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

08.16.10

Robert X. Cringely Shreds Microsoft to Pieces While Fraud/Kickbacks Surface at HP, Dell, and Intel

Posted in Apple, Dell, Fraud, GNU/Linux, Hardware, HP, Microsoft, Windows at 8:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mark Hurd
Photo by JD Lasica

Summary: Microsoft loses its power struggle in the Free/open source community and the OEM channel; One of our readers opines that Microsoft may have been responsible for Hurd’s departure from HP

MICROSOFT is going through some tough times (unless one minds the PR). Fortunately, Microsoft is collapsing as even attempts to “embrace and extend” the free/libre competition bite the dust [1, 2, 3] and Microsoft Gavin spins it too weakly for Microsoft. “Microsoft has reportedly refused to comment officially on the changes,” he writes and “[r]eading between the lines, it would seem that Microsoft’s push for Microsoft-versions of dynamic languages has fallen victim to overall budget cuts and changing priorities.”

Jason Perlow suggests breaking up the company and famous columnist Robert X. Cringley is having a go at Microsoft as well (he “seems to sort of use Mac, not sure that’s true,” says a reader of ours. “But the same points could be used for switching to Linux as well.”):

It’s kind of pathetic, really. Most of these arguments are premised on the notion that if you’ve already wasted most of your adult life using Windows, you’ll be more familiar with it than the Mac, so you might as well waste the rest of your adult life. Which is really the only reason why Microsoft continues to dominate desktop market share: It’s harder to switch than to stick with what you got, even if what you got sucks eggs.

Cringely (over at IDG/InfoWorld, so maybe not the original pseudonym’s owner, Mark Stephens) also says that “Microsoft needs more than a new slogan” and in IRC we’ve been having an interesting discussion with an employee of HP. We have already mentioned that at least one possible replacement for Hurd is from Microsoft. Two articles pointed this out and someone who claims to be from HP (nadege) told us: “Hurd was not a Microsoft Monkey. We should know the new CEO within 2 weeks”

HP's new software head was hired from Microsoft a few months ago, which means that he sits on the desk in executive meetings of HP. gnufreex writes: “I have theory about canning Hurd

“Yahoo was too independent company and they put Bartz. And SGI too. And HP of 90′.”
      –gnufreex
nadege says: “Not sure Hurd was fired due to Microsoft Retaliation : HP & Microsoft are partners, and HP promote a lot the Microsoft products”

“HP does promote Microsoft, but Microsoft doesn’t forgive competition,” gnufreex tells nadege. “Palm is competition”

nadege responds with: “HP promotes Microsoft due to a special relationship. However, HP is still an independent company. So I don’t think Microsoft will put its own CEO at HP”

“Yahoo was too independent company,” gnufreex tells nadege, “and they put Bartz. And SGI too. And HP of 90′. Read this http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=belluzzo&defid=3861632

Someone seems to have coined the term “belluzzo” for Microsoft mole. To quote from Urban Dictionary:

Someone who acts against the interests of the organization he’s with, often in favor of some other organization he may be secretly working for instead – a mole.

[...]

Those acts – along with the reward from Microsfot – got him the nickname “the microsoft mole” (google “microsoft mole Belluzzo”) in those companies, and occaionally the term “a belluzzo” is used to describe someone who seems to be acting in the interest of a different company than the one he works for.

For details about Yahoo! entryism, see our Wiki. Earlier today we showed that Newsweek‘s outgoing Managing Editor now works for Microsoft (MSN). Bartz could be just another Belluzzo.

“Also note what they did to IBM’s OS/2, IBM was special partner too,” gnufreex adds. “When you are Microsoft competitor, you are on their hit list [...] That is exactly why they are firing him [...] I mean, not they are not firing him, they are setting the harassment case”

“HP has to be close to Microsoft,” nadege confesses, “otherwise Microsoft will favour Acer or Dell, and HP will lose its leadership. It’s tough to be a Microsoft Partner [...] And believe me : Customers (Companies and end users) want Microsoft products. They won’t accept any huge replacement of Windows.”

