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Apple Helps Microsoft Attack Google’s Linux While Google Spreads GNU/Linux, ODF

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Office Suites, OpenDocument at 6:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ballmer money

Summary: Mishmash of news; Apple’s helping hand to Microsoft is reappearing now that GNU/Linux and ODF gain traction, partly thanks to Google

IT WAS only yesterday that we wrote about Bill Gates' gradual monopolisation of the schooling system. This is not news [1, 2, 3, 4] but it continues to appear as though schools become the ownership of companies that use the curriculum to train and recruit young people. From the New York Times:

Professional organizations and major technology companies, including Google, Microsoft and Intel support the broad agenda, though companies are not getting into curriculum details.

What’s even more disconcerting is that companies like Google and Microsoft are almost trying to monopolise healthcare too, essentially by capitalising on inevitable digitisation of data. Using an atrocious new press release, Microsoft is trying to lure in more hospitals for them to hand over their patients’ data. They keep pretending that giving a convicted monopolist control of people’s intimate information and also allowing lock-in is actually “put[ting] Patients in Charge”. This is an amazing, total reversal of the truth, or “newspeak” as our reader Fewa labeled it last night. Google pulls similar tricks to get access to/possession of medical information, but that's another story. Neither schools nor hospitals should permit this privatisation by self-serving companies that perceive children and patients (respectively) as mere clients.

Also in this week’s news we have found this report that suggests Apple is liaising with Microsoft against mobile Linux. It is no secret that Apple and Microsoft are still "buddies" who think alike and help each other out.

We have found more reports about it, e.g.:

i. Apple and Microsoft vs. Google for Smartphone Dominance?

Apple and Google were once seen as best friends in their fight against mutual enemy Microsoft, but as Google has ventured into Apple’s turf with the Chrome OS and Android smartphone OS, their BFF status has been in jeopardy. Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigned from Apple’s board of directors, citing a conflict of interest, and Google Latitude and Google Maps Navigation have been released for Android but not iPhone. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s Bing search engine is now available for iPhone.

ii. Will Apple and Microsoft Join Forces To Fight Google?

Apple and Google have historically been very friendly. But in recent months, the tenor of that relationship has changed. Apple rejected Google Voice for the iPhone. And now it appears that the relationship may get a bit cooler with all the talk of a Google phone.

Microsoft is now adding Messenger for Mac 8 and it sure seems like they have found new common enemies. The proprietary giants must hate the idea of Free-as-in-almost-freedom platforms like Android (Linux based) gaining so much traction quite so quickly.

“The proprietary giants must hate the idea of Free-as-in-almost-freedom platforms like Android (Linux based) gaining so much traction quite so quickly.”Apple and Microsoft are also opponents of ODF. Apple has helped Microsoft with OOXML for several years now. Google, on the other hand, vocally protested against OOXML and its online software suite — even though it is proprietary — actually supports ODF.

For what it’s worth, Bart Hanssens has just augmented his list of ODF-supportive software to include OfficeReader, ezComponents, and a Drupal module. We wrote about this a few days ago.

Open source viewer for Symbian phones, supporting ODF text (.odt), spreadsheets (.ods) and presentations (.odp)

The project is sponsored by the NLNet Foundation and Odendahl-SEPT.


This Drupal module allows one to import ODF files into the popular WebCMS. Currently only the content of ODF text documents (.odt) is imported, future releases will support other ODF types as well as importing styles.

Google is expanding its assault on Microsoft’s #1 cash cow, Microsoft Office, using this new acquisition:

i. Google to buy DocVerse, introduce Microsoft Office doc collaboration

Google has been positioning Google Apps as an Office killer and encouraging companies to adopt it. Meanwhile, Microsoft countered with a web-based component to Office 2010. The latest move comes from Google, though, with the acquisition of DocVerse.

ii. Google acquisitions may signal big push against Microsoft Office

I use Google Docs for almost all of my writing, and I’ll be the first to admit that it’s pretty bare-bones compared to Microsoft Office. But that may change next year.


By the way, Google declined to comment on the DocVerse acquisition rumor (as it always does), and the startup didn’t even bother to answer my email. DocVerse raised $1.3 million from Baseline Ventures and assorted angel investors.

iii. Google Targets Microsoft Office with DocVerse Deal

No company is attacking Google as much as Microsoft (see the Murdoch incident for a recent display or power [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]), so it’s understandable that Google should aim for Microsoft’s jugular and try to render its cash cow obsolete. Microsoft does exactly the same thing against Google’s bread and butter (again,the Murdoch incident shows precisely that). Except the fact that Microsoft is a criminal company, a fundamental difference between those two is that Microsoft attacks GNU/Linux, whereas Google embraces it.

Clint Boulton from eWEEK’s Google Watch has a couple of new articles about this commercial rivalry:

i. Debate Rages On in Microsoft Vs. Google Web War

ii. This Is Why Microsoft Is So Far Behind Google on the Web

Microsoft has billions of dollars to spend, and more market clout than any software company in the world, thanks to its Windows and Office hegemonies.

Isn’t it stunning that the company is far behind Google and even Yahoo in the online space? Why is that? It’s not for lack of resources and talent.

With more and more deals, Google’s reputation grows stronger and Microsoft resorts to some kind of bribery, as usual.

Talks between Microsoft and News Corp. show the software company is willing to trade revenue for market share to put pressure on Google

Rupert Murdoch is one example of this tactic, but another recent example is Verizon. Pogue from the New York Times has just written about it:

It’s Microsoft Bing or nothing. (The BlackBerry used to offer Google, Wikipedia and others.)
Why? Because Microsoft paid Verizon $500 million, according to The Register.

I don’t know. Maybe Verizon heard that there were six people left on Earth who didn’t have a reason to dislike it.

In a similar fashion, Microsoft has used kickbacks to block GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Intel is being punished for it [1, 2]. It is illegal, it’s a violation of the law, and thus it’s a crime.

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  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    December 28, 2009 at 9:02 am


    Since the demise of Steve Jobs, Apple’s been balking on open standards more than usual.

    However, where it really shows is how Apple acts at the same time as both bitch and pimp for Microsoft:

    Step one: Use Entourage to gain acceptance of removal of e-mail and calendaring and a ‘trial’ of MS Exchange.

    Step two: once the ‘test’ of MS Exchange starts, blame the user for Entourage not working or

    Step three: use the failures of MS Exchange to encourage use of BootCamp or other virtualization to get Windows into a VM under the pretense of linking to MS Exchange

    Step four: use the failures of MS Exchange to encourage dropping the VM and running MS Windows natively, either on the x86 conveniently delivered by Apple or on a parallel machine.

    Step five: Once Windows is running either natively or in the VM, productivity drops 20% – 25%. Windows users and managers of Windows users are used to this. However, formerly productive Apple users will show like a flare and having two systems will get the blame, giving managers an excuse to migrate to 100% Windows

    Steps six through infinity: Eventually the staff will burn out and give up and rationalize their impotence. Between step 5 and when that happens you get an arbitrary number of cycles about holding tight for The Next Version, The Next Service Pack, the Next Hardware Upgrade, the Next Server Upgrade.

    Don’t laugh. I’ve been seeing this method used by people claiming to be helping OS X users.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The same process could be applied to developers, with Moonlight and Mono that immediately come to mind.

    Assimilation to Microsoft (as opposed to Microsoft’s feet dragged towards open standards) is always a migration route to Microsoft, not away from it.

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    There are also other problems popping up with MS dependencies and the One Microsoft Way of thinking infecting the system. One more has been the VPN security weaknesses. Last I checked, OS X did not support SSL or IPSEC vpns but do support the complicated and insecure PPTP from Microsoft.

    This is supposed to turn into a list of complaints against Apple. I’d much rather Jobs knock some heads while he’s still there and find assistants that can do it for him. These problems above are not helping Apple, rather hurting it, and quite unnecessary.

    I’d hate to see the Everything Must Suck ideology take over any more companies, especially Apple. If nothing else, it would put them in potential legal trouble with Microsoft, which virtually has a trademark on Suck.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The “Everything Must Suck” ideology characterises marketing sectors, not a scientific sector.

  2. dyfet said,

    December 28, 2009 at 12:27 pm


    In regard to Need Sunlights comments, I have the impression being a PC “operating system” company (OS/X) is simply no longer part of the long-term vision of Apple. On the other hand, being a high-end PC “hardware company”, that is being a high-end “Dell” or “HP” with “fancier” hardware and a strong consumer brand identity that also offers much higher profit margins, might be.

  3. Needs Sunlight said,

    December 28, 2009 at 4:21 pm


    Well it’s no longer a high-end hardware company. It’s better than many competitors, but going down the Wintel road only has one destination.

    It’s still good but no longer great pc hardware. To regain the great status, a move to better architectures is needed. If the Bush / Wintel legacy in the US has killed the possibility for technological development in the US then the very painful decision would be to move up to China.

    China’s not all ready yet, but with the sad state of the War on Knowledge has put the US in, especially what Wintel has been doing to the top research universities, and with what security theater by TSA and DHS do to prevent talent import to the universities, there are very few new talents coming down the pipe. Worse you get posers, who having no skills, do no work and can spend 100% of their time getting in the way of the few remaining with skill or experience.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    China’s not all ready yet

    Actually, China is quite ready based on what it is doing with MIPS.

    Did you see the news about Foxconn entering the GNU/Linux market with its own distro?

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