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01.06.14

In Mobile, GNU and Linux Victories Are Everywhere, So Microsoft Tries to Interject Itself Into Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Virtualisation at 12:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: As GNU and Linux make it big in various platforms (especially for mobile devices) Microsoft is again trying to make itself a parasitic adjunct, neither invited nor wanted

Now that Android is truly dominant, Microsoft is trying to pretend that the only party one needs to pay to (for Android) is Microsoft. It’s the same thing Microsoft did to Novell and others. There might not be payments, but even pretense of payments is rather infuriating. It is a huge injustice which shows that we need to ostracise Microsoft.

GNU/Linux is quickly transforming into a market leader and the platform to catch up with. Microsoft is desperately trying to get a grip on Linux or “court Linux-based workloads with a new driver package that enables support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux/CentOS 5.5 and 5.6.” Having totally destroyed Linux at Nokia [1,2] (Nokia was a leading Linux contributor), Microsoft now uses its Novell moles to put code inside Linux, enabling dependence on proprietary software from Microsoft [3].

It is not hard to see why Microsoft resorted to this strategy of hijacking Nokia (alienating some other OEMs). Microsoft wants to control the hardware companies (like Dell) because with disasters like Vista 8 they just no longer pre-install (or rent) much of Windows [4]. Hyper-V is like a Trojan horse strategy and a Plan B, not just for servers. Microsoft is trying to dual-boot Windows along with Android devices right now. Nobody needs or wants it, but with enough moles it can become a reality.

Phones with GNU/Linux are coming (e.g. Ubuntu phones [5]), signaling a trend [6]. Even platforms which Microsoft tried to kill are coming back [7], notably WebOS (with Microsoft tax) and Tizen [8] (derived from MeeGo), not to mention Firefox OS [9,10] and Jolla’s Sailfish OS. Microsoft will try to impose inclusion of Windows (we see this in the press these days), but we must reject it and work hard against it. “I once preached peaceful coexistence with Windows,” Be’s CEO Jean-Louis Gassée once wrote. “You may laugh at my expense — I deserve it.”

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Nokia officially walks away from Symbian, MeeGo

    The company stops allowing developers to submit new applications or updates for the mobile operating systems.

  2. So Previewing Smartphone Bloodbath Year 5: Who Is Still Left Alive

    When I started this ‘Bloodbath’ intense focus on the upcoming smartphone wars four years ago, I said the wars would bring a lot of change. Back in 2009 the world’s largest smartphone makers were very well known brands of the handset tech space such as Nokia, Blackberry, Palm, Motorola, HTC and SonyEricsson, with the upstart Apple iPhone having appeared only two years earlier. No Chinese smartphone maker was ranked in the Top 10. What happened has been dramatic, indeed the most volatile period of any global industry. Motorola and Palm died early and were sold. Ericsson quit the races leaving the partnership to Sony. Nokia was sold late last year. Blackberry is on the ropes and HTC is not faring much better. Four Chinese vendors have already crashed into the Top 10 (Huawei, Lenovo, ZTE and Yulong/Coolpad) with a fifth, Xiaomi likely to enter the Top 10 early in 2014.

  3. Microsoft Updates Hyper-V Linux Integration Services
  4. Is Microsoft Grasping at Straws?

    Two articles caught my attention this week and both of them came from The Verge. Both stories came out within 2 days of each other. In that they both dealt with Microsoft talking about or actually reversing previous decisions about Windows 8, I had to wonder if this was Microsoft damage control at work. It would seem so.

    It’s not just me. A lot of my friends in IT think the Windows 8 release was a disaster. Microsoft was seen as telling the computing public, “You will accept our new Windows and you will like it.”

    Uh, no they won’t.

    Early sales figures were far more than disappointing for the folks at Redmond. So disappointing in fact, that the company made public at least some intentions of making amends to their customers.

  5. It Looks Like Ubuntu’s First Phone Might Be For China
  6. The rise of GNU/Linux-powered mobile OSes in 2013

    There’s no such thing as a saturated market — not at least for gadgets. And in the world of gadgets, there’s one field that happens to be a hot battlefield: MOBILE OPERATING SYSTEMS.

  7. LG to bring Palm’s webOS BACK FROM THE DEAD in TVs next week – report
  8. First Samsung Tizen phone hits the FCC?

    Samsung’s first Tizen phone reportedly will debut at Mobile World Congress Feb. 23, and will reach consumers in Europe and Japan in the second half of 2014.

  9. Run Android and Firefox OS on x86 chip with Revolution phone

    LinuxGizmos is reporting that a new phone is coming this year that will let you run Android and Firefox OS with an x86 chip.

  10. New Geeksphone to run Android and Firefox OS on x86

Microsoft and IBM Still Lobby for Software Patents in the US

Posted in IBM, Microsoft at 11:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[This article was written in February 2013 and was accidentally never published]

Bulbs

Summary: IBM — not just Microsoft — part of the problem known as software patenting

THIS morning we chastised IBM for its OIN strategy; but IBM plays a role in actively promoting software patents, and not just in the US (IBM promoted software patents in Europe and New Zealand for example). The other day we found this report:

Software patents, facing new scrutiny in the U.S., drive innovation and protect huge investments by developers, representatives of software companies said during a Capitol Hill briefing.

Here is a key part which says: “The U.S. patent system isn’t perfect, but lawmakers and judges shouldn’t solve current controversies by eliminating software patents altogether, executives with Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, Covia Labs and Procter & Gamble said during a briefing Thursday before congressional staffers in Washington, D.C.”

The Hill has published “Microsoft, IBM executives defend software patents”, which means that they go against Obama's apparent will.

Executives for IBM and Microsoft defended the value of software patents on Thursday, saying they are key to protecting their companies’ competitive edge and innovation.

“We think software patents or patents that are implemented in software are important and valuable, and necessary to protect the investments that we make in research and development and to preserve our competitive advantage,” Neil Abrams, vice president and assistant general counsel at IBM, told The Hill following a Thursday briefing hosted by BSA |The Software Alliance and National Association of Manufacturers on Capitol Hill about patents. “We think it’s important for the American economy.”

IBM is not helping the FOSS community or even Linux by doing what it does here. IBM was also a funder of the BSA until a few years back. Meanwhile in Seattle (Microsoft’s back yard), Motorola/Google is needing to defend itself from Microsoft’s software patents. Groklaw has details on that:

Matt Rizzolo at The Essential Patent Blog reports that there’s a new order [PDF] from Judge James L. Robart in the Microsoft v. Motorola litigation in Seattle.

For Microsoft it’s predictable to assault FOSS with patents, but why does IBM continue to do this massive disservice to the FOSS community?

Links 6/1/2014: Instructionals

Posted in News Roundup at 11:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patents Named as One of the Big Issues in FOSS in 2013

Posted in Apple, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 11:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rockstar Consortium

Summary: Patents, which we have warned about since this site’s birth in 2006, continue to be a serious problem and an impediment to Free/Open Source software (FOSS)

Last week we wrote about OIN expanding to cover OpenStack. Patent aggression just seems to have become the biggest threat to FOSS. As FOSS Force put it the other day, in 2013 patents were a big issue. To quote: “As in years past, patents were big in FOSS news this year. The online retailer Newegg, which has vowed to fight all unwarranted patent claims, lost a major case just a few weeks ago and the Swedish telcom Ericsson decided to go trolling.

“The biggest patent story of the year, however, was Rockstar Consortium’s lawsuit against Google and a collection of Android handset makers. Rockstar is a patent troll jointly owned by Microsoft, Apple and three other tech companies which holds patents purchased from bankrupt Canadian telcom Nortel. The latest news is that the patents purchased by the group may not be as valuable as thought. Time will tell.”

We wrote about this troll quite a lot before. It is one among others of its kind, typically run by Apple and Microsoft behind the scenes. It’s an abuse of the system. Google, which itself patents software now, is the biggest target, especially because of Android.

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