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08.05.09

Microsoft Should be Reported to the ASA/Equivalent for “TCO”, Benchmark Frauds, Fake OEM “Recommendations”

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft, Servers at 7:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Creepy

Summary: The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the likes of it may wish to hear about Microsoft’s practices

THE last time we mentioned Microsoft’s paid-for “TCO” studies was here or here (references therein). With Comes vs Microsoft exhibits out in the open, it is no longer secret that Microsoft is behind the so-called “TCO”, which is FUD. It’s designed to put down GNU/Linux and it is paid for by Microsoft, which also corrupted analysts at IDC in order to mask the source of funding. It was interesting to find this old anti-GNU/Linux rave in Microsoft’s Web site. It says:

PressPass: If Microsoft commissioned this report, how valid are the results for the IT community?

Houston: Microsoft asked IDC to run a careful, detailed and objective analysis of TCO comparisons between Linux and Windows 2000 across common IT workloads. The emphasis was on IDC to deliver independent, critical results for both operating systems. We can’t speak for IDC; however, they have been very up front about the thorough, platform-neutral approach and overall research methodology they used to achieve their end results. We’re confident that this study is an objective look, with tangible results reflective of real IT conditions today, and we’re eager for others to take a critical look and prove the results for themselves.

What Microsoft refuses to say is that IDC’s tests came out in favour of GNU/Linux, despite being funded by Microsoft. This never prevented Microsoft from tweaking, spinning or retrying things until they got some desirable results. For those who believe that Microsoft never got caught for it, here is an old report from the BBC.

Microsoft’s Linux ad ‘misleading’

Microsoft has been reprimanded over misleading advertising by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The ASA has more extensive history than that when it comes to handling Microsoft. What remains to be reported to the ASA is Microsoft's existing benchmark frauds and payments to OEMs/shops so that they pretend to recommend Windows. For those who lives outside the UK, there are analogous agencies that deal with deceptive marketing. It’s time to end these shameless lies from Microsoft because they definitely harm all consumers by deliberately misinforming.

“Microsoft did sponsor the benchmark testing and the NT server was better tuned than the Linux one. Having said that, I must say that I still trust the Windows NT server would have outperformed the Linux one.”

Windows platform manager, Microsoft South Africa
Reference: Outrage at Microsoft’s independent, yet sponsored NT 4.0/Linux research

ODF 1.2 Gains Approval, Garners Support, Microsoft Carries on Lying

Posted in Formats, IBM, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard, SUN at 7:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Adult gull

Summary: More success stories for OpenDocument Format (ODF); Microsoft is still pushing hard for proprietary OOXML

THE most major piece of ODF news is the approval of ODF 1.2 by OASIS.

30 July 2009 OpenDocument v1.2 part 1 Committee Draft 03 has been approved.

It is worth noting that apart from Mary McRae (of OASIS), there are prominent SUN and IBM positions up there at the top — Michael Brauer and Robert Weir, respectively. More evidence of ODF prominence is appearing now that Serif PagePlus advertises ODF support.

Other key additions in PagePlus X4 include the ability to import MS Word documents and OpenOffice.org ODF (open document format) files. PagePlus X4 will also allow users to anchor objects in relation to specific text, columns, frames, margins or pages while editing them. Frames and borders can now be dragged-and-dropped into documents too.

To get an idea of how much easier it is to support ODF, see this new Twitter remark, which says: “ISO’s current defect report for ISO 29500 (OOXML) has 809 pages. That are 71 pages more than the full specification of ODF 1.1!

Microsoft employees meanwhile wave this report from Fraunhofer, which was one of the forces behind ramming OOXML down ISO's throat. In order to keep this charade going, Microsoft employees also use the Indian press to spread familiar spin.

Software major Microsoft on Monday clarified that its representative did not suggest ‘amendment on open standards’ but rather said, ‘There are fewer merits in mandating a single standard since it restricts choice for the customer, as well as reduce the incentive for competition and innovation by the industry’.

