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07.26.09

Links 26/07/2009: GNU/Linux in French Schools, KDE 4.3 Excitement

Posted in News Roundup at 6:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Is GNU/Linux slowly creeping into rural France, or is it just to cut costs?

    This year they will be upgrading, installing WiFi and starting to use the laptops properly, something they didn’t do last year. Having spoken to this particular friend, I was pleasantly surprised and relieved to see that this little DELL Mini 9 was running Ubuntu Linux. Now the council obviously wanted to cut costs when preparing these, so they put Ubuntu Linux on them. I explained to this friend and her brother what Ubuntu was and the benefits but they didn’t want to accept it.

  • UKUUG Summer Conference 2009

    Topics this year include OpenMoko, the collaborative web, parallelism, Drupal, GIMP, LVM, MPs’ expenses, spam fighting, and TeX. Plus there’s still the healthy social scene outside the talk sessions, where attendees can make new friends and renew old acquaintances.

  • 20 “Really Cool” Tux Icons for Sports Enthusiasts

    Before, we’ve posted here several cool and funny tux icons and some scary ones too. This time, we will showcase some of the finest tux icons that sports fans/Linux-users may love.

  • Desktop

    • Linux Sales Does Not Equal Linux Users

      When at press events like the Acer launch I was at today, I find myself asking this a lot – “will you be releasing a Linux version”. And more likely than not, I hear “nobody wants Linux, so no”.

    • Blogging, Linux & Law

      The good news for this blog is that the Linux experiment has worked. I have Windows virtualized on one machine using VirtualBox OSE for the occasional application that simply refuses to work with anything other than Windows.

    • Windows is Dead (almost). Long Live Free & Open Source Software, i.e. Ubuntu

      VirtualBox 3.02 seems to be really good though. The USB pass through and auto-filtering is just brilliant (so Ubuntu doesn’t alert when you plug in the iPod when the VM is running; it goes straight through to the Windows VM). It does seem to take quite a long time for the whole Windows/iTunes thing to settle down after I’ve plugged the iPod in but it might be just because it’s a big 120G iPod anyway… But it isn’t a major issue.

  • Server

    • News Limited phases out Solaris

      The company’s “young tech wizards” had done an analysis, Quinn said. At the start, they hadn’t been sure about Sun’s future, although since then it had been bought by Oracle, so Quinn thought the company would probably survive. In the end, however, the team believed that Linux was more what the company needed. “We didn’t want to have four,” Quinn said.

  • Kernel Space

    • Running the 2.6.30.1 kernel ultralight

      About a year ago I made some notes about plucking out parts of the 2.6.25.5 kernel — as well as some other ideas — with a goal of knocking down the boot time on an eight-year-old 550Mhz Celeron to about 16 seconds from Grub to X. I’ve configured a lot of kernels for a variety of machines in that time, and I have a few more subtractions to recommend.

  • Applications

    • Getting things done with Linux to-do list programs

      To-do list programs can help you stay organized and boost productivity. Ars looks at GTG, KOrganizer, and other task management tools for the Linux desktop.

      I’ve found that maintaining a proper to-do list consistently boosts my productivity. The challenge, however, is finding task management software that fits with my workflow. I’ve tried several web solutions—including Remember the Milk (RTM) and a self-hosted Tracks setup—but the problem with browser-based to-do lists is that I tend to ignore what’s not immediately visible on my desktop. Fortunately, there are several reasonably good open source to-do list tools for Linux.

      I recently started using Getting Things GNOME (GTG), an organizer for the GNOME desktop environment that provides a robust feature set and a relatively high level of usability. Although it’s still at an early stage of development and has some rough edges, it meets my needs better than any of the other to-do list programs that I’ve tested. It has supported for nested substasks, tagging, and task notes.

    • KMess 2.0 is (finally!) out

      I’m very, very happy to announce that the KMess team has released KMess version 2.0, after more than an year and an half of development!

    • Qumana: An Easy-to-Use Alternative to Desktop Blogging
    • blogging with gnome-blog
    • Viewing Autocad files in Linux.

      One of the most important programs in the toolbox of any converter of ideas to physical things is Autocad. This program has pretty well become the standard of every research and development branch in factories. Many attempts have been made, and quite a few have been successful, to have Autocad running under Linux.

  • Games

    • Games : Warsow – call for demos

      Version 0.5 of the eSports oriented FPS is soon to be released, but for that the Warsow team is looking for in game scenes for a promotion trailer, as they state in an article on their website.

    • AssaultCube: FPS Fun, Unburdened by Plot

      If the thought of free frags makes your trigger finger twitch, take a look at AssaultCube. This open-source first person shooter doesn’t offer much in the way of snazzy graphics or major frills, and there’s no storyline or plot. Just a selection of maps where you can hunt or be hunted by other players or computer-controlled bots. But the multi-platform AssaultCube can run on Windows, Linux or Macs, and its minimum system requirements are so low that just about any computer should be able to run it (Pentium III 500Mhz and nVidia GeForce 256 or equivalents, 128MB RAM). Plus, the entire game fits into a compact 40MB download.

