Companies in Asia take control over the source code in their hardware products
Android System Architecture, image by Smieh
Summary: Companies that actually make computers (not US entities such as Apple, Microsoft and the corporate press which they subsidise) are moving away from dependence on US-made proprietary software with NSA back doors
THE Obama administration, which helps US-based companies embargo Asian imports while vetoing reactive action (more on that tomorrow), must not be satisfied to see systems without back doors (exclusive for the CIA/NSA) gaining traction. If proprietary software/malware like Mac OS X and Windows (developed with involvement from the NSA) is not being force-fed down the throats of OEMs, then China and its neighbours will extend their lead over the existing global empire, which relies on surveillance for political and commercial espionage (Der Spiegel reveals that not so-called ‘terrorists’ are the top priority of the NSA, based on the latest exclusive leak coverage).
“To depend on some binary-only product from another nation is a threat to national security, and not because of terrorism but because of covert intervention (recall Stuxnet).”Software freedom or even just autonomy is increasingly being valued by those who did not understand its value. The migration to GNU and Linux is motivated not only by technical reasons but also strategic ones, akin to the ones that helped groom Symbian a decade and a half ago. To depend on some binary-only product from another nation is a threat to national security, and not because of terrorism but because of covert intervention (recall Stuxnet).
The other day we saw Acer giving up on Windows RT and Windows (to a lesser degree). This is happening because they now have the options which are based on GNU and Linux. As one article put it: “Historically, most of Acer’s device lineup has been focused on Windows products — it’s the fourth-largest PC maker, after all — but a less-than-pleasant second quarter seems to have given the company reason to switch its strategy up a bit.”
But it’s not just Acer and some other companies before it (mostly Asian OEMs).
ASUS, another Taiwan-based giant, is reportedly abandoning Windows tablets, focusing instead on Linux. As CNET (a Microsoft- and Apple-paid site) put it, ASUS production of tablets with Windows will stop. As this article explains, “CEO Jerry Shen told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published Friday that Asus is getting out of the Windows RT market. In the interview, Shen said that “the industry sentiment is also that Windows RT has not been successful.””
CBS and Murdoch’s WSJ spent a lot of time attacking Linux while promoting Apple and Microsoft. But they cannot distort the words that come from producing companies in Asia. OEMs just don’t vote for Windows. They don’t need Windows anymore. █