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

10.11.08

Eye on Microsoft: Week of Hardships, a Digest

Posted in Bill Gates, Finance, Microsoft, Security, Steve Ballmer, Vista, Windows at 4:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Catching up with the past week

Crippled by Design

Microsoft’s consumer-hostile and anti-GNU/Linux move still stands.

Microsoft retains 1GB RAM limit on netbooks

[...]

Another limit that Microsoft has in place is a hard limit on the amount of RAM you can have in a “Netbook”, or more specifically how much RAM the “netbook” edition of Windows will tolerate. In this case, it’ll allow an absolute maximum of 1GB. You might think that’s plenty for a “Netbook” – but we all know that the hardware demands of systems change rapidly, and when a “netbook” version of Vista is released I am sure it’ll be anything but RAM-friendly.

Microsoft could change this restriction in the future, but why have it in the first place? In today’s world, 1GB of RAM is really not that much. Even a desktop user with an office suite, an IM app, a few minor programs and content-laden web pages can push themselves up to the wall with a mere 1GB available.

Vista Problems

Another large-scope Vista rejection story:

Londoners can sleep safe in their beds tonight after the London Ambulance Service confirmed that it has no plans whatsoever to migrate to Windows Vista anytime soon.

It appears that, based on Microsoft, the advertisements for Vista were indeed a failure.

Microsoft has confirmed to Pocket-lint that the Seinfeld ads will never appear in the UK and that Americans are unlikely to get any more either.

ZDNet’s “Between the Lines” explains why Windows Vista failed so badly that Microsoft starts speaking about not just one piece of vapourware.

On Friday, Microsoft gave computer makers a six-month extension for offering Windows XP on newly-shipped PCs. While this doesn’t impact enterprise IT — because volume licensing agreements will allow IT to keep installing Windows XP for many years to come — the move is another symbolic nail in Vista’s coffin.

The public reputation of Windows Vista is in shambles, as Microsoft itself tacitly acknowledged in its Mojave ad campaign.

[...]

5. Apple successfully demonized Vista

[...]

4. Windows XP is too entrenched

[...]

3. Vista is too slow

[...]

2. There wasn’t supposed to be a Vista

[...]

1. It broke too much stuff

Microsoft already has “7″, “Midori” and “Strata” as vapourware, indicating that it is facing very intense pressure from the competition. It replaces products with mere promises, with imaginary products. From the horse’s own mouth:

“In the face of strong competition, Evangelism’s focus may shift immediately to the next version of the same technology, however. Indeed, Phase 1 (Evangelism Starts) for version x+1 may start as soon as this Final Release of version X.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

CEO Problems

As we pointed out some days ago, Steve Ballmer was dragged into the Vista lawsuit and ComputerWorld has a nice column about it.

Sometimes Microsoft makes it too easy to point out how slow and stupid
the company has gotten with little Stevie Ballmer in charge. Take, for
example, Microsoft’s claim that Ballmer knew next to nothing about his
company’s “Vista Capable” marketing campaign. And, therefore he
shouldn’t have to testify in the Vista class-action lawsuit that
accuses the company of deceiving customers with the campaign.

In a statement to the court, Ballmer said, “I was not involved in any
of the operational decisions about the Windows Vista Capable program I
was not involved in establishing the requirements computers must
satisfy to qualify for the Windows Vista Capable program. I was not
involved in formulating any marketing strategy or any public messaging
surrounding the Windows Vista Capable program. To the best of my
recollection, I do not have any unique knowledge of, nor did I have
any unique involvement in any decisions regarding the Windows Vista
Capable program.”

[...]

All-in-all, I’m willing to believe Ballmer really didn’t know. I mean
this is the same company where Mike Nash, Microsoft’s corporate VP of
Windows Product Management e-mailed Microsoft’s top brass on Feb. 25,
2007 that “I personally got burned by the Intel 915 chip set issue
that I bought PERSONALLY (eg with my own $$$).” “I know that I chose
my laptop (a Sony TX770P) because it had the Vista logo and was pretty
disappointed that not only wouldn’t it run [Aero] Glass, but more
importantly it wouldn’t run Movie Maker.” Nash felt that he had bought
a “$2,100 e-mail machine.”

Hey guy, a lot of other early Vista buyers felt exactly the same way.
That’s why they’re suing you.

Mac Daily News has found out that Microsoft’s CEO is like Novell's CEO in the sense that he is not keeping up on the competition.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer doesn’t know that Macs can run Windows

[...]

Only Apple Macs run Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, etc. and their attendant applications. In other words, not only is the Mac able to run the world’s most advanced operating system, Mac OS X, it can also slum it as a fast PC when the user so desires (or is forced to by Microsoft’s many attempts at lock-in). Because Apple Macs also offer the full “PC experience,” Ballmer’s criticisms — and $300 million ad campaign — fail completely.

Technical Failures

Looking back at the end of an era, IDG has this list of worst Windows flaws. It starts thusly:

June 25, 1998, and June 30, 2008, marked two important milestones in Microsoft’s evolution of the Windows OS — the passing of the torch from Windows 95 to Windows 98, and the less seemly transition from XP to Vista.

It gets worse further down the list. Pingdom provides more visual evidence of the problems.

The infamous Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) probably hasn’t escaped the notice of anyone who has used a computer in the last decade or so. If you haven’t seen it on your own PC, you probably know someone it has happened to.

There is a gallery of incidents there, including the recent one from the Olympic games.

Law

On several occasions in the past, we’ve already mentioned Bill Gates’ lobby for foreign workers [1, 2]. He was lying.

Now it turns out that this H-1B visa scheme is turning into a fraud. Given the economic climate, it’s a bad time for this to be revealed.

A report released Oct. 8 by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) reveals that 13% of petitions filed for H-1B visas on behalf of employers are fraudulent. Another 8% contain some sort of technical violations.

[...]

Technology companies, in particular, have come to rely on the H-1B visa program to bring in skilled foreign workers to fill jobs that employers claim can’t be filled with U.S.

[...]

Microsoft Chairman and co-founder Bill Gates has twice testified in front of Congress on the issue.

Speaking of fraud, there is some more in Seattle.

Two former top executives from Seattle software provider Entellium were arrested on Tuesday night after allegedly inflating their company’s revenues to attract investments.

Remember what a certain someone once said:

“There is such an overvaluation of technology stocks that it is absurd. I would include our stock in that category. It is bad for the long-term worth of the economy.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO

Real Networks, the company which Microsoft schemed to ‘pull a Netscape’ on, is struggling like many others. Here is a new reminder from the past:

Real Networks had more success with an antitrust lawsuit it filed against Microsoft to compel the software giant to include the RealPlayer streaming media software in Windows. In 2005, Microsoft agreed to settle the case and paid its smaller adversary $761 million.

Finance

Fearing for the welfare of its savings, Microsoft starts digging down its bank account.

Microsoft wants to be kept abreast of the latest developments in Washington Mutual’s bankruptcy.

Meanwhile, to many people’s surprise, Bill Gates ceases to be the richest American. Despite selling $billions in Microsoft shares over the past few years, his worth declines significantly. Gates is heavily invested in some tobacco, alcohol and oil companies, among other iffy businesses, not to mention media companies that he owns and therefore controls (be nice to Microsoft!).

BILL GATES has been the richest American on the Forbes 400 list for 15 years – well not any more, as this crown has been handed over to none other than insurance and jewellery flogger Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett.

Gamer Blorge opines that Microsoft’s XBox/entertainment division is already feeling the pinch, having shut down parts of its operations.

One of the silliest arguments fanboys like to make is that Microsoft has a vast reserve of unlimited resources, all of which can be thrown at the Xbox division. Just like any other business, Microsoft is in the console market to make money and not to fuel useless fanboy fancies.

According to Silicon Alley Insider, Microsoft is in a hiring freeze and slowing down spending for the time being. Initially, it was reported that all of Microsoft would be doing this, but a clarification from a spokesperson indicated that this was false. According to an email sent out by Robbie Bach, head of Entertainment and Devices (Xbox and Zune), only his division will be enforcing a freeze on hiring.

This division has already lost billions of dollars. The myth of Microsoft becoming profitable everywhere it goes is just a tired myth. Period.

Yahoo!

In another major blow to Microsoft, one of its key investors abandons the ship blaming the company’s obsession with on-line business.

A well-known hedge-fund manager has hit out at Microsoft’s “overaggressive and almost panicky” attempts to plump up its online investments.

[...]

Meanwhile, Microsoft shares have tanked over the past few weeks forcing Ballmer to admit on his recent tour of Europe that no one was safe from the dollar meltdown on Wall Street.

Is Yahoo still safe from Microsoft? We sure hope so, but Yahoo is currently exploring its options.

Nine months after Yahoo first rejected a takeover bid from Microsoft, the Sunnyvale, Calif., Web search and advertising concern still is looking for a deal to solve its troubles.

As we recently pointed out, the Microsoft-influenced government and those Microsoft-hired LawMedia AstroTurfers were largely responsible for the Yahoo-Google pact temporarily falling through (put on hold).

The pact was brokered in the wake of Microsoft’s withdrawn takeover bid for Yahoo. At the time, Microsoft had changed course to try and buy Yahoo’s search biz, but Yahoo wasn’t interested in such an arrangement.

Since then, Google’s share of the Web search market has widened to 63% as of August, according to Internet tracking firm comScore. Yahoo dropped to 19.6% and Microsoft slipped to 8.3%.

Yahoo is reportedly talking with AOL now.

Yahoo is continuing its marathon merger discussions with AOL, sources close to the negotiations have whispered to us, and a deal could happen as early as this month. Is this just a rehash of the reported discussions in February and then again in April?

One of Yahoo’s large shareholders is also pushing for a Microsoft takeover.

The investment firm Mithras Capital, a large Yahoo Inc. shareholder, has renewed its push to get the Web-search company to sell itself to Microsoft Corp., according to press reports.

Security

There’s a lot on the security front too. A very large number of serious security flaws were reported in Microsoft software. This includes no less than 4 “critical” vulnerabilities, which enable crackers to hijack Windows computers remotely.

On Thursday, Microsoft announced four security bulletins for next week. The announcement is intended as a heads-up for IT departments before Patch Tuesday. Four fixes are considered critical, six important, and one is moderate as ranked by the software giant.

It’s worth remembering that almost 1 in 2 Windows PCs is already a zombie PC. Windows makes botnets. Such computers are being used to dispatch about 150 billion SPAM per day and Virgin’s server is now collapsing under the pressure.

Tens of thousands of Virgin customers have spent four days cut off from, or with little access to, their e-mail accounts after a suspected spam attack.

The problem affected a company which processes messages delivered through the Virgin.net platform.

Virgin’s E-mail service was down not so long ago due to Microsoft-related issues. [article from February]

Virgin Media customers have been suffering email outages for several days, prompting the firm to call in Microsoft engineers to help with an urgent upgrade.

Also in the UK, those brute-force E-mail floods lead to a phishing catastrophe.

Hi-tech fraudsters are taking advantage of the global financial turmoil, say governments and security experts.

Most scary among the security headaches is this news from the World bank:

World Bank Under Cyber Siege in ‘Unprecedented Crisis’

The World Bank Group’s computer network — one of the largest repositories of sensitive data about the economies of every nation — has been raided repeatedly by outsiders for more than a year, FOX News has learned.

It is still not known how much information was stolen. But sources inside the bank confirm that servers in the institution’s highly-restricted treasury unit were deeply penetrated with spy software last April. Invaders also had full access to the rest of the bank’s network for nearly a month in June and July.

Spyware. Which operating system were they running?

BSoD for Novell

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

A Single Comment

  1. tomek said,

    October 12, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Gravatar

    Windows Strata – funny and meaningful.
    Word “strata” in Polish means “loss”.

What Else is New


  1. The EPO is Lying to Its Own Staff About ILO and Endless (Over 2 Years) EPO Mistrials

    The creative writing skills of some spinners who work for Battistelli would have staff believe that all is fine and dandy at the EPO and ILO is dealing effectively with staff complaints about the EPO (even if several years too late)



  2. EPO’s Georg Weber Continues Horrifying Trend of EPO Promoting Software Patents in Defiance of Directive, EPC, and Common Sense

    The EPO's promotion of software patents, even out in the open, is an insult to the notion that the EPO is adhering to or is bound by the rules upon which it maintains its conditional monopoly



  3. Protectionism v Sharing: How the US Supreme Court Decides Patent Cases

    As the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) starts delivering some decisions we take stock of what's to come regarding patents



  4. Links 22/3/2017: GNOME 3.24, Wine-Staging 2.4 Released

    Links for the day



  5. The Battistelli Regime, With Its Endless Scandals, Threatens to Crash the Unitary Patent (UPC), Stakeholders Concerned

    The disdain and the growing impatience have become a huge liability not just to Battistelli but to the European Patent Office (EPO) as a whole



  6. The Photos the EPO Absolutely Doesn't Want the Public to See: Battistelli is Building a Palace Using Stakeholders' Money

    The Office is scrambling to hide evidence of its out-of-control spendings, which will leave the EPO out of money when the backlog is eliminated by many erroneous grants (or rejections)



  7. In the US Patent System, Evolved Tricks for Bypassing Invalidations of Software Patents and Getting Them Granted by the USPTO

    A roundup of news about patents in the US and how the patent microcosm attempts to patent software in spite of Alice (high-impact SCOTUS decision from 2014)



  8. “Then They Came For Me—And There Was No One Left To Speak For Me.”

    The decreasing number of people who cover EPO scandals (partly due to fear, or Battistelli's notorious "reign of terror") and a cause for hope, as well as a call for help



  9. As Expected, the Patent Microcosm is Already Interfering, Lobbying and Influencing Supreme Court Justices

    The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is preparing to deliver some important decisions on cases with broad ramifications, e.g. for patent scope, and those who make money from patent feuds are attempting to alter the outcome (which would likely restrict patent scope even further, based on these Justices' track record)



  10. Intellectual Ventures -- Like Microsoft (Which It Came From) -- Spreads Patents to Manifest a Lot of Lawsuits

    That worrisome strategy which is passage of patents to active (legally-aggressive) trolls seems to be a commonality, seen across both Microsoft and its biggest ally among trolls, which Microsoft and Bill Gates helped create and still fund



  11. What the Patent Microcosm is Saying About the EPO and the UPC

    Response to 3 law firms and today's output from them, which serves to inform or misinform the European public at times of Big Lies and fog of (patent) war, revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetric patent warfare and lobbying



  12. Tough Day for the EPO's Media/Press/PR Team, Trying 'Damage Control' After Important Techrights Publications

    In an effort to save face and regain a sense of legitimacy the EPO publishes various things belatedly, and only after Techrights made these things publicly known and widely discussed



  13. Links 21/3/2017: PyPy Releases, Radeon RX Vega, Eileen Evans at Linux Foundation

    Links for the day



  14. In IAM, Asian Courts That Deliver Justice Are “Unfriendly” and Asian Patent Trolls Are Desirable

    Rebuttal or response to the latest pieces from IAM, which keeps promoting a culture of litigation rather than sharing, collaboration, negotiation, and open innovation



  15. At EPO “I Have the Feeling That Lowering Quality is Part of a Concerted Plan.”

    Growing concern about patent quality at the EPO -- a subject which causes managers to get rather nervous -- is now an issue at the forefront



  16. EPO Reduces the World to Just Seven Nations to Bolster an Illusion of Growing 'Demand' for European Patents

    The unscientific -- if not antiscientific -- attitude of the European Patent Office (EPO) continues to show with the arrival of yet more misleading 'infographics' (disinfographics would be a more suitable term)



  17. Letter to Angela Merkel Expresses Concerns About Impact of EPO Scandals on Germany and Its Image

    Dr. Angela Merkel, arguably the most powerful woman in the world, is being warned about the consequences of Germany ignoring (and hence facilitating) the abuses of Benoît Battistelli



  18. EPO Caricature: Low Patent Quality Not an Achievement

    A new cartoon about the legacy of Battistelli, which ruins both inventors and staff (examination) while handing money to abusers



  19. Are Lithuania and Latvia the Latest Additions to the List of Benoît Battistelli's Vassal States?

    Benoît Battistelli's 'back room' deals came at an interesting, strategic time and the Office uncharacteristically kept quiet about these



  20. Links 20/3/2017: Linux 4.11 RC3, OpenSSH 7.5 Released

    Links for the day



  21. Supposedly 'Pampered' Prisoners Are Still Prisoners of the EPO

    Response to those gross and familiar attempts to portray patent examiners, not politicians who trample all over them, as the cause of all the problems at the EPO



  22. Insulting Reversal of Narratives at the EPO: Team Battistelli as the Victim

    At times of great oppression against staff, in clear defiance of the law in fact, journalists are being asked (or expected) to view the oppressor as the victim, even when this oppressor drives people to suicide



  23. Battistelli's EPO Copies China -- Not the US -- When it Comes to Patenting Software and Expanding Patent Scope

    A detailed explanation of some of the latest reports from China and the US, serving to show that one opens up to software patents whereas the other shuts the door on them (and guess whose lead the EPO is taking)



  24. What IAM Says About AST, RPX, Ericsson, and IBM

    IAM, the trolls' mouthpiece (also the EPO's mouthpiece, but that's another story), provides updates on trolls and troll-like entities, but further commentary is needed to clarify and counterbalance the promotional language



  25. Apple and Microsoft, Two Patent Aggressors That Habitually Attack GNU/Linux Distributors, Get Sued by a Patent Troll, Soverain IP

    Putting in perspective the latest high-profile (in the press at least) lawsuits filed by a notorious troll, which this time around chose as its targets two patent aggressors that deserve no sympathy because of their own actions



  26. What's OIN Doing While Microsoft is Siccing Patent Trolls on Azure Competitors' Customers?

    Microsoft's patent litigation strategy has become clearer, and patents-centric efforts such as OIN offer no defence against such a strategy, which attempts to pressure everyone to flock to Microsoft for 'protection' (from Microsoft itself)



  27. “EPO Continues to Grant Software Patents”

    The longstanding concern about the granting of software patents at the EPO (typically disguised as a "device") as reinforced by T 0625/11



  28. Links 19/3/2017: Linux Sightings, What's Wrong With Microsoft, and Death of Docker

    Links for the day



  29. Governance Crisis at EPO Deepens After Latest Meeting of the Administrative Council, Necessitating Urgent Outside Intervention

    he EPO's Administrative Council continues to be subservient to -- and without any authority over -- Team Battistelli with its endless mischief and endless power grab, including unbridled money grab



  30. EPO Management Deeply Concerned That the Public Has Found Out Quality of European Patents (EPs) Nosedived Under Battistelli's Regime

    Growing pressure on the EPO's management to acknowledge that quality control has gone totally out of control as stakeholders already grasp the obvious and act accordingly, turning to other patent offices, such as their national ones (NPOs)


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