06.10.09

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Microsoft’s FUD Against GNU/Linux on Sub-notebooks Enters Next Level

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Hardware, Microsoft at 11:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microgue

Summary: Microsoft is trying to artificially differentiate and discriminate against one class of GNU/Linux-only computers, describing it as inferior by design despite its clear advantages

OVER THE past week we have shown that Microsoft makes courageous attempts to not only harm the software world; it has moved on to deciding what hardware people are able or unable to purchase [1, 2]. In addition, there may be attempts to mock ARM-based machines, using different names to characterise them as inferior. How’s this for a headline: “Microsoft Sets Stage for Netbook v Smartbook World.”

The difference in microchip architecture does not really change the nature of devices (weight and ventilation aside perhaps). The software is virtually identical, although in one case it is able to run for much longer without additional charge. Perhaps Microsoft knows that it’s cheaper to run another Slog [PDF] than it is to port and maintain Windows for ARM.

Glyn Moody opines that Microsoft is losing this war over sub-notebooks if financial terms are accounted for (Microsoft's earnings are down 32%). Microsoft was not able to charge for Windows. Apparently, people see no substantial value in using Windows over GNU/Linux, but as Microsoft says, “under NO circumstances lose against Linux.”

These are all incontrovertible signs that Microsoft simply hates the netbook sector, and wants it to go away. It is doing everything it can to dissuade users from buying them, manufacturers from making them, and everyone from naming them. The reason why it wants the netbook to vanish is simple: thanks to GNU/Linux, it makes no money in this market. Worse, netbooks are, indeed, cannibalising its profits in the notebook sector – which is why it is trying to redefine them as notebooks so that it can “re-align” consumers’ expectations – that is, charge more.

So, yes, Microsoft is “winning” the netbook wars in one sense, but it is a purely Pyrrhic victory.

The fruits of that “victory” can be seen in its recent financial results, which showed the first-ever drop in revenue, part of which was attributable to weakening sales of its Windows division.

A few days ago we warned that Microsoft would invoke its pseudo-journalists to smear its competition in this area. It didn’t take long. A very familiar pseudo-journalist who met Steve Ballmer not so long ago is already attacking the notion of Google’s Android (Linux) running on sub-notebooks. He even contradicts what Microsoft once said. Here is his summary:

Android-based netbooks provide much-needed competition for Windows, but the obstacles to success are massive.

It is truly amazing that IDG employs these people to publish under the heading “CIO.com”. Is Microsoft instructing CIOs what to think? This comes from IDG by the way; they do a lot of business with Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

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3 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    June 11, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Gravatar

    M$ has been trying to kill off portable computing for nearly a decade but far too many people know the capability of portable devices. $100 computing platforms will Kill M$ Dead, so M$ has done what they can to delay the market. Technical, social and legal barriers have been put in place. Apple’s iPod and iTouch have swept in and demonstrated a small portion of what ultramobile computers can do. Though iTouch is limited, it’s more than a match for Windows and it can eat the desktop market whole.

    Victim #1, Palm. I remember M$ breaking sync with Outlook back in 2001. They did it with “security” patches, and this basically terminated the corporate market for hand held computing. There were lawsuits over graffiti, and many other problems for every part of the supply chain. Social obstacles have been erected in the corporate market in the name of “data security” so that only centrally controlled devices like Blackberry are tollerated.

    Innovators like Sharp were also punished in the US market. Zaurus was an introduction to what GNU/Linux could do with ARM back in 2001. M$ flooded the market with inferior Windows mobile devices, noise and FUD. The experience was so bad that Sharp never returned, despite the death of M$ partners like CompUSA.

    BN has is covering the attack against netbooks and we can all see the end of M$. They may have killed the EEE PC, but they they can’t touch the iPhone and iTouch. More importantly, the world has changed in a way that completely removes M$’s power. People no longer buy a computer so that they can write things they print, paper publishing is all but dead. People buy a computer so they can communicate, research and publish online. All the tools people need are redilly available and M$’s old strongholds are powerless to interfere. M$’s war against Wikipedia, Google, Yahoo and the entire non M$ social network world is hopeless. They might as well move their headquarters below the Puget Sound and try to bribe the water. There’s no money in software licenses for devices that cost $100 or less. Devices like that are already more than capable enough and everyone knows it. In five years, people will come to expect persistent communications from devices the size of a credit card and won’t need a desktop for more than a larger monitor, storage, power and a few other io devices.

    aeshna23 Reply:

    Both Roy’s post and Twitter’s comment are excellent and well worth reading. So excellent that I just needed to post about their excellence!

    Yggdrasil Reply:

    Naturally, you’ll want to blame Microsoft rather than Palm, but I suspect the real culprits were the morons working at Palm. I purchased a Palm TX back in 2006. While I did not use any Outlook features, just getting the Palm Desktop software to work was a real challenge. After a month or so of normal operation the program would suddenly begin to hang on the splash screen and refuse to start. The only solution was to purge the install directory and re-install the software. I can’t even remember the last time I had to do that to keep a program working, so it really doesn’t look very good for Palm.

    I became further disgusted when the power button on the TX quit working just a few days after the one year warranty expired. I’ve learned to put up with it and just about pitched it in the garbage until Palm finally released a new version of Palm Desktop about the same time I purchased my new Vista machine. Somehow Palm did it right and it has worked flawlessly since I installed it in August of 2007. It installed faster and boots quicker, though some functionality (app installation) isn’t supported, I don’t care. I’m just happy it works as expected.

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