People often wonder why Microsoft refuses to let Java — or any development framework like Borland's for that matter — be cross-platform. Developers yearn to know why Microsoft’s philosophy is that it must never touch other people’s standard technologies such as OpenGL or OpenDocument (even OpenDoc back in the days). One explanation was given by Microsoft’s "technical evangelists", but herein we present some more. We use confidential antitrust material.
“The immediate effect of this was to “extend” Java but we also see the same logic in Halloween documents that declare war on the simple standards of Unix and in recent efforts to infect GNU/Linux with Windows development tools.”Today’s antitrust exhibit (PLEX0_2658) [PDF] shows an interaction that puts in simple terms the company’s attitude towards standards and fair play.
“Here’s a document that I saw partially transfered,” says a reader.
The reader adds: “It is important because it shows the beginnings of their everything must support windows attitude. They recognized that the Web, Java and Netscape were one and the same enemy to their monopoly position and took action to destroy those things. “Cross-platform” was out unless it served specific strategic needs, everything from then on must depend on and support Windows. Dissent, “working cross-wise” would not be tolerated. The immediate effect of this was to “extend” Java but we also see the same logic in Halloween documents that declare war on the simple standards of Unix and in recent efforts to infect GNU/Linux with Windows development tools. Microsoft was willing to sabotage DR DOS and OS/2 before, but after this document shows clearly how the viewed every other tech company and community standard.
“Another interesting, and depressing, thing about their attitude is how binary it is. They can’t imagine themselves surviving in a world or free standards through fair competition. Working with anyone else’s tech is equivalent to suicide. While Windows may warrant such low esteem, it is hard to imagine actually feeling this way. The level of paranoia and hatred is shocking. Either they rule the world or die. Yet all of these people were filthy rich already. Instead of enjoying their wealth and luck, they took off on this bizarre power trip.”
Key quotes from Bill Gates are:
“I agree that making sure applications are primarily on Windows is something we have lost site of.”
“Cross-platform [...] is coming from the free-lunch syndrome we have allowed to develop. All of a sudden people think there is no drawback to being cross platform. No drawback in size, speed, interface, richness, testability. To some degree this is true because machines have enough memory now that a “duplicate runtime” is not overwhelming. …The fact is that applications can be run on the server against an HTML client. … We should have people laughing at the idea of 100% pure Java whether they write in JAVA or not.”
Key quotes from Jim Allchin are:
“we do not have agreement on our strategy within the company and the company is often working cross-wise internally. The cross platform vision and keeping Windows as the platform and the center of innovation fall into this category. In my opinion Windows in the process of being exterminated here at Microsoft.”
“We should be asking [developers] for specific innovations to be restricted to Windows. I can’t fight this disease alone. The problem is the company is not unified on the strategy. [...] We should move as little cross-platform as possible. [...] This is not enough if the strategy isn’t synchronized – both marketing and development-wise.”
Another reader says that she “thought it was interesting to see Allchin use the word “buckets”, as in: “We all know we have many challenges. I think about the challenges however in two buckets.
“I’m not going to spell out how the money is going to be allocated into those various buckets,” McBride said. “We now have a war chest to take the company forward. This investment is an independent action with respect to how we enforce our IP rights. I’d say this strengthens it.”
“Not that it really proves anything,” says the reader, who added that she “just thought it was odd/interesting/funny, sort of like Darl had been coached on how to explain the money. Could Allchin have done the coaching?” This might relate to a couple hints from Allchin, as mentioned last week, but it’s probably too far fetched. It’s interesting nonetheless.
Read the full correspondence below for a complete impression. █
Appendix: Comes vs. Microsoft – exhibit PLEX0_2658, as text
I‘ve personally been supportive of Obama all along, but recent posts were rather harsh on him [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] because money voids trust and certain actions, combined with early appointments (e.g. [1, 2, 3]), represent a betrayal of citizens’ rights, typically in favour of elite interests and preservation of monopolies.
In today’s news we find two contradictory examples that are worth exploring. The first comes from a strong supporter of GNU/Linux, who claims that Obama is fighting Microsoft, despite some contrary examples.
Obama vs. Microsoft”
Obama, the first true 21st century President, and his staff have arrived at the White House to find themselves stuck with 20th century Microsoft software… and they’re not happy.
According to a report in The Washington Post, Obama’s staffers found themselves blocked from social networks, like Facebook, instant-messaging, and even plain old E-Mail.
Another report suggests that White House staff will be using Google Mail. “It might put salt on it to remind about the Abramoff/Gates scandal,” says one reader, “as well as the fact the problems with VBA/Access/Windows on the voting machines helped create the problem and that the failed Microsoft infrastructure is helping prolong the mess, especially the Microsoft exchange E-mail mess.”
Obama picks BSA’s antipiracy enforcer for high-level post
For his vice president, Barack Obama chose Joe Biden, a senator with a long history of aiding the Recording Industry Association of America. Then Obama picked the RIAA’s favorite lawyer, Tom Perrelli, for a top Justice Department post.
Now, as one of his first official actions as president, Obama has selected the Business Software Alliance’s top antipiracy enforcer and general counsel, Neil MacBride, for a senior Justice Department post. Among other duties, MacBride has been responsible for the BSA’s program that rewarded people for phoning in tips about suspected software piracy.
The BSA is hostile towards Free software, so there is a certain conflict of interests inside Obama’s cabinet.
Google’s capitulation marked a rare defeat for the search giant, which has been almost as successful among the regulators of Washington as among the coders of Silicon Valley. And it was cause for celebration in Redmond, where Microsoft spent six months on a massive effort, costing millions of dollars, to block the Yahoo deal. Microsoft played a role in persuading members of Congress to hold hearings. It initiated a campaign that filled DOJ mailboxes with letters from politicians and nonprofit groups objecting to the deal. It convinced the country’s largest advertisers to join together to oppose the company in public. It’s impossible to know exactly what impact all this had on the DOJ decision. But many observers believe that Barnett, who declined to be interviewed for this article, was influenced in part by Microsoft’s arguments.
Plenty of folks have been sending in links to Wired’s article on The Plot to Kill Google, which basically shows how both Microsoft and AT&T — two companies scared to death by Google, are now working hard not to build better products to beat Google in the marketplace — but on hiring better lobbyists and marketers to try to destroy public perception of Google.
AT&T is arguably worse than most. However — quite naturally — we are far less interested in telecoms and government affairs, so given limit on scope, we’re inclined to skip this issue.
A few months ago we mentioned Microsoft’s possible intentions to use patents against Google, but buying Yahoo! — no matter how aggressively or brutally — would potentially be required [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16].
According to this new report, Google is encouraging junk patents by getting some of its own:
Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has filed for a patent to allow users to enter either search terms and domain names into a search box (such as an address bar), and having the computer figure out if the search term was meant to be a specific domain name or web site.
What is happening to this system and why is any conceivable neural output seen as worthy of ownership?
While Microsoft remains without Yahoo’s search assets (this may change), its infamous search briberies [1, 2, 3] just carry on, based on this news report.
Microsoft Offers SearchPerks Incentive
Microsoft’s SearchPerks program is running a three-day incentive to encourage participants to do more searches on Live Search. Starting today, and running through January 23, SearchPerks is offering double tickets for every search with a max of 50 tickets available to be earned each day.
The President today signed two Executive Orders and three Presidential Memoranda. These five documents represent a bold first step to fulfill his campaign promises to make government more responsible and accountable, to launch sweeping ethics reform, and to begin a new era of transparent and open government.
Across the country, families are tightening their belts in this economic crisis, and so should Washington. That is why in the Presidential Memorandum Regarding Pay Freeze the President has announced that he will freeze his White House senior staff pay at current levels to the full extent allowed by law. This will enable the White House to stretch its budget to get more done for the country. The President and his staff recognize that in these austere times, everyone must do more with less, and the White House is no exception.
