EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

05.13.15

Does Anyone Still View Cyanogen as Anything But a Microsoft Proxy?

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 4:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Android and Microsoft

Image from Android Beat

Summary: The marriage of convenience between Microsoft and Cyanogen helps reaffirm CyanogenMod’s status as a Microsoft Trojan horse which must be rejected

MICROSOFT is assaulting Android from numerous angles at the same time. There is no way Microsoft can compete with Android on technical merit, so Microsoft is, as usual, resorting to underhanded tactics and dirty tricks. Our recent article about Microsoft’s assault on Android says that “Cyanogen is confirmed as a Microsoft Trojan horse also elsewhere, so it’s not merely a rumour.”

Stallman asked us for additional references for that, so we provided a few [1, 2, 3], including one from Microsoft’s unofficial mouthpiece ([1] is from the original announcement). Anyone who still thinks of Cyanogen as an independent company is clearly not paying attention. The days of CyanogenMod are gone; now there’s just a proxy called Cyanogen and it is controlled by Microsoft just like Nokia was controlled by Microsoft after Elop had taken charge.

The announcement which unofficially confirmed Cyanogen’s status as a Microsoft proxy was made a few weeks ago, but we think many of the details are still not entirely clear to some negligent observers. It is not stated explicitly, but basically, CyanogenMod would push Microsoft software at the expense of Google et al. software (also Google/Android partners), turning Android into a sort of “Microsoft Android” — a term which some other sites now casually use as well. Android is facing the threat of a classic embrace extend and extinguish manoeuvre by a Microsoft proxy.

“We are having a fundamental miscommunication,” said Stallman. “The CyanogenMod I have heard of is a system distro. Various people have told me about installing in phones.”

That was well before Microsoft harnessed the popularity of CyanogenMod to attack Android, or to turn it into “Microsoft Android” (same thing which was attempted by Amazon, Facebook, and Nokia).

“You are talking about “CyanogenMod” as some sort of entity which can do things,” said Stallman. “That is a total surprise to me. What relationship exists between those two?”

One predates the other and Microsoft needs CyanogenMod to operate like a company, e.g. Cyanogen. Microsoft requires that in order to manipulate CyanogenMod in this turf war against Google and AOSP (Android Open Source Project).

“I will look at those articles,” said Stallman regarding additional links we sent to him. “Does this mean that when people install CyanogenMod on their phones, it standardly includes Skype etc?”

I recently found out that even some companies like HP preinstall Skype on Android tablets (I found out because I bought one for my parents in law). One has to wonder who pays who and what deals are silently being made, not publicly. With respect to Cyanogen’s CM12.1, I think that their latest release contains many Microsoft apps. I have not downloaded CM12.1 or anything like this to confirm it, but it seems like an inevitability. The announcement from Cyanogen (about the Microsoft deal) was made some weeks ago, so we think some of the details are still not entirely clear (they remain to be seen in practice), but basically, CyanogenMod would push Microsoft software (spyware, or ‘cloud’) into phones. We wrote additional articles about it and will continue to write as new details emerge. More Microsoft spyware and surveillance are being spotted by the media even this month, so whatever Microsoft puts on Cyanogen is likely to be as privacy-infringing as is legally allowed (if not well beyond it).

Stallman has been eager to understand what is happening here. We explained that Microsoft ‘embraces’ Cyanogen to make CyanogenMod a distro through which Cyanogen partners will spread Microsoft spyware, hoping that this adequately explains the relationship. Stallman wanted some broader context though. “It leaves the most important question unanswered,” he wrote to us. “Will the CyanogenMod distro that users install contain these Microsoft apps? Does it contain them now?”

Seeing the confusion here, we clarified a little further; CyanogenMod and Cyanogen are synonyms only in the sense that CyanogenMod (CM), previously a username of the guy who founded the company (Cyanogen), are company-product. A quick historical roundup:

  • CyanogenMod (name of person) uses AOSP (Android Open Source [sic] Project) to make his own fork/derivative of Android{tm}
  • CyanogenMod (self named, like Linus and Linux) becomes popular
  • CyanogenMod (the person) is hired by Samsung
  • CyanogenMod leaves Samsung
  • CyanogenMod establishes a company called Cyanogen
  • Microsoft sues Samsung using patents, compelling it to install Microsoft spyware (by default in Android) in order to attain settlement
  • VCs give money for Cyanogen to develop CyanogenMod
  • Microsoft ‘embraces’ Cyanogen to make CyanogenMod a distro through which Cyanogen partners will spread Microsoft spyware
  • (Coinciding with the above) After much lobbying in Europe, Microsoft paralyses Google and dubs Google apps in Android ‘anti-competitive’. This is accompanied by potential legal action.

We hope this adequately explains the relationship between CyanogenMod and Cyanogen and we hope that Microsoft’s strategy in attacking Google is better understood now. It’s an extension of the “Scroogled” PR campaign that Microsoft has sunk so much money and effort into. Microsoft, being Microsoft, is very focused on annihilating the competition rather creating its own products.

We always recommend Replicant and F-Droid, and have done so for years (even at CyanogenMod’s expense). See our articles from 2013. We sort of foresaw what is happening now, including what Microsoft does to Samsung and other Android distributors at the moment (patents as tools of extortion). According to the press in Taiwan, Microsoft now pressures companies to put Microsoft spyware in their distribution of Android or face patent lawsuits/higher patent royalties. This is extortion, blackmail, abuse of retaliatory means etc.

“I think it would help if the FSF issued some kind of statement regarding Microsoft’s behaviour,” I told Stallman, “[especially the attacks which happen] behind the scenes, countering Orwellian charm offensives that seek to paint/frame Windows as “Open Source” and insist that Microsoft “loves” [GNU/]Linux. What Microsoft has been doing recently sure increased the blood pressure levels of many Free software supporters (I wrote a lot about it this year). A high-authority, facts-based response would perhaps help counter Microsoft’s narrative.”

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 19/7/2018: Krita 4.1.1, Qt Creator 4.7.0, and Microsoft-Led Lobby Against Android in EU

    Links for the day



  2. IAM is Pushing SEPs/FRAND Agenda for Patent Trolls and Monopolists That Fund IAM

    The front group of patent trolls, IAM, sets up an echo chamber-type event, preceded by all the usual pro-FRAND propaganda



  3. “Trade Secrets” Litigation Rising in the Wake of TC Heartland, Alice, Oil States and Other Patent-Minimising Decisions

    Litigation strategies are evolving in the wake of top-level decisions that rule out software patents, restrict venue shifting, and facilitate invalidation of patents even outside the courtroom



  4. The EPO -- Like the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent System -- is an Untenable Mess

    The António Campinos-led EPO, nearly three weeks under his leadership, still fails to commit to justice (court rulings not obeyed), undo union-busting efforts and assure independence of judges; this, among other factors, is why the Office/Organisation and the UPC it wants to manage appear more or less doomed



  5. Links 18/7/2018: System76's Manufacturing Facility, Microsoft-Led Lobby for Antitrust Against Android

    Links for the day



  6. What Patent Lawyers Aren't Saying: Most Patent Litigation Has Become Too Risky to be Worth It

    The lawyers' key to the castle is lost or misplaced; they can't quite find/obtain leverage in courts, but they don't want their clients to know that



  7. Software Patents Royalty (Tax) Campaign by IBM, a Serial Patent Bully, and the EPO's Participation in All This

    The agenda of US-based patent maximalists, including patent trolls and notorious bullies from the United States, is still being served by the 'European' Patent Office, which has already outsourced some of its work (e.g. translations, PR, surveillance) to the US



  8. The European Council Needs to Check Battistelli's Back Room Deals/Back Door/Backchannel With Respect to Christian Archambeau

    Worries persist that Archambeau is about to become an unworthy beneficiary (nepotism) after a Battistelli setup that put Campinos in power, supported by the Belgian delegation which is connected to Archambeau, a national/citizen of Belgium



  9. PTAB and § 101 (Section 101) Have Locked the Patent Parasites Out of the Patent System

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) have contributed a great deal to patent quality and have reduced the number of frivolous patent lawsuits; this means that firms which profit from patent applications and litigation hate it with a passion and still lobby to weaken if not scuttle PTAB



  10. Patents on Computer Software and Plants in the United States Indicative of Systemic Error

    The never-ending expansion of patent scope has meant that patent law firms generally got their way at the patent office; can the courts react fast enough (before confidence in patents and/or public support for patents is altogether shattered)?



  11. Yesterday's Misleading News From Team UPC and Its Aspiring Management of the Unified Patent Court (UPC)

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) enthusiasts — i.e. those looking to financially gain from it — continue to wrestle with logic, manipulate words and misrepresent the law; yesterday we saw many law firms trying to make it sound as though the UPC is coming to the UK even though this isn’t possible and UPC as a whole is likely already dead



  12. Time for the European Commission to Investigate EPO Corruption Because It May be Partly or Indirectly Connected to EU-IPO, an EU Agency

    The passage of the top role at the EU-IPO from António Campinos to Christian Archambeau would damage confidence in the moral integrity of the European Council; back room deals are alleged to have occurred, implicating corrupt Battistelli



  13. Links 17/7/2018: Catfish 1.4.6 Released, ReactOS 0.4.9, Red Hat's GPL Compliance Group Grows

    Links for the day



  14. Links 16/7/2018: Linux 4.18 RC5, Latte Dock v0.8, Windows Back Doors Resurface

    Links for the day



  15. Alliance for US Startups and Inventors for Jobs (USIJ) Misleads the US Government, Pretending to Speak for Startups While Spreading Lies for the Patent Microcosm

    In the United States, which nowadays strives to raise the patent bar, the House Small Business Committee heard from technology firms but it also heard from some questionable front groups which claim to support "startups" and "jobs" (but in reality support just patents on the face of it)



  16. 'Blockchain', 'Cloud' and Whatever Else Gets Exploited to Work Around 35 U.S.C. § 101 (or the EPC) and Patent Algorithms/Software

    Looking for a quick buck or some low-quality patents (which courts would almost certainly reject), opportunists carry on with their gold rush, aided by buzzwords and hype over pretty meaningless things



  17. PTAB Defended by the EFF, the R Street Institute and CCIA as the Number of Petitions (IPRs) Continues to Grow

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) come to the rescue when patently-bogus patents are used, covering totally abstract concepts (like software patents do); IPRs continue to increase in number and opponents of PTAB, who conveniently cherry-pick Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions, can't quite stop that



  18. IAM/Joff Wild May Have Become a de Facto Media Partner of the Patent Troll iPEL

    Invitation to trolls in China, courtesy of the patent trolls' lobby called "IAM"; this shows no signs of stopping and has become rather blatant



  19. Cautionary Tale: ILO Administrative Tribunal Cases (Appeals) 'Intercepted' Under António Campinos

    The ILO Administrative Tribunal (ILO-AT) is advertised by the EPO's management as access to justice, but it's still being undermined quite severely to the detriment of aggrieved staff



  20. Asking the USPTO to Comply With 35 U.S.C. § 101 is Like Asking Pentagon Officials to Pursue Real, Persistent Peace

    Some profit from selling weapons, whereas others profit from patent grants and litigation; what's really needed right now is patent sanity and adherence to the public interest as well as the law itself, e.g. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decisions



  21. BT and Sonos Are Still Patent Bullies, Seeing Patents as a Backup Plan

    The companies seeking to complement their business (or make up for their demise) using patents are still suing rivals while calling that litigation "research and development" (the same old euphemism)



  22. Jim Skippen, a Longtime Patent Troll, Admits That the Trolling Sector is Collapsing

    Canada's biggest patent troll (WiLAN) bar BlackBerry doesn't seem to be doing too well as its CEO leaves the domain altogether



  23. From East Asia to the Eastern District of Texas: XYZ Printing, Maxell, and X2Y Attenuators

    The patent aggression, which relies on improper litigation venues, harms innocent parties a great deal; only their lawyers benefit from all this mess



  24. Links 14/7/2018: Mesa 18.1.4, Elisa 0.2.1, More on Python's Guido van Rossum

    Links for the day



  25. Number of Oppositions to Grants/Awards of European Patents at the EPO Has Skyrocketed, Based on Internal Data

    The number of challenged patents continues to soar and staff of the EPO (examiners already over-encumbered by far too much work, due to unrealistic targets) would struggle to cope or simply be compelled to not properly deal with oppositions



  26. 'Transaction' Complete: Former EPO Executive From Belgium Takes the Seat of António Campinos at EU-IPO

    Rumours that Belgium made a back room deal with Battistelli may be further substantiated with the just-confirmed appointment of Archambeau



  27. EPO Abuses Against People With Disabilities Followed by Legal Bullying?

    The new President of the EPO is not (at least not yet) obeying court rulings from ILO; The above move seems like an attempt to derail ongoing cases at the ILO’s Administrative Tribunal (ILO-AT), i.e. yet more strong-arming



  28. Weeks Later António Campinos Still in Noncompliance With the Courts (ILO's Tribunal)

    'report card' for the ever-so-intransparent (or nontransparent) new President of the EPO, who does not even bother obeying court rulings



  29. Links 13/7/2018: Kube 0.7.0, Trisquel 8.0 LTS Reviewed

    Links for the day



  30. Constitutionality and CJEU as Barriers, the UPC Agreement (UPCA) is Already Moot in the United Kingdom

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) isn't going anywhere and the UK merely "explores" what to do about it; for Team UPC, however, this means that the UK "confirms intention to remain in Unitary Patent system after Brexit" (clearly a case of deliberate misinformation)


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts