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07.19.09

Interim Commenting Policy

Posted in Site News at 4:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

WE have begun drafting a commenting policy, as promised last night due to increased site abuse. Here is a first draft.

Everyone is welcome to post comments. However, we are sometimes encountering anti-GNU/Linux propagandists. They are those who regularly post argumentative, insulting, distracting, untrue, and generally unpleasant articles to the site containing propaganda designed slow and even prevent to acceptance of GNU/Linux by the general computing public or even acceptance of the site (ad hominem attacks). For more information, see Common Troll Tactics.

In addition, cursing, libeling, and intimidation are seen as unacceptable in the comments as these disrupt discussion. People whose professional affiliation relates to the subject of the posts (e.g. Novell or Microsoft employees commenting on a post regarding their employer) are strongly encouraged to post disclosures. This is intended to prevent corporate influence overwhelming impartial voices without it being known to visitors.

That last part also refers to SLAPP, which Wikipedia defines as:

A Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (“SLAPP”) is a lawsuit that is intended to intimidate and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition. Winning the lawsuit is not necessarily the intent of the person filing the SLAPP. The plaintiff’s goals are accomplished if the defendant succumbs to fear, intimidation, mounting legal costs or simple exhaustion and abandons the criticism. A SLAPP may also intimidate others from participating in the debate.

Comments insinuating SLAPP will not be tolerated here. The same goes for IRC. Most importantly, please do not feed the trolls.

New F-Spot/Banshee Ties Pose a Microsoft Patent Threat

Posted in Debian, FSF, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Ubuntu at 11:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Solang
Solang photo manager does not require Mono

Summary: How F-spot would force Ubuntu, for example, to adopt more Mono applications with non-ECMA .NET components

LAST NIGHT we arrived at an interesting realisation. If F-spot will depend on Banshee, which according to the plan we have heard that it will [PDF], then Ubuntu, which already uses F-Spot, may have to swallow this other pill too — one which contain non-ECMA components (Banshee that is). So, the latest statement from the FSF aside and also API concessions aside (Mono gives Microsoft power and leverage over GNU/Linux APIs), there is an inherent legal problem here, which is difficult to stop. Another prospective concern is the increasing proximity between Moonlight and Banshee [1, 2, 3, 4], which might bring Microsoft codecs even further into GNU/Linux.

Check out this new mashup from Linux Today, as selected by its editor Carla.

[phred14] [Who is asking for Mono?]
Simple answer – nobody. Mono is being pushed into Linux, not pulled. So far the one application that’s dragging it into “default” isn’t even very important, and Mono/C# isn’t even critical. A Mono-free C#-free clone of that application was built in practically no time.

Simply put, Mono gives Microsoft control over a Linux desktop API, even without patent threats. The ECMA standard is irrelevant, if only because it’s incomplete, and *always* needs extensions. In order to field a functional, complete Mono, you need to start cloning Microsoft stuff. You may as well base the Linux UI on WINE.”

[GreyGeek] [Re: Re: Re: Mono a solution looking for a problem?]

[...]

The lack of MONO apps IS glaring, isn’t it!

What’s even MORE glaring is that De Icaza has been working on MONO since December of 2000, when he changed the name of his company, Helix Code, to Ximian in order to focus on developing MONO. Yet, NINE years later there is only a handful of MONO apps. IF MONO is the such a marvelous RAD tool, why has it taken so long to produce so few applications?

Also, if .NET is such a marvelous CROSS PLATFORM tool where code written on one platform can be recompiled with few or no changes on another platform, WHY isn’t Linux being FLOODED with .NET applications?

The answer is simple. MONO is a patent trap and most Penguins realize it. So, just like it did with the ISO committees, Microsoft is flooding the Linux development groups with .NET moles and the Linux forums with astroturfers and TEs.

GNU/Linux distributions like BLAG reject Mono for obvious reasons (not just the adherence to the FSF’s principles). On the other hand, Ubuntu’s suppression of discussion about Mono [1, 2, 3] is characteristic of a betrayal of democratic principles, or at least ones of an open community thriving in liberties. Humanity for others, unless they dislike Mono. It is indicative of a ruling minority taking decision-making powers from an opposing majority (most people reject Mono), which leads to unrest.

Speaking for myself, I am truly torn here. I have used Ubuntu since its very first release (4.10) and I still have Ubuntu installed on 3 separate boxes. To manually delete Mono is still to send out the message that a Mono-defending distribution is acceptable because subsequent removal of Mono is never accounted for; the message does not get across and users are assumed to have accepted Mono when choosing this one distribution among many hundreds. I remain optimistic that Ubuntu/Canonical will keep this debate alive and maybe resolve its differences. The facts about Mono are not hard to come by.

The Ukraine’s GNU/Linux Ambitions and Microsoft’s MOU Response

Posted in Asia, Deception, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 9:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ukraine flag

Summary: A look at how Microsoft responds to the Ukraine’s desire for autonomy with Free software

MANY months ago we wrote about Microsoft signing a contract of exclusivity (MOU) with the Ukrainian government. Such contracts are specifically designed to block competitors such as GNU/Linux, shutting them out of the government sector altogether. We saw it happening once again in May when Steve Ballmer visited the Ukraine. The timing is interesting because of information we have just received about GNU/Linux in the Ukraine (and Microsoft’s response to it). That too is based on a report from May 2009. This report is one among 2 articles, for which we received interpretation from an informant who is familiar with the situation.

“Both articles are published by well-known and trusted sources,” says our informant. “I wish there were more information about this. The Russian press is less transparent than the Ukrainian, and corruption level is very high in both countries.”

Here is the informant’s explanation of the situation in the Ukrainian government:


I have just discovered some FUD that Microsoft spreads in the Ukraine. Basically, the Ukrainian government wants to switch to open source. Here is an announcement (Google’s automated translation to English). To quote from the translation: “May 12, 2009 – in the State Committee of Informatization of Ukraine held a public discussion of the concept of state program implementation in the public administration software with open source, where officials reported on the decision to switch to open source until 2012 and the establishment of the Ukrainian distribution based OS Linux.

“The General Director of Microsoft Ukraine follows this up with an interview, where he lies about Open Source licensing schemes.”The General Director of Microsoft Ukraine follows this up with an interview, where he lies about Open Source licensing schemes. He said that if someone contributed code, that someone would eventually want compensation for this. Here is his interview (Google’s automated translation to English). He also claims that there is no single country where open source adoption in the government was successful. The first claim is in the first paragraph. The second — in the fifth. He also tells nice things about how “we need to teach kids the most popular OS/office packages, not something that a local government wanted to stick to.” (this was in the 8th paragraph)

They cite IBM, Microsoft and Adobe as world leaders in software development and the guy from Microsoft, for the record, is called Dmitry Shimkiv.

The Ukrainian government is easy to bribe, so I doubt Microsoft is afraid of bad publicity in the Ukraine. Moreover, until ’00 years, 100% of Ukrainians used counterfeited Microsoft software at home and at work, which made them “addicted” to it. This is why Microsoft is hardly afraid of losing this market. There is information about counterfeiting levels in the Ukraine and this is widely available from the BSA, which lists the Ukraine in the top 20 for 2008 (I believe it was in the top 5 in 2000). There is a grassroots movement to support Linux, though. It even made it into a government programme.


There are a couple points to be added to the above. First, government migrations to Free software and GNU/Linux are very often derailed by Microsoft's EDGI. Microsoft uses this anti-competitive programme to pretend that GNU/Linux fails in governments or that it gets rejected. The Gartner Group analysts, whom Microsoft is paying large sums of money [1, 2, 3], participate with Microsoft in this attack on GNU/Linux in governments. There are success stories nonetheless, e.g. in France, the Netherlands, and Germany.

Secondly, on the face of it, in the report above Microsoft also pretends to be “open source” (making Microsoft indistinguishable from rivals). This is an old, dishonest strategy.

