Microsoft wants us to embrace the criminal’s standard, not a real standard
Summary: Microsoft strikes back against the British government for ‘daring’ to consider something other than proprietary software with proprietary formats
CRIMINAL organisation Microsoft, which is renowened for its illegal activities and collusion with other criminal entities, is calling its syndicates in the UK to go retaliate against British politicians who favour Free/libre software, fair competition, British companies, and real standards. This was predicable because it happened before (e.g. watering down of policies). It’s Microsoft’s way of “doing business”. Corruption is the de facto standard when it comes to Microsoft deals with the British government (various departments). We included evidence in over 100 posts over the years.
Microsoft’s latest retribution attempts are centred around the requirement of a standard. Microsoft wants us to believe that its crime-riddled proprietary formats, collectively referred to as OOXML, are in any way ‘standard’. They’re not. Not even in the UK. They’re corruption. Recall that even Britain’s BSI faced lawsuits over this corruption, as we covered in old posts such as:
Having been found to be bribing governments (probably as big as China's, not just banana republics), Microsoft should watch carefully its next move in the UK. If it attempts to bribe officials again (even ‘soft’ bribery), then it will receive a lot of blowback but no jail time, as it’s exempted from punishment for such crimes and Ballmer ran away on time.
Microsoft says that choosing ODF “sets a worrying precedent because government is, in effect, refusing to support another internationally recognised open standard,” referring to OOXML in the latter part. Well, everyone who watched this carefully knows the huge levels of corruption involved there, including bribed officials, rigged voted, etc. Nobody really considers OOXML “internationally recognised”; except Microsoft boosters and fake ‘journalists’ perhaps. Those know are informed recognise it as an internationally-recognised case of systematic crime by Microsoft. Here is a summary of just some of these crimes (counted up to an early point in time).
The British press says “Microsoft hits back at government’s open source plans,” noting that “Microsoft has urged its partners to pay closer attention to what it describes as the government’s “ill-considered” proposals to move to a more open IT model.”
Here again we see Microsoft acting by proxy. We saw that before. Whenever some Free software house (small business) in the UK receives some business from the government Microsoft sends out its proxies/partners as though they are some kind of “task forcex” (Microsoft terminology), commissioned to destroy any traces of non-Microsoft in the public sector. It’s an act of cleansing and it’s very well designed and occrdinated by the Redmond-based convicted monopolist.
“Last month,” the article gives context, “the government hinted it was considering moving away from technology such as Microsoft Office in favour of open-source offerings in an effort to break supplier “oligopoly”.”
Yes, indeed, and what’s wrong with that?
“According to Microsoft,” says the article, “the government is currently undergoing a consultation on plans to mandate the use of Open Document Formats (ODF) and to ditch Microsoft-developed Open XML (OOXML).”
Yes, indeed, because that’s the ethical and technical thing to do. We are going to take part in this consultation and we are going to urge our readers (especially British readers) to do the same. Microsoft is certainly going to use its proxies to bombard those in the consultation (sometimes it infiltrates those who assess the process, too, in addition to sending template letters to ‘DDOS’ the process, occasionally with sockpuppets) and the words from Microsoft are especially appalling because OOXML is a story of bribery and corruption, OOXML is not really a standard. Marketing, deception, revisionism, personal attacks etc. are going to be used by Microsoft to try to make it look like ODF is all about IBM and OOXML is ‘the’ standard. In reality, it’s not an international standard but an international case of crime (that tte European Commission was assigned to handle). Hundreds of examples can be given to show this, including bribery, entryism, retribution, bullying, etc. If OOXML was a real “open” standard, then how come when I leaked it (as if one needs to ‘leak’ standards) Microsoft and its cronies threatened litigation against me? So much for “open”… they were hiding the technical flaws and the fact that it’s just a scam (cannot be implemented by anyone but Microsoft, which also did not implement it, ever).
A Cabinet Office representative stated in response to Microsoft’s comments: “As part of our long-term economic plan, we’re committed to opening up government procurement to a wider range of suppliers. We want to see a greater range of software used and for departments to choose what is right for them and the users of their services.”
Simon Phipps, who back in the days of these Microsoft crime worked at Sun, calls for people to participate in the consultation. Any Updegrove, who was at the forefront back then as well, says “[t]he deadline is next Wednesday – make sure you’re heard!” We will be writing a letter and we urge others to do the same, possibly over the weekend. Talking about Microsoft’s crime and the rogue process should not be a taboo; justice has a lot to do with it. If the UK moves to ODF and embraces Free software, then other nations will use that as an example and follow suit. █
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Microsoft in trouble with the Bermuda Supreme Court over dodgy Microsoft subsidiaries or affiliates (shells)
Summary: The first sale doctrine is under threat because Microsoft is suing, showing every company out there that Windows is just rented whereas GNU/Linux is shared to be owned; Microsoft’s financial misconduct is meanwhile showing why Microsoft is running amok
Microsoft, which is reporting (but spinning) losses, must be critically desperate for cash. Government subsidies (via the NSA with its black budget for instance) seem to be drying up, especially now that major clients like the UK government say they will turn to Free software (see coverage from Red Hat  and the Linux Foundation’s Andy Updegrove .
Also, we are reminded that not only Bill Gates is a systematic tax evader who pretends to give while hoarding lots of additional money  (Gates hoarded an additional ten billion dollars or so last year alone). Microsoft, which is still controlled by Gates (its biggest shareholder), is continuing its tradition of crime. Based on this news from Bermuda and from Ireland, “Three Bermuda Microsoft subsidiaries or affiliates are being investigated by another country for their various tax dealings on the island.
“According to filings at Bermuda Supreme Court, Flat Island Company, RI Holdings, and Round Island One are all the subject of a tax inquiry.”
To quote the Irish press: “A foreign government has requested Bermuda to investigate three of Microsoft’s subsidiaries in the Caribbean nation that are in effect Irish offshore shell companies linked to the software giant’s companies in Ireland, and are used for corporate tax avoidance and maybe evasion.
“The OffshoreAlert newsletter services picked up this information from a handwritten record that had been inadvertently made public by the Bermuda Supreme Court two weeks ago. The information was published this week in the United States by The Huffington Post.
“The government of Bermuda was responding to a Tax Information Exchange Agreement (TIEA) request (the foreign government wasn’t identified), which is part of an international monitoring system, established by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which Bermuda assented to in 2005.”
In addition, asks iophk: “What about that bribery scandal from last year? That too seems to have been brushed under the rug.” We covered it before (Ballmer fled around that time) and it suggests that Microsoft is bribing governments in a high number of nations, basically getting government contracts using crime and corruption. We wrote about it in relation to deals with the British government, too.
As we noted some days ago, Microsoft spends more than it makes, so aggressive tactics like patent extortion and shakedown against hardware companies only make sense. It is becoming clearer that companies should refurbish with GNU/Linux, never Windows, as Microsoft is getting more aggressive. According to this report, “Microsoft sues Urbandale company over alleged counterfeit software,” but it’s not really counterfeiting.
As Ryan explained in our IRC channels: “Microsoft has sued a computer store that was selling refurbished laptops that came with a Windows Vista license, which had been re-imaged with the same version of Windows Vista that they came with. Microsoft claims that exercising your rights under the First Sale Doctrine is “counterfeiting software”. In other words, everyone that is selling their old computer and keeps Windows on it for the next owner is doing the same thing that this company did. Microsoft says you have no right to do that, which flies in the face of Supreme Court precedent. (It’s the same as selling a used book or a used CD, which is totally legal.) I’m not suggesting that it’s good to give someone else a copy of Windows. It’s better to give them software that respects their freedom, such as GNU/Linux. Nobody has ever been sued for “counterfeiting” GNU/Linux, because software counterfeiting is impossible, and everyone has the guaranteed right to share it under the terms of the GNU General Public License.”
Microsoft, in light of such developments and serious investigations of fraud and bribery, is not a company, it’s a crime syndicate with connections in government — connections so strong (even with those above the law, such as the NSA) that it’s allowed to get away with almost everything as long as it facilitates those who are above the law and also work for the state (Microsoft even does this in Russia, helping to crack down on activists and spy on Skype users).
It is time to stop treating Microsoft like just another company. It clearly is not. Microsoft’s is every tyrant’s best friend. There is more discussion about Microsoft’s attack on technology rights in the thread “Microsoft sues a company for exercising their rights under the first sale doctrine.”
The FSF is again promoting its campaign against Vista 8. Below is the link that says more about it . In terms of sales, Vista 8 is a major failure (some say worse than Vista with its DRM ‘innovations’) and the FSF’s letters to many companies can be clever advocacy, so let’s hope it will prove to be effective. If only the FSF used the crime angle more frequently against Microsoft… █
Related/contextual items from the news:
It was ten years ago that the CIO of Massachusetts rattled the desktop world by announcing that the Executive Agencies of the Commonwealth would henceforth license only office suite software that complied with the OpenDocument Format. The shock waves that followed were attributable to the fact that while the open source OpenOffice office suite was built around that standard, the dominant product – Microsoft’s venerable Office suite did not.
The top individuals on the 2013 Forbes 400 list are generally believed to be makers of great companies or concepts. They are the role models of Paul Ryan, who laments, “We’re going to a majority of takers versus makers in America.” They are defended by Cato Institute CEO John A. Allison IV, who once protested: “Instead of an attack on the 1 percent, let’s call it an attack on the very productive.”
But many of the richest Americans are takers. The top twenty, with a total net worth of almost two-thirds of a trillion dollars, have all taken from the public or from employees, or through taxes or untaxed inheritances.
Windows 8 is officially a flop. Despite attempts to force people to use the operating system by shipping restricted boot on new Windows 8 tablets and phones (not to mention a record smashing advertising budget), sales have been sluggish. What we have here is our best opportunity yet to help people give up Windows in favor of an operating system that respects our freedoms to choose, share, change, and view the code we use to conduct our digital lives.
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Summary: The company which aids crimes of the state is protected from having its crimes treated as such; just like big banks that receive bailouts rather than jail sentences, Microsoft receives document formats monopoly rather than embargo
SEVERAL years ago it was rare and unusual for one to receive OOXML files, but nowadays this is becoming common. Microsoft corruption paid off. Not a single person was sent to prison, let alone put on trial or an antitrust probe. It sure seems — as Microsoft would would gladly demonstrate — that very large corporations are above the law and if they are eager to engage in fraud and corruption, then they will get away with it, provided they are close enough to government (Microsoft — like Cisco and AT&T — is somewhat an NSA Trojan horse).
A few days ago a good British journalist wrote about Open Document Format, reminding us of what many people forgot. I could never forget ODF because I wrote almost a thousand posts about this area and I saw a huge amount of Microsoft crime going on without punishment (let alone any promise of punishment). This saga helped show that no matter how much crime Microsoft commits (e.g. bribing governments) some governments will continue to protect it. US officials will even act like Microsoft marketing people, almost as if they are trying to set up spying posts in other countries. They would go as far as trying to portray ODF as "anti American" because it can reduce dependence on Microsoft’s back doors-friendly operating system.
Earlier today Glyn Moody asked,” where did ODF disappear to?”
As Moody put it: “Readers with good memories may remember various key fights over the years that were largely about ODF and OOXML. The first round culminated in the extraordinarily shoddy fast-tracking of OOXML through the ISO standards process. Then we had a big battle over open standards in general, which also involved ODF and OOXML, where the UK government performed a dizzying series of U-turns.
“That was over two years ago, and it struck me that after years of sound and fury, and all the work the open source community put into supporting ODF and open standards, we have recently heard nothing about the use of ODF by the UK government. That is, OOXML seems to have won be default. Indeed, it is striking that practically every document from the UK government is in OOXML format: for a while, there was an attempt to offer ODF formats too, but clearly people in UK government have given up even pretending to be fair here.”
Remember that as long as Microsoft protects criminals who do it with impunity (state support) it will continue to be protected by the Establishment. For anyone who thinks that technical merits can be used to win an argument, well… politics is not hinged on logic. The NSA and NSA-funded GCHQ show us that politics is not even hinged on law. Outlawed practices (cracking, viruses, etc.) and digital disorder (like OOXML) is okay when those in power say they need it. █
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Summary: Microsoft’s history of bribing government officials teaches us that a chain of accountability is needed if Europe really wishes to emancipate itself from Microsoft/NSA trespassing
A Polish watchdog has just come out in favour of monitored IT procurement . Having watched what happened in France, Quebec [1, 2, 3], and Switzerland, it is easy to see why. To use just Switzerland’s case, recall posts such as the following:
- Microsoft Sued Over Its Corruption in Switzerland, Microsoft Debt Revisited
- Can the United Kingdom and Hungary Still be Sued for Excluding Free Software?
- 3 New Counts of Antitrust Violation by Microsoft?
- Is Microsoft Breaking the Law in Switzerland Too?
- Microsoft Uses Lobbyists to Attack Holland’s Migration to Free Software and Sort of Bribes South African Teachers Who Use Windows
- ZDNet/eWeek Ruins Peter Judge’s Good Article by Attacking Red Hat When Microsoft Does the Crime
- Week of Microsoft Government Affairs: a Look Back, a Look Ahead
- Lawsuit Against Microsoft/Switzerland Succeeds So Far, More Countries/Companies Should Follow Suit
- Latest Reports on Microsoft Bulk Deals Being Blocked in Switzerland, New Zealand
- Swiss Government and Federal Computer Weekly: Why the Hostility Towards Free Software?
- Switzerland and the UK Under Fire for Perpetual Microsoft Engagements
- Lawsuit Over Alleged Microsoft Corruption in Switzerland Escalates to Federal Court
- When Microsoft-Only/Lock-in is Defined as “Technology”
Europe is moving towards Free software [2,3,4], which makes perfect sense amid the NSA scandals. Let’s just hope that the IT procurement steps are totally transparent; without transparency, Microsoft will just carry on bribing government officials in exchange for lucrative deals. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
Public procurement of IT solutions must be monitored for violations, the Polish Free and Open Source Software Foundation (FWiOO) concludes in its final report on its public IT procurement project PPPIT, published this summer. After having studied hundreds of procurement procedures by Polish public administrations, the organisation infers that requests and specifications can be formulated seemingly without breaking the rules.
Isn’t that refreshing? Instead of pouring more $billions into M$’s coffers for permission to run IT, European governments are actually switching to FLOSS and GNU/Linux because of open standards, lower costs and higher flexibility. Good for them! Now, about Canada…
Neelie Kroes, VP of the European Commission (EC), has a website called Comment Neelie to initiate and maintain a two-way conversation between herself, as a politician, and the public, as citizens. Kroes says that it’s “a channel to communicate, not just broadcast.”
Germany’s upcoming government coalition of CDU, CSU and SPD is to encourage the use of open source software in public administrations. In its coalition treaty, leaked last Monday evening, the government describes open source is an alternative to ‘closed digital ecosystems’ and says it will commit itself to open source at a European level.
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Summary: Protesting against financial fraud is now a crime, punishable as though it’s worse than the fraud
I GENERALLY don’t believe in borrowing from the future (or speculations regarding the future). A lot of society now treats going into debt as a normal thing (sometimes inevitability), but we should remember that calling oneself a “house owner” when it’s actually a bank the owns the house while the so-called “house owner” is just a “mortgage payer”, i.e. debt slave, is a form of brainwash for the impatient — a shortcut to cushion an illusion of ownership.
In recent years adolescent were pushed into the debt treadmill. It weakens or even paralyses tomorrow’s adults. The tuition fees were increased rapidly and price hikes like that just make education a luxury of debt takers or rich children, not a human right (in some nations higher education is still free). In the US, this has turned into a federal business  and in the UK it is now being privatised  (essentially corruption). This is one among many injustices, induced by lobbying from the financial pseudo-industry.
Those who speak out against financial injustices have mostly enjoyed their freedom of speech… until now. Based on , protest now leads to prison. Sad times. So the criminals (of the most expensive form) don’t go to jail; those who protest against the criminals go to jail. Wall Street (institutions of wealth) has useful alliances with institutions of power and it shows. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
Billy Talen to stand trial for preaching on bank’s environmental record accompanied by choir members wearing toad hats
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And prison sentences, too
Summary: What really would have happened if there was justice in this world; bankrupt Microsoft, executives with long jail sentences, rapid restoration of fair competition
Microsoft is pretty much forced to ‘cooperate” with a probe over its bribery tactics, which Microsoft is seemingly trying to hide by distraction. To quote The Register, “Microsoft says it will cooperate with US investigators probing alleged bribery of foreign officials. It’s claimed Redmond’s resellers bunged cash to apparatchiks in Russia and Pakistan in return for contracts with state-backed businesses.”
As Pogson put it:
Ever wondered why M$ manages to sell licences to all kinds of folks even when GNU/Linux is a better option, with a lower price, better performance and fewer problems? It just may be that big businesses, governments, schools, and organizations that have large numbers of system, are being manipulated by a few well-placed bribes.
Remember EDGI and remember what Microsoft did to government and schools in Russia. It is a serious case of corruption, even by Chinese and Russian standards.
As put by Nokia observer Tomi Ahonen the othe day, “I have tried to be ‘fair’ and ‘open-minded’ about Microsoft in my writing and on this blog. However, this is the tech company with the nickname ‘The Evil Empire’. That term comes with plenty of cause – over the past three decades Microsoft has been fined countless times huge sums for crushing competitors with illegal methods, using its monopolistic position like a bully. I personally have been a user, supporter, registered developer, and/or authorized trainer for many of the various victims of Microsoft from WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3 to Novell Netware, Mosaic and Netscape.”
Here is part 2. Microsoft apologists may say that “Ballmer Successor Must Apologize to Partners”, but we don’t agree. Microsoft should apologise and also compensate its rivals which it bribed against, even if that means the immediate bankruptcy of Microsoft (they should pull out more money — earned by criminal activities — from bank accounts of Microsoft executives past and present, including Gates and Ballmer).
Sadly, given false (or mutually similar) choices offered by the corporate media, this perfectly legitimate option is rendered “not worth entertaining”; big banks show this to be the norm. Those who commit crime, even if caught, are made the richest and most powerful people, hence they can continue to harm society and whitewash their reputation. █
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Financial fraud continues, without the ‘Bernard Madoff’ treatment
Summary: The latest crimes of Microsoft lead to a class action lawsuit filed by its own shareholders
Microsoft is no stranger to financial fraud, which goes a long way back at the company. The software monopolist, Microsoft, habitually defrauds investors. I can say that with confidence given my decade or so of research into it. Traditionally, Microsoft has bribed the accusers, but what happens when class action is at stake? Microsoft paid, while entering debt/operating at a loss, millions of dollars to one employee who had blown the whistle on financial misconduct (also see [1, 2]), but can Microsoft afford to bribe millions of people?
The press release about this new class action lawsuit says:
The complaint charges Microsoft and certain of its officers with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Microsoft is the world’s largest software company, primarily as a result of its near-monopoly on Windows personal computer (“PC”) operating system software and its Microsoft Office collection of productivity programs.
The complaint alleges that, during the Class Period, defendants issued materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s financial performance and its tablet computer, the Surface RT. Specifically, defendants misrepresented and failed to make public the following adverse facts: (i) that the Company’s Surface RT product was experiencing poor customer demand and lackluster sales; (ii) that the Company’s Surface RT inventory experienced a material decline in value during the quarter ended March 31, 2013; (iii) that the Company’s financial statements for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 were materially false and misleading and violated Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and Microsoft’s publicly disclosed policy of accounting for inventories; (iv) that the Company’s Form 10-Q for its third quarter of 2013 failed to disclose then presently known trends, events or uncertainties associated with the Surface RT product that were reasonably likely to have a material effect on Microsoft’s future
operating results; and (v) that based on the foregoing, defendants lacked a reasonable basis for their positive statements about the Company’s Surface RT product during the Class Period.
“It’s a pretty clear case about lying,” iophk says. “It’s there in black and white and registered with official sources. Not much chance for a normal company. However, there are people that help Microsoft avoid the regular rules of business.”
We have covered some examples of that before. iophk continues: “Will they still make a special exception for Microsoft even in the case of defrauding investors and the government?
“Wasn’t there a good quote from an authority that criticised Gates for equating being forced to follow the rules with an attempt to destroy Microsoft?”
‘A government official involved in the case said: “The government is not trying to destroy Microsoft, it’s simply seeking to compel Microsoft to obey the law. It’s quite revealing that Mr. Gates equates the two.”‘ (source)
Here is some further commentary on this news:
No, they’re not being cooked, just sued for misrepresenting their financial situation in public statements upon which some investors base their decisions.
Pro-Microsoft sites like Neowin covered this with apparent concern:
The exact sales of Microsoft’s Surface RT tablets are the subject of a newly filed class action lawsuit against the company. The lawsuit alleges that Microsoft has issued “false and misleading statements” concerning the sales of its first PC hardware product, which Microsoft launched in October 2012.
The law firm of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd filed the suit on behalf of the plaintiff, Gail Fialkov, and Microsoft is named as a defendant in the case. In addition, the lawsuit names CEO Steve Ballmer as a defendant along with former CFO Peter Klein; Corporate Vice President Frank Brod; and Tami Reller, who served as the head of business and marketing for the Windows division until the company’s recent restructuring, when she was then named as head of all marketing.
The lawsuit claims that Microsoft failed to state how bad sales of the Surface RT have been and that the company’s inventory of the tablet “experienced a material decline in value during the quarter ended March 31, 2013.” The lawsuit also alleges that Microsoft’s financial statements for that same quarter were “materially false and misleading” and violated both general accounting practices along with Microsoft’s own “policy of accounting for inventories.” The law firm is seeking an unspecified amount of damages from Microsoft.
“Pogson covered it yesterday,” wrote iopkh, “Microsoft got caught lying to the SEC. PCWorld [part of IDG] is trying to cover for them now.” Here comes IDG with Microsoft-leaning promotional language that belittles the case:
Microsoft couldn’t be reached for comment at press time.
The promotional language is not hard to see. Apparently crime is not taken seriously anymore, especially when rich people commit the crime (unless they’re lone wolves like Bernard Madoff and not Goldman Sachs, hence easier to prosecute and use as a whipping boy to appease the public). █
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Entering the same league as Enron’s
Summary: How Microsoft staff engaged in insider trading while the company taunted Yahoo! (before entryism was complete)
Several years ago we wrote about insider trading at Microsoft. Nobody goes to jail despite a lot of money getting stolen using fraud. It seems like wearing a suit and calling oneself an “executive” is now immunity against jail terms.
Todd Bishop says that amid the destruction of Yahoo by Microsoft some people in Microsoft made a killing and even Microsoft’s actions acknowledge this:
Microsoft has put an unidentified employee on administrative leave pending the results of an internal investigation related to charges of insider trading against a financial analyst who allegedly received advance word about the company’s Yahoo search partnership agreement in 2009. The charges are connected to the high-profile case against SAC Capital Advisors.
The Redmond company, which has not been accused of wrongdoing in the case, said in a statement, “As a company we have zero tolerance for insider trading, and we assisted the government with this investigation. We have strict policies that prohibit insider trading, and we expect our employees to adhere to them.”
Lies therein and other PR which is BS. The company is all about financial fraud. This is a rigged market and Microsoft participates in the rigging, with financial fraud going even decades back.
For those who are not sufficiently familiar with Microsoft, the above PR statement might seem reasonable, even a legitimate defence. But Microsoft is a criminal corporation with a long record of crime, including financial offences, so it deserves no tolerance from regulators.
So, will anyone go too jail this time around? Unlikely. White-collar crime has cells only for some scapegoats and symbolic sacrifices like Madoff. Goldman Sachs is free, despite ‘pulling a Madoff’ at a vastly higher scale of magnitude. Enron’s corrupt CEO Jeffrey Skilling (shown at the top) is almost released now, showing that sacrifices too get pardoned providing they’re called “executives”. █
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