EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

03.05.10

Microsoft Brand Far from Respected (Says Fortune), Company’s Future May Resemble Sun’s Trajectory (Says BNET)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, Red Hat, SUN, Virtualisation, VMware, Xen at 9:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fortune brands

Summary: Microsoft has issues evolving, its brand is falling down the ranks, its attempts to mimic open source mostly fail (despite media blitz), and Red Hat copes with Microsoft’s attempt to swallow virtualisation

MICROSOFT’S exacerbating financial performance (see analysis of the latest results in [1, 2, 3, 4]) may explain its increased racketeering (last example from yesterday). With ever-decreasing margins, Microsoft must find an alternative business model. So far, Microsoft has failed to mimic Google’s model (Microsoft loses over $2,000,000,000 per year in this area), so it decided to use regulators and lawsuits by proxy to hurt Google. Microsoft did the same thing to GNU/Linux by funding SCO, for example.

Microsoft’s control of the mainstream media usually prevents access to simple facts that are not hard to show and to defend. When some single firm from the UK hailed the Microsoft brand last month, nobody dares to question the data, the methods, and the population questioned. In fact, that single source was quoted extensively outside the UK in order to sell the impression that the Microsoft brand has power.

“When some single firm from the UK hailed the Microsoft brand last month, nobody dares to question the data, the methods, and the population questioned.”CNN/Fortune has just released a list of “The Most Admired Companies in the World”. Apple and Google top the list and Microsoft is not even in it (it is not among the worst brands, either). In any case, it is clear that Microsoft dropped sharply and this agrees with 3-4 similar surveys from 2008. They have all shown that Microsoft’s reputation was declining rapidly.

“Windows breeds fear and ignorance,” said this one blogger a couple of days ago. “And I put the blame squarely on Windows,” he added after explaining an experience with an indoctrinated individual. A few days ago we also cited a post from Jeremy Allison — one where he speaks about his days in Sun Microsystems. Here is an example of a company that was once so gigantic and formidable. Where is it today? It is in Oracle, which some notable people whom we cannot name just yet are about to leave (we received private communication about it).

“Sun Fell Prey to Open-Washing,” says BNET in the headline that continues: “Who’s Next? Microsoft?”

Here is a key part of the argument:

Openwashing is similar to greenwashing, in which a company markets itself as environmentally friendly but is actually faking it. A high tech firm openwashes itself when it makes noises about open software but is really interested in preserving its proprietary offerings and hampering free open systems practices.

So basically, BNET explains that excessive desire for control over developers cost Sun its existence. This agrees with what Jeremy Allison wrote and Bradley Kuhn wrote about that too.

Meanwhile, I’m less optimistic than Jeremy on the future of Oracle. I have paid attention to Oracle’s contributions to btrfs in light of recent events. Amusingly, btfs exists in no small part because ZFS was never licensed correctly and never turned into a truly community-oriented project. While the two projects don’t have identical goals, they are similar enough that it seems unlikely btrfs would exist if Sun had endeavored to become a real FLOSS contributor and shepherd ZFS into Linux upstream using normal Linux community processes. It’s thus strange to think that Oracle controls ZFS, even while it continues to contribute to btrfs, in a normal, upstream way (i.e., collaborating under the terms of GPLv2 with community developers and employees of other companies such as Red Hat, HP, Intel, Novell, and Fujitsu).

The moral of this story is that control over what developers could and could not do is what drove many people away and made Sun history. Microsoft is facing similar problems right now and it tries to ‘embrace’ (in “EEE” sense) the Free/open source arena in order to recapture developers. It’s not quite working.

A reader sent us this pointer to a Microsoft project yesterday. “Pay Microsoft more money to secure insecure Microsoft software” is how our reader described it. He said that “it’s released under an ‘open-source license’, except it only runs on Windows, the monoculture.” To quote from the project’s page: “U-Prove is an innovative cryptographic technology that enables the issuance and presentation of cryptographically protected claims in a manner that provides multi-party security: issuing organizations, users, and relying parties can protect themselves not just against outsider attacks but also against attacks originating from each other…”

If this is an example of “open source” at Microsoft, then it’s more or less a farce. Microsoft’s own ‘news’ site, MSN, has just published some promotion of the “Microsoft-seeded foundation”.

A Microsoft-seeded, open-source organizer picked a Headspring Systems project for its first non-Microsoft sponsored effort.

Yes, Microsoft is organising a bit of a press tour [1, 2] to promote the CodePlex Foundation [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], where Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza is on the board. Here is the ‘Microsoft press’ promoting a .NET obfuscator. That’s the type of stuff Microsoft calls “open source”. It’s all about Windows, .NET, Silver Lie, etc. And how typical it is for CIOL to be pimping (with links) Microsoft’s smears of Free software, under the confusing headline “Open source slowly gaining momentum in India”. Are they trying to pretend that Silver Lie is “open source” or just lump Microsoft in? Here is part of it:

Developers in India are not much aware about open source technologies and there aren’t much good development tools and support for them, says Joydip Kanjilal, ASP.NET professional at Microsoft, in conversation with CIOL.

In another new article, CIOL promotes a form of EDGI that goes under the *Spark banner [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. CIOL is rewriting many press releases, as we pointed out before, but its shallow promotion of Microsoft requires some criticism too.

Another branch of the ‘Microsoft press’, namely the Microsoft Subnet at IDG, is doing some PR for Microsoft by saying that there is “much fanfare” over Red Hat support in Hyper-V (whose fanfare? Microsoft’s?).

With much fanfare, Microsoft first submitted said drivers to the Linux kernel way back in July (its first, and so far only, contribution to Linux, for obvious reason). Those drivers were already tested to work with Red Hat and, of course, SUSE. And in October, Red Hat and Microsoft announced that they were joining each other’s virtualization partnership programs, and validated that their products worked on each other’s virtual machines. So what took Microsoft so long to release these Red Hat drivers to the public?

People have other virtualisation options, they don’t need Microsoft’s proprietary one. Let’s not forget the GPL violation that’s associated with Microsoft’s offering [1, 2, 3].

Regarding the virtualisation arrangement Microsoft has with Red Hat, it is a subject that we summarised a year ago. Red Hat is now backing virtualisation research (yes, Free software conducts research too, contrary to myths).

Red Hat is funding a new research centre at Newcastle University that is looking into areas such as grid and cloud computing, virtualisation and middleware.

Among Red Hat’s competitors in this area there’s Microsoft, its ally Novell, and VMware, which is run by former Microsoft executives [1, 2, 3, 4]. Here is a new article on the subject:

Red Hat sees the virtualisation market developing into a three-way fight between itself, Microsoft and VMWare as the technology is increasingly taken up in the business space, Red Hat’s senior director of virtualisation, Navin Thadani, said today.

However, he said, the advantage would lie with the two operating system companies, adding that although Novell and Citrix had teamed up to contest the same space, they stood more of a chance in the desktop virtualisation arena.

A year ago we explained how Microsoft distorted the Linux and virtualisation markets. With former Microsoft employees running VMware, a Microsoft ally running Xen (Citrix), and another Microsoft ally seemingly trying to conquer KVM (that would be Novell), the pressure is on Red Hat, which arguably bought KVM’s parent company because of Microsoft’s disruptive moves.

“Microsoft is unique among proprietary software companies: they are the only ones who have actively tried to kill Open Source and Free Software. It’s not often someone wants to be your friend after trying to kill you for ten years, but such change is cause for suspicion.”

Bradley M. Kuhn (SFLC)

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

7 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    March 5, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Gravatar

    Hey. Sun does not deserve that kind of disparagement. It’s a good company with good products and has in the past been a truly awesome company and greatly respected.

    Microsoft has always made garbage products which have been, at best, laughed at, along with the dweebs that peddle or apologize the One Microsoft Way. Sure it puts food on the table, but so does selling crack, that’s not an excuse for what the dweebs are doing to the country.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I was not disparaging Sun’s products, just their financial performance in recent years.

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    Much of that appears to be the result of “The Slog” and is both self-fulfilling and self-perpetuating. Only a few of their own staff have fallen victim to the psyops. The rest comes from without.

    The talk of server consolidation is in no small part the result of the mess created by drifting away from Linux / Solaris (both open source) on SPARC (open architecture: http://www.opensparc.net/) Wintel can’t handle the work load. Go into a Windows shop’s server farm and you’ll see 3:1 or worse hardware to service ratio instead of 1:16 or so. Some places have almost one Wintel server per every two staff members. At a global level, a small country could be powered by that wasted electricity.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, in many cases history shows that best products just rarely win.

    Robotron 2084 Reply:

    I’m amazed that you would defend a company consisting of individuals who in all likelihood have no awareness of your existence by using schoolyard insults towards their competitor. Calling people dweebs? How could this not be construed as ‘Trolling’?

    Granted, it’s not a whole lot different than a sports fan rooting for his favorite team while badmouthing their opponents, but it still seems far out of place.

    your_friend Reply:

    Sun had great technical prowess but it clung to non free models too long for the company’s own good. While we can and should admire the GPLing of Java, for example, this came about a decade too late. Open Solaris was a good start but plans were laid to make that the default Solaris as Sun was on the chopping block. Sun, like other Unix companies, suffered when they all reinvented non free wheels on top of Unix instead of sharing the work and distinguishing themselves in service and hardware alone. The technical excellence of their software was always doomed, in the long run, to free software imitation. It would have been better for them to have not wasted their resources and everone else’s resources that way. Freedom succeeds, survives and is largely slog proof.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Oracle has taken the Free software projects of Sun seriously enough so far, except GNOME accessibility.

What Else is New


  1. EPO Crushed the Boards of Appeal (i.e. Quality Control) and Insiders Explain Why

    Team Battistelli has made a complete mockery of the EPO and also serves to devalue EPO patents, which in the long term can doom the whole system



  2. Academic Discussion About Patents' Harm and Good, Pushers of Software Patents Still Upset at Alice Decision

    In light of the Alice case, large monopolies and their messengers moan about patent quality control, whereas here in Manchester people have an open debate about the potential harms of over-patenting



  3. Links 30/7/2016: Sysadmin Day, Stardew Valley on GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  4. Links 29/7/2016: More Microsoft Problems and Layoffs, Bodhi Linux 4.0.0 Alpha Released

    Links for the day



  5. Links 28/7/2016: CORD as Linux Foundation Project, Wine 1.9.15 Released

    Links for the day



  6. EPO Loses More Than 80% of Cases at the International Labour Organisation (ILO)

    The International Labour Organisation (or Organization) helps show just to what degree the European Patent Office (EPO) violates the rights of workers



  7. To Understand What Battistelli Has Turned the EPO Into Look at Turkey and China

    Battistelli and his notorious Vice-President from SIPO (Croatia) turn the European Patent Office, once the pride of Europe, into a human rights cesspool with SIPO (China) connections



  8. Patent Lawyers Move Closer to Battistelli's Rubber-stamping Office While the Appeal Boards Pushed Away as Collective Punishment Which Masks Decline in Patent Quality

    Urgently sending appeal boards away and urgently granting applicants patents without proper examination will be Battistelli's sorrow legacy at the European Patent Office



  9. Software Patents a Dying Breed, But Patent Lawyers in Denial Over it and Notorious Judge Rodney Gilstrap Ignores Alice (Supreme Court)

    A look at what law and practice are saying about software patents, contrasted or contradicted by the patent industry and trolls-friendly courts (which make business out of or together with patent aggressors)



  10. CAFC Meddling in PTAB Affairs; Unified Patents Fights a Good Fight by Invalidating Software Patents

    A look at how the AIA's Patent Trial and Appeal Board is invalidating software patents post-Alice, with or without involvement of patent courts



  11. Early Certainty That Benoît Battistelli is Dangerously Clueless and a Major Risk to the EPO

    The chaos which Team Battistelli is assured to deliver if it doesn't treat scientists like scientists, instead viewing them as a production line with rubber-stamping duties



  12. OIN Makes Claims About “Open Source Innovation”, But It Produces Nothing and Protects Virtually Nobody

    The Open Invention Network (OIN) reports growth, but in practical terms it does little or nothing to help developers of Free/Open Source software



  13. Links 27/7/2016: New CrossOver, Blackmagic for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  14. The Death of Software Patents and Microsoft's Coup Against Yahoo! Made the Company Worthless

    A look at what happens to companies whose value is a house of software patents rather than code and a broad base of users/customers



  15. Munich Attack Mentioned by EPO But Not Ansbach

    The EPO does the usual right-wing thing (exploiting disaster/emergency for domestic crackdowns), but some bemoan the omission of the explosion at Ansbach (also in Germany)



  16. Kluwer Thinks People Are Clueless About the Unitary Patent System and Pretends It's Business as Usual

    Flogging the dead UPC horse at times of great uncertainty (enough to bring the UPC to a standstill)



  17. Almost Everything That the Government Accountability Office Says is Applicable to the EPO

    The Government Accountability Office in the United States produces reports which can serve as a timely warning sign to the European Patent Office, where patent quality is rapidly declining in order to meet 'production' goals



  18. Microsoft Says It Loves Linux, But Its Anti-Linux Patent Trolls Are Still Around and Active

    Highlighting just two of the many entities that Microsoft (and partners) use in order to induce additional costs on Free (as in freedom) software



  19. Links 26/7/2016: Microsoft Growing Desperate, Linux 4.8 Visions

    Links for the day



  20. Links 25/7/2016: Linux 4.7 Final, PostgreSQL 9.6 Beta 3

    Links for the day



  21. Leaked: Boards of Appeal Face 'Exile' or 'Extradition' in Haar After Standing up to Battistelli

    A look at some of the latest moves at the European Patent Office (EPO), following Battistelli's successful coup d’état which brought the EPO into a perpetual state of emergency that perpetuates Battistelli's totalitarian powers



  22. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comes Across as Against Software Patents, Relates to the EPO as Well

    Some analysis of the input from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) with focus on the EPO and software patents



  23. In the US, Patent Trolls Engage in Patent Wars and Shakedowns, Whereas in China/Korea Large Android OEMs Sue One Another

    Highlighting some of the differences between the US patent system and other patent systems



  24. Links 24/7/2016: Elive 2.7.1 Beta, New Flatpaks and Snaps

    Links for the day



  25. Links 23/7/2016: Leo Laporte on GNU/Linux, Dolphin Emulator’s Vulkan Completion

    Links for the day



  26. Links 22/7/2016: Wine 1.9.15, KaOS 2016.07 ISO

    Links for the day



  27. Haar Mentioned as Likely Site of Appeal Boards as Their Eradication or Marginalisation Envisioned by UPC Proponent Benoît Battistelli

    Not only the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) is under severe attack and possibly in mortal danger; the increasingly understaffed Boards of Appeal too are coming under attack and may (according to rumours) be sent to Haar, a good distance away from Munich and the airport (half an hour drive), not to mention lack of facilities for visitors from overseas



  28. EPO Attaché Albert Keyack Viewed as Somewhat of a Mole, Reporting From the US Embassy in Brazil Until Shortly Before the Temer Coup

    Public responses to the role played by Albert Keyack on behalf of the United States inside the European [sic] Patent Office



  29. EPO Insiders Explain Why the EPO's Examination Quality Rapidly Declines and Will Get Even Worse Because of Willy Minnoye

    Public comments from anonymous insiders serve to highlight a growing crisis inside the European Patent Office (EPO), where experienced/senior examiners are walking away and leaving an irreplaceable bunch of seats (due to high experience demands)



  30. Patents Roundup: BlackBerry, Huawei, PTAB, GAO, Aggressive Universities With Patents, and Software Patents in Europe

    Various bits and pieces of news regarding patents and their fast-changing nature in the United States nowadays


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts