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

10.03.10

Vista Phone 7 is Dead on Arrival, So Microsoft Resorts to ‘Chill Attack’ on Linux/Android

Posted in Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 8:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Panic

Summary: Microsoft is trying to make sellers of Android phones panic just shortly before its embarrassing competitor, Vista Phone 7 [sic], arrives at the market

IT IS no longer news that Microsoft is suing the last large seller of Android phones for not paying Microsoft for Linux. The FFII calls it:

New #Android stunt, start of #swpat wars or the last defense?

David Sugar from GNU Telephony alleges that Microsoft “can use the mere threat of patent lawsuits to effectively extort payments like a modern day Al Capone.” Here is his excellent (and widely-cited) post titled “Legal terrorism Microsoft style” (also published here):

Many people I think misunderstand Microsoft’s supreme court appeal of the i4i patent case. Some suggest that by focusing on limiting the ability to actually win patent cases that Microsoft is somehow limiting it’s own ability to use software patents against others. Nothing can be further from the truth, and indeed I think this case and their newly launched lawsuit against Motorola represents a milestone in their transformation from a proprietary software vendor into a litigation house.

What I think people fail to appreciate is that Microsoft does not seek the elimination of software patents but only to further limit the possibility of suffering spectacular losses at the end of such cases. This is because they understand well their most effective strategy is not in actually winning large judgments in patent cases against others, but rather simply in being able to financially exhaust others that they choose to sue. Hence, they wish to have an environment that is for them “safer to sue”.

Being a failed software company that can neither produce nor enter markets they are unable to illegally force people to buy their defective products, they clearly see future growth by taxing everyone else’s success. This is made possible by the threat of launching multi-year patent lawsuits that will cost millions of dollars to defend against even if they are entirely groundless, but for which they are far better positioned to financially sustain than their chosen target. They therefore can use the mere threat of patent lawsuits to effectively extort payments like a modern day Al Capone.

Microsoft is trying to deter companies from selling Android/Linux, using software patents. Sugar quotes Benjamin Franklin as saying: “That as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others…”

“To Microsoft, sharing work is a one-way affair (exploiting the work of others).”Microsoft does not understand sharing. To Microsoft, sharing work is a one-way affair (exploiting the work of others). By the way, Sugar’s use of the word “legal terrorism” may cheapen the term “terrorism”, but it is a proper term to use in this context. A few years ago, James Eagleton, the systems product manager for Sun Microsystems, said about Microsoft’s aggressive action: “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.”

Last night in IRC we showed that the MSBBC’s coverage of the lawsuit against Motorola seemed more like Microsoft propaganda and many other publications fell into the same trap; they describe Motorola like some kind of “thief” and Microsoft as a victim rather than explain to viewers/readers that Microsoft cannot compete, so it is just agitating everyone else around it.

A Microsoft booster from the The Seattle Times wrote a decent piece for a change. It’s titled “Microsoft using anti-Linux tactic against Google’s Android” and it starts as follows:

The lawsuit Microsoft filed against Motorola and its use of Google’s Android phone software is awfully familiar.

Microsoft used the same tactic against Linux when the open-source software reached critical mass in the data center and threatened to derail the growth of Microsoft’s server business seven years ago.

After name-calling failed to slow Linux, Microsoft started warning big companies that the free software wasn’t really free. It also said companies should take into account the potential cost of patent and licensing litigation around open-source products.

Uncertainty increased in 2003, when SCO, a Utah company, alleged that Linux was using some of its technologies. SCO licensed its technology to Microsoft and sought royalties from hundreds of companies using Linux.

That helped Microsoft persuade customers that free software isn’t really free. It even promised to indemnify customers that went with Microsoft products instead, offering a sort of insurance against patent issues.

Microsoft is the new SCO. “Beat The Bully” is the title Pogson chose for covering this development and he said:

The only thing good I see coming from this action is that the world will see M$ is a patent-troll and refuse to do business with them and the world will reject software-patents. They just make no sense. You don’t invent software. You figure it out step by step. You can obtain a patent on a particular type of door-latch but your patent cannot cover all door-latches and block out innovation by others. That’s what software-patents attempt to do. Given a particular goal a number of programmers can reach the same solution by any number of methods. M$ wants to define every possible goal of technology and block others from getting to it. That is wrong and this litigation must be fought tooth and nail or M$ will just become more dangerous. Technology in USA will become a backwater if they are allowed to stifle innovation this way.

The Microsoft boosters have little to offer in terms of coverage (they mostly refuse to denounce Microsoft) and OpenBytes twists a famous quote from “Field of Dreams” (the film) in order to describe what Microsoft is doing here:

“If you build it, they will sue”

Yes, Microsoft is at it again. Maybe worried by the lack of mainstream interest in their upcoming “creation” Windows Mobile 7? Its being reported that good old Redmond is now after Motorola (its already had a go at HTC and Samsung) and looking to suck a bit of revenue from the sale of Android, since in my view it seems doubtful they will get much from their own platform.

Very clever, Microsoft. The company’s failing mobile business leaves it with no choice but to merely become the class bully. According to this new report, the same companies which Microsoft has already got as paying sellouts (paying Microsoft for Linux) are willing to dabble in Vista Phone 7 [sic]. The title of the article is “5 Reasons the Windows Phone 7 Will Fail” (the are many new posts like that) and it says:

Samsung, HTC, and LG will manufacture the handsets, but so far there has only been speculation on what the phones will offer and look like. What we do know is that Microsoft has to make up a lot of ground if it expects to gain market share in an Apple, Android, and BlackBerry dominated world.

Prepare for the brainwash we have been warning about:

So far, we know that Microsoft is sinking $500 million into a marketing and advertising blitz and will be offering Windows Phone 7 first in Europe, three weeks before America.

Well, even Microsoft boosters are pessimistic about Vista Phone 7:

However, there’s at least one person who says this revolution ain’t gonna happen. Eric Bleeker, analyst over at The Motley Fool, reckons Windows Phone 7 might be humped before it even gets going. To quote the erstwhile Mr Bleeker, “I hate to sound dismissive of Windows Phone 7 before it even hits stores, but the deck is stacked against it. Regardless of Windows Phone 7’s features, it’s just too late in the game.”

According to this link we got last night, Vista Phone 7 is still primitive. To quote: “The parody says that Windows Phone 7 can?t copy and paste, can’t multitask, and can’t tether. All of these are true, but Microsoft said that these functionalities will become available soon after launch.”

“As annoying as the Motorola lawsuit may be, it is important to understand that it’s a sign of death for Microsoft in mobile.”It’s just about as bad with HP's Vista 7 tablet, which VentureBeat considers to be an embarrassment compared to Android tablets (they only name the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which Microsoft makes money from as well).

As annoying as the Motorola lawsuit may be, it is important to understand that it’s a sign of death for Microsoft in mobile. The company ran out of ideas. There has been a major executives exodus in this department (as well as others), so the main remaining risk is that of entryism. As the news put it some days ago:

Stephen Elop is said to have taken up as the CEO at Nokia Corp. Also Division President Robbie Bach is due to retire this year. Robbie Bach was handling included Microsoft’s mobile and games businesses, reportedly.

Don Reisinger, who only ever writes at CNET to provoke with bait, goes with the headline “Mobile woes slice Ballmer’s bonus in half” and CNET‘s partner site ZDNet helps Microsoft attack Android by giving Ed Bought a platform in which he stages a dumping of Android under “Why I dumped my Droid” (just to create some Microsoft hype in ZDNet ahead of the arrival of Vista Phone 7).

Lastly, remember this: Microsoft claims to be spending half a billion dollars just on marketing of Vista Phone 7. Lawsuits against Android distributors (and their timing) can be seen an just part of the publicity stunts.

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. Links 28/3/2015: FoundationDB FOSS Shut Down by Apple, European Commission Support for Free Software

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft Keeps Pretending to be 'Open Source', Despite Relentless Assaults on Open Source

    Microsoft's charm offensives against Free/libre software are proving to be rather effective, despite them involving a gross distortion of facts and exploitation of corruptible elements in the corporate media



  3. Željko Topić and Ivan Šimonović, Two Residues of Ivo Sanader's Corrupt Regime, Seen as Indirectly Connected

    Further exploration of the remnants of Sanader's highly notorious record and those whom he had brought to power before he landed in jail



  4. Links 27/3/2015: Ubuntu 15.04 Second Beta, Dart 1.9

    Links for the day



  5. The EPO's Dutch Scandal Leaves Battistelli and His Cronies on the Run

    EPO management is making concessions and issues statements which admit defeat, allowing the staff union to continue its activities



  6. Microsoft Won't Let People Wipe (Off) Windows But Happily Wipes Android, Wipes Android Apps Through Cyanogen and Blackmailed 'Partners'

    Microsoft's obscene double-standards leave Android and Linux between a rock and a hard place



  7. Links 26/3/2015: GNOME 3.16 Officially Released

    Links for the day



  8. Links 25/3/2015: India Moving to Free Software

    Links for the day



  9. Another Reason to Boycott UEFI: Back Doors or Crackers

    UEFI makes computers more prone to infections, according to some security experts



