Summary: Microsoft caught paying to manufacture FUD against a Free software success story
Microsoft is losing business. Nobody loses one’s job for dumping Microsoft anymore. Even Microsoft’s CEO is getting out of Microsoft, or as some put it in Google Plus, in light of good performance from Google, “game over, Ballmer loses”:
Microsoft CEO Ballmer to sell off 75 million shares | Microsoft – CNET News http://goo.gl/E6yyf #crashandburn … the rats are leaving!
–looks like forbes deleted the article https://plus.google.com/104707914502304652469/posts/RzB77KLTsk4?hl=en …but here it is The Phoenix Principle: Sell Microsoft NOW – Game over, Ballmer loses http://goo.gl/nM2Vp
Based on this report, it is the TCO nonsense all over again. Years ago we saw Microsoft trying hard to derail Munich’s case study and now we see more new evidence of this, as covered by IDG: (via)
Microsoft and Hewlett Packard won’t share a study claiming that the German city of Munich had its numbers wrong when it calculated switching from Windows to Linux saved the city millions — although an HP employee did provide the data to a German publication that reported on the results.
By switching from Windows to its own Linux distribution, LiMux, Munich has saved over ¬11 million (US$14.3 million) so far, the city announced in November. But a Microsoft-commissioned Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) study conducted by HP suggests that the city’s numbers are wrong, and claims that Munich would have saved ¬43.7 million if it had stuck with Microsoft, German weekly Focus reported earlier this week.
Ballmer tried bribing them out of it and used all sorts of dirty tactics which we covered before. Gartner played along.
Jan Wildeboer, a Red Hat employee from Munich, Germany (cited above) writes:
#Limuxgate HP guy claims his study shows that the Linux Migration in Munich is far more expensive compared to using Windows in an interview with a German newsmagazine, FOCUS. Turns out Microsoft paid for that study. And while the numbers of the city of Munich are publicly available, this study is now claimed to be “internal only” by Microsoft and thus not available to all of us. Classy. Public accusations but refusal to publish the numbers. Political campaign? You bet.
Well, later he translated the original article from German to English, with help from Google. Here it is:
(01/22/2013) Under the intriguing title “[Mayor of Munich] Ude has wasted millions on Linux machine?” Focus Money Online reported on a study that HP made on behalf of Microsoft. The study allegedly proves that the city didn’t save in the tens of millions Euro by switching to OpenOffice and LiMux, but actually paid far more.
Karl-Heinz Schneider, head of the municipal IT service IT@M:”Of course we want to deal with this criticism. I have asked Microsoft to share the study with us. What I could gather so far from press articles however raises a considerable amount of doubt on the validity of the study and its findings.” The study does not take into account the licensing costs that would be incurred for using Microsoft products. Schneider: “This simply drops seven million into the void – which is quite the biggest saving we had.”
The claim that no new versions of Windows and its application would have been needed is simply not true. Schneider: “A major trigger for the decision to put our operating system architecture to the test was precisely the announcement by Microsoft to drop support for Windows NT – the operating system that was used as a standard at the city of Munich at that time. A migration to a new operating system was therefore inevitable. ”
The claim that the city would have compared the cost of a current Windows 7 with a ten year old version of Linux is also simply wrong. Schneider: “Of course we have been gradually optimizing LiMux over time. The current version is far away from the original version and can stand a comparison with Windows 7.”
The study also falsely claims that one in four city computers still run on Windows as none of the specialized procedures can be migrated to Linux. Schneider: “It is true that not all business applications can be migrated to Linux. But that is ‘not all’ and not ‘none’. All web-based business applications can be used without any migration costs under LiMux and most of the procedures that are tightly integrated with Microsoft can be accessed with standard technologies that are also used by the Linux client.
Finally the number of remaining Windows machines in Munich that the study claims is too high. Instead of the claimed 75 percent, we have already moved 13,000 of the planned 15,000 machines to LiMux – that’s almost 87 percent. ”
Original german version published in the 2013-01-22 edition of Rathaus Umschau – Page 8 and 9
Here is Muktware‘s take on the news:
Bush Found WMD In Iraq, Microsoft Found Linux Migration More Expensive Than Windows
Microsoft is not new to propaganda and spreading FUD around Linux and open source. They have been doing it for ever. They are the master of the game and they have brothers in arm who assist them in achieving this.
HP recently conducted a story which claimed that the famous LiMux migration cost around €60.7 million over a period of 10 years to the city. The study said that the cost would have remained as low as €17 million if they stayed with Windows XP and Microsoft Office 2003.
What is the life span of Windows XP? When will it reach ‘end of support’ or in Microsoft’s words, the date when Microsoft no longer provides automatic fixes, updates, or online technical assistance? The date is April 8, 2014. Microsoft recommends, “This is the time to make sure you have the latest available service pack installed.”
Since it’s proprietary and vendor locked (in Microsoft’s own wordings), “Without Microsoft support, you will no longer receive security updates that can help protect your PC from harmful viruses, spyware, and other malicious software that can steal your personal information. For more information go to Microsoft Support Lifecycle.”
So where is the cost of upgrade to Windows 8 as XP will be on ventilator next year?
The headline is political in nature. But then again, Microsoft is like a political movement. It is good that more people recognise this. █
“There’s free software [gratis, dumpware] and then there’s open source… there is this thing called the GPL, which we disagree with.”
–Bill Gates, April 2008
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Summary: FUSE (Filesystem in Userspace) gets exFAT, allowing the mounting of Microsoft’s patent tax trap
Two companies we wrote about before, Paragon and Tuxera, help Microsoft tax Linux through file systems. One more implementation arrives, but this one is licensed differently and uses FUSE. “Linus Torvalds and others in the past have characterized FUSE file-systems as being for toys and misguided people,” writes Phoronix, “but FUSE has been used before for bringing Sun/Oracle’s ZFS to Linux, various other creative file-system implementations, and now exFAT. ExFAT support for Linux has been talked about going back to early 2009 but the support has been crap on Linux.
“The FUSE-based exFAT project seeks to be a full-featured implementation for GNU/Linux and other Unix-like systems, including Mac OS X. With fuse-exfat 1.0.0, after three years in development, there is support for formatting exFAT partitions using the exfat-utils package while the FUSE driver does provide both read and write support for the Microsoft FS. Some of the recent changes found with the 1.0.0 release include improved write performance through enabling big_writes, improved OS X support, and various crash fixes.”
Another article says that “Open Source File System Takes On Microsoft’s exFAT Patents” (recall the TomTom lawsuit). The exFAT project uses a patents-hostile licence, GPLv3:
ExFAT project member Andrew Nayenko has released version 1.0.0 of fuse-exfat, a filesystem driver that can read and write to Microsoft’s exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table) filesystem. Like the Ntfs-3G NTFS driver that is used in Linux distributions, the exFAT driver is based on FUSE (Filesystem in Userspace) and works under Linux as well as OS X. In a short test with Fedora 18, reading from and writing to a USB flash drive that was freshly formatted with exFAT worked fine.
See the Slashdot discussion. There is no patent tax in this case, but it still helps Microsoft spreads patent traps like FAT. For read-only purpose performance might not be a hugely important consideration, so having this patents-free option is probably fine. █
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Summary: Antitrust proxies and patent trolling proxies revisited
With Motorola and Android Google has become an OS leader. The coordinated harassment from Microsoft and its proxies [1, 2, 3, 4] has not paid off and Google’s performance is decent based on some of the latest figures. The business press says:
Going ahead, one thing CEO and co-founder Larry Page knows the company doesn’t face charges from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which announced it had dropped a probe into Google’s ad practices and market domination, provided it adheres to certain guidelines dealing with privacy and develops a method to permit third parties access to many of its telephone patents.
The patent extortion from Microsoft proxies like the world’s biggest patent troll carries on as another victim comes to the surface. Microsemi got extorted by Intellectual Ventures:
Settlement marks the fifth lawsuit resolved in recent months by the controversial patent holding company, which claims control of more than 40,000 intellectual-property assets.
A lawsuit filed by Chicago-based Soverain Software LLC, which is unlikely to be one of the 1000+ proxies of Intellectual Ventures, backfires somewhat:
Online personal computer and consumer electronics retailer Newegg.com Inc. has won a victory in a patent infringement lawsuit, overturning a $2.5 million judgment against the e-retailer in a lower court.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit based in Washington, D.C., today overturned the judgement against Newegg, No. 13 in the 2012 Internet Retailer Top 500, in a lawsuit filed by Chicago-based Soverain Software LLC.
This firm is not a troll on the face of it, but it’s an example of a company just overly focused on patents (litigation). █
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Summary: How Bill Gates really started his career of monopoly abuse, lobbying, and PR
Bill Gates runs a massive PR campaign which we no longer cover as much as we used to. The tricks he uses are repeatedly pulled, so we covered most of them already (in one context or another). Gates found ways to help people forget the crimes he committed and distract from the fact that he keeps getting richer, in part thanks to his lobbying (he got $7 billion richer last year alone). Unlike Aaron Swartz, Gates was never at risk of going to jail. When he got arrested his rich parents bailed him out. But little is ever said about how he was breaking expensive systems for personal gain. Here is another reminder from the news:
In 1970, a 14-year-old boy dialed into a nationwide computer network, uploaded a virus he had written and caused the entire network to crash.
That boy was Bill Gates. Five years later, he founded Microsoft.
A few years later, two young men went around college dorms in California selling boxes of wires that let students bypass telephone-company restrictions and make long-distance calls for free.
Anyway, these are hardly role models. And they did none of this in the interest of civil rights.
It is worth mentioning that Gates’ jobs destroyer, Microsoft, killed the mobile world leader while trying to exploit it and that, as Pogson puts it, the Wintel era is ending. “Now,” he says, “that doesn’t mean 15% of users rely solely on smartphones for Internet access but surveys report that a good number do operate that way. As Wintel PCs age or die and are not replaced, that share will increase. I expect all that is holding back that growth is the high cost of Internet access over wifi. In countries where ISPs are often wifi only, the share is much higher. In Kenya, for instance where wired access is largely skipped to save cost, 34% of Internet access is via smart thingies.” This trend shows lack of foresight from Microsoft and Gates. They are used to destroying or buying (at times stealing) stuff, not creating stuff. █
“The best way to prepare is to write programs, and to study great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating systems.”
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