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04.25.09

Further Confirmation That Microsoft’s Big Pain Comes from GNU/Linux on Sub-notebooks

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 6:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Increasing wealth
GNU/Linux forces Microsoft’s Windows margins to decrease

Summary: Analysis of the GNU/Linux factor in Microsoft’s negative results

Sub-notebooks are hurting Microsoft's bottom line because GNU/Linux competes also on price proposition, not just Freedom and technical edge. The result is very clear to see [1, 2] and to corroborate we have:

Microsoft earnings drop as netbooks take chunk of PC sales

[...]

The client division saw its revenue drop by a bit more than $600 million, with income down by almost the same amount. The trend of the PC market towards netbooks, which either run Linux or a low-cost version of Windows XP, undoubtedly hit this division hard. With Windows 7 apparently progressing well, however, the light may be visible at the end of the tunnel here, provided the company can convince netbook makers to pay more for the improvements it brings (and consumers are interested in its netbook version).

Matt Asay alleges that “Netbooks bleed Microsoft profits. It’s about to get worse.” Here’s why:

After all, Canonical, which develops Ubuntu, the world’s leading consumer-focused, Linux-based desktop operating system, on Monday released a Netbook-optimized Ubuntu distribution, as IDG reports.

Better battery life. A nicer visual experience. An operating system tightly tuned for applications like e-mail, Web browsing, and office productivity. All for a price that is dramatically less than Microsoft Windows…even after Microsoft discounts.

Windows XP? No thanks, says this prominent writer.

Rant: Microsoft Windows Out of Box Experience Sucks

OK, rant mode on. This morning I spent over three hours running Windows Update on the cool Viliv S5 UMPC I am evaluating. Yes, I realize it runs the older Windows XP operating system, but even so Microsoft must make the out of box experience (OOBE) better than this. I have recently experienced this process with Vista too, and it’s no better than XP. It’s time that Microsoft fix this absolutely unbearable process.

The entire Windows Update process resulted in 5 reboots and took almost 3.5 hours. That is ridiculous in and of itself, but watching it closely (something you have to do as it requires user input at inopportune moments) really got me steamed, as I realized that Microsoft could easily fix this stupid process.

Windows Vista seems to be passé already. To prove this, we conducted our weekly experiment. We grouped together news picks from Yahoo! News and Google Groups, accumulated using RSS feeds for the keyword “Microsoft”. Slicing based on the presence of “Vista” inside the headline, we have just 2 matches. Doing the same for “Windows 7″ we are left with 17 matches, which is almost 10 times the number of “Vista”. But Vista 7 does not even exist yet (it’s vapourware). In fact, given that the Microsoft-sympathetic blogs are now crowing about “Vista 8″ (Windows 8), it's clear that something is wrong (there are more new examples and they arrive from the usual suspects).

“There is a group of Microsoft-sympathetic reporters who spin Microsoft’s bad financial results…”Forbes Magazine has just come up with the headline “Forget Vista”, but it’s actually more of an advertisements for Vista 7. The Shane O'Neill marionette is promoting Vista 7 although it does not even exist yet (at least not as a product). The message he is sending from IDG goes along the lines of: “it’s coming, it’s coming, so get ready because there is no other choice.” Richard Waters from the Financial Times* plays along with the Microsoft ‘party line’, as usual. There is a group of Microsoft-sympathetic reporters who spin Microsoft’s bad financial results and rather grim outlook; Waters is usually one of them.
______
* Or financial tiems[sic], i.e. TIE-MS (ties with Microsoft).

Mass Closures/Cancellations at Microsoft Intersect with Bad Results

Posted in Finance, Marketing, Microsoft at 5:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Construction

Summary: Microsoft’s Origami folds; picnic cancelled; conference cancelled; PR budget cut worldwide

Microsoft’s profit sank by a third [1, 2] and just look at this thing, it’s like an avalanche:

Remember Microsoft’s Origami? Well, that’s gone.

Microsoft’s Origami campaign came in for both praise and criticism, and while they can’t claim to entirely control the UMPC (or subsequent MID) markets they’ve were at least initially responsible for promoting ultramobile PCs. Now Microsoft have decided to shut down their official Origami project site, three years after it was founded.

There is already one victim (OQO ) if the rumours are true.

There’s more.

Microsoft’s unofficial CNET spokesman says that Microsoft cancels company picnic and the company’s official spokesman said:

“The big reason is to pay attention to costs,” said Lou Gellos, a Microsoft spokesman.

Translation: a picnic costs too much.

But wait, there’s more.

Microsoft has just canceled its business intelligence conference.

Citing the recession and cutbacks in travel budgets, Microsoft has canceled this year’s October Microsoft BI Conference, according to a posting on the company’s Web site blog.

Rarely will a story be found where some company issues a press release merely to announce a failure or cancellation of something, unless of course there is a positive spin to disseminate. And that is precisely what Microsoft did (not for the first time, either).

And there’s more.

According to a couple of Web sites, Microsoft is also cutting its PR budget. But being PR, Microsoft is spinning this cut as something sensible and growth in other areas.

Across Europe and the UK, it is thought as much as a quarter of Microsoft’s citizenship PR spend is being shelved. Similar cuts have been made in Asia, while a source said pullbacks in global and US budgets were ‘imminent’.

There’s no more. No more happy days for Microsoft.

“It’s nice for you to admit your guys are running scared [of Free software]. They should be.”

The sum of Microsoft’s fears

Official Novell/Microsoft Web Site (MoreInterop) Calls Moonlight “Microsoft Moonlight”

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Ubuntu at 9:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft Moonlight

Summary: More disturbing details about Moonlight are unleashed

ONE OF our regular participants has just taken a close look at Moonlight’s legalese and published 3 questions about the project. Watch the image at the bottom. Yes, it figures. Moonlight is now being called “Microsoft Moonlight” and this is not a joke. Novell is becoming an attractive takeover target for Microsoft.

“Users is the key word,” claims oiaohm. It “says nothing about distributions. Codecs in Moonlight come from Microsoft.”

“Moonlight is now being called “Microsoft Moonlight” and this is not a joke.”“The way the Microsoft covenant reads to me,” says the author, “only Novell can distribute Moonlight. So, if you are non-Novell user, it won’t be something that is wrapped up in your distro.”

“Unless [the] distribution wants to risk hot water or out side where Microsoft rules apply,” adds oiaohm in an informal IRC conversation.

There is also “the expectation is that users will get the distro from wherever and then download Moonlight from Novell,” remarks the author.

Well, guess what? Debian Legal has just received the following from Saul Goode, who had taken a look at Moonlight licensing; it does not seem too good. Fedora (Red Hat) reached the same conclusion after the SFLC had taken a look at the Moonlight licence and did not like what's in it.

Since the license for the Debian package must “comply with” the Ms-PL, its license should necessarily offer the patent grants required in Section 2(B). Assuming that a license which complies with the Ms-PL is used — or indeed that the Ms-PL itself used — the question is thus raised, how are patent grants being provided for the MIT/X11-licensed components of the Debian binary package? Without providing such a grant, the package licensing would not meet the terms and conditions of Section 2(B) and fail to “comply with” the Ms-PL. Providing such a grant should demand extra measure be taken with regard to the MIT/X11-licensed code because the authors of that code were not obligated by its licensing to provide such a grant.

As a final comment, and one more hypothetical in nature, the Ms-PL makes no distinction between derived and collective works and offers no exemption for “mere aggregation” (as does the General Public License). In lieu of such an exception, we are left with relying upon the interpretation of the courts as to what constitutes a derived or collected work of joint authorship under copyright law. Should a Ms-PL-licensed package be included with a Debian distribution, it may very well be argued that the entire distribution (a collective work) must be offered under licensing which “complies with” the Ms-PL — any inclusion of code for which there is no patent grant could be construed as infringement of the copyrights of Ms-PLed code’s author.

While Mark Shuttleworth is asleep at the wheel, Moonlight makes it into Ubuntu; Mono had already slipped its way into it anyway, thanks to pressure from fans of .NET. “It’s shocking,” we’re told, “considering de Icaza said publicly you must download Moonlight from Novell (or else).”

“But why should other GNU/Linux vendors be foolishly dragged into Novell’s (and Microsoft’s) trap?”Whereas Debian doesn’t care about anything legal all that much, Canonical is vulnerable because it is a company and it inflicts great pain upon Microsoft's profit. Microsoft does not even need to attack it directly (either with FUD or with legal action) and one regular reader of ours thinks that it inevitably will.

All in all, Microsoft hopes that by assimilation it will gain greater legal and technical control over GNU/Linux. It’s the same ol’ embrace, extend, and extinguish (EEE) tactic. It’s about attracting engineers to .NET/C# (or clones) and leading them into the ‘first class’ choice which is Microsoft .NET along with Silverlight, Visual Studio, and Windows. One has to bury one’s head in the sand in order not to comprehend it.

Earlier on today we wrote about Microsoft's "embrace, extend, and extinguish" against open source. Well, here is a new comment from the Microsoft Blog in ZDNet, which attracts the pro-Microsoft crowd, naturally:

Sounds like one more way to help migrate from linux to Microsoft Windows. If this is implemented pulling data from a linux server will be that much easier until the server is no longer needed. I’m liking this interoperability.

So go ahead, Novell. Do what Microsoft has paid you almost half a billion dollars to achieve. But why should other GNU/Linux vendors be foolishly dragged into Novell’s (and Microsoft’s) trap?

Novell Seems Ready for Microsoft Takeover

Posted in Microsoft, Novell at 8:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft Novell

A COUPLE of weeks ago Novell added two people with Microsoft connections to its Board of Directors. So is Novell ready for the swap? One pundit thinks so.

Time is ripe for Microsoft to buy Novell

[...]

There would be plenty of support from Novell for a takeover – people like vice-presidents Nat Friedman and Miguel de Icaza would be major backers of any takeover bid.

Vice-president Nat Friedman is a former Microsoft employee and Miguel de Icaza tried to work directly for Microsoft. There are several others at Novell’s top tier who have connections with Microsoft (or are former Microsoft managers). Head over to iTWire and read the rest.

Novell’s Latest PR Extravaganza for SUSE

Posted in Marketing, Microsoft, Novell, SLES/SLED at 8:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

You pay, you receive coverage

Taking a buck (bribe)

Summary: SUSE marketing goes up a notch a month after the release of SLE 11

SUSE has finally resolved some security issues and it continues its PR campaign on the Internet. Here is the Microsoft press (Redmond) promoting SUSE with this new whitepaper and here is a new reference page in IDG. This page too is promoting SUSE.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop is the market’s only enterprise-quality Linux desktop. Developed and backed by Novell, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop provides seamless interoperability with existing enterprise systems and dozens of essential productivity applications, while delivering an easy-to-use, highly secure and “green” desktop experience.

Another IDG site, CIO.com, is pimping SUSE as well. Here is a new page:

Cost Savings and Risk Reduction with Effective Systems Management

Source: Novell

C/f IDG-Microsoft connections [1, 2, 3].

In this new IDG article, Novell is given preferential treatment.

Novell has done more than make its Suse Linux look familiar – it’s even integrated services that’ll make it play nicer with typical office IT infrastructure. We’re always looking for an OS that just works without getting too funky with the command-line Terminal, so we gave Novell’s Suse Linux a go.

And another SUSE whitepaper is being pushed by Maureen O’Gara and the SYS-CON group (they promote Microsoft’s agenda with Waggener Edstrom). Yes, there is more and more of them, with particular focus on Novell.

This webinar from Novell will provide Linux ISVs an overview of the Linux Standard Base (a working group of the Linux Foundation) and a tutorial on how to easily port applications to SUSE Linux Enterprise using such tools as the Linux Standard Base Database Navigator and Linux Standard Base Application Checker.

There are still some sites where balance remained, such as The Register which still mentioned SUSE very succinctly in an article about… Ubuntu 9.04.

Awards

Novell is getting some extra attention by throwing ‘parties’ and prizes at companies, this time Atos:

Paris, London, 23 April 2009 – Atos Origin, an international IT services company, has won the prestigious Novell award “Best EMEA Partner of 2008 for Identity & Security Management (ISM)”.

This also appears here, even in languages other than English. But more interesting was the following announcement from Novell:

Novell Receives “Promising” Vendor Rating by Leading Analyst Firm

Novell today announced that Gartner, Inc ., the leading provider of research and analysis on the global information technology industry, has rated the company an overall “promising” in the recent vendor rating report1.

Suffice to say, the Gartner Group has done enough to prove that it is corrupt, but the average CIO might not pay attention to it. Gartner recommends those who pay its staff’s wages.

Xandros Bets the Farm on Presto

Posted in GNU/Linux, Linspire, Microsoft, Xandros at 7:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Farmhouse

Summary: What’s left of Xandros is mostly Presto

OVER the past few weeks we’ve seen a lot of Presto coverage but almost nothing else from Xandros*, which also contains Linspire now (it lumped up two patent deals with Microsoft). Last week we shared some examples and this week we have:

Shipping Version of Presto Linux Makes Netbook Users Long for the Beta (mentioned also in eWeek)

Xandros launches Presto, a $19 Linux distribution that should have been just what the netbook market needed to stave off Windows 7 Starter Edition.

Linux fast-boot tech targets Windows users

Xandros announced a Linux-based fast-boot technology that can be downloaded and installed by Windows users on “almost any PC.” The “Presto” utility can power up (and down) laptops “within seconds,” offering access to web, email, RealPlayer media, and an applications store (left), the company says.

Add Instant-on To Any PC With Presto

Presto is installed like any other Windows program but it creates an Xandros-based boot environment that works just like the hardware versions. Users can thus get email, surf the web and do many other tasks within a few seconds of powering on the dead computer. The producers of Presto also have an application store that offers programs to add to the Presto environment.

Boot quickly with Linux

On the other hand, another quick-boot installer runs within Windows and gives you a prompt at boot-up time, for you to choose between Windows and the lightweight Presto. It’s made by Xandros, a company known for its Linux products. On my HP Pavilion dv5t, Presto booted to a usable desktop in less than 20 seconds from the prompt, while Windows Vista took almost a minute. There’s a launch bar with icons for the Firefox browser, Skype, the Pidgin instant messenger client, a file manager and an application store, which shows you the programs already installed and links you to others for free. If you’re familiar with Linux in general, you’ll enjoy poking around Presto’s 400MB footprint, but it’s not all that easily configurable for the novice. As of April 13, Presto will cost $19.95. www.prestomypc.com

2009: I am now an official Linux Fan!

I have tried the beta version of the distro was free but I love it so much that I am about to fork out the $19.99 asking price for the final product. I think this is a very small price to pay for such a powerful and secure OS.

In addition, the Microsoft/Redmond press mentioned Xandros in a derogatory fashion but only by citing someone else, of course.

Netbooks running XP were “slightly more interesting than a Xandros Linux distribution,” he said. Still, some Linux flavors, like Ubuntu, have shown promise.

Xandros’ deal with Microsoft did not work out particularly well. They still explore other routes and ideas.
______
* Nothing about CNR, almost nothing about ARM-powered machines.

Novell News Summary – Part II: SCO, GroupWise Migrations, Lots of Sentinel, and McAfee Partnership

Posted in Google, Identity Management, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, SCO, Security, Servers, SUN, UNIX at 7:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Delicate arch

Summary: The remainder of Novell’s news from this week

THIS IS the weekly post which deals with news about Novell’s proprietary software. We shall begin with SCO.

Read the rest of this entry »

Novell News Summary – Part I: OpenSUSE 11.2 Appears, Google Summer of Code Arrives

Posted in GNU/Linux, Novell, OpenSUSE at 6:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Chameleon

OpenSUSE 11.2

THE most important and recent news is this initial availability of OpenSUSE 11.2, which Michael Larabel covered following the announcement from Novell’s guys.

Read the rest of this entry »

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