04.21.15

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The Latest Developments Around Microsoft’s Clever Attack on Android/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 12:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Show of ‘love’ by aggression

War crimes

Summary: Microsoft’s campaign of destruction, extortion, etc. against the most widely used Linux-powered operating system is revisited in light of new reports

ONCE upon a time there was a company called Nokia which dominated the mobile market and then started moving to Linux. It quickly became a top contributor to Linux, in the development sense, and later there were rumours about it embracing Android (or exploring it alongside MeeGo). But Microsoft killed Nokia (using a mole) before Nokia could actualise any of this and Nokia’s Linux ambitions were never realised, except in the company founded by former employees (Jolla). Tizen and Sailfish OS have yet to fulfill the promise of MeeGo, or else they will go down in history just like WebOS, which LG now owns and develops (Tizen is developed almost exclusively by the other Korean giant, Samsung).

It is now being reported that quite unsurprisingly Nokia may be getting back to Android endeavours, without any reliance on or affiliation with Microsoft. We have heard that for a while, but this time it sounds more substantial. Whether Nokia considers going down the same route as Cyanogen (‘Microsoft Android’, i.e. ‘Microsoft Nokia’ again) we don’t quite know yet. One thing we do know is that Microsoft attempts the embrace, extend, extinguish approach against Android right now. That’s what the ‘new’ Microsoft is trying to do. According to this new report about Ballmer, Sinofsky and other people who are no longer at Microsoft, “Steve Ballmer killed an early version of Office for iOS because it compromised Windows, Bell said. He added that Steve Sinofsky’s reign was marked by infighting, hampering Microsoft’s strategic response to competition from Apple and Google.”

“It is not atypical for the media, and especially for foes of Android, to rewrite the history of Nokia and how Microsoft destroyed it.”The takeover of Nokia had multiple objectives including patent extortion of Android. It worked only to a certain degree. Nokia revisionism has just been reported to us by a reader, who told us that this article from an Apple propaganda site includes “revisionism.”

“Elop killed Nokia’s phone division,” iophk wrote to us, emphasising the part which started with: “But the company was…”

It is not atypical for the media, and especially for foes of Android, to rewrite the history of Nokia and how Microsoft destroyed it. There ought to have been a European investigation into it, but it never happened. In December last year the New York Times wrote that “Google’s Detractors Take Their Fight to the States”. The author focused on Microsoft and said that Sony’s leaked “emails show the extent of the efforts with state attorneys general. The messages detail how the Motion Picture Association of America — the Hollywood industry group — and an organization backed by Microsoft, Expedia and Oracle, among others, have aggressively lobbied attorneys general to build cases against Google in recent years, sometimes in complementary ways.”

Microsoft also uses Nokia to attack Google and Android at a regulatory level, as we showed some years ago. A new article titled “The Google gold rush” says: “No sooner had Margrethe Vestager, the European commissioner for competition, accused Google of violating antitrust laws last week than the mobile phones of Brussels-based lawyers started buzzing with messages from LinkedIn telling them that Microsoft’s local law firm needed two anti-trust lawyers — and fast.”

We have already written a great deal about Microsoft’s role in these anti-Google actions which coincide with Microsoft’s attempt to ‘hijack’ Android from Google. “Google’s Biggest European Headache Isn’t Search,” says this new headline, “It’s Android.”

Yes, it's all about using Cyanogen and patent extortion against Android while European regulators limit Google’s response.

Whether Microsoft’s embrace, extend, extinguish approach will work or not remains to be seen. Microsoft may have tried similar tricks before, e.g. using Nokia and partners like Facebook (Home), Amazon and others before. It never worked.

Here we have so-called ‘hackers’ bringing more Microsoft spyware (Cortana or Portaña is software that records Android users and transmits the audio to Microsoft) carrying water for Microsoft. One article explains that “Portaña is apparently communicating with Microsoft’s servers, and it’s not a strict port: the hackers have not recreated all the digital assistant’s features. Portaña naturally can’t interface and integrate with Android and its various features like Cortana does with Windows Phone.”

Either way, Microsoft benefits from this. It’s part of the notorious datagrab effort. One way to interpret the whole “cloud computing” buzz is a concerted effort to gather people’s data in very few companies servers’ (worldwide, by merit of replication), especially if these companies already have a special relationship (e.g. subpoenas, PRISM interceptions and so on) with spying agencies in many countries.

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