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

09.09.08

Links 09/09/2008: Ubuntu 9.04 Gets a Name, OpenICE.org Launched

Posted in News Roundup at 4:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Low-cost PCs

GNU/Linux

Ubuntu

OpenOffice.org

F/OSS

Chrome

Leftovers

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Larry Augustin, GNU Linux business visionary 06 (2005)

Ogg Theora

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

Novell, rPath, Citrix/Xen, VMware: Microsoft Virtualisation Axis?

Posted in Boycott Novell, GNU/Linux, Interview, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Servers, SUN, Virtualisation, Windows, Xen at 3:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

VMware

Microsoft’s intervention inside VMware was previously discussed in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Old observation won’t be repeated or debated further; instead, here are the latest development, starting with the shocker: VMware’s second co-founder has just left.

After his wife was whacked as CEO by EMC padrino Joe Tucci, VMware co-founder Mendel Rosenblum has decided to retreat to the altogether cosier world of academia.

Rosenblum announced his resignation and return to Stanford University in an company-wide email on Monday night, The New York Times reports.

Rosenblum is married to Diane Greene, whose personality clash with Tucci ended in her sacking in July, much to the annoyance of investors. Tucci offered Greene’s boardroom seat to her computer scientist husband, but he turned it down.

Is Microsoft grabbing greater control over VMware’s strategy and direction by appointing its former (and very notorious) executive, then pressuring out the company’s founders? If the market leader is left soulless for Microsoft to pick up the pieces along with its latest Partner of the Year, EMC, then there’s the ability to play the same games as it already does elsewhere (e.g. Xen, Hyper-V), namely elevation of Microsoft-’approved’ and Microsoft-taxed distributions along with prioritisation of Windows as a host platform.

Only yesterday there was another related report suggesting that “EMC plays kiss chase with Hyper-V.” That’s a very close Microsoft partner marrying VMware, which it control, and Microsoft. It’s a shotgun wedding and it’s part of a series of such recent developments that were covered before.

VMware’s storage parent EMC is providing back-end support for Microsoft’s Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and the firm’s System Centre management suite.

The infrastructure giant said today that it will cough up broad technology support and solutions for Microsoft’s new virtualisation strategy and portfolio.

EMC reckoned the move would benefit customers keen to squeeze as much juice as possible out of their MS virt tech investment.

Mary Jo Foley wrote this:

To me, the Microsoft Server and Tools unit’s war on Linux seems to have been replaced with a full-out assault on VMWare these days. Do you think Microsoft now sees VMWare as more of a competitive threat than Linux?

She may be asking the wrong question. Microsoft is trying to bypass or neglect GNU/Linux by either replacing or changing VMware. Ideally, it wants to abolish GNU/Linux or substitute it with the Microsoft-taxed SLES.

rPath

rPath, which joined hands with Novell despite the effects of Microsoft ‘Linux tax’ (some more information about it can be found here), is becoming a Silver Sponsor of a Microsoft launch party.

rPath today announced application providers can use rBuilder® and the rPath Appliance Platform™ to build, deploy and maintain virtual appliances that run on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V. rPath is a silver sponsor of Microsoft’s U.S. launch event in Bellevue, Wash.

Does that have anything to do with the company’s recent dealings with Novell? What kind of a GNU/Linux-oriented company invests in Microsoft?

xVM/Sun

Sun too seems to have had its feet dragged.

Sun has made key pieces of its virtualization software available as open source through the OpenxVM.org community. Sun will participate in Microsoft’s Server Virtualization Validation program to validate its virtualization software for Windows Server 2008 and prior versions. Sun and Microsoft are also planning to offer customers the Solaris operating system as a certified guest on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V. On its side, Sun will provide Sun Ray thin client customers the ability to access Windows as a guest OS through Hyper-V virtualization.

Sun has already complained about Hyper-V. It understands what Microsoft is trying to achieve.

Novell

Lastly, and probably of most relevance to us, there are Microsoft and Novell. There is some news to come.

The VAR Guy is hearing rumblings from Novell about potential virtualization news at this week’s Microsoft GetVirtualNow event or the upcoming VMworld, scheduled for Sept. 15-18 in Las Vegas. The news will likely involve bi-directional virtualization efforts with Microsoft, according to our resident blogger. Here’s the scoop.

[...]

Truth be told, The VAR Guy despises the patent agreement that Microsoft and Novell signed. And plenty of reporters have raised questions about the relationship.

XenSource (now part of Citrix) will also have some Microsoft-related announcements, having been snatched by a Microsoft partner and left Red Hat bear-footed. There is some discussion about it in this new interview with Red Hat’s CEO. There’s also a small portion there about Novell.

Speaking of Novell, I know that while Red Hat isn’t focused on a consumer desktop, an enterprise desktop has been part of your plans. What do you think of Novell’s enterprise desktop?

