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

10.02.08

Eye on Microsoft: Various Picks from the Past Week

Posted in Finance, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Standard, Windows at 8:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Spam will be a thing of the past in two years’ time.”

Bill Gates, 2004

A lot has happened with Microsoft while your humble editor was absent. :-) Here are just a few quick picks (with many more coming soon).

Putting Money Down and Making Reservations on the African Tables

Very recently we wrote about Microsoft’s ‘addition’ tactics being used against people in Africa [1, 2]. The company appears to be using money at the moment in order to ‘shield’ these territories from GNU/Linux.

Microsoft, Usaid team up to support ICT education>

[...]

Under the arrangement, Usaid will provide financing worth $2 million to help in procuring ICT tools like computers and others while Microsoft will help in designing and supply of software that will help in collecting data in the ministry.

Elsewhere in the world, Bill Gates, whose political crusade in the UN was spotted just days after his so-called ‘retirement’, is still keeping it cozy with the UN, which has favoured Free software for a while.

“I love the Millennium Development Goals,” he said, according to remarks posted on the Gates Foundation Web site. “I think they are the best idea for focusing the world on fighting global poverty that I’ve ever seen…Thanks to these goals, not only UN agencies but the world at large knows the key measures of poverty, hunger, health, and education. Some of the numbers are good and some are not. But the fact that the world is focusing on the numbers is excellent.”

Lost in IP

Microsoft is among the main factors (culprits rather) that imperil the adoption of and transition towards IPv6 [1, 2]. According to Vint Cerf, it’s time to hurry up.

The world is about to run out of the internet addresses that allow computers to identify each other and communicate, the man who invented the system has told The Times.

Cerf works at Google, which Microsoft is desperate enough to fight using what the Inquirer called “bribery”. The bad tactics are extended further and it’s summarised thusly:

Desperate times call for desperate measures

Microsoft’s attacks on Google have become very ugly.

Undocumentation

Shane did some wonderful work covering this over the weekend. For future reference — for it is very relevant to our research — here are some more coverages of this debacle.

1. Microsoft threatened on antitrust non-compliance

As surely as night follows day, so Microsoft is regularly upbraided for not complying with the US government’s landmark 2002 settlement for breach of antitrust laws.

Now, six years into a seven-year settlement monitoring process, presiding settlement judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has told Microsoft’s she doesn’t think it’s going far or fast enough in meeting the terms of the deal.

2. Judge: Microsoft documentation unfit for US consumption

Microsoft may have made a big push to settle many of the antitrust actions facing it around the globe, but those efforts have run up against a major stumbling block: the company’s inability to document the protocols need to interoperate with its own software. Documentation problems got Microsoft in hot water with the EU, and they’re now the only reason it continues to be under court supervision in the aftermath of its antitrust settlement. But, despite having interoperability become a corporate strategy, its documentation efforts came under fire in a court hearing earlier today.

3. U.S. judge tells Microsoft: Get on the stick!

Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) came under sharp criticism from a U.S. judge on Thursday for being slow to produce technical documents it is required to give software makers as part of a 2002 antitrust settlement.

4. Microsoft’s interoperability documentation: A lesson in foot-dragging

[I]t’s frustrating that it has taken so long, and so much government pressure just to get Microsoft to do what is right for its platform business. Yes, interoperability may crimp Microsoft’s plans for its applications business. Even if so, it’s time for Microsoft to stop talking a big interoperability game and then choosing to ride the bench.

Jose_X wrote about this in his comment “Way to open up Microsoft!”

No Love for Standards

Web standards too have remained a blind spot for Microsoft.

Microsoft Live Search Maps hates Chrome and Firefox

[...]

Once again, Microsoft is caught doing services that work better with Microsoft’s own web browser, and offering a sub-par experience to anyone who dares not to run the firm’s Integral Part of the Windows Operating System – stand in line to buy your boxed copy of Vista please.

Microsoft is “Dying from the Inside”

So says a Microsoft employee, who posted this rant, which includes a revelation of $20 million bonuses under “a new plan.”

Suddenly I was very motivated to read the 8-K, in a pissed-off sort of way.

From the filing:

Item 5.02 Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers

The Compensation Committee of the Microsoft Corporation (“Company”) Board of Directors has approved a new executive officer incentive plan (“Plan”) for the Company’s executive officers. The Plan replaces the existing annual cash bonus and equity award programs for the Company’s executive officers beginning with fiscal year 2009.

