Remember what Microsoft itself has said (in its words, click below for original PDF):
Summary: Microsoft and its minions (inside the media) pretend that Vista 10 will change the world, but technical folks from Microsoft say it’s not even stable and nowhere near ready
Vista 10 is nothing to be celebrated. It will mean yet more nightmares for software/web developers, even if they don’t use it at all. At my job I have already encountered people who use IE11 (Internet Explorer 11), which essentially breaks lots of commonly-used stuff (CKEditor for example). It’s like another IE6 and Microsoft makes matters worse by introducing another broken browser, in addition to Internet Explorer. According to The Register, this ‘new’ browser “is built on a fork of the Trident rendering engine that powers IE. Microsoft said it’s stripped out all that legacy code and, certainly, early benchmarks would seem to indicate it’s found a way to speed things up. But when it comes to the standards support developers are accustomed to, Edge reveals its Trident underpinnings.”
“Windows is getting more expensive, not cheaper. Pricing/tariff tricks are making it easier to entrap people, getting them ‘hooked’ (locked in) on Microsoft’s so-called ‘cloud’. The cost of being locked in is very high. Moreover, there is the cost of bad security.”So it’s basically the same rubbish under another name. It’s just marketing, much like “10″ itself (just a brand). Remember that Vista 8 objectively performed (in market terms) a lot worse than even Vista and based on what I hear about Vista 10 (from those working inside Microsoft), the zero-cost delusion around Vista 10 is there for a reason. Microsoft knows that it’s rubbish, so it is willing to give it away as a free ‘upgrade’ to existing users, hoping to game the so-called ‘adoption’ numbers. A lot of them might not choose to ‘upgrade’ (even at zero cost) because, as a Microsoft programmer told me a few days ago, Vista 10 still crashes a lot and it has hardware compatibility issues. Now we have this article from Brad Chacos telling us that Vista 10 won’t change much after Vista 8, except bundle it with more unwanted surveillance online, courtesy of the NSA’s leading partner in crime. “Don’t let that fresh new coat of paint fool you,” Chacos wrote, “Windows 10 may mask the nasty symptoms that made users shrink away from Windows 8, but it doesn’t cure the underlying causes. Windows 10 still advances most of Windows 8’s core missions—and those core missions are what made Windows 8 so controversial to many defenders of the traditional desktop.”
We remind readers not be fooled by the Vista 10 media flood (puff pieces all day long). Microsoft is paying a lot of money right now in order to manipulate/bribe journalists, as always (not to mention the AstroTurfing. As before, Microsoft does this by proxy, shielding itself from embarrassing litigation. Microsoft’s spammy barrage has already begun in CBS (see this ‘advertisement’ from Lance Whitney, who had worked for Microsoft media but did not disclose this conflict of interest). Vista 10 propaganda is going to get a lot worse in the coming days and weeks, that’s for sure. Regarding the forced software updates that we wrote about the other day, Mr. Pogson says that Microsoft “wants to control you by forcing upgrades which let in updates to everything, new “features”, even advertising on the hardware you own.”
Windows is getting more expensive, not cheaper. Pricing/tariff tricks are making it easier to entrap people, getting them ‘hooked’ (locked in) on Microsoft’s so-called ‘cloud’. The cost of being locked in is very high. Moreover, there is the cost of bad security. There are still back doors in there (Microsoft never changed its policy regarding the NSA) and back doors in Vista 10 are hardly even hidden because Microsoft’s ToS/EULA allows them to suck up (‘cloud’) one’s data. Windows is quite an hazardous OS. It used to be said that people believing Windows has back doors are “paranoid”. Now, those who say there’s none are viewed as stupid. When Vista 8 and prior versions (predecessors of “Windows 8″) were released Microsoft publicly bragged about NSA collaborations, even when the release (build process) was imminent. It says a lot, does it not? Prior to the NSA leaks Microsoft used to publicly pose with the NSA to brag about collaboration for ‘security’. This won’t happen with Vista 10 because the NSA is not popular and definitely not trusted anymore. Vista 10 will provide the latest and greatest back doors. The Register chastises GNU/Linux this week, saying that North Korea tracks GNU/Linux installations; well, even if true, they are copying Windows and OS X antifeatures, ‘innovated’ and ‘championed’ by the West. Outside of North Korea there are no such issues. On the other hand, The Register has just shown again that there are too many Windows back doors (having just been exposed to the public, partly thanks to Wikileaks), so Microsoft must fix them. It just can’t keep up.
“It’s 2015, and bad font files in webpages will still pwn you” if you use Microsoft Windows, says The Register. It hasn't been long since the last such flaw.
In summary, everyone should brace themselves for a lot of Microsoft propaganda, including puff pieces and overt lies, nonstop in the coming days. █
“If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.”
–Bill Gates, Microsoft
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Fooling just the dummies?
Summary: Yet again, a new version of proprietary software from Microsoft is being grossly mischaracterised in order to give the illusion that it’s not all about Microsoft lock-in
THE world is changing and Microsoft is not prepared for this change. Free software (or “Open Source”, or FOSS) is gradually becoming a requirement in more and more places. In India, for example, the government moved toward adoption of FOSS, so Microsoft crushed policies, primarily by lobbying (both directly and by proxy). In some cases Microsoft simply pretends that it is now an “Open Source” company, or something along those lines, openwashing (characterising as “open” proprietary software) its ‘crown jewels’, e.g. Windows and Office (remember that OOXML stands for “Office Open XML”). We need to counter that, or else Microsoft will succeed at changing perceptions (making them all distorted and false). It’s about systematic, induced confusion and ultimately about making it hard to distinguish between FOSS and proprietary.
“It’s about systematic, induced confusion and ultimately about making it hard to distinguish between FOSS and proprietary.”One Microsoft advocacy site openwashes Microsoft because some people threw/slapped software that not many people are likely to find useful (not even Microsoft) at GitHub. Worse, however, is what Microsoft does yet again as a piece of proprietary software from Microsoft reaches a new version. We recently gave one example of that (the BI product) and now we see it in Visual Studio. We saw that done five years ago, earlier this year, and earlier this month. It’s a Big Lie.
Here is Microsoft’s official announcement. Phoronix did some Linuxwashing of Visual Studio and Microsoft Peter painted Visual Studio as an “Android, iOS, and even Apple Watch” thing. There are just two examples among many. There is also openwashing that typically latches onto .NET for weak support of the false insinuations. This is just proprietary software (compiler in this case, which makes it worse as it can potentially add back doors to compiled software).
Speaking of Windows, Microsoft, and Openwashing, watch Marius Maronilla (with a Windows-like avatar) marketing Windows as ‘free’, pretending that people choose GNU/Linux for price and that Free/libre is the same as gratis (the headline alone is calling it Linux, mistaking free for gratis, and assuming it’s all down to price). Propaganda efforts will likely escalate if not exacerbate in the coming days becase of the Vista 10 hype — a subject we shall cover in the next post. █
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Summary: As Nokia is reduced to rubble in Microsoft’s fist (after epic entryism) the story of both companies is seriously distorted by Microsoft-friendly media in order to bolster Microsoft’s fictional version of the events
AMID the latest Microsoft layoffs we are deeply bothered to see misdirection and propaganda, almost surely coordinated behind the scenes by Microsoft's 'damage control' experts. The same thing happened some months ago when Microsoft announced an even bigger round of layoffs. Microsoft is trying to blame it all on Nokia, which is actually a victim of Microsoft, not an inherited liability. Nokia was doing a lot better before Elop (the Microsoft mole) stepped into the scene and gave Nokia to Microsoft as a gift, in exchange for a massive bonus that he was assured by Microsoft and later received from Microsoft (he has been set free again, potentially to find his next victims, Nokia not being his first).
“Actually, Nokia was starting to do pretty well with Linux (MeeGo) and was exploring Android, which now dominates the market with over 80% market share (i.e. about 2 orders of magnitude better than Windows).”The layoffs are explained a lot better by this Nokia guru, who foresaw a lot of what is happening right now. “Microsoft has now done THREE rounds of layoffs in less than 12 months,” he wrote, “firing 80% of the people it bought” (and many who are not from Nokia at all, possibly as many as 10,000 if not more, excepting temporary workers).
Watch how AOL rewrites the history of Nokia. This is “revisionism on ‘burning platform’,” as iophk put it in an E-mail to us. Some Microsoft-affiliated sites did the same thing, using euphemisms such as “Writedown” (euphemism of convenience for shutdown with layoffs) or “Misadventures” (again, for shutdown with layoffs).
“History tells us that Nokia did not defeat the odds,” wrote one person. “But inside the last five years are a number of lessons that the modern smartphone entrepreneur should think about.”
Actually, Nokia was starting to do pretty well with Linux (MeeGo) and was exploring Android, which now dominates the market with over 80% market share (i.e. about 2 orders of magnitude better than Windows). To say that Nokia was a lost cause and that it had to “defeat the odds” is to totally distract from Microsoft’s destruction of Nokia. Then again, Microsoft and its copywriters are always skilled at rewriting history in Microsoft’s favour. In the media we might even find Microsoft portrayed as the poor victim (e.g. of Nokia’s demise) rather than the predator that has had countless victims. Today’s articles about Netscape’s history are unbelievably watered down; some deleted Netscape from the history of Web browsers altogether. █
“Microsoft is, I think, fundamentally an evil company.”
–Former Netscape Chairman James H. Clark
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Summary: Propaganda of assimilation, or trying to make Windows look comparable/on par with GNU/Linux cost and freedom, is the latest propaganda pattern
AS Microsoft so desperately combats the zero-cost advantage of GNU/Linux it uses not facts but fiction. We have grown accustomed to seeing advertising pieces like this one (journalists as Microsoft couriers or copywriters), pretending that Windows is “free” and that it may become “open source” because of some blurb from three months ago. “A per this Wired article,” wrote this author, “open sourcing is no longer optional, even for Apple. Even for Microsoft. Even for Windows.” Actually, all of these are proprietary, so evidence does not support the argument. Nice try though…
“They are blurring the distinction between “open” and “closed” or between “free” and “proprietary”.”Wired has been quite notable in the "googlebombing" of "Microsoft open source" or "Windows open source". It has been quite an effective propaganda campaign that culminated over the past year and we see more of it in light of this proprietary software release that is heralded with headlines such as “Microsoft’s Power BI is coming July 24th, adds a bit of open source and Android seasoning” and “Microsoft Says Power BI Will Come Out Of Preview On July 24, Open Sources Visualization Stack”. This is not Open Source at all, but Microsoft-friendly sites are openwashing Microsoft’s proprietary software. Sometimes even Linux sites fall for it as it’s not helping when Microsoft’s propaganda channel (Channel 9) is openwashing proprietary software such as Visual Studio. This example from Channel 9 is again fitting a pattern that we first noted one week ago. This openwashing ‘thing’ is very much ‘in’. The Microsoft-controlled Channel 9 increasingly chimes in to amplify the noise.
“Embrace, extend, extinguish” moves are now being used to make Apache software tied to Windows-powered and Microsoft-controlled servers (Azure). Isn’t that great? They are blurring the distinction between “open” and “closed” or between “free” and “proprietary”.
“Hadoop,” says ZDNet, “started out using an open source implementation of Google’s MapReduce as its exclusive processing engine.” Well, now Microsoft wants it all for itself, to run under Windows (proprietary and pricey) as well as under Microsoft’s control (with rental payments for hosting).
Microsoft is acting like a bandit, operating from the inside when it comes to Android as well (see “Windows 10 to allow easy porting of apps from Android and iOS platforms”), not to mention the underlying kenrel, Linux. Watch this new example of bad code that Microsoft has put inside Linux to promote proprietary software like Hyper-V, which runs on Windows (hyper-visor with NSA back doors implied) to control GNU/Linux guests. █
“I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”
–Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO
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Rule of thumb: The more outrageous the lie, the more provocative it becomes (divisive and offensive)
Photo credit: Neil McAllister
Summary: Having spread the outrageous lie that “Microsoft loves Linux” (whilst obviously attacking it in many ways), Microsoft’s CEO (essentially Bill Gates’ right-hand man) says Microsoft is “one of the biggest contributors to Linux kernel” (because of proprietary software it tries to contaminate it with while violating the terms of the GPL)
Microsoft has a new courier. who is passing memos around — memos that appear to have been (ghost)written by PR professionals who prepared ‘damage control’. Nadella’s role is rather simple and the real bosses are above him (people like Gates, who is officially back at the company).
Nadella is a liar and a lousy one, too. Nadella tries to paint himself a peacemaker, after Bill and Steve (Gates and Ballmer) spent decades viciously attacking GNU/Linux and Free software.
Here is the latest lie from Nadella. The quote is unsourced, but this article (if not some kind of a scam because we cannot find any corroborating article) says that Nadella uttered these words: “[T]his should not come as a surprise. Microsoft has always been one of the biggest contributors to Linux kernel.”
“Nadella tries to paint himself a peacemaker, after Bill and Steve (Gates and Ballmer) spent decades viciously attacking GNU/Linux and Free software.”Tying Hyper-V to Linux, to make it a guest of a Windows host (with back doors), is not a contribution. Microsoft was even violating the GPL’s terms when it gave Novell’s henchmen some code to drop into the kernel (later Microsoft decided to comply with the teems because it got caught red-handed). How is that a contribution? Microsoft was later accused by Novell’s own henchmen of neglecting the code and not maintaining it to work with future releases of Linux, leaving Novell to deal with the mess it that had left to promote Hyper-V.
The author of the above article, Alap Naik Desai, repeats this lie: “Interestingly, Microsoft is an avid contributor to the Linux development.”
No, it is not, and to refute another lie from this article, Microsoft hates GNU/Linux, as its own actions clearly show. In one single day 3 months ago we gave the following 6 examples:
In DockerCon, Microsoft was spreading the lie using “Microsoft ♥ Linux” pins, much to the chagrin of Microsoft propaganda sites.
According to Alap Naik Desai, Microsoft might release its own distro. Microsoft is just further increasing control of what’s in Azure, which is already under surveillance by Microsoft and the NSA .
Microsoft’s booster Peter Bright, linking to Microsoft boosters from GeekWire (another Microsoft mouthpiece, like other Bill Gated-funded media that covered it with a positive spin), explains the situation with Nokia, which Microsoft practically killed (Elop's latest mission is accomplished, so he is free to go now) and turned into an anti-Android patent troll rather than Android/Linux supporter (that’s where Nokia was heading before Elop killed it, back when Nokia was a top Linux contributor — a real contributor).
Microsoft Peter wrote:
There’s a widespread feeling among industry observers that Nadella wants or plans to get rid of the phone division bought from Nokia last year. Ditching the division could well be the kind of “tough choice” that the e-mail alludes to.
Lots of puff pieces like [1, 2, 3] got published (maybe a hundred), but “Citi Still Says Sell Microsoft” amid ongoing layoffs at the company. Microsoft will continue to lose money (perhaps as much as billions lost in the phone business alone) to maintain the illusion that it is a practising company in the mobile sector and not purely a patent troll, filing lawsuits against Android and Linux. Dan Kedmey, who has become somewhat of a Microsoft booster this past year, does a Microsoft advert for Time (large readership, albeit not the only such example) because Microsoft re-announced (yet again) Office for Android in an effort to promote proprietary formats (lock-in), surveillance, and an expensive (in the long term) trap.
Are there people out there who actually fool themselves into thinking that Microsoft changed its attitude? █
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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: DockerCon gives room to Microsoft propagandists who want to divert the audience’s attention from secure GNU/Linux focus to proprietary Windows with back doors and surveillance
DOCKER rapidly grows in terms of adoption (and hype). It is Free/libre software and it is predominantly a GNU/Linux technology, like much of the whole container phenomenon. This is why Microsoft cannot just leave it alone (read: tolerate it).
Days ago we saw two misleading articles from Matt Weinberger about the Russinovich spiel, pretending that Microsoft and GNU/Linux can now sing Kumbaya. “Microsoft loves Linux” pins are now being distributed, according to a photo from this new article which says “Microsoft has doubled down on its support for Docker, further integrating the software container tech with Azure and Visual Studio Online and demoing the first-ever containerized application spanning both Windows and Linux systems.”
Proprietary software is the last thing Docker needs. Docker staff needs to learn to say “no”, having witnessed what happens to just about every company that liaises with Microsoft (even charities like OLPC). A lot of Microsoft proxies like ‘Open Tech’, CodePlex and others have virtually become non-existent, but the Trojan horse strategy has not completely failed yet. It just keeps evolving.
“To drive the point home,” wrote Neil McAllister, “there were plenty of free T-shirts available at the Microsoft booth on the subject of uniting Windows and Linux via Docker. There were even buttons with the catchphrase that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella coined in November, “Microsoft ♥ Linux.””
For those who actually believe that Microsoft has changed its colours, here are just some recent doings (of Nadella) which ought to remind us that Microsoft actually hates GNU/Linux:
What next after “Microsoft ♥ Linux” PR? “UEFI ♥ Linux”? “SCO ♥ Linux”? “Novell ♥ Red Hat”? The bigger the lie, the more confusing and provocative it becomes. Perhaps provocation really is the goal (see Microsoft’s quote at the top of this article). █
Photo credit: Neil McAllister
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Endowing/bribing the media not a wise policy
Summary: Poll shows that the European Patent Office (EPO) comes under fire for its media strategy which involves wasting taxpayers’ money on fake/organic media coverage that glorifies the EPO
PROTESTS are said to have just taken place in Munich. EPO abuse was the cause. Although there are no reports (yet) about the gathering, not even about the scale or number of people in attendance, it is the principle that counts. Maybe the protesters too should ape their managers and hire ‘media partners’ such as Les Echos? Probably not. Only Benoît Battistelli would be desperate enough to do that.
We are meanwhile learning that patent lawyers in Europe, who are the target audience of this blog, don’t have a positive opinion of the EPO. As a recap:
A few weeks ago, the IPKat asked whether the EPO ought to be organising and funding the European Inventor of the Year award. His concerns were twofold: the resources that are devoted to this event, and the fundamental question of whether the EPO ought to be seen to be ranking different inventions in terms of their merits.
As it turns out, “43% (296 votes) were also unsupportive of the EPO involvement: “It lies outside the powers and duties of the EPO.””
As we explained before, this is misuse of public funds. The EPO wastes public money on paid placements ('articles') and 'media partners', hoping to bury or pro-actively suppress any potentially negative publicity (even when it is very much deserved).
“The IPKat wonders whether the EPO should now review its involvement with and funding of this event,” says the above blog post, “in the light of these concerns which appear to be shared by much of the IP community (or of this blog’s readership, at least)?” █
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“The purpose of announcing early like this is to freeze the market at the OEM and ISV level. In this respect it is JUST like the original Windows announcement…
–Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft
Summary: In a shameless effort to discourage migrations to the zero-cost BSD and GNU/Linux, Microsoft continues to flood the media with false claims about the cost of Windows and the price of Vista 10 (not even released yet) in particular
READERS have let us know that Microsoft propagandist Ed Bott is spreading the ‘free’ Vista 10 myth (it’s out there again and spreading quickly in corporate media; it’s a myth that is not dead, despite a lot of debunking [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]). It reaches a large audience in the CBS-owned ZDNet, despite being a lie and a nasty form of PR. No matter how it turns out (Microsoft Peter already admits that Microsoft just lies about ‘free’ Vista 10 this time too), a lot of the public may be left with the false impression about the cost of Vista 10. This propaganda or semi-truths (i.e. lies) would target ‘useful idiots’ or people who hardly follow the news. Many still think that Vista 10 will be made available free of charge. There is a war on the minds.
“People choose GNU/Linux not just for cost savings; some people are capable of thinking long term and factor in external transactional aspects.”Freedom, as ever before, is not free, so even if Vista 10 is somehow obtained (legally or illegally) at no cost it is not worth it; the price is people’s control over their own lives.
For those who truly pursue Free software on computers (as well underlying hardware, which assures freedom in other ways) there is now “Purism”. $1,649 will buy you a secure laptop with only Free software. As ZDNet (surprisingly enough) put it the other day:
The company hopes to expand the notebook lineup running its open-source PureOS with a smaller, $1,649 portable that will ship in September if it receives sufficient backing.
$1,649 may sound like a lot of money, but for a machine that can serve a person for many years (almost a decade) and ensure autonomy, privacy etc. in an age of increasingly-oppressive technology it might actually be worth it. People choose GNU/Linux not just for cost savings; some people are capable of thinking long term and factor in external transactional aspects. Windows lock-in is far too expensive even at $0 or negative pricing. Price can change over time and the abuses that come with proprietary software (e.g. espionage) are unforeseeable. █
“Some weeks it looks like Redmond feels entitled to capture not just part of what we save, but all of it. That just isn’t going to fly with corporate America forever. When your margins are more sensitive to Bill Gates’ pricing whims than they are the price of oil, that’s an untenable position for a large company to be in.”
–John Chapman Sr., BP Amoco Technology Executive
“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”
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