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


Summary of Microsoft Tax Evasion Stories

Posted in Finance, Microsoft at 6:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

If this is legal, the system is utterly broken

Stories about Microsoft’s tax evasion are back thanks to Alan, who reminds his readers of the arrogance of the monopolist.

And as my partner at The Open Learning Centre just pointed out to me, it almost certainly means that they pay little or no tax whatsoever here in the UK – it all gets channelled through Ireland. So the public money that they steal receive for education etc, has zero tax recovery. I wonder if the National Audit Office would consider this good use of taxpayer’s money?

Alan links to this:

Microsoft, tax avoider


You couldn’t make it up. That’s 0.04% tax.

Corporate social irresponsibility in a parasitical state writ large, I suggest.

And it’s this sort of behaviour that finances Bill Gate’s philanthropy. I cannot tell you how angry that makes me.

Readers who are new to this are encouraged to glance over our past writings about the serious issue, which rarely receives the publicity it deserves from the press. Here are containers of many pointers:

It should be added (as shown within the stories above) that Microsoft is in hot water in India due to its tax-evading practices. Indian people should be furious, but very few are up in arms due to lack of awareness.

OOXML protests in India
From the Campaign for Document Freedom

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: November 15th, 2008

Posted in IRC Logs at 12:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Enter the IRC channel now

Read the rest of this entry »

Has Microsoft Sent Its Former Employees to Conduct Anti-Google Studies?

Posted in FUD, Google, Microsoft at 11:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Burton Group deja vu

IT IS no secret that Microsoft manipulates figures and muscles analysts to produce so-called ‘studies’, which soon become Microsoft’s marketing material for being favourable to Microsoft (otherwise Microsoft calls it off, despite its own funding). They manufacture informational ammunition that seems independent and thus more credible. This got caught doing this before, so the hypothesis is well-substantiated.

Here is a new and familiar type of ‘study’. It is already cited by all those typical Microsoft fans and boosters, including the Seattle P-I (Microsoft blog).

A study examining the behavior of more than 2,000 Internet users over a six-month period shows that Microsoft Office did not lose any ground to the free Web-based Google Apps.

The study — conducted by ClickStream Technologies — is good news for Microsoft as it prepares to put a version of Office online, which will directly compete with Google’s offering.

How were these 2,000 users selected? Do they represent the global population? We have witnessed some messing about around population studies before.

The study above comes from some small and obscure company which is located in Asia. We did some searching on the Web and this ended up a very short trip. The ‘smoking gun’ was just a few clicks away.

They are not only attending Microsoft summits; look at who “ClickStream Technologies”are: [emphasis ours]

Cameron Turner
CEO and Cofounder

Combining an extensive background in product research, data analysis, program management, and software development, Cameron Turner co-founded ClickStream Technologies in 2003. He developed the patent-pending technologies for data collection deployed by ClickStream while earning an M.B.A. at Oxford University’s Said Business School after spending eight years at Microsoft. He speaks frequently at international conferences on software topics. While at Microsoft, he conducted global market research for five versions of Microsoft Office and also shipped several vertically focused products including a solution for Sarbanes Oxley compliance. Cameron earned a B.A. in Architecture from Dartmouth College and is an active member/speaker with various Bay Area tech groups: Churchill Club, SOFTECH, Young CEOs Club, The CIO Roundtable and BayCHI.

No conflict of interests here, eh? He is not the only former Softie there, either.

Kim Anderson
Senior Research Analyst

A research veteran, Kim brings over 12 years of business management and technology experience to ClickStream Technologies. Kim comes from Microsoft Corporation as a researcher and strategist for the Office product team in Redmond. Previously at Digeo, a Paul Allen start-up, she designed planning, marketing and product requirements for their set-top box and spin-off businesses. Kim graduated from Vanderbilt University with an M.B.A. and holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Saint Mary’s College.

What a splendid illustration of the dangers of having former Microsoft employees spread all over the place to potentially assist their former employer [1, 2, 3].

So, Microsoft will approach managers and present this study (never mind who conducted it and what interests were at play) to warn that Google is not catching on. How familiar a story. Classic.

It is very important to Microsoft now that Google is wooing — with great success in fact — some of Microsoft's biggest customers.

This is not the first situation where Microsoft is seen too close to a company that assaults Google Apps. The Burton Group, a known Microsoft ‘buddy’ [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24], produced an anti-Google Apps study that Microsoft soon referenced. This is how it might work.

Microsoft is not interested in ethics. The example above seems to be taken right out of the ‘handbook’ of Microsoft’s Guerrilla marketing (see the quote at the very bottom), which James Plamondon is said to be writing more extensive literature on these days (yes, he is still at it). In his presentation which he gave to other Microsoft employees he stressed that “Analysts sell out – that’s their business model.” In 2007 he added that “[the] presentation was such a hit with DRG’s management that I gave it in three subsequent internal training sessions at (roughly) six-month intervals. DRG’s management REQUIRED the attendance of all newly-hired evangelists at these presentations, and the attendance & participation of all other evangelists was recommended. The pace of hiring new evangelists then slowed, so it was not necessary to give such internal training sessions thereafter.”

He also added: “The point being that Microsoft recognized that my presentations on evangelism theory, strategy, and tactics — of which only one has been entered into the public record, the others still being massively confidential — were, in fact, the best embodiment of Microsoft’s evangelism “policy” that existed at the time. Else, they would have used some other materials and presenter for new-evangelist training, would they not?”

“Others [presentations are] still being massively confidential,” says James Plamondon. Considering the fact that the leaked document one speaks of “Jihad”, how bad can these other ones be? It’s too easy to be reminded of a remark from an unnamed government delegate, who compared Microsoft's behind-the-scenes affairs to "Scientology cult". How scary is that?

“Working behind the scenes to orchestrate “independent” praise of our technology, and damnation of the enemy’s, is a key evangelism function during the Slog. “Independent” analyst’s report should be issued, praising your technology and damning the competitors (or ignoring them). “Independent” consultants should write columns and articles, give conference presentations and moderate stacked panels, all on our behalf (and setting them up as experts in the new technology, available for just $200/hour). “Independent” academic sources should be cultivated and quoted (and research money granted). “Independent” courseware providers should start profiting from their early involvement in our technology. Every possible source of leverage should be sought and turned to our advantage.”

James Plamondon, Microsoft internal document [PDF]

Friendly ‘Boycott Novell’ Supportes Robbed of Voice

Posted in Asia, Boycott Novell, Free/Libre Software, Novell at 10:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[was: "Novell Does Not Like Being Criticised," but corrected later]

Achtung Polizei

Protest in India

WHY WOULD Novell and/or its affiliates organisers of a Free sofwtare conference suppress friendly opposition to Novell? A group of Free software supporters spread material that explains why Novell is harmful to freedom, but they needed to confront policemen just to voice their views.

What ever happened this world we’re living in? Arky has some photos and a concise explanation.

Here is blow by blow account of trouble that brewed up on the second
day of National Conference on Free Software 2008 in Cochin university.
The activists put up posters against the Novell Corp (the main sponsor
of this event) at the Free Software exhibition complex.

The organisers called up Kochi police and man handled the Anivar
Aravind a former student of the Cochin University and a well known
free software activist.

Here are some comments that add to the overall message.

In theory anyone should be free to promote free software; in practice what’s happening is quite alarming. What’s free software without free speech and free thought and its own brand of dissent and how can this conference’s organizers miss that?

I’m glad Anivar and others stood up. Conference organizers’ discomfort with them is understandable, but they clearly don’t “get” free software, which is clearly a grassroots movement that has nothing to do with police state. They don’t get it at all when they send police to handle known faces in the community.


I’m willing to be corrected of all this “prejudice”, but what just happened has only substantiated my worries. I’m glad you were there to report this incidence, let’s now look forward to the organizer’s version of The Truth (TM).

With censorship and control, it is easier to tell one's twisted version of the 'truth'.

The following addendum also adds rather disturbing information:

I updated the blog and posted few more photos from the main venue of the event and preparations for the protest.

Most of the mobile phones were taken and pictures deleted, I was lucky enough to get out in time.

“Quickly. Quickly. Got to destroy the evidence.”

Fortunately, the word is spreading pretty fast.

Free Software Activist Anivar Aravind is mishandled by police at National Conference on Free Software 2008 organized in Cochin university. The Free Software activists where protesting against the biggest enemies of Free Software, Novell who is the sponsor of the event !!!!

This is also discussed in local mailing lists. Here are some early messages.

On Sun, Nov 16, 2008 at 2:04 PM, Praveen A <pravi.a@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> > From: Rakesh 'arky' Ambati <rakesh_ambati@yahoo.com>
> > Date: 2008/11/15
> > Subject: [FSUG-Bangalore] Boycott Novell Protesters Man-handled at
> > National Conference on Free Software 2008
> > To: fsf-friends@mm.gnu.org.in, fsug-bangalore@mm.gnu.org.in

"Novell offers enterprise infrastructure software and services that
help customers leverage proprietary and open source solutions. These
solutions lower cost ..." www.novell.com

It is evident that the services from Novell Corp do not respect nor
appreciate "freedom", as conceived and promoted by Free Software

Whose agenda are being protected, when Free Software activists' are
refused to register their disagreement through non-violent means of
protest ?

What is wrong in voicing objections to concerns about hijacking the
services of Free Software communities where the ends and means do not
justify any of the principles of Free Software ?

CK Raju,
IIT Kharagpur

There is more from Delhi.

From: Linux Lingam <linuxlingam@gmail.com>
Date: 2008/11/16
Subject: Re: [ilugd] Fwd: [FSUG-Bangalore] Boycott Novell Protesters
Man-handled at National Conference on Free Software 2008
To: The Linux-Delhi mailing list <ilugd@lists.linux-delhi.org>,
rahul@efyindia.com, pkr@cybermedia.co.in

that is the *first* instance of an MNC taking a visibly hostile and
tangible stance against foss and foss-supporters in india. does not
bode too well if that MNC also happens to be a partner of microsoft.

novell owes an apology to the indian foss community.
meanwhile, i don't know about you,
but i haven't touched openSUSE or any novell product since their
controversial tie-in with microsoft.


Thanks to all those who organised this awareness campaign. We were not informed about this until after the act.

The actions taken against innocent dissemination of information speak volume about suppressors of Freedom. It makes them look intolerant and desperate for control of minds.

Boycott Novell in India

More Microsoft Jack Revisionism

Posted in Deception, Marketing, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7 at 10:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft Jack


WE wrote about Microsoft Jack on numerous occasions in the past [1, 2]. We make special efforts to identify people in the press who spend their career promoting Microsoft and also mocking Microsoft’s competitors, so this new gem from Jack stood out. This article is about Xbox360.

I remember the original Xbox as a bit of a flop…

Well, that’s not necessarily true, according to Microsoft Jack himself.

“[T]he PlayStation 3 is already the biggest console ever — even bigger than the original Xbox,” said Jack in June 2006.

“[U]sers Microsoft now wants to reach with its Windows Live and Office Live websites, named and modelled after the successful Xbox Live online gaming service,” said Jack in November 2005.

“Hundreds of computer games fans queued for hours last night to become the first in Europe to own Microsoft’s first games console offering, Xbox,” said the Guardian in March 2002. There’s no telling if Jack wrote it too, but it’s possible.

Our polite guess is that several years later, since XBox is no more, Jack is trying to make the predecessor look like a loser compared to the current product. A familiar pitch from Microsoft is that Windows XP was as hated as Vista when it was first introduced and therefore Vista is bound to (already) be loved as much as XP. Of course it’s a lie.

It’s also similar to the “Vista 7 will fix Vista’s mistakes” pitch.

In reality, XBox360 is a disaster to Microsoft and it’s losing the company billions of dollar. Steve Ballmer recently called it a “funny product” because Microsoft is unable to make it profitable. He said the same thing about Zune.

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




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts