02.10.16

Microsoft Continues to Use Software Patents to Extort/Blackmail Even More Companies That Use Linux, Forcing/Coercing Them Into Preinstalling Microsoft

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 9:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The ‘new’ Microsoft is more like a new Mafia, albeit with much better marketing/veneer for secret patent deals

Patent deal spin
How Microsoft announces patent deals now (covering Android and Linux), sparingly using newspeak and euphemisms (“Agreements” actually means patent settlements)

Summary: Acer is the latest large OEM to have become a victim of Microsoft’s witch-hunt against Android/Linux preloaders, whom Microsoft is coercing into becoming Microsoft’s carriers (or face litigation over software patents, with high legal fees if not injunctions or high damages upon secret settlements)

THIS article covers a subject I have been writing about for at least a decade, often in a dedicated manner (especially when it involved Novell’s patent deal with Microsoft, which put the whole of GNU/Linux in jeopardy).

“The frequently-repeated (usually by Microsoft advocacy sites) claims that “Microsoft loves Linux” are of course baloney. Everyone who has followed the news for more than a year or two surely knows this.”This article will no doubt upset some people at Microsoft, which has already been trying to silence this site in various ways (they even contacted my employer). In this article I intend not to be alarmist but merely to explain the latest embrace, extend, extinguish (E.E.E.) strategy of Microsoft, especially against the market leader (exceeding Windows in terms of market share), Android. It’s everything to do with patents, or to be even more specific, software patents. The EPO‘s dubious practices which Microsoft caused (by pressuring officials) to become the 'norm' also relate to this, but we shall leave that angle aside for another day (we already write a lot about the EPO, not only regarding software patents in Europe).

More Microsoft patent extortion has just been revealed. Microsoft is still fighting against Linux (which nowadays is mostly embodied in relatively closed systems such as Android) using patents as a weapon by which to impose spyware on everyone. Once again, software patents or monopolies on software algorithms are being used for extraordinary leverage and Microsoft puts a misleading label on patent deals, much like corporations bribe politicians but disguise the under-the-table payments as speech engagements or campaign contributions, among other semantic loopholes. The frequently-repeated (usually by Microsoft advocacy sites) claims that “Microsoft loves Linux” are of course baloney. Everyone who has followed the news for more than a year or two surely knows this. We wrote some articles about this last year, for example:

“He is basically a successor to the likes of Joachim Kempin, who not only illegally shot animals (and got arrested for it) but also famously said “I’m thinking of hitting the OEMs harder than in the past with anti-Linux. [...] they should do a delicate dance”.”The above discuss and link to articles about 5 large companies which Microsoft extorted (even quite explicitly) using patents in very much the same way that Microsoft now does Acer, a relatively fine supporter of GNU/Linux, even on some desktops. Is Microsoft really threatening to sue? Yes, see what it did to Samsung. It reached a settlement almost exactly one year ago, whereupon Samsung agreed to become Microsoft's vassal (this was confirmed later). It’s not hard to see what’s happening here; even a Microsoft booster like Mary Jo Foley acknowledges the role of patent blackmail, using unnamed software patents which Microsoft has been using to hunt down OEMs all around the world, even where software patents are not at all valid. The Microsoft booster wrote this just a few hours ago, citing Nick Parker (Corporate Vice President, Original Equipment Manufacturer Division, Microsoft). He is basically a successor to the likes of Joachim Kempin, who not only illegally shot animals (and got arrested for it) but also famously said “I’m thinking of hitting the OEMs harder than in the past with anti-Linux. [...] they should do a delicate dance”. Based on Microsoft’s current OEM Chief, in the words of Mary Jo Foley:

As of last May, there were 31 OEMs agreeing to preload Microsoft apps and services on their Android tablets and phones. Some of the other bigger names on the list include Samsung, Dell and Pegatron. As of today, there are now 74 hardware partners in 25 countries on the list. (I’ve asked Microsoft for an updated roster of those Android device makers who are part of the group.)

Though Microsoft officials don’t explicitly say that these preinstallation deals are tied to the company’s ongoing patent campaign via which Microsoft has stepped up its collection of patent royalties from Android device makers, today’s blog post does mention that “IP alignment is an important feature” of these agreements.

Last October, Microsoft’s deal with ASUS combined Office app licensing with an Android patent deal.

This isn’t even Microsoft software being put on these devices. Microsoft does not really make software anymore, it just makes malware/spyware like Vista 10 (the NSA’s dream come true, an always-on keylogger) or Skype (always-on wiretapping), with inability to opt of secret ‘updates’ [1] or even disable the mass surveillance on the desktop [2], based on new articles (see below).

“Microsoft’s latest strategy against Linux — as I foresaw it way back in the Novell days — is “do as we tell you or we shall sue you with patents.””Remember that Android distributors don’t include Microsoft malware by default/out of the box because they want to. Microsoft threatens to sue. Microsoft’s latest strategy against Linux — as I foresaw it way back in the Novell days — is “do as we tell you or we shall sue you with patents.”

Where’s the RICO Act when it needs to actually be enforced?

Microsoft’s love of Linux is the love of a python for a sheep. It just loves sheep. It’s delicious. It’s about devouring. When I said this in Twitter one person responded by saying “this industry has short memories; we’re at the “embrace” stage of embrace, extend, extinguish” (E.E.E.).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Microsoft quits giving us the silent treatment on Windows 10 updates

    After effectively giving everyone the silent treatment on changes to its operating system, Microsoft has created a webpage that briefly lists stuff inside the software updates as they are released. It’s not so much bowing to pressure from users as tossing a ball over a pier and hoping you’ll all chase after it and then the whole fuss will just go away.

    “After listening to feedback regarding the level of disclosure for Windows 10 updates, we decided to implement a new system for communicating updates to the operating system,” a spokeswoman for Redmond told us earlier.

  2. Windows 10 spies on you despite disabling tracking options or installing anti-spying app

    Analyst reveals that Windows 10 is amassing huge amount user data despite of user disabling the three tracking options

    We all know that Windows 10 spies on users. We had reported spying issues associated with Windows 10 even as Microsoft had released the Windows 10 Technical Preview Version in August, 2014. After almost a year after when Windows 10 Final Build was released, Microsoft confirmed that Windows 10 spied on users in November 2015. It had added at that time that even it cant stop Windows 10’s telemetry program used for spying on users.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2016/02/10/extorting-acer-with-patents/

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 26/2/2021: Wine 6.3, Genode OS Framework 21.02

    Links for the day



  2. Links 26/2/2021: GNU Poke 1.0 is Out and Rocky Linux Leaves Microsoft GitHub

    Links for the day



  3. Microsoft's Status in Web Servers is So Bad That It Has Fallen Off Charts, is Now Partly Delisted

    In several categories or criteria Microsoft is no longer even listed by Netcraft; the share has become rather minuscule during the pandemic, which convinced more companies to explore expense-cutting moves



  4. We Take Away Your Freedom for Your Own Safety...

    People are herded like cattle and protest/dissent will be demonised as part of the new norm; what will be the cost of the pandemic and will resistance to the status quo ever be permitted to resume?



  5. EPO President Pushes Illegal Software Patents in South America (Over the Telephone With a Misleading New Puff Piece)

    The EPO's "news" section has become worse than a form of distraction (from the EPO's internal rot); it celebrates illegal and unlawful practices, spreading them to other continents



  6. The Free Software Foundation Warns Against Using Twitter

    Richard Stallman said Twitter was OK because it was possible to use it without proprietary software; that's no longer the case, so the Free Software Foundation (FSF) speaks out against it. It speaks about it more than 3 months after the problem became a known one and also an irreversible one (maybe Twitter would have reversed the decision if the media or the FSF actually spoke about it early enough).



  7. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 25, 2021



  8. Stéphane Bortzmeyer Explains Gemini Protocol (February 2021)

    A recent talk from Stéphane Bortzmeyer about Gemini and what it is for (or why)



  9. Links 26/2/2021: Istio 1.7.8 Announced, Blender 2.92, Firebird 3.0 Language Reference, FSF Against Twitter

    Links for the day



  10. Special Thanks to Mogz

    Credit where it's due to Mogz



  11. Modifying WordPress to Include Gemini Links in All Articles (Assuming a Canonical URL Form)

    In order to promote the departure from the World Wide Web (where possible and suitable; sites with text don't typically need Web-like features) one can promote the analogous pages in one's Gemini capsule; we suggest a way of doing so in WordPress (the most widely used CMS)



  12. Links 25/2/2021: RHEL for Open-Source Infrastructure, GNOME 40 Beta, LXPanel 0.10.1

    Links for the day



  13. IBM and Qt Don't Understand Free Software and They Now Impose Terms and Conditions on Who Qualifies for Use of Free Software Free of Charge

    IBM and Qt Don't Understand Free Software and They Now Impose Terms and Conditions on Who Qualifies for Use of Free Software Free of Charge



  14. Techrights Gemini Capsule, Now With Over 35,000 Pages and Files

    Blog posts combined with static (plain text) files are now 36,000+ in number, just for Gemini protocol alone; that number keeps growing as our conversion proceeds and evolves (our software will be released under terms of the AGPLv3)



  15. Eventually, or Hopefully, Many People Will Come Back to What the Web Used to Be (Or Web Alternatives More Like the 'Old' Web)

    With RSS feeds making a comeback and a resurgence of personal blogs we can take back the Web from a cabal of tech/Internet giants and social control media, censored, curated and spied on by oligarchy



  16. If Wikipedia is Controlled by Corporations and Mobs, It Needs to Be 'Cancelled'

    Facts have never truly mattered in social control media sites; it certainly seems as though Wikipedia now suffers the very same issue/deficit, allowing oligarchs and their companies to define what goes on in the world and which people Wikipedia should regard as persona non grata



  17. GNU/Linux Reaffirms Its Status as the Universal and Inter-planetary Operating System

    The operating system made for and by scientists (not business sharks and marketing cults) is winning the battle, and not only in this planet



  18. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 24, 2021



  19. Links 25/2/2021: Kali Linux 2021.1, Wine Launcher 1.4.46, and Google's Security Posing

    Links for the day



  20. Links 24/2/2021: MariaDB 10.5.9, Krita 4.4.3 Beta, and Debuginfod Server for Debian

    Links for the day



  21. Self-Host Your Videos, Take Full Advantage of HTML5 and Video Attributes

    For self-hosting of videos over the World Wide Web (Gemini too can handle videos; its clients/browsers can, for example, link video files/URLs to external media players) it's worth reviewing the full set of features made available by the standards because a lot can be accomplished without JavaScript and without unnecessary bloat/complexity



  22. Trying Out NoiseTorch to Reduce Background Sound/Noise in GNU/Linux

    An introduction to noisetorch (or NoiseTorch), an application that helps create virtual microphones/devices with reduced background noise



  23. How the Big Banks and OIN Can Whitewash Software Patents and Do Nothing Concrete About Patent Trolls

    Response to the puff piece entitled "How the Big Banks and OIN Can Lock Out Patent Trolls with Enabled Publications"



  24. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 23, 2021



  25. How to Set Up a Gemini Server of Your Own, Even on a Simple Single-Board Computer

    Using Agate to start one's own Gemini capsule (self-hosted) is a lot simpler than one might be inclined to believe; this is a detailed HOWTO, hoping to encourage more people to join Gemini space, which is fast-growing and free of garbage



  26. Links 23/2/2021: Tails 4.16, Libinput 1.17, Fwupd 1.5.7, Firefox 86, NeoChat 1.1

    Links for the day



  27. The Word Master is Not Problematic in Most Contexts and Its Origin Hasn't a Connection to Slavery

    Slavery is to the word "master" mostly disconnected; it might, however, be closely connected in the minds of racists or the agenda of highly racist corporations (profiting from racism) that look for ways to distract from their racism



  28. On Misapplication, Misuse, Overuse and Abuse of Words (to Suit False Narratives)

    It is looking like the word "abuse" has been extended to basically mean all sorts of things including the act of actually exposing real abuse



  29. The Administrative Council Needs to Fix the EPO While It's Still Possible

    EPO staff and former staff (pensioners) aren't happy and the it's the responsibility of the Administrative Council to do something before it's too late (the reputation of the Office is already severely harmed and it's unable/unwilling to recruit suitable and qualified people, both as examiners and managers, respectively)



  30. 'These Questions Remain Unanswered': Campinos Became Battistelli Just Halfway Through His Term

    The Central Staff Committee of the EPO highlights the grim situation or the deadlock reached after totally dysfunctional Office management somehow managed to kill off channels of communication, in effect going back to where things were back in 2018 under Battistelli


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

Recent Posts