Gemini version available ♊︎

Linux FUD and Android FUD

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Google at 10:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dying sun nova

Summary: How Linux FUD which had evolved into patent FUD in 2006 later turned into Android FUD, which nowadays faces barriers because companies like Motorola fight back

THE FAMILIAR FUD tactics against Free software go a long way back. From portrayal as “communism” to portrayal as “patent violation”, Free software has faced a variety of smears and became extremely popular despite those smears. Nowadays one is more likely to come across Android FUD than to see tired FUD tactics used against GNU/Linux. Techrights has already covered some patterns of FUD against Android (e.g. diversity as “fragmentation”, even the "Nazi" smear), but increasingly we see the same abandonment of technical FUD and a transition into patent FUD, just as we recently explained in relation to Linux.

Basically, the same false premises were being applied in turn to both GNU/Linux and Android (Dalvik/Linux). First, Microsoft mostly ignored Linux, just as Ballmer pretended that OHA simply was a bunch of words on paper. At a later stage came the technical FUD (full of logical holes and fallacies) and then came the patent FUD, which in the case of Linux was really announced in 2006 when the Microsoft/Novell deal got announced, leading to this site being created.

“First, Microsoft mostly ignored Linux, just as Ballmer pretended that OHA simply was a bunch of words on paper.”The story we typically see after patent aggression is that the aggressor simply reveals its weakness. The aggressor fails to actually play the game by the rules and simply throws a fit instead. It’s a bit like the SCO case. At first it gets a lot of media attention, then the public gets very angry and boycotts the aggressor. Further down the line the aggressor is just a shadow of its former self, still very angry but hardly worth anyone’s attention.

As Google’s market cap grows it might not be long before Microsoft becomes only the 4th biggest technology brand in the US (judging by market cap). There is definitely a transition happening and Microsoft is unable to become part of this tradition (e.g. phones, Web-based services, and form factors that replace some desktops, such as tablets). It is safe to assume that Microsoft’s patent strategy is a short-term plan and by no means a sustainable strategy. It has already met the wrath of at least two companies that fight in court over Microsoft’s patent allegations, putting at risk some of Microsoft’s basis for racketeering. Sooner or later Google will be bigger than Microsoft, even though Google is a very young company.

In 2006 we dealt with patent FUD against Linux. When was the last time a server or desktop GNU/Linux vendor surrendered to Microsoft? That was years ago. We have essentially seen Microsoft changing strategies after failing to extort Red Hat, whose business is thriving and installbase is growing all the time. Android had not even been conceived (or hardly been conceived) back when Microsoft was busy extorting GNU/Linux distributors. This site currently deals a lot with Android FUD simply because it is Microsoft’s latest target, as the many small deals signed and strategically announced at the end of June helped show, ushered by pro-Microsoft lobbyist Florian Müller, who exaggerates the threats and predicts doom for Android. Here is his latest FUD which he must have been pushing to journalists like a true lobbyist. “Mueller is back,” says Swapnil Bhartiya. Yes, the Android FUD is back. That’s this lobbyist’s focus at the moment.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.


  1. mcinsand said,

    July 18, 2011 at 11:31 am


    Not only is this too little too late, but I give MS’ anticompetitive practices a lot of credit for FOSS being the (creeping) juggernaut that it is. BSD and Linux may only be a small percentage of the desktop now (Apple’s perversion does not count), but the genie is out of the bottle, and it has momentum. People might flip/flop between MS and Apple, but you don’t go back from FOSS, as a rule. MS and Apple force you to use a computer their way, where FOSS is about choices as much as Freedom. We’re all made differently, and I fell in love with KDE4 as soon as it was released. Okay, so that might make me weird, but I still thought it was great, just as I like Fluxbox, XFCE4, and even FVWM. Try getting that much choice from a proprietary house!
    Anyway, when MS started raising the bar by welding stuff together, they were only putting off competition while making sure that, when it came, MS would be sunk. By glomming the desktop to the OS, we lost Geoworks and DIgital Research. I am not sorry to see 1-2-3 go, in the least, but they and WP were casualties of MS office (as well as other shenanigans, I know).

    Today, we have choices between multiple distributions where MS could never catch up to their quality, stability, or configurability… not to mention ease of use. The days of MS being competitive for hardware support are also long gone. From the standpoint of performance alone, FOSS users are not going to decrease, and there are enough to keep FOSS going.

    As for the patent lawsuits, FOSS is now backed by some very big boys. Google and IBM have enough backbone to not fold to extortion. In fact, the patent trolls might dig their own graves if the backers fight, especially if antitrust can come into play.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Microsoft is going to lose this battle, one way or another. The question is, how much damage will it have caused by then (it has killed some Linux vendors this way)?

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    July 18, 2011 at 12:16 pm


    As M$ becomes less relevant, Apple might become more of a problem especially with patents.

    Apple is now valued at $336 billion. That makes anything it does, good or bad, more pronounced.

  3. twitter said,

    July 18, 2011 at 12:58 pm


    I’d peg the start of Microsoft’s public gnu/linux patent extortion at 2004. Halloween documents show that Microsoft started to worry about free software in the late 90s and there are a number of Comes documents showing that Microsoft was planning the patent attack before 2004. Of particular note is Bill Gate’s 1999 directive to lace ACPI with patents in order to exclude gnu/linux. The big public FUD campaign was launched in 2004 by Dan Lyons at Forbes, who put a nasty spin on a study that showed that free software was less a software patent risk than free software was. Story after story flowed from the Microsoft press after this initial lie to try to make it look like software patents were exclusively a free software problem. Novell’s deal was probably the crowning moment in Microsoft’s attack which converted Novell into part of the problem.

    Hopefully, the Barnes and Noble case can finish Microsoft’s extortion. Barnes and Noble was smart enough to not sign a non disclosure agreement and is free to publish all of Microsoft’s threats and proposals. Their lawyers have astutely claimed Microsoft’s tactics amount to judicial extortion and trust act violations. If things work out fairly, Microsoft will be forced to compensate Barnes and Noble for lost business and the cost of the case. From there, other extorted vendors should sue to recover their costs. They had better hurry up before Microsoft runs out of money or the executives try to stuff all the cash into their pockets.

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    Do you have a link to the document showing “Bill Gate’s 1999 directive to lace ACPI with patents in order to exclude gnu/linux. ” ? The timeline you link to starts first in 2002.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    The document you want is


    It has just occurred to me that one one of the main Comes vs. Microsoft mirrors is dead
    Many dead links now, with criminal evidence… should we rewrite all the links to point elsewhere? And if so, where?

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    Groklaw would be the obvious link target. The Comes v Microsoft exhibits are all there and should be available for a long time to come.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Going back and changing all old URLs would take a lot of time.

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    It’s harder to do mass search and replace on dynamically generate pages. Is there a way to shorted the time using a perl script?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    This requires manual operation to test the links.

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    Maybe WordPress has been outgrown by this site.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    That’s why we created the wiki 2 years ago. It now fills some gaps (static pages, collaboration, linking). The front page of the wiki gets thousands of pageviews per day (about 3,000 non-cached recently) and it has PageRank 7. We also expanded to identi.ca and integrated this with IRC.

    twitter Reply:

    Thanks, I pointed to the wrong page. This is my run down on ACPI, Microsoft’s power management poison. Edge-op has a pdf of the 1999 memo from Bill Gates, Comes exhibit 3020, which is working as I write this. I quoted the text in my run down along with the problems noticed by Alen Cox, Linus Torvalds and an Intel engineer.

    That journal is also littered with nasty comments by Microsoft trolls and reminds me of why I don’t bother with Slashdot much these days. In this comment, one of the trolls subtlety gloats about having gamed the system to suppress my my comments there. I’m particularly peeved at how easily the site was bamboozled by Florian Mueller who is still being quoted.

DecorWhat Else is New

  1. Links 8/12/2021: Linux 5.15.7 Out, Linux Mint 20.3 is Near

    Links for the day

  2. Links 8/12/2021: Zorin OS 16 Milestone and Calculate Linux 22 Released; Kubernetes 1.23

    Links for the day

  3. A Call for Sources and Whistleblowers From Microsoft's GitHub

    Remarks on our publications from this morning and a call for more leakers and whistleblowers, who know GitHub better than anybody else (including lots of fools who still outsource all of their hard labour to Microsoft through GitHub)

  4. [Teaser] Rape is Not a Joke

    Having just uploaded a police report, we’re starting to move the ongoing series to the next phase, which will still be — for the most part — weekly installments on Mondays (for months to come)

  5. [Teaser] Meet Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley

    Alex Graveley, a serial abuser, has been protected by Microsoft; what does that say about Microsoft and about Nat Friedman, GitHub’s CEO whom Alex considers his "best friend"? Stay tuned as we have plenty more to show

  6. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 07, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 07, 2021

  7. Links 8/12/2021: FreeBSD 12.3, EasyOS 3.1.13, and WordPress 5.9 Beta 2

    Links for the day

  8. [Meme] EU Assurances

    The EPO‘s staff cannot be blamed for losing patience as elected public representatives completely fail to do their job (with few exceptions)

  9. Clare Daly (GUE/NGL) Does What Every Public Official in Europe Should Have Done About EPO Shenanigans

    There’s another (new) push to hold the EPO accountable, seeing that the overseers clearly do not do their job and instead cover up the abuses

  10. Links 7/12/2021: Firefox 96 Beta and Fedora 37 Abandons ARMv7

    Links for the day

  11. Links 7/12/2021: Plasma Mobile Gear 21.12 and Tails 4.25

    Links for the day

  12. All IRC Logs Now Available as GemText Over Gemini Protocol

    Today we've completed the transition from plain text over gemini:// to GemText over gemini:// for IRC logs

  13. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 06, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, December 06, 2021

  14. [Meme] Rowing to the Bottom of the Ocean

    The EPO‘s Steve Rowan (VP1) is failing EPO staff and sort of “firing” workers during times of crisis (not at all a crisis to the EPO’s coffers)

  15. EPO Gradually Reduced to 'Fee Collection Agency' Which Eliminates Its Very Own Staff

    Mr. Redundancies and Mr. Cloud are outsourcing EPO jobs to Microsoft and Serco as if the EPO is an American corporation, providing no comfort to long-serving EPO staff

  16. Linux Foundation 2021 Annual Report Made on an Apple Mac Using Proprietary Software

    Yes, you’re reading this correctly. They still reject both “Linux” and “Open Source” (no dogfooding). This annual report is badly compressed; each page of the PDF is, on average, almost a megabyte in size (58.8 MB for a report of this scale is unreasonable and discriminates against people in countries with slow Internet connections); notice how they’re milking the brand in the first page (straight after the cover page, the 1991 ‘creation myth’, ignoring GNU); remember that this foundation is named after a trademark which is not even its own!

  17. Links 7/12/2021: OpenIndiana Hipster 2021.10 and AppStream 0.15

    Links for the day

  18. Microsoft “Defender” Pretender Attacks Random Software That Uses NSIS for installation; “Super Duper Secure Mode” for Edge is a Laugh

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission

  19. Links 6/12/2021: LibreOffice Maintenance Releases, Firefox 95 Finalised

    Links for the day

  20. “Wintel” “Secure” uEFI Firmware Used to Store Persistent Malware, and Security Theater Boot is Worthless

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission

  21. No Linux Foundation IRS Disclosures Since 2018

    The publicly-available records or IRS information about the Linux Foundation is suspiciously behind; compared to other organisations with a "tax-exempt" status the Linux Foundation is one year behind already

  22. Jim Zemlin Has Deleted All of His Tweets

    The Linux Foundation‘s Jim Zemlin seems to have become rather publicity-shy (screenshots above are self-explanatory; latest snapshot), but years ago he could not contain his excitement about Microsoft, which he said was "loved" by what it was attacking. Days ago it became apparent that Microsoft’s patent troll is still attacking Linux with patents and Zemlin’s decision to appoint Microsoft as the At-Large Director (in effect bossing Linus Torvalds) at the ‘Linux’ Foundation’s Board of Directors is already backfiring. She not only gets her whole salary from Microsoft but also allegedly protects sexual predators who assault women… by hiring them despite repeated warnings; if the leadership of the ‘Linux’ Foundation protects sexual predators who strangle women (even paying them a salary and giving them management positions), how can the ‘Linux’ Foundation ever claim to represent inclusion and diversity?

  23. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part IX — Microsoft's Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot Sought to be Arrested One Day After Techrights Article About Him

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley has warrant for his arrest, albeit only after a lot of harm and damage had already been done (to multiple people) and Microsoft started paying him

  24. The Committee on Patent Law (PLC) Informed About Overlooked Issues “Which Might Have a Bearing on the Validity of EPO Patents.”

    In a publication circulated or prepared last week the Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO explains a situation never explored in so-called 'media' (the very little that's left of it)

  25. Links 6/12/2021: HowTos and Patents

    Links for the day

  26. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 05, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 05, 2021

  27. Gemini Space/Protocol: Taking IRC Logs to the Next Level

    Tonight we begin the migration to GemText for our daily IRC logs, having already made them available over gemini://

  28. Links 6/12/2021: Gnuastro 0.16 and Linux 5.16 RC4

    Links for the day

  29. Links 5/12/2021: Touchpad Gestures in XWayland

    Links for the day

  30. Society Needs to Take Back Computing, Data, and Networks

    Why GemText needs to become 'the new HTML' (but remain very simple) in order for cyberspace to be taken away from state-connected and military-funded corporations that spy on people and abuse society at large

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

Recent Posts