Chips B Malroy says: “they will on tablets [...] just look at the iPad”

nadege responds with: “Tablets, OK. Android will perform well” and gnufreex adds: “Yeah, and that is why Microsoft’s want Palm dead, and they need CEO who will kill it. [...] When I said they need CEO to kill Palm, I mean new HP CEO. Hurd didn’t want to kill his product just to please Microsoft, and now has to go. But then again, he is maybe just a rapist and deserves to be fired, and Microsoft has nothing to do with it”

IDG has a new article titled “Did HP Board Have Hidden Agenda in Removing Hurd?”

“New theories on why HP’s Mark Hurd was forced out,” says another headline.

HP has just been sued by a shareholder [1, 2] (shades of Yahoo!) and an aide is leaving along with Hurd. Well, guess who else is leaving? “Palm Prē design lead ejects from HP,” says this report from The Register.

Demi-disgraced HP chief exec Mark Hurd may have been the most-recent high-level exec to exit that company’s Palo Alto headquarters, but he’s not alone in his good-bye drive down US Highway 101.

Thanks to TechCrunch, we now learn that Peter Skillman, Palm’s now-former vice president of design — and the man who shepherded the design of the Palm Prē — has also bailed. An HP spokeswoman tells The Reg that his resignation came “about a month ago.”

Skillman’s departure is no small loss to HP. As the company expands beyond the security of the staid PC ‘n’ server ‘n’ printer markets and dips its toe into the turbulent ‘n’ trendy consumer products free-for-all, it’s going to need all the vision and design expertise it can get.

That cannot be good, can it? Hurd’s ‘Delilah’ says she is sorry and gnufreex writes: “I think Microsoft set him up [...] Because of his Linux related acquisitions [...] I think Microsoft want HP to kill Palm [...] some new Beluzzo might replace him [...] HP Enterpirse Software division (HP-UX and VMS) already got Microsoftie at helm”

The full IRC logs are available to see these claims in sequence. This theory says that they ‘pull a Bartz’ on HP, but evidence is not sufficient.

It was only weeks ago (before Hurd left, followed by the Palm Prē design lead) that HP had filed for a WebOS tablet trademark. It has real potential, but after Hurd officially dumped Vista 7 in favour of WebOS we now learn that Vista 7 is back, almost at the same time that HP put a Microsoft executive (Veghte) in charge of software at HP. Could HP be putting back Windows after dumping Vista 7 from “Slate”? How come?

Last week we showed that there was crime at HP and additional coverage includes:

i. HP settles kickback complaint

ii. HP Takes Charge to Settle DOJ Kickbacks Case

HP allegedly paid more than $3 million to systems integrators between 2001 and 2006 in exchange for favorable treatment on government contracts, according to DOJ filings.

iii. HP pays to end kickback probe

HP is taking a two cents per share charge to end a Department of Justice investigation into bribery allegations.

Here’s more (not about the fraud/kickbacks):

  • Next to exit HP: Top aide to Hurd

    As the many questions around Mark Hurd’s departure continue to go unanswered, a key aide to the former CEO has also abruptly resigned this week.

    The mystery deepens. Caprice Fimbres McIlvaine, formerly head of internal communications at Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and a top aide to ex-CEO Mark Hurd, has left the company, following her boss out the door three days after his departure. Her exit is significant because, according to two people with knowledge of her former role, McIlvaine was the key conduit in hiring Jodie Fisher, the actress-turned-corporate hostess/”marketing contractor” who later filed a sexual harassment suit against Hurd, setting in motion the chain of events that resulted in the CEO’s resignation on Aug. 6. McIlvaine resigned effective Aug. 9, HP confirmed Wednesday.

  • Andreessen: Valley statesman, HP’s front man

    Why HP was wise to put director Marc Andreessen forward as the board’s spokesman on the Mark Hurd crisis.

    The delightfully jarring aspect to Hewlett-Packard’s (HPQ) bombshell news and investor conference calls last Friday was the board member the venerable company put forward as its public face: Marc Andreessen, not so very long ago the enfant terrible of Silicon Valley.

  • Mark Hurd is Irrelevant – The Challenge Ahead for HP

    Mark Hurd’s silly exit has little to do with HP’s real problems. As an executive there about a decade ago, I saw a company that was giving up its differentiating value in the name of operational savings, not realizing that by now the Golden Goose of creativity would find greener pastures. But surprisingly, the classic HP tradition of building a great place to do engineering that results in a flood of excellent creative products is being followed…

Back we go to Cringely (the original one) who wrote about “Stupid CEO Tricks” — a post wherein he mentioned Intel for showing that “to a certain extent crime does pay. ”

This week brought two other news events worthy of comment — Intel’s settlement with the Federal Trade Commission and Mark Hurd’s sudden departure as CEO from giant Hewlett-Packard.

The Intel story is almost as it is being presented in the trade and general press. Yes, Intel has promised in very specific ways to no longer be evil. No, Intel isn’t being made to give back the money it made as a result of being evil, so to a certain extent crime does pay. Of course some will say the money damages were in part covered by Intel’s recent $1.25 billion settlement with AMD, but the FTC also doesn’t generally impose fines. So if you happen to be guilty of anti-trust I guess it is better to be sued by the FTC than by the DoJ, which does impose fines.

Either way, Intel got away with something and the graphics chip makers in particular should be pissed.

We have already explained how Intel and Dell are teaching our kids that crime pays off. Here is more coverage about that, starting with older articles:

i. FTC gives itself an anti-trust extension as Intel deal eludes it

AN APPARENT FAILURE TO FIND agreement has led to the US Federal Trade Commission extending by two weeks the time it has to find a settlement with Intel.

ii. Red faced Dell fined for cooking the books

iii. Dell Settles with SEC for $100 Million

iv. Dell pays $100m to settle accounting fraud charges

v. Dell to Pay $100 Million to Settle SEC Case

vi. Dell proposes settlement in SEC investigation

vii. AMD gets an order from Dell

The relationship between Dell and AMD has been getting closer lately. Certainly in the days when Dell was an Intel-only shop this sort of deal would have been unthinkable.

viii. Chipmaker Intel settles FTC antitrust lawsuit

ix. FTC Settles Antitrust Complaint Against Intel

x. FTC settles anti-competition case with Intel

xi. FTC settles Intel lawsuit to ‘help consumers’

What is this case teaching our children? That a slap on the wrist is all one gets for abusing the market? Earlier today we showed that Apple too had been caught using kickbacks, so an Apple manager goes to jail (which is rare, they are usually just fined).

The original Cringely has one last post on the subject. “Too Big to Fail” is the title.

Everything about the Intel/FTC settlement screams of one thing — Microsoft. Redmond’s multi-year nightmare with the FTC, DoJ, and the attorneys-general of several dozen states wasn’t lost on Intel, which is a more rational company and doesn’t want a Microsoft-like anti-trust experience. Both companies are guilty and both are paying something for that guilt, but Intel clearly wants to avoid the decade of pain and distraction suffered by Microsoft.

[...]

Microsoft was paralyzed with the FTC breathing down its neck. Intel is not paralyzed.

Roughly $2 billion in payouts and Intel is a free bird — a rich free bird at that — having proved that crime does pay.

These settlements will effectively pay for themselves in two months at current Intel profit levels.

Had Microsoft been “paralyzed”, then its abuses would not carry on; but they do.

“Fuck! It took you a year to figure that out!”

Bill Gates

“That’s the dumbest fucking idea I’ve heard since I’ve been at Microsoft.”

