Summary: China may no longer be able to use proprietary software from the United States without paying, which is great news for GNU/Linux and other Free software
LAST WEEK we wrote about Ylmf OS, which is a Ubuntu-based Windows XP clone that we mentioned later on in this post and also this morning. Here is some new coverage.
Ubuntu Linux Clone Looks Like Windows XP
Now, the next logical question: Do businesses and consumers want an Ubuntu Linux release that essentially looks and feels like Windows XP?
Hmmm… In The VAR Guy’s own home his kids already move seamlessly between Windows XP, Mac OS X and Canonical’s more traditional Ubuntu user interface. The “myth” that desktop Linux has a difficult learning curve is just that… a myth.
And besides, it doesn’t sound like Ylmf OS is pushing beyond China anytime soon. Still… you never can tell how software will potentially go viral across the web.
Microsoft is pressuring China and hinders its use of proprietary software, but Microsoft is not alone. China has just been sued with a price tag of over $2 billion for copyright violation. It used proprietary software against the law, just like Microsoft China [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].
An American company has filed a $2.2bn (£1.4bn) lawsuit in the US accusing Beijing of stealing lines of code from its internet filtering software.
There is Free (as in Freedom) filtering software that they can use, but the intent may be considered malicious. Maybe this pressure from West will further push China towards Free software. █
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Summary: Opinion that Novell will not endure as a standalone company this year; new interview with Ron Hovsepian
LAST WEEK we argued that some time in 2010 Novell is likely to be acquired or merged. Several days later, CIO UK published this list of predictions, which include the following:
June: The silly season begins in earnest. Google and Microsoft buy some companies you’ve never heard of. Novell is acquired.
As we wrote last week, it is possible for Microsoft to acquire Novell, but this might not be the best strategy.
Another UK-based publication has just published this first interview with Ron Hovsepian in a very long time. Here is an important question that he answered at the end:
How does the interoperability agreement with Microsoft relate to the IWM launches? [The Microsoft/Novell Partnership announced in 2006 gives interoperability and virtualisation solutions for firms using both Windows and Linux]
The agreement means that Microsoft can run their virtualised applications on our environment and we can run ours on theirs.
I think it works really well. Our core assumption is that customers are Microsoft customers and have multiple Java technology stacks. So in a virtualized environment, this relationship allows us to support and optimise those workloads.
This puts us in a stronger position than competitors such as Red Hat for example.
So our strategy is built on that assumption of heterogeneity. Where firms have multiple technology stacks, we can optimise and build security and governance into them.
Microsoft could do that too. A couple of years ago it was argued that Microsoft could buy the WordPerfect lawsuit along with Novell. █
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Summary: Restoration of the site’s function – a quick update
The Wiki can now be edited again and comments be posted provided one is logged in. The rating system is still a tricky one to resolve (all requests are channeled via the same IP address), so it might be the case that only registered (and logged in) visitors can participate in this.
For those who don’t know what we’re talking about, here is some background:
We still experience periods of unavailability (denial of service), but they are tackled within minutes. █
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Summary: Public documents and operations that Microsoft helped subvert are continuing to draw fire
SO MANY times we have already covered complaints about the EIF (version 2), which lobbyists of Microsoft helped change. See references in the links below.
- European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Corrupted by Microsoft et al, Its Lobbyists
- Orwellian EIF, Fake Open Source, and Security Implications
- No Sense of Shame Left at Microsoft
- Lobbying Leads to Protest — the FFII and the FSFE Rise in Opposition to Subverted EIF
- IBM and Open Forum Europe Address European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Fiasco
- EIF Scrutinised, ODF Evolves, and Microsoft’s OOXML “Lies” Lead to Backlash from Danish Standards Committee
- Complaints About Perverted EIF Continue to Pile Up
- More Complaints About EIFv2 Abuse and Free Software FUD from General Electric (GE)
- Patents Roundup: Copyrighted SQL Queries, Microsoft Alliance with Company That Attacks F/OSS with Software Patents, Peer-to-Patent in Australia
According to this new post from CMS Wire, the Open Source Software Thematic Group is another complainer we have not yet mentioned. We missed it. Here is the letter of complaint, which we append at the bottom. The post also says:
The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure offers ten recommendations for improving the version 2 and preserving “a strong definition of ‘open standards and specifications’ in a way that patent cartels do not qualify for the gold standard.”
These ten recommendations are:
1. Align the EIF 2.0 with the new General Principles from the Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations (ISA) document, which calls for technological neutrality and adaptability, openness, reusability, privacy and personal protection of data and security.
2. Improve interoperability terminology to once again align with the ISA’s definition rather than the new watered down one.
3. Market Order and public constituency by creating better functioning markets with increased interoperability.
4. Deletion of Chapter 3 and its empty talk.
5. Administrative principles such as not tasking public administration with lobbying for political support of interoperability efforts.
6. Avoid capture and dilution of interest with weak phrases and definitions.
7. Adjust to public administrative needs.
8. Open standards, not open concepts, by reinstating the proper definition of open standards.
9. Open assessment and continuum to allow government bodies to assess where an offering falls on the “openness continuum”.
10. Problem-oriented approach by focusing on identifying and solving interoperability problems.
Other Organizations Speak Out
Other organizations have also expressed their strong concerns, such as the OW2 Consortium and the Open Source Software Thematic Group.
We previously wrote about what Microsoft had done to the NHS [1, 2, 3, 4], which is Britain’s national healthcare organisation. There is another scandal there and it relates to those who supplied software (iSoft is a Microsoft partner).
The Financial Services Authority has confirmed that it is starting criminal proceedings against four former directors of iSoft Group plc – the major provider of patient records software for the NHS’s National Programme for IT.
It said at that time that commercial director Steve Graham, and another employee, had been put on special leave following a company investigation into accounting irregularities in 2004 and 2005.
iSoft shares collapsed in the wake of that news and in September 2006 it emerged that the Department of Health had bailed out the struggling software firm with £82m of taxpayers’ cash.
Earlier today we wrote about a possible lawsuit against Microsoft in Italy. Clearly, justice has a way of catching up sooner or later. █
Open Letter to the EC about Open Standards and Interoperability
||“Stefane Fermigier” <sf-AT-nuxeo.com>
||Open Letter to the EC about Open Standards and Interoperability
||Mon, 23 Nov 2009 17:39:26 +0100
our Open Source Software Thematic Group became deeply concerned two weeks ago
after we learned that the European Commission was preparing a new version
of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) with definitions of
interoperability, open standards and maybe even open source completely
void of any substance, allowing any proprietary software vendor to claim
being compatible with the new guidelines.
This concern was, to our knowledge, first publicised by Glyn Moody in his blog:
To react and try to protect the useful and actionable definitions contained
in EIF v1, we've just written an open letter to Commissioner Kallas and Mr
Other useful references about this subject include:
- http://action.ffii.org/eif from our friends as FFII
- http://www.ow2.org/view/Events/OpenLetterIEF from our friends at OW2
Our original announcement (in french) is here:
S. Fermigier, Chairman
System@tic Free / Open Source Software Thematic Group, aka GTLL
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Summary: Armchair pay-to-say marketing people are growing in size and adding more Microsoft bias to their ranks
THE Gartner Group is inherently corrupt because it is reviewing the same companies that pay it a lot of money (see prior links for detailed evidence). So it is not surprising that Gartner is now buying another group that works the same way — a group that receives money and jobs from Microsoft in exchange for its promotion of Microsoft [1, 2]. IDG announces:
Gartner Inc. said today it is acquiring enterprise IT advisory firm the Burton Group for $56 million, just one month after it announced it was buying AMR Research for $64 million. But if Gartner is attempting to consolidate the IT analysis industry, it may be playing a game of whack-a-mole.
Analysts across the board are emerging as independent brands with their own followings, and there’s a general view among IT analysts that the number of independent analysis firms is on the rise, even if no one is really sure on the number.
This article is quoting 'Microsoft Enderle'. It calls him “an independent analyst” and says that he “believes the Web is filling the need for analysis on tech trends, and is making it easier to compete with Gartner.” No, he is putting Microsoft advertisements and revisionism on the Web, as he acknowledges in his private discussions (now leaked) with the company [1, 2]. █
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Summary: Apple is controlling coverage of its products not just by censorship of blogs but also fake ‘leaks’
APPLE — like Microsoft and Novell — is faking enthusiasm. Apple employs so-called ‘evangelists’ and uses all sorts of other mechanisms to get people excited or simply fake an expression of excitement, hoping that it would become infectious, even viral. It’s probably effective, but that’s beside the point. Some companies are paying famous people to stand in line, pretending that they are interested in some new gadget or imaginary products comprising just 0s and 1s (software can be duplicated infinitely and thus easily distributed, unlike hardware). Deception presents an ethical dilemma and pushes the envelope on legal grounds in the UK (ASA).
It is almost comical that Apple is deliberately ‘leaking’ information while taking down a blogger who genuinely leaked information not according to their schedule of fake ones. Yes, Apple took down at least one independent Mac Web site which decided to spread truths, not just rumours. That was in 2008 and there are still examples at present.
Microsoft too is deliberately ‘leaking’ stuff (downloads and information). Ethical or unethical? Either way, those companies knowingly lie to their customers. And in any case, more information about this can be found here.
Controlled leaks are almost always the solution to a problem.
It ought to be recognised that many so-called ‘leaks’ are fake (there is concrete proof) and similar tricks are being used to sell an illusion of scarcity, Vista 7 downloads being an obvious and recent example that we covered a year ago. █
“FSF did some anti-Apple campaigns too. Personally I worry more about Apple because they have user loyalty; Microsoft doesn’t.”
–Bradley M. Kuhn (SFLC)
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Summary: Another sign that Sony Ericsson may shift more focus to GNU and Linux after Xperia X2 launch gets delayed, then downscaled
WO weeks ago we wrote about Windows Mobile (version 7) being delayed along with Xperia X2. Well, it turns out that Xperia X2 will altogether be dropped from the UK market, symboling the continued collapse of Windows Mobile (market share down about 30% in just one year).
From The Inquirer:
AFTER AN UNDERSTATED launch event back in November, it seemed that the high-end Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 phone was due to land in the UK well in time for Christmas.
At the event the company admitted that it was still polishing the code and streamlining the Panels interface introduced by its predecessor the X1, but that we were assured that review units would be sent out within the week, running the release version of the Windows Mobile 6.5 overlay.
As we showed in December, Sony Ericsson is gradually exploring Linux and Free software. Maybe it is having second thoughts about Windows. References that we add below may help understanding of this situation (from 2008-2009, more recent items listed first). █
 Android phone sports 8.1-megapixel camera
Sony Ericsson announced its first Android phone, along with a “UX” user interface targeting social networking. The Xperia X10 offers from 8 to 16GB of flash storage, a four-inch touchscreen, and an 8.1-megapixel camera with face recognition and geo-tagging, plus the usual 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS features.
 Sony Ericsson announces its first Android handset: the XPERIA X10
Available in “Luster White” or “Sensuous Black”, the 119mm x 63mm x 13mm device weighs 135g and features a 4in, 480 x 854 capacitive touchscreen display.
 Sony Ericsson’s first Android phone highlights Microsoft’s shortcomings
“Microsoft is being squeezed from one end by this open source approach from the likes of Android, Symbian open source, Maemo and LiMo, and squeezed from the other by RIM and Apple, which offer closed environments that users are very happy with,” she said.
 Sony Ericsson preparing netbook launch?
Sony Ericsson appears set to launch a netbook. Sorry, smartbook – the phone firm’s micro laptop seems likely to be as much phone as portable PC.
 Sony Ericsson Xperia drops Windows for Android
An Android-based version of Sony Ericsson’s first Windows Mobile smartphone, the Xperia, has appeared online, prompting speculation that an official unveiling could be just around the corner.
 Check Out Sony Ericsson’s Android UI
Word leaked over the weekend about Sony Ericsson’s first Android-powered smartphone and it looked like a winner. Well, today we’ve learned that the company will be layering on its own custom user interface on top of the Linux-based OS, and it also looks pretty good.
To recap, the smartphone is code-named “Rachael” and it is expected to be the next generation in the company’s Xperia line. Reports say it will run on Qualcomm’s zippy 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, and it will have 3D graphics, a whopping 8-megapixel camera, and it will be capable of 7.2 Mbps downlink speeds.
 Sony Ericsson Using Drupal
Sony Ericsson’s first Drupal web site was officially launched yesterday at the JavaOne conference. The site, called Sony Ericsson Labs, is a community website to shares application concepts with everyone who is interested in mobile applications and where new ideas can begin to take shape.
 Sony Ericsson Inches Closer To Android Phone
Ever since Sony Ericsson joined the Open Handset Alliance, Android fans have been wondering when the company would release a smartphone with the Google-backed operating system. An executive gave some more details Friday indicating fans may not have to wait too much longer.
 Sony Ericsson to make Android phone
Rikko Sakaguchi, Corporate VP at Sony Ericsson, said it’s the company’s aim to “develop a handset based on the Android platform”, according to his OHA membership statement.
 (Video) Ubuntu Linux Running On Sony Ericsson P990i
Apparently “Wizolabo” managed to get a copy of Ubuntu Linux running on the Sony Ericsson P990i, which features a 240 x 320 TFT touchscreen display, 2.0-megapixel camera, 64MB RAM, 128MB Flash memory, 60MB built-in memory, 802.11b Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.0, a music player, and USB 2.0 connectivity. Video after the break.
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