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12.26.08

Microsoft and Citrix in Joint Assault on GNU/Linux, Using Hypervisors

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Virtualisation, Windows, Xen at 11:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft dirty tactics

ONE of the more appalling, if emotional, stories we’ve come across and also covered here is to do with VMware. In a nutshell, Microsoft and its established allies in the industry tossed out the core of VMware quite forcibly and replaced it with Microsoft cronies. In addition, Microsoft had its very close partner buy XenSource (there is a background story) and it is also using Novell to ensure that Windows earns a place in the so-called ‘cloud’. We have heaps of supportive evidence that we accumulated. Some of our previous posts on this topic include:

On numerous occasions — and always well-equipped with evidence — we warned that Citrix was turning Xen into a Windows/Hyper-V enabler. Citrix is, after all, one of the companies most dependent on Microsoft’s success. A few days ago, more evidence emerged:

Microsoft’s VMware assault: New Citrix management tools for Hyper-V

In the first quarter of 2009, Citrix will release its XenServer suite of management tools that works with Microsoft Hyper-V rather than its own XenServer hypervisor, said Lou Shipley, general manager and group vice president of Citrix’s XenServer unit, the Management Systems Group.

No live migration? No problem. Courtesy of Citrix Systems Inc., Microsoft’s relatively rudimentary Hyper-V virtualization offering is due to gain valuable new management capabilities, which could catapult Hyper-V into the same league as VMware Virtual Infrastructure.

It is rather clear to see what they aspire to achieve here. They use Xen to empower Microsoft Windows, mostly at the expense of GNU/Linux (Hyper-V is GNU/Linux-hostile [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]). VMware too has been captured by one of Microsoft’s anti-competitive felons, who were found guilty of breaking the law. He was among the group that schemed to cut Netscape’s air supply, to use his own words.

This is not competition; it’s what Microsoft calls “a Slog”.

“…[C]ut off Netscape’s air supply.”

Paul Maritz, Vice President, Microsoft (Now VMWare)

Boxing Day Humour: Yes, It’s a Software Patent

Posted in Apple, Courtroom, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 3:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

it’s not a joke

This news from Christmas day is even more flabbergasting than Amazon’s One-Click: [via Digital Majority]

Indiana based Cygnus Systems has filed a lawsuit against the three giants Microsoft, Apple and Google claiming that they are infringing on a patent owned by them.

The patent is related to file preview technology which gives the user a view of a file before it is opened.

Yes, that’s correct. The USPTO granted a patent for “file preview”, failing to recognise prior art relating to the idea and even its obviousness, or triviality. This is also covered here:

A small Indiana company has sued tech heavyweights Microsoft, Apple, and Google, claiming that it holds the patent on a common file preview feature used by browsers and operating systems to show users small snapshots of the files before they are opened.

Believe it or not, this so-called ‘innovation’ was conceived in 2001, or at least filed at this very late stage.

According to McAndrews, Cygnus’s owner and president Gregory Swartz developed the technology in his spare time.

Cygnus applied for its patent in 2001. It purports to cover a “System and method for iconic software environment management”.

There is prior art. Getting a patent and actually selling a products are separate things. The latter is damaged by the former, which benefits society in no way (unless one is a lawyer).

Desktop preview
KDE had file previews many years ago

We Live in Interesting Times

Posted in Apple, Finance, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Windows at 5:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hourglass

Apple’s difficulties were noted here last week, although they are not of much concern to us given that Apple harms the freedom of software [1, 2, 3, 4]. It would only be fair to state that any business which relies on sales is likely to suffer a bit (or a lot), and it’s a problem that hardly affects Free software, bar donations and subscription renewals to those who offer support and/or services.

The Inquirer had this article about Apple’s shares falling after a series of unfortunate events and speculations. A pro-Microsoft Web site, Barron’s, presents this analysis which predicts further declines in Windows and Office sales.

Thomas Weisel analyst Tim Klasell this morning cut estimates for Microsoft (MSFT) for the current quarter ending December, Microsoft’s fiscal Q2, and slightly for the 2009 and 2010 fiscal years, citing slowing PC demand, but also lower demand than might have been expected for Microsoft’s server packages, which include the Exchange email server, and the Microsoft Office productivity suite and Microsoft Dynamics, programs for customer relationship management and the like.

Windows and Office are two among the few profitable products from Microsoft, so this could be interpreted as a major blow. Analysts predict that Microsoft will issue a warning, probably some time in the next year and layoff rumours simply carry on. These persist following actual layoffs that we already know about [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

More headlines have appeared just before the holidays. One news site, for example, somehow concluded that “Microsoft Plans To Cut Jobs By 10 Percent.”

“The news is in. All the money making groups cut 10 percent of the workforce,” says another Microsoft employee.

An analyst defends such a decision, assuming it comes next month.

Analyst: Microsoft staff cuts would be “healthy”

[...]

“While a 10 percent (reduction in force) would be hard for those impacted, we believe it would be a healthy move for the company as it would help rationalize the tens of thousands of employees who have been hired over the past several years,” Reback wrote.

Microsoft would not be the only Washington-based technology company to see the guillotine coming down.

CUTBACKS: October and November brought a series of layoffs at Seattle-area technology companies — nothing like the dot-com meltdown, but still substantial enough to make it clear that the belt-tightening is serious.

We’re anticipating another wave after the holidays. Rumors have already started about possible cuts at Microsoft next month. And venture-backed companies that have yet to turn a profit may be forced to further reduce expenses as it becomes harder to raise capital. The only question is how deep the cuts will go.

As usual, there must be a dose of damage control from Microsoft Jack, who is like some sort of Microsoft spokesman in the Guardian [1, 2, 3], just like Ina Fried is the company’s sworn booster in CNET.

“Their reports were already tackled and financial practices criticised.”Jack writes about these layoff reports and also adds that “Microsoft has plenty of cash,” but apparently he does not know (or does not want his readers to know) about Microsoft reaching debt [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and also losing billions in most of its divisions. Their reports were already tackled and financial practices criticised [1, 2]. Only 1 or 2 divisions at Microsoft are profitable and those that are profitable see their margins shrinking due to increased competition, mostly from SaaS, FOSS, and GNU/Linux. In the area of sub-notebooks, for example, they reportedly dropped the price of Windows to just $5 because otherwise GNU/Linux would reign.

As the classic saying goes, “may you live in interesting times.” Red Hat’s results, which came out on Monday, were impressive. The other publicly-traded company that sells GNU/Linux is Novell, and it continues to lose money because of its dependency on proprietary software.

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