Bill Gates

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

What Else is New


  1. Patents Roundup: Metaswitch, GENBAND, Susman, Cisco, Konami, High 5 Games, HTC, and Nintendo

    A look at existing legal actions, the application of 35 U.S.C. § 101, and questionable patents that are being pursued on software (algorithms or "software infrastructure")



  2. In Maxon v Funai the High 'Patent Court' (CAFC) Reaffirms Disdain for Software Patents, Which Are Nowadays Harder to Get and Then Defend

    With the wealth of decisions from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) wherein software patents get discarded (Funai being the latest example), the public needs to ask itself whether patent law firms are honest when they make claims about resurgence of software patents by 'pulling a Berkheimer' or coming up with terms like “Berkheimer Effect”



  3. Today's European Patent Office Works for Patent Extremists and for Team UPC Rather Than for Europe or for Innovation

    The International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) and other patent maximalists who have nothing to do with Europe, helped by a malicious and rather clueless politician called Benoît Battistelli, are turning the EPO into a patent-printing machine rather than an examination office as envisioned by the EPC (founders) and member states



  4. The EPO is Dying and Those Who Have Killed It Are Becoming Very Rich in the Process

    Following the footsteps of Ron Hovsepian at Novell, Battistelli at the EPO (along with Team Battistelli) may mean the end of the EPO as we know it (or the end altogether); one manager and a cabal of confidants make themselves obscenely rich by basically sacrificing the very organisation they were entrusted to serve



  5. Short: Just Keep Repeating the Lie (“Quality”) Until People Might Believe It

    Battistelli’s patent-printing bureau (EPO without quality control) keeps lying about the quality of patents by repeating the word “quality” a lot of times, including no less than twice in the summary alone



  6. Shelston IP Keeps Pressuring IP Australia to Allow Software Patents and Harm Software Development

    Shelston IP wants exactly the opposite of what's good for Australia; it just wants what's good for itself, yet it habitually pretends to speak for a productive industry (nothing could be further from the truth)



  7. Is Andy Ramer's Departure the End of Cantor Fitzgerald's Patent Trolls-Feeding Operations and Ambitions?

    The managing director of the 'IP' group at Cantor Fitzgerald is leaving, but it does not yet mean that patent trolls will be starved/deprived access to patents



  8. EPO Hoards Billions of Euros (Taken From the Public), Decreases Quality to Get More Money, Reduces Payments to Staff

    The EPO continues to collect money from everyone, distributes bogus/dubious patents that usher patent trolls into Europe (to cost European businesses billions in the long run), and staff of the EPO faces more cuts while EPO management swims in cash and perks



  9. Short: Calling Battistelli's Town (Where He Works) “Force for Innovation” to Justify the Funneling of EPO Funds to It

    How the EPO‘s management ‘explained’ (or sought to rationalise) to staff its opaque decision to send a multi-million, one-day ceremony to Battistelli’s own theatre only weeks before he leaves



  10. Short: EPO Bribes the Media and Then Brags About the Paid-for Outcome to Staff

    The EPO‘s systematic corruption of the media at the expense of EPO stakeholders — not to mention hiring of lawyers to bully media which exposes EPO corruption — in the EPO’s own words (amended by us)



  11. Short: EPO's “Working Party for Quality” is to Quality What the “Democratic People's Republic of Korea” is to Democracy

    To maintain the perception (illusion) that the EPO still cares about patent quality — and in order to disseminate this lie to EPO staff — a puff piece with the above heading/photograph was distributed to thousands of examiners in glossy paper form



  12. Short: This Spring's Message From the EPO's President (Corrected)

    A corrected preface from the Liar in Chief, the EPO's notoriously crooked and dishonest President



  13. Short: Highly Misleading and Unscientific Graphics From the EPO for an Illusion of Growth

    A look at the brainwash that EPO management is distributing to staff and what's wrong with it



  14. Short: EPO Explains to Examiners Why They Should and Apparently Can Grant Software Patents (in Spite of EPC)

    Whether it calls it "CII" or "ICT" or "Industry 4.0" or "4IR", the EPO's management continues to grant software patents and attempts to justify this to itself (and to staff)



  15. Links 21/4/2018: Linux 4.9.95, FFmpeg 4.0, OpenBSD Foundation 2018 Fundraising Campaign

    Links for the day



  16. As USPTO Director, Andrei Iancu Gives Three Months for Public Comments on 35 U.S.C. § 101 (Software Patenting Impacted)

