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

10.31.10

Microsoft’s Lock-in Tricks Decrease Rather Than Increase Microsoft’s Market Share

Posted in DRM, Europe, Microsoft, Standard at 10:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“DRM is the future.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Summary: Microsoft’s insistence on ignoring international standards and limiting access is hurting adoption of its very own software rather than have the intended effect, which is to impede migration to competitors or to pressure for upgrades

THE British Government chooses to stay at risk with Internet Explorer 6, as we mentioned back in July and well into August when arguments about it began. The British public started demanding that the government no longer stays one decade behind with a rusty Web browser. The good news is that “Home Office does u-turn on Internet Explorer 6″ and the bad news is that they stay stuck with Internet Explorer:

A government department has abandoned browsing policy by deciding to upgrade its machines from Internet Explorer 6 to IE8.

The UK government has received severe criticism from many security companies for sticking to IE6 – a now non-supported Microsoft browser which is considered insecure.

A Home Office representative confirmed to TechEye today that it will upgrade to Internet Explorer 8, although the department gave no indication when the move will happen.

They should at least offer the option of Free/libre software like Firefox or as Glyn Moody put it, “great; now let’s have Firefox as an option” (remark is from Identi.ca and a fellow Identi.ca user from Romania responded by saying that it’s “strict policies and bureaucracy! Here, people would install whatever browser (or version) they want, without even asking”).

The UK is an exceptional case because the British public sector is still overwhelmingly tied to the US, just like in a lot of English-speaking nations. It is an issue that spans a wide range of institutions we covered here before (even defunct ones like BECTA). Last week it was the British Library (BL) that got another good spanking from Dr. Glyn Moody, whose memory of the BL’s services to the Microsoft monopoly (e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]) was recalled in this post about locking down knowledge that belongs to the British public.

The British Library was also heavily involved in the formalisation of Microsoft’s OOXML, providing the vice-chairman for the original TC45 Office Open XML group (that is, OOXML). The convenor of the much-contested ISO meeting that finally approved OOXML, Alex Brown, is also linked with the British Library:

Alex Brown is convenor of the ISO/IEC DIS 29500 Ballot Resolution Process, and has recently been elected to the panel to advise the British Library on how to handle digital submission of journal articles.

Interestingly, Brown now seems to view the OOXML standard in a somewhat different light:

In short, we find ourselves at a crossroads, and it seems to me that without a change of direction the entire OOXML project is now surely heading for failure.

Which makes the British Library’s support for Microsoft’s format even more problematic.

But the real problem with the British Library is not just this technical short-sightedness. There is a far deeper issue that goes to the heart of what a research library is for. This can be seen most clearly from the existence of the “Business and IP Centre” at the British Library, where we are told:

Intellectual property (IP) can help you protect your ideas and make money from them.

Our resources and workshops will guide you through the four types of intellectual property: patents, trade marks, registered designs and copyright.

Now, recall that “IP” is just a polite name for time-limited, state-enforced intellectual monopolies. These are fundamentally and inherently about limiting people’s access to various kinds of knowledge. They are diametrically opposed to the stated role of the British Library, whose exhortation to visitors to its home page is: “Explore the world’s knowledge.”

Glyn Moody later pointed out that “publishers haven’t got a clue” because of this new British article about DRM:

For libraries facing dwindling borrowers and brutal budget cuts, the ebook seems to offer an irresistible opportunity to reel in new readers and retain old ones too busy or infirm to visit during opening hours.

A third of libraries across the country have embraced the new technology, allowing members to check out electronic literature without setting foot in the building.

But following abuse of the system – with China-based readers attempting to circumnavigate copyright laws by joining British libraries and plundering their virtual collections for free – publishers have now threatened to prevent libraries from accessing ebooks. It’s a move described by one library boss as “regressive” at a time when they are trying to innovate as they fight for survival.

Cheryl McKinnon in the Red Hat-led Web site opensource.com calls it Dark Ages 2.0 when “long-term preservation, provenance, and accessibility of digital content” is simply ignored, as we already find in the BL. Cheryl concludes by writing:

I hope this recent piece in opensource.com on the importance of open standards will be an ongoing discussion theme, as open source and open standards together provide one of the few realistic solutions to this escalating problem of digital preservation. The content management technology field, where I’ve spent most of my career, needs to escalate this debate. In a space currently dominated by proprietary technologies, managing the long-term preservation, provenance, and accessibility of digital content is often downplayed or ignored.

Going back to Internet Explorer lock-in, Mr. Pogson says that “Lock-in Is Double-edged Sword” as “IE6 addiction throws monkey wrench into Windows 7 migration” and: [via Slashdot]

Enterprises addicted to Microsoft’s nine-year-old Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) browser are having a tough time migrating to Windows 7, an analyst said today.

No wonder Vista 7 is having a tough time in businesses (no matter what Microsoft says). Another blogger says that Internet Explorer 6 is “Another Case of Microsoft Shooting Itself In The Foot”. Basically, a lot of enterprise simply cannot and will not leave Windows XP because of Internet Explorer 6.

The Gartner Group says that Windows is losing market share and as Matt Asay (Canonical COO) explained this before he pinged me about it, “Microsoft is selling more Windows (desktop), but losing market share in terms of units shipped and total”:

Sure – in absolute numbers, Microsoft is clearly selling more copies of Windows as the number of PC users in the world continues to increase. But when looking at market share, Windows is losing market share. The drop in market share may seem small, but when you are talking about hundreds of millions of machines installed worldwide, every tenth of a point of market percentage drop is a large number.

IDG’s Gregg Keizer has just published “Enterprises: We’ll run Windows XP even after retirement”:

Nearly half of the companies still using the nine-year-old Windows XP plan to keep running the aged OS even after Microsoft withdraws its support in 2014, a research analyst said today.

“IT just really, really likes the XP operating system,” said Diane Hagglund, a senior analyst at Dimensional Research, which recently surveyed more than 950 IT professionals about their Windows and Microsoft Office adoption plans. “They say it’s just that good, and don’t want to mess with it.”

Then there’s this interesting new statistic: [via]

Forty-nine per cent will deploy Office 2010 on a version of Windows other than Windows 7, released a year ago by Microsoft. Users are split on whether to upgrade from Windows XP: 47 per cent said they’d upgrade to Office 2010 when Windows XP’s support is discontinued — in April 2014 — while 48 per cent said they’d soldier on using Windows XP even without support.

Here is what happens to people who buy a laptop and expect to have Windows on it:

…if I wanted the OS installed, I had to pony up $130.

Welcome to the crazy world of proprietary software. No wonder Android is getting so popular, and not just on handsets anymore.

In summary, Microsoft has attempted to lock people in by deviation from standards, but in turn it also shoots its own foot because people cannot upgrade to other versions of the same software from Microsoft (because it attempts to correct things by better conforming and complying with standards). It not only affects Internet Explorer (which continues to lose market share rather than ever gain any) but it also harms adoption of Vista 7. Microsoft got served for its own bad behaviour.

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

2 Comments

  1. stonebit said,

    October 31, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Gravatar

    UPS still uses XP as its primary OS for all purposes. Vista7 was approved in the spring, but is very unstable and causes a lot of headaches. Consequently, XP is still king. Also, IE6 is the only browser allowed on the UPS intranet; the only exception is Vista7 boxen with IE8. I keep waiting for some mass virus to come along and eat up everything. I will laugh when it happens. Enterprises are big dumb animals running on momentum alone when it comes to tech. I can only image the hilarity which will ensue when the tripwire is a little to strong and the animal falls flat on it’s face.

  2. Will said,

    November 1, 2010 at 7:24 am

    Gravatar

    Regarding the Best Buy article: “Sorry, we sold you a laptop, not an OS”.

    Gee, I wish these retailers would take that stance when you actually go to buy a computer from them. Even dare to raise the question of buying a PC without Windows and they look at you like you’re a lunatic that just threatened their child. I’m convinced the proprietary world mostly just makes up, bends, and breaks the rules as they go along; anything to squeeze a few more dollars out of the sheep.

    Incidentally, I nearly got thrown out of a Best Buy once just because one of the nearby sales people overheard me talking to another shopper about Open Office. As I was talking to them about the possibility of using OpenOffice.org instead of Microsoft Office, I saw a group of about 6 employees and a manager gathering not far away and giving me dirty looks, and every now and then I overheard bits of conversation about how they might try to find some pretence to kick me out, but they just couldn’t come up with anything that would hold water, to their frustration. Seriously, all because I might prevent them from pushing Microsoft Office on a shopper or two.

What Else is New


  1. The Media Starts Informing the European Public About the Downsides of UPC While EPO Accelerates Its Lobbying for Ratification

    The EPO's shameless UPC promotion takes another step forward as the European press outlets (even television channels) begin to explore the secret deal that's negotiated by patent lawyers (with corporate clients) and patent offices, not the public or any public interest groups



  2. Some Details About How the EPO's President is Rumoured to be 'Buying' Votes and Why It's Grounds/Basis for “Immediate Dismissal”

    Some background information and a detailed explanation of the systemic financial dependency, created by Battistelli at the cost of €13 million or more, which prevents effective oversight of Battistelli



  3. How the Patent Lawyers' Microcosm Continues to Boost Software Patents Filth by Misdirecting Readers, Relying on Highly Selective Coverage

    nder the guise of reporting/analysis/advice the community of patent lawyers is effectively lobbying to make software patents popular and widely-accepted again, based on one single case which they wish to make 'the' precedent



  4. Documents Show Zagreb Police Department in Investigation of Vice-President of the European Patent Office

    Željko Topić's troubles in Croatia, where he faces many criminal charges, may soon become an extraordinary burden for the EPO, which distances itself from it all mostly by attacking staff that 'dares' to bring up the subject



  5. [ES] Interrumpiendo la Propagánda Distractante de Battistelli: los Empleados de la EPO Protestará de Nuevo en una Quincena

    La exágerada extravagancia (desperdicio de dinero) en la Ceremonia de Premiación al Inventor Europeo de la EPO tendrá que competir por atención de los medios con miles de empleados de la EPO (en todaslas sedes de la EPO) marchándo en las calles para protestar por los abusos de la EPO



  6. Windows and Microsoft's Other 'Burning Platforms'

    It's not just Windows for phones that's reaching minuscule market share levels but also Windows, but Microsoft is skilled at hiding this (cannibalising Windows using something people do not even want, then counting that cannibal, Vista 10)



  7. Links 24/5/2016: CRYENGINE Source Code is Out on GitHub, Jono Bacon Leaves GitHub

    Links for the day



  8. Links 23/5/2016: GNOME 3.22, Calculate Linux 15.17

    Links for the day



  9. 'Celebrity' Patent Trolls and the Elusive Battle Against Patent Trolls (or Eastern District of Texas Courts) Rather Than Software Patents

    Some of last week's more important reports, which serve to demonstrate how the system is attempting to tackle a side-effect of software patents rather than the patents themselves (their irrational scope)



  10. The Circus of Patent 'Reporting' (by Omission) on the Subject of Software Patents in the US and USPTO Bias

    look at some of the latest oddities in the US patent system and much of the reporting about software patenting (more or less monopolised by those who profit from it, not harmed by it)



  11. IP3 Demonstrates That Today's Patent Systems Devolve Into a Conglomerates' Game, Won't Protect the Mythical Small Inventor

    Multinational corporations bring together their shared interests and steer the increasingly-inseparable patent systems according to their needs and goals, but has anyone even noticed?



  12. Disrupting Battistelli's Distracting Propaganda: EPO Staff to Protest Again in About a Fortnight

    The overly extravagant (waste of money) EPO European Inventor Award will have to compete for media attention with thousands of EPO staff (in all EPO sites) marching in the streets to protest against the EPO's abuses



  13. Corrupting Democracy? Growing Frequency of Rumours That the EPO's President Battistelli is 'Buying' Votes of Small Member States

    Several sources suggest that rather than appease the Administrative Council by taking corrective action Battistelli and his notorious 'circle' now work hard to remove opposition from the Administrative Council, especially where this is easier a task to accomplish (politically or economically)



  14. [ES] Los Mitos de la EPO ‘Calidad’ de Patentes y de ‘Creación’ de Patentes: Basados en Ventas de Cafe y Trauma

    La carrera hacia el fondo, o la ridícula asumpción de Battistelli de que otorgar más y más patentenes más rápidamente (e.g. usando PACE) sería beneficióso a largo término, puede guíar al final colapse del valor de la EPO y la pérdida de su lárgamente ganada reputación a nivel mundial