This is nonsense. Microsoft Malaysia used the same lies, essentially relying on people’s ignorance. In reality, choice is about multiple applications, not standards. For instance, the world’s population enjoys many Web browsers, but they are unified by one Internet, not many incompatible “versions of the Internet”.

Elsewhere in the news we find this new ODF resource in French and another article in Portuguese. ODF still thrives, despite Microsoft’s misuse of ODF [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] and corruption of the standards industry.

“Microsoft corrupted many members of ISO in order to win approval for its phony ‘open’ document format, OOXML. This was so governments that keep their documents in a Microsoft-only format can pretend that they are using ‘open standards.’ The government of South Africa has filed an appeal against the decision, citing the irregularities in the process.”

Richard Stallman, June 2008

Vista 7 Could be Delayed Due to Massive Bug — Claim

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 6:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista 7

Summary: Oops! Checkdisk slurps almost 3 gigabytes of RAM

THIS is more or less predictable to those who have watched the problems which accompanied a hurried ‘fix release’ of Windows Vista. Lack of sufficient testing has left Vista 7 (RTM) in a position where the launch may be delayed. Even pro-Windows Web sites like NeoWin find themselves struggling to spin this in Microsoft’s favour, so they discredit the source of the claim.

Windows 7 RTM, which will be distributed to MSDN/TechNet and technical beta testers tomorrow, contains a nasty memory leak when the chkdsk command is initiated.

[...]

Some are calling the bug a “show stopper”, whilst others (Randall Kennedy) claim it could derail the Windows 7 launch.

In other Windows news: “Scareware package mimics Windows Blue Screen of Death”

Miscreants have developed a scareware package that mimics Windows’ infamous Blue Screen of Death.

Prospective marks are presented with a seemingly crashed system, along with a text warning that they need to buy “security software” to clean up their systems. But the SystemSecurity rogue package on offer has no utility other than scamming people out of their money.

For those who want to use their computers peacefully, there is GNU/Linux. Unlike Windows, it is not part of an ongoing experiment.

Unethical Microsoft Front Group Attacks Migration from Microsoft/Novell to Google

Posted in Google, Mail, Microsoft, Novell at 6:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Insanity

Summary: CAGW (of “letters from dead people” infamy) comes to Microsoft’s defence again

LAST YEAR we looked at Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), which is one among several similar groups that had been pushing Microsoft’s political agenda. For those who do not remember, the seriousness of CAGW’s despicable behaviour is explained in Wikipedia:

Microsoft’s Antitrust Case (Litigation)

The Los Angeles Times reported that at least two dead people sent a form letter by CAGW opposing the antitrust case against Microsoft to Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. According to the Times, family members crossed out the names on the form letters and signed for them. This brought about the “Microsoft Supported by Dead People” controversy[7] from Microsoft’s and CAGW’s opponents and the CAGW’s response that they were not tied to Microsoft or to ATL[8].

There are many more details in last year’s post, but today’s action relates to an incident mentioned just days ago because it directly affects Novell and Microsoft. It is about the City of Los Angeles, which is preparing to dump GroupWise and Microsoft products in order to embrace Google. CAGW magically appears at the scene, but there is no sign of letters from dead people this time around. Here is the gist:

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) President Tom Schatz sent a letter to Los Angeles City Council members Tony Cardenas, Bernard Parks, and Herb Wesson, all members of the City Council’s Information Technology and General Services Committee, which is meeting today to discuss using Google Apps as a replacement for the Novell GroupWise e-mail and Microsoft Office applications that the city is currently using.

From the letter they sent we can extract some obvious lies. For example, claims CAGW:

“On behalf of the 193,000 members and supporters of Citizens Against Government Waste in the state of California I would like to express our concerns with this proposed contract.

“ Last year, for example, Microsoft utilised political AstroTurf to derail Google’s deal with Yahoo!”Wait a second. 193,000 members and supporters? This is just like Jonathan Zuck and his ludicrous claim that ACT enjoys a representation of many small businesses when in fact it’s a lobby for a monopolist. They never ask those so-called ‘supporters’ for endorsement; the support is just arrogantly assumed.

Moreover, utters CAGW:

“We urge you to conduct more research on cost, security and risk, starting with learning more about the D.C. experience and why so few are using Google Apps.”

“So few are using Google,” eh? This sounds like the very same FUD which is coming from former Microsoft employees and Seattle 'reporters', both of whom shamelessly twist the facts.

This may be part of a long-going pattern where Microsoft uses lobbying fronts against Google. Last year, for example, Microsoft utilised political AstroTurf to derail Google’s deal with Yahoo! It was all ready for signing and it would have helped Yahoo!, which Microsoft is killing right now [1, 2].

Apple Still Abuses Linux-based Phones, Formal Complaint Filed

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Interoperability, Kernel at 5:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Turtles family

Summary: Apple bites Palm in order to guard its territory rather than compete fairly

SOME months ago we wrote about Apple's use of patents to intimidate and harm Palm's endeavours with WebOS, which uses Linux. Weeks ago Apple took it a step futher and broke iTunes compatibility to injure Palm's business.

Apple is doing it again and Palm has had enough. Justifiably enough (based on existing evidence), it’s filing a complaint. This is covered in many places, including:

The Register: Palm slams Apple, hoodwinks iTunes

Palm has filed a complaint with an industry group that monitors USB standards, claiming that Apple is “hampering competition” by locking the Palm Pre out of iTunes. The same complaint also reveals details of how the Pre tricks iTunes into thinking it’s an iPod.

The New York Times: Rivalry Between Apple and Palm Intensifies

Apple wants its iPhone to be the only cellphone to link effortlessly to its iTunes software, but Palm is putting up a fight.

The Inquirer: Palm complains about Apple

Palm synchs with Itunes by getting the perfect rainbow-hued software to recognise the phone as an Apple music player, allowing it to transfer files between the phone and a personal computer.

Palm said that this is okay because Apple is restricting connections via USB, which it says is a blatant disregard for the terms of the standard. For its part, Apple might try to claim that what Palm is doing is also a breach of standards compliance.

A couple of days ago we wrote about Apple hiding deficiencies of its products by gagging and early in the day we mentioned Apple in the context of "evangelism", so the following new report may also be of interest: Macbook cracks threaten to upset Apple cart [via]

Apple is refusing to formally acknowledge a widespread design flaw in its Macbook products that could develop into a major PR disaster and spark a recall.

The fault occurs in the range of Macbook laptops with plastic cases that have been on the market for several years and are still being offered for sale by Apple.

This post is not intended to bash Apple; rather, it shows how Apple bullies a company that ships products that are based on Linux. Apple is harassing GNU/Linux in all sorts of other ways, which makes it increasingly difficult to give it the benefit of the doubt.

Links 05/08/2009: Tiny Core Linux 2.2, Red Hat Awards and Scholarships

Posted in News Roundup at 5:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Linux’s User Interface Puts MS Windows’ To SHAME!

    Well, I got me a new refurbished box with very good specs, which is about to become my new home office machine. That’s as soon as Slackware 13.0 hits final distribution release, which should be any day now… (Bought the box with Windows on it, you see) So, while I’m twiddling my thumbs waiting for that landmark to come to pass, I did what any Linux user probably does when temporarily owning a copy of Windows (XP Pro here), and checked how it’s doing these days.

    Because, see, I just can’t get enough asstroturfers telling me how swell Windows stacks up to Linux lately. Gotta see for myself what all the hype is about. And since Microsoft is now suffering from the delusion that it competes with Linux, well…

    It didn’t take long before the old Microsoft memories came back. Literally before I could get into the desktop, the first problem hit: It doesn’t recognize the mouse. To be sure, the mouse is an old Wacom tablet with the little wireless mouse on it, pressed into service because, well, my other four mice are busy. It plugs into the USB port. But anyway, I’ve plugged this same mouse into more than six different machines running Linux and it always worked instantly.

  • Microsoft blames open source for revenue fall

    Microsoft has listed companies such as Red Hat and Canonical, both sellers of GNU/Linux, among the reasons for the 17 percent fall in revenue for the fourth quarter, year on year.

  • Oiling the digital society

    That shared ideology is far more significant than the specifics of particular alliances or clashes over certain parts of the market. Google’s Chrome OS, for example, is really just a minor adjustment of pieces on the chess board of the modern computing industry, neither a declaration of intent against Microsoft nor an attempt to annex GNU/Linux into Google’s worldview.

  • References

    • 5 Excellent Downloadable eBooks To Teach Yourself Linux

      So you have heard of all the advantages and geeky babble about how Linux is better and you have finally decided to try it? Just one thing, you don’t know an awful lot about Linux to get you started. How about some free downloadable ebooks to teach yourself Linux, that you can download today? Would that help?

    • 10 Essential UNIX/Linux Command Cheat Sheets

      To those of you who are aspiring to become a UNIX/Linux guru, you have to know loads of commands and learn how to effectively use them. But there is really no need to memorize everything since there are plenty of cheat sheets available on the web and on books. To spare you from the hassles of searching, I have here a collection of 10 essential UNIX/Linux cheat sheets that can greatly help you on your quest for mastery:

  • Kernel Space

    • My view on Linus Torvalds’ statement

      In Torvalds’ mind it’s not conceivable that one could care about freedom out of love and not hate. It’s not conceivable that one could stand to defend his and everyone else’s rights out of compassion, without hating the person who would take them away. That is the view of an extremist.

      It’s very unfortunate that people pay so much attention to Torvalds, as if he was some kind of visionary. Reality is that he’s just a very skilled hacker with delusions of grandeur and complete carelessness about ethics or morality.

    • X Server

      • AMD’s RS880 / 785G Gains Open-Source Acceleration

        Back in March we shared that the open-source ATI driver had gained support for the unreleased ATI RS880 IGP. Well, the RS880 ended up being turned into the 785G due to some problems on AMD’s side, but today this new, much more powerful IGP has launched. With that said, another commit made to the xf86-video-ati driver today finishes off the support. The RS880 / 785G IGPs are now properly recognized and the 2D acceleration support is complete.

      • NVIDIA Shows Linux Compatible Ray-Tracing Engine

        Information on the NVIDIA OptiX Application Acceleration Engine is available at NVIDIA.com. NVIDIA also lists four ray-tracing engine examples and do mention Linux for them, but the links are not currently available. These ray-tracing demos will still require Quadro FX hardware and also a NVIDIA 190.xx driver release or newer.

      • Linux GFX and state of drivers

        Well this thread maybe useful for people who are planning to purchase a system for linux use only and which GFX card to choose mainly ATI, NVIDIA or Intel.

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Tiny Core Linux v2.2

      Tiny Core Linux v2.2 is released. Tiny Core Linux is a very small (10 MB) minimal Linux Desktop, which runs very well on a Netbook. It is based on Linux 2.6 kernel, Busybox, Tiny X, Fltk & Jwm. The core runs entirely in ram & boots very quickly.

    • A Look at Linux Educacional 3.0

      Finally, I downloaded and played the national anthem of Brazil. I also downloaded a series of science videos oriented toward primary school children.

      Minor installation annoyances aside, overall I was impressed with this distro. It is based on a good, reliable source (Kubuntu) and provides a wide array of educational tools. It even includes kTurtle, a programming environment with a language described as “loosly based on Logo.” The software is good, so here’s to hoping for qualified teachers with a good curriculum to make full use of the resource.

    • Review: SimplyMepis 8.0

      SimplyMepis, or Mepis for short, is a distribution targeted towards new users that has the intended goal of providing a good distribution that is easy to use. Version 7.0, which was my first experience with Mepis was pretty good. But past success means little if the newer version doesn’t deliver. So let’s see how SimplyMepis 8 does.

    • Red Hat

      • Red Hat takes developer efforts to Malaysia

        Red Hat has pledged to ensure Malaysia’ open source software economy continues to grow with the launch of its Open Source Collaborative Innovation (OSCI) program in the country.

