Summary: Microsoft wants to befriend its prey, but antitrust complaints against Microsoft helps remind the prey of what it is
Microsoft has got unbelievable nerve trying to devour Java and GNU/Linux (see prior coverage in [1, 2]), which it files antitrust complaints against.
The real antitrust abuser is Microsoft, not Free software, where free means freedom. Here is an update about the UEFI antitrust complaint, which says progress is being made because “The European Commission is waiting for Microsoft’s comments on a complaint against secure boot in Windows 8 before it takes its next step, according to the lawyer who filed the complaint.
“The real antitrust abuser is Microsoft, not Free software, where free means freedom.”“José Maria Lancho, a Spanish lawyer who filed the plaint in March on behalf of 8,000 computer users who are part of Hispalinux, told iTWire that once the Commission heard back from Microsoft, the next step would be to review the company’s comments and then decide about the preliminary injunction request which he had lodged.”
As covered here before, there are additional reasons to worry about UEFI, patents included [1, 2], but the matter of fact is, there is an inherent incompatibility here with the concept of freedom, unless of course the user manages the keys on his/her computer hardware.
For Microsoft, UEFI is a victory on two levels; one is the fact that GNU and Linux become harder to explore and the other is that people become accustomed to having no freedom with devices they buy (Xbox One takes that further with the application layer and surveillance). █
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“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”
Summary: The audacity of Microsoft, which files a bizarre complaint against the best-selling operating system, which is now Linux-based
Not too long ago, Microsoft used CPTN members like Oracle and proxies like Nokia to bolster another proxy, 'FairSearch', in an antitrust complaint against Android. The FSFE has written a response and noted who’s behind this odd proxy of Microsoft allies:
According to reports in specialist online media, the so-called “FairSearch” coalition – comprised of Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle, and a number of online service providers – argues, in its latest submission to the European Commission, that the free-of-charge distribution of Android, a Free Software mobile operating system developed by Google, constitutes predatory pricing. Suggesting that the distribution of Free Software free of charge is harmful to competition is both wrong in substance, and dangerous to competition and innovation.
Microsoft has been dumping to prevent freedom, so don’t expect European press to buy this hypocritical move. An FSFE lawyer and paralegal Pamela Jones have both responded as well. Jones writes: “They tell the Commission that they are writing to “explain how the distribution of Free Software, whether gratis or for a fee, promotes competition, rather than damaging it.” For example, it’s not true that Google compels Android-based phones to exclusively use its own app store, and by releasing the code for free, Google is actually enabling others to easily compete with Google…”
Microsoft, which uses EDGI, has got a lot of nerve doing this. It’s like when Microsoft had chastised Google over privacy before the NSA leaks that showed much more than just hypocrisy (Microsoft far worse than the accused). █
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Summary: The man behind strategic flukes, including racketeering and oversupply, is asked to go (by shareholders and the press)
Ballmer has turned Microsoft into a company of patent terrorism and after the Surface oversupply fiasco [1, 2, 3] (and more financial damage) one news site calls for elimination of Ballmer:
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has revealed a sweeping corporate reorganization of the company which scraps its longtime business model of pitting each of its internal units against each other for competitive purposes, in favor of an all-for-one model which has everyone at Microsoft working toward the same larger goals. The mere fact that it’s taken Ballmer thirteen years to figure this out is enough to cast doubt on his ability to lead Microsoft in this century. But a look at the near total lack of successes under his tenure is enough to make the case for his outright ouster.
Other sites and some shareholders agree.
Ballmer has already admitted blame and took responsibility. To quote this second source: “Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has admitted that the company built too many Surface tablets, and it’s not selling as many Windows devices as it wants. During an internal town hall event earlier this week, Ballmer and COO Kevin Turner both addressed the recent $900 million hit for Surface RT and the sales pace of Windows across various devices.”
Ballmer needs to go. He is a fierce enemy of Free software and nobody really trusts him. █
“We believe every Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability.”
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Apple’s bubble is bursting
Summary: The defence of Android against Apple’s aggression is proving to be fruitful again, with invalidation of another patent and intent from or opportunity for the government to address spurious litigation
Two smartphones giants, Apple and Samsung, have reached another interesting point as an Apple patent got invalidated.
Samsung has just notified [PDF] the US District Court in Northern California that, according to another USPTO Final Office Action, Apple’s ’915 patent has been found invalid on reexamination. All 21 claims of the ’915 patent bit the dust, as you can see in Exhibit A [PDF], the USPTO documents The issue is prior art and obviousness. So, the jury in Apple v. Samsung got another thing wrong, I see. Apple didn’t invent gestures.
As a pro-Apple site put it, “The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has rejected claims by Apple that Samsung Electronics infringed on its “pinch-to-zoom” patent – one of the decisive claims in the ongoing litigations between the two tech giants. The patent, No. 7,844,915, was first filed back in November 2010 and described, “an environment with user interface software interacting with a software application”.”
Here is a pro-Linux site’s take on this decision from the USPTO, which continues to grant software patents. There is more to it though. As the Murdoch press put it the other day, this major case plays a role in national policy now. To quote: “Smartphone rivals Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. have dueled over patents in courts around the globe. Now they are sparring in front of the Obama administration, which faces a looming decision on whether to veto a trade body’s order blocking the U.S. sale of some Apple devices.”
Sanctions like embargo never benefit the buyers, so the government should consider the possibility that patents themselves — not just patent trolls — are a problem and some reform should address real systemic flaws, not symptoms of these serious flaws [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9].
Apple recently got chastised for using a patent on rounded corners, which relates to desperate Microsoft/Apple moves that the ITC, USPTO, and US Customs don’t quite agree on (there are conflicts of interest). The same person who chastised Apple for it has this update about the Motorola settlement. Yes, Matt Levy, referring to the problem as “Bad Software Patents” (not the best way to put it), then says “Congressional support for patent reform continues to grow. On Monday, Rep. Issa and Rep. Chu introduced the Stopping the Offense Use of Patents (STOP Act). That bill prompted Matt Levy to release Patent Progress’s Guide to Patent Reform Legislation, which has summaries of the six pending bills: SHIELD Act (H.R. 845), Patent Quality Improvement Act (S. 866), Stopping the Offensive Use of Patents Act (STOP Act) (H.R. 2766), End Anonymous Patents Act (H.R. 2024), Patent Abuse Reduction Act (S. 1013), Patent Litigation and Innovation Act (H.R. 2639).”
According to his blog, the FTC study on patent trolls may kick off soon. To quote: “As we’ve noted, the FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez recently proposed doing a 6(b) study on the patent assertion entity business model. The proposed study has the potential to get us information about how patent trolls operate that would be nearly impossible to get without litigation.
“MLex is reporting (subscription required) that FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen indicated last week after a speech at the Chamber of Commerce that she believes that a 6(b) study to examine the patent troll industry would be “appropriate.” It takes three votes to initiate the study, though.”
The FTC should study CPTN and now just trolls. The problem is much broader than trolls. Apple, for example, is doing more damage to Android than all trolls combined and the same can be said about Oracle and Microsoft (other CPTN members, preying on Novell’s patents among others like Sun’s). █
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