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

11.14.08

Marcel Gagné on the Novell/Red Hat Situation

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Videos at 4:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IT starts at about half way through (over a minute after the beginning). Linux coupons from Microsoft, eh?

Direct link

Ogg Theora

Microsoft’s Sleight of Hands

Posted in Courtroom, Finance, GNU/Linux, Google, Kernel, Microsoft, SCO at 10:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“On the same day that CA blasted SCO, Open Source evangelist Eric Raymond revealed a leaked email from SCO’s strategic consultant Mike Anderer to their management. The email details how, surprise surprise, Microsoft has arranged virtually all of SCO’s financing, hiding behind intermediaries like Baystar Capital.”

Bruce Perens

Well, it ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings.

SCO’s candidate Sugar Daddy, backed by potential funding from Bill Gates’ business partners, has not necessarily waved goodbye to SCO, which is currently in the process of:

  1. Filing for (or completing) bankruptcy
  2. Suing Linux
  3. Holding on to some very scarce UNIX business to keep up appearances
  4. Resurrecting the name "Caldera" (not confirmed yet)

Groklaw has an excellent report.

It turns out that Stephen Norris did attend SCO’s Tec Forum after all, at least according to SCO’s latest SCO Partner News newsletter someone sent me. He expressed that SCO’s strengths are its customers and its products. That’s why the investors he says he represents are “so excited about the business prospects of working with SCO” and in particular because of SCO’s commitment to backward compatibility of “all its products — going all the way back to Xenix”. Hmm.

Norris’ involvement in SCO (and potential connections with Microsoft) was previously discussed in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. The suspicion here, although it is not sufficiently substantiated, is that someone outside SCO (and Stephen Norris) might be involved. It’s not impossible.

Speaking of which, recall the Google/Yahoo deal, which was foiled almost single-handedly by Microsoft, although the company used diplomats and other people whom it hired to do the interception from a distance [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Google’s CEO and other seniors at Yahoo explicitly accused Microsoft of being the party to blame. Over that Associated Press (AP), which refuses to be quoted as part of its hatred of Fair Use Doctrine, Microsoft’s lobbying activities return to light. We wrote about this quite extensively in the past and in light of the report from AP, Matt Asay says that “technology becomes political.”

Over the past few years, the technology industry has discovered that those pesky bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. actually wield a lot of power. Microsoft, in particular, learned years ago that a little money goes a long way to stave off antitrust lawyers, as suggested by The New York Times.

[...]

There are good reasons for this: Microsoft has spent quite a bit of time (and, apparently, money) this year trying to convince Congress to put the kibosh on the Google-Yahoo advertising deal, as reported in The New York Times, and ultimately succeeding. Last week Google abandoned the deal in the face of an antitrust fight, one no doubt founded in part on Microsoft’s lobbying cash. Microsoft learned the hard way that money can make Washington, D.C. work for it…with just a few million dollars’ worth of influence.

Gone are the days of two entrepreneurs in a garage, changing the world. As technology becomes a critical part of the global economy, lobbying and lawyers have become de rigueur. This year Microsoft is the big spender on Capitol Hill, but as Google comes under fire for privacy and other concerns, it will no doubt be next.

Lobbyists are an appalling phenomenon and a threat to any morsel of democracy that’s left. There is a need to respond to them, but there remains little one can do, however, because regulatory bodies themselves are infested with lobbyists and corporate cronies, e.g. [1, 2].

Lobbyists

IDG/IDC Does Microsoft’s Revisionism to Deny Crimes

Posted in America, Deception, GNU/Linux, Mandriva, Microsoft, OLPC, Windows at 10:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Who approached whom for the denials?

WE simply cannot trust IDG News Service due to Microsoft money that is on its table. There are many other reasons to lose confidence in the company and those reasons include very recent incidents.

IDC’s shrewdly-disguised attacks on GNU/Linux and IDG’s promotion of Microsoft (they give room to Microsoft evangelists) is another thing, but when defending the monopolist amid accusations of crime, it sure strikes a nerve. Microsoft’s own needs for denials are magically transformed into articles now. The latest example is about Nigeria. Microsoft has a special relationship in the Nigerian government (the son of the former president is a senior Microsoft employee) and the same goes for some other African countries where Microsoft mercilessly fights Free software.

The latest ‘denialticle’ from IDG is titled “Microsoft denies paying contractor to abandon Linux” and it contains a reminder of Microsoft’s influence.

Apart from the fact that Linux is freely distributed, it’s functionality, adaptability and robustness has made it the main alternative for proprietary Unix and Microsoft operating systems. Governments in Ghana, Namibia, Nigeria and South Africa have deployed Linux in departments and schools, but Hansen said that Microsoft has strong relationships with the governments in these countries.

What kind of brow-raising relationships? There have been other iffy affairs in Nigeria. For that matter, the OLPC story is worth revisiting too.