      • Red Hat Announces Finalists in Third Annual Innovation Awards

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the award-winning finalists in its third annual Red Hat and JBoss Innovation Awards. The awards are designed to recognize the outstanding use, innovation and extension of Red Hat and JBoss solutions by Red Hat customers, partners and the open source community. From the finalists, one Red Hat Innovator of the Year and one JBoss Innovator of the Year will each be selected and announced during the Red Hat Summit and JBoss World, co-located this year in Chicago, Sept. 1-4, 2009.

      • The Fedora Project Awards 2009 Scholarship

        The Fedora Project, a Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE:RHT) sponsored and community-supported open source collaboration, today announced that John McLean is the recipient of the 2009 Fedora Scholarship, a program now in its second year. The Fedora Scholarship program recognizes college and university-bound students across the globe for their contributions to free software and the Fedora Project. McLean was selected from an impressive applicant pool and plans to attend Duke University this fall and double major in computer science and religion.

    • Ubuntu

      • Shuttleworth: On cadence and collaboration

        I’ve stayed quiet in this discussion, though several folks have invoked my name and ascribed motivations to me that were a little upsetting. I’m not responding to that here, instead I’d like to focus on what we can achieve together, and how we can lead a very significant improvement in the health of the whole free software ecosystem.

      • Linux Mint 7 review

        …So, congratulations to Clem Lefebvre and the rest of the Mint team; you have successfully lured me back to Linux Mint with this release. (I just finished installing it about a half hour ago lol) Of course Mandriva Linux is a great distro but I missed being Minty Fresh!! So it’s back to being a Mint user for me…Thank you Clem and team!!

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • P2P-like Tahoe filesystem offers secure storage in the cloud

    Tahoe is a secure cloud filesystem that is licensed under the GPL. Its distributed storage model, which resembles peer-to-peer networking, makes it possible to build a shared storage pool using excess drive capacity from multiple computers across the Internet.

  • Open-Xchange Tries To Liberate Your Contact List

    Open-Xchange, an open-source e-mail and collaboration software maker, has set up a test Web site that allows people to pull in their contact information from various social networking services like LinkedIn and Facebook. The goal of the project is give people a chance to take control of their contacts and put all of their personal and work information in one place. By creating what amounts to a connections clearing house, Open-Xchange wants to spur to new types of networking services.

  • Sweet Home 3D: Open Source, Cross Platform Design Application

    If Vern Yip is reading this, I still need your help. Though Sweet Home 3D tops Google’s SketchUp in a number of areas, it’s still not much help for someone with no design sense.

  • Open source software – Essential Guide

    Free and open source software is seeing steady adoption among small to large UK businesses, as they begin to take it to the heart of their organisations for key enterprise applications in a bid to lower IT costs.

    Good enterprise-class open source support and services have also helped to drive adoption, as much as the fact that free and open source (FOSS) software products are continually maturing and improving both on the server and the desktop.

  • Software Freedom Day 2009

    As the Ubuntu Maryland team did last year, we are planning a day of talks and discussions about Open Source Software and its benefits. While there may be a bias towards the Linux platform in general and the Ubuntu distribution in particular we are open to talks on Open Source projects for any OS platform. In addition we are hoping to have some talks on open formats and standards.

  • about:mozilla – One billion, Theora, add-ons tour, Chocolate Factory, Mozilla.org, Bugzilla, and more…

    In this issue…

    * One billion downloads of Firefox
    * Why we count
    * What’s the problem with Theora?
    * Mozilla Add-ons U.S. Tour
    * Chocolate Factory: care to help?
    * Weave 0.5 released
    * Help test new mozilla.org site
    * Bugzilla 3.4 released

  • Audio

Leftovers

  • DRM/E-Book

    • Sony plans $199 U.S. e-reader, takes on Amazon

      Sony Corp (6758.T) will begin selling this month the cheapest digital book reader for the United States, heating up the competition with Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) in the small but fast-growing market for electronic readers.

      Sony plans to start selling its 5-inch-screen Reader Pocket Edition at $199 — which it called a breakthrough price — and a larger touchscreen reader for $299, through nationwide retail outlets such as Wal-Mart (WMT.N) and Best Buy (BBY.N).

    • New petition demands an end to Kindle DRM, faces long odds
    • The Book vs. The Kindle

      San Francisco bookstore Green Apple Books has put together a series of humorous videos that point up the advantages of paper books over Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader.

    • Lucidor 0.6 E-Book Reader Can Handle Web Feeds

      A deb package is also suitable for Ubuntu and Debian. The source code for download off the project page is under GPLv3.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyright cops raid Filesoup admin

      The British administrator of a former BitTorrent tracker site is out on police bail after his home was raided by police working with film industry investigators.

    • Famed Choreographer Dies… Intellectual Property Lawyers Take Over?

      While it gets some of the facts wrong (claiming that copyright exists to protect an artist’s income, rather than the truth: it exists to create an incentive to create), it at least tries to balance some of the questions, discussing things like Creative Commons and the public domain.

    • AP should serve industry interests by shifting from content focus to business solutions

      AP’s service costs as much (for a newspaper the size of The Gazette) as the salaries and benefits of several staff members who could provide unique local content not available elsewhere. It’s questionable whether the content AP provides is going to maintain that value much longer. If AP focuses on the content role, no amount of copyright protection will keep that role from deteriorating in value.

    • Wall Street Bull Artist Sues Author Of Lehman Brothers Book

      Our cautious skepticism about intellectual property laws, particularly when applied to the arts rather than technology, was confirmed this morning.

      The guy who made the iconic Wall Street bull is suing the publisher and authors of a new book about the collapse of Lehman Brothers because they put a picture of the bull on the cover.

      That’s right. There’s a guy out there who thinks he owns the rights to images of 7,000-pound sculpture that has been sitting in the financial district for 20 years. Whatever your opinions about the need for copyright and trademark rules to encourage innovation and reward creativity, it’s really hard to see how this makes any sense at all.

    • Music Royalty Debate Moves to Senate Committee

      While Internet radio stations have come to an agreement over music royalty rates, the debate over whether traditional radio stations should also pay up rages on. The Senate Judiciary Committee was the latest panel to play referee during a Tuesday hearing.

    • Student Arrested for Jailbreaking Game Consoles — Update

      Crippen, in a telephone interview with Threat Level, said the purpose of the jailbreaking was not for illegal piracy, but to allow patrons to use decrypted copies of their own DRM-laden gaming software. The DMCA, however, is not on his side, especially because he is accused of profiting from his hacks.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Luis Casas Luengo, Director of Extremadura’s Fundecyt foundation 18 (2004)

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

Fake Reporters, Microsoft, Apple, and the FTC

Posted in Apple, Marketing, Microsoft at 10:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bulls eye

Summary: Analysis of a disturbing trend in Web coverage and necessary response through regulatory agencies

TECHDIRT has this interesting new post where the seriousness of hired ‘reporters’ is downplayed. It says:

A year ago, I was fascinated by the news that Miller Brewing Company had hired its own journalist to create a news blog all about beer. It wasn’t just about Miller, but about the overall beer/brewing market.

Microsoft seems to have loads of those “pretend” journalists, who are just de facto PR people to Steve Ballmer (Ina Fried for instance). The bias is always very telling. Microsoft, for example, hired Peter Galli, a man who had used his position as a journalist to promote Microsoft and ridicule Microsoft’s competitors.

GreyGeek wondered if there was “Astroturfing in the talkbacks” on the original report about Apple's exploding iPod:

There appears to be an individual making comments and adding “facts” not in the article in defense of Apple. The posts have all the earmarks of Apple Astroturfing.

Has Apple adopted Microsoft’s techniques, demonstrated by MS “Technical Evangelists”?

This is already disputed by some, but given the knowledge that Apple openly talks about “Evangelism” (Guy Kawasaki wrote about that extensively), this is not out of the question.

One of our readers, Goblin, helped the exposition of one Microsoft AstroTurfer, who pales in comparsion to full-time Microsoft AstroTurfers that led us to complaining to the FTC (they returned a letter to say that they will review the issue given similar complaints). There are more reports on their way to the FTC. Goblin seems to be on the case:

As for using things later, that’s a little coincidental as you are kindly contributing to some points I am making in a very detailed report to the FTC.

More here (a sequel to the above):

I will end on this note, its often asked of me if I believe that there are those posting on the net paid for by certain proprietary companies. My answer is, it doesn’t matter, misleading information is misleading whatever the intention/source. There are people such as the FTC who are looking into this, all I can do is document and evidence my experiences and let them draw their own conclusions. I am coming to the end of a lengthy report on this whole subject. Once it has been submitted I will be releasing it here for everyone else to read.

[...]

Now that the FTC is getting involved in the issue of “gifting” and firms are suffering loss of profit due to the recession it will be interesting to see how many rave reviews of proprietary work when the “Genie” stops granting wishes.

Its a shame though, with people acting in this way, its now cast doubt (IMO) on anyone with positive comments on proprietary software.

Looking at Microsoft for a moment in respect of Twitter, check out how many official twitter accounts it has. Is this what Twitter was intended for?

Goblin later added that he has a new Twitter follower called “Microsoftfix”. As we mentioned before, particularly in posts about Microsoft’s Twitter antics [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], it is not unusual for Microsoft to follow or befriend its opposers on this social network. It’s probably part of the marketing strategy.

“I’m a huge fan of guerrilla marketing.”

Joe Wilcox, Microsoft Watch ‘Reporter’

Why GNU/Linux is Microsoft’s #1 Desktop Threat, Shareholders Are Finally Being Informed

Posted in Apple, Finance, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 9:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“We are not on a path to win against Linux”

Jim Allchin, Microsoft's Platform Group Vice President

Summary: As Microsoft’s earnings fall by a third (again), the reasons are being further analysed and Microsoft investors warned

NOW that it is easier to show ordinary folks that Net Applications is a joke, other writers remark on the inaccuracy of their numbers, which were held up by opponents of GNU/Linux as though these were a gold standard. Paul Rubens writes:

Now, of course, one can discuss Net Applications’ methodology endlessly and question the credibility of any organization that has to revise its figures by as much as 50 percent. But that’s all rather missing the important point. The point is that America’s purchasing patterns aren’t necessarily the same as the rest of the world’s.

Had Net Applications bothered with parts of the world like Russia and Brazil, Apple’s share would drop further and GNU/Linux climb sharply. But Net Applications is probably concerned about paying clients like Microsoft and Apple more than it cares about accurate representation of the truth [1, 2, 3, 4].

“According to Steve Ballmer, GNU/Linux has more market share than Mac OS X (on the desktop).”According to Steve Ballmer, GNU/Linux has more market share than Mac OS X (on the desktop). Microsoft’s internal communication as well is overly obsessed with GNU/Linux, and not so much with Apple. The matter of fact is that Apple only jeopardises Microsoft’s wealthiest of customer bases, whereas the vast majority of the clientèle does not fit into this privileged class.

Microsoft’s fight against GNU/Linux on the desktop is evident based on Comes vs Microsoft exhibits. Microsoft is admittedly scared of GNU/Linux. Our latest post about the Halloween Documents was cited widely and it received some interesting replies. “Barney” writes under the headline “consistent business model of anti-competitive methods”:

they talk like this is competition but it is like many others have said, they’ll say their horse if faster than yours, your horse is slow, and then instead of working on making sure they have the fastest horse, they put 100% of their efforts into shooting your horse.

Have you seen anything where they talk about making a better product and actually competing? No. And that stuff linked about the NetPC( NC or Network Computer ) was revealing in light of the netbook market. Consider how they are “competing” with Linux on netbooks by signing exclusive Windows XP deals such that executives from the OEMs publicly apologize for someone showing Linux on one of their netbooks. I’m sure they want to see the netbook market die off like the NC market and are using many of the same tricks and techniques. There is the smartphone and Android market too. Microsoft paid off every phone manufacturer to plug a version of their OS which was a year off at the exclusion of any Android devices or discussions even though many of these same phone manufacturers planned to ship Android phones in the next few months.

Same old Microsoft and same old Microsoft business methods. A new Microsoft my arse.

“GH” argues that:

MS wants to blend with the oss community to mix code and then like SCO from the deep, make claims against Linux.

Microsoft’s 10K says: “ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS Our operations and financial results are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including those described below, that could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, and the trading price of our common stock. Challenges to our business model may reduce our revenues and operating margins.

GNU/Linux is among those risks (not just on servers, as we noted before [1, 2, 3, 4]). More news sites are beginning to write about this, e.g.:

1. Microsoft Acknowledges Linux Threat to Windows Client

Microsoft for the first time has named Linux distributors Red Hat and Canonical as competitors to its Windows client business in its annual filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The move is an acknowledgement of the first viable competition from Linux to Microsoft’s Windows client business, due mainly to the use of Linux on netbooks, which are rising in prominence as alternatives to full-sized notebooks.

2. Microsoft Blames Open Source for Sales Slump

For many of the regularly caffeinated it was the closing of 600 Starbucks locations; for a large portion of the medical community, the announcement of the sinking crocs ship. As for the tech geeks, it was surely Microsoft’s first-ever drop in annual Windows sales that made them realize: Oh my, the economy really is messed up!

In this case, however, the economy is not the only culprit. Microsoft’s Q4 report to the U.S. SEC includes a rundown of their risk and competition factors, and on that list are both Linux and open source solutions.

3. SpringSource, Canonical, and MySQL join Red Hat on Microsoft’s hit list

Today, life is a little less rosy for Microsoft, as it calls out in its recent 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. As TechFlash highlights, Google Android is now called out by Microsoft as a competitor, as are Apple, Opera, and Google in browsers, whereas only Mozilla was deemed worthy of Microsoft’s competitive glare in 2008.

Because of GNU/Linux, Microsoft is competing on price now, rarely charging as much as it is able to get away with given a monopoly. This does not prevent the company from dabbling with price hikes though. From the British news:

Windows 7 upgrade rip-off for UK customers

Microsoft imposes 100% price hike

They give the illusion that Vista 7 is worth something and then bundle it with PCs to make it look like a bargain. At the same time, Microsoft bullies GNU/Linux vendors using racketeering tactics; it is always trying to tax Linux. Here is an old but highly relevant quote:

[Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson] went as far as to compare [Microsoft’s] declaration of innocence to the protestations of gangland killers. He was referring to five gang members in a racketeering, drug-dealing, and murder trial that he had presided over four years earlier. [...] Jackson believed that Gates & Co.’s “crime” was hubris—a refusal to acknowledge that the nation’s antitrust laws applied to them. He was only half joking when he told me, “If I were able to propose a remedy of my devising, I’d require Mr. Gates to write a book report.” The assignment, Jackson said, would be a recent biography of Napoleon, and he went on, “Because I think he has a Napoleonic concept of himself and his company, an arrogance that derives from power and unalloyed success, with no leavening hard experience, no reverses.”

Not much has changed since then:

Notice how Steve [Ballmer] diverts the attention of the public from the real issue here: money.
What Steve here tries to underline – as he has done in oh-so-many-occasions – is the fact that everything has a price. If his company sells, then by comparison, what is free must also have a price. You see, for Steve is crucial that the consumers get brainwashed with this idea. Otherwise they could all just wake up one day and say “hey – what have we been paying for all this time? Why can Linux be free?”
So this is the story of the happy little “intelectual property” fairy.
Steve used to call Linux users “communists”. Linux used to be a “cancer”. Do you know what communists do? They monopolize people.

GNU/Linux is Microsoft’s Nemesis.

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