08.03.09

Microsoft’s Attack on GNU/Linux Extends to an Attack on Affordable PCs

Posted in Antitrust, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 6:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Woman using a computer

Summary: The latest examples of Microsoft’s misbehaviour and harms to the consumer

Microsoft’s most successful business model is based on high margins which are further secured by monopolising the licensing of binaries in an area of computing. Microsoft feels threatened by new ways of distributing software, either as services or as Free software that requires no licensing in the commonly-understood sense.

Microsoft has nefarious ways of tackling the GNU/Linux market. One of them is the so-called “Linux tax”, which is the reason this Web site came into existence (see Ballmer quote at the bottom). Another way is strangulation of the market, which leads to offering of no choice but Windows. How about this new story from Linux Loop?

Would you like your notebook in pink or with Windows?

[...]

Of course if you don’t want a pink computer, you can of course buy the Insipron 15n, which offers a range of colors. Unfortunatley, you pay an extra $60 or so to have Ubuntu pre-installed. Since the vast majority of potential buyers are tech-savvy and reasonably smart, why wouldn’t they just buy the Windows version and install Ubuntu?

The bottom line: market research fail.

Is this true choice? Or fair competition? Well, as we showed before, Microsoft is trying to destroy sub-notebooks ("netbooks") altogether. There is new evidence, e.g. [1, 2], and also an ongoing antitrust investigation. Microsoft wants to eliminate low-cost PCs, which can’t run Windows because it is too bloated by now. Finally we find that “Microsoft plans to use Windows 7 to raise netbook prices,” just as anticipated. They also want to rename this form factor.

After publicly advertising the idea that Windows PCs are cheaper than Macs in its “Laptop Hunter” ads, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told an audience of financial analysts that the company’s attempts to cut prices of Windows to induce demand in emerging markets had failed over the previous year, and that the solution to the company’s woes will be to increase the price of computers.

“The theory was wrong,” Ballmer said, explaining that there wasn’t enough new demand to make up for the drop in profits. “You’ll see us address the theory. We’re going to readjust those prices north [using Windows 7].”

Here is Intel’s latest flirt with Microsoft (they already do some PR for Vista 7). Despite denying it, both Intel and Microsoft suffered from the race to the bottom.

At the Intel Technology Summit in San Francisco on Wednesday, an executive described the imminent mobile future, including a major refresh of Netbook silicon, better-designed “ultrathins,” and turbo-powered high-end laptops.

They still try to make sub-notebooks disappear or at least become more pricey (price-fixing). Intel has already been accused of colluding with Microsoft in this particular area and it is known that Vista 7 is too bloated for low-end computing [1, 2]. Watch what other stunts Microsoft is up to (news from the past week):

i. It’ll cost $80 to upgrade a netbook from Windows 7 Starter to Home Premium

Microsoft is giving netbook makers a choice of pre-loading Windows 7 Home Premium or Windows 7 Starter Edition on low price netbooks. My guess is that most computer makers will stick with Windows 7 Starter, which will be much cheaper, unless there’s huge demand for a more powerful operating system.

ii. Beware the gotchas in Microsoft Windows 7 upgrade, family pack pricing

On July 31, Microsoft went public with two key pieces of Windows 7 pricing information it had been holding back: The cost of its Family Pack and Anytime Upgrade licenses.

iii. Windows XP to Windows 7: It’s Going to Be a Bumpy Ride

The company’s decision not to support upgrades from Windows XP is a rare misstep in the Windows 7 delivery process.

iv. Some cheap PCs aren’t eligible for free Win 7 upgrade

Many potential buyers of laptops priced under $300 in the U.S. had an unpleasant surprise over the weekend: The machines would not be eligible for a free upgrade to Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 7 operating system.

Wal-Mart and Best Buy attracted plenty of buyers during a promotional offering of laptops priced under $300. Some of those laptops sold out just one day after the offers began. The prices were respectable considering the generous features, including large screens, better graphics and DVD drives, which are not typically found in most low-cost netbooks.

However, the laptops came preloaded with the Windows Vista Home Basic operating system, which does not include a free upgrade to Windows 7 in the U.S. Instead, consumers will have to shell out about $120 to upgrade the operating system.

As always, Microsoft relies heavily on ignorance. It preys on those who are susceptible to marketing. And speaking of marketing, we’ve looked at Google News, accumulating items from “Microsoft” feeds for 7 days. Among ~480 headlines, only 3 mention “Vista” (a known product), whereas over 30 mention “Windows 7″ (the imaginary). One cannot remark on the imaginary (Vista 7) until it is used by real people, whom Microsoft TEs can’t keep up with (silencing dissent by harassing [1, 2, 3, 4]). It was the same story with Vista back in 2006.

Abusing the Poor

Another margin headache Microsoft has been having in developing nations where few people actually pay Microsoft even a penny. Microsoft has been fine with that because it is beneficial to Microsoft in the long term. Things are beginning to change:

Microsoft Corp. will raise some Windows operating system prices in emerging markets, reversing an experiment that cut prices to combat piracy, Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said.

“…to combat piracy,” they say. But the real issue they have is competition from GNU/Linux. As Bill Gates put it not so long ago, “It’s easier for our software to compete with Linux when there’s piracy than when there’s not.”

Moreover, said Gates on another occasion: “They’ll get sort of addicted [to Microsoft], and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

That’s precisely what Microsoft is doing in Illinois right now, getting people “sort of addicted” under the guise of charity.

Officials with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) visited the Workforce Network in Peoria Friday to kick of the center’s first day distributing free Microsoft computer training vouchers through the “Microsoft Elevate America” program.

We wrote about this a month ago, then mentioned it again one week later. Microsoft turned the State of Illinois into some kind of a Microsoft training camp.

“If anybody thinks open-source alternatives are free, I guess as they say, you can see me after class. [...] I will tell you that in any comparison that you would do of Windows with Linux, which is an open-source alternative, we will prove to you that when it comes to total cost of ownership our stuff is more economical, whether it’s the other patent-licensing costs that you might have to pay to use open-source software, which is kind of a big unknown right now [...]“

Steve Ballmer soon after the patent deal with Novell

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

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2009/08/03/ms-attack-on-affordable-pcs/

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

What Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, April 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, April 17, 2021



  2. Tolerating the Intolerant and Lacking Tolerance for Opposing Views

    The person who shouted...



  3. Letter of Support for Richard Stallman - Doing Better in Community

    "How do you support someone you’ve known for years who is unfairly attacked and publicly maligned?"



  4. Richard Stallman on Rejecting Workplace Bureaucracy in the 1970s

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, explains what inspired him to get involved in non-software matters



  5. Renata Avila: Trying to Understand the Lynching of Stallman

    Reproduced from the original



  6. Breaking News: EDPS Admits That It is Powerless to Investigate Claims of GDPR Non-compliance at the EPO

    Nobody is truly in charge at the EDPS (and in Europe at large); they say EPO is "company" and all one can do is kindly ask the EPO itself to obey the law and stop outsourcing European data to American military contractors



  7. Links 17/4/2021: Linux 5.13 in Sight, Holland Warming up to Free Software

    Links for the day



  8. Richard Stallman Vilified by Those Who Don't Know Him, Says Sylvia Paull

    Republished "In Support of Richard Stallman"



  9. [Meme] Linux Foundation Can't Use Linux

    Two examples from yesterday, highlighting what a bunch of hypocrites run the marketing operation now disguised as ‘research’; Jason Perlow from Microsoft signed/published this newsletter highlight from the failing “Linux” Foundation — a foundation that calls itself “Linux” while its newsletter is still hosted by Microsoft Windows+proprietary IIS and this latest report is made with proprietary software on a Mac



  10. [Meme] Haters Gonna Hate, Don't Apologise to a Libelling Mob

    As was already pointed out before, you cannot appease a mob by talking back to it, certainly not by issuing an apology (putting oneself in a position of weakness)



  11. What the EPO Has 'Normalised' in Europe...

    Under the cover of 'new normal', Europe's second-largest institution crushes the law and crushes its own staff



  12. Lots of Information in Sight, But Minimal Distraction

    How I keep focused on reading and writing whilst at the same time keeping an eye on important incidents, such as DDOS attacks and urgent messages coming in



  13. IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, April 16, 2021



  14. Hate Letter Against FSF (Concern Trolls): 1415 Committers, Letter in Support of FSF (With Its Founder Back): 5116

    Taking into account people who asked for their names to be removed from the defamatory hate letter (inciting people, based on falsehoods), it's not impossible that the support letter really triples or quadruples it in terms of number of signatures



  15. Richard Stallman: Sharing is Good... We Need to Legalise It

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, explains his take on copyright and the artificial restriction being used against sharing



  16. Nadine Strossen and Hannah Wolfman-Jones Rebut Accusations Against Stallman and Choose Him as Coauthor

    "Here are her thoughts and the response she received from Nadine, extracted verbatim with their permission from the original article"



  17. Links 17/4/2021: GNOME 40 in Tumbleweed, Devuan 4.0 Alpha, Kate Editor Makes a Leap

    Links for the day



  18. EPO Staff Union Takes the EPO 'to Court' (the ILO's Tribunal, as the EPO Cannot be Taken to a Proper Court)

    The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) Committees are preparing a legal battle over unlawful and unjust measures taken collectively against hard-working (overworked during pandemic) members of staff; the European public should support them



  19. The Latest Anti-RMS Coup Attempt Targets the GNU Project (Because the FSF Coup Has Clearly Failed) by Infringing and Disregarding Trademark Conventions

    A fake "GNU" (not the original GNU, just riding the coattails of the name "GNU") is trying to find/gain traction and we must oppose it because it's an extension of the very same coup attempt (same plotters) that manufactured a whole bunch of libel to incite people and blackmail the Free Software Foundation (FSF)



  20. Links 16/4/2021: Mozilla Dumping FTP, Corporations Still Concern-Trolling FSF

    Links for the day



  21. The EFF Attacks Software Freedom and Promotes Fake Privacy Linked to Microsoft

    Only weeks after attacking Software Freedom (the ad hominem way, which is easier) the EFF endorses a Microsoft-linked privacy abuse, misframing it as some sort of privacy champion



  22. Richard Stallman on How Corporate Media Limits What People Are Allowed to Think and Say (Updated)

    What the founder of the FSF told yours truly a number of years ago about the behaviour of corporate (funded and controlled by corporations) media



  23. Exposing Hard Truths is the First Step or the Path Towards Justice

    A reflection and a moment taken to set aside tribalism (shallow differences based on allegiances of personal comfort), for we need look back at actual facts — however inconvenient at times — and consider the reality of the situation



  24. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, April 15, 2021



  25. [Meme] Laundering Bribes as 'Cooperation Money'

    Germany has financial interest in ensuring that EPO abuses carry on and nobody holds the EPO accountable



  26. Articles in Support of Richard Stallman

    Reproduced with permission



  27. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 20: Taking Stock

    Benoît Battistelli's legacy at the EPO is a legacy of corruption and cover-up; we take stock of how illegality was defended and persists to this day



  28. Links 15/4/2021: Zorin OS 16 Beta and Pushing Linux to GitHub- and Microsoft-Connected Rust

    Links for the day



  29. [Meme] Enemies With Common Interests

    The Software Freedom Movement (or Free Software Movement) has many enemies; some of them just hide in the shadows or speak out through shadowy front groups/NGOs that they semi-officially sponsor



  30. [Meme] Germany's Red Cash Cow

    EPO brings a lot of money to the German state. But at what cost to citizens and Germany’s public image?


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts