11.17.08

Eye on Microsoft: Feeling the Pinch Again

Posted in Courtroom, Finance, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft, Security, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 1:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Government attorneys accuse Microsoft of using its monopoly position to bully, bribe and attempt to collude with others in the industry, while illegally expanding and protecting its Windows franchise.”

The antitrust case: a timeline

WITH Microsoft’s shares falling to their lowest level in over a decade, it’s clear that those heavy buybacks can’t work miracles. The stock fell very sharply after Intel’s sudden scare and more layoffs seem possible as the monopolist approaches debt. MSFT hovers consistently below $20 in today’s trading.

Microsoft declines (stock)

Dana Gardner ponders, along with others, the future of Microsoft.

Dana Gardner hosts a BriefingsDirect roundtable discussion with experts in IT. The topic is Microsoft’s future. Gardner’s groups of experts is split over whether Microsoft is growing increasingly irrelevant or poised to ride new trends to further dominance.

The remainder this post is a summary of Microsoft’s latest failures, which easily escape the attention of the 'big' press. A reader wrote to us a few days ago to make the following point: “I remember in years back that whenever an article praising FOSS or even any other competitor or especially an article critical of Microsoft got on any magazine’s web site, by 8am ET there would be a burst of new articles, often MS-related to push it off the start page. The converse was as good as never true.

Shutting the Windows

In many ways, the truth about Vista 7 [sic] has already been exposed [1, 2] and more people are beginning to catch up. Here is a funny new post about Microsoft’s greatest threat: journalists (with integrity, i.e. truth). This post is a shrewd parody.

ZDNET.MICROSOFT.COM, Blogosphere.NET, Wednesday (NNGadget) — As Microsoft continues to prepare for the 2009 2010 launch of Windows 7, it today issued a plea through its network of objective opinion-shapers: Don’t let the journalists near it.

Here is a call from April to boycott Windows Vista.

Ogg Theora

Direct link

Bugs

One of the selling points of Free software is that the user can always fix bugs (or hire someone to fix bugs, potentially along with other users who require the fix). It can be done regardless of the main vendor and copyrights holder, which may simply ignore polite pleas and urgent requests.

“How long does it take Microsoft to fix bugs,” you ask? Well, here is one news report about Microsoft resolving a security flaw almost 2 years late. It knew about this all along, but it chose to leave hundreds of millions of computers vulnerable nonetheless — until now.

MICROSOFT has finally got around to patching security flaws for Windows and Office, including a critical bug that had been publicly disclosed nearly two years ago.

Two years sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? Well, Patch Tuesday saw the fix of a bug seven years late. Got that? 7 years! Like Vista 7. The holy number, 7. The Register wrote a report about it.

Microsoft’s light sprinkling of patches yesterday includes a fix that reportedly goes back seven years or more.

This was also covered in CNET.

Security by Castration

The old, insistent fairy tail is that those who purchase security software have nothing to worry about. Aside from the fact that such software is ineffective when it comes to battling threat (as noted before), it can cause a lot more harm than good.

Windows users frequently boast that security software need not cost money and many are using products from AVG. Well, look what just happened.

An update for the AVG virus scanner released yesterday contained an incorrect virus signature, which led it to think user32.dll contained the Trojan Horses PSW.Banker4.APSA or Generic9TBN. AVG then recommended deleting this file; this causes the affected systems to either stop booting or go into a continuous reboot cycle. So far, the problem only appears to affect Windows XP, but there is no guarantee that other versions of Windows don’t have the same issue.

They fixed the problem a short while later, promised to compensate paying customers with an extended subscription, but no more than a few days later they screwed up again.

AVG, the popular anti-virus package, has falsely identified Adobe Flash as potentially malicious. The snafu comes just days after AVG slapped a bogus Trojan warning on a core Windows component.

Would it not be easier to just never require such ‘bolted on’ security?

Cracks

There are many zombies out there. Some estimate that nearly one in two Windows boxes is part of a botnet. So why on earth do banks continue to make such bad choices? The international financial institution has just been cracked.

Another major international financial institution has had its computer system attacked by unknown cyber-hackers, FOX News has learned.