The story from the Russian government may be similar, and it is one that we last covered some days ago following initial observations and consultation with people who are close to the scene. Russia has ongoing antitrust scrutiny against Microsoft, so all these tidbits need to be properly documented. This latest story won’t do Microsoft any good with government affairs. It does not look like professional conduct; it is predatory and inherently anti-competitive.

“Government attorneys accuse Microsoft of using its monopoly position to bully, bribe and attempt to collude with others in the industry, while illegally expanding and protecting its Windows franchise.”

The antitrust case: a timeline

Links 19/07/2009: New Ubuntu CE, Red Hat at S&P 500

Posted in News Roundup at 8:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux Sucks

    Please stay away from GNU/Linux because it is a computer revolution. It is slowly changing the computer industry in major ways. Even Google is creating their own operating system that will be based on the Linux kernel. What are they thinking? Linux for the masses? Oh no! How are we going to get used to not paying hundreds of dollars for an OS. We would have to change our way of thinking and I don’t think majority people are ready for that. We cannot allow this to happen. I have been using GNU/Linux for years and I still can’t get used to such a great operating system. I am happy with it and the great software that I am using. Please take my warning seriously! GNU/Linux is awful and I hope you stay away from it. It is better to pay high prices for an OS that you do not like and the company will dictate to you what you can or cannot do with it, what software you can install and treat you like a criminal. If you do not take my warning seriously and will install GNU/Linux I hope that you are ready for what is to follow. Don’t say I haven’t warned you. Think hard about switching to GNU/Linux.

  • Chrome OS to Bring More Linux IT Jobs?

    The news has been abuzz about Google’s upcoming OS. Many people have been arguing reasons for and against the system, its viability in such a market, and, if the OS is successful, even the morality of the company who may be trusted with even more private information than it already has. Well, here’s another reason for Chrome OS: it could bring more jobs in the area of Linux IT.

  • Kernel Space

    • Does Printing Work Well In Linux?

      So does printing work well in Linux? My response would be an enthusiastic “YES”.

    • Mesa 7.5 Finally Released w/ New Features

      After being in development for a number of months and being challenged by a few delays, Mesa 7.5 was officially released last night. What’s most significant about this milestone is that it’s the first release to include the Gallium3D architecture. The Gallium3D drivers are still incomplete and there are many state trackers to be added, but this code for the next-generation Linux graphics card drivers is now living in mainline Mesa.

  • Applications

    • Open Source Word Processors Give You Lots of Free Choices, Part 1

      With interest heating up around Linux on netbooks, notebooks and desktop PCs, more and more people are hunting for good word processing software that runs on Linux. Luckily, while a lot of word processing options for Linux have fallen by the wayside, new ones keep springing up, too. Meanwhile, some of the older standbys are picking up features that rival those of Microsoft Word.

    • 7 Excellent Open Courseware Collections for Digital Photographers

      Digital photographers are always looking to improve their skills behind the lens. Anyone can point and click, but what does it take to take a picture with real depth, meaning, and intrigue? What does it take to move from taking a vacation photo to capturing a moment in time? The following open courseware collections aim to help students move from just playing around with a digital camera to creating works of art.

    • The Wine development release 1.1.26 is now available.

      What’s new in this release (see below for details):
      – Still more translation updates.
      – Faster bitmap stretching using XRender.
      – Proxy support in WinHTTP.
      – Many more JScript functions.
      – Various bug fixes.

    • Quod Libet – A Different GTK Music Player

      Quod Libet is a GTK music player written in Python with support for various audio formats, including Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, MP3, WAV, MP4 and WMA. Quod Libet has a different interface and a slightly different approach compared to players like Rhythmbox or Banshee, for example.

    • Review: Rhythmbox 0.12.0 in Ubuntu 9.04

      Rhythmbox is the default audio player coming with the GNOME desktop environment, featuring a clean, typical interface which is so common for GTK audio players. I could say that Rhythmbox has little missing features and it is rather complete.

    • Gargoyle: Web Interface for Router Configuration

      Gargoyle is a router interface for devices of the Linksys WRT54G series and other small routers such as the La Fonera. The software is based on the recently released OpenWrt firmware Kamikaze and targets not only power users but speaks especially to the average user as well. It provides functions not usually found in router firmware, such as smart DynDNS support, QoS and used bandwidth monitoring.