    • Play Windows games on Linux with Crossover

      If your gaming needs are a little off the cutting-edge, Linux can be a viable alternative. And it’s an alternative that has many advantages of its own. There are no viruses, no wayward processes chugging away in the background, no spyware, lie-ware, trojans or worms, and you have complete control over your system.

  • KDE

    • KDE 4.3 Looking Good

      There’s a new Qt and Plasma theme in KDE 4.3 that looks pretty nice. Overall every release of KDE4 seems to become more stable, more polished, more eye-candy (if you want it).

    • Shared Desktop Notifications from Canonical

      Aurelien Gateau and the rest of the Canonical Desktop Experience folks have been working super hard to get the visual notifications on KDE and Gnome united as part of their Project Ayatana. This involves uniting the Galago and KDE VisualNotification DBus interfaces. Along the way freedesktop.org had to get fixed to make such cooperation possible

    • KDE’s new Plasma netbook interface shines in small places

      A new Plasma-based custom KDE desktop shell is designed to deliver a better user experience on netbooks and other devices with small screens. Ars takes a look at the prototype to see how it compares to the conventional KDE desktop environment.

  • Distributions

    • Red Hat

      • Benchmark Is Optimistic About IPOs

        Now some venture-capital firms are trying to tamp down the anxiety levels over taking a company public. Earlier this week, Benchmark Capital–which has invested in hits such as eBay and Red Hat over the years–held an IPO workshop for 20 of its largest portfolio companies. The event was designed to walk startup CEOs through the IPO landscape and to debunk some of the myths about the hurdles of going public.

      • The Florida Linux Show 2009 Orlando Sponsored by Red Hat
      • Red Hat (RHT) Bullish Technical Alert – Trend Up 45.2%

        Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) is trading 2.1% higher (up $0.48 to $23.72) today on volume of 2,464,566 shares. The stock has breached its 52-week high of $23.48.

      • Red Hat, Chevron: Money Flow Leaders (RHT, CVX)
      • Top 10 Coolest Fedora Themes

        If you are one of those open source aficionados using Fedora, you must be looking to lend a cool look to your system. What could be better than allowing a complete makeover to your Fedora. Well, there are fantabulous Fedora themes that can enhance your desktop, background, icons and more. Fedora theme are no simple delights, each of them patronize and symbolize the inherent nature of the ever improving operating system that is said to hold a greate future. For now, its your turn to make your Fedora appear fascinating and inspiring. We have assorted the top notch Fedora themes just for you.

    • Ubuntu

      • Download and install Ubuntu faster with a Minimal CD

        I recently found the need to install Ubuntu on a machine with a poor CD drive (and no USB ports) that could not read large amounts of data, but could manage to read smaller amounts of data. As such, the machine could not read the 700MB but could read smaller amounts, like 10MB.

      • Ubuntu 9.04

        So all in all I now have four installations of this OS around my house. My websever runs it (you’re using it right now) and my fileserver is running on it as well. No issues at all on these boxes, even during the upgrade to 8.10 and then onto 9.04. My laptop is now humming with some initial hiccups that were resolved as is my VMware installation. Will it kill Microsoft? Probably not. But it’s a damn good OS and, in particular applications, it’s the best OS for the job.

      • Slashdot (Power Capping) and What Ubuntu is Doing

        I think that we in the Ubuntu Server Community are leading the charge in developing an energy-efficient server class Linux distribution.

        It is my hope that by the 10.04 LTS release, the Ubuntu Server is widely recognized as the de facto Green Computing Server Platform.

    • New Releases

      • GParted 0.4.5-5
      • Clonezilla 1.2.2-26
      • Sabayon Linux CoreCD 4.2 Release

        The CoreCD is a text-based release. There is no X-Server, Gnome, or KDE provided.

        The Feature list is intentionally short:
        * Bootable Image suitable for a CD or USB thumb drive (~400M)
        * Text-Based installer
        * Basic default networking
        * Entropy and Portage ready

      • Antix Team does it again with AntiX 8.2 Final

        The antiX-team is proud to announce that an updated antiX MEPIS 8.2 Final is available at MEPIS mirrors in the testing directory and the released/antix directory.

        Anti announced “On behalf of the antiX-team I am proud to announce that antiX MEPIS 8.2 is a fast, light, flexible and complete desktop and livecd based on SimplyMEPIS and Debian Testing is now available in full and base versions. This release defaults to a fully customised icewm desktop (fluxbox is also installed) using a SimplyMEPIS 2.6.27-25 kernel and tweaked MEPIS Assistants for better compatibility in antiX.”

    • Reviews

      • Distro Hoppin`: antiX MEPIS 8.2

        I am really enjoying the time spent with antiX MEPIS 8.2. It’s speedy, it’s responsive, it has plenty of useful tools, it looks as good as an IceWM system can look (oh, I forgot to mention… I absolutely love the icons!) and it’s very flexible. Good stuff, really! :)

      • antiX M8.2 has been released and I recommend it!

        The announcement for the release of antiX M8.2 can be found here on the antiX forum site, and as usual, I recommend it.

      • GoboLinux review

        GoboLinux is a Linux distribution I heard about from a friend who said that it looked interesting for its flagship property – a simpler file structure. I decided to check it out.

        I downloaded the distribution ISO from their website, which was easy enough, and booted up VirtualBox with that ISO mounted as a drive.

      • Resuscitating Your Old Computer: Crunchbang Linux

        All in all, I liked Crunchbang very much. It really gave new life to my old Vaio.

        If you’re willing to use the command line every now and then then, with the help of a very active community you can setup your system any way you want. Crunchbang is easily the best compromise between speed, looks and difficulty I’ve found so far. I definitely recommend trying it.

      • Mandriva 2009.1 Review

        Mandriva 2009.1 is overall an excellent transition from Windows to Linux, and comes with many great features for the tech-savvy user who wants an improved, sleek desktop look and feel as well as an abundance of programs to use. Before its merger with Conectiva, Mandrake Linux was concerned with making the Linux desktop more compatible for the end user, easier to understand and operate, as well as all-around better looking. With those goals in mind, Mandriva Linux as it is known today has accomplished those goals of popularizing the Linux desktop all while creating an awesome user-interface that gives the utmost control to the computer user.

        [...]

        All in all, the Mandriva 2009.1 is a great Linux environment that has the power to give both Linux-familiar and new-to-Linux users an awesome look, feel, and experience! With the 20,000 program directory that Mandriva 2009.1 contains and all the new programs that are unique to Mandriva Linux along with the quick, easy, and out-of-the-box instant setup, anyone coming to Mandriva 2009.1 should find it to be an enjoyable time!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Phones

      • Bell has exclusivity on Palm Pre for 6 months?

        In another document that was given to us by our friends in the East Coast reads the following about the upcoming Bell Palm Pre: “Palm Inc. has chosen Bell as the exclusive carrier to introduce the 3G Palm Pre to the Canadian market – the most important launch in Bell’s history”.

      • Palm To Apple: Bring It! webOS 1.1 Fixes iTunes Sync On Pre

        Today Palm made webOS 1.1 available for the Palm Pre. The changelog is outrageous. There’s only one new application, but most of the Pre’s systems see major updates. Oh, and Palm fixed the Pre’s ability to sync with iTunes.

      • Palm Takes Aim At Enterprise With WebOS 1.1

        Palm has released Palm webOS 1.1 to target its Pre smartphone at enterprises, according to a Palm executive

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Ubuntu for Netbooks

        I did a fair amount of research this month on netbooks, and ended up choosing the Toshiba NB200 (or NB205 as it is in the US) as what I thought was the best option currently. I read quite a few reviews online, and paid attention to the reviews comparing among netbooks the real world issues that aren’t often covered by comparing specs. Each computer maker seems to have a netbook now trying to corner the market, and they’re almost all the same hardware it seems. But good notebook review sites measure practical concerns like screen brightness outdoors, contrast, heat, fan noise, keyboard feel, and actual battery life.

      • Moblin 2.0 Beta Impressions

        * Boot is insanely quick. BIOS appears to take longer to come up.
        * Alpha software, not Beta. Crashes a lot. Functionality doesn’t consistently work.
        * Reworked UI hints at amazing amount of promise. So many interesting new possibilities. So many of which are yet unrealized.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Why do you like Free Software and Ubuntu?

    I consider software important. Really really important. Why?
    Most people don’t really understand just how much power software has over our current society. Let’s pretend all the software in the world was really just one single person. What could that person do?

  • Adoption of OpenFabrics Alliance Software Accelerates to 60 Percent of New High-Performance Cluster Installations

    The OpenFabrics Alliance (OFA), an open-source project that develops, tests, licenses and distributes Linux and Windows driver and middleware software for high-performance, low-latency Ethernet and InfiniBand networks, today announced that more than 40 percent of the 100 top-performing HPC systems, and as many as 60 percent of all new HPC installations worldwide, utilize OpenFabrics Software as an Enterprise Distribution (OFED) for parallel computing, low-latency interconnects, and/or file-system operations.

  • From the community, with love

    Ever thrown your hands up in despair when that much-anticipated video file would not play without yet another round of codec/plug-in installations? If your answer is an emphatic ‘No,’ you probably are already on to the Video Lan way of life — free and independent, even literally so.

    The VLC player, which finally released version 1.0 this month after a decade of development, is truly a labour of love — in true Unix tradition development, versions till now were numbered under 1.0. This is the legacy of the free software (and open source) world, where developer communities — and not corporations — develop and own the software and distribute it freely. VLC is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

  • Local business and Education provider work together to bring Open Source to the classroom.

    The students at Lincoln College have been breaking the mould and testing Linux Operating Systems as part of their IT courses. Local IT support company, ForLinux Ltd, has been working with the college over the last 6 months to support and aid the learning of Lincoln College students and to open their minds to the potential of alternative operating systems. ForLinux were initially approached at the start of the year by Barry Smith, a Curriculum Tutor from Lincoln College, and asked to give a presentation to students on Open Source operating systems and the relationship has grown from there.

  • Young programmers win big [with Sugar (Free software)]

    Celine and Charlene trumped most of the older competitors handily in the contest organised by the Information Technology Standards Committee and supported by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA)

  • Twelve Open Source Projects Snag Top Prize at SourceForge’s Community Choice Awards

    Speaking of the winners, here they are:

    * Best Commercial Open Source Project: PortableApps.com (portableapps.com)
    * Best New Project: Eeebuntu (eeebuntu.org)
    * Best Project: PortableApps.com (portableapps.com)
    * Best Project for Academia: XMind (xmind.net)
    * Best Project for Gamers: ScummVM (scummvm.org)
    * Best Project for Government: OpenOffice.org (openoffice.org)
    * Best Project for Multimedia: Audacity (audacity.sourceforge.net)
    * Best Project for the Enterprise: Firebird (firebirdsql.org)
    * Best Tool or Utility for Developers: Notepad++ (notepad-plus.sourceforge.net)
    * Best Tool or Utility for SysAdmins: phpMyAdmin (phpmyadmin.net)
    * Best Visual Design: PortableApps.com (portableapps.com)
    * Most Likely to Change the Way You Do Everything: PortableApps.com
    (portableapps.com)

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla official urges openness for the Web

      While hailing the emergence of an “Open Web,” a high-ranking Mozilla official on Friday nonetheless stressed that steps still must be taken to preserve openness in the face of potential threats.

      The official, Mark Surman, Mozilla executive director, urged participation in the “OneWeb Day” set for September 22.

      [...]

      “If you want the Web to be more secure, let’s get rid of the 100 million copies of IE (Microsoft Internet Explorer) 6 that are still out there,” said Surman, whose employer is best known as the maker of the Firefox browser that rivals IE.

    • My Favorite Firefox Feature

      Say you want to look up words using Cambridge Dictionaries Online Web site. Navigate to dictionary.cambridge.org, right-click on the search box, and select Add a Keyword for this Search. Give the new bookmark a name and assign a keyword to it, for example, camb. Next time you want to perform a search, enter camb followed by the query into the Location bar, for example: camb monkey. Hit Enter, and you should see a list of found results

    • Microsoft to Bundle Firefox and Chrome with Windows?

      In its effort to detangle itself from the ongoing proceedings of the European Union antitrust case, it seems Microsoft is offering to include rival web browsers in the Windows OS. Revealed in a statement by the European Commission, Microsoft offered to give consumers a choice of browser installation through a browser ballot screen. New computer owners running Windows may get a chance to choose their browsers form a variety of software makers.

    • Google’s Chrome OS: The Web is the computer

      Finally, users don’t need to wait for Google to get a simple, secure, open-source, Web-centric operating system. The versions of Linux shipping on many netbooks already match most of this description.

      Want to turn a Linux netbook into a Chrome look-alike? Set its Firefox browser to run on startup in full-screen mode, then lock out access to every other application on the netbook.

  • Audio

    • CAOS Theory Podcast 2009.07.24

      Topics for this podcast:

      * The Myth of Open Source License Proliferation
      * Microsoft contributes Linux kernel drivers under GPLv2
      * Linux and open source loom large in cloud computing

    • FLOSS Weekly 79: David Heinemeier Hansson

      Hosts: Randal Schwartz

      “DHH” talks about Ruby on Rails, 37Signals, and how he came late to coding.

    • My Manchester Talk Slides

      On Tuesday night (July 21st) I gave a talk at a meeting of the Manchester Free Software group. It was about audio production with Linux and Free Software. Basically how I produce many podcasts and other things using only Free and Open Source software. I wanted to upload the slides and share them here with everyone. I hope they’ll be interesting and somehow useful on their own, but don’t worry there was HD video taken on the night – courtesy of Tim Dobson – which I hope to be able to share with you very soon. Everything is available under a Creative Commons license, naturally.

  • Business

    • Open source and ESBs

      The Enterprise Service Bus [ESB] has been intrinsic to many SOA programs in recent years. You can say you are doing SOA and not have done an ESB. But there is a high likelihood a successful SOA program includes successful ESBs.