The American people also deserve more than simply an assurance that those coming to Washington will serve their interests. They deserve to know that there are rules on the books to keep it that way. In the Executive Order on Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel, the President, first, prohibits executive branch employees from accepting gifts from lobbyists. Second, he closes the revolving door that allows government officials to move to and from private sector jobs in ways that give that sector undue influence over government. Third, he requires that government hiring be based upon qualifications, competence and experience, not political connections. He has ordered every one of his appointees to sign a pledge abiding by these tough new rules as a downpayment on the change he has promised to bring to Washington.
In the Presidential Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, and the Presidential Memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act, the President instructs all members of his administration to operate under principles of openness, transparency and of engaging citizens with their government. To implement these principles and make them concrete, the Memorandum on Transparency instructs three senior officials to produce an Open Government Directive within 120 days directing specific actions to implement the principles in the Memorandum. And the Memorandum on FOIA instructs the Attorney General to in that same time period issue new guidelines to the government implementing those same principles of openness and transparency in the FOIA context.
Finally, the Executive Order on Presidential Records brings those principles to presidential records by giving the American people greater access to these historic documents. This order ends the practice of having others besides the President assert executive privilege for records after an administration ends. Now, only the President will have that power, limiting its potential for abuse. And the order also requires the Attorney General and the White House Counsel to review claims of executive privilege about covered records to make sure those claims are fully warranted by the Constitution.
National Coalition for History
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in putting lipstick on a pig.
WE WROTE ABOUT THIS very briefly last night and we shall come back to it over the weekend with a more detailed analysis. There is a lot of deception and spin out there, so it’s time to dispel just a few misconceptions that are being spread too rapidly to counter.
Regarding layoffs: A day or so before the announcement leaked prematurely, people had been talking about it as the likely outcome, which clearly surprised some investors because the stock fell sharply.
The worldwide economy isn’t doing so well, as the recession is affecting almost every branch of the industry. It now seems that, although Microsoft considers its Xbox 360 console and its whole game and entertainment division recession-proof, things aren’t going too well with the other departments in the major corporation.
Actually, given the massive losses and failures amassed by Microsoft’s game and entertainment division, this is a laughable thing to argue. Shortly after disclosure of the results, Eric Lai, who runs a Microsoft-centric blog at IDG [1, 2], was simply unable to deny Microsoft’s troubles.
Windows client division fell 8% because of delayed corporate upgrades of PCs and cannibalization of consumer notebook sales by netbooks installed with Windows XP.
A $100 million drop in the sale of Zune devices contributed to a 60% decrease in the entertainment and devices division’s operating income, to $151 million. Strong sales of Xbox 360 consoles, however, helped lift revenue 3% to $3.18 billion.
Microsoft’s weakest financial performer was its online services business, which continued its money-losing ways. Revenue from Web advertising and subscriptions to services such as Windows Live Hotmail was flat at $866 million in the second quarter, while the loss nearly doubled (91%) to $471 million.
As we stated yesterday, if non-permanent employees are accounted for, then Microsoft may have just laid off (or let go of) over 10,000 people. Its profit is claimed to have sunk by 11% (one can't ever trust Microsoft's words) and Microsoft insists on seemingly small numbers because it prefers to refer to how many people get fired immediately (damage control by selectivity).
Microsoft is slashing 5,000 jobs after it posted a profit of $4.17bn, or 47 cent per share, in its second quarter earnings report, undershooting Wall Street expectations.
Microsoft blamed “Netbooks,” which is a nice way of avoiding the use of the word “Linux”. Had it not been for GNU/Linux, would Microsoft have given Windows away for as little as $5 apiece?
INTEL ANNOUNCED it will shut five manufacturing facilities, affecting the jobs of 5,000 to 6,000 employees.
SJVN says that people should mark their calendars and remember this as the date and critical point where Free software put an end to dominance (or omnipotence) of proprietary software and its accomplices. Red Hat, for example, is doing exceptionally well despite the global slump.
We will discuss this further in a matter of days. As one reader puts it, “Microsoft only publishes material favorable to its agenda even if it is falsified. The real facts are often available, at least for a duration.” █
“Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”
in 2006 Zipatoni was the company behind the disastrously stupid “fake” viral marketing campaign known as All I Want For Xmas is a PSP. After that was exposed, blogs went to town making fun of Sony… and Zipatoni. As part of that, people went to the whois and “outed” Meyerkord, including calling him a “douchebag.”
