I’m a Pee See
“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”
Summary: Kindergartens too become dominated by the Microsoft computer agenda
EARLIER today we showed how the Gates Foundation helps in getting schoolchildren "addicted" to Microsoft (so that Microsoft can “collect sometime in the next decade”). Lena from the Free Software Foundation Europe has just published the following testimonial from German kindergartens, not just schools (it’s aptly titled “Microsoft goes kindergarten”):
Sponsored by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Families and in cooperation with the Cornelsen Verlag, a big publishing house for schoolbooks, Microsoft places its software called Schlaumäuse directly into german kindergartens.
How can it be reasonable to let companies indoctrinate the young for profit? Especially foreign companies, in case that matters. There is an economic, social, moral, and political issue here. Meanwhile we are finding that Bill Gates tightens his already-close relationship with the United Nations (UN), as we noted earlier this week. UN officials are now hanging out at his mansion. From the Seattle Times:
Today he [UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon] met with many groups in Seattle, starting with a breakfast meeting at the home of Bill and Melinda Gates, followed by a talk to the World Affairs Council on the U.N. in the 21st century and a lunch sponsored by the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce to address businesses about climate change and environmental stewardship.
As Gates Keepers puts it, “Moon doesn’t answer the excellent question, carefully phrased as a ‘some say’ statement, whether super-rich ubermensch philanthopries undermine UN system organisation effectiveness. Too bad. The question deserves a response.” █
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Summary: Google emerges victorious in Los Angeles, where Microsoft and Novell get dumped and payments for Google are partly covered by Microsoft compensation
THERE has been seemingly-endless coverage of the almost-unprecedented migration in Los Angeles to Google. The waiting is over and the verdict is in. Google claims that over 2 million businesses have already moved to Google Apps, but few (if any) of these larger entities are in the public sector; there is a dilemma here because there is dislocation of information which belongs to the public, the taxpayers. After a great deal of fuss and resistance, much of the unclaimed Microsoft settlement money in California is to be used to dump Microsoft and Novell. Formal reports indicate that this is final. Many news sources around the Web say so.
The city council in Los Angeles on Tuesday unanimously approved a $7.2 million deal to use Google Apps.
Guess where the money comes from.
According to Los Angeles City Council minutes, just over $1.5 million for the project will come from the payout of a 2006 class action lawsuit between the City and Microsoft. Microsoft paid $70 million three years ago to settle the suit, brought on behalf of six California counties and cities who alleged that Microsoft used its monopoly position to overcharge for software. Microsoft has paid out more than $1 billion in other class-action settlements based on similar claims.
To name the effect on Novell’s business:
i. LA is Suffering from a Severe Case of Disconnect
The City of LA has been using Novell’s Groupwise email system and software since the early days and is currently in possession of an upgrade that LA has failed to implement. The upgrade, the training and the maintenance that supports the upgrade, and the promise of a 10% reduction in future licensing fees have all been offered by Novell over the last year in an attempt to keep the Los Angeles contract.
ii. L.A. Council to consider replacing city’s e-mail system with Google-based app
Kent Erickson, a senior vice president at Novell — the company that created GroupWise — disputed that conclusion. He said the city could save money by simply upgrading to the most modern version of GroupWise.
iii. Google Web Services to Oversee Government Internet Services
With the Google deal, the government will be ending its 7 year old tie up with Novell Inc.’s GroupWise E-Mail and Record-Keeping Software, which has lately faced much criticism by the employees. It is, reportedly, very crash-prone and slow.
Lastly, an opinion:
Google told the LA Times they have a “dramatically lower cost solution” and the city’s Information Technology Agency said that the Google system would save millions of dollars. But then, says the paper ” a recent city analysis found that, instead of offering clear budgetary savings, installing and running Google Apps would actually exceed the cost of the current Novell system by $1.5 million over the five-year life of the contract.”
Microsoft recently gave Fog Computing a bad name [1, 2, 3, 4], but this did not deter the Los Angeles City Council. █
“I feel we are much too smug in dealing with Novell. Perhaps they didn’t hurt us in DOS yet — but it’s not because of product or their trying. It’s because we already had the OEMs wrapped up.”
–Jim Allchin, President of Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft
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Summary: The ship of one among few top Windows executives has just sailed; more problems in Vista 7 are getting noticed and reported
Microsoft’s Vista 7 was released less than a week ago and we already see a shadow of Windows Vista. The latest similarity that we find is an executive exodus in the Windows team; With the release of Vista, for instance, leaders of the Windows team left, including Poole and Allchin. It was no coincidence, as Allchin actually planned it that way and he conceded the captain’s position after an excruciating struggle with Longhorn.
One of the existing leaders of Windows, Ben Fathi of ACPI infamy, calls it a day and moves on just days after the rather disappointing launch of Vista 7 [1, 2, 3].
We heard rumblings a few weeks ago that Ben Fathi, one of Microsoft’s top Windows executives, was contemplating a career move, and today we were able to confirm through sources that Fathi is leaving to take a senior executive position with Cisco Systems Inc.
This is another major departure among many recent ones. It’s the second one in less than a month that has another Microsoft executive landing inside Cisco's management.
So what went wrong anyway?
BusinessWeek wrote an article about Vista 7 BSoDs just a few days ago and now we find televised embarrassments where Vista 7 refuses to work in live broadcast, repeatedly even. Shades of Windows 98.
I feel fairly confident that it will not turn hairy users bald, nor cause sane users to enter institutions of mental restructuring.
However, I have been watching these two pieces of film from Japan with some small prick of concern.
GNU/Linux is in a decent position to take advantage and as one blogger has just put it:
College students, too, are experiencing problems when trying to install the new Windows 7. The problem stems from a Microsoft offer. For a limited time, students can purchase Windows 7 for only $29.00. However, it appears when students download and install the package, it’s either corrupt of missing some key files.
I spoke with my nephew Mike (he has a CSI degree and works in the IT field) about installing Windows 7. He was on his way to his local MicroCenter to buy a copy of Windows 7. (He has to keep up with anything and everything new in the computer industry. And yes, he runs Linux) When installing Windows, Linux, etc., Mike always backs up his files, wipes his hard drive, and then does a fresh install.
No doubt we will be hearing about many more problems with Vista 7. It is only now that “real” users (not enthusiasts) use the product in an everyday setting. █
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Summary: Kace shows that Vista 7 has already failed in the market; Ubuntu gets trolled by the usual suspects just days before its important 9.10 release
With the exception of fake/bogus/biased 'studies' from Microsoft's old partners like DiDio, all surveys so far (included in our index) have shown that Vista 7 is to be rejected by businesses. A few hours ago we showed that the estimated cost of upgrade is almost $2,000.
Another new survey shows what Microsoft probably knows but does not want people to see. Our reader summarised it as follows.
“Almost no businesses plan to move to Windows 7 in 2010,” he says. “Only 16% have any plans to do so. That’s even worse than initial Vista surveys and things quickly slid to single digits with that OS. As predicted, Windows 7 is dead on arrival.”
From the news article, our reader quotes:
A survey of 1,100 IT professionals conducted earlier this year suggested that many would postpone an upgrade until budgets and technology seemed more able to handle the project. Dimensional Research, in a survey commissioned by systems management vendor Kace, found in April that 84% of survey respondents had no plans to upgrade existing desktops and laptops next year, and nearly three-quarters were more concerned about upgrading to Windows 7 than staying with an outdated XP operating system. About two-thirds said they were concerned about Windows 7 as an operating system, 88% of those specifically indicated they were worried about software compatibility issues.
More than 60% of respondents noted that such an operating system upgrade would require staff to work evenings and weekends, which could be a challenge considering lean IT departments resulting from the ongoing recession. Economic factors, such as budget freezes and staff reductions, were cited as other reasons to not immediately adopt Windows 7, according to Dimensional Research’s findings.
“We had heard so much positive news around Windows 7 that the results of this survey were surprising. For one, there was a complete lack of excitement among those we surveyed around this operating system,” says Diane Hagglund, senior research analyst at Dimensional Research. “There is a very cautious approach to this release; no one is rushing to embrace the operating system just yet.”
Another reader has also just shown us that known and vocal Microsoft shill Andrew Thomas*, who works with Microsoft sometimes, is again attacking GNU/Linux. Specifically, he attacks Ubuntu, just days before its important release. Several other readers of Boycott Novell have independently warned us that Ubuntu Forum got flooded by Vista 7 promoters, who make the forums intolerable. Has anyone had similar experiences?
It’s funny enough that many people complained about Rory Cellan-Jones’ review of Ubuntu at the BBC, probably not realising that he has been dining with Microsoft for years and served their agenda too (we put him on the list of “Microsoft drones” a very long time ago). It seems as though many in the Microsoft ecosystem are trying to just make GNU/Linux look bad; if they want it to fail from the get-go (vindictive hypothesis), it probably will. █
* We recently gave examples of his writings for TG Daily in [1, 2]; ‘Microsoft Enderle’ [1, 2] too writes from TG Daily these days.
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Summary: As the title suggests, this is an accumulation of patent news that affects Free software
MICROSOFT and its affiliates (or the likes of it) carry on attacking the very foundations of Free software, but a lot of people in the Free software world are still not paying close attention to it. This post about the latest developments will hopefully serve as a reminder.
Open Invention Network (OIN)
OIN recently proved that it serves a real role in defending Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], so credit is given where it’s due. OIN has just added a new member to its pool of patentees and we append the press release at the bottom. Here is the opening paragraph.
Open Invention Network (OIN), the company formed to enable and protect Linux, today extended the Linux ecosystem with the signing of Messaging Architects as a licensee. By becoming a licensee, Messaging Architects has joined the growing list of companies that recognize the importance of participating in a substantial community of Linux supporters and leveraging the Open Invention Network to further spur open source innovation.
LG and Patent Trolls
As an important reminder, LG signed a Novell-type patent deal with Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], which constitutes an attack on the Freedom and price of Linux (and by extension — GNU). LG's criminal activities seem to be followed right now by what the President of the FFII calls “proxying”, akin to the idea of sending thugs and bullies to beat up your competitors or foes. He claims that “LG Electronics [is] proxying lawsuits through patent trolls,” which brings back memories of Sisvel, the ‘patent mafia’ of Philips [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11].
This latest incident (as referred to above) is covered in at least two places; the first is TechDirt, which published: “A Look Behind The Curtain: How A Patent Hoarder Makes Money”
A few months back, someone sent over some details about a legal battle involving Peter Boesen, who is both a convicted felon in jail and a patent hoarder who licensed his patents to a “patent troll” firm to assert against tons of tech companies, and Niro Scavone, the law firm representing the patent company (and the law firm famous for, among other things, having been the inspiration for the term “patent troll”).
In light of the term used by TechDirt, think about Microsoft's own patent hoarder, Nathan Myhrvold. TechDirt links to this post as its source. Here is Johnny Ward again, the troll-loving bully who sued his critic in order to silence him [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8].
Most intriguing is the sum paid by Apple to settle an SPT suit brought over the iPhone in the Eastern District of Texas in 2008: $865,000. Without any motions being filed after the intial complaint or any substantive discovery, a bit more than 30 percent of that amount, $271,817, went to Niro Scavone, which also billed $46,568 in expenses. Nearly $40,000 went to someone identified as “Ward”–most likely Johnny Ward Jr., who served as local counsel to SPT in the case. Of what was left, almost $109,000 went to SP Technologies, then owned by investor Courtney Sherrer, and $311,400 went to Boesen.
Eolas recently attacked a lot of companies using patents [1, 2, 3], having already attacked Microsoft successfully [1, 2]. Damage control from Eolas now comes via Heise:
First they wrestled down Microsoft, now they’re litigating against other big IT players: Eolas intends to enforce its patent on web technologies and plug-ins for integrating interactive content at all cost. However, a partner of the legal firm representing Eolas assured the readers of German Focus magazine that the vendor does not intend to cripple the internet. The lawyer also said that individuals, such as Facebook users or bloggers, using the technologies for integrating, for example, videos into their web pages or profiles, have nothing to fear. Litigation against such individuals doesn’t make sense economically, he added.
Spin and damage mitigation is all that is.
Microsoft is at the moment circulating the following E-mail, which seemingly encourages software patents in Europe. It also has free trips to Redmond as a prize/incentive. This is the type of thing which Microsoft typically does using front groups like ACT.
Amazon, which accepted several Microsoft executives into its higher management, is not a friend of Free software. Amazon may be a user of Free software, albeit an abusive user [1, 2] that is a major part of the software patents madness in the United States. In Canada, Amazon’s notorious “one-click” patent was rightly rejected, but Amazon is fighting back to break the Canadian patent system too, forcibly injecting a most insanely controversial software patents into it. Suffice to say, the Free Software Foundation is against Amazon.
A few days ago we wrote about how Sun’s attitude towards software patents has actually turned against it, potentially killing the excellent ZFS. K&L Gates, which has worked with Microsoft for many years until very recently when its priority was lowered, is now abusing innocent people on behalf of “SPARC”, using intellectual monopolies. [via TechDirt and Slashdot]
SparkFun is all about open. Whether sharing the pcb design files for our products or posting pictures from the office on flickr, we’re pretty open about what it’s like to work here. Today we’d like to share with you a cease and desist letter we received from SPARC International. Here’s a link to SPARC on wikipedia in case you don’t know who SPARC is.
Although it has nothing to do with official company policy, the following new post comes from a Red Hat employee in India, who strongly agrees with the views expressed by Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi in Africa:
Even slaves were considered property: South African Minister
It is good to remember this at a time when organizations aim to justify the privatization of knowledge and ideas under the guise that this is essential for promoting innovation.
In the area of software patents, this is nothing but a land grab, a conversion of was in the commons into a private enclosure.
Here is a video of Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi speaking about these issues
Software patents should be rejected by Africans and Indians alike; they are weapons of colonialists and fortunately there are those who understand this and turn against the WTO [via Richard Stallman], not just WIPO.
Ten years ago, citizen activists shut down the World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial in Seattle to protest the devastating impact of the WTO’s corporate globalization agenda on our jobs, wages and the environment. Now, big corporations are back at it, again pushing an expansion of the WTO’s power.
The intellectual monopolies system is mostly about protecting dominant forces in the industry, not facilitating young innovators (“disruption”). To suggest anything else is to sell the illusion marketed by those in industry who benefit from protectionist measures, i.e. the status quo. Incidentally, companies that are wrongly perceived as “friends” of Free software (IBM for example) should be counted among the culprits. IBM is the principal entity behind the OIN*, which mostly defends large vendors (with an extensive patent portfolio) that incorporate Linux into their non-Free products. █
* Jerry Rosenthal came from IBM, which still owns a vast number of OIN patents. It turns much of it into a feud between patent coalitions, but an optimal solution for all is the abolishment of software patents.
Open Invention Network Extends the Linux Ecosystem as Messaging Architects Becomes Licensee
DURHAM, NC — 10/27/09 — Open Invention Network (OIN), the company formed to enable and protect Linux, today extended the Linux ecosystem with the signing of Messaging Architects as a licensee. By becoming a licensee, Messaging Architects has joined the growing list of companies that recognize the importance of participating in a substantial community of Linux supporters and leveraging the Open Invention Network to further spur open source innovation.
Patents owned by Open Invention Network are available royalty-free to any company, institution or individual that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux System. This enables companies to continue to make significant corporate and capital expenditure investments in Linux — helping to fuel economic growth. By developing a web of Linux developers, distributors, sellers, resellers and end-users that license its patent portfolio, Open Invention Network is creating a supportive and shielded ecosystem to ensure the growth and adoption of Linux.
“We are pleased to have Messaging Architects, a leader in Email risk management and compliance, become a licensee as we seek to enable the Linux Ecosystem,” said Keith Bergelt, CEO of Open Invention Network. “Messaging Architects is one of a growing number of companies that recognize the value provided by open source software and the Linux community. We applaud their support for Linux.”
“Globally, Linux drives the vast majority of Email routing and security infrastructure. As such it plays a critical role as the enabler of innovative messaging technology platforms,” said Pierre Chamberland, CEO of Messaging Architects. “By becoming an Open Invention Network licensee, we encourage ongoing Linux development which helps to ensure the continued improvement of our products and services. This relationship will be incredibly beneficial for Messaging Architects, our customers and partners worldwide.”
OIN has accumulated more than 300 strategic, worldwide patents and patent applications. These patents are available to all licensees as part of the patent portfolio that OIN is creating around, and in support of Linux. The Open Invention Network license agreement can be found at http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/pat_license_agreement.php.
About Open Invention Network
Open Invention Network(SM) is a collaborative enterprise that enables innovation in open source and an increasingly vibrant ecosystem around Linux by acquiring and licensing patents, influencing behaviors and policy, and protecting the integrity of the ecosystem through strategic programs such as Linux Defenders. It enables the growth and continuation of open source software by fostering a healthy Linux ecosystem of investors, vendors, developers and users.
Open Invention Network has considerable industry backing. It was launched in 2005, and has received investments from IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony. For more information, visit www.openinventionnetwork.com.
About Messaging Architects
Founded in 1995, Messaging Architects is a global builder of infrastructure for Business Driven Email. Messaging Architects provides software and services that deliver 100% uptime and compliance. Thousands of organizations worldwide depend on the firm’s solutions for risk-free messaging and collaboration. For more information, visit www.messagingarchitects.com.
Open Invention Network, the Open Invention Network logo, Linux Defenders, Linux Defenders 911 and the Linux Defenders 911 logo are the property of Open Invention Network, LLC. All other names and brand marks are the property of their respective holders.
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Summary: Setback for marketing of Vista 7 and more bad news regarding cost, technical issues, and the rapid advancement of GNU/Linux
EARLIER this month we wrote about the outrageous "Family Guy" arrangement, which had Microsoft further corrupt/erode trust in television. Well, they have just called the whole thing off.
One of our readers writes: “I wonder if the Family Guy people made the show as tasteless as they could.” He quotes this from The Register: “Windows marketing messages were presumably seamlessly integrated into the schtick, so were jokes about deaf people, the Holocaust, feminine hygiene and incest.”
More in Business Insider:
Microsoft Shocked ‘Family Guy’ Humor Includes Incest, Holocaust Jokes (MSFT)
Turns out Seth MacFarlane isn’t PC enough to be a PC. Microsoft was set to sponsor a prime time special by the “Family Guy” creator as part of its Windows 7 media blitz, but was somehow surprised when the typically MacFarlane-esque fare didn’t exactly “fit with the Windows brand.”
TechDirt claims that Microsoft still benefits from the publicity stunt, whereas Family Guy cannot be trusted anymore due to the fact that it sold out so easily. Like with Seinfeld, this show’s reputation is already ruined, stained by the Vista* series.
The Microsoft crowd tried to make Microsoft look like a dominant party in this relationship. “Always blame someone else” is still the motto. There is also a parody about it, courtesy of our reader David Gerard.
Yesterday we showed that in many ways, Vista 7 turns out to be more and more like Vista. Even Family Guy and Seinfeld are a parallel because both were prematurely called off. They turned out to be tasteless marketing for tasteless products. As one blogger has correctly put it:
It is remarkable that a lot of the geek pundits proclaiming the qualities of Windows7 were the same people who once announced that Vista was the cat’s meow.
From IDG we are now learning that the cost of Vista 7 (for a business) can almost exceed $2000 per seat.
After last week’s saturation coverage of Windows 7, I will spare you the laundry list of changes and new features (check out our Windows 7 Deep Dive Report for that). But I ask you to imagine the hypothetical CFO of that hypothetical 2,500-user organization, staring at an upgrade cost of between $2,587,500 and $4,825,000. Glaring at that number, looking at it sideways, maybe turning it upside down. And this buys us … what, exactly?
Cringely agrees that “Windows 7 costs so much,” to quote his latest headline. Here is a new Vista 7 cartoon which promotes GNU/Linux and here is a new guest post from former Microsoft employee, Keith Curtis. His headline is: “Linux is the future, even after Windows 7 release”
Many of the benefits of Linux are subtle. It doesn’t come with any nagware. The default media player supports both many formats including QuickTime and Windows media. Likewise, the instant messaging program supports 16 different protocols. The GUI is more customizable. But the best feature of Linux is something that neither Windows nor the Macintosh have: a rich set of free applications, installable with one click…
More problems with Vista 7 are beginning to surface. From IDG: “Windows 7 endless reboot answer evades Microsoft”
Users remained stymied today by endless reboots after trying to upgrade their PCs to Windows 7, according to messages posted on Microsoft’s support forum.
An answer has yet to be found for all users, who began reporting the problem last Friday after watching the upgrade stall two-thirds of the way through the process. Most users said that their PCs had displayed an error that claimed the upgrade had been unsuccessful and that Vista would be restored. Instead, their PCs again booted to the Windows 7 setup process, failed, then restarted the vicious cycle.
Rex Ballard, an IBM employee, writes: “That ought to convince CEOs and CTOs that Windows 7 is the “right choice” for an immediate upgrade.
“I also noticed an official message from IBM telling employees to switch to Firefox as their “official” browser.
“No upgrades to IE 7 allowed.”
And another new article compares Vista 7 to GNU/Linux. To quote just a portion:
Just be aware though that you can’t upgrade from 32-bit version of Vista to a 64-bit edition of Windows 7. A lot of people found out the hard way that you can’t get there from here.
From the comments: “What persuaded me to move permanently to Linux Mint (with XP running in VirtualBox for Adobe apps) is that Windows had become such a Fat Pig. Mint happily runs itself with several applications open (Thunderbird, OpenOffice Writer), and WinXP Pro running MS Word XP under VirtualBox, on my ThinkPad T43 with 2 GB of RAM. And by “happily,” I mean “no perceptible slowdown in any of the Linux or Windows apps. That, to me, is nifty, remarkable, convenient, and cool.”
As we stressed before, Vista 7′s launch went terribly wrong and it’s only the beginning. Recall the early warnings (video below), namely messages which got ignored and their messengers viciously attacked and ridiculed. Perception management in action [1, 2]. █
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