Microsoft?

So, ASUS crawls back into the same prison which Acer recently explained that it’s trying to escape. They need healthy margins to survive and compete.

ASUS, however, may not be the only one falling. A day ago, the following short report suggested that Kira is now all about Windows.

Okay, so maybe the fact that this thing relies on WinCE 5.0 rather than, you know, a bona fide laptop operating system is a bit disappointing, but there are sacrifices to be expected here.

This was not always the case. Watch this older post about Kira.

Many people are talking about the Asus Eee PC : low cost, tiny, and for the “geeks”, running Linux. Mandriva 2008 Spring is compatible out of the box with Asus Eee PC. However a new low cost PC is appearing, done by a spanish company : AIRIS KIRA. This notebbok is low cost ( 299 € ), and last but no least : is running Mandriva Linux !

Here is the brochure [PDF] that says it’s running Mandriva+OpenOffice.org. Recall what Microsoft did in Nigeria (alleged bribery) to knock Mandriva out of school laptops after a deal had been signed!

“We should whack them [Dell over GNU/Linux dealings], we should make sure they understand our value.”

Paul Flessner, Microsoft

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