They have made a broader investment in [the enterprise desktop]. I’ll be frank: I think we in Red Hat for a long time kind of muddled desktop with consumer, and we really underinvested in the desktop versus what we should [have done]. So, we’re redoubling our investments in the desktop because the desktop’s important.

Our customers are asking for it, we need to have an excellent desktop, and I think we have a very competitive desktop platform out there. But we have not invested as much or as heavily as others.

As far as Red Hat is concerned, Novell and Microsoft joined hands against it. They try to exclude Red Hat from virtualised environments. They use virtualisation as a gatekeeper, much like wiping the MBR on all sort of occasions to destroy access to GNU/Linux on multi-boot PCs.

Novell’s CEO will talk about virtualisation at Iterop, which is a week away. It’s one of the main points of the agreement between Microsoft and Novell. It’s also a key part of their plan to have a shared monopoly (duopoly).

Ron Hovsepian and Steve Ballmer

Microsoft Against Apple and Google, By Proxy?

Posted in Apple, Courtroom, Google, Law, Microsoft, Novell, SCO at 8:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell, Acacia, SCO, and those other suspected proxies

This particular type of issue is a known one and by no means something rare. Companies frequently use allies and partners to partake legal action on their behalf. It helps absorb the bad reputation and deflects attention from motives and dependence. This lends credibility to the attacks and attacker, whose real source (or funding source) is sheltered away. Hours ago we mentioned Sisvel/Simens, which is a relatively small but very new example.

A news item that was mentioned yesterday (no direct link) is an attack on Apple’s CEO.

Knowing that Microsoft may have launched lawsuits against Apple in the past (by proxy), it was curious to find that the author of the article is Dan Lyons, who has been fighting against GNU/Linux, being the Microsoft/SCO ally that he is (with a proven track record, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]). He has already attacked Apple in a variety of ways beforehand, typically under the pseudo-identity “fake Steve Jobs”. Groklaw was a typical victim of his ‘poison pen’ and yesterday Pamela wrote: “What a coincidence. Just as Psystar launches its antitrust counterclaim, here comes Dan Lyons with supportive media stuff, claiming Apple is becoming a monopoly. Anyone want to bet that his articles will show up in the court case? Some of us remember the SCO saga and how Lyons’ coverage of SCO’s claims were used. If you’d like to see the ad that Apple can’t run in the UK, here it is in its, to me, innocuous totality.”

Over at USENET, Nessuno writes: “This is some more of the same Microsoft propaganda strategy: What we do is not so bad, everyone else does it, too.”

“Apple’s not perfect by any means, but I never heard the attorney general of any state refer to Apple by saying, “This is not a company that appears to be bothered by ethical boundaries.”

“First Thurrott, now Lyons. Funny how they start squawking just as the $300 Million anti-Apple ad campaign begins. How much of that $300 Million do you suppose they got? Want to bet others will start piping up soon?”

The Thurrott incident is separate and there is already a strong rebuttal to it (we’ll return to this later). In relation to the brainwash used above and in addition to spin around Windows Vista, Grouch wrote
this comment in Groklaw:

Microsoft — the Ministry of Misinformation, producing innovative inveracity for more than thirty years. Is deception for dollars patented yet?

Also in Groklaw, progress on the Caldera trial [1, 2, 3] and on recovery of evidence is being made. Here are some ‘missing’ court documents. As a recap, shortly after a secret settlement, Caldera/SCO turned against Linux. Novell received tens of millions of dollars in the process.

The traces of such proxies are everywhere, but it needs analysing. For a fact, Microsoft is fighting Yahoo/Google by proxy with the help of AstroTurfing agencies such as LawMedia Group. The news now contains evidence of backlash, which is surely motived by such ‘pressure groups’ that work at Microsoft’s behest. The last example is ANA. Pamela Jones writes about it briefly: “For a little background, here’s a speech Steve Ballmer gave at an ANA conference about the future of advertising in October of 2007. Another Microsoft person describes Silverlight in some detail as well. And here’s how they work together in connection with AdID.” Here is the article she refers to:

Advertisers seem to be finding strength in numbers when it comes to Google. Individual companies have been hesitant to criticize the search giant’s partnership with Yahoo since it was announced in June, but the Association of National Advertisers came out against it yesterday.

The ANA, a trade group that represents companies including Procter & Gamble Co., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and General Motors Corp., sent a letter to Assistant Attorney General Thomas O. Barnett yesterday recommending that the deal be blocked.

More information on Microsoft’s legal harassment against Google can be found in [1, 2, 3, 4]. There’s a lot more to it though. Microsoft may be using typcial ‘talking points’ to scrutinise not only Google but to slam Apple as well (labeling it “equally bad”). Roughly Drafted has the details on that. It generalises well to non-Apple incidents, so a few portions are quoted beneath.

Was Thurrott addressing the US Department of Justice, who convinced
the US District Court to convict Microsoft as a monopolist obstructing
competition? Was he defending Microsoft from “bad guy” complaints
raised by a number of US states which successfully presented a case
that the company was cheating customers? Were the “bad guys” European
Union regulators who insisted Microsoft not use Windows as a way to
force PC makers to bundle Windows Media Player? Or how about Iowa,
which sued Microsoft for falsely advertising that PCs that could not
really not run Vista were “Vista capable”? …

[...]

The real secret behind-the-scenes maneuvering in the tech world comes
from Microsoft, which has ghost written a blizzard of white papers and
surveys that attempt to point out that users are simply wrong and that
Vista’s problems are the fault of those pointing them out, and that
free software costs more than expensive software, and that Vista PCs
with a reduced security crisis are less vulnerable than Macs with no
security crisis.

[...]

If Mojave’s false pretense sounds like “bad guy” behavior, it’s
nothing in comparison to the astroturf (fake grassroots populist
efforts) Microsoft paid Ralph Reed to orchestrate during the monopoly
trial, where supposedly upset citizens, some of whom were actually
dead, filed complaints with the DoJ on Microsoft’s behalf.

[...]

The judge presiding over the monopoly trial wrote that Microsoft’s
executives “proved, time and time again, to be inaccurate, misleading,
evasive, and transparently false. [...] Microsoft is a company with an
institutional disdain for both the truth and for rules of law that
lesser entities must respect. It is also a company whose senior
management is not averse to offering specious testimony to support
spurious defenses to claims of its wrongdoing.”

Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch called Microsoft’s astroturf
campaign “sleazy,” saying, “This is not a company that appears to be
bothered by ethical boundaries.”

In a company of lawyers and marketers, has hope remained for decent technology?

“Usually Microsoft doesn’t develop products, we buy products. It’s not a bad product, but bits and pieces are missing.”

Arno Edelmann, Microsoft’s European business security product manager

Reader’s Take on Microsoft, Novell, and Miguel de Icaza

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Windows at 7:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Star wars Vader

A previous post discussed Miguel de Icaza on Microsoft licences. A reader expands on that: “Notice how the first commenter is a MSFT employee trying to do the damage control. Immediately afterwards Miguel almost apologizes for his warning about the licensing terms being incompatible with anything except Windows. This whole situation reminds me about some very famous movie (see photo):

VADER

Good. See to it that he finds his way here. Calrissian, take the princess and the Wookiee to my ship.

LANDO

You said they’d be left in the city under my supervision.

VADER

I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.

“Will Miguel wake up and be brave as to take the same decision as Lando in the movie and rebel against the “Empire” or will he stay as one more of its puppets/minions…?

“In reality I don’t expect from Miguel that he will do the right thing and act as Lando (pity he will waste that opportunity to become a hero). When I keep reading his comments to his blog post, I had the bad feeling that he speaks more as a Microsoft lawyer than as an Open Source (let alone Free Software) programmer. On its part, Novell is very much making the Boba-Fett man-hunter work: The prize: 340 million dollars (and 100 more now).”

This must be the effect of 'buddies' from Microsoft. Mary Jo Foley once told me that they exist and that they get ‘assigned’ to people in order to influence them (or try to moderate them, so to speak).

South Africa Hosts ODF Conference, India Looks Beyond ISO

Posted in Africa, Asia, ISO, Open XML, OpenDocument at 6:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Developing countries and emerging markets seem to have run out of patience for the abuses by Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4]. ODF seems to be their ‘default’ choice and South Africa strengthens its commitment with this new conference.

As one of the lead parties in the OOXML ISO opposition and with a government ODF strategy, the second OpenDocument Format workshop is, fittingly, to be held in South Africa in October.

In case India bypasses ISO recommendations, it’s worth issuing feedback on this “Standards/Recommendations for Public Review” document while it is not finalised. Bought ‘standards’ don’t belong in the public sector because they affect a broad spectrum of people who must not come to depend on a single foreign vendor.

ISO for sale
Photo from the public domain

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: September 8th, 2008

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Enter the IRC channel now

Read the rest of this entry »

Quick Mention: Patent Pirate (Philips) to be Sued

Posted in Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 2:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The bullying of vendors by Philips did not go unnoticed. As a recap, Philips was using proxies to do its ‘pirating’ (armed people threatening vendors face-to-face) [1, 2, 3, 4]. According to The Register, at least one lawsuit will come.

A Taiwanese firm is taking legal action over damage to its reputation after an Italian patent troll representing Philips prompted the raid of a Berlin consumer electronics show last month.

Teco was among 69 companies targeted by some 200 armed German custom officers during the IFA trade fair in Berlin. The raid was done at the request of Sisvel, which administers MP3 and DVD technology patents on behalf of Philips. Sisvel had complained that exhibitors at IFA may be infringing on patents owned by its client.

This makes one wonder if Microsoft can still be sued or fined in Germany for slandering GNU/Linux — a behaviour sometimes referred to as “patent terrorism” [1, 2].

patent threat
Photo under the GNU Free Documentation license

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 Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts