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08.23.09

Vista 7 Just as Bad as Vista, But Microsoft Removes Choice

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 9:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista 7

Summary: More doubts about Vista 7, which lacks new features; consumer choice is further removed

THE previous post contended that Microsoft was renaming Vista in order to dodge its poor reputation. Here is a confirmatory item found today in Google News:

Windows 7 will be released soon, and although there is actually lots of positive buzz about their latest product (in comparison to a lot of negative buzz about Vista), there simply aren’t that many new features in 7. I maintain the suspicion that the whole Windows Mojave experiment was just a ploy by Microsoft to see if they could get away with repackaging and renaming Vista with only a few minor improvements. No more improvement than I would expect with each subsequent release of Ubuntu. The difference is that Ubuntu takes six months to put out a new release, and Microsoft takes at least two years.

We took a lot at news headlines from Google News, spanning a period of one week (16/08/09-22/08/09 inclusive). With duplicates removed we have roughly 400 headlines left. The number of headlines matching “Vista” in the past week: 0. Compare that with 13 for “Windows 7″. Nothing but ‘fluff’ there by the way. None of those articles about “Windows 7″ actually presents anything new, so it’s all about buzz and PR. As for “Vista”, it’s history; never mind the fact that only Vista is available as the version of Windows today, whereas “Windows 7″ is something marketers talk about.

“None of those articles about “Windows 7″ actually presents anything new, so it’s all about buzz and PR.”Based on our experience viewing articles, many journalists who write about “Windows 7″ never even tried it; they rely on word of mouth and coverage that Microsoft bribed for. A lot of other coverage comes from MSDN subscribers and other Windows enthusiasts whose PCs are very modern (and probably came with Vista preinstalled, which makes them compatible with Vista 7).

Based on experiences of our readers, Vista 7 suffers from hardware incompatibilities, just like its predecessor. As this new cartoon reminds us, serious Windows bugs simply refuse to die. As long as Microsoft gets to saddle each PC with Vista 7 (possible violation of the law), why even bother improving the product?

Added at the bottom are a bunch of links which show how Microsoft blocked competition on sub-notebooks. Terry Porter from Australia writes today:

I checked the shelves in the local superstore the other day, and it’s now all Microsoft Windows, no more choice, no more Netbooks with Linux.

The cheapest is now at least $100 more [note: this is Australian dollars] than the Linux units that once adorned their shelves.

Once a hive of buyer interest (when low cost Linux units were available) the area is now a buyer dead zone.

Yes, the Linux units sold just fine, the under $500 price tag did the trick.

My partner uses her unit (bought there) daily, to keep in touch with me while she is traveling. Her Acer Aspire One A110 (Linux) is unmodified except for enabling ‘advanced mode’, and uses a off the shelf broadband wireless modem, which worked perfectly from the start with ‘Mobile Manager’, standard on that model.

She paid $400 for that unit, brand new.

Windows, its all about (the removal of) choice.

According to this potentially-new revelation, Microsoft may charge $150 for Windows XP at the OEM channel. Is this possible?

I expected to have to dig around to find the comparison between two comparable systems, one with MSWindows and one with GNU/Linux. Boy was I wrong. Dell put the cost of MSWindows front-center with a button titled “Personalize with WindowsXP for an Additional $150. Good for Dell!

If Microsoft is able to remove choice, then it can charge as much as it wishes. How is this beneficial to consumers?

More information:

Microsoft Raises Prices, Dodges Old Brands

Posted in Hardware, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 8:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gas station

Summary: Microsoft adopts a suicidal approach to making a comeback

Windows Mobile is already struggling for survival as its small (single-digit) market share continues to fall. Microsoft seems determined to make this platform even less appealing by elevating the cost of Windows Mobile-compatible software. From one among many reports:

Microsoft Doesn’t Want Its App Marketplace To Be A Dollar Store

[...]

During a developer camp hosted by Microsoft yesterday at its Redmond headquarters, a mobile exec instructed developers to not be shy when it comes to pricing your applications, reports TechFlash.

Helping people in a bad economy? That’s not on Microsoft’s mind.

Microsoft to increase 360 Arcade price in UK, retailers confirm

[...]

Retailers have told Eurogamer that Microsoft will increase the price of the Arcade Xbox 360 bundle to GBP 159.99 (from GBP 129.99) starting September 1. The five XBLA games will no longer be included in the bundle, either.

With a very high failure rate and other major issues, Xbox 360 is heading the wrong way. Now comes Sony with another challenge (on top of the Wii, which has already given Microsoft a headache):

Pachter: PS3 Price Drop May Force Microsoft To Act

[...]

We think it might be the latter; video game consumers are a savvy group, as history has proven, and when a logical, rational-minded individual sets out to buy a new game console and sits down to compare the PS3 and 360, the combination of the new price, Blu-Ray, better exclusives, better reliability ratings, and free Network ought to steer them towards Sony’s machine.

Hardware and Microsoft just don’t seem to blend. Microsoft keeps renaming products like embedded Windows and Live Search, but this is not a solution, it’s wishful thinking. Brand-dodging may even be Microsoft’s strategy with Windows Mobile and it is already the strategy adopted for Vista 7 (Microsoft calls it “Windows 7″ although it is just “Vista extended”). More on that in the next post.

Intellectual Monopolies and Bottling up “Free Water”

Posted in IBM, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 8:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Water bottle

Summary: How companies such as IBM and Microsoft take away algorithms and then ‘donate’ or ‘sell them back’ to us

NOW that an ex-IBM executive is in charge of the USPTO [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9], things may get interesting. IBM needs to be pressured to drop its defense of software patents, particularly as long as other very massive multinational giants are spreading this mechanism of oppression against programmers. IBM would say, “but the shareholders! The shareholders.”

“IBM needs to be pressured to drop its defense of software patents…”IBM is not an enemy, but there is also room for improvement when subjugation occurs and marketing of IBM’s own Linux products is hinged on indemnification that only IBM can offer.

FFII’s president writes: ‘”Bilski Vs Doll” at the US Supreme Court becomes “Bilski Vs Kappos” or “Bilski Vs IBM” if you prefer.’

Scientes replies with: “Bilski trying to sue to get a business method patent issued, USPTO refused their patent, seek judicial review.”

Jose_X brought up the subject earlier today and he also wrote many things in Linux Today, including:

In case, this comment appears cryptic, I think the OIN way is superior to the Microsoft way, but the OIN way still leaves much to be desired. The IP moguls are bottling up “free water” so the rest of us have to pay for it.

GreyGeek replied as follows:

The IP moguls are bottling up “free water” so the rest of us have to pay for it.

That sums it up pretty well. It doesn’t matter that FREE software was around before Bill Gates stole BASIC out of a dumpster behind YALE’s IT bldg.

Now the “IP Moguls” are trying a new spin, which you remarked on in another post: “Patents promote innovation because they make FOSS possible”

That’s like claiming that settlers made free range possible because they put up fences. (After they stole the free range from the natives, and used their own laws to enforce the theft. Sound familiar?)

David Gerard concludes with: ‘William Patry agrees: use the phrase “intellectual monopoly”, not “intellectual property” http://is.gd/2uKKx patents are corporate welfare.’

These are also corporate warfare (against competition that rises from the bottom). Microsoft is unlikely to fight against software patents, but IBM can possibly change its ways, especially if the Free software community is able to see what IBM is up to and how easily it can improve things with its enormous influence over the USPTO.

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: August 23rd, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 7:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

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

Links 23/08/2009: SLAMPP 2.0, Nokia May Enter Sub-notebooks with Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 7:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Open-source world is his

    Until his junior year of high school, McLean, 18, was an “average computer user.” That’s when a friend turned him on to Linux, a type of open-source software, where programmers can modify the underlying code.

    Next week, he starts his freshman year at Duke University and plans to study computer science and religion. His college costs will be partly paid with a 2009 Fedora scholarship, which recognizes students for their contributions to free, open-source software.

  • Korean OSS Contest Opens Doors to Worldwide Developers

    The deadline is fast approaching for open source developers to participate in Open Source Software Challenge 2009 contest, hosted by the Ministry of Knowledge Economy of South Korea.

    Until August 30, students and any other developer who wants to participate, can register for the Challenge, which is aimed at giving international competitors a chance to contribute to projects from around the world, fostering information exchange and the growth of a network of worldwide open source developers.

  • Froscon Day 1.

    This year I decided to go to Froscon. I had planned to go the last couple of years, but I never actually did it. And I must admit that I like it very much. The differences with for example Fosdem are huge. The developer tracks are really of the level of Getting Things Done instead of talking about it. Also the location is quite ok. The rooms are tidy, I can sit perfectly (something I can’t say about Fosdem), the heat in the rooms is bearable and also the acoustic is very good. Most tracks are in German, but some are in English. Just the right ones.

  • Apple and Linux share the same design philosophy

    See what I mean? I will make a rough cut and say that Apple people develop frontend and Linux folks develop backend. But what unites them is that they both have a personal vested interest that the software succeeds, because they personally care about it. Which is opposed to the view of “professional designer” and “the user is not like me”.

  • 7 reasons I choose Linux over Windows 7

    Many have marked the 22nd of October on their calendars,but they seem to have forgotten the presence of the penguin.Mind you my friend the penguin is everywhere.Here are some of the Linux distributions releasing around that date

    Ubuntu Karmic : October 29th

    Fedora 12 : November 3rd

    OpenSuse 11.2 : November 12th

  • Kernel Space

    • The big guns of Linux kernel development

      As the report notes, the Linux kernel remains one of the largest and most successful open-source projects, able to sustain both rapid growth and rapid change. And, importantly, the distributed development efforts mean that development can continue on even if certain companies opt out of future efforts.

      Perhaps Linux is the only truly future proof technology?

    • Linux 2.6.31-rc7

      You know the drill, so all together now: “Another week, another -rc
      kernel”.

      Most of the changes are small one-liners, but the dirstat shows the areas
      that got a bit more tender loving care:

      17.4% arch/arm/mach-omap2/
      2.2% arch/arm/mm/
      [...]

  • Applications

    • World of Padman: Open-Source First-Person Shooter Game for Linux

      World of Padman is an open-source, cartoon-style first-person shooter game available for Linux too, besides Windows and Mac. It is a wonderful standalone game based upon the Quake 3 engine.

    • 5 RSS Feed Readers for Linux

      Here are 5 of the most popular, standalone feed reader applications for Linux. I didn’t include feed readers which come with applications like Firefox, Opera or Thunderbird for example, but these can also be considered a viable alternative to the ones below.

    • Audacious 2.1 Review – Powerful Audio Replacement for XMMS

      Audacious is a powerful audio player for Linux which resembles the older XMMS, only using GTK2 toolkit for its interface. It supports XMMS and implicitly Winamp 2.x skins, coming with support for various audio formats, including MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) or WMA (Windows Media Audio).

    • Top 3 Linux Vector Graphics Editors

      Formely known as Xara LX, it is based on Xara Xtreme for Windows, which is the fastest graphics program available, period. The Xara Xtreme source code was made available open-source in early 2006, and is being ported to Linux.

    • Simon

      • Simon – speech activated user interface for KDE

        Every once in a while, the KDE community stumbles across a third party application that is well integrated into KDE, but has somehow managed to fly completely beneath the radar. One such application is called simon (small ‘s’ intentional), a speech recognition program that integrates well with KDE and provides a means of interacting with KDE using voice recognition.

      • How-To: Install Simon Speech Recognition Application in Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope

        Simon is a very nice KDE4 project with the goal of developing a speech recognition application and it currently works pretty well by letting the user record certain words and execute various commands given via a microphone. Since currently it is not included in the Ubuntu repositories, here are instructions on getting it up and running in Jaunty.

  • Distributions

    • Mandriva Linux 2010.0 Beta Has Plymouth

      Dear Mandriva fans, the time has come to announce the Beta release of the upcoming Mandriva Linux 2010.0 Linux distribution, due for launch in November this year. The features of this release are exactly what everyone was expecting, the KDE 4.3 and GNOME 2.28 Beta desktop environments, as well as Linux kernel 2.6.31 RC6 and X.Org Server 1.6.2.

    • Noteworthy Mandriva Cooker changes (10 August – 23 August 2009)
    • [SLAMPP 2.0 Released]

      Latest stable release

      SLAMPP Live CD/DVD 2.0.1 (Kalinda) – August 21, 2009

      Download the latest SLAMPP here.
      What powers up SLAMPP 2.0.x?

      SLAMPP 2.0.x is built using Zenwalk 6.0 as its base and Slackware Linux for packages. To compile everything into a working live CD, Linux Live scripts are used.

    • Hilti Standardizes Systems on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SAP Solutions

      Red Hat, Inc., a provider of open source solutions, announced that Hilti has migrated its systems running SAP applications.

    • Ubuntu Family

      • New In Karmic: Installation Changes

        Canonical have been hard at work redesigning the Ubuntu installer ‘Ubiquity’ into something more user-friendly in time for Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala.

      • Review: Ubuntu 9.04

        Long time no see; I’ve been away from the Linux community for a year focusing on other avenues. Yesterday I closed distro-review.com down and ported the Linux reviews over to this blog again. Having been away from the scene for a long while it seems fitting to review Ubuntu 9.04 and see how the situation has changed.

      • PC-OS 2009.03

        All in all, PC-OS is a good distro, with points to place it above Ubuntu, but the fact that it is based upon 8.04 is disappointing as it misses out on many of the improvements made in later editions. While it is lighter than Ultimate Edition, I still think Ultimate Edition has the edge over it when it comes to ease of use.

      • Buntfu.com Upgrades with New Features and Services

        Launched in February 2008, Buntfu is located at http://www.buntfu.com. It enables anyone or company to list their inventory of GNU/Linux based computers on their auction style store. The site is completely free with no site fees, store fees, or closing cost fees.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Firefox Mobile: Fennec 1.0 Beta 3 for Nokia tablets

      The last peep we heard about Fennec was in late June, when Mozilla updated its mobile edition of the Firefox browser for Windows Mobile phones. This week, the Firefox browser maker has released an updated version for the platform powering Nokia N800 and N810 Internet Tablets: Fennec 1.0 Beta 3.

    • Nokia plans foray into netbook segment

      With the market for converged devices growing, the world’s largest cell phone maker, Nokia, on Wednesday said it is exploring various opportunities in this market and may enter the netbook segment. ( Watch )

      “…the PC and the mobile will continue to come closer and merge. A lot of opportunity can be seen in this converged area.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open source software might be cheaper than alternatives, but it has many other business benefits, too.

    It is often said that open source software wins because it is cheaper.

    However, the bigger factor in the success of open source software in industry has been performance.

    [...]

    Here’s our top ten reasons to consider using open source and Linux in your business.

  • Accidental open source hero

    “In the heart of any open source project there is a circle of copying, modifying and sharing, all of which takes place without having to go through a central process,” he explains. “That is what drives the diversity of ideas.”

  • Time to Help an Open Source Hero

    I’ve given $10, which may not be much, but if just a few dozen Linux Journal readers did the same, his hospital bills would be covered, and there might even be some money left over for the HeliOS Project too.

  • Analysts Say EC Will Scrutinize—but Ultimately Sanction—Oracle-Sun Deal

    The Brussels-based European Commission has scheduled an antitrust review date of Sept. 3 to discuss the multinational companies’ proposed deal. It will look closely at two main areas of concern: Sun’s Java networking software franchise and the enterprise parallel database market—two sectors in which Oracle stands to greatly increase its market share.

  • The e-Learning Lingo Podcast Discusses “Open Source Software”

    Dave Boggs, CEO of SyberWorks, states, “This week’s episode of the e-Learning Lingo Podcast describes software for which the original program instructions are widely available.”

  • Anthony Doesburg: Students open to new source of knowledge

    All of it is open-source – and free – saving an estimated $200,000 over the equivalent proprietary software from the likes of Microsoft. Yet, says Mark Osborne, Albany Senior High’s deputy principal and IT co-ordinator, the money’s only part of it.

    “The financial benefits of open-source are quite secondary to our overall goal, which is to be an open, collaborative community where nobody is shut out of the learning process; nobody is beyond our community.”

  • Why do companies prefer proprietary products to GPL products?

    In the GPL case, you’ve spent $50,000 on features you find valuable. Indeed your competitors can now use that product and those features, but they can in the proprietary route.

    There are additional benefits to the GPL products that seem to get overlooked. We have full access to the source code. We usually have a community full of examples and solutions to any problems we may encounter, which are only a Google search away.

  • Web Browsers

    • Bespin cloud editor gains collaborative editing feature

      Mozilla Labs has released a new version of Bespin, a Web-based integrated development environment. The new version introduces support for collaborative editing.

    • 12 add-ons every Firefox user must have

      Firefox’s extendibility is one of its great advantages, and there are thousands of plugins to choose from.

      But having so much choice can be confusing, and it’s often hard to tell which add-ons are worth installing and which are best left alone. So look no further – here’s our 12 essential Firefox extensions. Download them now!

    • Which Web Browser And Why?

      Stuck in a ‘Net surfing rut? Firefox, IE, Safari, and Opera have all been refreshed recently, and newbies Google Chrome and Microsoft IE 8 have joined the fray. Here’s how to choose.

  • Misc.

    • Defense Info Agency Open-Sources Its Web Apps

      DISA, which provide IT services to the Department of Defense, made the decision to share its applications after other agencies expressed interest in them, said Dick Nelson, chief of personnel systems support at DISA’s manpower, personnel and security directorate. “Federal agencies discovered that the applications we have could be of benefit more widely,” he said. Interest is coming from states and counties, as well.

    • Introducing PLoS Currents: Influenza

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Jack Vice, Founder of robot maker Anthrotronix, Inc. 03 (2005)

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

Microsoft and the Publishing Industry as Inseparable

Posted in Deception, DRM, Google, Microsoft at 8:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“DRM is the future.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Summary: A look at new stories which illustrate Microsoft’s control of public perception using the press

Ashley Highfield, whom we previously mentioned in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9], was largely responsible for the Microsoft-BBC fiasco. He was in charge and he lied a lot.

“We have 17.1 million users of bbc.co.uk in the UK and, as far as our server logs can make out, 5 per cent of those [use Macs] and around 400 to 600 are Linux users.”

Ashley Highfield

Later came the “damage control”, which was costly. Highfield told Groklaw that his foolish Microsoft/DRM move at the BBC should not be part of the future, but in this new article from The Guardian — now that he left the BBC and joined Microsoft — Highfield spreads propaganda terms like “piracy” and also deals a low blow to Google, which is his competitor that Microsoft could not compete with [1, 2].

Highfield announced he was leaving the BBC in April last year to join the ill-fated Project Kangaroo. Less than two months later it emerged that the BBC’s annual digital budget managed by his division, future media and technology, had suffered a £35.8m blowout in the year to the end of March 2008. This represented a 48% increase on the original budget set at £74.2m. Officially, most of this extra £36m was judged to be a “misallocation of general overheads and costs from other budgets”, with just £3.5m considered to be actual overspend. However, the BBC Trust lambasted the corporation’s executives for “poor financial accountability” and a lack of management control.

[...]

For Highfield, pushing TV companies to embrace the lessons of the internet is pointless without protecting their content to allow monetisation. “Most popular YouTube content is based on TV programming in bite-sized portions,” he says. “Most broadcasters and producers are not getting revenue from that content.

Why is The Guardian letting Microsoft grab the microphone like this? Microsoft’s press/channel control (gaining influence/ownership of more news Web sites as of late [1, 2, 3]) is a truly troublesome trend. Here is Microsoft using an NDA embargo only to see it backfiring. The UK-based Inquirer reports and then corrects as follows (only yesterday):

Play.com breaks Microsoft’s NDA embargo

[...]

Update: It now appears Microsoft was at fault for getting Play.com in trouble. Vole central dispatched the advert to the online retailer without telling them to keep schtum until September 9th, according to a Play.com spokesperson.

So, the press falsely accuses Play.com because of Microsoft’s very own incompetence — failing to police coverage properly. We’ve already seen how Microsoft polices coverage at The Inquirer too.

Gartner Group Shows Its True Colours — Censors Reporters

Posted in GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft at 7:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gartner Group logo redone

Summary: The Gartner Group has no shame when controlling people’s speech by intimidation

THE GARTNER Group is boycotted by us for reasons that we wrote about in:

There are some more recent examples where Gartner attacks GNU/Linux for Microsoft's sake and we have antitrust exhibits to show this, e.g. [1, 2, 3].

“David Smith commented that Gartner will not bash MS if MS chooses to slip Vista.”

Jamin Spilzer, Microsoft

Thanks to a writer who was bold enough to talk about this publicly, we finally can learn just how Gartner is guarding its image/identity — by censorship.

When censorship goes too far, we cannot say Gar-ner anymore

[...]

So all of the information I posted and used was sent to me by vendors to make sure I knew the news. But Gar-ner does not see it that way; I still have no idea why. But what I did was to delete all blogs that have this company name in it. By deleting them I am telling them that they mean nothing to me anymore, I will no longer use their name or even care about the square they use. I know some vendors called me on Friday and Saturday to talk to me about the deleted post.

[...]

To be clear to all of my readers, we will not use, publish or mention the Gar-ner name or any reports in the future. We will come up with our own when it comes to networking, voices, video and other areas. I am sure we can do a better job any way.

TechDirt has an article about this too.

Gartner Tells Reporter: You’re Not Allowed To Mention Gartner Research Without Our Permission

Rich Kulawiec alerts us to the news that Gartner (which absolutely should know better) sent a legal nastygram to a Network World blogger, Larry Chaffin, for the mortal sin of mentioning Gartner without Gartner’s permission.

[...]

Chaffin actually did take down the posts after being threatened, claiming that in doing so he’s showing how meaningless Gartner is. He also promises never to post about any Gartner reports ever again in the future — but did talk up Gartner’s ridiculous policies and demands (amusingly referring to the company as Gar-ner).

Beyond just being of questionable legality, Gartner’s actions also seem incredibly short-sighted (especially for a firm that’s supposed to be known for being forward looking). Everyone knows the real value in a Gartner report is not in any actual analysis, but in the PR it might generate for companies that find their way into the infamous (and silly) “magic quadrant.” By forcing reporters not to talk about who’s in that magic quadrant, Gartner has just made its reports significantly less valuable. Now that’s foresight.

We wrote about the magic quadrant in [1, 2, 3]. It is almost as though Gartner is ‘selling’ recommendation to companies, but then again, that’s how their business works.

“Analysts sell out – that’s their business model… But they are very concerned that they never look like they are selling out, so that makes them very prickly to work with.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Microsoft Crowd Incites People Against Rival Web Browsers

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 7:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Police at protest

Summary: The Microsoft-backed mob wants Firefox dead

AS we showed many times before, the Microsoft ecosystem is very much like a cult that acts against anything which is not Microsoft, driven by faith rather than understanding of fairness and civility. There is also a good deal of gifting (distribution of wealth within this “cult”).

In the news this week we found this report from IDG News Service. It suggests that Microsoft managed to sneak out of regulatory action virtually unpunished, as usual.

If Microsoft can’t strike a deal with European Union antitrust regulators over Internet Explorer before Windows 7′s scheduled Oct. 22 launch, the company will likely ship the browser with the new OS anyway, an analyst said today.

So basically, nothing substantial was achieved by Opera’s action. Mozilla has rightly complained about this and here is the original explanation.

In the material below we’ve tried to articulate in detail those key aspects of the proposal that need modification (Protecting User Choices and the Ballot Mechanism). Our assumption is that the EC and Microsoft may be close to a resolution; thus, the ability to radically change the proposal may be constrained as a practical matter, but I’d welcome feedback on other essential terms or clarifications that may be missing.

Needless to say, the Microsoft crowd will deform and spin this against Microsoft’s competitors.

It was not long ago that the Microsoft faithful Paul Thurrott wrote: “I’d recommend a boycott of Opera if I thought anyone was actually USING the damned thing…”

Around that very same time, Microsoft partners were boycotting Opera and urging others to do the same. It’s like some kind of economic sanction which totally neglects the crimes Microsoft has committed (with convictions) for Internet Explorer to illegally gain market share.

Here is how Opera put it, as quoted by Alibaba.com:

“Microsoft has been doing something illegal for a very, very long time,” says Jon von Tetzchner. A lot of people outside of Redmond, Wash. would probably agree. But in this case, the 41-year-old chief executive and cofounder of Opera Software, is griping about something we’ve all heard about for a decade: Microsoft’s bullying attempts to own the Web browser market by bundling its own version into Windows. Von Tetzchner half got what he wanted on Thursday, when Microsoft announced it would release Windows 7 in Europe without Internet Explorer, to counter European Union charges made in January on bundling the browser.

“Microsoft shill or fanboi, Andrew Thomas, calls for the death of Mozilla Corporation,” we learn from an alerts. Who is Andrew Thomas? Going back to Monday (August 17th), we find him writing in TG Daily that “Microsoft uses TG Daily writers to improve Office 2010.”

Software behemoth Microsoft has roped in TG Daily writers as unpaid consultants to improve spell and grammar checking in the upcoming release of Office.

It’s revealing, isn’t it? It shows how close Thomas has come to Microsoft. It is not news to us that TG Daily delivers a lot of Microsoft propaganda. Rob Enderle [1, 2] is one of their writers and Microsoft is a major sponsor (advertiser at the very least). The tag cloud speaks for itself. And it seems like like Andrew Thomas is just another Enderle being groomed by Microsoft.

Watch what he writes about Mozilla:

How much longer are we expected to put up with these whining scumbags who patently cannot compete on a levelplaying field…

[...]

Any company that uses lawyers rather than technical excellence to make a dollar deserves to die.

“Whining scumbags,” eh? Mozilla as the bad guy.

“Actually,” tells us a reader, “the court is pointing out that the playing field is far from level. “MSFT scumbags” have been whining for years to prevent having to compete on even terms. It’s entertaining, to be sure, to read the incoherent rantings of MSFT fanbois, but maybe Punch or the National Lampoon would be a more appropriate forum for Thomas than the TG Daily.

“Look for more Microsoft revisionist history to come in the near future. Thomas hits on many points: EU requiring *unbundling* of MSIE, illegal tying of products, illegal abuse of monopoly positions (going back to the old illegal per-processor days), inability of MS products to compete on technical merits (.NET is so slow and unstable that benchmarking is banned), and so on.

“Thomas is confusing ‘common’ or ‘unavoidable’ with ‘popular’

“Elvis is popular. Digestive gas is common. Butterflies are popular. Cockroaches are common.

“It seems that the whining is due to the declining use of MSIE in favor of both Firefox and Chrome.

“Microsoft business model seems to be more about thrashing about and causing disturbances. Members at Groklaw have pointed out that Microsoft is the new SCO. Rather than let that drag on and drag down the economy further, it is time to consider the RICO Act. This one time we can benefit from vendor lock-in: at Club Fed.”

Another problem posed by Microsoft’s monoculture is insecure software which makes the Internet far from acceptable. Quoting examples from the news this week (this is an Internet Explorer issue):

i. Using IE with Hotmail’s photo uploads led to security flaw (Updated)

The Windows Live Hotmail team has indicated that it has disabled adding photos directly into the body of an e-mail due to a security flaw that occurs when using Internet Explorer.

ii. Hotmail pulls Attach-Photo feature over security concerns

Microsoft has suspended the “Attach-Photo” feature in Hotmail as a result of security concerns.

iii. “Microsoft Hotmail users angry over pulled photo feature

Windows Live Hotmail users have been venting their frustration at Microsoft Corp. for the past month since the software maker suddenly removed a popular feature because it created a security hole.

To make matters worse, Microsoft refuses to eliminate a Web browser which is not only standards-hostile (by design) but it also insecure by design.

Good news for fans of Internet Explorer 6, the version of Microsoft’s online browser that debuted in 2001. Even though the company is now up to its eighth version of the browser, it will continue to support IE6 until at least 2014.

[...]

And many developers don’t want to bother making their products conform to IE6. Mark Trammell of the Digg content rating site, blogged, “Here at Digg, like most sites, the designers, developers, and QA engineers spend a lot of time making sure the site works in IE6, an 8-year-old browser superseded by two full releases.”

With rusty software like Internet Explorer 6 out there, one ought to expect more scandals like the following:

i. Lawsuit seeks to pry information from banks on account breaches

The 11-page complaint alleged that cyber-thieves are stealing millions of dollars from U.S. bank accounts every month via virus infected e-mail spam.

ii. Hackers Stole IDs for Attacks

In addition to refashioning common Microsoft Corp. software into a cyber-weapon, hackers collaborated on popular U.S.-based social-networking sites, including Twitter and Facebook Inc., to coordinate attacks on Georgian sites, the U.S. Cyber Consequences Unit found. While the cyberattacks on Georgia were examined shortly after the events last year, these U.S. connections weren’t previously known.

In the face of calls for a ban on Windows, Microsoft loves to pretend that these issues are not its fault, but as Microsoft spreads old and holey software by choice, this defense ought to be challenged severely.

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