Unfortunately for Sony–and Meyerkord–the campaign did not go well. Bloggers and others got suspicious of the overly colloquial site, unmasked the astroturfing and decided to “out” the people involved. They pulled up the Whois records, saw the outdated information that Meyerkord was the registrant, and mistakenly assumed he was involved in the campaign.
Method and apparatus for maintaining peripheral device support information , patent No. 7,480,745, invented by Bart Dahneke, of Provo; Ted Wayne Tronson, of Provo; Michael John Cowley, of Provo; and Victor Hugo Parra, of Lindon; assigned to Novell Inc., of Provo.
Novell is not the only company that’s strongly (and wrongly) credited for contributions to Free software despite its obvious attacks on the spirit and foundations of Free software. There is also Apple, which is hostile towards GNU/Linux [1, 2].
Apple among PC makers sued over OS permissions tech
The latest suit arrives on the heels of a complaint lodged earlier this month by IPAT and GITH that made similar accusations against a group of software makers regarding the same patents. Named in that suit were Microsoft, Symantec, F-Secure, Novell, AVG Technologies and PC Tools.
But is Apple just using patents defensively? Not by a long shot. To make matters worse, Apple claims the inventions of others.
Remember when Steve Jobs launched the iPhone, and held it up in the air, proudly proclaiming “Boy, have we patented it”, followed by a massive applause of the adoring audience? It may seem like this wasn’t just an empty claim, either. During the earnings conference call yesterday, the company hinted at possible legal action against Palm were the Pre to infringe on iPhone patents.
How charming. First Apple exploits Free software (BSD) and now it’s just attacking competition that uses Free software, using the very antithesis of Free software. █
“Software patents are a huge potential threat to the ability of people to work together on open source. Making it easier for companies and communities that have patents to make those patents available in a common pool for people to use is one way to try to help developers deal with the threat.”
Today, oDesk typically has 175-200 jobs posted per month with the “Linux” keyword in them. A yearly snapshot of this metric shows serious growth.
Year # of Jobs*
*Job openings with “Linux” as a keyword
Linux jobs are clearly on the rise, but a more interesting piece of trivia is that there are currently 87 open jobs with the keyword “Linux,” compared to 134 jobs with “Windows” and 43 jobs with “Mac.” This indicates a 32% market share for Linux among new jobs, significantly higher than the 12.7% share of the server market and 1-2% share of the desktop market that Linux owns according to Wikipedia. Of course, to suggest that Linux truly has a 32% market share on oDesk is aggressive; many job posters do not specify that they prefer Windows — it’s just assumed. But perhaps this is a leading indicator of Linux’s continued growth on oDesk.
It is in fact an homage to Darwin on his forthcoming 200th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species comes in a week where for the first time it is shown conclusively that a group of Dung Beetles have switched from a dung to a millipede diet, heradling a start of a new species.
And so, with dung and new species in mind, we look to the future when Windows 7 is released and Linux will be 20.
Getting started with Linux can be an intimidating task, particularly for people who have never tried any operating system besides Windows. In truth, however, very little about Linux is actually difficult to use. It’s simply a different OS, with its own approach to doing things. Once you learn your way around a Linux desktop, you’re likely to find that it’s no more challenging to work with than Windows or Mac OS.
Despite the fact that Mac OS/X is BSD Unix beneath Apple’s proprietary eye-candy desktop GUI, Apple doesn’t offer a Linux version of Quicktime. However, Mplayer for Linux handles Quicktime encoded files. Mplayer for Linux is not implicated by Apple’s Quicktime video player security flaws
Linux powers the largest cloud computing services, hosts most of the world’s web services, inherently protects us from viruses and other malware programs, makes up powerful super computers and runs the humble TiVo. In the most fundamental way, Linux is a hero — a hero that also saves you bundle of cash.
Lotus Symphony is also a component in two low cost software-based offerings from IBM Lotus, Lotus Foundations and the IBM Open Client (OCCS), the active ingredient in a popular Linux desktop software bundle.
There’s a lot of talk around the internets about which (free) Linux distro is the ‘best.’ And while this article won’t opine either way, I do hope to put some perspective on the Linux debate using public data.
Fortunately this is changing. IT departments are starting to tailor OSs to gain agility, drive down support costs and enhance security. This is particularly true in the Linux environment, where new tools are making the promise of a tailored, fully supported Linux a reality.
Ironically, although Linux is modular and designed to be customized, relatively few organizations take advantage of the capability because of the support issue.
Linux vendors are addressing that by improving the granularity of their packages to enable buyers to take existing Linux building blocks and apply them in different combinations based on each user’s needs. Linux’s modular architecture is ideal for creating JeOS because it can be easily stripped down and modified.
A new President is about to be inaugurated; yes, Linux Australia’s Council is in the midst of its general elections with the results to be declared at the annual general meeting held as part of Linux.Conf.Au (LCA) 2009.
A feature of Linux.conf.au 2009 in Hobart is Batteries Not Included, a tech-influenced art event — and one of the more striking installation ideas is the Frank Zappa Project, a garbage bin for collecting plastic shampoo bottles from delegate hotel rooms to be recycled into casing for machines built as part of the OLPC project.
The third annual Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit will take place from the 8th to the 10th of April in San Francisco, California at the Hotel Kabuki. The goal of the event is to bring the players in the Linux ecosystem together to discuss current Linux development issues.
Linus Torvalds is a regular visitor to Australia in January. He comes out for some sunshine and to attend the annual linux.conf.au organised by Linux Australia. He took some time out to speak to Rodney Gedda about a host of topics including point releases, filesystems and what it is like switching to GNOME.
According to current plans, version 11 of Fedora, which is expected to arrive in late May, will use Ext4 as its standard file system. That’s what the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo) recently decided, following a heated discussion in an IRC meeting. If however Ext3′s successor encounters big problems with the pre-release versions of Fedora 11, the developers will dump that plan and revert to Ext3.
JBoss Operations Network (JON) recently became available as an open source solution through the Jopr project. (That’s pronounced “jopper.”) We interviewed Chris Morgan from Red Hat’s JON group to learn more.
I spotted a guide earlier today that shows IT administrators how to install Openbravo’s enterprise resource planning (ERP) software on Ubuntu. Frankly, the guide extends beyond my technical knowledge. But it signals an important milestone: True business applications are finally coming to Ubuntu Server Edition and its desktop counterpart.
Concurrent (Nasdaq: CCUR), a worldwide leader in real-time Linux-based computing technologies, announced today that GCI (General Communication, Inc.) (Nasdaq: GNCMA), an Alaska-based cable operator providing voice, video and data communication services to residential, commercial and government customers, has selected Concurrent to provide video-on-demand performance data collection, warehousing and analytics. GCI will utilize Concurrent’s services and solutions, including ReportOne(TM) and Operational Intelligence (Oi)(TM) from Concurrent’s Everstream(TM) line of data collection and management tools.
The software uses a Linux-based environment, and comes in two versions: HyperSpace Dual creates a dual-OS environment for your system — when you’re using HyperSpace, Windows is not available. In order to use Windows, you have to shut down HyperSpace.
You’re going to look a bit weird on the bus holding your NetBook sideways, but you get a nice, readable full-size page, and at 15MB for the full illustrated versions of both Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking-Glass, you can carry a good stock of books before your netbook fills up.
In the UK the Fizzbook is launched with Windows XP but Linux will be available later.
On the same stand a large screen showed off the design appeal of the latest Ubuntu. This includes multiple windows rotating or rescaling. As this is better understood some Netbook users may return to Linux. Asustek Chairman Jonney Shih has predicted that about 60 percent of Eee PCs to be shipped in 2009 will have Windows XP.
One of my favorite apps for smartphones is the great program ShopSavvy for the Android platform. It is one of the most used apps I have and it runs on the T-Mobile G1 Android phone. In this video I show why the program is so useful and let you see for yourself why I like it.
The Palm Pre, described as a phone that’s “always thinking ahead,” debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this month. The phone is running Palm’s all-new Linux-based webOS platform. The form factor is downright sexy with a 3.1′ 320 x 480 multitouch display with accelerometer-sensed widescreen browsing and a full pull-out qwerty keyboard. It includes 802.11b/g WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth and 8GB of built-in flash storage. There’s a 3MP camera with LED flash, a mass storage-friendly microUSB plug and a 3.5mm headphone jack. There is also a wireless charger.
While big business may be crowning open source as the king of server-based computing, most enterprise movers and shakers vehemently deny any such moves in telephony. Yet, open source in telecom is long past its debut and is, in fact, already in play in much of the Fortune 500. So why is open source a legitimate option in enterprise computing but bastardized so much in telephony?
It is difficult to know whether Louis Suarez-Potts, community manager at OpenOffice.org, was conscious at any point today of the irony of criticising proprietary software while making a presentation using a MacBook.
With the Geneva Motor Show on the horizon, German engineering services provider EDAG has released a preview of what it hopes will be one of the stars of the 2009 Swiss auto gathering: the “Light Car – Open Source”, a concept it is describing as “visionary and courageous”.
The European Commission approved an update of the European Union Public Licence (EUPL) on 9 January. Seven clarifications were made in the licence text, not changing the original meaning.
The Commission validated version 1.1 of the EUPL in all official languages of the European Union.
The text was changed slightly to clarify the licence, say sources involved in the process. For example, regarding distribution and/or communication, article 1 was changed to include application service providers (ASPs) and software as a service (Saas).
Too many technology consumers see the software world in black and white — in other words, Windows and Mac. However, some startups are leaning on open source software to power their products, often regardless of the platform the user is standing on.
“I support open source because it’s good business. We didn’t have to do anything to get the games ported to Linux. Volunteer coders did it for us,” Rosen said.
Firefox 3.1 is currently in its second beta release, and it already looks great. In fact, it looks set to deliver a lot more than one might expect from a typical “minor” software-update release.
InaTux.com recently posted a good summary of some frequently-overlooked new features coming in Firefox 3.1. One of the most important of these under-the-hood tweaks will streamline Firefox’s memory usage, allowing it to run faster and far more efficiently.
Firefox 3.0 already delivered major improvements in memory usage; most notably, it fixed a number of persistent, and often very annoying, memory-leak bugs. This time around, the changes in Firefox 3.1 will focus on the browser’s normal memory usage, which according to this December, 2008 blog post already requires just two-thirds of the RAM that Firefox 3.0 requires for normal Web-browsing operations.
On the 16th of January the European Commission DG Competition reported that it had issued a statement of objections regarding Microsoft’s tying of Internet Explorer (IE) to the Windows Operating System product family. This action builds on a complaint originally submitted by Opera, a European company involved in web browser development.
Free Software Foundation Europe welcomes the European Commission’s decision and offers its support in the coming anti-trust investigation. As stated previously in a letter to the European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes, anti-competitive behaviour is unacceptable, whether it occurs as ‘tying’ products with dominant market segments, or in circumventing standards and fair access.
The Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue last week hosted a conference entitled “Patents, Copyrights and Knowledge Governance: The Next Four Years”, gathering IP lawyers and economists from all over the world.
From reading the official European Commission documentation on its proposed Copyright Term Extension Directive, one might believe perpetuating performer copyrights from 50 to 95 years in Europe is a charitable policy with no ill effects at all. That’s certainly how Commissioner Charlie McCreevy would like it to appear, as he pushes for the Parliament to vote on the Directive in March of this year.
“The National Security Agency had access to all Americans’ communications — faxes, phone calls, and their computer communications,” Tice claimed. “It didn’t matter whether you were in Kansas, in the middle of the country, and you never made foreign communications at all. They monitored all communications.”
Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day
John William Templeton looks at Free Open Source Software and African American culture and innovation 01 (2004)
Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.