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

04.06.10

Microsoft’s Hardware Business is Failing, So Microsoft Sues Rival for Patent Violation

Posted in Hardware, Microsoft, Patents at 3:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hardware circuits

Summary: Zune, Mobile, and Xbox are having a very hard time, so Microsoft starts suing companies (using patents) in what seems like unnecessary aggression

ALMOST everything that Microsoft tries in hardware inevitably fails pretty badly. Leading examples include Zune, phones, and Xbox. Microsoft is just losing a lot of money. Here is a new article about what happened to the Zune:

The Zune’s failure sent the company dow a very different path than Apple’s. Jobs & Co. were able to use the iPod’s success to launch the iPhone, and now the iPad. Microsoft’s mobile OS has struggled against the mobile operating system Apple uses, probably because Redmond never had a cell phone of its own to carry Windows Mobile as a follow-on product to the Zune.

When it comes to phones, Microsoft is just rebranding around the Vista 7 name. Further refinements are still being applied to the name, as if dropping the “Windows Mobile” name would save the dying platform from its rapid decline.

Microsoft is not very confident about the coolness of the name of its newest operating system for mobile phones named Windows Phone 7 Series. The coolest name would have been WP7S! But Microsoft has decided to chop the word ‘series’ from the ‘Windows Phone 7 Series’. The phone will now be called Windows Phone 7.

Microsoft is also patenting user interfaces (software) around “Windows Phone 7″ [1, 2, 3]. Is Microsoft preparing to sue like Apple did [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]? Based on its statement about the case [1, 2], it’s not impossible.

This brings us to Xbox. Microsoft has begun using patents aggressively. The monopolist is going litigious again (as it did against Primax and against TomTom for example). Here is some of the latest coverage:

Microsoft Launches Legal Battle Against UK-based Datel

Microsoft Sues Datel Over 360 Controllers

Microsoft Going After British Control Pad Company

Microsoft Sues Datel Over Game Controllers

Microsoft Sues U.K.-Based Control Pad Company

Microsoft Suing Datel For Copying Controller Design

Microsoft sues Datel for allegedly copying Xbox gamepads

Microsoft sues UK company over Xbox 360 controller

Microsoft suing Datel over controller design

Microsoft sues Datel for patent infringement on gamepads

Microsoft has filed suit (PDF) in a Seattle court and with the ITC against British gaming accessories maker Datel for patent infringement. Redmond claims the peripheral company stole various design patents from the Xbox 360 controller.

At first glance, Datel’s $30 TurboFire and $50 WildFire controllers obviously bear much resemblance to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 gamepad, though minor aesthetics do vary. To be fair, plenty of other companies have similar clones, but they must have more than just trivial differences.

So it’s about appearance. As we showed earlier, Microsoft is patenting user interfaces too. It’s bordering on fashion patents, which are some of the most controversial out there. As Openbytes puts it, “MS looking for scraps off the table?”

Why should you invent anything when you can merely patent the idea and then wheel out your portfolio when you think the time is right? Readers to Openbytes may remember Microsoft’s holodeck which was reported here and now it seems Datel is next in line for an “attack of the drones” albeit Microsoft legal.

Datel is apparently infringing the following patents, D521,015, D522,011, D547,763, D581,422, D563,480, and D565,688 but in a nutshell its about Datel’s controller looking like Microsoft’s. – Is this an example of Microsoft settling for scraps off the floor because of the increase in popularity to alternatives of most of its product base? – If so I think we can expect more “spiteful” behaviour as Microsoft can’t be best pleased that they lost the appeal in the i4i case.

There is actually more trouble for Xbox right now. Firstly, we have witnessed serious security issues that resemble account cracking from a few years back (en masse hijacking). Victims now include a top Microsoft employee (the Xbox Live director):

Microsoft’s ‘Major Nelson’ Suffers Xbox Live Account Theft

A Microsoft representative confirmed that a group of hackers gained temporary control of the Xbox Live Account owned by Larry Hryb, the Xbox Live programming director who goes by the online handle “Major Nelson.”

Hacker targets Xbox Live director

Microsoft’s Major Nelson Has XBL and Gamercard Account Hacked

Microsoft Investigating Major Nelson Account Hack

OMG! Major Nelson falls victim to Xbox Live hack attack

Article: Major Nelson’s account hacked

Microsoft’s Major Nelson gets hacked

Xbox Live Director’s Account Hacked! (Are You Next?)

This probably confirms the stereotype that Microsoft cannot handle security.

Xbox 360 is also limited by design, just like Apple products. In the news we have:

Microsoft again says no browser for 360

Microsoft: Xbox 360 Isn’t Getting A Web Browser

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Will Never Have a Browser

Microsoft officially declares that the Xbox 360 will not be receiving a browser.

What a waste of hardware. It’s not even good hardware and it still receives immense public slapping for the defective components and overall design. Also in the news today:

When Microsoft posted the enhanced game update to the Xbox Live Marketplace on March 30, it made a fatal error by making the download available before the Call of Duty game itself was updated to accept the download.

As a result, the game crashed for hours for people who legitimately purchased the content, while Microsoft struggled to fix the problem that it had apparently never dealt with before.

With quality and service of this level, is it surprising that Microsoft loses billions in hardware?

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

3 Comments

  1. williami said,

    April 6, 2010 at 5:34 am

    Gravatar

    Boy, M$ would rather die fighting than just give up, even through their hardware products are failling, they still just want to get money by suing people for ridiculous reasons.

  2. Jose_X said,

    April 6, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Gravatar

    The patent system: Carving up the market ahead of time.

    The US patent system amounts to a “communist government leader” opening up an office and asking anyone that wants to control production of a class of products to write up a general description of those product characteristics they want to control.

    Out with competition and collaboration! The applicants each get 20 years of control.

    Other details: If two or more applicants file overlapping claims, then the first one gets control. Also, if an existing product already falls under one of these claim descriptions, then the definition/scope of the description is adjusted to bypass that specific product. Also, being awarded control requires payment of a very large fee.

    What an inefficient system this is! One person, not the most skilled either (and perhaps among the greediest and someone already wealthy), gets ultimate control for 20 years over all future innovation and creations that happen to fall within their territory. They can halt anything they don’t like and can divert income streams into their pockets. Other people’s superior or even pre-existing variations count for nothing in comparison.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    “[Y]ou’re creating a new 20-year monopoly for no good reason.”

    David Kappos (currently head of the USPTO) speaking about patents

What Else is New


  1. Vista 10 Inherently Criminal: Vandalising the Competition (Dual Boot, Rival Web Browsers, Online Services)

    Vista 10, the latest incarnation of Windows, takes its anticompetitive aspects to a whole new level, betraying even so-called 'partners' in the process



  2. As Microsoft AstroTurfing/PR Budget Runs Dry, Vista 10 Truths Come Out

    The media manipulation by Microsoft (to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars spent on 'marketing') grows thin as a growing number of growingly angry early adopters of Vista 10 publicly rant



  3. Links 31/7/2015: Lennart Poettering as 'Linux Hero' and systemd Conference Coming

    Links for the day



  4. Links 30/7/2015: Apache Spark on Z System, Elive 2.6.8 Beta

    Links for the day



  5. Microsoft's Mouthpiece Mary Branscombe Tries to Shoot Down Free Software, But Fails Miserably

    At the CBS-owned ZDNet, which is Free/Open Source software-hostile, new FUD surfaces, but the FUD is so flawed that a full rebuttal is easy and almost imperative



  6. People of New Zealand Must Rise Up to Defend Sovereignty and Stop Software Patents

    The TPPA serves to override (launder) the law of New Zealand, allegedly legalising patents on software in the process



  7. Microsoft Illegally Evades Billions of Dollars in Tax, Says IRS

    The criminal enterprise known as Microsoft finds itself embarrassingly exposed in the courtroom, for the IRS belatedly (decades too late) targets the company in an effort to tackle massive tax evasions



  8. Vista 10 Very Buggy Upon Release, Just as We Have Repeatedly Warned for Weeks

    Vista 10 is prematurely pushed out the door (to meet a deadline) way ahead of it being stable, even remotely polished, and supported by hardware companies (there is a serious drivers issue)



  9. Surveillance Machine With a Keylogger: Vista 10 Will Spy on the User (Over the Internet) Even While Playing Games

    Microsoft is making it clear that even playing a simple game like Solitaire on Vista 10 will make one subjected to spying (for targeted ads); other serious violations of privacy revealed upon release



  10. Links 29/7/2015: Akademy 2015 Ends, NetBSD 7.0 RC

    Links for the day



  11. MPEG-LA is Preparing New Patent Obstruction (Called DASH) Against Free Software, OIN Grows

    A new conspiracy against free multimedia software, set up by the MPEG cartel, is called DASH



  12. New Zealand's Media Gets History Wrong on Software Patents

    Setting the record straight on the fight against software patents in New Zealand



  13. Not Only Vista 10 Crashes a Lot, Any .NET Application Does Too (Updated)

    Microsoft software is quickly becoming synonymous with crashes as any piece of software developed with Microsoft's tools, not just the underlying platform, crashes chronically



  14. The Government of Bulgaria Sells Out to Microsoft, Again

    Despite some promises and reassurances that Bulgaria will consider Free/libre software, the Bulgarian government hands out a lot more of taxpayers' money to the Mafia



  15. Corporate Media Finally Finds Out That Vista 10 Crashes a Lot

    Stability issues of Vista 10 are belatedly reported to be a major catastrophe, leaving it unusable for many early adopters



  16. Links 28/7/2015: Linux 4.2 RC4, New Logos and Bug 'Branding' for FUD

    Links for the day



  17. Patents Roundup: Technicolor, Alice, Voip-Pal, Fitbit, Marijuana Patents, and JDate

    A look at some of last week's patent news, with imperative responses that criticise corporate exploitation of patents for protectionism (excluding and/or driving away the competition using legal threats)



  18. Corporate Lobbyists Including Koch-Connected Front Groups Attack Real and Perceived Patent Reform in the United States

    Looking at some of the latest propaganda for and against a bill which is already too watered-down to actually fix the US patent system



  19. Patents in the Android World Further Complicate Freedom in This Linux-Powered Platform

    A survey of last week's news with special focus on Google and Android, which are trying to coexist and thrive in a world full of patent maximalists



  20. The 'Unitary' Patent Trojan Horse Rammed Down the Throat of Europe

    Under the guise of 'unification' or 'unity', existing patent systems are being abandoned and more power gets passed to corrupt EPO officials



  21. HEVC Cartel is Not News, Only the Names of Backers and the Costs Are New

    A few remarks on and a roundup of recent articles about HEVC, which we first wrote about in spring



  22. IRC Proceedings: July 12th, 2015 – July 25th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  23. Links 26/7/2015: Purism Librem and Freedom, Akademy Updates

    Links for the day



  24. Vista 10 (Windows 10) Has NSA Back Doors and Front Doors

    Vista 10 to bring new ways for spies (and other crackers) to remotely access people's computers and remotely modify the binary files on them (via Windows Update, which for most people cannot be disabled)



  25. Vista 10 Not Ready, But Released Anyway

    Despite severe technical issues in the rushed-out-the-door Vista 10, Microsoft decides to stick with the deadline, only days after reporting billions of dollars in losses



  26. Links 25/7/2015: Plasma Mobile, Linux Mint 17.2 OEM

    Links for the day



  27. Links 24/7/2015: openSUSE Leap 42.1, Intel With Rackspace for OpenStack

    Links for the day



  28. Links 24/7/2015: GNOME 3.17.4, Mozilla Developer Network Turns 10

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft Has Run Out of Attempts and Vista 10 Will Definitely Fail

    As Microsoft admits billions of dollars in losses just days before Vista 10 is pushed as a 'free' upgrade, there is no concrete sign that financial recovery is imminent, for the bigger cash cow (Office) suffers a similar fate



  30. GNU/Linux Circles Ought to Stop Promoting Visual Studio, Which is Neither Cross-Platform Nor Free Software

    Media carries on openwashing Visual Studio and perpetuating the illusion that it is not tied to Microsoft Windows


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