09.23.09

Microsoft Crowd Uses comScore Numbers to Lie Again

Posted in America, Deception, Google, Microsoft, Search at 4:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Location on Earth -  Asia

Summary: Microsoft fools everyone by showing only some numbers from a business partner that gauges queries in the most friendly population (to Microsoft)

HOW MUCH of a difference does money on the table make? Experience suggests that it makes a real difference, but those who take the money always have excuses and justifications for what they do. How about this rather FOSS-hostile new post which ends with:

Disclosure: MS is a pluggd.in sponsor – but that relationship has no influence on any of the post.

Sure, sure. Well, the very fact that a particular entity (site or individual) accepts payments from Microsoft is enough to be indicative or prior convictions. For instance, one who is fond of Free(dom) software is less likely to take money from Microsoft to begin with; those who are apathetic towards freedom will have no qualm about accepting money from a convicted monopolist. This brings us to today’s issue.

“Microsoft sells the world an illusion — the illusion that the American market is representative of the world at large.”As pointed out before, Microsoft signed a deal with comScore [1, 2, 3], which led to some conspicuous congratulations from comScore. But more importantly, comScore measures activities on the Web only in the United States and Microsoft systematically uses these US-only figures to deceive the public [1, 2]. This strategy applies to sales figures, to so-called 'market share', and also to search share. Microsoft sells the world an illusion — the illusion that the American market is representative of the world at large. It could not be further from the truth.

Well, comScore is doing it again and the results are predictable. The MSBBC covers it without any scrutiny and so do Microsoft fan blogs, including some that are Bing-sponsored. They present proprietary (i.e. cannot be validated by an outsider) US-only data and speak about it as though it’s global and factual. It’s a case of clever deception because Microsoft’s share in search is really minuscule at a global scope (under 4% according to one source) and the business is extremely unsuccessful at delivering RoI. In fact, this business loses so much money so rapidly that had Microsoft not borrowed money and made some money from Office and Windows, it would have been bankrupt a long time ago. Here is Ars Technica making an understatement about the performance of Windows Live (Windows Mobile gets mentioned too), cleverly using the term “unprofitable” to describe a business that loses almost a billion dollars per year (Xbox has lost about $6 billion or more).

Microsoft has disclosed that its Windows Live and Mobile Services divisions were unprofitable in the financial year of 2009. Razorfish, which the company sold off last month, also lost money.

For several years now, Microsoft has been fixing the buckets in order to hide these losses from less qualified observers.

“Bartz says search engine Bing unlikely to make significant mark”

MarketWatch (June 2009)

Sydney Morning Herald: Conficker Leads to “Internet Meltdown Threat”

Posted in Australia, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 3:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Welding

Summary: Conficker can still take entire nations off-line, warn experts; another new threat called Clampi affects only Windows

AUSTRALIA seriously pondered banning (from the Internet) Microsoft Windows PCs that are not properly secured or like hundreds of millions of other Windows PCs, are outside the control of the intended user.

Conficker is far from dead [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] and the Australian press warns about it again.

Internet meltdown threat: Conficker worm refuses to turn

[...]

The worm, first detected in November last year, spreads rapidly to computers through a flaw in the Windows operating system.

Infected machines are co-opted into a “botnet” army, which can be controlled and used by the hackers to launch unprecedented cyber attacks.

There is another newly-developing plague called Clampi (mentioned yesterday). It affects only Windows PCs and the following new article makes it even more explicit:

Only computers running various Windows operating systems are affected. The virus cannot install itself on Linux based systems.

This ought to remind people that Linux/UNIX PCs are inherently more secure.

“Anyone wonder why the Microsoft SQL server is called the sequel server? Is that because no matter what version it’s at there’s always going to be a sequel needed to fix the major bugs and security flaws in the last version?”

Unknown

Microsoft Accused of “Bribing” Apple staff

Posted in Apple, Microsoft at 2:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Apple store

Summary: Microsoft tries to pull key employees out of its competitor, Apple

IT IS not unusual for Microsoft to spy on employees of competitors and then offer them a lot of money to abandon. It is a destructive strategy which creates turmoil inside direct competitors -- companies like Adobe and notably Borland, even Yahoo!

Last year we found out that Microsoft was willing to pay $15,000 for Apple/Mac bloggers to slam Apple/Mac and watch what Microsoft is doing to Apple right now. From The Inquirer comes a bold headline:

Microsoft bribes Apple staff

From The Register comes a gentler headline:

Microsoft stalks, poaches Apple retail staff

[...]

According to the Loop, Redmond has got in touch with several of Apple’s retail bosses in an effort to woo them over to Microsoft’s forthcoming retail stores, which as we’ve noted previously look an awful lot like Apple’s shops.

Apple appears have handled such situations illegally, so it is not innocent, either.

“Gathering intelligence on enemy activities is critical to the success of the Slog.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Microsoft and “Corporate Politics”

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Virtualisation at 2:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Repression

Summary: Why it is that companies sometimes choose the inferior product and how Free software is affected

LAST month we showed that Microsoft had a habit of leading to migrations without permission, usually enabled by what Microsoft calls the “insider friend, ‘the fox’.”

A new article from Paul Venezia gives a good example of this:

Ramming Microsoft down IT’s throat

Why would you gamble with the foundation of your server infrastructure? As it turns out, corporate politics can even screw up virtualization

[...]

The other thing that caught my attention was “We’re a Microsoft shop.” Many places are Microsoft-centric, but exactly zero are 100 percent Microsoft.

Microsoft tries serving Kool-Aid and then relies on people from the inside who are obedient enough to choose Microsoft’s less capable offerings. In the Free software world, developers too seem to have such insiders who promote .NET, OOXML, Silverlight, and so on. Here is another new post from the Mono-Nono Web site.

ODF Olympiad 2009 Announced, Now Accepting Submissions

Posted in Europe, IBM, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument at 2:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News of interest about OpenDocument Format (ODF) including ODF Olympiad, Lotus Symphony, and Norway

THE word about ODF Olympiad has begun spreading, with message such as this one explaining what it’s all about.

As you are all well aware , Open Document Format is an important standard for ensuring computer literacy and is fundamental to enabling computer education globally. ODF Olympiad was started on the advice of the then President of India, Shri Abdul Kalam, with the view to bring awareness regarding the open source amongst the schools.

We have been receiving overwhelming response from schools across the globe including countries like India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal . We strongly believe that this contest will help the government and the schools in faster adoption of ODF . (The new FOSS based Informatics Practices curriculum, introduced by CBSE this year is one of the examples of the step towards this initiative. )

This almost intersects with Software Freedom Day (date of opening to submissions), but it’s important to remember that ODF and Free software are not the same thing and they are in fact mutually exclusive. Taking IBM’s Lotus Symphony, for example, it is not as free (libre) as people are led to believe. To quote this short new article:

Though Lotus Symphony is free to use (after providing a name and email—fake credentials work fine), it is based on the OpenOffice.org 1.x source code, which was licensed more liberally than the current version and as a result, IBM is under no legal obligation to provide source code for any modifications. (Effective with OOo 3.0, source code is licensed under LGPL, requiring any additions to the source also be published.)

Office suites with ODF support are bound to take over in more places like Norway where ODF is obligatory. Microsoft does not support ODF properly [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] and the things it has done against ODF in Norway are documented in, e.g.:

Norway hasn’t the reputation of a nation with a high levels of corruption. But then there’s Microsoft Norway.

Protest against OOXML

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: September 22nd, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 1:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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

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