10.26.09

Goldman Sachs and Microsoft Top Obama Funders

Posted in America, Asia, Bill Gates, Finance, Microsoft, Steve Ballmer at 8:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Henry Paulson - official Treasury photo (2006)

Summary: News about banks, Microsoft, Paul Allen’s voyages, and Microsoft’s funding of the US president

WHAT we often include in our daily batches of links are reports about Goldman Sachs stealing public money to pay obscenely-high bonuses and save managers from atrocious decisions that paid their previous huge bonuses (awards for irrational risk, which they know they can take because of bailouts [PDF]). The resultant outrage has harmed people’s trust in the financial sector in general and especially the private banking system, which includes the Federal Reserve (it is not federal).

We have recently shown that Microsoft grows increasingly closer to bankers and adding to its influence in the United States government we have some additional news.

A few days ago in Reuters India we found the following article.

HCL Tech ties up with Microsoft for retail banking

IT services firm HCL Technologies Ltd said on Wednesday it has tied up with Microsoft to provide retail banking solution to help banks in the Asia-Pacific.

For those who do not know, Microsoft uses HCL to gradually abandon US workforce [1, 2, 3].

In the same post about Microsoft and banks we also showed news about Microsoft’s co-founder refusing to reveal the purpose of his visits to other countries (and blocking of the press in the process). Now there is this:

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is in town.

How does one know?

By his 127m-long yacht, Octopus, docked in Durban harbour.

What is he up to and why the secrecy? It is obviously unrelated.

Last year, however, we showed that families of Microsoft executives were personally paying Obama. This includes Craig Mundie, Brad Smith, Bill Gates, Melinda Gates, Steve Ballmer, and even his PR-savvy wife, Connie. CNN has another interesting disclosure:

Google managers and employees were some of the strongest supporters of candidate Obama, donating around $803,000 to his presidential campaign, according to the website OpenSecrets.org. Among corporate employees, only staffers at Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500) and Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) gave more.

Suffice to say, Microsoft is also #1 lobbyist in its area. The company is based on government relationships and reliant on such activities.

“Did you know that there are more than 34,750 registered lobbyists in Washington, D.C., for just 435 representatives and 100 senators? That’s 64 lobbyists for each congressperson.”

CIO.com

Microsoft Layoffs Rumoured (November 4th) After Bad Results

Posted in Deception, Finance, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 8:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fisher ship

Summary: Rusty old ship cannot sustain its crew, based on a blog dominated by anonymous Microsoft employees

BY the admission of Microsoft's CEO, Vista 7 will not be a spectacular success. This admission came well before the negative financial results, which show that Windows revenue is down very sharply. We wrote about this (with references from the press) in:

That last item has some raw numbers to show that “PC unit sales up 1%; Windows revenue down 39%.”

How can this be?

One word: margins.

According to one analyst, it’s bound to get worse. Microsoft seems to agree.

Netbooks, Office likely to keep hurting Microsoft sales, analyst says

[...]

At least one analyst expects the trend to continue, even with the release of a netbook-friendly Windows 7 and a free Web version of Office for consumers.

Netbooks made up about 12% of total Windows shipments in the first quarter, Microsoft general manager for investor relations, Bill Koefoed, said in a conference call after the earnings release. And netbook shipments are likely to keep growing faster than the rest of the market, acknowledged Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell.

This is a bad time for Microsoft’s CFO, no matter how optimistic he pretends to be (he has to). Microsoft’s CFO quietly dumped a lot of his Microsoft shares back in August and he was not alone. According to the mainstream press:

Microsoft Corp. said Friday that its revenue fell and its net income dropped 18 percent in the past quarter, owing in part to sluggish business spending.

One has to be careful with the press because longtime Microsoft pumpers like Eric Savitz are currently boosting Microsoft using lies; to give just one example (among more) that we found in the past week alone, ahead of the results, Microsoft’s estimates were described as “too high”. This is nonsense. In reality, it’s exactly the opposite and Microsoft is doing it again. In the following new article from Business Insider, which changed its headline from “Microsoft Lowers Q4 Guidance (MSFT)” for whatever reason (now it says “CNBC Blows Microsoft Guidance Cut”), it is clearly shown that Microsoft sets the expectations low so that they can be “beaten” later.

Update I: At about 10:50 ET this morning, CNBC and WSJ’s Digits Blog reported that Microsoft had lowered its REVENUE guidance on its conference call. Not surprisingly, the stock immediately tanked.

