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12.06.14

The Threat is Not Over: Microsoft Bribes Against Linux Adoption and in Favour of Extortion Against Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 6:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A reminder of the fact that Microsoft actively and even illegally challenges the adoption of GNU/Linux

TECHRIGHTS agrees with Christine Hall (FOSS Force) nearly all the time, except when it comes to DRM and this new piece which downplays Microsoft’s threat to FOSS. A lot of people foolishly choose to believe that Microsoft has changed, but all that has changed is Microsoft’s public face. The lawsuits, the abuses, the sabotage etc. continue to this day and so do the AstroTurfing tactics. We cover a lot of examples and we occasionally show that Microsoft is worse and more abusive than before. It just hides it better from many more people. It’s about visibility.

A lot of people seem to have forgotten (or are not taking for granted) that Microsoft extorts GNU/Linux. It’s not just about Android but also SUSE, which is busy bribing its critics to create positive coverage for itself (we don’t know if Bryan Lunduke too was bribed, but we know about several others). Microsoft is still a powerhouse of media manipulation, owing to PR agencies that it has harassing journalists. Let’s look at a timely example. If you criticise the CBS-owned ZDNet (technology propaganda site) in any of its sites over its propaganda pact with Microsoft, then they will censor (delete) your comments. It’s about visibility; even its pact with Microsoft is hard to come by. As we have shown before, there is a rogue relationship there, with staff that works for ZDNet and Microsoft simultaneously, commenters who anonymously post from Microsoft, commenters whom Microsoft is paying, etc. ZDNet is so utterly determined to spew out Microsoft propaganda that it hires Microsoft staff, publishes ads as “articles”, and even resorts to bullying innocent people (women too) who write negative reviews about Microsoft-branded products (yes, Ed Bott has just done that too). Microsoft Jack is now fudging numbers to make the utterly terrible Vista 8 (worst ever Windows) look like a “success”. Well, that’s ZDNet: Veiled advertising/agenda disguised as “news” from Microsoft boosters like Ed Bott et al. as well as past and present Microsoft staff. But it’s not just ZDNet though. Look who advertises Microsoft in AOL articles. Yes, it’s still Sarah Perez, who does not disclose her past salaries from Microsoft. This is just one aspect among many which remind us of Microsoft’s exceptional evil, witch-hunting critics of its products, firing (or causing the firing) of critics, and injecting propaganda into the media. There has been a big dispute over at Twitter about this. ZDNet is finally receiving some heat.

“This is just one aspect among many which remind us of Microsoft’s exceptional evil, witch-hunting critics of its products, firing (or causing the firing) of critics, and injecting propaganda into the media.”Over at Condé Nast, Microsoft Peter is now covering the Microsoft-Barnes & Noble ‘deal’, which was essentially a bribe against Linux. As Jim Lynch correctly pointed out: “Suspicious minds might think that Microsoft cut the deal just to shut Barnes and Noble up about the patent issues involved. After all, it would have been very tough for a company like Barnes and Noble to say no to $300 million dollars from Microsoft. Who cares about patents when you get handed that kind of cash?”

Yes, it was a bribe. We said it all along. They just don’t call it “bribe”, they rename it. As for Microsoft’s rival to Android, it is pretty much dead. As IDG put it the other day: “The first three Windows Phone versions were pathetically backward compared to iOS and Android, but Windows Phone 8.1 — whose release began this summer in a series of fits and starts based on carriers’ and device makers’ whims — started to make Windows Phone a credible platform. However, buyers don’t seem impressed. Maybe they’ve given up on Windows Phone after four years of ineptitude; maybe they’re waiting for next year’s Windows 10, which Microsoft says this time — we promise! — will be really good (as it always does).

“Whatever the reason — and despite Microsoft making the Windows Phone OS free for smartphone makers last winter, to boost adoption — Windows Phone’s market share is shrinking.

“But Windows Phone’s issues aren’t merely the state of the mobile OS. Jan Dawson, principal analyst at Jackdaw Research, has analyzed Windows Phone and in a report released today has concluded that the platform is unlikely to rebound. Dawson is not a partisan of any platform, so his conclusions carry serious weight.

“Windows Phone is in a downward spiral — without a strong underlying operating system, developers can’t create compelling apps. Without a reasonable market share, developers won’t create reasonable apps, even if the OS supports them. Without a compelling device, OS, and app combination, users won’t buy Windows Phone in any significant quantities, so developers have no incentive.”

The amazing thing is that Microsoft managed to impose this garbage on mobile giant Nokia, this time too using a bribe (to Nokia and to Elop), derailing the company’s huge Linux push. Elop, according to this new analysis from Ahonen, was the worst Nokia CEO of all time and this was part of the plan because “Elop had a personal bonus clause that rewarded him for destroying the Nokia handset business.” Here is an expanded quote from Ahonen:

Elop wiped that all out with a rampage of destroying Nokia. Three years after the new Windows Phone based Lumia smartphones were released, Nokia’s smartphone market share was down to 3%. Yes Elop had managed to wipe out nine out of ten customers for the most loyal dumbphone customer base on the planet and the second highest loyalty smartphone brand (behind only iPhone). It was kterally a world record in market leader destruction. No industry has ever seen this rapid collapse of its market leader, not even under catastrophic conditions like Toyota’s brakes failures in cars, or from sheer management stupdity before like Coca Cola’s launch of New Coke. Never has any company collapsed its global leadership position as fast as Elop demolished Nokia. And note, when Toyota hit its brakes or Coca Cola decided to go New, they were not twice as big as their nearest rival. Nokia’s smartphone unit was more than twice as big as Apple in smartphones, and the unit was four times as big as Samsung’s smartphone business. (PS we found out after he was ousted from Nokia’s CEO job as the shortest-duration biggest failure Nokia CEO of all time, that Elop had a personal bonus clause that rewarded him for destroying the Nokia handset business… yeah, irony of ironies. The Financial Times calculated that Elop was rewarded an extra 1.5 million dollars for every biillion dollars he wiped out of Nokia shareholder value. The FT compared Elop’s heist with the worst of Wall Street criminals like Bernie Madoff)

If you thought the Windows Phone strategy was right but Nokia was just inept at implementing it, nobody should be able to do it better than Microsoft. So now we have six months of Microsoft ownership of Nokia’s handset business. How is the smartphone business? The Lumia business market share under full Microsoft control now is… 3%. And mind you, in four years since Elop announced his Windows strategy the Nokia smartphone business has not managed one quarter of a profit. Yes now its been 18 quarters straight, launching Lumia, launching Windows Phone 8, and switching ownership from Nokia to Microsoft and nothing helped. Not one quarter of profit. The Microsoft handset business dream is utterly dead.

[...]

But what Microsoft did not want, when it spent 7 billion dollars to buy Nokia’s handset business, is to see Nokia compete against it. The exclusive licence to the Nokia brand was a long term thing for dumbphones but only a short-term thing for smartphones (and apparently, tablets). Nokia already pulled a dirty trck on Microsoft when it launched the short-lived X series that ran on Android. Microsoft killed off that project soon after they took over the handset business this year. But that was further confusion to the minds of consumers on what is the ‘Nokia’ (brand) intending to do. Is that Windows Phone -thingy, the whats-it-called-operation-system is it viable or not. If Nokia already launches on Android. So yeah, Microsoft had to kill it.

Now Microsoft has stopped using the Nokia branding on its newest smartphones. They are just branded Microsoft Lumia. And just months later, appears a brand new Nokia branded gadget, a tablet. This.. running Android. Even before we hear any rumors of a Nokia branded smartphone again from Finland, this is bad news for Microsoft’s tablet strategy.

Will the N1 Tablet sell in enough numbers to show any relevance to Nokia’s business? No, of course not. It will be the squeak of a mouse in the noise of a thunderstorm, but it is Nokia’s first salvo. It does signal first of all, that Nokia wants to return. Secondly, it signals the total break from Windows. If any device by Finland’s ‘real’ Nokia made sense to do on Windows, more than a smartphone, that would be a tablet. That Nokia now clearly spits in the eye of its ‘partner’ Microsoft, and does the tablet on Android is clear signal, Nokia is finished with Windows. For good. Forever.

To all those who so hastily claim that Microsoft is no longer against GNU/Linux (and by extension FOSS) or is no longer criminal, well… check the facts more carefully. The worst thing is becoming unable to recognise that who is attacking you in various ways, usually by proxy.

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2 Comments

  1. ewa said,

    December 9, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Gravatar

    Hi, I am a student carrying out a research study about corporate social responsibility within corporations like Microsoft. I wonder if you would be interested answering a few questions about CSR. I would send questions through email together with ethical form signed by my research adviser. Any information given will be in line with Caledonian University’s guidance and full anonymity will be guaranteed if required.
    I would really appreciate if some of you could devote yours time to answer a few short questions in order to enhance my research scope.
    Regards
    Ewa

  2. Dr. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 9, 2014 at 11:18 am

    Gravatar

    Hi Ewa,

    I would be happy to answer questions. roy at schestowitz dot com

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