06.03.09

Gemini version available ♊︎

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 in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

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.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 06/02/2023: Sparky 6.6 and IPFire 2.27 – Core Update 173

    Links for the day



  2. Taking Back Control or Seizing Autonomy Over the News Cycle (Informing People, Culling the Marketing)





  3. Reality Versus Fiction: EPO Insiders Versus EPO Web Site and UPC 'Churnalists'

    The "official" sources of the European Patent Office (EPO), as well as the sedated "media" that the EPO is bribing for further bias, cannot tell the truth about this very large institution; for proper examination of Europe's largest patent office one must pursue the interpretation by longtime veterans and insiders, who are increasingly upset and abused (they're being pressured to grant patents in violation of the charter of the EPO)



  4. Links 06/02/2023: Linux 6.2 RC7 and Fatal Earthquake

    Links for the day



  5. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 05, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, February 05, 2023



  6. Links 05/02/2023: Wayland in Bookworm and xvidtune 1.0.4

    Links for the day



  7. Links 05/02/2023: Pakistan Blocks Wikipedia, Musharraf Dies

    Links for the day



  8. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 04, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 04, 2023



  9. Links 04/02/2023: FOSDEM Happening and Ken Thompson in SoCal Linux Expo

    Links for the day



  10. 2023 is the Year Taxpayers' Money Goes to War and Energy Subsidies, Not Tech

    Now that a lot of powerful and omnipresent ‘tech’ (spying and policing) companies are rotting away we have golden opportunities to bring about positive change and maybe even recruit technical people for good causes



  11. Getting Back to Productive Computer Systems Would Benefit Public Health and Not Just Boost Productivity

    “Smartphoneshame” (shaming an unhealthy culture of obsession with “apps”) would potentially bring about a better, more sociable society with fewer mental health crises and higher productivity levels



  12. Links 04/02/2023: This Week in KDE and Many More Tech Layoffs

    Links for the day



  13. Dotcom Boom and Bust, Round 2

    The age of technology giants/monopolies devouring everything or military-funded (i.e. taxpayers-subsidised) surveillance/censorship tentacles, in effect privatised eyes of the state, may be ending; the United States can barely sustain that anymore and raising the debt ceiling won't solve that (buying time isn't the solution)



  14. Society Would Benefit From a Smartphoneshame Movement

    In a society plagued by blackmail, surveillance and frivolous lawsuits it is important to reconsider the notion of “smart” phone ownership; these devices give potentially authoritarian companies and governments far too much power over people (in the EU they want to introduce new legislation that would, in effect, ban Free software if it enables true privacy)



  15. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 03, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, February 03, 2023



  16. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 02, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 02, 2023



  17. Links 03/02/2023: Proton 7.0-6 Released, ScummVM 2.7 Testing

    Links for the day



  18. Links 03/02/2023: OpenSSH 9.2 and OBS Studio 29.0.1

    Links for the day



  19. Links 03/02/2023: GNU C Library 2.37

    Links for the day



  20. Sirius Finished

    Yesterday I was sent a letter approving my resignation from Sirius ‘Open Source’, two months after I had already announced that I was resigning with immediate effect; they sent an identical letter to my wife (this time, unlike before, they remembered to also change the names!!)



  21. The Collapse of Sirius in a Nutshell: How to Identify the Symptoms and Decide When to Leave

    Sirius is finished, but it's important to share the lessons learned with other people; there might be other "pretenders" out there and they need to be abandoned



  22. Links 03/02/2023: WINE 8.1 and RapidDisk 9.0.0

    Links for the day



  23. Links 02/02/2023: KDE Gear 22.12.2 and LibreOffice 7.5

    Links for the day



  24. Linux News or Marketing Platform?

    Ads everywhere: Phoronix puts them at the top, bottom, navigation bar, left, and right just to read some Microsoft junk (puff pieces about something that nobody other than Microsoft even uses); in addition there are pop-ups asking for consent to send visitors’ data to hundreds of data brokers



  25. Daily Links at Techrights Turn 15, Time to Give Them an Upgrade

    This year we have several 15-year anniversaries; one of them is Daily Links (it turned 15 earlier this week) and we've been working to improve these batches of links, making them a lot more extensive and somewhat better structured/clustered



  26. Back to Focusing on Unified Patent Court (UPC) Crimes and Illegal Patent Agenda, Including the EPO's

    The EPO's (European Patent Office, Europe's second-largest institution) violations of constitutions, laws and so on merit more coverage, seeing that what's left of the "media" not only fails to cover scandalous things but is actively cheering for criminals (in exchange for money)



  27. European Patent Office Staff Votes in Favour of Freedom of Association (97% of Voters in Support)

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) at the EPO makes a strong case for António Campinos to stop breaking and law and actually start obeying court orders (he’s no better than Benoît Battistelli and he uses worse language already)



  28. Links 02/02/2023: Glibc 2.37 and Go 1.20

    Links for the day



  29. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 01, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 01, 2023



  30. Links 01/02/2023: Security Problems, Unrest, and More

    Links for the day


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

Recent Posts