“The big papers are typically protective of mega corporations that make these papers relevant and sometimes also fund them.”The article above contains a headline that’s hugely similar to one which was published in IDG several months ago. It had Microsoft deny accusations of blackmail from Microsoft in Africa (following by other curious moves). There were other accusations of Microsoft blackmail, so it’s not a new thing.

Another company that earned ‘placements’ the press for its denialists to speak is Intel, whose crimes against OLPC it tries to erase using publications like the Wall Street Journal. The big papers are typically protective of mega corporations that make these papers relevant and sometimes also fund them.

By all means, the latest from IDG seems to be airing Microsoft denials as entire articles so that Microsoft can point critics at these pages (‘articles’) and have them serve as revisionism or excuses. ISO did this with Microsoft [1, 2] and the BBC does this too [1, 2, 3].

Here is an interesting new comment from LinuxToday.

Microsoft denied it paid of the Nigerian contractor to scuttle Mandriva’s sale to his government by replacing Mandriva boxes with XP boxes.

But, readers of the article responded with their own personal horror stories of Microsoft abuse and intimidation. (Are you reading, Darryl?)

* Bob
* 11/11/2008
* 12:26:14 PM

Oh really? They’re certainly capable of doing it! When Microsoft learned of our “Linux where we can, Windows where we must” IT policy, they sent one of their authorized consultants in to persuade our executives that we were misguided. The result? Our shop was purged of all Linux proponents, and they were replaced with MCSE consultants and other far less qualified Microsoft quislings that ripped out Linux and VMWare servers, MySQL based applications, and any non-Microsoft piece of software they could find. It’s an old-school IBM tactic that I had heard Microsoft used, but never really believed it until it happened to me. If you use Linux, do not let Microsoft find out!

- Bob

and

* Ed
* 11/11/2008
* 03:14:17 PM

Yep, MS found out about how I was teaching linux in a school lab. A while later, the principal demanded that all the linux machines be replaced with windoze machines…appalling brainwashing of our children!

I recall reading that when Novell gets a shop to replace its RH servers with SUSE Enterprise Linux Servers there is one BIG difference — the SELS boxes cannot be used as a PDC Emulator Master of an Active Directory even though SAMBA faithfully recreates PDC. Net effect: SUSE servers can be pulled at anytime and replaced by Windows servers without any problems, which is what their intent is to begin with. And Novell knows that.

If the stories above are true, this would not be the first time Microsoft pressured people from above. Ask people in Malaysia and also watch the story of Massachusetts, including that of Peter Quinn. Who would befriend or defend such a company?

Africa globe
Microsoft: spinning the story of Africa

Open Source Initiative President Requests a “No” to Microvell

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, OSI, Red Hat, Servers at 8:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

And LinuxToday Managing Editor calls Novell “little better than a branch of Microsoft”

TUESDAY brought an important press release from Novell — one that was a direct attack on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and its clone/s. The key points to take from prior posts about this subject [1, 2, 3] are:

  1. Novell helps Microsoft more than it helps GNU/Linux
  2. Novell is just about as unethical as Oracle

This subject is now being discussed in a variety of Web sites. As readers may be aware, Novell’s launch of an anti-Red Hat program generally puts trust in greater jeopardy. It stifles cooperation between Linux vendors. To quote Steve Stites:

One thing that the article does not talk about is Microsoft’s reasons for helping Novell try to win customers from Red Hat. I think that Microsoft’s main reason is to try to pressure Red Hat into signing a disadvantageous software patent agreement with Microsoft.

So far Microsoft’s attack on Red Hat seems to be bearing insignificant results. Red Hat is doing great financially and shows no fear of Microsoft’s software patent attack.

Novell poses a danger now, so Michael Tiemann (OSI President) has replied to Steve:

Tell Microsoft/Novell “no!” and reward Red Hat’s good behavior with continued business. I think it’s pretty obvious to say that the more strongly you vote your values by buying from Red Hat, the faster we can change the status quo in the software marketplace.

The OSI linked to Boycott Novell in the past and so have other notable Web sites, including the front page of OpenOffice.org. To suggest that there is no resentment of the Novell deal is to pretend that people don’t reserve their judgment because of their employer, which might frown upon unnecessary (even spurious) controversy.

Sincerely speaking, I wish OpenSUSE people realised what type of company watches over their shoulder. The theory from Steve Stites says that Microsoft hopes to pressure Red Hat — using Novell — until Red Hat sells out too (never mind the GPLv3). In response to this, said Steve Stites:

Another facet of the same problem is that the rest of open source can no longer trust Novell coders. Are Novell employees producing code to advance open source or to advance the Microsoft-Novell attack on open source?

Also mind this opinion.

There is nothing wrong with “voting with your wallet.” I liked and supported SuSe until the secret patent agreement between Microsoft and Novell. (Since then we no longer use Novell products.)
People forget that a corporation is basically a “fake individual” – It is time that we held our corporations to the same standards that we hold our citizens.

Glyn Moody, a well-known Linux journalists, protests against it also. He covered the latest development under the headline “Novell’s Faustian Pact.”

But many see Novell’s actions as offering succour to an avowed enemy of free software (ignore friendly noises emanating from some middle managers of the company, and pay attention to what its boss says and does).

This seems to be directly harmful to the larger commons that Novell depends upon, notably in terms of strengthening Microsoft FUD about alleged (but always unspecified) infringements of its intellectual monopolies by open source code.

Does anyone still give Novell the benefit of the doubt?

Last night, Sam Varghese published an article accusing Novell of cannibalising the Linux market.

Earlier this year, there was evidence that things were not exactly rosy at Novell, with Microsoft deciding to invest an additional $100 million for the purchase of certificates which customers could redeem for SUSE Linux service and support.

Back to the announcement ; some of the prose employed tells its own tale. Justin Steinman, vice-president of Solution and Product Marketing at Novell, is quoted as saying: “As the Linux market matures, we are increasingly being approached by customers who want to move to SUSE Linux Enterprise, attracted by Novell’s award-winning support, superb interoperability in mixed-source environments, and by our support for mission critical applications.”

The Linux market matured a long time back and if one has to cite awards to justify one’s competence in the field of operating systems, then one is really beginning to clutch at straws.

And as to mission critical applications, is he trying to say that Red Hat does not offer equal – and, in my opinion, better – support?

Red Hat has wisely chosen to stay mum. I am sure that the people at the top knew quite well what kind of reaction this Novell marketing manoeuvre would bring forth.

What’s next, Novell? Lehman Brothers share certificates for those who buy SUSE Linux?

As always, Carla Schroder is a little more gentle. In particular, she defends the OpenSUSE community:

Novell– meh. Once upon a time they were a determined, though unfortunately incompetent competitor to Microsoft. They had a network OS that supported pretty much anything you could throw into it, with all of the identity management and resource management and interoperability you could want. Now they’re little better than a branch of Microsoft. It’s a good thing the openSUSE project is slowly becoming more independent, because SUSE is worth salvaging.

Got that? The Managing Editor of LinuxToday calls Novell “little better than a branch of Microsoft.”

Microvell

Alison Brimelow (EPO) Criticised for Referral to Enlarged Board of Appeal

Posted in Europe, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 8:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Software patents protest against EPO

Following unrest inside the EPO [1, 2, 3, 4], responsive action came to shed light on the patentability of software [1, 2, 3, 4], but some people are already interfering.

We have attempted to get a hold of the full article because this portion is interesting.

David Moreland, of the Glasgow office of patent attorneys Marks & Clerk, criticises European Patent Office president Alison Brimelow’s decision to ask the industry’s Enlarged Board of Appeal to examine the patentability of software.

He says this could take years, while the software industry is in ‘no man’s land’ about what it could or could not protect.

Shortly after this report about Microsoft dishonouring prior art, a couple of articles (or short posts) have shown up which use a senior Microsoft employee to ridicule the company’s patent policy:

First report: Microsoft employee: ‘Ignorance is bliss and strongly recommended’ on patents

In short, we have a mess on our hands. We’ve been talking for years about fixing the patent system, but the only thing we’ve received for all our talk is a growing mountain of patents that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is incapable of clearing in an expeditious fashion, given a lack of expertise and a lack of resources.

Second report: Microsoft: ‘Patents are gibberish – unless you’re a patent lawyer’

Microsoft’s internal advice when you’re potentially treading on someone else’s patent? “Ignorance is bliss.”

It does not inspire much confidence in Microsoft’s patents, does it?

Links 14/11/2008: ARM-powered GNU/Linux is Near

Posted in News Roundup at 7:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

F/OSS

Leftovers

  • Internet filter to block 10,000-plus “unwanted” sites

    READERS of The Courier-Mail online have blasted plans for Australia’s mandatory internet filter to block as many as 10,000 websites.

    The websites form a blacklist of unspecified “unwanted content”, Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy revealed in Federal Parliament.

  • A copyright call to arms

    In the era of peer-to-peer file sharing, on-demand television and easy copying of video games and movies, Canadians often take for granted the availability and ease of using digital media. It’s hard not to: the sheer amount of digital content available online is astonishing. For many, the Web is a black box that provides us with what we want, when we want it.

    But with a new session of parliament a week away, a host of proposed changes to copyright legislation threaten to tip the legal balance further in favour of those who sell and disseminate cultural content, rather than everyone who consumes it.

  • Bruce Schneier: Securing Your PC and Your Privacy
  • AMD

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Victor Stone talks about music, Free Software, Creative Commons and life at Microsoft 01 (2004)

Ogg Theora

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

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: November 13th, 2008

Posted in IRC Logs at 5:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Enter the IRC channel now

Read the rest of this entry »

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