As we have already learned, Microsoft was caught committing financial fraud to meet or beat targets [1, 2]. Microsoft paid to settle and the SEC let Microsoft off the hook, just as it did with SCO and Madoff for no good reason. In the next post we will show just how close Microsoft really is to the financial system, but in the mean time, it is worth showing that even the stock exchange decided to lend itself to Microsoft, almost to become some kind of drone for a convicted monopoly abuser. Watch and weep:

Microsoft gets Nasdaq opening bell, in Redmond

[...]

To mark the launch of Windows 7, Nasdaq will set up a remote bell on the Microsoft campus to ceremonially open the market Thursday morning.

Stock markets as cheerleaders for companies, eh? At least it becomes apparent who runs the show. Microsoft may already find classic excuses for bad results. Watch what shallow coverage Microsoft receives in the New York Times, which neglects to understand or to inform readers about Microsoft’s crocodile tears [1, 2]. Typical New York Times [1, 2]. To quote Bill Gates, “It’s easier for our software to compete with Linux when there’s piracy than when there’s not.”

Going back to Business Insider, there is another new article with the headline “Microsoft’s Still Toast”:

After the PC market shrank this year, the argument is that a need to replace worn-out computer kit will return it to strong growth – helped by a desire to upgrade to Windows 7…. Microsoft, though, cautioned that corporate IT budgets are still very tight and likely to grow only slowly. The initial favourable consumer reaction to Windows 7 is helpful but the businesses that provide the bulk of tech spending weigh decisions to upgrade very carefully – particularly when shareholders are pressing them to keep costs under control…

Netbooks are still depressing prices and margins for the PC industry. And Bing’s increased share seems to be coming mainly from Yahoo, whose search function Microsoft has anyway agreed to take over. The familiar problems of an aggressive Google and the shift towards selling software as a service remain. Cost-cutting does not change that…

Daily Finance gives Microsoft a “C” grade.

Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT) earnings announcement today reminds me of a story I heard years ago. A seventh grader steps off the school bus and marches into the house beaming. His mother asks him why he is so happy. He replies: “Great news mom, I got a 70!”

What does this have to do with Microsoft? This morning it reported that its first-quarter net income fell 18 percent to $3.6 billion and sales dropped 14 percent to $12.9 billion. Microsoft responded with all the enthusiasm of that seventh grader, noting, “We are very pleased with our performance this quarter.”

Lies, artificial hype and the decoys of Vista 7 must be the reason for this. And how about those bogus launch parties?

Gizmodo pointed us to this (we think unintentionally) hilarious video in which Microsoft tries to get us to see the benefits of using their new software platform Microsoft 7 by throwing our very own Windows 7 launch party. Hang the streamers, set out the chips, program your iPod — and huddle around the computer!

That’s right. The video, which plays more like public service announcement than an exciting product launch, features four racial-and-age-diverse actors in block colors talking excitedly about how they made Windows 7 “the guest of honor” at their party.

Vista 7′s launch was eventually a bit of a failure and it shows. Microsoft’s stock sank after an irrational initial surge. To quote another financial news site:

Microsoft Corporation first quarter revenues fell 14.2% to $12.92 billion and net income fell 18.3% to $3.57 billion or 40 cents a share.

The headline chosen by Business News American is “Microsoft’s Q1 net profits off 18% despite cost cuts” and this is important because a lot of publications ‘forgot’ to comment on Microsoft’s failed attempts to buck the trend. Too few sites actually remember that Microsoft has slashed many employees and cut costs since one year ago, which did not help much.

At Groklaw, Pamela Jones wrote: “So. They lost money, but managed to pull off a profit by cutting employees, research, marketing, etc. How long can you keep that up, I wonder?

Sub-notebooks and GNU/Linux (both are related) must be harming Microsoft's once-considerable margins. Microsoft has admitted this openly on numerous occasions, without mentioning the “L” word. Here is the coverage from Electronista:

Microsoft today reported its third consecutive decline in quarterly revenue. The company’s total revenue during the summer dropped a sharp 14 percent year-over-year to $12.92 billion and is attributed almost exclusively to the Windows division, whose own revenue fell 38.76 percent to $2.62 billion. It also saw a decline in the overall health of its Business and Online Services groups.

