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

04.28.10

HTC Sells Out to Microsoft (Microsoft ‘Android Tax’)

Posted in Asia, FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Red Hat at 7:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Al Capone mugshot and Steve Ballmer

Summary: Microsoft’s racketeering is formally reaching Android and Microsoft is extorting some more companies behind the scenes, based on its latest statements

THE DEBT-SADDLED Microsoft, whose sales of Windows are declining quite sharply in recent years (in terms of revenue) along with other products [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], long ago decided that racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] will be its business model against GNU/Linux and Free software (it began when Microsoft prioritised patenting — not development — around 2007 or before that). Novell legitimised this strategy from Microsoft by actually approaching Microsoft to make that possible.

“In order to extort the Linux-based Android, Microsoft is going past Google and through to distributors.”In 2007, both LG and Samsung (giant companies located in Korea) started paying Microsoft for Linux and currently they use Android (Samsung currently uses Bada, which is Android). These two companies were creating or passively establishing a bad neighbourhood by embracing Android while they were paying Microsoft for Linux. We warned about this many times. That being said, Google was already paying Microsoft for ActiveSync patents and Google is not against software patents, unlike Red Hat for example.

In order to extort the Linux-based Android, Microsoft is going past Google and through to distributors. The same strategy is being used against Red Hat Enterprise Linux as Microsoft targets/taxes its big users, e.g. Amazon. It’s about threats and coercion (Microsoft is suing those who do not cooperate). The allegation? Patent violations. But it would hardly be a GUI thing; Microsoft is claiming to have invented (and now “own”) some parts that are associated with operating system kernels — parts it won’t even disclosure.

Android and Windows distributor HTC is the latest company which sells out to Microsoft, just shortly after Apple had sued HTC and Microsoft then approached the case in support of Apple. We explicitly warned that there may have been a connection.

According to this morning’s news (British time and British press):

HTC pays off Microsoft in Linux protection racket

CONVICTED MONOPOLIST Microsoft has managed to squeeze money from the smartphone maker HTC for using some of its much talked about but never revealed patents that Microsoft claims implicate Linux as part of the Android OS.

According to the Vole’s press website, Microsoft and HTC have signed a patent agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for HTC’s mobile phones running the Android mobile operating system. Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will receive royalties from HTC.

There is more from the British press, including additional Microsoft threats:

Microsoft’s deputy counsel Horacio Gutierrez said the company was in talks with other “device manufacturers to address our concerns relative to the Android mobile platform”.

This quote happens to come through the convicted monopolist’s über-apologist Ina Fried (CNET), who was apparently already contacted by Microsoft to spread FUD. Fried is proudly acting as an accomplice in “patent terrorism” — a term which we derive from the following statement:

“What we’re seeing though now can be loosely described as patent terrorism, where people are using their patent horde as a threat [...] It’s almost like a cold war stand over tactic; where I have these patents and if you breach these patents, I’m going to come after you and sue you.”

James Eagleton, systems product manager for Sun Microsystems

Red Hat or Google should report Microsoft for extortion. It is a violation of the law to do this in some countries.

Google is too feeble on the subject of software patents, so it probably won’t do a thing. But Red Hat should definitely have Microsoft reported to the relevant authorities.

Microsoft is perpetually spreading the scourge of software patents around the world using lobbying groups (because 85% of Microsoft's patent filings are said to be for software/algorithms). A lot of GNU/Linux enthusiasts are ignoring the main issue, which is exactly that. Microsoft’s “patent terrorism”, which is assisted by unethical ‘journalists’ like Ina Fried/CNET, really needs to be stopped. The press is being filled with this Linux-hostile content which is not even backed by evidence because Microsoft makes it a whisper campaign rather than a defensible legal case.

Microsoft is attacking Android because Windows Mobile (or its new names/identities) has failed and has no chance of recovering (whereas Android is looking like the growth leader). Microsoft therefore wants to ‘milk’ the competitors for revenue. To quote another new article from The British press:

Microsoft won’t be dominating the OS much longer

SOFTWARE COLOSSUS Microsoft’s dominance of the IT industry will disappear within five years, as it loses its grip on a facet of the industry where smartphone devices will be king.

There is this old saying that companies which resort to patent strategies simply admit that they failed to make products; instead, they start making ‘portfolios’ and threats (sometimes lawsuits).

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. gnufreex said,

    April 28, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Gravatar

    I do not know what can be done to stop this madness. Maybe OIN should sue pants of Microsoft. Or maybe Google should start pressing Windows OEMs to pay for protection. IBM too. Or maybe we should go to Redmond and burn the place to the ground.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Google and IBM are pro-software patents and OIN is not allowed to sue; it’s a defense pool.

  2. gnufreex said,

    April 28, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    Gravatar

    I did not know that Google is pro-software patents..? But anyway, they do not need to be anti-patents for this hipothetical scenario to work.

    I was thinking, how would be if IBM would use its patent portfolio to make Windows OEMs pay up. That would make M$ either sue or be quiet, it would stop this madness and FUD. It is crazy, I know, but it’s just a thought.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I did not know that Google is pro-software patents..?othetical scenario to work.

    It’s passive about policy and a participant in patenting.

    I was thinking, how would be if IBM would use its patent portfolio to make Windows OEMs pay up. That would make M$ either sue or be quiet, it would stop this madness and FUD. It is crazy, I know, but it’s just a thought.

    IBM and Microsoft cross-license though.

    Yuhong Bao Reply:

    I think Google is neutral, they do software patents but they don’t use it much, unlike IBM.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    That’s correct. Google recently sued with a patent though (counter claim).

  3. Agent_Smith said,

    April 29, 2010 at 12:52 am

    Gravatar

    The only way to do not pay the M$ tax is to buy from companies established long time ago, so, they had time to built a patent portfolio, and therefore, they have patents to counter suit. Motorola, in this case, is safe to buy from…
    Anyway, patent is becoming a nightmare. And M$ and its trolls are like the living dead from George Romero’s movies: Always after fresh brains… Merciful Jesus…

What Else is New


  1. Links 19/9/2019: German Federal Ministry of the Interior Wants FOSS, Top Snaps Named

    Links for the day



  2. Buying the Voices of 'Linux' People to Repeat Microsoft's Talking Points While Removing Our Icons and Leaders (Calling Them Sexist)

    The dirty games leveraged by several companies including Microsoft target charismatic people who are essential for morale and leadership; these tactics aren't particularly novel



  3. When the EPO Sees Itself as Above European Law, Grants Patents in Defiance of the EPC (Its Founding Document) and Violates Staff's Labour Rights/Protections (International Law)

    The absurd state of affairs at the EPO has reached the point where laws at every level are being violated and even judges are being threatened or vainly ignored; the EU is belatedly trying to tackle these issues, which have actually cost its credibility a great deal and threaten the perception of Rule of Law at multiple levels



  4. Links 19/9/2019: Samba 4.11.0 and Kubernetes 1.16

    Links for the day



  5. Update on Koch v EPO: Internal Appeals Committee (IAC) Composition Still Likely Illegal

    An important EPO case, concerning a dismissed staff representative, shows what ILO-AT and the EPO's Internal Appeals Committee boil down to



  6. Links 18/9/2019: Fedora Linux 31 Beta, PCLinuxOS 2019.09 Update

    Links for the day



  7. Links 17/9/2019: CentOS 7.7 and Funtoo Linux 1.4 Released

    Links for the day



  8. EPO is Not European

    Internationalists and patent trolls are those who stand to benefit from the 'globalisation' of low-quality and law-breaking patents such as patents on algorithms, nature and life itself; the EPO isn't equipped to serve its original goals anymore



  9. The EPO's Central Staff Committee and SUEPO (Staff Union) Respond to “Fascist Bills” Supported by EPO President António Campinos

    Raw material pertaining to the latest Campinos "scandal"; what Campinos said, what the Central Staff Committee (CSC) said, and what SUEPO said



  10. Storm Brewing in the European Patent Office After a Hot Summer

    Things aren't rosy in EPOnia (to say the least); in fact, things have been getting a lot worse lately, but the public wouldn't know judging by what media tells the public (almost nothing)



  11. Why I Once Called for Richard Stallman to Step Down

    Guest post from the developer who recently authored "Getting Stallman Wrong Means Getting The 21st Century Wrong"



  12. As Richard Stallman Resigns Let's Consider Why GNU/Linux Without Stallman and Torvalds Would be a Victory to Microsoft

    Stallman has been ejected after a lot of intentionally misleading press coverage; this is a dark day for Software Freedom



  13. Links 16/9/2019: GNU Linux-libre 5.3, GNU World Order 13×38, Vista 10 Breaks Itself Again

    Links for the day



  14. Links 16/9/2019: Qt Quick on Vulkan, Metal, and Direct3D; BlackWeb 1.2 Reviewed

    Links for the day



  15. Richard Stallman's Controversial Views Are Nothing New and They Distract From Bill Gates' Vastly Worse Role

    It's easier to attack Richard Stallman (RMS) using politics (than using his views on software) and media focus on Stallman's personal views on sexuality bears some resemblance to the push against Linus Torvalds, which leans largely on the false perception that he is sexist, rude and intolerant



  16. Links 16/9/2019: Linux 5.3, EasyOS Releases, Media Backlash Against RMS

    Links for the day



  17. Openwashing Report on Open Networking Foundation (ONF): When Open Source Means Collaboration Among Giant Spying Companies

    Massive telecommunications oligopolies (telecoms) are being described as ethical and responsible by means of openwashing; they even have their own front groups for that obscene mischaracterisation and ONF is one of those



  18. 'Open Source' You Cannot Run Without Renting or 'Licensing' Windows From Microsoft

    When so-called ‘open source’ programs strictly require Vista 10 (or similar) to run, how open are they really and does that not redefine the nature of Open Source while betraying everything Free/libre software stands for?



  19. All About Control: Microsoft is Not Open Source But an Open Source Censor/Spy and GitHub/LinkedIn/Skype Are Its Proprietary Censorship/Surveillance Tools

    All the big companies which Microsoft bought in recent years are proprietary software and all of the company’s big products remain proprietary software; all that “Open Source” is to Microsoft is “something to control and censor“



  20. The Sad State of GNU/Linux News Sites

    The ‘media coup’ of corporate giants (that claim to be 'friends') means that history of GNU/Linux is being distorted and lied about; it also explains prevalent lies such as "Microsoft loves Linux" and denial of GNU/Free software



  21. EPO President Along With Bristows, Managing IP and Other Team UPC Boosters Are Lobbying for Software Patents in Clear and Direct Violation of the EPC

    A calm interpretation of the latest wave of lobbying from litigation professionals, i.e. people who profit when there are lots of patent disputes and even expensive lawsuits which may be totally frivolous (for example, based upon fake patents that aren't EPC-compliant)



  22. Links 15/9/2019: Radeon ROCm 2.7.2, KDE Frameworks 5.62.0, PineTime and Bison 3.4.2

    Links for the day



  23. Illegal/Invalid Patents (IPs) Have Become the 'Norm' in Europe

    Normalisation of invalid patents (granted by the EPO in defiance of the EPC) is a serious problem, but patent law firms continue to exploit that while this whole 'patent bubble' lasts (apparently the number of applications will continue to decrease because the perceived value of European Patents diminishes)



  24. Patent Maximalists, Orbiting the European Patent Office, Work to 'Globalise' a System of Monopolies on Everything

    Monopolies on just about everything are being granted in defiance of the EPC and there are those looking to make this violation ‘unitary’, even worldwide if not just EU-wide



  25. Unitary Patent (UPC) Promotion by Team Battistelli 'Metastasising' in Private Law Firms

    The EPO's Albert Keyack (Team Battistelli) is now in Team UPC as Vice President of Kilburn & Strode LLP; he already fills the media with lies about the UPC, as one can expect



  26. Microsoft Targets GNU/Linux Advocates With Phony Charm Offensives and Fake 'Love'

    The ways Microsoft depresses GNU/Linux advocacy and discourages enthusiasm for Software Freedom is not hard to see; it's worth considering and understanding some of these tactics (mostly assimilation-centric and love-themed), which can otherwise go unnoticed



  27. Proprietary Software Giants Tell Open Source 'Communities' That Proprietary Software Giants Are 'Friends'

    The openwashing services of the so-called 'Linux' Foundation are working; companies that are inherently against Open Source are being called "Open" and some people are willing to swallow this bait (so-called 'compromise' which is actually surrender to proprietary software regimes)



  28. Microsoft Pays the Linux Foundation for Academy Software Foundation, Which the Linux Foundation is Outsourcing to Microsoft

    Microsoft has just bought some more seats and more control over Free/Open Source software; all it had to do was shell out some 'slush funds'



  29. Links 14/9/2019: SUSE CaaS Platform, Huawei Laptops With GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  30. Links 13/9/2019: Catfish 1.4.10, GNOME Firmware 3.34.0 Release

    Links for the day


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

Recent Posts