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06.16.10

Did Microsoft Threaten to Retaliate Against Dell for Telling the Truth About GNU/Linux? (Updatedx2)

Posted in Dell, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, Windows at 6:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[Update (17/Jun, 1:40 GMT): the page from Dell appears to have been reinstated.]

[Update #2 (18/Jun, 0:10 GMT): Dell has indeed changed this page (permanently), as the cached page clearly reveals. We have just grabbed screenshots to compare:]

Dell before and after

Dell monitor logo

Summary: After public embarrassment for Microsoft, Dell ‘censors’ its own Web pages that say GNU/Linux is more secure than Windows

SEVERAL years ago Microsoft threatened to "whack" Dell for supporting GNU/Linux. Microsoft may be doing something similar with Dell right about now.

We wish to begin by stating the fact that Microsoft produces fake security reports based on the hiding of known flaws that it silently patches. Microsoft has reluctantly admitted this last month. We believe this to be fraudulent although Microsoft’s definition of “fraudulent” is probably different from ours.

Anyway, Dell is being a coward because after publishing a “top 10″ list of reasons to buy a PC with Ubuntu GNU/Linux Dell is stepping back. A British news site says:

Dell appears to be back-tracking on a claim made on its website that Ubuntu is safer than Windows.

[...]

Dell’s proclamation was immediately picked up on by bloggers and news aggregators such as Digg.com, no doubt attracting the attention of Microsoft’s PR machine.

This morning, Dell appears to have taken down the Ubuntu page, although a copy of the original site (PDF) was saved by The VAR Guy website, in case Dell decided to pull it.

When PC Pro asked Dell what it’s official position on the relative merits of Ubuntu and Windows were, a company spokesperson replied: “With regards to the information cited on the Ubuntu page on Dell’s website, it is not Dell’s intention to recommend one OS over another, but instead to offer some educational facts that may be of interest to customers considering a system with Ubuntu pre-installed.”

Is Dell insecure about its own judgment? Is it afraid of Microsoft’s wrath? We may never find out until another lump of E-mail gets unsealed (like in Comes vs Microsoft).

For an idea of how much damage was caused to Microsoft’s reputation (maybe on par with Google’s abandonment of Windows), see some of the latest posts on the subject. There are many more and below we have just a new sample:

  1. Dell Says Ubuntu Is Safer Than Windows
  2. Dell Says: ‘Ubuntu is safer than Microsoft Windows’
  3. Ubuntu ‘more secure’ than Windows, says Dell
  4. Ubuntu is safer than Windows, it’s official
  5. Dell claims that Ubuntu is better than Windows
  6. Dell says Ubuntu is safer than Windows
  7. Dell Recommends Ubuntu

The page compares that other OS on a number of features and it looks pretty fair. I like that they actually tell people “Ubuntu is safer than Windows“.

That last one from Pogson is already being trolled by a known, longtime Microsoft booster (who has multiple identities), whose alleged friend once mailed me claiming that he knew him in person, as an AstroTurfer with pride. We already know that Microsoft employs AstroTurfers, but that’s a story for another type of discussion.

Pogson has another new post about Dell and about GNU/Linux malware — a subject which we wrote about earlier today and in previous posts with a lot of links in them.

In other news, according to IDG, “Hackers exploit Windows XP zero-day, Microsoft confirms”:

Hackers are now exploiting the zero-day Windows vulnerability that a Google engineer took public last week, Microsoft confirmed today.

Although Microsoft did not share details of the attack, other researchers filled in the blanks.

A compromised Web site is serving an exploit of the bug in Windows’ Help and Support Center to hijack PCs running Windows XP, said Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at antivirus vendor Sophos. Cluley declined to identify the site, saying only that it was dedicated to open-source software.

After almost 9 years of patches Windows XP remains insecure. Some known flaws will never be fixed, either. Vista 7 is not the solution.

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2 Comments

  1. Will said,

    June 17, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Gravatar

    My favorite part of that article was when the Dell spokesperson said “it is not Dell’s intention to recommend one OS over another”.

    I guess that person has never actually seen Dell’s site. The “Dell recommends Windows 7″ banners are kinda hard to miss.

    The comments there call that out as well.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Microsoft pays Dell to do that. It’s a fake endorsement.

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