  • Desktop Environments

    • An open alternative for Palm Pre iTunes users

      He continued, “We promise not to change our application to prevent users to use Amarok with your device. Not only do we care about our users, we are not a competitor to you or have any ulterior motives. Amarok is already fully supported on all flavors of Linux and we have beta releases on Windows and Mac OSX which just need a bit of polishing and stabilization.”

      Much as I like iTunes, you have to admit, especially if you’re Palm or any other phone or hand-held device maker, that the Amarok offer should be taken seriously. After all, you’re in the business of selling full-featured devices, not playing software catch-up. Wouldn’t you rather have an open platform that would just work for your customers without worries? I know I would.

  • Distributions

    • Wolvix-2.0.0beta2

      This distro was brought to my attention in the BN IRC room, and whilst my distro hopping machine had difficulties with it (its a little anti social at the moment) I gave it a run on one of the many machines dotted around my house and found myself very surprised (pleasantly) by the results. Its a Slackware based distro, and in these days of MONO uncertainty and the ever growing popularity of about 4 or 5 of the “big name” distro’s, its nice to break out of the mold and take a look at a lesser known option (sans MONO I hasten to add).

    • Vector Linux 6.0 Gold – Review and Screenshots

      Vector Linux is a popular Linux Distro whose motto is “speed, performance, stability”.

      Version 6.0 was released in February 2009. Their stated goal is to “Keep it simple, keep it small and let the end user decide.” Having said that, this end user decided to see what was cooking at Vector.

    • Red Hat

      • CIT Group falls off S&P 500 index
      • Red Hat replaces CIT in S&P 500 index

        The switch will occur July 24 after the market closes. S&P says CIT’s value had fallen too low Friday for the bank to remain a member of the S&P 500.

      • Red Hat joins the S&P 500

        Standard and Poor’s announced that Red Hat would join the S&P 500 as of the close of trading on Friday. Red Hat replaces lender CIT Group, which had a market capitalization below $275 million, ranking it 500th in the index.

        The market seemed to like the S&P news. In after hours trading Friday, Red Hat was up 8.45 percent to $22.34.

    • Ubuntu

      • Ubuntu Christian Edition 5.0 Is Based on Ubuntu 9.04

        The Ubuntu CE development team proudly announced yesterday, July 17th, the immediate availability of the Ubuntu Christian Edition 5.0. Being based on the powerful Jaunty Jackalope (Ubuntu 9.04), the new, highly anticipated release of Ubuntu Christian Edition includes a brand new DansGuardian GUI, E-sword installer and, of course, the usual updates and fixes.

      • Ubuntu 8.04.3 LTS Released

        For those of you still running Ubuntu 8.04 due to its Long-Term Support status rather than upgrading to Ubuntu 8.10 or Ubuntu 9.04, fire up your update manager as Ubuntu 8.04.3 LTS is now available. Ubuntu 8.04.3 LTS is the third maintenance update targeting the Hardy Heron and it includes security updates and fixes for high impact bugs.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • MontaVista Launches Android Commercialization Services Offering

      MontaVista® Software, Inc., the leader in embedded Linux® commercialization, today launched a professional services offering for design engineers developing commercial products with Google Android™. MontaVista’s Android Commercialization Services offering is designed to help Android developers deliver innovative commercial products to market quickly and efficiently. This new global services offering is being launched this week with a series of seminars in Tokyo, Taipei, and Seoul.

    • Phones

      • Palm’s Mojo Risin’

        Palm issued a public release of the Mojo software development kit for its new webOS operating system, in what could possibly be a response to leaks of the SDK in June. The SDK, given a limited release in April, had been slated for public release by the end of summer. Palm’s take is that the public release follows the success of its early access program. “After a successful early access program, Palm’s Mojo Software Development Kit is available to all interested app developers,” begins the announcement on Palm’s blog by Online Communications Director Jon Zilber.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Group test: Linux netbooks

        Netbooks may be on the cheaper side of computing, but as we’re all watching our pennies now, making the right choice is essential. We’ve brought together all the netbooks we could get hold of – most of which are bundled with Linux – for a comprehensive test.

