Co-authored with G. Forbes
Summary: Vista Phony 7 [sic], Microsoft’s latest platform for mobile devices, has serious new deficiencies
MICROSOFT RUSHED Vista Phone 7, its ridiculous cross-vendor response to Android, some while ago. It had also been intended to compete with the Blackberry and hypePhone, controlled solely by RIM and Apple respectively. Signs of VP7′s immaturity continue to show, with this critical bug being reported: “Someone found out the hard way what happens when you install more than 15 applications that use the push notification system in Windows Phone 7. To put it bluntly: it stops working.”
“Microsoft has quickly become a laughing stock in the area of smart phone software.”When it comes to application sales, Microsoft cannot realise just how badly they did with the tiny userbase. Pouring salt on these wounds, the Windows Phone Marketplace DRM has been cracked anyway (more here):
“WPCentral has been given a proof of concept which shows them breaking through WP7 Marketplace’s DRM. The weakness has apparently been known to developers for some time, and WPCentral has given the information to Microsoft, and are working to patch the hole.”
Microsoft has quickly become a laughing stock in the area of smart phone software. Mediocre security is indicative of substandard programming, and with this DRM proof-of-concept crack, a solution has already arrived from the outside:
Tobias, the white hat hacker who recently revealed a proof-of-concept crack for the copy protection on Windows Phone 7 apps has taken steps to develop a solution for his own hack. His FreeMarketplace code (only 65.5kb in size) took only about 6 hours to develop, but in the process demonstrated how easily the Microsoft’s app DRM copy-protection for WP7 could be stripped. The crack was not intended to harm the WP7 Marketplace, but was intended as a critique of Microsoft’s seemingly lax security. To help protect developers in the interim, while Microsoft develops its own solution, Tobias has posted code that developers can deploy in their apps to help protect them from piracy.
Nick Farrell explains that this “software exploits a flaw in raw installation packages or “XAP” files, which means they can be freely downloaded. This works because the Zune client software downloads XML files with all the package locations to enable application browsing and installation, and both the XML and XAP files are served without restriction.” Microsoft has had problems with managing operating system permissions for a long, long time. █
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Co-authored with G. Forbes
Summary: Absurd lawmaking in France is further slammed by the press and by upset bloggers, who see Windows getting a free ride whilst its competition may be subjected to outrageous new taxes
AT THE END of last month we wrote about a disturbing development in France regarding a ‘copyright tax’. For this tax, the government decided to discriminate in favour of Microsoft, applying it to any platform other than Windows. There is noticeable debate about this ‘tax’ in many places, in French and other languages. Some of the better articles that we found are:
i. The French say: if it is not Windows, it must have been pirated
The French government intends to slap a tax of 12 euros on any tablet unless it runs with Windows. One might wonder why France wants to pander Microsoft, but the logic is apparently that anything that is not Windows must be pirated, and that includes Android, Linux and even MacOS. The most bizarre is that a French company, Archos, would be hurt to the benefit of an American company.
ii. Tax to be imposed on PC tablets barring Windows
This second one says that the “government of France has been contemplating about imposing a tax of 12 Euro on every tablet PCs with over 40GB of internal memory unless they operate on Windows. This way Microsoft can get the much required aid in the tablet market.”
Well, they must change this as it’s outrageous.
iii. France could tax tablet PCs — except those with Windows
To quote: “Why the special treatment of Microsoft? Because unlike those running Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android operating systems, Windows tablets are full-featured enough to count as computers rather than mobile devices.” It’s unbelievable that they would actually make such a conclusion. This news is also making an appearance in the corporate media. However, they neglect to take a logical approach and state that Microsoft is using outrageous legislation and extortion rather than competing (such corporate sites play it safe with advertisers).
In the coming days we will be showing a lot of articles about other taxes used in a similar vein against Android/Linux. These include patent-related taxes (in addition to Microsoft’s attempts to implement an Android/Linux tax). This overall unfair tax situation is being labelled “corruption” and “collusion” by some people. Nick Farrell has said that “France [is]to bring in non-Windows tablet tax”. He humourously elaborates:
The French government has come up with a wizard wheeze which seems to be entirely designed to back the software giant Microsoft.
