Summary: As Microsoft has championed tactics for winning without really winning (but by changing the rules and distorting the game), there is this niche left for Microsoft to target when it no longer manages to sell or bundle products, let alone make money from pushy patent deals and litigation
MICROSOFT was never a technology company, unlike Google for example. Microsoft was not created by technologists, or at least did not focus on them. Microsoft knew how to leverage other people’s work, how to crush competitors, how to strike deals (nepotism helped), and how to get away from law enforcement after it had repeatedly broken the law (also thanks to nepotism).
To Microsoft, subversion of the law has been instrumental in growing the business. To this date, Microsoft relies on subverting the law, doing whatever is necessary (e.g. software patenting) to make its competition illegal [1, 2] and every buyer of a new computer obliged to pay Microsoft a tax (Microsoft tries to do the same with every phone sold).
In some of our more recent posts we alluded to Microsoft’s lobbying for laws that relate to counterfeiting. Microsoft wishes to devour this cake and keep it too. Or as one Microsoft-hostile reporter has just put it:
Microsoft has lobbied state legislators in the US to introduce a law which would prevent a business selling goods and services if one of its suppliers was found to be using pirated Microsoft software.
It would enable Microsoft to pursue losses resulting from piracy in foreign lands, such as China, where it may be more difficult to bring direct action against the actual user of the pirated software.
Why is Microsoft trying to change the law in the first place? And why does the government accept this corporocratism. Whose government is it? Who does it serve, the people or the rich executives who work at Microsoft? Last year Tony Whitcomb alleged that Microsoft's Jon DeVaan had engaged in political corruption/election fraud. He claimed DeVaan was his “former boss/business partner” and he has sent us dozens of E-mails since then, yesterday alleging “Obama/Microsoft Illegal Campaign Contributions 2008″. We covered this at the time because families of Microsoft executives, including the Gates family and Ballmer family, had paid Obama privately. That’s how Microsoft does “business”. Or to put it in the words of a new post:
Since providing this confidential information to the FBI, over one a year ago, I have now been completely, as well as thoroughly, retaliated against by both the Obama Administration, as well as Microsoft, so I am now sincerely hoping that the Political Fail Blog, would now be willing to provide me with any type of help and/or assistance, in getting all of this extremely important information out to the American People and to all of our fellow American Citizens, who presently maybe living and/or fighting for our Country abroad and I sincerely thank all of you in advance, for all of your time and for your immediate considerations into these extremely serious matters and I truly wish all of you nothing but continued peace, prosperity, blessings and success, in all of your current and future endeavors!
The payments made to Obama by Microsoft (with expectation of favours like this one being returned) are probably less interesting than payments made by Microsoft to other companies, with the expectation that these companies would attack Linux. Recall the situation of SCO and Norris [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] and also recall vulture fund like Elliot and Icahn, who worked with Microsoft. What we know for a fact is that SCO received millions from Microsoft after its Linux lawsuit, then got $30 million from a Microsoft-backed proxy (Baystar), and later on Bill Gates’ father had his firm come over to SCO to deal with financial issues. This is how “business” is done at Microsoft. It’s shady, it’s secretive, it’s corrupt. And right now the Bill Gates-funded Intellectual Ventures is extorting Microsoft’s rivals.
Trading in SCO shares has been suspended. Here’s the SEC press release. It seems not filing anything for a couple of years gets the SEC’s attention eventually, even if nothing else does:
The Commission temporarily suspended trading in the securities of these fourteen issuers due to a lack of current and accurate information about the companies because they have not filed periodic reports with the Commission in over two years.
So a temporary suspension. Meanwhile, one presumes the sale of substantially all of SCO’s assets to unXis has happened. The judge on March 7 gave Novell 14 days to appeal, if they chose to, and they chose not to.
It’s interesting enough that Novell did not appeal and given that Novell is helping Microsoft these days, e.g. by giving it patents, it’s not entirely shocking (Groklaw expected Novell to appeal). Microsoft is doing “business” by picking companies like SCO and Novell for their own battles and bidding. Poor “puppy”. Maybe it should enter the vulture fund and lobbying business. That’s something Microsoft has mastered for decades. █