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. Links 18/9/2014: Windows Copying GNU/Linux, Germany Moves to Security

    Links for the day



  2. Web Site 'Patent Progress' Now Officially 'Powered by CCIA' (FRAND Proponent, Microsoft Front)

    After talking a job at CCIA, "Patent Progress" and its chief author should be treated as dubious on real patent progress



  3. Articles About the Death of Software Patents in the United States

    Recent coverage of software patents and their demise in their country of origin, where even proponents of software patents are giving up



  4. The Death of Software Patents is Already Killing Some Major Patent Trolls

    VirnetX seems to be the latest victim of the demise of software patents in the United States



  5. More Microsoft Layoffs

    More Microsoft layoffs go ahead as the company is unable to compete



  6. ODF on the Rise

    Milestones for OpenDocument Format (ODF) and the launch of FixMyDocuments



  7. Links 17/9/2014: CoreOS, ChromeOS, and systemd

    Links for the day



  8. Italy is Cracking Down on Microsoft's Monopoly Abuse While Gradually Moving to GNU/Linux

    Italy is not only moving to Free/Open Source software but also to GNU/Linux while at the same time barring Microsoft from forcibly tying Windows to new PCs



  9. OpenSUSE's 'Assurances' Are Classic MBA School Hogwash

    OpenSUSE is not part of any commitment, except for SUSE's; the impact of the Novell/SUSE acquisition casts uncertainty on the project's future



  10. Links 16/9/2014: Firefox OS Smartphones in Bangladesh, “Treasure Map” of the Internet

    Links for the day



  11. The United Kingdom Should Dump Microsoft For the Sake of National Security

    The UK has issues of Microsoft dependency and Windows viruses; its migration to Free software and GNU/Linux is not fast enough to guard its autonomy in the age of digital imperialism



  12. CBS Hires Even More Microsoft Staff to Cover Microsoft Matters

    CBS continues to be infested with Microsoft staff past and present (this time Dave Johnson) and the bias in output is quite revealing



  13. Microsoft Has Just Killed Minecraft for GNU/Linux and the Possibility of Free/Open Source Releases

    Persson sells out to Microsoft and lets the abusive monopolist destroy the popular cross-platform game that a community has been built around



  14. Another Reason to Boycott Intel UEFI

    More anti-competitive aspects are revealed inside UEFI, which helps merginalise GNU/Linux



  15. Quick Mention: Novell and SUSE Passed to Microsoft's 'Partner of the Year', Microsoft Focus

    Novell is changing hands again, and falling into the hands of even more Microsoft-friendly actors



  16. Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

    Links for the day



  17. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  18. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  19. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  20. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day



  21. Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

    Links for the day



  22. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  23. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    Links for the day



  24. Suspicion of High-Level Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO): Part I

    The European Patent Office (EPO) Vice-President has a background of corruption and his appointment to the EPO too is believed to be reliant on systemic corruption



  25. Links 6/9/2014: Core OS at DigitalOcean, Women in Xorg

    Links for the day



  26. Software Patents 'Quality' Debated in Courts, Microsoft's Biggest Patent Troll Still a Chronic Liar

    Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's and Bill Gates' largest patent proxy, continues to spread lies about its motivations, claiming that patent assessment is among the goals when in fact only the courts and patent offices do this



  27. New Article Explains How Bill Gates Prevents Schools From Moving to GNU/Linux and Free Software

    A new article from Al Jazeera provides details about the role of so-called 'charities' of billionaires inside school systems



  28. Microsoft Sued for Large-scale Copyright Abuses

    Microsoft reveals its disregard for copyright law which it loves so much to wield as a weapon against its competition and clients



  29. Links 5/9/2014: New WordPress, Systemd Debate Continues

    Links for the day



  30. 'Embrace and Extend' at Microsoft: The New Generation

    Some of the latest examples of Microsoft's predatory acts against Free software and against competition in general, disguised as acts of friendliness


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