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

06.03.09

What Microsoft’s Anti-Linux Taskforce in Wal-Mart Teaches Us About Sub-notebooks

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Hardware, Microsoft, Windows at 10:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Notebook

Summary: What do leaked antitrust documents teach us about the orchestration of competition assassins (Microsoft calls them “taskforces”)?

Remember when Microsoft commissioned a group of people to pressure Wal-Mart to take GNU/Linux off the shelves? Well, it worked, despite the fact that GNU/Linux was selling very well. Those who never saw this internal correspondence from Microsoft most certainly should.

The same thing appears to be happening at the moment in Microsoft’s war on GNU/Linux-powered sub-notebooks.

At an earlier stage, Microsoft used its friends from NPD and right now they are using ASUS to scare vendors who are stocking GNU/Linux. This also intimidates potential buyers.

According to this new article, Microsoft is very likely behind these latest developments.

The very next day, Asus’ chairman, Jonney Shih, after sharing a news conference stage with Microsoft corporate VP, OEM Division, Steven Guggenheimer, apologized for the Android Eee PC being shown.

Shih said, “Frankly speaking … I would like to apologize that, if you look at Asus booth, we’ve decided not to display this product. I think you may have seen the devices on Qualcomm’s booth but actually, I think this is a company decision so far we would not like to show this device. That’s what I can tell you so far. I would like to apologize for that.”

What the heck does he have to apology for? This wasn’t some put-together at the last minute skunk-works project that never should have been seen by the public eye. This was a system that, from all reports, could have gone into production immediately.

The only thing I can think of is that Asus doesn’t want to tick off Microsoft. Microsoft has been losing money by almost giving away Windows XP Home to netbook vendors. The Evil Empire wants to make that up this year by forcing netbook customers into buying over-priced, under-powered Windows 7. But, if customers get a chance to buy Linux-powered netbook for a good deal less than Windows 7 netbooks, Microsoft is scared that they’ll lose the netbook market.

If this was an isolated incident, I might not make so much of it. But, it wasn’t.

On the other side of the world, PC World, Britain’s self-professed largest specialist chain of computing superstores, announced that, regardless of what was coming with Linux netbooks, it would only be selling Windows netbooks.

[...]

Microsoft, frightened by the sudden rise of new Linux netbooks, is doing it best to make sure that neither you, nor anyone else, get a chance to even see one, never mind buy one.

It’s typical Microsoft strong arm tactics. Microsoft doesn’t dare compete on quality, so it pressures OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and retailers to keep people from even realizing that there are other, never-mind better, choices.

How much money has Microsoft spent (e.g. on kickbacks) in order to push GNU/Linux out of the market? Its people were not even successful. Microsoft reported a sharp decline in earnings and cited sub-notebooks as a reason. As Fewa put it a few hours ago, “a company can provide all the incentives it wants, they just can’t be based on the boycott of opposing products or tying.”

Acer, unlike ASUS, has not yet been "closely tied up with Microsoft," so it will deliver sub-notebooks with Android on them. This is also covered in the following articles that contain interesting details which we highlight:

i. Acer to make first-ever Android netbooks

Acer at Computex today said it would be the first to produce netbooks using Google’s Android platform. Company IT product president Jim Wong expects the systems to appear in the summer and that the Linux-based systems will still use Intel Atom processors. He didn’t provide prices, though the Android netbooks should be less expensive than Windows versions as Google doesn’t charge for licenses where Microsoft asks for $15 for each copy of Windows XP.

[...]

Acer’s decision is a blow to Microsoft, which has managed to achieve a near-monopoly of the netbook market by consciously selling Windows below cost to reduce most of the price advantage that had led Acer, ASUS and others to choose Linux in the first place.

ii. Acer to make first-ever Android netbooks

The Google Android OS is coming to the Acer Aspire ONE netbook, and sooner than you might imagine. As a happy ONE owner myself, and a keen observer of all things Android, the news that it could be as soon as Q3 this year really pleases me.

Microsoft is using its pressure tactics (extortion, blackmail, etc.) to not only exclude GNU/Linux from OEMs and shops but from chipmakers too. We previously wrote about the relationship between Intel and Microsoft in:

Watch what this analysts group had to say about Intel and Microsoft:

For over 20 years, Microsoft and Intel have partnered to grow the PC industry. Now, Intel is launching a netbook that will use the Linux operating system and not Microsoft. Could it be the economy and the need for more revenue? Or could it be such a huge revenue opportunity for Intel that they can not let the high price of an operating system slow them down?

What will Microsoft do next? Apart from ruining sub-notebooks as a whole by shutting GNU/Linux out, then elevating their prices and providing crippled versions of an operating system too heavy for the form factor?

More about Intel and Microsoft:

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

14 Comments

  1. K345 said,

    June 3, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Gravatar

    Remember the Soviet Empire? It simply collapsed when a critical mass of dissatisfaction was reached and the security apparatus could not frighten people anymore.

    The solution to make the Microsoft empire collapse is universal attack in a way they cannot contain anymore.

    We need to make up our own ideas what we can do to wipe that empire out but the important thing is to focus on where it hurts them most.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    At the beginning of this year we posted a lot of Comes vs Microsoft exhibits here. This got us some front pages in Digg and Slashdot, leaving Microsoft shamed. I have thousands more exhibits to go through and although I stopped doing this in March I intend to resume this summer. It’s just very time consuming.

    David Gerard Reply:

    I find myself recently redundant. What do you need? Laborious transcription? I can do that. Email me.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Thanks.

    There are many exhibits here from which we need to extract the full text. Find a headline you like, open the PDF and see if you can put it in text. When done we will post it in the front page.

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    June 3, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Gravatar

    Arm-based netbooks can be a major kick in the nads for Bill. Think about how many days the average ARM-based mobile phone has. All that’s lacking is a larger screen and a keyboard to make it a netbook.

    Weight and battery life will outstrip the x86-based units to the point where they will be considered trash.

    I suppose that’s one of the reasons we’ve been waiting close to a decade for portable computers built on ARM…

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    They’ll prepare a Slog campaign with the likes of Enderle claiming that it’s underpowered, doesn’t run Microsoft Office, etc.

    Wait and watch.

  3. Daniel Zand said,

    June 3, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Gravatar

    This is a good reason to purchase System76, Zareason, etc. They and other upstarts do not bootlick Microsoft

    We’re also recommending dropping the eeePC … http://openbytes.wordpress.com/2009/05/30/microsoft-backs-down-starters-3-app-limit-removed/#comment-1150

  4. whatever said,

    June 3, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Gravatar

    I think it was less about being beholden to Microsoft and more about not having a demo-ready product.

    Acer is talking about doing it on Atom first because the ARM stuff is still not ready larger devices. Android has a lot of momentum and lots of potential, but as a G1 owner since launch date, it still needs a ton of work as a mobile OS, let alone on a netbook.

    The biggest advantage ARM has is for building in cellular stuff into larger devices. So your netbook uses your cellular connection, can make calls, etc. That can be huge, but the biggest adoption issue for not just ARM, but even Atom (and this includes newer Atom chips) is the total failure when playing streaming video.

    Streaming .h264 encoded 320×480 clips from YouTube is one thing. Hell, you can playback large non-hd .h264 files on Atom or Arm quite well, assuming they are static files — but streaming video still sucks. Flash isn’t on the iPhone because it kills performance. Kills it. Hulu Desktop barely runs on a N270 Atom — and it isn’t watchable. Streaming video has not yet been optimized to run on low-power processors, and until it is — the biggest hurdle for netbooks won’t be Microsoft. It’ll be convincing people to buy one when their smartphone is just as capable/incapable of decent streaming. And that doesn’t even address battery life concerns with video.

    David Gerard Reply:

    Hmm … we have an MSI Wind, which has an Atom N270, running Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Remix, and it’s the perfect thing to play CBeebies for the toddler, either live streaming or iPlayer. It seems to cope with it just fine. I’m not sure if the BBC is using FLV or H.264 though.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yeah, I’ve seen something along those lines. Based on SJVN’s latest review of Vista 7 on sub-notebooks (see ComputerWorld), it hardly even handles YouTube.

    David Gerard Reply:

    The Atom’s fine with a proper OS though ;-)

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    For ARM it can be more complicated. Microsoft will do an anti-ARM (by inference anti-Linux) campaign using its familiar pundits and faithful groups.

    Microsoft is already renaming “Netbooks”.

    David Gerard Reply:

    Microsoft is not going to be able to rename “netbooks” – it wasn’t a brand name, remember, it was a term people just started using (Psion’s trademark notwithstanding).

    What will make a difference is if netbooks turn into – more or less – a phone with a bigger keyboard and screen. They’re heading this way, particularly with 3 in the UK doing a data-only plan and openly advocating people use it for Skype. That is, they’ll move away from being small PCs.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I’m posting about it later. You’ll see what I mean.

What Else is New


  1. Links 26/4/2015: Debian 8, OpenMandriva Lx 3 Alpha, Mageia 5 RC

    Links for the day



  2. Links 25/4/2015: Debian LTS Plans, Turing Phone Runs Linux

    Links for the day



  3. Who Kills Yahoo? It's Microsoft, Not Yahoo!

    The media should blame Microsoft, not Marissa Mayer, for what's going on (and has been going on for 7 years) at Yahoo!



  4. EPO Management is Trying Hard to Appease Its Critics While Pushing Forth Unitary Patent Agenda

    The European Patent Office and European Commission promote the agenda of large multinational corporations (at the expense or European citizens) and critics are being kept at bay



  5. Real Patent Reform Will Not Come From Biggest Backers of GNU/Linux, Not Even Google

    A look at the 'new' Google, the company which is hoarding patents (2,566 last year alone) instead of fighting for reform



  6. Microsoft's Troll Intellectual Ventures Loses Software Patents

    Intellectual Ventures is bluffing with software patents, but this time around it doesn't get its way



  7. Links 24/4/2015: Ubuntu and Variants in the News, Red Hat Developer Toolset 3.1

    Links for the day



  8. Links 23/4/2015: Ubuntu 15.04 is Out, Debian 8.0 Out Very Soon

    Links for the day



  9. Links 22/4/2015: Fedora 22 Beta, Atlassian Acquires BlueJimp

    Links for the day



  10. The Dying Debate Over Patent Scope (Including Software Patents) Replaced by 'Trolls' (But Not the Biggest Ones)

    The corporate media and Web sites or people who are funded by large corporations have essentially suppressed any debate about issues in the patent granting process, thereby guarding software patents and preventing criticism of large corporations' power grab



  11. The Patents Gold Rush Continues

    The morbid obsession with monopolising mere ideas still dominates the media, even increasingly in China



  12. 9 Millionth US Patent Tells a Story of Failure and USPTO Misconduct

    The USPTO, much like FISA (notorious court for surveillance/espionage authorisation), has become a rubber-stamping operation rather than a patents examination centre, as new evidence and old evidence serve to show



  13. HBO Helps Shift Debate Over Patents to 'Trolls' (Scale), Not Scope

    More of that awkward shifting of the patent debate towards small actors who are misusing patents, not large conglomerates like Apple and Microsoft which use patents to destroy competitors, crush startups, drive up prices, and so on



  14. Software Patents Are Still Menacing to Free Software: OIN Expands Scope, HEVC Adds to MPEG-LA Burden/Tax, Google and Facebook Give in on Patents

    A look at recent news about software patents and especially Free/libre software, which is inherently incompatible with them



  15. The Latest Developments Around Microsoft's Clever Attack on Android/Linux

    Microsoft's campaign of destruction, extortion, etc. against the most widely used Linux-powered operating system is revisited in light of new reports



  16. The Microsoft 'Community' is Maligning the Free Software Community

    Dishonest generalisations and baseless deductions portray the Free/Open Source software communities as a nasty place that leads to poverty and despair



  17. Googlebombing 'Microsoft Open Source' Even When Microsoft Shuts Down Its 'Open Source' Proxy

    A massive failure by the press to cover the most basic news, which is Microsoft putting an end to a supposedly 'Open Source' effort



  18. Links 22/4/2015: Calculate Linux 14.16, SparkyLinux 4.0 RC KDE

    Links for the day



  19. Links 21/4/2015: Project Photon, Ubuntu Touch Buzz

    Links for the day



  20. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish: How Microsoft Plans to Get Rid of Linux/Android

    Microsoft's sheer abuse against Android is laying bare for everyone to see now that Microsoft has paralysed Google's legal department with potential antitrust action in Europe



  21. Yahoo's Current CEO (Mayer, Formerly of Google) is Trying to End Yahoo! Status as Microsoft Proxy

    There are signs of relinquishing Microsoft's control over Yahoo! after Marissa Mayer worked to end the company's suicidal/abusive relationship with Steve Ballmer's Microsoft



  22. Repeating Microsoft's Lies Without Any Journalistic Assessment

    Poor fact-checking by relatively large media/news sites results in Microsoft's patently false claims being repeated uncritically



  23. Links 19/4/2015: New KaOS (2015.04), Manjaro Linux 0.8.13 Pre1

    Links for the day



  24. Links 18/4/2015: ExTiX 15.2, RaspArch

    Links for the day



  25. Microsoft Tired of Pretending to be Nice to Free/Open Source Software (FOSS), Microsoft 'Open' Technologies Dumped

    Microsoft dumps its proxy (misleadingly named 'Open Tech') and other attacks on Free software persist from the inside, often through so-called 'experts' whose agenda is to sell proprietary software



  26. More Translations of French Article About the EPO

    German and Dutch translations of the Le Monde article are now available



  27. Links 17/4/2015: Wipro and the Netherlands Want FOSS

    Links for the day



  28. Microsoft's Multi-Dimensional Assault on Android/Linux: Extortion, Lobbying of Regulators, and Bribes

    Microsoft's vicious war on Linux (and Android in its current incarnation) takes more sophisticated -- albeit illegal (as per the RICO Act) -- forms



  29. Microsoft's Plot to Associate Windows with 'Open Source' is Proving Effective, Despite Being Just a Big Lie

    A look at the latest headlines which can lead to a false perception that Microsoft is now in bed with 'Open Source'



  30. Microsoft Windows Remotely Crashed, Remotely Hijacked, But Still No Logo and No Branding for the Bugs

    Windows maintains its reputation as a back doors haven, but the media is still not highlighting the severity of this issue, instead focusing on accidental bugs in Free software, even very old (and already fixed) bugs


CoPilotCo

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 Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts