08.23.09

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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5 Comments

  1. David Gerard said,

    August 23, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Gravatar

    MS is supporting XP with security updates until 2014, and supporting IE6 is part of that. They too have realised they’ve stuck tehmselves with a nightmare. Withdrawing security support for IE6 wouldn’t slow its use any.

  2. Will said,

    August 23, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Gravatar

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

    Really? He seems eager to apply that to Mozilla without even considering how much it applies to Microsoft. What he said is true, though. SCO is a perfect example of that. Sadly, SCO also shows that the company’s death, no matter how inexorable, might still proceed at a glacial pace.

    Note also the personal attack in the article:
    “I’m calling you out, Baker. You are a pathetic excuse for a human being, working for a pathetic excuse of an organisation. ”

    As well as the profanity sprinkled throughout. I’ll spare conjecture and let others think what they will, but I will say that I’ve noticed (IMO) personal attacks (rather than attacks on the argument/logic itself) as well as profanity appears to be common in debates with those that have ties to MS payola. Perhaps not everyone, but MS would certainly do well to provide training in civility to some of their perception management helpers. They weaken their own (or MS’s own) arguments with their conduct.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    As well as the profanity sprinkled throughout. I’ll spare conjecture and let others think what they will, but I will say that I’ve noticed (IMO) personal attacks (rather than attacks on the argument/logic itself) as well as profanity appears to be common in debates with those that have ties to MS payola.

    Remember Synder?

  3. Will said,

    August 23, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Gravatar

    Maybe that was another program that got cut? ;)

  4. NotZed said,

    August 23, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Gravatar

    “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.” ”

    Well why don’t they save their effort, hair colour and follicles and stop? Breaking their own backs for windoze users is stupidity.

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