      • HyperSpace and Mobiln Enter Partnership to Conquer Netbooks, Nettops, MIDs, and Google Chrome OS?

        Google’s recently announced Linux-based, cloud operating system, Chrome OS, has been the talk of the tech world over the last few days, and rightfully so. Any talk of a fresh OS designed for netbooks (at least, initially) is sure to grab headlines, but when you sex it up by tossing the Big G into the mix, well, it’s world-class news.

      • Microsoft to exclude ARM netbooks for Windows 7

        Microsoft’s new Windows 7 operating system will not run on netbooks powered by ARM chips, Microsoft said on Wednesday…

      • Checking out the Jolicloud Netbook OS

        That may, actually, be exactly what is needed to bring the concepts of Ubuntu Netbook Remix to the masses. It’s too early to tell, but Jolicloud looks like it has a chance of being one of the first Linux-based netbook distros to take off, if they can get deals with hardware manufacturers.

Free Software/Open Source

  • OSGeo Journal – Volume 5 – OSGeo 2008 Annual Report

    All articles are copyrighted by the respective authors and licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution- No Derivative Works 3.0 License. Contact the author directly for questions about modifying or revising an article.

  • How NPR is Embracing Open Source and Open APIs

    News providers, like most content providers, are interested in having their content seen by as many people as possible. But unlike many news organizations, whose primary concern may be monetizing their content, National Public Radio is interested in turning it into a resource for people to use in new and novel ways as well. Daniel Jacobson is in charge making that content available to developers and end users in a wide variety of formats, and has been doing so using an Open API that NPR developed specifically for that purpose. Daniel will talk about how the project is going at OSCON, the O’Reilly Open Source Convention. Here’s a preview of what he’ll be talking about.

  • Evolutionary Computing — my open-source journey (and maybe yours, too)

    As an experiment, I decided to bring my Evolutionary Computing presentation on making the journey into free, open-source software — a slide show originally created in OpenOffice Impress 2.4 — into Google Docs, which happens to have a presentation app in addition to the better-known Docs and Spreadsheets components.

  • Free ‘Really Cool’ Stickers About Linux/FOSS

    Do you want to remove that Windows or Apple logo from your Linux-powered netbook or laptop? If you do then you may as well replace it with some cool graphics that would stand out. To spare you from the hassles of creating you own or searching the web, I recommend that you download the Free Software Sticker Book first. There you will find tons of ready-made stickers (in ODG format) that is related to Linux and Free and Open Source software. But before I’ll give you the download link, here are some teasers…

  • NICTA opens its software to the world

    Research organisation National ICT Australia (NICTA) has stepped up its support for open source software by launching the OpenNICTA portal (http://www.opennicta.com) where people can view and download software developed and licensed by the organisation.

  • Five Open Source Apps For Writers and Authors

    Even if you have the perfect idea for the next Great American Novel, getting it down on paper is never easy. While you could always use standard word processors like OpenOffice Write or AbiWord, they don’t have the bells and whistles that make writing books, manuals, and theses as easy as possible. Fortunately, there are a few open source applications that help budding authors get stories out of their heads and into the hands of readers.

  • Firefox

  • Business

    • Q&A: Open Database

      Dr. Dobb’s: What’s MariaDB?

      Widenius: It’s a community developed branch of MySQL with bug fixes and new features developed by the MariaDB community, of which Monty Program Ab is an active member. We will keep MariaDB in sync with MySQL development to ensure all bug fixes and features in MySQL also exists in MariaDB. At this time MariaDB 5.1 should be notable faster, have more features and have fewer bugs than the corresponding MySQL 5.1 release.

  • Openness

    • (Open) Learning from Open Source

      As regular readers of this blog will know, I am intrigued by the way that ideas from free software are moving across to different disciplines. Of course, applying them is no simple matter: there may not be an obvious one-to-one mapping of the act of coding to activities in the new domain, or there may be significant cultural differences that place obstacles in the way of sharing.

    • Douglas Rushkoff’s Open Source Economy: A ReadWriteWeb Interview

      As a media theorist who’s written about some of the most influential ideas of the digital age, Rushkoff is second to none. In Life Inc., he describes not just corporations, but how we all can change to an “open source economy” that favors decentralized value creation over banking and central currency. We spoke with him to ask more about what this new economy would look like and how the Web is involved.

    • Results of EC questionnaire on OA

      CREST has released the results of its questionnaire on OA. The questionnaire responses were due April 1, 2009, and the EC accepted the summary of responses on June 9, 2009. (Thanks to Heinz Pampel.)

Leftovers

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • The NSA wiretapping story nobody wanted

      Mark Klein: Fear. First of all it was a scary time. It still is a scary time, but during the Bush years it was sort of a witch hunt atmosphere and people were afraid. People are afraid of losing their jobs, and it’s a rule of thumb that if you become a whistleblower you’ll probably lose your job. And if you have a security clearance, you not only lose your job, but you probably will be prosecuted by the government. The Bush administration made that very clear in statements they made over and over again: ‘Anybody who reveals anything about our secret programs will be prosecuted and we are running investigations to find out who leaked this to the New York Times.’ Well that puts a fear in people.

    • Some E-Books Are More Equal Than Others

      But no, apparently the publisher changed its mind about offering an electronic edition, and apparently Amazon, whose business lives and dies by publisher happiness, caved. It electronically deleted all books by this author from people’s Kindles and credited their accounts for the price.

    • Amazon vanishes 1984 from citizen Kindles

      In an irony-filled moment that underlines the flaws of our increasingly digital society, Amazon has removed George Orwell’s 1984 from America’s Kindle ebook readers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Associated Press: “It’s Okay If WE Do It.”

      This could have been an enthusiastic Wikipedia editor, so I checked the history page of the article, which tracks every change. It turns out that Wikipedia had it first. Here is a link to the 10 July 2009 version of the article.

      Let me repeat, to be clear: Wikipedia Had It First. Which means an AP writer or editor cribbed directly from Wikipedia, changed some words, and put it in the article.

      In and of itself, that is not the problem. Wikipedia is, in fact, fine with this.

    • Gadzooks – it’s ZookZ from Antigua

      I’ve been following the rather entertaining case of Antigua vs. US for a few years now. Basically, the US government has taken a “do as I say, not as I do” attitude to the WTO – refusing to follow the latter’s rules while seeking to enforce them against others. The net result is that plucky little Antigua seems to have won some kind of permission to ignore US copyright – up to a certain point – although nobody really knows what this means in practice.

    • ‘Drop Internet Issues From ACTA, Add Public Interest’

      Nine organisations representing the technology industry, libraries, digital rights and privacy interests have sent a letter to United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk urging that issues related to the internet be dropped from negotiations for an Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). They also demanded that in the secretive ACTA negotiation, negotiating documents be made available to those representing the public interest, and that advisory committees be created to include civil society and internet-related industry interests.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Alexandro Colorado, international open source evangelist 22 (2004)

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: July 18th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 8:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.

Another Microsoft Product Dies as the Company Prepares for Horrible Financial Results

Posted in Finance, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 5:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNU and Linux

Summary: GNU/Linux is still destroying Microsoft by eliminating its profit margins

MICROSOFT has been killing many products recently. In the past 9 months alone, Microsoft put to end to almost 20 (maybe more, but it is difficult to keep count). We estimated that Microsoft kills, on average, about 2 products per month. So indeed, it’s time for another death knell. This one used to be a rumour. It is about Popfly, which is GNU/Linux hostile [1, 2] (also mentioned very briefly in [1, 2]).

Fortunately, given the anti-competitive nature of Popfly, this product is now officially dead.

Microsoft is shutting down its Popfly mashup tool, company officials are confirming.

Microsoft may have no choice but to shut down many more services and products. Based on this new report from the Wall Street Journal, we might see a recurrence of last quarter's results with Microsoft profits falling another 30% or more (in reality it may be a lot worse), to a great degree due to GNU/Linux which eroded Microsoft’s margins (dumping and kickbacks take their toll).

Microsoft Seen Posting Sharp Profit Decline For Fiscal 4Q

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is expected to post declines in profit and sales for its fiscal fourth-quarter next Thursday, as the software giant contends with flagging sales of personal computers bundled with its technology.

Microsoft will surely try to blame the economy, but Google and IBM have both just reported a rise in profit (both companies use GNU/Linux); Red Hat did too not so long ago and it is part of a trend.

Our reader Goblin wrote about the meaning of Microsoft’s expected sharp decline in profit.

It is being reported that Microsoft’s figures for Q4 that are due to be posted next Thursday are expected to be down, again.

One key reason for this is GNU/Linux, as it was confirmed by the press before (Microsoft has underperformed for a long time, but it bought back shares). Ars Technica wrote : “Client software felt the slump in PC sales, and was further harmed by the shift to netbooks; many of these run Linux, which helps Microsoft not at all.” CRN wrote: “Microsoft, like much of the IT industry, was caught off-guard by the rapid rise of the netbook category, but moved quickly to offer a netbook-specific version of XP Home to stem the tide of Linux on netbooks. When one considers that getting some revenue is better than getting none, that was a wise move.”

Another reader of ours reminds people that ARM-based sub-notebooks are going to cause another major headache to Microsoft because Vista 7 won’t run on them. Our reader writes:

We’ll see if AlwaysInnovating.com can ship this month as claimed.

I’ve wanted a solid-state ARM-based netbook since around 2001. ARM-based tablets have been around since Zaurus and in 2007 started to kick ass with OpenMoko and the Nokia N810. The software has started to catch up. Now netbook-oriented distros are being ported to ARM and industry has planned six to ten ARM-based netbooks for 2009.

It looks like the first one is about ready.

If it gets 10 hours of battery, even die hard Bill fans will find a way to upgrade to Linux even if only on the netbook.

As noted last week, ARM-based sub-notebooks are expected to grab 55 percent of this market. This can’t be good for Microsoft.

“Microsoft, the world’s most valuable company, declared a profit of $4.5 billion in 1998; when the cost of options awarded that year, plus the change in the value of outstanding options, is deducted, the firm made a loss of $18 billion, according to Smithers.”

The Economist, 1999

Microsoft Product Manager: “Screw Sun, cross-platform will never work. Let’s move on and steal the Java language.”

Posted in Java, Microsoft, SUN at 4:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft speaks about “killing Sun’s Java.”

WE ARE STARTING to cover Java territories from the Comes vs Microsoft case, which Microsoft paid to settle, apparently with the condition that all this evidence will disappear. Today we offer the text version of Exhibit px_2768 (1997) [PDF], which shows Microsoft’s treatment of cross-platform, Java, and competition in general. The full exhibit can be seen at the bottom (or the original PDF), but to give some pointers and highlights, see the following message from Prashant Sridharan, Microsoft’s Visual J++ Product Manager:

If we, as a company, are interested in promoting Windows, why bother with AFC? In my own opinion (apart from Ironwood, J/Direct, or any of the other politically-charged topics now), we are horribly inconsistent in this regard.

Screw Sun, cross-platform will never work. Let’s move on and steal the Java language.

That said, have we ever taken a look at how long it would take Microsoft to build a cross-platform Java that did work? Naturally, we would never do it, but it would give us some idea of how much time we have to work with in killing Sun’s Java.

For readers’ convenience, the context too is displayed in the full exhibit. This fits our analysis that Microsoft et al (and now Novell [1, 2, 3]) are essentially fighting against Java with their .NET infatuation (or Visual J++ prior to that). This is done unethically in Microsoft’s case. It it also important to remind people how Microsoft really feels about Java now that Microsoft is invading Java conferences, pretending nothing negative was ever intended by Microsoft.


Appendix: Comes vs. Microsoft – exhibit px_2768, as text


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