  10. The EPO's Administrative Council is Under Increased Pressure to Rein in and to Finally Stop Benoît Battistelli

    The EPO's Administrative Council (AC) is about to have a meeting, so the Member States' delegations are urged to call for action



  11. IRC Proceedings: February 22nd - March 21st, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  12. The Latest Microsoft Attacks on GNU/Linux and Free/Libre Software

    Microsoft is still hiding behind the façade of 'love' whilst actively attacking GNU/Linux and Free software from many directions



  13. Attempts to Disrupt Android by Pushing Microsoft Software Into It (Using Patent Blackmail and Cyanogen)

    Microsoft's Android coup d'état is succeeding owing to public apathy and poor comprehension of what Microsoft really is up to, partly due to media misdirection



  14. Links 24/3/2015: WebKitGTK+ 2.8.0, Black Lab Linux 6.5

    Links for the day



  15. Concerns Over Željko Topić's Alleged Powerful Links in Croatian Diplomacy

    Rikard Frgačić explains the powerful connections acquired though Ivan Šimonović, who is himself connected to EPO Vice-President Željko Topić



  16. Benoît Battistelli's EPO Comes Under Fire From Prominent Figures Who Are Key EPO Stakeholders, Expect Battistelli to Resign 'in the Longer Term'

    The ‘reign of terror’ which is primarily attributed to Battistelli and his cronies may be about to end; the Luxembourg parliament approves the Unified Patent Court



  17. Benoît Battistelli's EPO is Under Attack From French Politicians Yet Again

    More EPO interventions -- this time from France -- target Benoît Battistelli over his abuses and take it up to Eurocrats for political actions



  18. Bribes and Extortion Help Turn Android (Linux-powered) Into 'Microsoft Android'

    A strategy involving harassment and bribes drives large Android players into Microsoft's arms (PRISM and lock-in), much to Google's (and users') detriment and beyond regulators' range of visibility



  19. Microsoft-connected Black Duck Software Created by Microsoft Marketing Man as an Anti-GPL Operation, Admits the Management

    Black Duck "was founded [on] the idea ... to keep GPL-licensed code out of corporate codebases entirely," according to a new report



  20. Links 23/3/2015: Linux 4.0 RC5, Kubuntu Celebrates Ten Years

    Links for the day



  21. Microsoft Admits Lying (or Deceiving) About the Cost of Vista 10

    After much hype in the press about Windows being 'free' it turns out that Microsoft just lied yet again, leaving that lingering perception that Windows is as inexpensive as GNU/Linux



  22. Politics of Blackmail at the EPO

    Comments serve to highlight the role of bribes (or contrariwise blackmail), as allegedly exercised by the current management of the European Patent Office



  23. Benoît Battistelli's EPO Comes Under Attack From the British

    A British MEP criticises Battistelli and the management of the European Patent Office (EPO) while Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe, UK Minister for Intellectual Property, gets closer to Battistelli in a tactless effort to improve relations



  24. The Royal Norwegian Department of Labour on the Right of European Patent Office (EPO) Workers to Strike

    The role of bureaucrats from Norway in defending (or not) the rights of EPO workers -- rights that the EPO's management is actively trying to deny and punish for



  25. Michael Silver Back to Acting as Gartner's Microsoft Agent, Promoting Vista 10 Based on False Promises

    Vista 10 in the headlines as its marketing propaganda zones in on false perceptions around cost, aided in part by longtime foes of GNU/Linux such as Gartner, especially its Microsoft-embedded elements (Michael Silver and co-workers)



  26. Despite Media Propaganda About Security, Microsoft Windows Remains the Least Secure Operating System, by Design

    Amid highly misleading security-centric reports that rely on Microsoft's bogus number of vulnerabilities (Microsoft already admitted hiding many of them) Techrights presents recent news about Windows 'security'



  27. Canonical Goes to Bed With Company That Sues Linux Using Software Patents and Copyrights (Through SCO)

    Despite Microsoft's continued assault on GNU/Linux, Canonical is foolish enough to give Microsoft control over many Ubuntu instances



  28. Links 22/3/2015: GNOME 3.16 Shaping Up, LibrePlanet 2015

    Links for the day



  29. Microsoft Hates Linux - Part VI - Propaganda Wars Against Free Software Facilitated While Media Control is Secured and Abused

    How Microsoft systematically lies to the public, including decision-makers and officials who can be tricked into choosing proprietary software, thinking it is in fact "open"



  30. Microsoft Hates Linux - Part V - Dumping and Surveillance to Counter GNU/Linux Insurgence

    Microsoft makes false claims about future versions of Windows (with more surveillance) becoming 'free' in order to stop migrations to GNU/Linux


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