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. Vista 10 Inherently Criminal: Vandalising the Competition (Dual Boot, Rival Web Browsers, Online Services)

    Vista 10, the latest incarnation of Windows, takes its anticompetitive aspects to a whole new level, betraying even so-called 'partners' in the process



  2. As Microsoft AstroTurfing/PR Budget Runs Dry, Vista 10 Truths Come Out

    The media manipulation by Microsoft (to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars spent on 'marketing') grows thin as a growing number of growingly angry early adopters of Vista 10 publicly rant



  3. Links 31/7/2015: Lennart Poettering as 'Linux Hero' and systemd Conference Coming

    Links for the day



  4. Links 30/7/2015: Apache Spark on Z System, Elive 2.6.8 Beta

    Links for the day



  5. Microsoft's Mouthpiece Mary Branscombe Tries to Shoot Down Free Software, But Fails Miserably

    At the CBS-owned ZDNet, which is Free/Open Source software-hostile, new FUD surfaces, but the FUD is so flawed that a full rebuttal is easy and almost imperative



  6. People of New Zealand Must Rise Up to Defend Sovereignty and Stop Software Patents

    The TPPA serves to override (launder) the law of New Zealand, allegedly legalising patents on software in the process



  7. Microsoft Illegally Evades Billions of Dollars in Tax, Says IRS

    The criminal enterprise known as Microsoft finds itself embarrassingly exposed in the courtroom, for the IRS belatedly (decades too late) targets the company in an effort to tackle massive tax evasions



  8. Vista 10 Very Buggy Upon Release, Just as We Have Repeatedly Warned for Weeks

    Vista 10 is prematurely pushed out the door (to meet a deadline) way ahead of it being stable, even remotely polished, and supported by hardware companies (there is a serious drivers issue)



  9. Surveillance Machine With a Keylogger: Vista 10 Will Spy on the User (Over the Internet) Even While Playing Games

    Microsoft is making it clear that even playing a simple game like Solitaire on Vista 10 will make one subjected to spying (for targeted ads); other serious violations of privacy revealed upon release



  10. Links 29/7/2015: Akademy 2015 Ends, NetBSD 7.0 RC

    Links for the day



  11. MPEG-LA is Preparing New Patent Obstruction (Called DASH) Against Free Software, OIN Grows

    A new conspiracy against free multimedia software, set up by the MPEG cartel, is called DASH



  12. New Zealand's Media Gets History Wrong on Software Patents

    Setting the record straight on the fight against software patents in New Zealand



  13. Not Only Vista 10 Crashes a Lot, Any .NET Application Does Too (Updated)

    Microsoft software is quickly becoming synonymous with crashes as any piece of software developed with Microsoft's tools, not just the underlying platform, crashes chronically



  14. The Government of Bulgaria Sells Out to Microsoft, Again

    Despite some promises and reassurances that Bulgaria will consider Free/libre software, the Bulgarian government hands out a lot more of taxpayers' money to the Mafia



  15. Corporate Media Finally Finds Out That Vista 10 Crashes a Lot

    Stability issues of Vista 10 are belatedly reported to be a major catastrophe, leaving it unusable for many early adopters



  16. Links 28/7/2015: Linux 4.2 RC4, New Logos and Bug 'Branding' for FUD

    Links for the day



  17. Patents Roundup: Technicolor, Alice, Voip-Pal, Fitbit, Marijuana Patents, and JDate

    A look at some of last week's patent news, with imperative responses that criticise corporate exploitation of patents for protectionism (excluding and/or driving away the competition using legal threats)



  18. Corporate Lobbyists Including Koch-Connected Front Groups Attack Real and Perceived Patent Reform in the United States

    Looking at some of the latest propaganda for and against a bill which is already too watered-down to actually fix the US patent system



  19. Patents in the Android World Further Complicate Freedom in This Linux-Powered Platform

    A survey of last week's news with special focus on Google and Android, which are trying to coexist and thrive in a world full of patent maximalists



  20. The 'Unitary' Patent Trojan Horse Rammed Down the Throat of Europe

    Under the guise of 'unification' or 'unity', existing patent systems are being abandoned and more power gets passed to corrupt EPO officials



  21. HEVC Cartel is Not News, Only the Names of Backers and the Costs Are New

    A few remarks on and a roundup of recent articles about HEVC, which we first wrote about in spring



  22. IRC Proceedings: July 12th, 2015 – July 25th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  23. Links 26/7/2015: Purism Librem and Freedom, Akademy Updates

    Links for the day



  24. Vista 10 (Windows 10) Has NSA Back Doors and Front Doors

    Vista 10 to bring new ways for spies (and other crackers) to remotely access people's computers and remotely modify the binary files on them (via Windows Update, which for most people cannot be disabled)



  25. Vista 10 Not Ready, But Released Anyway

    Despite severe technical issues in the rushed-out-the-door Vista 10, Microsoft decides to stick with the deadline, only days after reporting billions of dollars in losses



  26. Links 25/7/2015: Plasma Mobile, Linux Mint 17.2 OEM

    Links for the day



  27. Links 24/7/2015: openSUSE Leap 42.1, Intel With Rackspace for OpenStack

    Links for the day



  28. Links 24/7/2015: GNOME 3.17.4, Mozilla Developer Network Turns 10

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft Has Run Out of Attempts and Vista 10 Will Definitely Fail

    As Microsoft admits billions of dollars in losses just days before Vista 10 is pushed as a 'free' upgrade, there is no concrete sign that financial recovery is imminent, for the bigger cash cow (Office) suffers a similar fate



  30. GNU/Linux Circles Ought to Stop Promoting Visual Studio, Which is Neither Cross-Platform Nor Free Software

    Media carries on openwashing Visual Studio and perpetuating the illusion that it is not tied to Microsoft Windows


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