  • OSCON 2009

    • Open source conference likely back in Portland next year

      Organizers of a major open source technology conference said today there’s a “good chance” they’ll return the event to Portland next summer following one year in San Jose.

      The weeklong O’Reilly Open Source Convention spent six years in Portland before moving to California for the 2009 event, which wrapped up this afternoon. At the convention’s closing address, in response to a question, organizers told attendees they would probably move the event back to Portland in 2010.

    • OSCON interview snippets

      OSCON 2009 is now drawing to a close, and, before we hop on a flight back to the UK, we spent an hour or two typing up just a few snippets from some of the interviews we conducted at the conference. So, if you’d like to read what Jacob Kaplan-Moss thinks about Google, what Jim Zemlin thinks about Larry Lessig, what Michael Tiemann thinks about lobbyists, what Stormy Peters thinks about KDE, what Evan Prodromou thinks about Miguel de Icaza and what Bradley Kuhn thinks about Mono, read on…

  • Openness

    • Google is not going to have its way.

      The marketing agent, that is Google, had to share the cut with the data provider who was providing the content to the people. What if there was a way to not share the cut with the provider of the content? Yes there is a simple way – if you become the provider of the content. This is what Google tried to do next and is still in the process of trying.

      Google Groups, GMail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, YouTube, Google Maps, Orkut, Blogger, are all attempts by Google to become THE place to keep your content if you indeed want to store content publicly. The deal they offered to the public was that they would store everybody’s content for free.

Leftovers

  • AP Defeats Online Aggregator That Rewrote Its News

    In a settlement announced Monday, the world’s oldest and largest newsgathering operation forced All Headline News to discontinue its practice of rewriting AP stories and posting them to the AHN site with a new byline and no credit. The site, which sells news to the media, dubs itself as “The Missing Piece to Your News and Content Puzzle.”

  • Goldman Sachs Backs Down in Legal Battle With Blogger

    Mike Morgan, a Florida-based investment adviser who started the controversial blog GoldmanSachs666.com, has prevailed in a case he brought against the investment bank in April.

  • BitTorrent Behind the Scenes: BTjunkie [runs Ubuntu Linux]

    Millions of people use torrent sites every day, but little is known about the people who operate these traffic moguls. This summer TorrentFreak will feature the workstations and offices belonging to some of the leading figures in the BitTorrent community, starting with the founder of BTjunkie.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Luis Casas Luengo, Director of Extremadura’s Fundecyt foundation 03 (2004)

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

Antitrust: How Microsoft Came up with Windows Bundling

Posted in Antitrust, IBM, Microsoft, Windows at 8:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A journey back in time shows Microsoft’s explanation of bundling

TODAY we take a look at some more fascinating Comes vs Microsoft exhibits. The first item, Exhibit PX00982 (1991) [PDF], shows how Microsoft was scheming to bundle with OEMs in order to block competition. That was almost 2 decades ago. Microsoft later compared OEMs to its "delivery people".

One of Microsoft’s most predatory people, Brad Silverberg [1, 2], suggests giving Windows for ‘free’ (bundling) and then sell it separately for an extortionate price. The same scheme continues to this date in order to artificially elevate the perceived value of Windows and virtually force people to buy Windows along with any computer.

>From: bradsi Sat Sep 28 10:56:44 1991
To: joachimk peterbre steveb
Cc: alean jeffl janre markbu richardb richardf ronh teresach
Subject: Re: Compaq Windows status

Date: Mon Sep 30 10:30:02 PDT 1991

you’re saying that when someone buys compaq dos for $99, they also get windows for free. but if you want windows alone, it cost you $150.

and compaq wants windows for free.

am I missing something why this is good for us?

don’t forget that today, retail is still 61% of windows revenue.

Joachim Kempin, who is also known for his predatory behaviour (see this for example), replies as follows:

From: joachimk Mon Sep 30 10:53:23 1991
To: bradsi
Subject: Re: Compaq Windows status
Date: Mon Sep 30 10:30:02 PDT 1991

Do not see this as a price issue. They will pay. Remember IBM did not pay for DOS, but see what happened?
See the strategic value: It will have lots of followers-OS1 can’t compete for now. IBM can only pitch OS/2 against it, but who wants this. The industry will rally even more around it and use it in every account against IBM.
Money: for six month thereafter no or very low impact. Next year we plan for it. Whereby WIN becomes over time -may be earlier than expected -a 90% OEM product.
Count Your profit, not the revenue.

One reader of ours explains that “this is important because it demonstrates that the prime reason for Microsoft bundling was to kill DR-DOS. They had to come up with the techno-waffle later on.” This is a reference to excuses like, “people can’t install it themselves” or “people love Windows because many people use it.”

The next exhibit, Exhibit PX00980 (1991) [PDF], was sent to Brad Silverberg and Joachim Kempin. It reveals what Microsoft had in mind when it conceptualised bundling.

On 9/25 Mark and I met with Clark and Alan. Among other issues that Mike brought up, he came up with an alternative way for Compaq to bundle Windows. On 9/26 we had a meeting with their Windows team.

[...]

Mike’s alternative way of bundling Windows would be that Compaq bundles Windows with MS-DOS. There would not be a seperate DOS SKU; there would not be any choice. When somebody buys the Compaq DOS product he gets Windows with it.

[...]

Compaq issues with bundle/preinstall that are addressed

1. The manufacturing preinstall problem
2. The updating of Windows when it is on the hard disk
3. Allows the end user the choice of installing Windows and allowing custom configuration of Windows according to specific requirements.
4. Simplify their localization issues.
5. Reduce cost – will not lose dos revenue with a preinstall and offset the cost of Windows by charging for it.
6. Still allowing the end user the choice to buy other operating systems for his system; not burden the end user with either the implicit cost of Windows or having to deinstall Windows and DOS.
7. It provides Compaq with a perceived leadership position with Windows by being the first oem to combine Windows and DOS.

For MS it does the following:

1. Compaq leadership position with Windows.
2. With slick technology, Windows/DOS can be installed quickly w/p much of the pain installing Windows today. Although it is not a pre-install, it will be much easier to get Compaq to preinstall in the future if they combine Windows/DOS now.
3. Gets many more Windows sockets out there. We believe that our attach rate today with Windows on Compaq 386 systems is between 25% and 35% based on their registration information. their current attach rate for DOS is 86%.
4. It raises the bar for other oems and makes it more difficult for DRI to compete.
5. Will increase our revenue from Compaq, depending on what we can get for the Windows royalty.

The intent to ensure a prevention of choice is hopefully evident based on the above.


Appendix A: Comes vs. Microsoft – exhibit PX00982, as text


Read the rest of this entry »

In Defense of Boycott Novell

Posted in Boycott Novell, Site News at 7:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Existing and former Microsoft employees are jointly attacking us, joined by others whose interests are seemingly similar or at least intersecting

FOR THOSE who have not noticed, there is an ongoing campaign to smear the messenger, Boycott Novell, because its messages are apparently hard to refute. In the process, false allegations are routinely being made (there are many that come from multiple directions). We kindly ask that people do not believe everything they read about Boycott Novell. Here is one person who defends us. Since the very latest smears come from a Microsoft employee (“Technical Evangelist” Wong), the response also alludes to this one particular instance.

If you’re Microsoft and spend a lot of money on phony research reports for the sole reason of spreading FUD, that’s alright because that are normal business practices. If you’re Microsoft and you’re crying for developers because nobody has any fun developing software for that pile of digital junk they call an Operating System, so you’re forced to hire your own community, that’s alright because that are normal business practices. If you’re Microsoft and wait for the right time to fire your legal equivalent of nuclear missiles – aka patents – that’s alright because that are normal business practices.

Here is another possible explanation.

By the way, the fourth financial quarter just rolled around, and MSFT is tanking like a dead mastodon. We’re talking declines as high as 30% here. Ooooooh, so that’s why all the distraction!

To be clear here, we are aware of at least 3 more Web sites — including journalists — who are being smeared in a similar fashion for their views. The many hecklers may come in large numbers (Microsoft TEs, after all, get paid for all this), with which they try to overwhelm any defense and then, by sheer noise, declare moral victory.

What Bill Gates Did in India: Business as Usual

Posted in Asia, Bill Gates, Deception, Microsoft at 7:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jhanda

Summary: Analysis of Bill Gates’ latest business trip to India

A couple of days ago we wrote about Microsoft and NASSCOM. It quickly became apparent that Bill Gates’ encounter with NASSCOM had nothing to so with pseudo-philanthropy. It also happened in 2003 and some obligatory PR we spoke about the last time can be seen in [1, 2, 3]. It’s a decoy to which Gates adds his usual anti-Google rhetoric.

So anyway, what was this trip all about?

First of all, according to reports, Gates was just pushing the same old agenda that Abramoff used to be pushing for Microsoft. From The Register:

Bill Gates called US immigration restrictions a “huge mistake” while on tour of India today, urging America to open its golden doors for more “smart people.”

Nothing at all is said about cost. From the Indian press:

“How about making an exception for smart people,” asked Mr Bill Gates while addressing Nasscom CEO Forum in the Capital on Friday.

The Chairman of Microsoft Corporation was referring to the immigration restrictions being imposed by the US.

It is part of a recurring theme; In order to justify less expensive labour, Gates is calling American people “stupid”. Intel and a few other giants are doing the same thing when they insult developed countries. Reuters accompanies this old stunt with superficial coverage that lacks criticism and the New York Times makes more or less the same mistakes.