    Weeks after starting his job as head of the US patent office, to our regret but not to our surprise, Iancu asks whether to limit examiners' ability to reject abstract patent applications citing 35 U.S.C. § 101 (relates to Alice and Mayo)



  17. In Keith Raniere v Microsoft Both Sides Are Evil But for Different Reasons

    Billing for patent lawyers reveals an abusive strategy from Microsoft, which responded to abusive patent litigation (something which Microsoft too has done for well over a decade)



  18. Links 20/4/2018: Atom 1.26, MySQL 8.0

    Links for the day



  19. Links 19/4/2018: Mesa 17.3.9 and 18.0.1, Trisquel 8.0 LTS Flidas, Elections for openSUSE Board

    Links for the day



  20. The Patent Microcosm, Patent Trolls and Their Pressure Groups Incite a USPTO Director Against the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Section 101/Alice

    As one might expect, the patent extremists continue their witch-hunt and constant manipulation of USPTO officials, whom they hope to compel to become patent extremists themselves (otherwise those officials are defamed, typically until they're fired or decide to resign)



  21. Microsoft's Lobbying for FRAND Pays Off as Microsoft-Connected Patent Troll Conversant (Formerly MOSAID) Goes After Android OEMs in Europe

    The FRAND (or SEP) lobby seems to have caused a lot of monopolistic patent lawsuits; this mostly affects Linux-powered platforms such as Android, Tizen and webOS and there are new legal actions from Microsoft-connected patent trolls



  22. To Understand Why People Say That Lawyers are Liars Look No Further Than Misleading Promotion of Software Patents

    Some of the latest misleading claims from the patent microcosm, which is only interested in lots and lots of patents (its bread and butter is monopolies after all) irrespective of their merit, quality, and desirability



  23. When News About the EPO is Dominated by Sponsored 'Reports' and Press Releases Because Publishers Are Afraid of (or Bribed by) the EPO

    The lack of curiosity and genuine journalism in Europe may mean that serious abuses (if not corruption) will go unreported



  24. The Boards of Appeal at the European Patent Organisation (EPO) Complain That They Are Understaffed, Not Just Lacking the Independence They Depend on

    The Boards of Appeal have released a report and once again they openly complain that they're unable to do their job properly, i.e. patent quality cannot be assured



  25. Links 18/4/2018: New Fedora 27 ISOs, Nextcloud Wins German Government Contract

    Links for the day



  26. Guest Post: Responding to Your Recent Posting “The European Patent Office Will Never Hold Its Destroyers Accountable”

    In France, where Battistelli does not enjoy diplomatic immunity, he can be held accountable like his "padrone" recently was



  27. The EPO in 2018: Partnering With Saudi Arabia and Cambodia (With Zero European Patents)

    The EPO's status in the world has declined to the point where former French colonies and countries with zero European Patents are hailed as "success stories" for Battistelli



  28. For Samsung and Apple the Biggest Threat Has Become Patent Trolls and Aggressors in China and the Eastern District of Texas, Not Each Other

    The latest stories about two of the world's largest phone OEMs, both of which find themselves subjected to a heavy barrage of patent lawsuits and even embargoes; Samsung has meanwhile obtained an antisuit injunction against Huawei



  29. The EPO Continues to Lie About Patent Quality Whilst Openly Promoting Software Patents, Even Outside Europe

    EPO patent quality continues to sink while EPO management lies about it and software patents are openly being promoted/advocatedEPO patent quality continues to sink while EPO management lies about it (the article above is new) and software patents are openly being promoted/advocated



  30. SCOTUS on WesternGeco v Ion Geophysical Almost Done; Will Oil States Decision Affirm the PTAB's Quality Assurance (IPRs) Soon?

    Ahead of WesternGeco and Oil States, following oral proceedings, it's expected that the highest court in the United States will deliver more blows to patent maximalism


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