In a Franco-American alliance, the likes of which has not been seen since the French backed a campaign by anti-democratic terrorists against its lawful government, the French are going to tax every tablet which does not come out with Windows software on-board.
The logic is that if you are running Android, Linux or the MacOS you must be a pirate as Windows is the tool of choice for all decent minded French citizens.
It will be interesting to see if this gets retracted as it rightfully should be. In Economics, a proper “Pigovian tax” is designed to eliminate the economic effect of a negative externality, for example pollution. This ‘tax’, which presumes guilt on the buyer’s behalf, is more a form of extortion of a vaguely-defined “externality” inaccurately defined as ‘piracy’ by the copyright cartel and media conglomerates. In this light, the tax is more-or-less a subsidy-by-any-other-name to these organisations. They want government to compensate them for something they falsely assume they deserve. █
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Summary: OpenSUSE trademark issues arise and Novell only sells closed versions based on the work of OpenSUSE volunteers (whose work it owns)
RECENT articles which talk about OpenSUSE are mostly dysphoric [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Assuming the Novell sale gets authorised around March, OpenSUSE will be left at the mercy of a bison slayer, who fuses OpenSUSE and SUSE when talking about either of them (we covered it here and there are other such ‘damage control’ communications). Those who found solace in an entity which is designed to appear independent soon face some startling analyses from legal professionals and Andy Updegrove is the latest to provide his point of view, which starts as follows:
Over the last few months, I’ve frequently pointed out the vulnerability of important open source projects that are supported and controlled by corporate sponsors, rather than hosted by independent foundations funded by corporate sponsors. One of the examples I’ve given is SUSE Linux, which has been hosted and primarily supported by Novell since that company acquired SuSE Linux AG in 2003. Novell, as you know, is expected to be acquired by a company called Attachmate a few weeks from now, assuming approval of the transaction by the Novell stockholders and by German competition regulators.
Recently, the future of the SUSE Linux Project (as compared to the Novell commercial Linux distribution based on the work of that project) has become rather murky, as reported by Pamela Jones, at Groklaw. Apparently, Novell is facilitating some sort of spin out of the Project, which is good but peculiar news.
Why peculiar? Because when a company is subject to an agreement of sale, one of the requirements the buyer imposes during the sale-pending period is that the seller cannot engage in any transactions outside of the ordinary course of business without the consent of the acquiror. This makes sense, because once the buyer has committed to a price, it doesn’t want the value of any of the assets it is purchasing to fall. That means that one would expect that Novell would at minimum be abstaining from taking any action in connection with any effort to move the project out and into an independent entity.
Except that Alan Clark, Novell’s representative on the Project Board, is actively helping with the spin out. That being the case, one has to assume that Attachmate must support the spinout as well.
Shouldn’t that be a good thing? In principle, yes, but the true intentions of Attachmate, which is a private company, are largely unknown. If the result is a truly independent foundation, then the spinout would be a welcome and long overdue development. But if the foundation is set up in such a way as to allow Attachate to control everything that goes on, then the transition will be more illusory than real.
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols essentially repeats Groklaw when he says that the “[n]ew OpenSUSE Foundation will still be dominated by Novell” — a claim that Updegrove does not refute in his very lengthy piece.
One of the questions that has yet to be completely answered by Attachmate’s pending acquisition of Novell is what will happen to its associated community Linux, openSUSE. Some people in the open-source community, including my friends, Pamela Jones of Groklaw and Andrew “Andy” Updegrove, a founding partner at the law-firm, Gesmer Updegrove, are concerned that Attachmate/Novell will be calling the shots in the post-buyout openSUSE.
Much as I hate to disagree with two people I respect and like so much, I don’t see why they think that there’s a big deal is here.
Jones points out that “There’s more than one stakeholder in the OpenSUSE foundation being set up, and you’ll see that discussed in the log. Trademarks have economic value, and if the community is helping in building that value, I think it’s logical that they should gain a share of ownership rights so as to get some share in that value and some say in what happens with the trademark.”
Soon enough the trademark questions indeed arose [1, 2] and it is an issue we have been writing about for years (see this post about Novell and trademarks). Suddenly the coin drops. That latter link is Bryen Yunashko opening “an interesting feature request about a review of the current openSUSE trademark guidelines,” to quote his colleague Pascal. Bryen Yunashko is also concerned about the effects on accessibility, which may lose momentum as more and more people abandon OpenSUSE (as either staff or volunteers). He wrote:
Meanwhile openSUSE presents a very unique advantage that hasn’t been leveraged yet. With DBUS, the GNOME and KDE communities have worked together to leverage GNOME’s long-standing applications to work well on KDE. As openSUSE is a major distribution that provides support equally to GNOME and KDE, we have a distinct opportunity to provide the best integration of KDE and GNOME with accessibility. Thus offering prospective users and organizations a real choice on a distro that is known for its stability and support.
OpenSUSE development is growing rather stale, so cycles change accordingly. One blogger says that “[O]penSUSE however has made a big leap forward and taken the initiative to get the roller coaster rolling.” The SUSE “OMG”-branded site (emulating OMG!Ubuntu! just like OpenSUSE emulates Ubuntu) covered nothing of great significance recently [1, 2], but it said that “Evergreen brings 11.1 back from the dead”:
In mid-October we wrote about openSUSE 11.1 being put out to pasture and the openSUSE team’s decision to rapidly end-of-life the release. In the world of open source, what does “end of life” actually mean for users? As resident security expert Marcus Meissner stated in the original announcement:
SUSE Security announces that the SUSE Security Team will stop releasing updates for openSUSE 11.1 soon. Having provided security-relevant fixes for the last two years, we will stop releasing updates after December 31st 2010.
Apart from some instructional items like this one, there is not so much going on at OpenSUSE, but looking at the side which is not community-run, there is still this preinstallation option from HP: “The 6200 Pro supports Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Novell SUSE Linux.” That’s not OpenSUSE, it’s Ballnux and it’s taxed by Microsoft.
The VAR Guy uses the label “conspiracy theorists” to dismiss those whom he disagrees with regarding the fate of SUSE:
Also, some conspiracy theorists continue to believe Attachmate will sell or spin off Novell’s SUSE Linux business. During early negotiations, Attachmate seemed most interested in Novell’s IT management and security solutions, and didn’t initially bid on the SUSE business, according to a December 2010 SEC filing.
Also, trusted sources have told The VAR Guy that both Red Hat and VMware bid to buy Novell’s SUSE business in late 2010. Novell’s board of directors even considered retaining SUSE as a standalone company, according to that December 2010 SEC filing.
Here is a new case of SUSE in use, as well as something about the SUSE appliance program and a Dister announcement which generates some news [1, 2, 3]. Except for when it promotes Dister [1, 2], Novell’s PR department only mentions proprietary software, but that is a subject for a separate post. In the case of Dister, Novell exploits the work of volunteers to create appliances that are rather closed and restricted. How much longer can this community be bamboozled into delivering free labour to an ally of Microsoft? █
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Summary: Microsoft is clinging onto ARM, having broken just about any other market segment — including processors with Microsoft software embedded in them — so as to harm and discriminate against Linux
Microsoft’s management is leaving the ship very rapidly and the CEO must show that he is doing something to turn things around. We believe that Ballmer’s time is running out. The problem with Windows on ARM is obvious and we explained this before. Yes, ARM will fail for Windows, for reasons that so many clever people like Robert Pogson and Bradford White have explained since December when CES rumours were spread. ISVs support is one of the key problems. Glyn Moody claims that “Windows turns up late, but no mention of the ARM stalwart Linux [in this article]: classy” (yes, the corporate press pays attention mostly to Apple and Microsoft — a sort of false dichotomy). Even Microsoft boosters cannot make sense of it:
Microsoft’s announcement yesterday at CES that its next version of Windows will run on the ARM chip architecture was the wrong message at the wrong place, said an industry analyst.
“I’m baffled,” said Michael Cherry, the analyst at Kirkland, Wash.-based Directions on Microsoft whose specialty is Microsoft’s operating systems. “I just don’t get what they get from this.”
Cherry was talking about the news Wednesday from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that Microsoft will support the ARM chip line, which is prominent in smartphones and most recently, Apple’s iPad tablet.
As Groklaw wrote in response to it, “[i]t’s baffling unless you stop and ask yourself: what runs on ARM already? Just like Microsoft tried, with some success, to kill Linux on netbooks when Linux got there first, it now offers a message – don’t buy Linux on ARM, because we’ll have something for you soon.” Groklaw has a point here. For background, see older posts such as:
All that Microsoft achieves here is alienation from Intel/AMD. Both x86 heavyweights are already embracing MeeGo, which was demonstrated on numerous devices at CES (we supplied many links in our daily aggregations). “Microsoft Deal With ARM Seals Divorce With Intel” is how one writer summarised it:
The announcement at CES 2011 that Microsoft would deliver a full version of Windows 8 for the ARM architecture is one of the most defining moments in CES 2011, one which could change the dynamics of the technology market forever by offering a credible alternative to x86.
Microsoft became a licensee of ARM back in July 2010, only a few months after Intel joined forces with Nokia to launch its own operating system, Meego.
One reader asked the other day, “Did you catch the DRAM price crash, Roy? It’s like Vista all over again.”
Apparently, hardware companies too are starting to realise that Microsoft and Windows are not their friends. Profit margins go to a software company whose work is inherently abundant (yet made expensive and limited because of artificial restrictions which only really apply to hardware). To quote from IDG:
DRAM chip prices reached a one-year low on Tuesday and approached their cheapest ever due to a post-holiday oversupply. The cheap memory chips are pushing PC prices lower too, a Taiwan-based trading platform said.
The reality behind Vista 7 indicates that supply will likely outpace demand. Microsoft shares fake figures about Windows, which lead to unrealistic expectations of hardware sales.
ARM’s CEO was recently interviewed at CES and here is his response to the question: “When you did start talking to Microsoft?”
East: We’ve been working with Microsoft for about 13 years. It would be ludicrous for me to sit here and deny that we’ve been trying to persuade Microsoft to do something like this for many years.
Competition between the chipmakers is especially important because it keeps them serving their customers rather than engage in price-fixing, which requires a conspiracy. As we pointed out some days ago in the daily links, Intel had begun working ever more zealously for the media conglomerates by putting unacceptable DRM in silicon. The subsequent backlash was so serious that Intel needed to come up with spin that is essentially lies, at least in part. Groklaw, for example, is no friend of Intel (partly because of the OLPC fiasco) and it caught the spin piece from Intel, wherein Intel says: “There have been stories describing Intel Insider as a ‘DRM’ technology. DRM means ‘Digital Rights Management’ and is used to control the use of digital media by controlling access, and preventing the ability to copy media such as movies.”
“Competition between the chipmakers is especially important because it keeps them serving their customers rather than engage in price-fixing, which requires a conspiracy.”Watch Intel misusing the word “pirates” when claiming: “Think of it as an armoured truck carrying the movie from the Internet to your display, it keeps the data safe from pirates, but still lets you enjoy your legally acquired movie in the best possible quality. This technology is built into the new Intel chips.”
As Groklaw put it when responding to the claim above: “So it controls access. Check. What about preventing copying? If it’s not DRM, can I make copies after I enjoy my legally acquired movie? If not, how is it not DRM again?” What a waste of silicon/transistors and what a waste of energy (the toll is passed to the user). Intel goes further than this by integrating Microsoft’s DirectX 11 in Ivy Bridge chips:
Intel will integrate DirectX 11 graphics technology in its next generation of laptop and desktop chips based on the Ivy Bridge architecture, a company executive said on Thursday.
DirectX 11 includes a set of tools that can generate more realistic images when playing games on PCs running Windows 7. Intel will integrate the technology in next-generation laptop and desktop chips, as use of the technology in applications will spread by then, said Mooly Eden, vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group at Intel, in an interview on Thursday with the IDG News Service during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
“Microsoft has pushed DirectX into Intel’s silicon,” explained to us a reader, “it is also claimed that AMD vandalized some cheapo processors that way too. [...] x86 to suck worse than ever.”
It will suck more energy at the user’s expense (power bills), for the benefit of Microsoft and the copyright cartel. That’s just why we desparately need more architectures like ARM, which would not tolerate wasteful chip designs because of its target markets (battery life is king there).
Mary Jo Foley suggests that Windows Embedded Compact may die as a result of the announcement from ARM:
But has Microsoft decided to stop touting Embedded Compact as a good operating system for tablets and slates, instead putting all of its eggs in the Windows basket? If that is the case, I’d say there’s little doubt that the possibility of a Windows Phone OS tablet is DOA. Instead, the most those of us who like the Windows Phone UI can hope is that the MoSH (modern shell) UI for Windows 8 takes a lot from the Windows Phone 7 interface.
It’s all just fluff from Mary Jo Foley and many of the above are either “DOA” (dead on arrival) or vapourware (Vista 8 for example). Microsoft’s ‘new’ mobile platform has already failed and as Jan Wildeboer put it the other day: “More important than Android passing iPhone is fact that MSFT market share actually goes down, not up!”
“MSFT said that Windows 8 ARM version will run only on Qualcom, TI an NVIDIA CPUs. No Marvell, no Samsung, no Freescale,” one of our readers added. Well, it is vapourware and even for something that does not exist (Vista Eight) it sounds underwhelming. Remember for example that Microsoft keeps talking about it without ever showing a prototype and whenever Microsoft does this it by far overplays the characteristics (as put down in a wishlist rather than specifications). Watch Mary Jo Foley promoting this vapourware. It’s her job.
In summary, Microsoft’s announcements regarding ARM and Vista 8 are probably just intended to harm competitors like Linux and not necessarily deliver anything significant any time soon, if ever. █
“The purpose of announcing early like this is to freeze the market at the OEM and ISV level. In this respect it is JUST like the original Windows announcement…
“One might worry that this will help Sun because we will just have vaporware, that people will stop buying 486 machines, that we will have endorsed RISC but not delivered… So, Scott, do you really think you can fight that avalanche?”
–Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft
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“One strategy that Microsoft has employed in the past is paying for the silence of people and companies. Charles Pancerzewski, formerly Microsoft’s chief auditor, became aware of Microsoft’s practice of carrying earnings from one accounting period into another, known as “managing earnings”. This practice smoothes reported revenue streams, increases share value, and misleads employees and shareholders. In addition to being unethical, it’s also illegal under U.S. Securities Law and violates Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (Fink).
–2002 story about Charles Pancerzewski, Microsoft
Summary: The pace of high-level departures at Microsoft speaks volumes and helps confirm that something is very rotten inside
THE SYMPTOMS are sometimes more indicative of a disease than an optimist’s diagnosis/prognosis can ever be. Bias is simply built into the system and nobody dares to deviate towards the controversial. Microsoft is close to many financial firms, so the continued illusion of Microsoft as an unprecedented cash generator falls under too little outside scrutiny. For example, we are asked to accept that Microsoft is rich while its numbers turn out to be fake and it actually has some debt to repay. People in the news pessimistically wondered what’s next for Microsoft around the time it was downgraded by FBR and another analysts firm [1, 2, 3]. It was also around the same time that BlackRock cut its stakes in Microsoft, as we noted at the time.
Earlier this months we ran through some Microsoft news to see if there is something that we missed. Well, while there is a degree of overlap (wrt older posts), there is a lot that needs to be added in order for our record to be complete.
Let us start with the claim that “Microsoft’s Ballmer falls far down list of CEO ‘wealth creators’”. He sank from eighth to almost 100th in just one year! To quote a Microsoft booster:
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer fell 65 spots down a list of the top 338 chief-executive wealth creators and destroyers, ranking 73rd in 2010 after boasting the No. 8 spot in 2009.
Another Microsoft booster says:
But the big drop came at Microsoft. Steve Ballmer’s ranking plummeted a whopping 65 spots as the CEO of the software giant finished in 73rd place. That was enough for the company and Ballmer to earn an “F” in terms of economic margin change. [Update: As a reader pointed out, Microsoft did receive an "A" rating in three of the categories, including management quality score]. Only Campbell Soup, and its CEO Douglas Conant, saw a bigger drop among the top 100 companies.
These reports are as Microsoft-sympathetic as they can get because the writers are both serving Microsoft’s agenda in unofficial-yet-dedicated Microsoft blogs. Here is a corporate ‘news’ article whose headline says that “Ballmer’s CEO ranking plummets, Steve Jobs’ climbs” (storyline added there for increase in page hits).
More importantly, however, there were heaps of articles that month about Ballmer dropping billions in Microsoft shares. There were also embellishments from this or this blog (again Microsoft boosters from Seattle), which don’t put it as bluntly as the report titled “Microsoft CEO Dumps More Shares” put it:
We know that Microsoft is struggling in the consumer and Smartphone markets and that their share of the browser market is on the skids, but does CEO Steve Ballmer know something that we don’t know?
The behaviour among Microsoft presidents has been rather consistent because many of them left and as we’ve shown over the past year or so, many of them also sold their Microsoft shares. Only 2 months ago it was the company’s COO, Kevin Turner (GNU/Linux-hostile guy [1, 2, 3]), who dumped Microsoft shares:
COO of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) Brian Kevin Turner sells 48,956 shares of MSFT on 11/01/2010 at an average price of $27 a share.
It is worth mentioning that this same GNU/Linux-hostile chum was travelling to Nigeria to ensure its continued dependence on Microsoft back in November (see background in [1, 2, 3]). He was also diversifying by joining the board of Nordstrom at the end of last year, so watch out for what Nordstrom does next. The appointment was additionally covered in [1, 2, 3] just months after Nordstrom had collaborated with Microsoft, or vice versa. Here is the press release about this appointment. Might Turner be the next bigwig to leave Microsoft and pursue other opportunities? These ex-Softies often help Microsoft more from the outside than from the inside. Entryism is becoming a real problem and to quote a Red Hat employee from yesterday, “Will Muglia join/create another patent troll? Maybe Nokia needs more ex-softies? We will see …”
This reference was made in relation to Muglia’s exit [1, 2] and in his departure note (published by Mary Jo Foley) Muglia named his competitive threats and “Linux” was the first. “Microsoft Exec Exodus Continues” is a noteworthy report about it. It’s looking pretty grim.
Microsoft Corp. announced on Monday that Bob Muglia, who led the company’s server and tools division, will leave the company this summer at the behest of Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer.
Muglia, who has worked for the Redmond, Washington-based company for 23 years, will continue to actively run the $15 billion Server and Tools business (STB) while Microsoft searches for his replacement, said Ballmer in an e-mail sent to employees on Monday.
My co-host Tim opines that Ballmer will have been fired (or left) by July this year. Microsoft is spiraling down the tube at this stage. As more products get axed, in more areas will Microsoft technically qualify as a patent troll. █
“I’d be glad to help tilt lotus into into the death spiral. I could do it Friday afternoon but not Saturday. I could do it pretty much any time the following week.”
–Brad Silverberg, Microsoft
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Summary: Rants about Windows help people appreciate the ease of GNU/Linux
“I‘M installing Windows Vista Service Packs and online updates for more than 24 hours Can’t stand it no more,” wrote Razvan Sandu a few days ago, “Where’s Fedora?”
I’ve personally been very pleased with Fedora 14, which I use on my main PC at work. It impresses Windows users and it takes just minutes to install.
“Are people aware of other options at all?”Sandu is not a Windows user. He apparently installs Windows either for another person or for side reasons like the running of some stubborn, Windows-only application. Back around the time that Vista 7 was released, one reputable site said that installing it (with some basic software, no OEM as intermediate point) should take around 8 hours, which in many countries means an entire working day. Why would anyone accept this? Are people aware of other options at all? The task of installing 10 applications on Windows can take about 10 times as long as doing the same thing on GNU/Linux, assuming all the software needs to be downloaded using a Web browser, which also adds another layer of potential threat.
“Microsoft Genuine Disadvantage Strikes Again” rants our reader Wayne this week, having been lured into helping with an installation of Windows. To quote part of his story:
OK, so I got suckered into helping someone fix their computer. My son asked me, nicely, to help him. His friend had gotten virussed, and the computer wouldn’t boot. When I asked him why run Windows, it was the usual answer. World of Warcraft.
Mike’s pretty good with computers. He’s twenty-three years old. He has never lived in a house without at least one working computer. He’s installed every version of Windows from 3.0 on up to Windows 7 at least once.
But he’s not as good as the old man. So my promise to never touch another damned machine running Windows, ever again, goes out the Windows.
Actually he’d gotten everything right, which is exactly what I’d expected. There was only one problem. Microsoft uses poor quality stickers. They deteriorate because of CPU heat. They deteriorate because of sunlight. They deteriorate because of anything.
Making the move to GNU/Linux is a smart step for anyone who is not using it already. Making the move to GNU/Linux is also what people ought to propose to those who ask for help with Windows. More and more people seem to be making use of GNU/Linux a precondition for free technical support. Microsoft currently claims to have created “4,000 new UK jobs”, but jobs in this context means supporting a defective system. █
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Summary: Novell’s project that’s complementary to Microsoft’s illegally-obtained monopoly on the desktop is being advertised in a site whose target audience is Ubuntu GNU/Linux users
LAST week we found out that David Nielsen, who promotes Banshee in OMG!Ubuntu!, is personally involved in Banshee. We wrote about it some days ago, naming this a “conflict of interest”. Today we see that this Banshee campaign from Nielsen (promoting it in Ubuntu) carries on and there is nothing wrong with it if OMG!Ubuntu! views itself as a platform in which writers promote their own projects of interest rather than provide information, including a word about the problems with Mono. As we pointed out before, while the site is a good source of Ubuntu developments, it promotes Mono more than necessary while neglecting to list the drawbacks which are widely acknowledged. Joey too (main site admin) is doing this right now by pushing Pinta (Mono-based project from a Novell employee [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]), so it is not a case of contributing writers getting out of line. █
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Update: it later turned out that Sony had gamed the numbers by channel-stuffing, just like Microsoft typically does.
Co-authored with G. Forbes
Summary: Not even a massive marketing campaign and fake shortages could help Microsoft against its competition
On Friday the third of December (2010), Sony announced that it had sold 4.1 million Move controllers. That is not bad for a product that has only been out in the market for two months and with hardly any marketing at all. Microsoft’s marketing campaign for Kinect on the other is said to have cost half a billion dollars*, only to lead to fake KINect shortages. Microsoft said it would “sell out by Christmas”. Experts doubted this would happen and Microsoft tried to deny it (poorly) on several opportunities. One of these attempts was widely reported [1, 2]. Claiming a product has or is on the brink of selling out is often a last-ditch strategic move to establish the false perception of high demand.
Despite Microsoft’s expensive manufactured hype (a practice that has become commonplace these days for Microsoft, as per the WP7 references we collected), “Playstation Move is Outselling Kinect”, according to this report , :
It’s official: Sony has won the first round in the motion control peripheral sales contest. Wait, perhaps that prize should go to Nintendo for its trailblazing Wii console, making Sony the runner up. Official sales figures for both of the new motion controllers were hard to come by, but we now have some statistics for comparison. Sony today announced that sales of PlayStation Move motion controller for the PS3 reached over 4.1 million units worldwide. The milestone was reached in just 2 months since its release in September for North America, Europe/PAL territories and Asia, and 1 month since the release in October for Japan. The number not only shows clear success of the launch of the new motion sensing controller but also indicates positive momentum going in to the holiday season and to the year 2011.
This persisted whilst illusion of limited supply for high demand was pushed by some blogs around Black Friday, but Michael Pachter, an expert in this area, insists that it must be fake.
The Kinect and Move have been plagued by shortages in inventory around the world, and both Sony and Microsoft are making it known that they simply cannot keep up with demand. Unfortunately, analyst Michael Patcher is calling shenanigans, citing sales figures compared to shipped units.
Microsoft was hiring celebrities to perform at stores so that many articles littered with famous names were generated as a result. It is increasingly becoming apparent that Microsoft can only provide expensive and gimmickry marketing campaigns rather than substantial products. It would be interesting what kind of marketing Microsoft would create for software patent lawsuits. █
* Just before Christmas, for example, one article stated: “But how determined is MS? So determined that the company reportedly plans to spend $500 million on promoting Kinect – as much as it spent on plugging the Xbox 360 – and around $400 million on Windows Phone 7 marketing efforts.” It is reaffirmed here. The massive marketing budget is said to be at the region of $1 billion.
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