In a far-ranging speech on Friday, Bill Gates criticized the American government’s policy on immigration and data privacy, predicted giant leaps in technology in the near future and explained why he had to shut down his Facebook page.

Now watch this classic case of hypocrisy. While acknowledging that being out there in the public was an idea he regrets, Gates is also lobbying for a form of surveillance in India — one that he wants Microsoft to take the lead in (it’s all about money). Unsurprisingly, look who’s there by Microsoft’s side: Infosys.

The venture is part of a plan by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh government to improve the delivery of the nation’s welfare programs and boost security. Singh chose Nandan Nilekani, former co-chairman of Infosys Technologies Ltd., India’s second-biggest provider of software services, to helm the project.

For a bit of background about Infosys, see what we wrote several months ago. Infosys is helping Microsoft legalise software patents in India [1, 2, 3], it is exploiting Indian people, and it also helped OOXML [1, 2]. There is lots more [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8].

Microsoft India is now offering a new type of lock-in/trap which resembles DreamSpark and BizSpark.

“[A]mazing that corruption is excepted by the entire developed world. stunning that it has met with resistance only with some developing nations and maybe the european union. what should have been an overwhelming anger by all nations . the notion that developed nation are immune to corruption is bogus. microsoft did it in full view, without any hesitation. microsoft should be nailed for this.”

Ashok Pai

Microsoft Hopes to Make Money from Lawsuits in China

Posted in Asia, Courtroom, Finance, Microsoft, Windows at 6:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Bill Gates (in reference to China)

Summary: Microsoft brings lawsuits to the table in hopes of increasing revenue

Microsoft is now under great pressure to recover from economic problems [1, 2, 3]. Now perhaps is the time to “collect”, as the phrase as the top calls it.

This second phase in the predatory strategy actually began a while ago (lawsuits in China) and now we are seeing results. From The China Daily:

Microsoft wins piracy lawsuit

[...]

China’s Do-It-Yourself personal computer market has proven a chronic headache for Microsoft Corp, which is continually battling the use of pirated software.

But the US-based software giant won a skirmish this month, when a Beijing court ruled against a major custom PC dealer accused of pre-installing pirated Microsoft Windows and Office software.

As our reader Fewa puts it, they should refer to it as “copyright infringement”, not “piracy”.

“Given that Microsoft is borrowing money, it is difficult to tell just how badly it’s really doing.”“You get these long articles completely about copyright infringement but they don’t even mention the term,” he argues. “Instead [we hear] the BS about IPR and pirating, which 50 years ago meant the polar opposite of what it means today.”

Microsoft’s new business model seems to revolve around racketeering. Microsoft is threatening shops using the “IPR” card and it also does this to GNU/Linux users and vendors. Microsoft brings nothing to the table other than bullying.

Given that Microsoft is borrowing money, it is difficult to tell just how badly it’s really doing. Many people knew nothing about the company of Microsoft’s co-founder until it fell into $21.7 billion in debt and suddenly declared that it had filed for bankruptcy protection. From the news at Reuters:

Charter, which is controlled by Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) co-founder Paul Allen, filed for bankruptcy protection in March, buckling under the weight of $21.7 billion in debt, but said at the time it had reached agreements with key stakeholders that would allow it to exit bankruptcy in a matter of months.

Quietly enough, $21.7 billion in debt, eh? Witness the marvels of the “Invisible Hand” and the “Free Market”. When it all fails, taxpayers will pay for it.

Mississippi Paid up to $60 Million in Vouchers After Microsoft’s Violations of the Law

Posted in America, Antitrust, Finance, Law, Microsoft at 6:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mississippi old building

Summary: Another timely reminder of Microsoft’s anti-competitive behaviour and the toll it entails after proceedings at the court of law

AN ACTUAL CONVICTION of Microsoft is a rare sight because Microsoft tends to settle out of court and hide its embarrassments this way.

A month ago, Microsoft paid $100 million to settle in Mississippi (more in [1, 2]), but that’s not the end of it. Here is a new press release about another $40 million settlement, which was followed by extensive news coverage, e.g.:

i. Miss. cashes in on Microsoft settlement

The $40 million is the state government’s share of national anti-trust settlement with Microsoft. Another $60 million will come to the state in the vouchers to residents, businesses, governments and public schools.

ii. Hood signs $40M over to state treasury

Up to $60 million in vouchers will be provided to consumers, businesses, local governments and public schools to buy software and computers throughh Microsoft.

iii. State receives $40M Microsoft settlement

The Attorney General’s website will be updated as more information on the reimbursement becomes available.

It contains more information about the settlement and who is eligible. To review the most frequently asked questions in regard to the Microsoft settlement, go to www.agjimhood.com <http://www.agjimhood.com, look under “about” on the main page, and click on “Microsoft Settlement.”

At least it is not redeemable as software only. Such compensation would only help Microsoft rather than penalise.

“Cash-strapped libraries that accept the millions Gates is waving at them may find themselves acting out the Microsoft billionaire’s dim vision of our electronic future. … Before they take anything from the chief executive, they’d better examine the gift very carefully for strings. After all, what sort of public libraries can we expect from a man who calls people ‘users’ and to whom War and Peace and Gilligan’s Island are both ‘content?’”

Margie Wylie, C|Net

New Zealand Post Dumps Microsoft for Google, Lies Ensue

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 5:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Space needle

Summary: Another large-scale abandonment of Microsoft; Seattle press lies about it

THERE IS some fairly significant news from New Zealand. The national post is moving on-line for many of its needs, which ought to ease a later migration to GNU/Linux on the desktops. Here is an explanation for the move.

While staff have document collaboration capability with today’s Microsoft products, Google Apps makes it easier to share a file, or for more than one person, in more than one place, to work on a document. Google Apps will also see NZ Post use IM and desktop video (again, also available in Microsoft iterations) for the first time.

Here are some numbers:

NZ Post unit to ditch Outlook, Exchange and probably SharePoint for 2,100 workers

This is one such blow among similar ones that we previously covered. Now that Microsoft suffers a rapid decline [1, 2, 3] (Google’s profits actually increased), Microsoft Watch wonders if Microsoft’s investment in a ‘Google killer’ will eventually be called off.

Will Microsoft Keep Backing Bing?

[...]

[O]nce the luster of the new wears off, it could potentially be a different story for Redmond. Only time will tell.

According to Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, Google maintains its dominance on the Web.

Google Inc. (GOOG) continued to be the most visited Web site in June, with nearly 157 million U.S. visitors, according to comScore Inc. (SCOR).

As we showed before, Microsoft may be using its former employees to tell lies about adoption of Google Apps. We are finding more of the same behaviour in the news now that the Seattle-based Examiner spreads some more lies about Google Apps adoption. Watch how Sharon Slayton, the so-called “SF Microsoft Office Examiner”, changes the words of Google. According to the Telegraph, “Matthew Glotzback, director, Product Management, Google Enterprise, explained the decision on the company’s official blog: “More than 1.75 million companies around the world run their business on Google Apps, including Google.

Now watch what Slayton at the Examiner is doing. She changes the word “companies” with “people”, then writes:

Are you one of the 1.75 million people using Google Apps to run your computer office needs? It’s a bit doubtful when you think about it – 1.75 million doesn’t even cover the Bay Area, let alone the rest of the U.S. It is a nice hefty number but it doesn’t come close to Microsoft’s Office domination. Will the Google Apps take over anytime soon?

Lying about it doesn’t make it go away, not even in the Seattle press. Google said “1.75 million companies”, not “1.75 million people”.

Many observers still wonder why the so-called ‘press’ should never be trusted. It is charged with agenda.

“Everybody in the communications business is paranoid of Microsoft, including me.”

News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch

Microsoft’s Stock Collapses on Friday After Very Disappointing Results

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Office Suites, Windows at 5:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Shipwreck - nice angle

Summary: The cause and the effect on Microsoft’s results

IT is bad enough that Microsoft’s profits fell by about a third [1, 2], but looking ahead at the next 3 months, there is no reason for optimism. There is no release of Windows, no release of Office, and no release of a next-generation anything. With stagnant activity, there is no reason to believe that next quarter’s results will be any better than the results of this quarter or the previous one. This is why it is safe to believe that Microsoft’s problems have only just begun.

As we shall show in the next post, GNU/Linux is not the only problem Microsoft is facing; GNU/Linux-powered SaaS is another major threat to Microsoft and even Microsoft Office will need to cannibalise itself by going on-line.

Looking at Microsoft’s results, here is what The Street has published:

Sorry folks, but Microsoft (MSFT Quote) ain’t what it once was. The software giant is losing its edge, as we saw with yesterday’s earnings report.

Other publications are equally dysphoric and The Seattle Times fears for the impact it may have on the local population.

The Seattle area has relied heavily on Microsoft to employ a whole generation of its smartest citizens — and noncitizens — at good pay. If it ceases growing, who is ready to take its place?

To name some notable reports on the subject (from Friday):

Reuters: US STOCKS-Wall St falls on Microsoft results

Reuters: Microsoft shares slip on disappointing results

Market Watch: Microsoft shares drop after results disappoint

Wall Street Journal: Microsoft Shares Decline On Disappointing Results

Shares of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) fell as much as 11% Friday, erasing much of the company’s pre-earnings stock gains, after the software titan reported disappointing results for its fourth fiscal quarter because of a sharp slowdown in software sales.

One blogger opines that “Microsoft is dying.”

Microsoft is dying.

It seems to offer no innovation. Its operating systems aren’t sufficiently user-centric. About the only great product it sells – the Xbox – is so heavily subsidised the company loses money on the range.

What happens next remains to be seen.

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