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05.17.10

Yes, “Microsoft [is] Turning Into a Toothless Tiger” (Sort of)

Posted in Finance, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, SCO at 6:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Face paint - tiger

Summary: Legal action is all that Microsoft has left now, just like SCO less than a decade ago (SCO is now bankrupt and today’s bankruptcy hearing is cancelled)

MICROSOFT’S INTERNET EXPLORER is floundering and Microsoft is next, starting with cash cows like Windows and Office, which Google is suffocating as we showed this morning (the previous post was about Windows Mobile being starved mostly by Android now that it’s selling over 2 million Linux phones per month).

In his latest headline, Locutus has just asked, is “Microsoft turning into a toothless tiger?” The answer is yes, but with a caveat.

What do you think? Is microsoft heading towards the gentle river of retirement? Does this tiger still have teeth in it? Or is it being squeezed in a vice of an apple with a suspected rotten core on one side and a fishy breathed penguin on the other? Lets not forget that the devil is, as always, lurking in the background waiting its turn in the limelight.

A couple of hours ago, Wildeboer (from Red Hat) told us that “the tide is turning on MSFT. From self-perceived innovator to litigator.” (to which I replied with, “SCO went through the same phase”). Microsoft is currently suing and threatening many companies that sell Linux, going as far as racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] (exactly like SCO). This makes Microsoft a tiger, but it’s afraid of opening its mouth and showing no teeth (infringements).

Groklaw has just said that today’s SCO bankruptcy hearing (intended to start shortly) was cancelled.

The bankruptcy hearing set for May 17 is cancelled, and this time they are giving us some advance notice…

SCO is essentially dead. It’s a sordid mess and a sign of things to come for those who follow similar footsteps, including SCO’s paymaster, Microsoft.

A few days ago we wrote about Microsoft's EULA losing its 'teeth' in the UK (the GNU GPL relies on copyright law for its ‘teeth’) and TechDirt has just caught this too:

UK Court Says Software Company Can Be Liable For Buggy Software

[...]

That said, software liability has been a hot topic in Europe lately, and now Slashdot points us to the news that the UK High Court has ruled that a software company can be liable for buggy software. More specifically, the court found that a clause in the license agreement, which said it would not be liable for defects was found to be an unfair contract term.

Big problem there for Microsoft (see the Slashdot debate). This is not the first time that the fundamentals of Microsoft’s EULA are challenged in the UK, as we noted some days ago (with links). But anyway, Microsoft doesn’t care about the law. Its EULA too is an intimidation tactic which was never thoroughly tested in a British court of law.

“On the same day that CA blasted SCO, Open Source evangelist Eric Raymond revealed a leaked email from SCO’s strategic consultant Mike Anderer to their management. The email details how, surprise surprise, Microsoft has arranged virtually all of SCO’s financing, hiding behind intermediaries like Baystar Capital.”

Bruce Perens

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