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10.15.08

Windows Update has Detected the Following Lawsuits are Available for Your PC

Posted in Courtroom, Deception, Law, Marketing, Microsoft, Vista, Windows at 11:34 pm by Shane Coyle

Cancel, or Cancel?

Well, the Windows Vista-Capable class action lawsuit has taken another pretty interesting turn, with the plaintiffs lawyers having requested that Microsoft use it’s own Windows Update service to notify potential class members of the suit.

The Vista Capable lawsuit accuses Microsoft of duping buyers in 2006 and 2007 by letting PC makers slap a “Vista Capable” sticker on PCs when it allegedly knew that many of those systems would only be able to run Vista Home Basic, the entry-level version. The case, which began in 2007 and was granted class-action status in February 2008, claims that Home Basic is not representative of the Vista that Microsoft marketed to consumers.

Earlier this month, the plaintiffs in the Vista Capable case asked U.S. District Court Judge Marsha Pechman to make Microsoft use the update service to send all Windows users a notice of the class-action lawsuit. The notice, which would pop-up on users’ screens, would include a link to a site where consumers could obtain more information.

Not surprisingly, Microsoft is not too keen on this idea, and says that it would not be possible for them to properly identify which Vista machines are qualified to be considered class members, and force them to essentially spam millions of uninvolved PC owners. Microsoft also decries the potential confusion and outrage that such a repurposing of the Windows Update features could cause – with the possibilities of users disabling automatic updates in revolt, or flooding the Microsoft help desk with questions or complaints.

Now, I find it hard to believe that Windows Update is incapable of identifying, with a fairly good level of granularity, potential class member PCs by identifying the operating system version and chipset – otherwise how does the system identify which patches are apropos to your system? Even if, using these criteria, some unrelated Vista PCs are incorrectly identified, I don’t think it would be the 120 million that they have claimed. Can anyone imagine, if the system were so obtuse, the havoc that would be wrought by a mis-applied update intended for Vista Premium with a particular Nvidia video card but was instead applied to all systems running Vista, regardless of version and hardware?

But, perhaps surprisingly, I agree with Microsoft that the Windows Update service should not be compelled to be used outside of its scope – if it is true that Microsoft has not in the past used this service for any informational or promotional purpose (I don’t use Windows so I don’t know). If the sole purpose of Windows Update is to provide patches and security updates, it should not be within the purview of the plaintiffs to change this arrangement between Microsoft and their customers – even the ones who could be potential litigants, in my opinion.

Security updates, and customer relationships in general, require a certain amount of trust – any actions by Microsoft outside of their espoused purpose for the Windows Update service will indeed negatively impact their perception amongst customers and might even cause the feared backlash of users disabling the service out of concerns that Microsoft could once again make changes to their terms of service at a later date and begin targeting PC owners with self-serving "informational" and advertising notifications.

Anyway, this is just my two cents and all I usually am offered is a penny for my thoughts – perhaps that’s why I am so quiet usually, every time I open my mouth I lose money…

Novell (NOVL) at $3 Something; Should Leave Wall Street?

Posted in Finance, Novell at 4:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell’s 52-week range is $2.49 – $7.94.

Earlier in the day we wrote about the proposition that Novell should no longer be publicly traded. Novell was already close to being delisted from the NASDAQ.

A former Noveller, Matt Asay, agrees that Novell should become a private company. The screenshot below says a bundle.

Novell falls further down

Novell: We’re Having a “Financial Crisis!” Please Buy Microsoft Linux

Posted in Finance, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell at 3:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell has just sent out the following E-mail to its customers and/or partners. It was passed to us by an anonymous reader.

Novell promotion

Click on the image above to see it in full size.

Don’t miss the finer details:

Novell Windows FUD

The “chosen one.” Not according to its market performance

Say No to Novell

Links 15/10/2008: LSB 4.0 Beta; Ext4 Entering Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 12:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

Open

Web

Sub-notebooks

Apple

  • Cory Doctorow—Linux Guru?

    DS: What’s the deal with your Linux switch? You used to be a Mac guy, right?
    CD: Yup, I mean, obviously, always Linux on the server, yeah, but I was always Mac on the desktop for a long time, starting with Apple II Plusses in 1979, and then Macs all my life—one or two a year minimum over the years.

    DS: What prompted the switch, and what do you think so far?
    CD: Well, there are a couple things—the DRM stuff keeps getting worse and worse. It seems like every time I turned around, Apple is doing something with its OS to add more bullshit to it. More DRM, more controls on how users use it….They’re anti-features. There’s no customer who woke up this morning and said, “Gosh, I wish there was a way I could do less with my music this morning—I hope there’s an iTunes update waiting for me.”

    So, it just seemed to me, increasingly, that Apple wasn’t making computers to suit my needs; they were making computers to suit the needs of some theoretical entertainment giant. And, you know, I think that’s their business if they want to do it, but they’re not a charity, so if they don’t want to make the stuff I want to buy, I don’t have to buy it. Which is exactly what I did—I stopped buying it.

  • The downside of Apple lock-in: no matte screens

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Digital Tipping Point: home audio video buff Marc Merlin 03 (2005)

Ogg Theora

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

Links: OpenOffice.org 3.0 and OpenDocument Format

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, SUN at 9:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The latest and full featured version of OpenOffice.org 3.0 is now available through Ulteo.com using a web browser with a single click of a mouse. No download or installation process of the productivity suite is required.

At the ODF Workshop last week, a number of the delegates were asking about the right way to handle archiving of their documents. Obviously ODF offers a baseline file format that promises long-term readability and editability, but the question remains of how best to handle files. With the release of OpenOffice.org 3.0, there are now two alternatives, and we heard at the conference of a third alternative coming in the future from ODF.

Although the focus of the conference is OpenOffice.org, the program, the developers, the translators, promoters and users, there is also a natural overlapping interest in OpenDocument Format (ODF). Because of this, OOoCon typically is also the largest ODF conference of the year, at least based on number of ODF-related sessions.

I never took to MS Office 2007.

Having used earlier versions of MS Word for years, I was frustrated when I couldn’t easily find the menus or commands where they used to be on its newfangled ribbon interface. I also disliked that its applications wrote by default to a file format that was unreadable by earlier versions of MS Office.

So this week, when I heard that a new version of my favorite free MS Office replacement, OpenOffice, would be released, I greeted the news with some reservations.

I like the Italian press release more, and it is not just because I am the Institutional Relationship Manager for the Italian OpenOffice.org association and a member of the Italian OOo marketing team. We stressed the importance to be a serious challenger for Microsoft in the Italian market, providing also some numbers (3.580.000 downloads so far this year, one every 7 seconds). We highlighted also that the OpenOffice.org architecture allows third parties contributions, knowing that many are not familiar with the notion of extensions yet.

ITJungle Chief: Novell (NOVL) Should Go Private

Posted in Finance, Novell at 9:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

T

imothy Prickett Morgan is reputable writer from IT Jungle. He has recently been writing for The Register and his latest analysis says — in the form of a modest proposal — that Novell should consider leaving The Street and operate as a humble private company.

For the most part, the downturn on the global stock markets is bad news for IT vendors and the institutional investors and individuals that invest in them. But for some, it might be good news.

Even with the rally yesterday on Wall Street, which ricocheted around the world to other markets, there is still a chance for some financially challenged IT players to make a move that could save their futures: Take themselves private.

As we go to press with this story, an early 400 point rally in the Dow Jones Industrials has petered out and tech stocks are taking a slide, pushing down the NASDAQ by 2.5 per cent. It is still a buyer’s market unless Wall Street puts something like 4,500 points on the board, which would be a 50 per cent increase to get the Dow Jones back to its 14,000 peak level from a little more than a year ago. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen – unless you are sharing some DNA with a whale.

As stocks continue to decline (after yesterday’s global decline), Novell is down another 3.26%.

Sellout

Novell stock

Microsoft Mouths in the Press: Michael Gartenberg

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, OpenOffice, Windows at 9:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

‘Analyst hat’ for attacks on GNU/Linux

There are some harsh words for GNU/Linux in this new IDG article. [rel="nofollow"]

Is IDG, whose parent company does a lot of business with Microsoft, badmouthing GNU/Linux? Well, not so fast! It’s more likely to do with the writers among their ranks. As we mentioned before [1, 2, 3, 4], Michael Gartenberg is a former Microsoft employee (evangelist even). This is not the first time that he bashes GNU/Linux in the press and there are similar examples of Microsoft-oriented ‘analysts’ or former employees who do this.

In other FUD sightseeing, yesterday we wrote about an article from Ars Technica, which Preston Gralla is echoing now. Some readers described him as a “shill”, but we don’t subscribe to this assessment based on his long posting/publishing history. Either way, he chose the provocative headline “Is version 3.0 the last great version for OpenOffice.org?” He is citing only a blog from which the badmouthing came (a Novell employee). Thank you, Novell, for fueling OpenOffice.org FUD.

Novell error message

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: October 14th, 2008

Posted in IRC Logs at 3:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Enter the IRC channel now

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