The Plan allows the Compensation Committee to establish award programs for specified performance periods (e.g., one or more fiscal years). The maximum amount payable to a participating executive officer is a percentage of an incentive pool for a performance period. For fiscal year 2009, awards will be granted from an incentive pool with maximum funding of 0.35% of Microsoft’s fiscal year 2009 corporate operating income. The awards granted to each participating executive officer will be limited to a fixed share of the incentive pool, and these awards may be further reduced or eliminated in the discretion of the Compensation Committee (or in the discretion of the Board of directors, for awards to the Company’s chief executive officer, Steven A. Ballmer). The Plan specifies a maximum amount of $20,000,000 that may be paid under the Plan to a participating executive officer for one or more performance periods that end during a fiscal year. Award amounts under the Plan may be made in either or both stock awards issued under the Microsoft Corporation 2001 Stock Plan and cash. Vesting of stock awards will be determined by the Compensation Committee. The 2001 Stock Plan generally requires that stock awards vest over at least a three-year period.

[...]

Given the feckless vote of confidence that a bunch of screw-ups like Yahoo! got at their recent shareholder’s meeting, I don’t have much confidence in our shareholders challenging our leadership. Stock price? Don’t care, got mine. What kind of performance targets must the company reach to achieve the rewards? Not gonna tell you.

First SPSA. Now this. Microsoft is dying from the inside, and the folks sucking it dry have zero motivation to change things. It’s working out pretty damn well for them.

Here is some more information about these bonuses.

The big winner this year appears to be Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner, who received the biggest bonus and salary award.

Novell has also raised some similar questions and so does Apple.

Not even Apple can escape the fallout from the global economic crisis, with it’s shares tumbling this week. That hasn’t stopped Apple’s executive team reaping in more than 120 million dollars in bonuses though…

Microsoft and Debt

Joe Wilcox posted this bit of text about his concerns. Microsoft’s market cap sank by $24 billion in just 17 Days, having already fallen sharply beforehand (by up to — and at one stage over — $100 billion).

Microsoft is on the list. Today, the stock closed at $25.01 a share, down $2.39, or 8.72 percent.

It’s worth bringing up this new short article, which states: “Following the massive Wall Street sell-off, Microsoft on Monday called on Congress to revisit its bailout decision, saying government action is “vitally important.”” There’s some more talk about the urgency of action. Microsoft admits it is not immune and its friends at the BBC have pinned quite a placement about it in the BBC earlier today.

Microsoft might soon enter debt.

Revisionism

The BBC’s revisionism is something that we pointed out before [1, 2]. SJVN explains why this should be a major concern.

Let’s go one more step though. Let’s say you want to know, specifically, what happened in the trial according to ace Microsoft reporter, and I’m pleased to say my friend, Mary Jo Foley who covered the Microsoft/DoJ case like paint. In January 2001, a search on Microsoft DOJ and Mary Jo Foley would have found 1,820 records.

None of the first twenty, the most popular links, are still active in 2008. And, as far as Google 2008 is concerned those stories don’t exist. That means, for most people, those stories never happened. It means, in short, that if you rely on the Web for “The Truth” you’re relying on something that’s constantly rotting away and falling apart.

Many people still rely on the BBC’s coverage, which is wrongly synonymised with “truth” or “trust”. There are reasons to end this trust, however:

Here are examples of Microsoft executives taking or inheriting positions of power/influence inside the BBC:

Trouble in Europe

Some months ago we covered Microsoft’s threat that it may sue over its exclusion. Here are some relevant posts about it:

The story is being repeated with some new evidence.

Should European governments favor open-source software when they hold tenders for public contracts? Economists and policy makers appear to think so but industry giants including Microsoft argue that this would be discriminatory and are considering legal action to prevent this from happening.

Glyn Moody wrote about this too.

At first, I thought this Computerworld UK story about software vendors “challenging” proposed EU guidelines was just a typical Microsoft whine about the imminent loss of its stranglehold over the government sector in Europe.

It is such a bad loser: after having abused its monopoly position for years, essentially telling the world and his or her dog to like it or lump it, it now runs screaming to teacher as soon as there is any suggestion of the playground daring to stand up to its bullying.

Miscellany

The impact of Windows zombies may be costing the British public dearly.

UK banking losses due to fraud in the first half of 2008 hit £301.7m compared to £263.6m in the same period last year, according to the latest figures from UK banking association APACS.

Fraud abroad made up 40 per cent of total card fraud losses reaching £121.2m in the period, up 11 per cent of the £108.8m lost last year. That loss was through tactics such as the use of counterfeit plastic cards with stolen PINs on machines overseas that only check magnetic strips, not chips.

Microsoft partners are betrayed once again, which is not particularly surprising.

Microsoft today tried to convince UK channel partners that it’s working hard to simplify its licensing terms, but many resellers have grumbled that the firm hasn’t gone far enough yet.

Microsoft is also funding some scare factor, suggesting that not paying Microsoft will entail horrible consequences.

Companies that rely on unlicensed copies of Windows are more likely to experience system failures and lose customer data, Microsoft Corp. said today, citing a company-sponsored report.

According to the research, which was conducted by the Harrison Group Inc. but paid for by Microsoft, midsize companies — those with more than 24 PCs and fewer than 500 — were 43% more likely to have had a critical system failure lasting more than 24 hours if they used unlicensed Windows.

While Microsoft loves accusing others of ‘stealing’ (its software, which it willingly gives away anyway), it’s being accused of stealing slogans now.

G.ho.st, a startup that offers a hosted operating system, has accused Microsoft of violating a company trademark with its prominent use of the phrase “no walls” in its recently unveiled US$300 million Windows marketing and advertising campaign.

That’s about all for today. There’s lots more on the way.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Patents Roundup: Metaswitch, GENBAND, Susman, Cisco, Konami, High 5 Games, HTC, and Nintendo

    A look at existing legal actions, the application of 35 U.S.C. § 101, and questionable patents that are being pursued on software (algorithms or "software infrastructure")



  2. In Maxon v Funai the High 'Patent Court' (CAFC) Reaffirms Disdain for Software Patents, Which Are Nowadays Harder to Get and Then Defend

    With the wealth of decisions from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) wherein software patents get discarded (Funai being the latest example), the public needs to ask itself whether patent law firms are honest when they make claims about resurgence of software patents by 'pulling a Berkheimer' or coming up with terms like “Berkheimer Effect”



  3. Today's European Patent Office Works for Patent Extremists and for Team UPC Rather Than for Europe or for Innovation

    The International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) and other patent maximalists who have nothing to do with Europe, helped by a malicious and rather clueless politician called Benoît Battistelli, are turning the EPO into a patent-printing machine rather than an examination office as envisioned by the EPC (founders) and member states



  4. The EPO is Dying and Those Who Have Killed It Are Becoming Very Rich in the Process

    Following the footsteps of Ron Hovsepian at Novell, Battistelli at the EPO (along with Team Battistelli) may mean the end of the EPO as we know it (or the end altogether); one manager and a cabal of confidants make themselves obscenely rich by basically sacrificing the very organisation they were entrusted to serve



  5. Short: Just Keep Repeating the Lie (“Quality”) Until People Might Believe It

    Battistelli’s patent-printing bureau (EPO without quality control) keeps lying about the quality of patents by repeating the word “quality” a lot of times, including no less than twice in the summary alone



  6. Shelston IP Keeps Pressuring IP Australia to Allow Software Patents and Harm Software Development

    Shelston IP wants exactly the opposite of what's good for Australia; it just wants what's good for itself, yet it habitually pretends to speak for a productive industry (nothing could be further from the truth)



  7. Is Andy Ramer's Departure the End of Cantor Fitzgerald's Patent Trolls-Feeding Operations and Ambitions?

    The managing director of the 'IP' group at Cantor Fitzgerald is leaving, but it does not yet mean that patent trolls will be starved/deprived access to patents



  8. EPO Hoards Billions of Euros (Taken From the Public), Decreases Quality to Get More Money, Reduces Payments to Staff

    The EPO continues to collect money from everyone, distributes bogus/dubious patents that usher patent trolls into Europe (to cost European businesses billions in the long run), and staff of the EPO faces more cuts while EPO management swims in cash and perks



  9. Short: Calling Battistelli's Town (Where He Works) “Force for Innovation” to Justify the Funneling of EPO Funds to It

    How the EPO‘s management ‘explained’ (or sought to rationalise) to staff its opaque decision to send a multi-million, one-day ceremony to Battistelli’s own theatre only weeks before he leaves



  10. Short: EPO Bribes the Media and Then Brags About the Paid-for Outcome to Staff

    The EPO‘s systematic corruption of the media at the expense of EPO stakeholders — not to mention hiring of lawyers to bully media which exposes EPO corruption — in the EPO’s own words (amended by us)



  11. Short: EPO's “Working Party for Quality” is to Quality What the “Democratic People's Republic of Korea” is to Democracy

    To maintain the perception (illusion) that the EPO still cares about patent quality — and in order to disseminate this lie to EPO staff — a puff piece with the above heading/photograph was distributed to thousands of examiners in glossy paper form



  12. Short: This Spring's Message From the EPO's President (Corrected)

    A corrected preface from the Liar in Chief, the EPO's notoriously crooked and dishonest President



  13. Short: Highly Misleading and Unscientific Graphics From the EPO for an Illusion of Growth

    A look at the brainwash that EPO management is distributing to staff and what's wrong with it



  14. Short: EPO Explains to Examiners Why They Should and Apparently Can Grant Software Patents (in Spite of EPC)

    Whether it calls it "CII" or "ICT" or "Industry 4.0" or "4IR", the EPO's management continues to grant software patents and attempts to justify this to itself (and to staff)



  15. Links 21/4/2018: Linux 4.9.95, FFmpeg 4.0, OpenBSD Foundation 2018 Fundraising Campaign

    Links for the day



  16. As USPTO Director, Andrei Iancu Gives Three Months for Public Comments on 35 U.S.C. § 101 (Software Patenting Impacted)

    Weeks after starting his job as head of the US patent office, to our regret but not to our surprise, Iancu asks whether to limit examiners' ability to reject abstract patent applications citing 35 U.S.C. § 101 (relates to Alice and Mayo)



  17. In Keith Raniere v Microsoft Both Sides Are Evil But for Different Reasons

    Billing for patent lawyers reveals an abusive strategy from Microsoft, which responded to abusive patent litigation (something which Microsoft too has done for well over a decade)



  18. Links 20/4/2018: Atom 1.26, MySQL 8.0

    Links for the day



  19. Links 19/4/2018: Mesa 17.3.9 and 18.0.1, Trisquel 8.0 LTS Flidas, Elections for openSUSE Board

    Links for the day



  20. The Patent Microcosm, Patent Trolls and Their Pressure Groups Incite a USPTO Director Against the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Section 101/Alice

    As one might expect, the patent extremists continue their witch-hunt and constant manipulation of USPTO officials, whom they hope to compel to become patent extremists themselves (otherwise those officials are defamed, typically until they're fired or decide to resign)



  21. Microsoft's Lobbying for FRAND Pays Off as Microsoft-Connected Patent Troll Conversant (Formerly MOSAID) Goes After Android OEMs in Europe

    The FRAND (or SEP) lobby seems to have caused a lot of monopolistic patent lawsuits; this mostly affects Linux-powered platforms such as Android, Tizen and webOS and there are new legal actions from Microsoft-connected patent trolls



  22. To Understand Why People Say That Lawyers are Liars Look No Further Than Misleading Promotion of Software Patents

    Some of the latest misleading claims from the patent microcosm, which is only interested in lots and lots of patents (its bread and butter is monopolies after all) irrespective of their merit, quality, and desirability



  23. When News About the EPO is Dominated by Sponsored 'Reports' and Press Releases Because Publishers Are Afraid of (or Bribed by) the EPO

    The lack of curiosity and genuine journalism in Europe may mean that serious abuses (if not corruption) will go unreported



  24. The Boards of Appeal at the European Patent Organisation (EPO) Complain That They Are Understaffed, Not Just Lacking the Independence They Depend on

    The Boards of Appeal have released a report and once again they openly complain that they're unable to do their job properly, i.e. patent quality cannot be assured



  25. Links 18/4/2018: New Fedora 27 ISOs, Nextcloud Wins German Government Contract

    Links for the day



  26. Guest Post: Responding to Your Recent Posting “The European Patent Office Will Never Hold Its Destroyers Accountable”

    In France, where Battistelli does not enjoy diplomatic immunity, he can be held accountable like his "padrone" recently was



  27. The EPO in 2018: Partnering With Saudi Arabia and Cambodia (With Zero European Patents)

    The EPO's status in the world has declined to the point where former French colonies and countries with zero European Patents are hailed as "success stories" for Battistelli



  28. For Samsung and Apple the Biggest Threat Has Become Patent Trolls and Aggressors in China and the Eastern District of Texas, Not Each Other

    The latest stories about two of the world's largest phone OEMs, both of which find themselves subjected to a heavy barrage of patent lawsuits and even embargoes; Samsung has meanwhile obtained an antisuit injunction against Huawei



  29. The EPO Continues to Lie About Patent Quality Whilst Openly Promoting Software Patents, Even Outside Europe

    EPO patent quality continues to sink while EPO management lies about it and software patents are openly being promoted/advocatedEPO patent quality continues to sink while EPO management lies about it (the article above is new) and software patents are openly being promoted/advocated



  30. SCOTUS on WesternGeco v Ion Geophysical Almost Done; Will Oil States Decision Affirm the PTAB's Quality Assurance (IPRs) Soon?

    Ahead of WesternGeco and Oil States, following oral proceedings, it's expected that the highest court in the United States will deliver more blows to patent maximalism


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts