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05.17.10

Weak Week for Microsoft, Patent Sellouts Are Left to Do Microsoft’s Work

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Hardware, LG, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, Samsung, Windows at 1:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell and LG do the heavy lifting

Draft horses

Summary: Microsoft — like Novell — is hibernating a little and relies on Novell and LG to promote its products, having jointly signed patent deals that harm GNU/Linux and turn them into slaves/subsidiaries

MICROSOFT and Novell have a lot in common, not just in terms of projects. Both companies are failing to evolve for tomorrow’s world of IT, where mobility and Internet reign supreme; they both rest of their legacy and dread the future. Novell's future is very uncertain because it is up for sale and we find almost no news about this company anymore. It’s so seriously profound that we stopped the weekly summation of links about Novell, instead moving to a different format. There just wasn’t enough news (we call it "Novell news drought").

Things are not improving for Novell. One of the more widely used distributions of GNU/Linux is dropping F-Spot from different variants [1, 2]. Sooner or later, Novell’s and Microsoft’s dream of world domination with Mono and other useless clones of Microsoft’s patents-saturated stack is going to go up in flames along with Novell.

When we also look at impending doom that Novell is reported to be rushing towards, the future for the “gift to the world” is all rather in doubt.

“[G]ift to the world” is a token for Mono. On goes this post: ‘Except that arguably the leading Linux distro has stated its to remove one of them? Other distro’s are not including Mono either and in fact I think its fair to say there’s a lot of bad feeling around the whole subject. Is this the Mono “enthusiasm” they mean? Again, I’ll let you decide. Where will the “gift to the world” be without Novell sponsorship?”‘

“Microsoft’s ties with Novell are likely to ensure that projects inside Novell which are beneficial to Microsoft will not die any time soon.”Well, Microsoft pays Novell, so Mono sponsorship (in one form or another) can still be funneled into Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza and his fellow Ximian coders (who use a monkey as their mascot, go figure).

Microsoft’s ties with Novell are likely to ensure that projects inside Novell which are beneficial to Microsoft will not die any time soon. They might be relocated, but never abandoned unless all GNU/Linux users shun them, in which case the apologists will give up and do something more useful (to Microsoft).

There are other patent partners who sold out to Microsoft, decided to pay Microsoft for Linux, and then helped Microsoft in additional ways. Samsung has begun helping Microsoft DRM a little more aggressively and LG — another Korean company that sold GNU/Linux down the river — is now teaming up with Microsoft to promote the embattled Xbox 360. Here is some news coverage from days ago:

Does this seem like a company which is said to have embraced Linux? Surely not. It sells Ballnux and it helps Microsoft make money from Android. Those who look for an Android phone should avoid Samsung, LG, Kyocera Mita, and HTC.

“Those who look for an Android phone should avoid Samsung, LG, Kyocera Mita, and HTC.”Looking at Xbox 360 for a while, there has been no other significant news for Xbox 360, except the fact that the consoles/games business is slowing down (and Microsoft has already lost billions in there). Microsoft paid $75,000,000 to break an exclusivity deal, which harms customers anyway and this product in general seems to rely on contributions from the outside (unless it’s Datel, in which case Microsoft is blocking and suing [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]).

The real news about Microsoft is that there is hardly any news at all. The past week has been a very, very slow & scarce week, with apparently just one headline — and one headline alone — about “Zune”, no news headlines found this week with the word “Bing” in them, and only one about “Silverlight” (we use Google News for reference here). That’s pretty bad.

On the Web browsers front, we mostly learn that Microsoft is losing and losing every month. The vocation of Explorer and Windows might as well be similar despite or because the two are tightly linked to each other. From the Financial Express:

It’s no secret that Internet Explorer’s (IE’s) share of the browser market has been declining steadily for years, but when it dropped by over 10% in the past 10 months to below 60% for the first time in its history, everybody took notice. While IE remains the single most used browser in the world, most experts believe that this is not a lead that it can maintain for long.

[...]

As monopolies often do, this had the unfortunate effect of virtually ensuring that Microsoft didn’t really bother putting out a good product. IE was famously buggy, had numerous security flaws and vulnerabilities, and was a system resource hog. And, when you think about it, Microsoft had to work really hard to push a product that was completely free. It was so bad; they couldn’t even give it away.

Only 4 headlines (or clusters thereof) about Vista 7 were found in one week. That’s just embarrassing as that’s approximately one in two days, only half a year after the launch of this muchly-hyped product. Has Microsoft run out of the huge marketing budget for it? Just 4 items including advertisements from Mary Jo Foley is not much at all. Vista is history and the the biggest news for Windows seems to be the death of XP Service Pack 2. Here is some coverage:

The pro-Microsoft monopoly blogs seem happy to suggest that “Microsoft [is] pushing XP users to upgrade” (because one of Microsoft’s liars for hire from Forrester Research chooses to wave this claim around the Internet and pressure companies to buy Vista 7).

“Is it news or is it just more PR disguised as news (like an estimated 60% of so-called ‘news’)?”The latter article explains that businesses will be better off using another Web browser (not Internet Explorer) or another operating system which is also offering respect and security to the user. Daniel Nations at least has the brains to analyse this properly.

In the previous post we wrote about how Microsoft controls segments of the press, so we were not shocked to find more Microsoft spin from the unofficial ‘Microsoft press’, which is supporting and covering up Microsoft’s position on silent patches, which we last mentioned some days ago. Shame on them. Is it news or is it just more PR disguised as news (like an estimated 60% of so-called ‘news’)? It comes from the network of “Redmond”-labeled sites that are deeper in Microsoft’s pocket than even NBC is (or ever was).

Microsoft’s bad behaviour in Malaysia, where we frequently see the press (the English version of it at least) used as a marketing vehicle for dumping of proprietary software in a country with richer and broader use of Free software, is at it again. Why don’t they properly cover BizSpark [1, 2, 3, 4] and explain that it’s a lock-in trap? Why don’t they ignore mere PR?

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