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03.16.10

Microsoft ‘Pulls a SCO’ in India (Against GNU/Linux)

Posted in Antitrust, Asia, GNU/Linux, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Servers, Virtualisation, Windows at 6:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“[Microsoft's] Mr. Emerson and I discussed a variety of investment structures wherein Microsoft would ‘backstop,’ or guarantee in some way, BayStar’s investment…. Microsoft assured me that it would in some way guarantee BayStar’s investment in SCO.”

Larry Goldfarb, Baystar, key investor in SCO

Summary: Poor Microsoft complains about a “mainframe monopoly” which does not run Microsoft Windows and the same strategies it used in Europe are being extended to India

THIS morning we wrote about the suggestion (not ours) that Microsoft had something to do with Apple’s patent lawsuit against GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Evidence for this is lacking, whereas the following case is clearer because Microsoft owns part of the firm that is issuing the legal challenge against IBM. For background about Microsoft’s ‘second SCO’, those who have not read the following posts ought to consider reading them first. It’s rather clear that Microsoft uses at least one firm, T3, to attack GNU/Linux on the mainframe (the other potential one is Neon [1, 2]).

Based on the following two articles from the Economic Times (India), Microsoft seems to be doing in India what it has already done in Europe:

1. IBM accused of mainframe monopoly

Rarely do you see IBM under attack in India. But it is now. And IBM believes that it’s actually Microsoft that is behind the attack, under the facade of a forum called Open-Mainframe.

The issue first arose late last week when two Indian research bodies, the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) and Indicus Analytics, released a report suggesting that IBM had misused its dominance of the Indian market for mainframes (high end computers used when the scale of operation is massive), and that if this misuse continued, it could adversely impact India’s efforts towards inclusive growth.

2. IBM, Microsoft point fingers at each other

IBM, the world’s largest IT services company, has accused Microsoft, the world’s largest operating system manufacturer, of sponsoring an India report released last week that criticises IBM India’s trade practices in the $500-million local server market, terming them as restrictive. The report calls for unbundling of hardware and software by IBM.

Microsoft accuses others of “monopoly”. Does that sound familiar? Microsoft also used firms in Europe against Google just a few weeks ago, by its very own admission. The company is almost gloating about it. From the past week’s news:

1. EC antitrust probe is latest clash in Google-Microsoft war

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer last week acknowledged his company’s role in pushing government regulators to pursue such investigations.

2. Ten Years After, Microsoft Reverses Its Role With Google

Hang on: Microsoft complaining that Google is being unfair? Yes, you heard that right.

Microsoft is being a huge hypocrite. Just because it faces strong competition from Google (and Microsoft is not used to competition), it tries to evoke laws that are typically used when one breaks the law and abuses rivals (like Microsoft did so many times).

A few days ago we wrote about Microsoft's sheer hypocrisy at SXSW, courtesy of Danah Boyd. This is now covered in the following posts:

Microsoft is a nightmare when it comes to privacy [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], so how dare it pull this card? This is the behaviour of a company that sees itself as above the law, such that ends justify the means.

Going back to the IBM case, Microsoft would love to abolish GNU/Linux through hypervisors (its partners at Citrix already help in that regard). Other allies in India, companies such as Wipro [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], are signing new deals with Microsoft in order to keep Free software out of the country (Wipro has a history of going against standards too).

Bangalore, India-based IT services firm Wipro Technologies has embraced the cloud computing model and announced its plans to offer Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS).

Under a “Dedicated Advisor” agreement with Microsoft, Wipro Technologies will be able to assist its global enterprise customers in migrating to BPOS via a palette of professional services including assessments, migration and solution implementation accelerators, according to the company.

Microsoft’s scandals in India [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10] are a broad subject that we won’t be repeating today. But in summary, Microsoft is now abusing the Indian system in order to declare mainframes running GNU/Linux “illegal” (monopoly abuse).

Indian building

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