Credit: unknown (Twitter)
Summary: A roundup of news illustrating that Microsoft is still very much in a total war against Android, (mis)using federal regulators and even software patents to get its way
MICROSOFT’S attacks on Linux never stopped. Anyone thinking otherwise must not have paid attention. To make matters worse, Microsoft is manipulating the media into pretending that “Microsoft loves Linux” and that there is “peace”. In this post we are going to share some stories of interest to assure readers that nothing has changed except Microsoft’s rhetoric and some of the attacks have become more discreet.
“The FTC is wrong about antitrust fears over Android,” writes Microsoft's booster Bill Snyder in IDG, summarising it as follows: “Microsoft can’t develop a successful mobile operating system, so it’s making a crybaby case against Google”
If Android (Free software) is an antitrust violation, what does that make proprietary software? Microsoft and its proxies, as we have shown over the years, were behind these complaints. Remember that back in the SCO days, i.e. around 2003-2005, the Microsoft minions (and few others) tried to frame the GPL itself as anti-competitive. They failed, but it took time and cost money. One of the first questions that the FTC must tackle here is, who is behind the complaints? They may find that it’s little more than a Turf War. (Mis)Using Feds as pawns in the battle (a Turf War), as in using the government to derail one’s competition (even Free software), should be a crime. It is a waste of resources. When the media claims that Microsoft and Google now have “peace” (on patents) be sure to reminder the reporters of what Microsoft has done to cause Google (and Android) antitrust trouble. It is very well documented and we wrote over a dozen articles touching on this subject alone.
“Tell Mary Jo Foley that this is not a “deal” but an extortion.”As we noted the other day (and many people read this article, some news sites even linked to our analysis), Microsoft under Nadella is no different from Microsoft under Ballmer, at least when it comes to patents. The monopolist, under Nadella specifically, has already attacked Samsung, Kyocera, and Dell (over Linux/Android). Where is the love? Does Microsoft have patent peace with Android now? No, of course not. There is no peace even with Google, there is just a settlement in the Motorola case. Microsoft is leaving Motorola aside and is just attacking the OEMs instead, continuing with this latest assault on ASUS. Microsoft is still blackmailing companies, using patents, into bundling Microsoft spyware with non-standards (lock-in). This is extortion. Tell Mary Jo Foley that this is not a “deal” but an extortion. Tell this to others who believed that we have a ‘peace’ for our time after Google and Microsoft reached one settlement (regarding Motorola).
Android is being infiltrated by Microsoft now. It wouldn’t have worked without patent extortion. As Microsoft’s Mouth (Mary Jo Foley) put it: “As nearly two-dozen Android, Chrome OS and Linux vendors are doing, ASUS seemingly is licensing Microsoft’s patents to cover anything that is in those operating systems which potentially infringes on Microsoft’s intellectual property.
“But ASUS also is agreeing, as part of the deal announced today, to pre-install unspecified Microsoft “productivity services” on Android smartphones and tablets. When I asked, a Microsoft spokesperson said the services included the Microsoft Office suite.”
“Patents are being used for leverage.”So Microsoft is embracing and taking over Android inside ASUS. Remember the ASUS EEE? It used to run GNU/Linux before Microsoft intervened. Microsoft calls it EEE, which also stands for “embrace, extend, extinguish” — Microsoft's currently principal strategy against Android. Mark Hachman chose the headline “Microsoft strikes a deal with Asus: We won’t sue if you put Office on your Android devices” (we fought for years against it, starting with the Microsoft/Novell deal). Untimately what we are seeing it is a strategy that first became publicly known after Microsoft had done this to Samsung (earlier this year). Threatening to sue companies if they don’t serve Microsoft’s agenda is not a new strategy even when it comes to GNU/Linux as a whole, Android set aside. See the Microsoft/Novell deal (2006). Patents are being used for leverage.
The media has hardly covered this scandal. Reuters is busy writing about the Microsoft/Google settlement and Microsoft propagandists are everywhere to be seen. Why does ECT, for example, keep quoting its occasional writer Rob Enderle as an ‘expert’ regarding Microsoft, which paid him for Linux FUD? It’s gross. ETC talks about “Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.” It’s a one-man group and he gets paid by ECT and Microsoft. Why is he approached for his views on Android and Google? Do they think the readers are this dumb? Here is some promotional Microsoft messaging found therein: “There’s strong, scientifically verifiable evidence indicating Microsoft’s move to join the rest of the tech world in open source and collaboration was propelled by a compelling force: the Nadella effect. While tech analysts and reporters had fun with CEO Satya Nadella’s odd “cloud first, mobile first” mantra last summer, his much less concise — yet more encouraging — message has been one of collaboration, and meeting consumers on their terms. For example, Microsoft pushed Office 365 to all major platforms.”
ECT quoted Enderle not just once but at least twice last week, in both cases regarding Linux matters, e.g. in this article titled “Microsoft Pushes Deeper Into Linux, Containers, IoT”. In it, ECT asks Hilwa, who used to work for Microsoft, about Microsoft and Linux (no disclosure in the article about his Microsoft background). Rob Enderle, who also worked for ECT and is notoriously close to Microsoft, is simply described by ECT as “Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.”
“Rob Enderle, who also worked for ECT and is notoriously close to Microsoft, is simply described by ECT as “Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.””What a sham. Richard Adhikari basically interviews Microsoft moles regarding Linux when he’s not busy writing his lots of anti-Android articles (usually regarding security). Al Hilwa and Rob Enderle being his “sources” tells us a lot more about him, perhaps his agenda too. Well, to be fair and to give him the benefit of the doubt here, quite often when it comes to so-called ‘analysts’, everywhere you look it’s proprietary software (e.g. Microsoft) and its minions. Even Dana Blankenhorn, who used to cover Open Source for ZDNet (sometimes being an apologist for Microsoft), has just said in the financial press that “Microsoft has stopped fighting with open source” .
Well, that is complete and utter nonsense. It didn’t stop, Microsoft still does all sorts of things to both Linux and Android. Other financial press says that Microsoft “has finally succumbed to the free OS Linux” because Microsoft copies Linux code, raising all sorts of GPL-related questions and potential issues [1, 2].
the bottom line is, don’t believe for even a second that Microsoft is some gentle aging giant. It’s a vicious abusive monopolist, as its actions against Android (in particular Android because of the platform’s market share) continue to demonstrate. █
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What’s closed is “open”, but only if you’re a good liar
Summary: Response to the disturbing rise in openwashing of Internet Explorer/’Edge’, with many headlines that combine the term Open Source with these malicious proprietary programs that also spy on the users and manipulate these users
EARLIER this week we bemoaned the continued openwashing of 'Edge', which is little more than a Vista 10 publicity stunt and an excuse for shutting out rival Web browsers. Despite all the openwashing, ‘Edge’ is proprietary and standards-hostile. It is “cancer on the Web,” to use a popular characterisation of Internet Explorer, whose extremely bad reputation ‘Edge’ is merely trying to erase/dodge.
Calling ‘Edge’ or Internet Explorer “open” is extremely dishonest. At Techrights we have repeatedly tackled this kind of spin, specifically showing how the browser was being openwashed earlier this year [1, 2, 3]. We covered prior attempts to distort facts and frame ‘Edge’ as “open”, putting any sense of reality or facts down the wastebasket. It is usually Microsoft that starts this PR; others merely follow this lead with misleading articles. Above all, they spread misleading headlines (many people only read headlines). Even SJVN has just helped Microsoft openwashing of Edge (despite it being proprietary and standards-hostile) with his title — or perhaps the ZDNet editor’s title (it’s widely known that it’s usually editors who write all the headlines) — “Microsoft supports VP9 in Edge as it continues its open-source move”. Here is another new example of this gross spin, where Microsoft piggybacks other projects from other companies in an effort to portray ‘Edge’ as “open”. Unlike most Web browsers, Microsoft’s browser remains proprietary, DRM-leaning, anti-competitive, and Microsoft lock-in-pushing. Watch how Microsoft broke the media with this spin [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11], not just in Microsoft propaganda sites. The only somewhat meaningful headlines that we could find was “Microsoft: Thanks, Google, we’ll have your media codec for Edge”.
Yes, and since Google’s codec is genuinely Open Source, Microsoft is hoping to covertly/cleverly paint ‘Edge’ as “open”, despite it being purely proprietary. This is quite a wonderful example of how Microsoft spin typically works.
Speaking of spin, watch how Microsoft's openwashing spinner (Metz) writes “Nokia, a Finnish company famous for recent failure.” (also “Nokia’s [sic] failure” despite it being due to Microsoft entryism).
A reader of ours pointed out this spin to us. “Squeezing in some revisionism there” is what he called it.
There are actually some people out there (including SJVN, based on a chat which I had with him yesterday) who believe that Microsoft is becoming “open”. It’s not, it has just become ever more manipulative in the media and it perpetually distorts what “open” actually means. █
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Microsoft is herding the masses back to Microsoft
Summary: Microsoft is trying to gain an ‘Edge’ in the game by preventing people from getting the Web browsers which they actually want to use — all this while publicly pretending to have ended its anti-competitive abuses
AT THE beginning of this week we saw openwashing of “Edge” (the “Blue E” by another name) in Microsoft propaganda sites (1105 Media) and among Microsoft boosters like Microsoft Peter. This was mentioned even in Phoronix and Ogg’s Monty wrote that “to be fair, this isn’t as fantastically unlikely as some pundits have been saying. After all, MS does own an IP stake in Opus.”
Microsoft adopts VP9, Opus, Ogg and Vorbis because it has to (the Web has these media formats all over it, including in high-profile sites such as YouTube), not because it is playing nice or anything like that. The same goes for implanting a driver for the proprietary Hyper-V inside Linux, which necessitated GPLv2 for the driver itself (after Microsoft had been caught violating the GPL).
“Edge” is a bunch of nonsense (rebranding of IE) for Vista 10, which is so anti-competitive that Mozilla openly complained. Don’t let Microsoft use this catchup with VP9 et al as a publicity stunt. As this new article serves to remind us this week, “Microsoft is trying to persuade users to keep Edge, the company’s new browser that replaces Internet Explorer, when they search for “Chrome” or “Firefox” on Bing.
“The discovery, made by VentureBeat, shows that users who use Edge in Windows 10 to search for other browsers get a small message that says: “Microsoft recommends Microsoft Edge for Windows 10″ with a link to a page explaining why.”
Well, welcome the ‘new’ Microsoft. It uses one monopoly to illegally gain another. █
“…[Windows 98] must be a killer on shipments so that Netscape never gets a chance…”
–Former Microsoft Vice President James Allchin in an internal memo
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Fueling patent lawyers’ propaganda mill, antagonising scientists
“Along with many other computer scientists, I would like to ask you to reconsider the current policy of giving patents for computational processes.
“There are far better ways to protect the intellectual property rights of software developers than to take away their right to use fundamental building blocks.
“I find a considerable anxiety throughout the community of practicing computer scientists that decisions by the patent courts and the Patent and Trademark Office are making life much more difficult for programmers. ”
–Professor Donald Knuth, world renowned algorithms researcher
Summary: The infamous attorney from IBM, who later worked for the ‘Intellectual Property’ [sic] establishment and became Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), promotes the fiction that software patents are good for the US, despite them helping patent trolls and monopolies/oligopolies (like IBM)
THERE has been somewhat of a stir and a reaction to this paper in favour of software patents
[PDF]. It has, as expected, been promoted by pro-software patents sites (and suffice to say, that practically means patent lawyers’ media). There is pushback from people who actually deal with software, including software developers.
“Kappos apparently knows better than the courts what’s good for the country.”Calls to counter the author, who despite courts’ rulings still wants to guard software patents, could be found online, including in IP Watch. Hugo Roy (FSFE) reacts with: “Arguing that the US software market is thriving *because* software is patentable there.”
This makes no sense at all, but then again, consider who the author is. It’s the former head of the USPTO, who repeatedly pushed for software patents, defended them, arguably expanded their scope, and collectively belittled their critics, just like his former employer (IBM). He is not a scientist but a lawyer or “an attorney” (putting aside a bachelor’s degree from over three decades ago). He is current Partner at Cravath, Swaine and Moore, i.e. a law firm. David Kappos is a proponent of software patents, which are falling, failing, burning and crashing after the SCOTUS ruling on Alice. Kappos apparently knows better than the courts what’s good for the country. Here is what IP Watch wrote last week:
In a clarion call to policymakers, former United States Patent and Trademark Director David Kappos said recently that this year’s unprovoked drop in patent filings in the United States is unprecedented and signals a shift toward more secrecy by inventors trying to protect their ideas. Meanwhile, the US trend toward antitrust actions at home is having deleterious effects for US businesses overseas, he said.
The paper from Kappos is long, so we have not read it yet (only took a glance). It’s too long to rebut on a point-by-point basis, unless we spend a day or so embarking on the task (it’s a resources issue, not a feasibility issue). Based on the above, Kappos tried to excuse the fall of patents by blaming it on “secrecy by inventors” (no pursuit of monopolies with a negative connotation like secrecy, as if they’re doing something suspect or suspicious). To be fair, it’s not a direct quote from Kappos, but if that’s a point which he actually made, then his argument is extremely weak. Pretty much all arguments in favour of software patents (weighing the downsides too) are ludicrous at best, especially when viewed from the angle of software developers. Kappos’ message was only promoted by pro-software patents sites and patent lawyers’ media, as one might expect. We are talking about sites like ManagingIP, which are now organising “European Patent Reform Forum in Munich” (almost definitely stuffed with patent lawyers and no scientists on the panel/s).
IAM, another site of patent lawyers, has been repeatedly arguing with me over at Twitter (for 3 days in recent days) about its biases and views on patents. They are so easy to beat in a debate that they end up admitting that the “vast majority of patents” have no value and “do nothing”. Yes, they actually said that, contradicting their own marketing pitch. These people even tried to oppose the characterisation of patents as a monopoly, even though David Kappos was quoted as calling them a “20-year monopoly”.
Here is IAM showing us that the “worldwide head of IP strategy at IBM” is now moving on, just like Mr. Kappos. Here is where he is heading: “European licensing powerhouse Technicolor has made a major new appointment. Arvin Patel – previously senior VP of IP and licensing at Rovi, and before that worldwide head of IP strategy at IBM – has joined the French company as its chief IP officer.”
He is joining somewhat of a patent troll, or a patent aggressor at the very least.
Recall the time when IBM’s patent chief/strategist (Marshall Phelps) defected to Microsoft and established the company’s patent war against GNU/Linux and Free software, which IBM pretends to be ever so supportive of (despite IBM being a predominantly proprietary software company that lobbies for software patents all around the world and uses them aggressively for income).
TangibleIP (patents booster) said the other day to another patents booster that “companies such as IBM have a “Troll Division”..IP industry allowing anti-Troll agenda to propagate is not our finest hour” (well, the term “IP industry” is laughable because it cannot be an industry when it’s non-producing; it cannot be an industry at all. Imagine saying “copyright industry” or “trademark industry”).
“Recall the time when IBM’s patent chief/strategist (Marshall Phelps) defected to Microsoft and established the company’s patent war against GNU/Linux and Free software, which IBM pretends to be ever so supportive of…”Going back to the argument of Kappos (formerly IBM) in favour of software patents, he would have us believe that software patents — not military might and international lobbying power for example — give the US its advantage. Watch Japan enforcing a patent monopoly against China, as reported by IAM the other day. One thing that we noted the other day about China is that it allows people to patent software. It probably grants more patents on software than the US does. As Patent Buddy put it the other day: “It is now easier to obtain a software patent in China than in the United States.”
And yet, China does not dominate the field software, does it? Yes? No? Far from it! And Japan can still bully China using patents. There is basically nothing to be gained from such a strategy, unless patents are only to be treated as ‘trophies’ (assuming the perception that they’re analogous to innovation can be perpetuated for much longer).
Recall India’s policy on algorithm-related monopolies. India is making a terrible, suicidal move right now by deciding to allow software patents (this can still be stopped. Even without software patents Indian software developers have been doing pretty well, so why the sudden change? It’s probably designed to stop them (the ‘threat’ of commoditisation to multinationals). As one site of Indian patent lawyers put it a couple of weeks ago: “Last week was a busy week at our patent office!! The Controller General issued clarifications under the Designs Act / Rules, and these examination guidelines under the Patent Act / Rules. I will not do an analysis of the guidelines but simply extract out some relevant parts for our readers. For more our readers can refer to our previous posts on Section 3(k) here, here, here, here, and here, and others. These guidelines are extremely detailed and would definitely be helpful to practitioners, and patentees.”
Well, they are truly unhelpful to India itself, not just to its developers but also to local software companies. These patents would help multinational companies like Microsoft and IBM, not Indian companies, which makes one wonder who the Indian patent office actually works for. Software patents would help the likes of Microsoft and IBM crush low-cost competitors from India.
The US patent system, currently the ‘leader’ in software patents (and their birthplace), is an utter mess. “United 4 Patent Reform” demonstrates the extent of litigation by patent trolls and non-practising parasites. It says that “East Texas accounts for 44% of all patent case filings in 2015.” One even shows the following chart:
Is this what Kappos deems the success of the US system? Bear in mind that the large majority of these lawsuits involve software patents. Some estimate that as many as 70% of troll lawsuits would be eliminated if software patents were deemed invalid and no longer granted by the USPTO. Speaking of the USPTO, Kyle Bass, who was mentioned here as recently as last week (he had been manipulating stocks using patents), calls it a “Kangaroo Court”. To quote the Wikipedia definition of this term, “A kangaroo court is a judicial tribunal or assembly that blatantly disregards recognized standards of law or justice, and often carries little or no official standing in the territory within which it resides. Merriam-Webster defines it as a “mock court in which the principles of law and justice are disregarded or perverted”. The term may also apply to a court held by a legitimate judicial authority who intentionally disregards the court’s legal or ethical obligations.
“ARM sent patent threat letters trying to remove nnARM from the net”
–President of the FFII“A kangaroo court is often held to give the appearance of a fair and just trial, even though the verdict has in reality already been decided before the trial has begun.”
In the above case we have Kappos, who used to head the USPTO, trying to overrule the rulings of many US courts, including (initially) the US Supreme Court. Who do these people think they are? Just like software patents themselves, Kappos makes a mockery of the US courts system and the US as whole.
Last but not least, let’s recall what IBM really is and where it stands on this subject. In reference to an ARM-IBM surveillance alliance (centred around ‘IoT’ hype), IAM wrote: “Absurdly, according to definitions used by many proponents of US patent reform, ARM should be regarded as a “troll”. ”
Well, ask no-one other than the President of the FFII (prominent opponent of software patents) what ARM has done to him. “ARM sent patent threat letters trying to remove nnARM from the net,” he wrote. ARM is not quite what it seems on the surface, It’s actually a British company, not a US company, but misuse of patents for (anti-)competitive purposes is something that Intel does too (it does even worse things).
Attributing the ‘success’ of US software companies to software patents is simply ignoring the facts and disregarding all software companies other than very few giants (except when they themselves were still small). █
“The Company believes that existing copyright law and available trade secret protections, as opposed to patent law, are better suited to protecting computer software developments.” —Oracle Corporation, IBiblio: Oracle Corporation’s position paper on software patents (when Oracle was still small)
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“DRM is the future.”
–Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO
“We’ve had DRM in Windows for years. The most common format of music on an iPod is “stolen”.”
–Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO
“We’ve been very focused on producing a DRM system. [...] We think DRM is important”
–Robbie Bach, Microsoft President
“DRM is nearly always the result of a conspiracy of companies to restrict the technology available to the public. Such conspiracy should be a crime, and the executives responsible for it should be sentenced to prison.”
Summary: What Microsoft et al. call ‘Next-Generation Open Media Formats’ are basically neither open nor acceptable (it’s DRM) and what Microsoft apologists dub ‘Open Source Tools’ are just another example of a Microsoft Office openwashing Trojan horse
“Alliance for Open Media” is the latest Orwellian name/title for that which casts DRM collusion as “open”. Typical DRM proponents are part of it (Microsoft included) and so is Mozilla, which joined the DRM cartel about a year ago, causing much anger among many of its strongest supporters. DRM is not “open”. It’s not even compatible with the notion of “open” as this strictly requires proprietary software. Mozilla gave up on “openness” when it entered the DRM conspiracy and now we have the press littered by lots of puff pieces that frame DRM as “open” (however they define open, maybe alluding to patents). These are manufactured false perceptions and spin, calling a DRM conspiracy “Next-Gen Video Format” [1, 2, 3]. Here is the press release. It’s hogwash.
It is sad to see the Open Web falling over like this, after the MPAA essentially bribed the World Wide Web Consortium, which had hired a fool from Novell (we wrote a lot about this in prior years). These people are trying to set up ‘standards’ with patents on them and DRM as part of the (secret) ‘standard’. When it comes to what they define to be “open”, it’s just about patents. When a bunch of companies agree not to sue each other (like OIN, which has just added WSO2, but proved rather fruitless when one member, Oracle, sued another, Google). “In joining OIN, an organization dedicated to defending the Linux ecosystem, WSO2 extends its commitment to fostering innovation through open source software,” says the summary from the new press release. That’s nothing to do with innovation. It’s nothing to do with FOSS, either. Many members are proprietary software companies just agreeing on patents being pooled together. Many of these patents pertain to sofwtare and are therefore inherently incompatible with FOSS. Therein lies the core of the latest spin, misleadingly named “Alliance for Open Media”. It’s not a standard but a collusion. That’s what it is. It is, at best, a patent pool.
In other news, we have just come across some truly bizarre openwashing of Microsoft Office. Sam Dean is once again doing a service to his apparent new hero, Satya Nadella. Under a rather misleading headline Dean describes something which facilitates proprietary software as “Open Source”. But it’s not open source, it’s bait for OOXML and proprietary software. Watch the article starting with nonsensical claims:
Has Microsoft finally, truly warmed up to open source? New CEO Satya Nadella (shown) is definitely pushing that notion. Several media outlets previously reported on his comments on how he “loves Linux” and he has claimed that approximately 30 percent of Microsoft’s Azure cloud is already Linux-based.
Any GNU/Linux instance running under Microsoft’s control is already compromised, with back doors included. It’s basically dependent on proprietary software from a company which notoriously colludes with the NSA.
Talk about distorting the notion of “openness”…
Those who can successfully ‘sell’ the corruptible media OOXML, Office and DRM as “open” can probably also ‘sell’ it genocidal carpet-bombing as “spreading freedom and democracy”, or disabled people as “special people”. █
“[Vista DRM] seems a bit like breaking the legs of Olympic athletes and then rating them based on how fast they can hobble on crutches.“
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“In the Mopping Up phase, Evangelism’s goal is to put the final nail into the competing technology’s coffin, and bury it in the burning depths of the earth. Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency…”
–James Plamondon, Microsoft
Summary: A roundup of rigged press coverage, intended purely to serve Microsoft’s agenda
MICROSOFT makes a mockery and a joke out of the media. Today we cover some of the latest examples.
The latest Microsoft marketing and pseudo-technical mumbo jumbo from Microsoft's propagandist Mary Branscombe was published by IDG the other day. It’s a Microsoft ad, basically masquerading as an article not about Microsoft. Even worse was Ed Bott‘s (Ad[vertising] Bot[net]) Microsoft spin for Vista 10, pretending that privacy is not an issue at all. This article is so Orwellian, deceptive, and detached from reality that it’s not even worth responding to. It’s just more ZDNet (CBS-owned) propaganda and it’s executed by a longtime Microsoft propagandist that Microsoft pays. It’s not even journalism, it’s just a Microsoft comedy, dismissing every concern about privacy in Vista 10 and using derogatory labels like “tinfoil hats” (much like the author did “Linux fanatics” before). The piece was translated to other languages and further disseminated by the CBS-owned ZDNet for maximum impact, masquerading as “opinion” because it’s not at all objective and it is not journalism. “Microsoft boosters all around the world (even in Czech Republic nearby) link to this FUD,” wrote to us Martin earlier today.
Attacks on GNU/Linux have also come from Beta News last week. The site is mostly Microsoft propaganda these days (see the managing editor’s recent articles to better understand his agenda). Some of the people who work under him are even more closely connected to Microsoft and are actively showing this by attacking GNU/Linux and constantly promoting Microsoft. Microsoft MVPs are not journalists, they’re Microsoft loyalists, like external staff.
A Microsoft propaganda site whose strong links to Microsoft we covered here many time before has just published a piece that is openwashing Microsoft. Originally written by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (SJVN), the message is repeating Microsoft’s PR, including Microsoft’s moles inside the Linux Foundation. For example: “Ramji believes that under Nadella, “Open source is catching on and it’s on the verge of being mainstreamed at Microsoft. The real proof will come when open source is used in product groups.””
No, Microsoft is actively attacking Free/Open Source software in order to sell its proprietary software. This is well documented. Microsoft is not only attacking Munich and distorting a story from Italy (making up ‘facts’, i.e. “marketing”); it attacks FOSS as a whole. Here is last week’s timely rebuttal to Microsoft’s claims in Italy (the City Council of Pesaro to be precise). The article from Paolo Vecchi says that “Microsoft’s marketing team published a press release recently saying Office 365 is about 80% cheaper compared to the open source office suite, OpenOffice – with the figures stemming from reports in Italy and the City Council of Pesaro. The Redmond giant claims that to roll out Open Office, Pesaro incurred a one off cost of about €300,000 and had lots of problems with document formatting.
“But equally how would you convince a public sector organisation to migrate to your cloud services instead of using ‘expensive’ open source software?
“The obvious way would be to present a case study from a similar organisation together with a well written report commissioned to an “independent” consultancy firm. At this point your future customer has all the data and justifications required to sign on the dotted line.
“And some journalists are now presenting this case as fact of Microsoft Office 365 being 80% more economical than open source alternatives.
“I would argue that this is an isolated case and the PR efforts by big technology vendors, like many other methods, are being used to trick private and public organisations into signing contracts based on data or claims that may be not completely true.”
Microsoft’s PR is not factual at all. Offering massive discounts to manufacture false stories and change perception is no better than bribery. When a proprietary software giant (like Oracle or Microsoft) says “deliver savings to taxpayers” it means give shackles/lock-in with discount. The British government likes to make dumb statements like these every now and then, whenever it chooses to stay a slave of unbelievably greedy corporations with shoddy ‘products’ that the government has zero control over, proprietary software which is foreign too (with security flaws and national security-threatening back doors).
Microsoft’s efforts to pretend to be “open” don’t quite stop there because days ago we found misleading articles about “Open-Source” (with a dash, i.e. not really Open Source) Microsoft browser. Microsoft Emil (Emil Protalinski) was openwashing the browsers of Microsoft (we saw more of that several weeks ago with "Edge"), despite them being purely proprietary and standards-hostile.
Microsoft is just trying to re-brand IE and escape the bad name by means of deception, including some deceptive marketing and openwashing. “Unfortunately,” says the article, “Microsoft didn’t say how long, or how many developers, it took to build this proof-of-concept browser.”
A “proof-of-concept,” eh? Enough to generate some misleading headlines for PR.
At the bottom there’s promotional language advertising Microsoft with words like: “Microsoft Corporation is a public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing”
This could also be rewritten (while remaining, still, factually correct) as follows: “Microsoft Corporation is a convicted monopolist financially headquartered in tax havens so as to illegally evade taxes. It licenses products it does not own (like Android), blackmails competitors, engages in various competition crimes, helps marketing companies accumulate extensive data about Windows users, and aids large-scale espionage by the NSA.” █
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Summary: Windows surveillance expands retroactively, making its way into platforms other than Windows and also expanding to predecessors of Vista 10
IN TERMS of sales and technical weaknesses, Vista 10 is a huge disaster, doing probably worse than its predecessor, which also did worse than the mythically ‘great’ Windows Vista. It really is a total disaster, but Microsoft employees won’t say this to the media for fear of personal retribution (firing).
“…Microsoft is putting Bing inside Cyanogen OS, not just from the company Cyanogen but also in OnePlus.”The unprecedented spyware problem is no longer limited to just Vista 10, so users of Windows on PCs are all affected. They should escape all of Windows as soon as possible because even older versions have spying features silently added to them. Well, this has actually been known for a while and we wrote about it several weeks ago. Now it appears as though more people become aware of it (the latest headline says “Updates Make Windows 7 and 8 Spy On You Like Windows 10″). Based on [1-3], Microsoft is putting Bing inside Cyanogen OS, not just from the company Cyanogen but also in OnePlus. This company, OnePlus, should dump Cyanogen OS, for reasons we covered here before [1, 2].
Mind this new article titled “Windows 10 automatically sends parents detailed dossier of their children’s internet history and computer use”. To quote just the opening paragraphs: “Windows 10 sends a weekly “activity update” on childrens’ internet browsing and computer history to parents, by default and without telling anyone. The feature could be dangerous as well as embarrassing, users have pointed out, allowing parents to watch everything their children do on the computer.
“Microsoft has become just a surveillance company and Windows the surveillance platform.”“The operating system sends a weekly note that includes a list of websites children have visited, how many hours per day they have spent on the computer, and for how long they have used their favourite apps, according to reports.”
Microsoft has become just a surveillance company and Windows the surveillance platform.
Vista 10 lies (“marketing”) now grow in lieu with Munich propaganda (anti-GNU/Linux myth-making, in order to scare CIOs who are fed up with Windows). Beware Microsoft’s fake vista 10 figures. These are being pushed by Microsoft into its boosters and moles in the media right now. The company has a long history gaming numbers to lie about number of ‘sales’ or ‘useds’ [sic]. Here is one Microsoft booster disseminating what it essentially Microsoft marketing with a sloppily-made image that cement the Big Lie (carving it in stone, within an image that cannot be edited for correction). “The only question,” wrote to us iopkh, “is how they are fiddling the stats.”
These claims are pulled directly from Microsoft, or rather, they are being pushed by Microsoft onto gullible journalists or complicit ‘journalists’. The author is a known Microsoft booster with history. Microsoft’s own figures hysterically debunk some early claims that the media cited a lot (between 45 million and 55 million ‘upgrades’ after 3 days). We warned that these were baseless claims from the rumour mill and Microsoft’s trolls army.
This time too we cannot trust the figures since they come from Microsoft. Based on how it has always gamed the numbers (‘sales’ not meaning actual sales or even users), we know these are lies. Look at web statistics from some of the more respected sources. Maybe 5% market share (or less) is what Microsoft’s latest beast has got at the moment, which given the price and other exceptional factors, is truly (and quite frankly) pathetic. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
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“I’ve killed at least two Mac conferences. [...] by injecting Microsoft content into the conference, the conference got shut down. The guy who ran it said, why am I doing this?”
–Microsoft's chief evangelist
Summary: Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, helps Microsoft gain influence in the Foundation after payments are received
SEVERAL days ago LinuxCon ended. It was probably the biggest Linux-centric conference not only in the US but in the whole world. Microsoft, as usual, infiltrated and “injected Microsoft content into the conference,” to use the company’s own words. There’s a reason for this.
“This once again shows us an inherent weakness in the operations of the Linux Foundation. Microsoft moles or provocateurs managed to get in and change the agenda after they had paid.”We give some credit to Sean Kerner for writing about this as almost nobody else did. The first article from Kerner reminded us that the Linux Foundation is selling out again. It lets an anti-Linux company speak at Linuxcon because this company paid the Linux Foundation. Would the Linux Foundation also let SCO give some talks if SCO paid (hypothetical question as SCO is a defunct company now)? Remember that Intel (key funder of the Linux Foundation and OSDL before it) helped fund a SCO conference.
Kerner wrote repeatedly about this, noting that “Microsoft was a sponsor of the event and also had a booth in the vendor area [...] When Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, held up a Microsoft Tux penguin during a keynote session on Aug. 18, he was actually heckled.”
It is reported that these 'Microsoft loves Linux' buttons (see below) emerged at this event at well.
People who paid a lot of money to attend this event are reportedly upset, to use an understatement. And rightly so. See the quote at the top again. Microsoft succeeds at discrediting the event. Microsoft sure delivered its entryism first thing in the morning as “LinuxCon [was] infiltrated by Microsoft,” to quote one of our readers who sent us mail about it, as several other have done since then (many are furious as the Linux Foundation serves to legitimise Microsoft, in exchange for generous, self-serving payments).
This once again shows us an inherent weakness in the operations of the Linux Foundation. Microsoft moles or provocateurs managed to get in and change the agenda after they had paid. Microsoft entryism needs to be recognised as a potent threat and tackled accordingly. Such entryism and marketing not only reduces the popularity of GNU/Linux but also removes freedom because anything that Microsoft does around Linux merely promotes proprietary software like Hyper-V, Windows, and so on.
A third and final such article from Sean Kerner (not that it’s an issue, as he clearly helped raise awareness of what Microsoft had sneakily done again) got titled “LinuxCon Highlights: From Linus Torvalds to Microsoft”, demonstrating quite well that Microsoft interjected itself into the competition and it worked; it served to distract almost everybody and that’s how people may remember this event.
For those who believe that Microsoft actually likes GNU/Linux, recall the 6-part series below and see what Microsoft is distributing in FOSS conferences as though it is trying to deliberately provoke and upset attendees.
Photo credit: Neil McAllister
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