  15. Links 22/5/2016: Systemd 230, Debian Installer Alpha 6

    Links for the day



  16. EPO Patent 'Quality' and 'Patent Creation' Myth: Capsule-Based Coffee Sales and Trauma

    The race to the bottom, or Battistelli's ludicrous assumption that granting more and more patents faster (e.g. using PACE) would be beneficial in the long run, may lead to the ultimate collapse of the EPO's value and demise of its long-earned reputation worldwide



  17. Guest Post: How Vista 10 Imposes Itself on Users of Windows

    A reader's experience being nagged by Microsoft, as documented and explained by this reader



  18. [ES] El Notorio Tirano de la EPO, Benoît Battistelli, Se Reune Con Otros Tiranos, Reportes de Que ‘Limpia’ el Consejo Administrativo

    El régimen de Battistelli, talvez la fuente de verguénza más grande, alegadamente está “cortejándo países pequeños/corruptos para asegurárse de que los delegados que votarón contra él serán remplazados”



  19. [ES] Comentadores Anónimos Debaten Si la EPO de Battistelli Puede Revocar las Pensiones de Empleados Que Se Atreveen — GASP — a Buscar Empleo Alternativo

    Una mirada a las causas de desesperación e imensa presión en la EPO, donde las pensiónes pueden ser cortadas como medio de represália y la gente puede ser negada empleo aún después de dejar la Oficina Europea de Patentes (EPO)



  20. [ES] Otra Casi Vacía Presentación de la EPO en La Hague

    El propagandístico “estudio social” de Battistelli (básicamente un montón de engañosas afirmacionesdisfrazadas como ‘investigación’) ayuda a demostrar que los empleados de la EPO no tiene absolutamente fe en la gerencia



  21. Links 21/5/2016: Manjaro Linux RC, Flock 2016 Schedule

    Links for the day



  22. USPTO Ignores a Lot of Cases Against Software Patents to Justify Resumption of More Software Patenting

    The US patent system (USPTO) is so obsessed with granting as many patents as possible -- even bogus patents in areas that are no longer patent-eligible -- that its guidelines are further perturbed and whose appeals board is massively overwhelmed/overworked/understaffed



  23. Notorious EPO Tyrant, Benoît Battistelli, Meets Other Tyrants, Reportedly 'Cleanses' the Administrative Council

    The Battistelli regime, perhaps the biggest embarrassment of Europe right now, is allegedly "courting smaller countries to make sure the delegates who voted against him will be replaced"



  24. Links 20/5/2016: Purism Tablet, ChromeOS PCs Outsell 'Mac'-Branded PCs

    Links for the day



  25. CAFC Rules Against Software Patents But Witness With Horror the Silence From Patent Lawyers (Bias by Omission)

    In an effort to protect software patents in the United States, where these patents came from in the first place (and continue to spread from), patent lawyers pretend not to see cases where software patents get invalidated and instead focus on the rare exception



  26. It's All Just Artificial Distractions From EPO Management, 'Yellow' Union Comes Under Scrutiny Again

    What's happening inside the EPO these days and what meaningless rubbish the management of the EPO would rather have the media obsessed with



  27. Anonymous Commenters Debate Whether Battistelli's EPO Can Revoke Pensions of Dismissed Employees Who Dare -- GASP -- Find Alternative Employment

    A look at causes for desperation and immense pressure at the EPO, where pensions can be cut as means of reprisal and people can be denied employment even after they leave the European Patent Office (EPO)



  28. Australian Productivity Commission's Research Calls for Ban on Software Patents, Davies Collison Cave Calls for Complaints Against This Finding

    As the push against software patents grows in Australia, much to the chagrin of Australian software developers, Davies Collison Cave (patent law firm) publicly calls for opposition, calling its side "the truth" and pretending it represents "Australian innovators."



  29. Links 19/5/2016: Wine-Staging 1.9.10, Android N

    Links for the day



  30. Another Almost Empty EPO Presentation at The Hague

    The propagandistic "social study" of Battistelli (basically a lot of misleading claims disguised as 'research') helps demonstrate that EPO staff has absolutely no faith in the management


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