“Microsoft’s Profit [and] Sales Fall” was the headline from the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), which someone later changed to “Microsoft Feeds Hopes for a Recovery.” Did a WSJ editor intervene after the article had been published with negative outlooks for Microsoft?

Rumours have begun to mushroom in mini-Microsoft that there might be more publicly-announced layoffs in November (November 4th, one person says). This comes after a post on the subject — one which was released for other Microsoft employees to discuss while major layoffs quietly carry on.

“There is such an overvaluation of technology stocks that it is absurd. I would include our stock in that category. It is bad for the long-term worth of the economy.”

Steve Ballmer

What Went Wrong with Vista 7 Launch (and How GNU/Linux Already Takes Advantage)

Posted in Apple, Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, Marketing, Microsoft, Ubuntu at 6:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Crash car

Summary: Marketing blunders explored; Microsoft’s pressure on businesses to upgrade Windows may actually push them towards Free alternatives

AS we argued the other day, the launch of Vista 7 sort of backfired as there are already some serious technical issues. Upon launch time, few people could focus on anything other than blunders such as this one. Mac Daily News wrote:

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer shills Windows 7 on U.S. national TV in front of Apple Mac (with video)

[...]

MacDailyNews Take: It must suck to work for Microsoft where important details routinely go left unchecked and, no matter where in the world you go, you’re constantly surround by professionals who all use Apple Macs. Plus, every time you try to promote your inferior products, Apple’s keep showing up in your TV appearances and even in your sloppy company’s own ads that are, of course, also creating on Macs.

If that’s not bad enough, Microsoft went further to justify the “bloated” reputation using very tactless advertising with Burger King. Watch the photos. It is almost as gross as this epic meal. “Superflab, superbloat, Unhappy Meal,” calls it one of our readers, who adds: “Can Microsoft make a joke of itself any faster than this?”

Going back to Apple, watch how Microsoft imitates Apple’s profitable business model, which leads John Dvorak to ridiculing them. Mac Daily News quotes:

Dvorak: Microsoft needs Microsoft-branded PCs for their retail stores

[...]

“Microsoft does not need to be servicing a Dell laptop retuned by a customer now blaming Microsoft for its failure,” Dvorak writes. “A failure in this [retail store] venue could be catastrophic for Microsoft. It needs branded hardware to be a success. It’s that simple.”

In relation to the above, Pamela Jones at Groklaw writes: “File this under Irony. That’s why Apple likes to have its own branded hardware too, methinks, eh Psystar? It works better that way.

Microsoft is also setting up that Windows Cafe in Paris, as planned a while back. It’s a gimmick and it is funny because France is said to be the most Free software-leaning country in Europe. USA Today has this new post about how GNU/Linux capitalises on Microsoft’s pressure on businesses to move to Vista 7. Notice the story about Ballmer and Germany — another country which is rapidly moving towards Free software, especially at the administration level.

On the eve of Microsoft’s launch of Windows 7, the gloves are off in the fight for business customers. IBM today unveiled an all-out campaign to persuade U.S. companies, governments and organizations to finally break their Windows habit and make the switch to Linux.

[...]

IBM has been making this argument for years. In the spring of 2003, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer cut short a skiing trip to race to Germany to try prevent the city of Munich from excising Windows and Office from 14,000 desktop PCs. Ballmer failed. IBM and German Linux distributor SuSE worked furiously behind the scenes to persuade Munich to make the switch to a Linux system.

One blogger puts Vista 7 into perspective as follows:

After getting millions of people all over the world to shell out money for the sugar-frosted turd that was Windows Vista, here we are three years later at the Windows 7 launch, and Microsoft has people practically falling over themselves to pay more money so they don’t have to use Vista any more. And people are treating Microsoft like some sort of returning hero for this. How in the world are they getting away with it? “We charged you a lot of money for a broken piece of crap, and you’ve been suffering with it for three years, and now here’s a somewhat fixed version that isn’t quite so much a piece of crap, and you’ll pay us more money for it!” “Wow! Gee, thanks, Microsoft! You’re the greatest! We love you!” What the hell is going on here?

What’s "going on here" is AstroTurfing, at least in part.

There is No Windows 7; Vista 7 is Actually Windows 6.1

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 6:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dice 6 and 1

Summary: A confirmatory check shows that Vista 7 is labeled by Microsoft as “Windows 6.1.7600.16385″

MANY months ago we showed that Vista 7 was in fact Windows 6.1. Vista is Windows 6.0 and Vista 7 is very similar to it, so the numbering makes sense.

Just to be sure, I’ve asked: “Does [Vista 7] RTM still say [Windows] 6.1?”

“Windows 2000 was NT 5.0, XP was 5.1.”
      –Ryan
The answer was: “I’ve been using the RTM since June 24th, and yes 6.1.7600.” Indeed, this can be confirmed by querying the system.

“Windows 2000 was NT 5.0, XP was 5.1,” adds our reader Ryan, who was once a Microsoft MVP.

6.1 sounds like an appropriate version number for the “Mojave experiment”. Perhaps that was an experiment for Microsoft to learn if it could get away with sort of rebadging Windows Vista SP3 and marketing it very aggressively (using gentle bribes even) as a new and separate operating system, departing completely from the “Vista” brand it had spent so much money building.

What does Vista 7 offer that Vista does not already have? Almost nothing of substance.

One person in OS News asks: “What features?”

The body of the comment goes as follows.

Took away Ultimate Extras, changed the control panel, moved simple stuff like printers around, changed the start menu and forcing the new start menu on people, and all the dumb things like UAC are still dumb.

Its Vista Service Pack 3, with forced changes (no Classic start menu), it will piss of IT organizations again, it really didn’t add anything new, in fact, it took things away.

This is more or less another big disappointment. Its money for an effective service pack. It makes forced changes to appeal to the 10-15% of people who aren’t using windows and gleefully risking pissing everyone else off (the long term Windows users).

Moving things around also makes support harder. And, just to make sure where I am on this, Ribbon stinks, and real applications like Illustrator and Photoshop don’t screw with the interface because what is there works for people who actually DO WORK.

I think the biggest leap in innovation was from 3.1 -> NT 4.0, it was huge. It was cutler bringing NT kernel in and making real changes. Things have been incremental till Windows 2003, which in my mind, is the Windows operating system’s peak.

Now its a sad boring death, and it isn’t even that exciting to watch anymore.

I have administrated highly heterogeneous networks and IT systems, I use Windows every day, I game occasionally, but I also use FreeBSD, Linux and Solaris every day as well.

Windows XP did everything I need Windows Vista and Windows 7 today, save support more modern wireless encryption with ease (and that could be fixed in XP if MSFT wanted to).

Also, with Windows 7 XP mode, IT will really hate it, now they have to buy 2 seats of antivirus and junk like that for every workstation.

Windows 7 should have at least included a real Antivirus, like DOS 6 used to have it (MSAV). But no, in the age of taking stuff away and calling it new, Windows 7 fits right in I guess.

64-bit support still remains “hacky” as well, seems we are stuck with system32, wow64, and (x86) bs in certain directories.

In a word: Fail. Vista SP3. NEXT. Its worth using simply to get bug fixes but offers nothing new and isn’t worth the money.

Here is another post which is titled “Things to Know About Windows 7.”

* Cannot “upgrade” from Windows XP– only from Vista. XP users will have to do a full-package clean install
* To upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 with XP-compatibility will cost users $299
* Significant incompatibility with Windows XP
* Only the pricier versions offer an XP-compatible mode
* Twelve confusing releases to choose from, with hidden “gotchas” in eight of them
* Doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, nor give users a reason for upgrading from Windows XP– especially at a $299 price tag

We’re not quite over with Vista 7, not just yet anyway. The launch was a relative failure and truths are beginning to trickle in. Vista 7 is a wonderful example of how vicious, deceptive, and even criminal Microsoft still is.

Vista 7 Student Edition Broken on Arrival, All Vista 7 Editions Open to Hijackers Upon Installation

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Vista 7, Windows at 5:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista 7

Summary: The “Ow” starts now because Vista 7 fails miserably to install on many people’s computers and those who install it are instantly left exposed

THE reality behind Vista 7 is a lot worse than anyone in the press dares to admit. Almost no-one, except Gizmodo perhaps, actually wrote about Microsoft’s own admission that Vista 7 Student Edition is messed up.

Apparently Microsoft decided to release the upgrade as an installer instead of an ISO file, and it’s causing all kinds of headaches. Users are reporting that after the installer goes through the “Unloading the BOx” step, an error occurs and the installation fails.

Wow. So Vista 7 is not so perfect after all. Who would have guessed?

In more important news, installing Vista 7 would leave the user/s exposed to hijackers immediately after the installation is complete. Yes, that’s right. We wrote about this before [1, 2] and there is new coverage of that in IDG News Service, e.g.:

i. Microsoft issues first Windows 7 patches

Microsoft’s massive security update last week included patches for nine Windows 7 vulnerabilities, far fewer than were issued for Windows Vista and Windows XP.

ii. Windows 7 roundup: Patches, parties, predictions

Microsoft proved to be a party pooper even before its Windows 7 launch parties took place. A few days in advance of the parties, the company said it had patched 9 vulnerabilities, including five critical ones.

The ‘Microsoft press’ is trying to play down these serious security issues and from Microsoft we are now learning that an estimated figure of 320,000,000 Windows zombie PCs out there is not far fetched.

One-third of Security Essentials users infected: Microsoft

Almost a third of the customers who have installed Microsoft’s free Security Essentials software have been found to be suffering from major malware infections.

Also from the news: “Giant Zbot Botnet Trying To Trick Microsoft OWA Users”

Security experts have discovered a massive spam campaign going on this week, attempting to distribute the password-stealing Zeus Trojan application across the internet.

The Trojan has reportedly afflicting a large number of PCs across the globe and has created a massive botnet of zombie machines for circulating malicious spam attacks.

Security-wise, Microsoft has resolved nothing.

“Spam will be a thing of the past in two years’ time.”

Bill Gates, 2004

Microsoft Feeds Hundreds of Korean Bloggers to Promote Vista 7

Posted in Asia, Marketing, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 5:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Vista 7 starts now

Summary: Microsoft recruits another army of “power bloggers” to promote Vista 7; lackluster reception at the shops nonetheless

JOHN Dvorak has opined for quite a long time that Vista 7 was “Getting Over-Hyped,” basically agreeing with something for which there is extensive evidence.

From the country where Microsoft’s lock-in is most accentuated [1, 2, 3] we now learn that 777 “power bloggers” (meaning more/most influential ones) are being rewarded by Microsoft for Vista 7 boosting.

777 Korean power bloggers are invited by Microsoft Korea and 777 should come from Windows 7¡¯s ¡°Seven¡±. I¡¯ve been many bloggers events which held in Korea but this is biggest blogger event that I¡¯ve ever seen. MS prepared light dinner meal and Windows 7 Ultimate (Eng Ver.) for all the attendances.

How typical. Since the very beginning of Vista 7, namely pre-beta, we have seen Microsoft bribing influential bloggers and offering them special treats; in return, Microsoft’s Vista 7 received only good reviews, which then set the tone for the press. It is not a one-time incident, either, and Microsoft does this in Twitter too (more examples in [1-8] at the bottom of this post). Fake Vista 7 hype is everywhere [1, 2, 3], it is paid for [1, 2], and here is another Twitter account that emerges in order to boost Vista 7.

More Twitter Love From Microsoft As It Sets Up @MicrosoftHelps

[...]

According to Perez, the company even talked to Best Buy to learn more about what it could do on Twitter.

That would be the same Best Buy that turned against GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] after Microsoft supplied the staff with highly deceptive material. For those who believe that shops are seeing a surge in sales due to Vista 7 (as in, copies flying off the shelves), see evidence on the ground, not paid-for hype from Microsoft. Here is a message from Saturday.

From: Rex Ballard <rex.ballard@gmail.com>
Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
Subject: Windows 7 prices already crashing
Date: Sat, 24 Oct 2009 22:26:35 -0700 (PDT)

On Oct 25, 12:56 am, Nomen Nescio <nob…@dizum.com> wrote:
> http://blogs.zdnet.com/perlow/?p=11433&tag=content;col1

> They simply renamed it (and changed a few icons and splash screens)!!

Actually, once you close the Windows 7 “Let me show you my features” application, it’s very difficult to tell the difference between Windows Vista and Windows 7.  The color schemes are so similar, the menu layouts are similar, and the backgrounds are almost identical.

> Windows 7, I HATE IT ALREADY!!!!

Appearantly, you aren’t alone.  When I pulled into the Staples parking lot in Piscataway, the parking lot was completely full.  I expected to go into the store and see people waiting in line to take Windows 7 for a “test drive”.  I expected to see every register with carts full of laptops and PCs.  Well, it turned out that the parking lot was packed with people going to the Party City store to get their Halloween costumes.

In the staples store, there was one young man, about 14-15 years old, and he was trying to figure out which laptops were running Windows 7 and which ones were running Vista.  What was particularly disconcerting was that there was a Vista machine on final clearance for $379, and a nearly identically configured Windows 7 machine around the corner for $429.  Both featured 4 gig RAM, 250 gigabyte drive on Vista, 500 gig on Windows 7, and similar speed dual core pentium processors.  The Vista machine was the last Compaq on the shelf.  Is HP shutting down the Compaq line?

So, less than 5 days after the release of Windows 7, it looks like Laptops will be sold at a loss already.  And it looks like prices will be crashing from there.  It looks like Windows 7 is being perceived by the public as Vista 2, and a bad remake at that.  Kind of like so many movies where the original wasn’t that great, and the sequal is no where near as good.

I also noticed that the shelves were still nice and full of Windows 7 upgrade packages, and even at the sale price of $119, it looked like only 2-3 copies had been sold.

Maybe Microsoft should just go back to Windows XP, and offer that as the $90 upgrade to Windows 7.  At least it keep them on the desktop, even if it’s just as a virtualized Linux application.

As I was leaving the store, I asked the manager if they had been selling any Windows 7, and they said “2 or 3 copies a day”.  I remember when Windows 2000 came out and these stores were selling 20-30 copies of Windows 2000 upgrade kits per day, at $200 each.  I remember when people paid $2000 per laptop for Windows XP.

Microsoft has spent almost a billion dollars not developing Vista 7 but marketing it aggressively as if it’s a genuinely new operating system, as opposed to a twist on Vista. By no means do we encourage buying a Mac, but here is a good new Apple ad which is telling.

More Vista 7 posts are coming. We’ve only just started.
______

  1. More Microsoft AstroTurfing (aka ‘Technical Evangelism’) in Twitter
  2. User “Microsoft Incentives” Wants to be Your Friend, Too
  3. Microsoft’s Twitter AstroTurf Continues
  4. Who is Pumping MSFT and Pimping Microsoft in Twitter?
  5. Microsoft Hires Federated Media for Twitter AstroTurfing
  6. Does Microsoft Still Create Twitter Accounts for Guerilla Marketing?
  7. Microsoft’s AstroTurfing, Twitter, Waggener Edstrom, and Jonathan Zuck
  8. Microsoft Twitter Bots, FTC Blowback, and Paid-for Vista 7 Glorification

Microsoft Must be Happy…

Posted in Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell, SCO, UNIX at 4:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“On the same day that CA blasted SCO, Open Source evangelist Eric Raymond revealed a leaked email from SCO’s strategic consultant Mike Anderer to their management. The email details how, surprise surprise, Microsoft has arranged virtually all of SCO’s financing, hiding behind intermediaries like Baystar Capital.”

Bruce Perens

Summary: The anti-Linux lawsuits that Microsoft funded just carry on — for now

AS WE STATED the other day, despite the departure of Darl McBride [1, 2, 3] the SCO saga carries on and SJVN has the details.

According to a Salt Lake Tribune report, Cahn told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross that “SCO’s claims against IBM and Novell ‘should be pursued aggressively.’”

You’ve got to be kidding me. I predicted that Cahn would want to continue the Novell lawsuit. After all, as it is, no one knows who really owns Unix’s intellectual property. Unix’s ownership is a big deal. If Novell owns it, then SCO has nothing left of any real value. But IBM? Come on!

We’ve known, not suspected, known for years that SCO’s core copyright claims about IBM copying parts of Unix into Linux aren’t true. No one who has read over any of the publicly available evidence thinks otherwise, except for SCO loyalists.

I can only presume that Cahn hasn’t really looked at the case. He seems to believe that underneath all of SCO’s copyright smoke there had to be some fire. Sorry, there’s not even a spark.

At Groklaw, Pamela Jones insists that this is by no means news. From her notes on the bankruptcy hearing:

According to the Salt Lake Tribune’s account, Cahn told the judge he’ll pursue the Novell and IBM litigation, but that’s not really news. He announced as much the other day, and again in the motion regarding the AutoZone proposed settlement, it was hinted at, and what choice does he have at this point? Boies Schiller are paid, and what basis would he have to say it isn’t worth even trying, when copyrights are in the balance? The jury trial would naturally seem worthwhile to pursue, since what costs a lot in litigation is discovery, and that’s over and done. If he didn’t pursue that, he would surely open himself up to litigation by the shareholders McBride claims to be leading. And that costs money to pursue also, so all in all, it’s the course of caution to pursue things at this point, or at least to talk like you plan to.

As SCO has neither a legal case nor a business case (it has virtually no business left), this is nothing to be worried about. But still, it’s a pain in the butt. Is Microsoft still rewarding SCO?

“[Microsoft's] Mr. Emerson and I discussed a variety of investment structures wherein Microsoft would ‘backstop,’ or guarantee in some way, BayStar’s investment…. Microsoft assured me that it would in some way guarantee BayStar’s investment in SCO.”

Larry Goldfarb, Baystar, key investor in SCO

Bulgaria May Have to Move to Free(dom) Software

Posted in Europe, Finance, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 4:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Coat of arms of Bulgaria

Summary: The Bulgarian government cannot pay Microsoft, which leaves only one choice

SOME days ago we saw the Latvian Government speaking about a move to Free software as means of cutting costs. Bulgaria may be on a similar boat right now because reportedly it cannot pay Microsoft anymore.

The latest charge involves BGN 20 M which the new government must find to pay Microsoft for the replacement of the old Windows system in offices of the State administration. The contact with Microsoft has been signed by the former cabinet, but according to the PM, they “forgot” to slate money for the deal in the State budget.

The references below [1-7] (reverse chronological) ought to add context. Free software is already growing rapidly in this country [1], the government’s use of Free software is said to be “inevitable” [3], the deal with Microsoft is under fire [2], the president is open to change [7], and moves are already being taken towards it [4-6]. There is at least one Bulgarian GNU/Linux distribution which is notable.
_______
[1] Mozilla Firefox Catches up with Internet Explorer in Bulgaria

According to the Novinite website , In terms of market share, Mozilla Firefox is a lot more popular in Bulgaria than it is globally, and appears to be catching with Internet Explorer.

[2] Prosecutors launch inquest into Government deal with Microsoft

Bulgarian prosecutors have launched a probe into the contract Bulgaria has signed with US software giant Microsoft for the acquisition of software for the needs of the state administration, Dnevnik daily reported on July 1.

The investigation will seek to determine whether any state administration employee has committed any malfeasance, which carries a maximum prison sentence of five years, Sofia city prosecution spokesperson Steliana Kozhouharova told the daily.

[3] BG: ‘Government’s increasing use of Open Source inevitable’

The Bulgarian government will turn more and more to Open Source software, predicts Krasimir Panayotov, coordinator of the GNU/Linux User Group in the city of Rousse, the country’s fifth-largest city.

[4] BG: Bulgaria to review its IT strategy, considers Open Source

The Bulgarian government organised a meeting with Open Source companies and developers on 21 March in Sofia. Nikolay Vassilev, the minister for State Administration, told the representatives of software companies, IT services companies and Open Source developers that the government is about to review the state’s IT system and that it wants to get a better understanding of Open Source software. The minister admitted he had once worked with Apple Macintosh, but had in the last thirteen years only experienced Microsoft applications. He told the Open Source advocates he would listen to their views on IT: “We have an open mind and will accept reasonable propositions.”

[5] Bulgaria’s open administration

In France, government agency ATICA has supported the use of open software in the French public sector. In a special report to the French prime minister, the agency provided an action plan and the requirements for open standards. One of the six priorities was the use of open software in the public administration. Denmark installed StarOffice in its education system, and in addition the program was installed in the homes of students. In Spain, the senate, the council for nuclear security, the interior ministry and the justice ministry have used server applications with open code. These examples, however, are only about separate public structures.

[6] Sofia, Bulgaria: FLOSSWorld Workshop on Free and Open Source Software Policy

Professor Ivan Evgueniev at the Technical University of Sofia presented the FP6 Open Trusted Computing project, professor Vencislav Trifonov also at the Technical University of Sofia presented their e-learning system, Mircho Mirev elaborated the activities of the Bulgarian free and open source software community through the Linux for Bulgarians portal with over 5.000 hits per day.

[7] President praises Open Source conference in Sofia

Topics include a presentation on how to configure a thin client
infrastructure using the Linux Terminal Server Project, an outline on FreeBSD
and its new network and transport protocols and a discussion on the uses of
the Cluster File system.

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