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

04.30.09

Microsoft Interoperability Crushed by the TomTom Case

Posted in GNU/Linux, Interoperability, Microsoft, Office Suites, OIN, Open XML, OpenDocument, Patents, TomTom at 3:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Crushed building

Summary: Microsoft slammed for using software patents against interoperability, the OIN responds too late

THIS new report from Asia says that Harish Pillay put an end to Microsoft’s “interoperability” nonsense by bringing up an example where Microsoft strives for exactly the opposite.

A Microsoft panel discussion with two members of the open source community changed course when attention was swung to patent issues raised by a member of the audience.

During a Microsoft interoperability event Tuesday, Harish Pillay, president of the Linux Users’ Group (Singapore), asked if Microsoft would make its software patents available to the open source community.

Pillay asked if Microsoft would release its patents to the Open Invention Network (OIN), in line with its pledge toward interoperability.

The OIN, whose founders include IBM, Novell and Red Hat, acquires patents, licensing them royalty-free to companies that agree not to assert their own patents against Linux or open source applications.

As Shane emphasised two years ago, Microsoft was invited to join the OIN, but unsurprisingly it declined. The same goes for ODF.

“Interoperability” is hostile towards open standards like ODF, which Microsoft now pretends to support in order to prevent defection away from Microsoft Office.

OFFICE 2007 SP2 – ODF Support

[...]

On a related note, Ive noticed with the podcasts I listen to that OGG is becoming the download of choice when offered with MP3. Another good sign that its now users who are demanding open standard file formats? We have already seen a similar “battle” between XVID and DIVX.

Regardless of what packages you use, its seems to me its getting harder for companies to force you down the route of their own proprietary formats.

As one person pointed out yesterday, “Ministry of Interior, Slovakia not accepting documents in ODF format and violating standards required by the law. Should we call the police?” That’s the type of thing Microsoft would be delighted about. Slovakia said it had chosen ODF, but Microsoft’s shenanigans still have impact.

Going back to the OIN, its people responded a little too late and it’s good that someone calls them out:

Oi, OIN: What Took So Long?

[...]

Right, so it seems that OIN won’t be doing anything directly, other than getting the relevant patents posted the Post-Issue Peer-to-Patent website associated with the Linux Defenders portal.

Isn’t this a rather roundabout way of doing things? I can’t help feeling that this could have been done rather quicker: after all, if it’s just a matter of posting the relevant patents for people to examine and poke holes in, why wasn’t it done as soon as Microsoft attacked TomTom? Did we really need to wait for TomTom to join OIN, and for the latter to pass the message down the chain a few weeks later?

Saul Goode adds: “Peer-to-Patent does good things for bad reasons. OIN does bad things for good reasons.” SFLC is in no state of despair, but it does ask:

If We Can’t End Software Patents Tomorrow, What Should We Do In the Meantime?

As we’ve talked about in our recent podcasts, and as I mentioned in various blog posts, software patents (i.e., patents that read on software) are a major threat to software freedom. Due to this constant threat, the primary goal of the Software Freedom community must be an end to all software patents worldwide. “Patent reform” will never be enough. The hard part, though, given that abolishing the software patent system is such a long and tough war, is what to do in the meantime about software patents that stand in the way of immediate advancement of software freedom.

It is abundantly clear that Microsoft wants to use software patents as part of its new business model. It tried entering the hardware business several times and failed pretty badly.

One must hit Microsoft where it makes a real difference: not market share but margins. ISVs can do so too. A lot of people still think that Microsoft will lose grip only when its market share declines, but it’s a convenient fallacy. What Microsoft fears a lot is real competition that affects pricing and forcibly leads to dumping or illegal kickbacks. That’s why it introduces software patents, which are directed squarely at low-priced competition.

As Mike Masnick has just reminded his readers, “Patents Do Not Equal Innovation.” Patents are simply government-granted monopolies; as such, they increase (or can be equated to) monopoly.

Once Again: Patents Do Not Equal Innovation

The real reason for the decline in patenting may actually be buried at the bottom of the article: companies are realizing that patents aren’t particularly cost effective, and they’re cutting back, focusing on actual innovation rather than throwing money away on the patent system.

Let’s spread a new slogan: more patents = more monopolies.

“It was Edison who said “1% inspiration, 99% perspiration”. That may have been true a hundred years ago. These days it’s “0.01% inspiration, 99.99% perspiration”, and the inspiration is the easy part. As a project manager, I have never had trouble finding people with crazy ideas. I have trouble finding people who can execute. IOW, “innovation” is way oversold. And it sure as hell shouldn’t be applied to products like MS Word or Open office.”

Linus Torvalds

What Happened to The Inquirer?

Posted in Hardware, SUN at 2:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Requirer Requires skepticism

Summary: Warning about the descending publication pace and quality at The Inquirer

THE Inquirer seems to be continuing its sad demise. The founder, Mike Magee, had left not so long ago, the publication rate fell by almost half earlier this year and the reporting has been fairly poor since then. Two days ago they announced the release (final) of Firefox 3.5. The comments had it corrected repeatedly.

A reader has mailed us the following warning about what he considers “standard hardware” FUD:

This is a weird piece from the inquirer. Usually they write better articles.

I’m wondering if it has the stench of Enderle. The jab at the bottom is pure disinformation and contradicted.

Using Intel is just bad business whether you are in the EU, Asia or the US.

2005:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4675849.stm

2006:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/04/technology/04intel.html
http://www.betanews.com/article/Korean-Antitrust-…

2007:
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2007/07/eu-slap…

2008:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-9993451-92.html
http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2008/06/south-korea-fi…
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/07/technolo…

2009:
http://venturebeat.com/2009/04/23/european-union-expec…

Using x86 at all just further entrenches Intel even if other vendors are used. Since it will be some weeks before Oracle is able to make an official press release and road map for its recent acquisitions, Microsoft astroturfers can have an unopposed field day.

This would not be a sole example.

Eye on Microsoft: More Back Doors, More Conficker Attacks, and Some Humour Too

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 2:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

My keys

Police want new remote hard drive search powers (see this last post about CIPAV)

At present, the proposed legislative changes don’t appear to be related to EU moves to step up hacking of PCs in homes and offices by police.

Report: Conficker in attack mode

The Conficker threat has a new twist, with the worm now reportedly installing a second mass-mailing virus that many know as Waledac.

According to a report by Xinhua News Agency, Conficker-infected machines are now being turned into servers for e-mail spam. Quoting Vincent Weafer, vice president of Symantec Security Response, Xinhua reported Conficker now installs a second virus–Waledac–that sends out e-mail spam without the computer owner’s knowledge.

If Everything Was Made by Microsoft (watch the pictures)

Back in the 90s, it looked like Microsoft might take over the world. But after ten years, Vista, the iPod, and a government lawsuit, we feel pretty safe saying that’s not happening. But we’re equally certain that it won’t be for a lack of trying. Whether they’re unleashing the Zune or hip new Microsoft Stores, their ambition is only matched by their painful lack of self awareness. So how long until they try their hand at making, well, everything else?

Microsoft Wants to Control GNU/Linux, Novell and Xandros Help with This

Posted in Linspire, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Servers, UNIX, Xandros at 2:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Change channel
Microsoft insists on holding the remote

Summary: A little more on Mono, but mostly news about Microsoft’s management of UNIX and Linux

IN WHAT appears like old news, one blogger has just shared what he calls “things to avoid on Ubuntu.” The list is very obvious.

Moonlight

This is Linux port of Microsoft sliverlight apparently designed to compete with adobe flash. Silver light doesn’t offer anything new that’s not already offered by adobe flash.

Linux distros previously included some of the technologies that were controversial because they were widespread and to make interoperability easy for new users. We don’t need this turd and it’s not widespread.

Mono

Here comes another patent covered piece of junk aggressively pushed by Novell.

Microsoft controls the API and also software patents, so Mono and its siblings are just part of Microsoft’s plot and they ought to be replaced. But the main new issue in this post is the following announcement about Microsoft’s Operations Manager, which is not new, but nonetheless it continues to illustrate just how Microsoft wants to be in the driver’s seat and decide what GNU/Linux can and cannot do.

Microsoft Tuesday opened its annual management confab saying it would ship the next version of Operations Manager by the end of June and laying out its efforts to manage data centers and virtualized environments.

[...]

With Operations Manager 2007 R2, Microsoft wants to deliver integration among Unix, Linux and the Microsoft System Center management software. Microsoft is bridging the gap between its tools and non-Windows platforms on the back of the WS-Management protocol it developed and OpenPegasus, an open-source implementation of the Distributed Management Task Force’s Common Information Model and Web-based Enterprise Management standards. Both WS-Management and OpenPegasus are used to discover physical and virtual systems on a network and monitor and manage them.

We wrote about this before, e.g. in:

Xandros too is helping Microsoft with this. It has just let loose the following press release.

Microsoft Management Summit – BridgeWays, a division of Xandros, today launched an initial set of application management packs in the extensive BridgeWays product line that enables system administrators to manage business critical applications on Windows, Linux, and Unix from a single console. The new line of management packs helps extend Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 to additional business applications on Windows and to the 85% of enterprise data centers with cross-platform environments.

It turns out that Novell is there as well.

Not only will you get the chance to learn from peers and industry giants, networking opportunities abound and over 60 sponsors and exhibitors, including triCerat and such companies as HP, Novell, Citrix, and Dell, will showcase their wares in the MMS 2009 Expo.

Speaking of Xandros, Linspire’s Web site has only 4,890 pages indexed by Google at the moment and all are just leading to the Xandros Web site. So essentially, all those old Web pages from Linspire’s Web site are permanently gone and the Web Archive may be the last resort for ‘historians’ who study the demise of the company.

“Microsoft has had clear competitors in the past. It’s a good thing we have museums to document that.”

Bill Gates

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: April 29th, 2009 – Part 4

Posted in IRC Logs at 1:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Enter the IRC channel now

Read the rest of this entry »

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: April 29th, 2009 – Part 3

Posted in IRC Logs at 1:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Enter the IRC channel now

Read the rest of this entry »

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: April 29th, 2009 – Part 2

Posted in IRC Logs at 1:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Enter the IRC channel now

Read the rest of this entry »

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: April 29th, 2009 – Part 1

Posted in IRC Logs at 1:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Enter the IRC channel now

Read the rest of this entry »

« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »

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

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts