“MSFT deploys tech to help govs spy” –Christopher Soghoian, Principal Technologist at ACLU, February 26th, 2016
Summary: The misguided and direction-less company from Redmond is hoping that enough people out there are foolish enough to believe that Microsoft “loves Linux” and will therefore help Microsoft abduct GNU/Linux by putting insecure proprietary software in it
Based on this report, having already shut down some of its gaming studios (firing all the staff) and now that it’s alienating outside studios [1-4], the company is preparing to toss Lionhead Studios in the trash. One of its developers, who had worked there even before the Microsoft takeover, used to be a regular in our IRC channels. To quote one of the reports about it: “The game publisher and hardware maker announced today that it is canceling Fable Legends, the next installment in the fantasy series that has been an Xbox staple since its debut in 2004. Microsoft also said that it has proposed completely closing Fable developer Lionhead Studios. This could mark the end of one of the most iconic developers in the $99.3 billion global game industry (based on market researcher Newzoo’s estimates).”
“Microsoft is basically a dying company.”Suffice to say, Microsoft is not doing well. Vista 10 has been such a disaster that the company now forces people to install it and turns the screensaver/lockscreen into ad space (we didn’t find time to cover this because of the EPO emergency). Moreover, as last night’s news serves to show, Microsoft is trying to stay relevant by putting its tentacles on GNU/Linux. We already put two dozen SQL Server links in our last night’s daily links (and in Tux Machines under the title “Microsoft Proprietary Software Spreads”). This has been covered by GNU/Linux proponents [1, 2, 3, 4], Microsoft boosters, and of course some news sites that carry water for Microsoft, promotional banners with the heart symbol included [1, 2]. They don’t try to understand for themselves what’s going on here and instead do an ‘easy’ job by just parroting Microsoft.
Microsoft is basically a dying company. Buying back one’s shares only gives the illusion that it’s business as usual. Windows as a franchise is dying. Don’t let it turn GNU/Linux into a proprietary software platform with NSA back doors (remember it was Microsoft that kick-started PRISM with the NSA). █
Related/contextual items from the news:
In my view, this is the most aggressive move Microsoft has ever made. While the company has been convicted of violating antitrust law in the past, its wrongful actions were limited to fights with specific competitors and contracts with certain PC manufacturers.
In a scathing editorial in The Guardian, Epic Games cofounder Tim Sweeney spoke out about Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform (UWP) initiative, calling it a “fiasco” and “the most aggressive move Microsoft has ever made.”
“With its new Universal Windows Platform (UWP) initiative, Microsoft has built a closed platform-within-a-platform into Windows 10, as the first apparent step towards locking down the consumer PC ecosystem,” said Sweeney. “Microsoft has launched new PC Windows features exclusively in UWP and is effectively telling developers you can use these Windows features only if you submit to the control of our locked-down UWP ecosystem.”
GAMING VETERAN Tim Sweeney, co-founder of Epic Games, which gave the world the Unreal Engine and games like Gears of War, is worried that Microsoft will ruin the games industry if the firm is allowed to continue its closed platform proposition.
Sweeney was given room to write about this in The Guardian (Tim, if you’re reading this you can come to us first next time) and made the most of the noises from Microsoft about bringing console and PC gaming closer together.
“With its new Universal Windows Platform initiative, Microsoft has built a closed platform within a platform in Windows 10 as the first apparent step towards locking down the consumer PC ecosystem and monopolising app distribution and commerce,” he wrote.