12.12.13

Microsoft’s Antitrust/Taxation Attempts Against Linux/Android in Europe Are Rapidly Falling Apart

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 11:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Regulator to Microsoft: I see what you did there…

Joaquin Almunia
Photo by Agência Brasil

Summary: Microsoft’s patent and antitrust strategy against Android/Linux (through Nokia) is not working out too well because of hypocrisy and obviousness

MICROSOFT, an abusive monopolist, had the audacity to accuse Android/Linux of the same [1, 2, 3]. Nokia, a former monopolist by some people’s standards, was the notable Microsoft proxy at the time.

Well, based on this new report from The Verge and interpretations of it, “[i]n April this year, a Microsoft-sponsored antitrust complaint about Android had this to say: “Google’s predatory distribution of Android at below-cost makes it difficult for other providers of operating systems to recoup investments in competing with Google’s dominant mobile platform.””

Now Microsoft drops to zero cost, as well, according to the report. As the author then points out: “And we have the whole Scroogled campaign (I felt dirty just for visiting that site).”

“And now they’re considering doing the exact same things they claim Google is doing unfairly? Does this company have any internal consistency whatsoever? ”

Never mind the inconsistency on privacy in “Scroogled” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9].

The only thing uglier than all this is the racketeering, which is illegal by internationally-acceptable (universal) law. We recently wrote about European regulators catching up with this abuse by proxy. “Handset business will sell to Microsoft, but keep its patents. Regulators noticed,” said one report while others noticed how Microsoft's own (direct) racketeering fell apart because Microsoft's patents are bogus and invalid (Microsoft is patenting bras now). This put at risk Microsoft’s attempts to make Android more expensive.

According to another new report from The Verge, Nokia now working on an Android phone as part of a push into the low-end smartphone market. “Several sources close to Nokia suggested the company is working on the project under the code name “Normandy,”” said ECT. So Nokia complains about Android while using it? Who controls the whole of Nokia’s policy now?

This isn’t the only case where Microsoft tries to use intellectual monopolies to undermine Linux/Android. As this new report puts it, Microsoft continues to use crooked licensing in virtualisation — a subject we have covered for over a half a decade (since the Novell days). “This is the main reason why Windows barely gets a look-in in today’s cloud world,” wrote the author. “When I ask FOSS devops-type colleagues about it, their responses range from incredulity to hilarity. Why on Earth would they want to deploy on Windows? What possible advantage would it give them? These guys wield Puppet and Chef to deploy vast swarms of headless virtual Linux systems. Microsoft and proprietary software doesn’t feature in their world; some weirdos run Mac laptops but that’s about it.”

The age of Microsoft’s abuses against Linux may be over, but only if regulators take a closer look (with our help) at what Microsoft is doing and then warn it/threaten with antitrust action. Don’t believe for a second that Microsoft will just ignore the words from Joaquin Almunia; it wasn’t empty rhetoric and it has become a business risk (loss of revenue if not embargo).

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