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08.12.09

Microsoft Accused of “Sabotaging Desktop Virtualisation”

Posted in Apple, IBM, Marketing, Microsoft, Patents, Virtualisation at 3:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Another bit of insight into anti-competitive behaviour from Microsoft and Apple

Microsoft’s attempts to control virtualisation so as to suppress adoption of other platforms or cheapening of Windows were mentioned here a lot in the context of servers. It turns out that on desktops too Microsoft has been pulling similar tricks, which stifle IBM’s attempt to put GNU/Linux on more desktops. Here is an explanation of this from IDG: [via Bob Sutor]

Why Microsoft is sabotaging desktop virtualization

Analysis: Microsoft’s licensing makes VDI unaffordable, to keep its stranglehold on desktop Windows licenses intact

[...]

There’s no other way to cut this: It’s simply way more expensive to license a Windows desktop OS for a VDI environment than it is to license one for a physical environment. Even if you upgrade to a new major OS revision during those three years by taking advantage of the Software Assurance plan included in VECD, you’re still paying more than you would if you did the same thing with a desktop client.

That is the text quoted by IBM’s Vice President of Linux and Open Source. As we shall show in a moment, IBM is trouble for Free software, but for other reasons. Apple too is somewhat of a fiend, attacking Linux with deliberate lack of interoperability and with patents also. It is rather amusing to see CNN/Fortune’s Apple-oriented blog casting Apple’s behavioural problems as just a “PR issue”. How arrogant a trivialisation.

To get a feel for how serious a PR problem this has become, check out the tone of New York Times columnist David Pogue’s latest e-mail newsletter.

Apple’s problems are conceit and greed. The only “PR problem” is that Apple is unable to hide an attitudinal issue, regardless of communication about this issue. Some people would argue that Boycott Novell takes a rather divisive approach, but the reality of the matter is that tyrannical entities (by their very nature) which use PR to conceal robbery of freedoms and rights are a long-term divisive issue which leaves people isolated and less capable of organising, demanding change, and restoring vital dignity. It is only ever realised when it’s too late. This issue of morality will be explored in a later post about patents, which are part of a monopolistic system that protects the privileged from peers who are underdogs. That system too relies on an indoctrination system which sells itself to the public using buzzwords like “innovation” and practically bans competition.

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4 Comments

  1. Charles Oliver said,

    August 12, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Gravatar

    “As we shall show in a moment, IBM is trouble for Free software, but for other reasons”

    How? IBM may want to commoditise the OS because they want to sell the software layer above in a market where Microsoft is not a monopoly or even dominant player.

    It might be an IBM tactic to attack what Microsoft sees as core but this seems actually to the benefit of free software. Google could be said to be taking the same tack. With everyone giving away operating systems, it might be worth questioning how long Microsoft will even be relevant. I can see them making it to Windows 7+1 in a few years but is there much beyond that for them?

    I don’t see the tack that IBM and Google are taking as detrimental to free software. The more popular the Linux kernel, for instance, becomes the more pressure there is on hardware manufacturers to not only release drivers but to open source those drivers so that they continue to work with the next kernel. I wonder how much money nVidia would save if their drivers were open source.

    So I hope Google and IBM carry on. Then I hope people develop free versions of the layer above. Open Street Map (latest Floss weekly) might be an example of something that can remove the power that mapping monopolies (who licence to google, microsoft etc.) in time, in the way WIkipedia has with encyclopedias (and beyond). I’m not aware of a free dovetailed office centred environment like sharepoint or notes, I’m sure there is one but it hasn’t got the mindshare (to use a marketing droid term).

    Charles Oliver Reply:

    Whoops. Maybe I should read things first.

    http://boycottnovell.com/2009/08/12/ibm-promoting-software-patents/

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Open Street Map (and yes, I listened to the whole show, which is my favourite) is not proprietary like IBM or Google, so the analogy is a bit deficient.

    Charles Oliver Reply:

    That’s my point. IBM and Google are all about making the OS free and selling to the layer above.

    The layer above can be made free by looking at those things that people use and making sure there are free alternatives. Googlemaps -> Openstreemaps, Sharepoint -> ?, Skype -> Ekiga (?).

    But I don’t think it’s just about looking at what people use currently. If IBM and google make the free OS a success then the chance of starting something on the desktop within free software that can become successful on it’s own bat is greater.

    Top to bottom free software would be a nice goal.

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