The discovery of the assault last week threw into crisis the Washington, D.C. based International Monetary Fund (IMF), which offers emergency financial aid to countries faced with balance-of-payments problems, and provoked a shutdown of IMF computers that lasted for several days.

That’s what happens when one gambles on Windows and Microsoft. Crackers have also begun exploiting IP streams, too.

The flaws were found in Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, Office Communicator and Windows Live Messenger, which Microsoft said could impact as many as 250 million people. The flaws also affect many other applications and systems that use the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP), including those from Avaya, Cisco and Nortel, according to the report.

We’ll return to Nortel in a moment.

XBox360: Trouble Ahead

The troubles for XBox360 are already severe and the losses are massive (estimated at $7 billion for this division alone). Now comes a Microsoft MVP (Steven Bink) warning that more troubles lie ahead.

A trusted source working as a customer service rep for Microsoft has revealed that there will be some bad drama when the Xbox 360′s Fall update hits on November 19th. He says the update could bring the dreaded “three red lights of death” issue roaring back to life.

The rep said that there has always been an influx of calls from owners of bricked Xbox 360s after every major Xbox 360 software update. Most of the complaints come from owners of launch consoles.

Microsoft Sued for Hypnosis

Here’s a bizarre story. it’s not Microsoft’s deceptive marketing that’s to blame. It’s some mambo jumbo that lands the company in court. Why did the judge even invite anyone for a hearing?

Judge hears $2-billion lawsuit against Wal-Mart, Microsoft over brain control

A judge has refused to dismiss a “bizarre” civil suit brought by a Nanaimo man, who is seeking $2 billion in damages from Microsoft, Telus, Wal-Mart, the RCMP and other defendants over alleged brain-wave control, satanic rituals and witchcraft.

Bleak Future

Microsoft believes in future with its partners, but do these partners have a future?

Nortel’s rocking financial situation and announced layoffs this week of 1,300 people likely won’t have much short-term impact on the company’s four-year unified communications alliance with Microsoft, including before the deal’s expiration in 2010, according to experts.

[...]

Kerravala says Nortel’s current trouble shouldn’t impact its partnership with Microsoft in the next 16 months, but he thinks by 2015 the alliance will be gone.

Nortel has already considered migrating its staff’s desktops to GNU/Linux. For the time being, however, it remains a prisoner of Microsoft.

The article above says nothing about Microsoft’s cancellation of products, services and some staffing reductions, not to mention shutdown of groups like Ensemble Studios. Microsoft’s future is no so promising, either. Nortel’s pain is shared by many.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

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

2 Comments

  1. Linux said,

    November 18, 2008 at 5:55 am

    Gravatar

    I hope you are backing up the site database regularly.

    I recently restored a mediawiki based website, lucky I had taken a backup just a month ago :) Couldn’t trust hosting companies so much..hehe

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 18, 2008 at 6:36 am

    Gravatar

    Yes, it’s being backed up in several places on a daily basis.

What Else is New


  1. Links 27/11/2020: Jolla is 7, Diffoscope 162, MNT Reform Production

    Links for the day



  2. The Time Coronavirus Helped EPO Management Prevent Staff From Protesting and Going on Strike (March 26th)

    "In view of the spreading of the New Corona Virus, the planned General Assemblies have to be cancelled," the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) wrote in the wake of the crisis across Europe back in March (weeks ahead of a planned strike)



  3. Guarding Your Privacy With E2EE: Primer

    "As with all security, there is assumed risk no matter how careful you are. There are no security guarantees but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try."



  4. Links 27/11/2020: Systemd 247 and Cockpit 233

    Links for the day



  5. A Free Speech Deficit Harms Software Freedom

    Free software and Software Freedom cannot possibly succeed if we keep accepting or even just tolerating systematic censorship of opinionated people in our community; failing to speak out on this matter (for fear of supposedly offending someone, risking expulsion) is part of the problem — complicity by passivity



  6. Perception of Difficulty

    New poem by figosdev



  7. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 26, 2020



  8. Cartoon: After Gambling With Workers' Savings the EPO Can Do Real Estate

    New EPO cartoon from EPO insiders (the one on the right certainly looks a lot like António Campinos and the one on the left can be his EUIPO ‘import’ or Benoît Battistelli‘s INPI ‘import’)



  9. Free as in Freedom Should Not be Associated With Cost

    It's important to remind people that so-called 'free' services (Clown Computing, centralised spaces that 'farm' their so-called 'users') aren't really free; we need to advocate freedom or free-as-in-freedom alternatives



  10. [Meme] UPC's Pyrrhic Victory

    Contrary to what Team UPC says, what happened earlier today is hardly a breakthrough



  11. Many Thanks to Free Software, the Demise of Software Patents (in Europe and the US), and So Much More

    On a positive note we're heading into the end of November, one month before Boxing Day; we take stock of patent affairs that impact software developers



  12. Links 26/11/2020: PHP 8.0, Proxmox VE 6.3, UNIGINE 2.13

    Links for the day



  13. 29,000 Blog Posts and Recent Site Improvements

    Over 29,000 blog posts have been posted here, but more importantly we've made the site a lot more robust and resilient, accessible in more formats and protocols (while improving transparency, too)



  14. [Meme] Trump is Out. Now It's Time to Pressure the Biden Administration/Transition Team on Software Freedom Issues.

    The Biden transition is in motion and tentative appointments are underway, based on news reports (see our Daily Links); now is the time to put pressure, e.g. in the form of public backlash, to ensure it's not just another corporate presidency



  15. Boycott ZDNet Unless You Fancy Being Lied to

    ZDNet's Catalin Cimpanu continues to lead the way with misinformation and lies, basically doing whatever he was doing to land that job at ZDNet (after he had done the same elsewhere)



  16. The UPC and Unitary Patent Song

    On goes the UPC symphony, as the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is almost here, always coming "real soon!"



  17. Open Letter to the German Greens on UPC and Software Patents: Don’t Betray Your Voters and Your Promises, or You Will Regret it

    Dear Members of the German Greens in the Bundestag. By Benjamin HENRION.



  18. [Meme] One Step Away From Replacing Patent Examiners With 'Hey Hi' (AI)

    If it's not legal for 'Hey Hi' (AI) to get a patent, why should it be legal for patents to be granted by those who are invisible (and sometimes in de facto house arrest)?



  19. European Patent Office (EPO) Reduced to 'Justice Over the Telephone' and Decree by E-mail

    The EPO is trashing the EPC and everything that the Office was supposed to stand for, as it wrongly assumes demand for monopolies (typically from foreign corporations) comes before the rule of law and Europe's public interest



  20. Making Free Software Work for Users

    The latest reply to a non-developer concerned about software freedom; guest post by figosdev



  21. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 25, 2020



  22. Links 26/11/2020: AV Linux 2020.11.23 and Blender 2.91 Release

    Links for the day



  23. Links 25/11/2020: GamerOS and Biden Transition in Motion

    Links for the day



  24. An Orwellian December

    With December around the corner and states tightening the screws on the population (or employers on employees) at least we can look forward to spring



  25. The Non-Technical (or Lesser Technical) Software User That Wants Software Freedom

    Assuming that Free software should care about what users — not only developers — really want (and need) it’s important to understand how they view the current situation (with growing waves of corporate takeover and compromises, even expulsions)



  26. The European Patent Office Should be Run by Patent Examiners (Scientists), Not Politicians

    Europe would be better off (and patent quality much improved) had people with an actual grasp of science and reality were in charge of the EPO, not a money-chasing kakistocracy (which is what we have now)



  27. Member of the EPO's Boards of Appeal Explains Why VICOs (or ViCo/Video Conferences/Virtual 'Hearings') Are Not Suitable for Justice

    It's interesting to hear (or see/read) what people inside the EPO have to say about the "new normal" when they enjoy a certain level of anonymity (to avert retribution)



  28. Open Source Initiative (OSI) Co-founder Bruce Perens: Open Invention Network (OIN) is Protecting the Software Patent System From Reform and OSI Approves Faux 'Open' Licences (Openwashing)

    Richard Stallman was right about the OSI and the fake 'movement' that claims to have 'coined' the term "Open Source" (it wasn't a new term at all; it had been used in another context and the Free software community spoke of things like "Open Hardware" years earlier)



  29. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 24, 2020



  30. Making JavaScript Suck Less

    "Other than that, the first rule of JavaScript is: Do not use JavaScript. But this article is for people who break the first rule."


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

Recent Posts