06.02.09

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More Suspicious Moves from ASUS

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, Windows at 4:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: ASUS suddenly abandons Android plans, despite developing and displaying a complete product

ASUS joining forces with Microsoft is a subject that we last covered a few days ago. ASUS might already suffer as a consequence of getting "closely tied up with Microsoft." It truly shows. Kickbacks are a short-term investment.

“Pointing to Steve Ballmer, it opined that Microsoft did some work behind the scenes in order to abolish takers of Android.”Now, watch this from today’s news: “A day after an Asustek Eee PC running Google’s Android operating system was shown at Computex Taipei, top executives from the company said the project will be put on the backburner for now.

So why did they display it? Why was it developed? Was this sudden change of heart part of a bribery marketing deal stating that they should abolish Linux-related projects? A few months ago, Roughly Drafted Magazine asked similar questions. Pointing to Steve Ballmer, it opined that Microsoft did some work behind the scenes in order to abolish takers of Android. It sometimes boils down to polite intimidation. As many OEMs are dependent on a level (or volume) of Windows licences, Microsoft wields a lot of power through a form of blackmail. It can manipulate margins and costs based on relationships and thus control the behaviour of hardware makers. This type of power is why so many OEMs are desperate to escape this potentially-abusive reliance on Microsoft. That is a fact they occasionally state openly.

Here are some newer facts about the anti-GNU/Linux campaign from ASUS:

…despite the first flurry of rumors that the campaign was a hoax, Asus has admitted that the campaign is legitimate. In a way, the news is a relief. For those of us who have looked askance at Microsoft’s sponsoring of open source conferences and efforts to create its own open source ecosystem, the It’s Better with Windows site is a return to the familiar. At least when Microsoft is spinning half-truths about free and open source software (FOSS), you can be in no doubt where everybody stands.

The site is very much a classic piece of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt), the likes of which we may never see again as Microsoft becomes more subtle in its struggle to survive in a market where FOSS is a player.

There are still plenty of reactions out there. From Alan Lord for example:

This whole thing reminds me of the stupid and cringe-worthy adverts you see in the press where Vendor X says that they “Recommend Proprietary OS Home Premium”. Do they hell. Do you think they really believe that? Or do you think they have been given incentives to say so? I often wonder if there could be a case here with the Trades Description Act (if that still exists). IANAL so don’t really know but it seems as though many vendors’ adverts are not being totally honest when they make these recommendations. It’s bloody obvious they are being paid in some form or another to say that.

Alan is absolutely correct when he says that Microsoft may be “‘buying-off’ Linux netbook vendors.” What he might not know yet is that there is solid proof that “Vendor recommends Windows” is nothing but an advertisement which Microsoft pays a lot of money for. It’s highly likely that the attacks from ASUS fall under the same tactical category.

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5 Comments

  1. Yfrwlf said,

    June 2, 2009 at 11:19 pm

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    You have to be pretty dense not to see the “advertising”/lies and thus the corresponding money/agreements/contracts/favors that got it there.

  2. Daniel said,

    June 3, 2009 at 4:01 am

    Gravatar

    Where is the competition and antitrust sanctions for this? The pressure Microsoft puts on OEM`s to not sell anything that dont have Windows on it is illegal in almost every country in the world.

    Good products never emerge and new markets stays untapped because of shady deals like theese and the total economy is hurting bad in the end. All just to keep one single vendor profitable.

    If its one thing antitrust regulators should poke into its the firm grip Microsoft has on OEM`s. The bundling of browsers and mediaplayers etc wouldnt be half the problem if the OEM had anything to say about what they ship on their own hardware.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Intel was fined severely for the same practice, which is why Microsoft lobbyists are now projecting their company’s worries.

  3. max stirner said,

    June 9, 2009 at 6:24 am

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    The better with Windows site looks so desperate.. the fact people tend to think its a joke is very telling :D

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, but you may not be the target audience.

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