Summary: An excellent new audiocast covers lesser known facts about Novell’s deal with Microsoft
JEREMY Allison, whom we interviewed shortly after he had left Novell in protest, has just done a session with the SFLC where he talks about events predating the Microsoft deal. According to the audio (playable below), Allison was sent an early copy of Novell’s deal with Microsoft, which he said was like passing a crayon over section 7 of the GPL (v2). Allison resisted it, but the lawyers ignored his feedback anyway and requested deletion of the trail.
* Jeremy discussed that he resigned from Novell in protest over the Microsoft/Novell deal. (19:33)
The main new item there is Novell’s treatment of antagonism. The legal team patronised an expert advice, so what was it sharing a draft for? A pursuit for endorsement and “yes men”? Based on the bogus survey, that is a possibility. █
Microsoft, Taiwan Sign MOU On Cloud Computing Research Hub
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and the Taiwan government signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday to jointly set up a research center for cloud computing in Taiwan, the U.S.-based software giant said in a statement.
As for its partnership with Taiwan’s government, Microsoft and Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs will jointly invest to establish a Software and Service Excellence Center in Taipei, with focus on R&D of applications of cloud computing technologies. This reveals Microsoft’s intention of establishing a hardware supporting system to realize cloud computing applications.
What makes no sense here is that they are using taxpayers’ money for this. Another fine example of “constructive capitalism” printing cash for Microsoft at the expense of those who will later pay some more, to the very same company whose operations and establishment they fund too?
What Microsoft is doing with Chinese banks at the moment is also worth paying attention to. Steve Ballmer has just signed a deal in Beijing. We wrote quite a lot about Microsoft in banking recently, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. █
“It’s easier for our software to compete with Linux when there’s piracy than when there’s not.”
Summary: Microsoft spreads lies about the role of counterfeiting and thereby attempts to capture Nigerian ICT; A new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Abu Dhabi blocks Microsoft competitors from ICT
Microsoft has taken its crocodile tears campaign up another notch. It’s all about lies and spin. At the beginning of this month we wrote about what Microsoft was doing Nigeria and now we find the “rich uncles from Redmond” summoning the ‘piracy’ propaganda yet again. It’s all about ICT, which Microsoft wants to absolutely dominate in Nigeria under the guise of “defense” (from so-called ‘pirates’, a phantom enemy).
Microsoft, one of the world’s largest software providers has launched a new operating system (Windows 7), saying Nigeria is one of the major countries of the world where the level of piracy is a threat to the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector.
Meanwhile we learn that Microsoft has just captured ICT in the United Arab Emirates. Further east in Abu Dhabi we find the following new reports:
The Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre, the ICT arm of the Abu Dhabi government, has signed a master business and services agreement agreement with Microsoft Gulf to enable the emirate’s local government affiliates to purchase Microsoft licenses and engage Microsoft Consultancy Services.
The MBSA agreement together with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Microsoft Gulf were signed by H.E. Rashed Lahej Al Mansoori, Director General, ADSIC and Charbel Fakhoury, Regional General Manager, Microsoft Gulf and witnessed by Linda Zecher, Global Vice President, for Microsoft’s Public Sector business.
The deal comes just five months after ACS and Novell Inc.’s Provo office formed a strategic alliance in which ACS took over computer operations. Nearly 100 Novell employees went to work for ACS.
The following article provides some more background information about Novell and ACS.
Office equipment supplier Xerox Corporation is to buy Dallas based data center management and business process outsourcing firm Affiliated Computer Services in a cash and stock transaction valued at $6.4 billion.
In June this year Affiliated Computer Services said it would take over the running of Novell’s data center operations in Provo, Utah as part of a global services deal which will see the outsourcer take Novell’s data center products to market. Under the IT outsourcing arrangement, around 150 Novell data center staff will move to ACS, including the infrastructure and application development and maintenance services operations. ACS will also take over Novell’s global SAP roll out by providing consulting and applications development and system integration services in a $135 million, five-year contract.
As we repeatedly showed, Dell had mysteriously joined the Microsoft/Novell deal very shortly before Microsoft’s patent attack began [1, 2]. Now we find this in The Inquirer:
Dell and Microsoft back Moblin
During her keynote at the show, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of Software and Services Group Renee James was joined by Ian Ellison-Taylor, Microsoft’s general manager for Client Platforms and Tools to announce the collaboration.
This partnership is expected to help developers write applications once and have them run across Windows and Moblin devices, expanding the reach of Silverlight from the desktop and into mobile consumer electronic devices.
“We see this as a clear extension of our current efforts with Novell where we are building an open source implementation of Silverlight called Moonlight that is targeted at the broad range of Linux–based PCs,” said Ellison-Taylor.
Heise has some more details and Turbolinux, which also joined Microsoft’s Linux racket, is mentioned in variousplaces. This does not necessarily suggest that there is consistency here when it comes to “Linux tax” in Moblin.
Throughout its lifetime, Moblin swapped desktop environments and distributions several times. After the Ubuntu shuffle came OpenSUSE, but also Fedora was put at the centre about a year ago, before Moblin was passed over to the Linux Foundation. According to this, Fedora is still at the centre, which is somewhat baffling and the information may be out of date.
Atom-based devices can run Windows but also Moblin, an open source custom Fedora-based Linux operating system targeted at netbooks, handhelds, smart phones and car computers. Intel started the Moblin project in 2007 then passed it over to the Linux Foundation.
If Moblin becomes a serious player in open source mobile operating systems, it will contribute to a great deal of fragmentation. Android is just gaining its stride, and heading beyond just smartphones, while Google is likely to put big marketing dollars behind Chrome OS. It’s already announced that it is talking to hardware partners.
At IDF today, the first edition of Moblin Linux for smartphones were demonstrated. They could lead to Intel chip-based smartphones.
Intel has expanded the scope of Linux-based Moblin by porting the OS from netbooks to mobile devices and desktops, where it could compete with Microsoft’s Windows OS.
In its latest filing, Microsoft told its investors that it worried about Hewlett-Packard and Intel turning to Windows alternatives, namely GNU/Linux in this case. It sure looks like it is happening. So to characterise Intel’s work on Moblin as beneficial to Microsoft would be absurd. But that’s not the point; the question is, will Intel bend GNU/Linux in the direction of becoming Microsoft-taxed, just like SUSE? This is hopefully preventable as that would spell a defeat to the freedom of Free software in the mass market. █
The significant news comes through this press release from Tuxera. For those who do not know, “Tuxera was the first to implement reliable NTFS read/write support on Linux, Mac OS X, and other systems.”
On August 26, Tuxera Ltd anounced it has signed an intellectual-property (IP) licensing agreement with Microsoft; joined Microsoft’s exFAT driver-licensing program; and joined the Microsoft Interop Vendor Alliance. Tuxera, based in Helsinki, Finland, was founded by the NTFS-3G open-source project.
Tuxera has announced an “extensive co-operation” with Microsoft. Tuxera, the company formed by the NTFS-3G developers, has signed an Intellectual Property Agreement with Microsoft and joined its exFAT Programme.
Tuxera’s CTO, Szabolcs Szakacsits said he looked forward to working with OEM customers saying “Adding exFAT into our existing NTFS product portfolio is the logical next step”. The exFAT driver is aimed at OEM manufacturers and will be available for Linux first, but no details of any open source plans for exFAT were disclosed.
Tuxera seems to be a very small proprietary software company, based on its Web site. NTFS-3G was considered open source however and the agreement around it is secret.
Tuxera, the Finnish company behind open-source file system NTFS-3G, has announced a confidential intellectual-property deal with Microsoft, under which it will be permitted to carry on distributing its open-source NTFS product and to offer new exFAT drivers.
Tuxera is based in Finland, where software patents are invalid. What were they thinking?
Could Microsoft have rewarded Tuxera in some way in order to rattle the NTFS case? We shall soon find out, hopefully. The secrecy around this deal may be part of the FUD factor that’s desirable to Microsoft. █
VMware drags its feet on Linux-based vCenter appliance, annoys Linux users
The vCenter virtual appliance server 2.5 has been available as a free technology preview since late February. The cross-platform client interface is still in development but some components have been available in technology preview since May, with no word on how long users will have to wait for a full production release of either product. All of that doesn’t sit well with some people.
Eric Siebert, a TechTarget blogger and IT veteran, said he thinks VMware may have been dragging its feet a bit on this project because its customer base is predominately Windows. But VMware needs to step up its Linux efforts if it wants to compete with Xen and Hyper-V for Linux users, he said.
Why is this happening? Is Microsoft using Maritz and his other Microsoft colleagues as what it calls “insider friend, ‘the Fox’” or is this neglect simply part of the company’s overall weakness?
Yahoo Acquires Arab Portal, Bing Gets Backdoor Into Deal
This morning Yahoo announced that it was acquiring Maktoob.com, “the leading online community in the Arab world.” According to Yahoo the site has an audience of 16.5 million people. The purchase price has been estimated at between $75 and $100 million and was apparently in the works before the search deal with Microsoft was announced last month. Yahoo said the acquisition is part of a larger strategy to grow its audience in emerging markets and become the “destination of choice” in those locations.
It is reasonable to treat Yahoo! almost like a subsidiary of Microsoft in particular areas. As we have seen before, Microsoft may also use its partners to acquire other companies for competitive reasons. This is sad. █
Summary: Scrutiny and challenges ahead of “Microsoft 2.0″; Wolfram|Alpha and Advance Internet deals spotted
Regardless of the outcome of the Microsoft/Yahoo! deal, Yahoo! is now behaving like a drone of Microsoft [1, 2]. As Hadoop escapees show us, this also has negative effects on Free software inside Yahoo! [1, 2]. Based on this report, other Yahoo! ‘refugees’ are starting to form a business elsewhere.
A team of Yahoo veterans who built its behavioral targeting advertising technology are publicly launching a hybrid ad network today called Rocket Fuel, which they’ve tested over the past year with major brands including Nike, Dell, Microsoft, and American Express. Despite keeping quiet, Rocket Fuel’s ad network reaches 40 million people and shows them about 100 million ads per month.
Great damage (e.g. to consumer choice) has already been done by the signing of the Microsoft/Yahoo! deal, which is revocable nonetheless. Antitrust regulators may still break it apart.
Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. hope that by joining forces, they can tilt the balance of power in Internet search away from Google Inc. First, however, Yahoo and Microsoft have to convince regulators that their plan won’t hurt online advertisers and consumers.
As the U.S. Justice Department reviews the proposed partnership, approval figures to hinge on this question: Will the online ad market be healthier if Google’s dominance is challenged by a single, more muscular rival instead of two scrawnier foes?
Microsoft too admits that this is not final. From Reuters:
Microsoft legal chief sees risk in Yahoo deal
The deal, struck in late July after months of talks, faces a tough regulatory review, and the possibility that it won’t be enough to effectively challenge Google Inc (GOOG.O).
According to Komli Media’s analytics platform Vizisense, the combined share of search traffic from India for Yahoo and Microsoft in July is only 8.49%, compared with Google’s 91.19%. However, the combined reach of search users is higher, at 37.90%, compared with Google’s 93.17%.
In China, which is the largest Internet population, it’s all about Baidu and Google. We wrote about this some weeks ago and also cited supportive numbers. Speaking of such numbers, the above shows sheer dominance by Google outside the United States (US) and not too surprisingly, the Microsoft-friendly meters that Microsoft loves to reference and pay [1, 2, 3] are not measuring things globally. Classic hype and deception for Bing. Among GNU/Linux users (many of whom are outside the US), it’s mostly the same story:
It’s therefore somewhat telling that Linux users overwhelmingly choose Google as their preferred search engine, according to data released today by Chitika, an online advertising network. Chitika analyzed data from 163 million searches across its advertising network between July 30 and August 16, and came up with the following…
According to this, almost 95% of GNU/Linux users are also using Google (neither Yahoo! nor Microsoft’s search engine identity du jour).
Wolfram Alpha and Bing have reached a licensing deal that allows Bing to present some of the specialized scientific and computational content that Wolfram Alpha generates, according to a source familiar with the deal. The deal was reported earlier by TechCrunch.