Patents on trivial concepts can’t carry water for Apple
Summary: Apple’s attacks on Android (and by extension Linux) run short of results
DESPITE Apple’s ‘generous’ payments to IDG (e.g. for advertisements), IDC‘s parent company, IDC now reports (as widely covered in the media) that Apple is unlikely to ever catch up with Android and Apple’s stock rapidly collapsed recently, costing the company around $100 billion in overall value.
Apple saw the writings on the wall some years ago. It started suing Android half a decade ago, taking advantage of a notorious patent system (the USPTO) that is such an utter joke that it actually let McDonalds have patents on making burgers (patents protectionism) just when in the US, based on this new report, some people are copyrighting a chicken sandwich (or at least trying to). Remember that Oracle attacks Android not only using patents but also copyrights (on APIs). CPTN, a consortium built around Novell’s patents with Apple, Microsoft and Oracle at its core, shows that there is a proprietary software collusion against Android/Linux. Microsoft has been destroying Nokia to turn it into a patent troll, using its patents to feed Android-hostile trolls like MOSAID.
Outside the US (although increasingly in the US too) Apple has not been so lucky when it comes to fighting Android. Watch Europe for instance. Aside from the fact that the system isn’t biased in favour of US companies (like the ITC tends to be), Apple’s slide-to-unlock patent, to give just one example, is nothing more than an old gate lock (thousands of years old) borrowed for digital metaphors. It’s just not patentable in many places, including in Europe. Apple has ultimately embarrassed itself by even trying to follow Steve Jobs' "thermonuclear" (apocalyptic) plan.
“Apple’s anti-Android/anti-Samsung patents are an endangered species in every jurisdiction in which they get challenged (and may soon be an extinct species in Europe)…”
–Florian MüllerAccording to Florian Müller, who has been working for Microsoft (and based on some reports also for Apple) as a sort of lobbyist, Apple continues to be defeated in Europe. To put it in his own words: “The spring 2014 armistice with Google has a major downside for Apple: it related only to infringement cases, not to challenges to the validity of its patents, a fact that was not clear at the time of the original announcement. Five months ago, the European Patent Office revoked Apple’s iconic rubberbanding patent on a Europe-wide basis. The sole remaining party opposing the grant of that patent was Motorola. I have no doubt that Google (not Lenovo) is the driving force behind this continuing effort to shoot down Apple patents, and I guess Google is paying Quinn Emanuel for representing Motorola in cases such as that one.
“Today, Google and QE’s continuing efforts have succeeded once again (and most probably not for the last time): the Federal Court of Justice, Germany’s highest court (besides, theoretically, the Federal Constitutional Court, which has never heard a patent case in its history), today announced (German-language press release) affirmance of the Federal Patent Court’s April 2013 decision to invalidate the German part of Apple’s European slide-to-unlock patent.”
In another article from Müller the failures of Apple are shown to be broader than just in Europe. To quote: “Apple’s anti-Android/anti-Samsung patents are an endangered species in every jurisdiction in which they get challenged (and may soon be an extinct species in Europe), except for the Northern District of California, where Judge Lucy Koh has so far acted as if she was the World Wildlife Fund for Apple patents. But a tipping point may have been reached at which conservation will come to an end even in her district court.”
When even Müller has no favourable opinion on Apple’s case it’s easy to conclude that Apple totally lost the plot.
Let’s hope that Apple will rot on its own, without (any longer) trying to take Android down along with it. █
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This is what Microsoft staff distributes to attendees in FOSS events:
Photo credit: Neil McAllister
Summary: Microsoft’s relentless attacks on GNU/Linux and Free software in general (even if it runs on Windows) are so evident that claims of ‘love’ remain laughable at best (if not infuriating)
MICROSOFT JUST CANNOT HELP itself. It’s like a scorpion riding a tortoise over a river. It keeps attacking GNU/Linux while claiming that it “loves Linux”. The truth is, Microsoft loathes Linux with a deep passion, but it doesn’t want to show this because it needs to infiltrate Linux events such as LinuxCon. It’s a strategy of entryism. It’s really ugly.
Imagine Microsoft having Linux folks as its keynote guests/speakers in its developers’ events, preaching passionately in favour of Free software (GPL for instance). Microsoft keeps infiltrating every single Linux event that matters. Microsoft is paying for it and it knows that it’s annoying people who pay a lot of money to attend (or whose employers are sponsors). Microsoft runs many developers’ events. Imagine Linux ‘infiltrating’ these. That would be entryism in reverse. But FOSS doesn’t play dirty. We leave the crimes and the unethical deeds to Microsoft.
Several days ago someone wrote to point out that Microsoft speaks nonsense and spread FUD again. To quote:
The giant from Redmond must be desperate since it has to use a controversial story from a relatively small Italian city to combat open source software, as in the mean time many larger deployments also in Italy are happy with LibreOffice and the numbers produced by Provincia di Perugia prove the opposite of the Microsoft-publication.
As Robert Pogson put it: “Why do they keep spreading it? Every time they get caught lying they destroy their own credibility amongst their loyal followers, if there are any left…”
Microsoft and its goons recently spread some more lies about Munich, using media partners which took the words of just two people and made that seem like the whole of Munich was upset with GNU/Linux. “Most people don’t really realize that they have Linux and they do not really care,” wrote Mr. Heath yesterday . He was the first person who wrote a story about this in English, foreseeing and properly preparing for Microsoft’s FUD attacks (Microsoft advocacy sites soon took the story out of context to lie about Munich).
Susan Linton, writing her daily column, said that “everyone reading of this knew that couldn’t be entirely right and today Heath reported, “the bulk of users have not taken issue with the move.” He quoted Munich IT developer, Jan-Marek Glogowski, at DebConf15 saying, “Most people don’t really realize that they have Linux and they do not really care, they want to do their stuff.” That’s not to say there aren’t issues and growing pains, primarily keeping up with hardware support with LTS Ubuntu-base, but plans are to keep forging ahead. Robert Pogson linked to the actual video from DebConf15.”
So basically we have just Microsoft FUD going on. Here is a new article that is just more utter lies, maybe ‘prepared’ propaganda from Microsoft (misleading, inaccurate) . They have totally made up the ‘facts’ to sell people the illusion that GNU/Linux is a failure. It’s that same old tired Munich lobbying from Microsoft Germany. As Pogson noted:
Lately, in the news, we read that agitators are still pushing to roll back GNU/Linux desktops.
They really are just “agitators”; there are only 2 of them at the moment, but they are joined by Microsoft spinners who have access to newspapers and/or news sites. “Munich councillors want to return to proprietary software,” wrote Gijs Hillenius in the European press, but we are speaking about just “two councillors [who] have not yet responded to emails seeking their position on interoperability” (if they know what it is at all, as they’re non-technical). Maybe they need to ask Microsoft Germany.
This headline, “Munich Officials Who Dumped Windows For Linux Want Microsoft’s OS Back” , is also a lie because it’s not the same officials, there’s no change of mind, there are just 2 dissenting voices.
This latest round of anti-GNU/Linux FUD is not something that we are unfamiliar with. We wrote dozens of in-depth articles about this. Munich is a large-scale migration and as we showed in previous years, Microsoft usually orchestrates this FUD behind the scenes. Sometimes some information leaks out to the media, showing Microsoft’s role in it (occasionally through proxies like HP). All we have here is a PR exercise, not news. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
In spite of complaints from a couple of councillors about the Limux OS, the city council said the bulk of users have not taken issue with the move.
“Most people don’t really realize that they have Linux and they do not really care,” said Jan-Marek Glogowski, a developer in the IT team at the City of Munich told the DebConf Debian developers meeting earlier this month.
Whatever the case, the city of Munich will have to wait it out for another year at least. According to The Inquirer, a review and subsequent response into the future IT policy will not take place until the end of 2016.
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Data Center Operating System (DCOS) is a proprietary trap
“I’d be glad to help tilt lotus into into the death spiral. I could do it Friday afternoon but not Saturday. I could do it pretty much any time the following week.”
–Brad Silverberg, Microsoft
Summary: Hiding behind a misleading ‘open’ label while actually backed by Microsoft (and based on new rumours may join Microsoft), Mesosphere wishes to eradicate Free and back doors-free software in large datacentres hosting a lot of physical and virtual servers
WE have patiently been watching with great concern a company called Mesosphere. We have been watching it for quite some time, but have not yet properly covered it in Techrights (except incidentally). I personally complained about it many times in social media sites, not just because it’s backed by Silverberg (some Microsoft-centric publications call him “Mr. Windows” these days) but because it’s basically proprietary yet pretends to be ‘open’. It’s a big deception. Mesosphere is a parasite that has been often (and mostly) promoted by friends of Microsoft over the past year. Mesosphere is one of those companies that only people bribed by Microsoft (like Om Malik and his increasingly-defunct ‘news’ network) would actually openwash, excepting perhaps some gullible journalists who truly believe that there is genuine openness at Mesosphere or merely repeat what others are writing (the corrupting effect of manufactured hype).
Thankfully, Mesosphere is now showing its true colours, so we need not merely speculate or accuse Mesosphere with relatively weak evidence. Mesosphere has nothing to do with FOSS, except the fact that it wants to replace it with its own proprietary operating system. It can be viewed as a Microsoft Trojan horse with Microsoft veterans backing it — the same sorts of people who would distribute “Microsoft loves Linux” buttons (spreading a Big Lie) to help themselves devour the GNU/Linux market.
“Avoid Mesosphere, Mesos, and the Data Center Operating System (DCOS). Treat them as a creation of Microsoft, emanated silently to entrap the competition.”A Microsoft propaganda site (and by extension a network) recently showed Microsoft’s anti-Linux plan of entryism [1, 2], trying to make GNU/Linux just subservient to Windows, essentially demoting it. Other Microsoft propaganda sites did the same thing at the same time. Then we saw rumours that Microsoft was essentially ‘buying’ its own moles, just as it had done with Xamarin (now bankrolled by Microsoft veterans). All one has to do now is watch headlines from the financial press, for instance:
There are many more like the above, but we omit them for the sake of brevity.
I personally feel somewhat vindicated, having repeatedly accused Mesosphere of serving Microsoft’s agenda. I said the same about Mono about a decade ago, well before it officially became a sort of Microsoft adjunct in the form of Xamarin. These are more like moles. They serve as Microsoft’s bridge into the heart of the competition.
Mesosphere ought to be treated as a Trojan horse or a proprietary software company with Microsoft roots (intending to replace GNU/Linux at datacentres). It shows true colours with articles such as “Why Microsoft Could Reportedly Want To Buy Cloud Startup Mesosphere Even At $1 Billion”.
Watch what Microsoft boosters are writing right now [1, 2, 3]. Headlines such as “Windows Server Getting Open Source Mesos Container Technology for Scaled Operations” or “Mesosphere And Microsoft Bring Mesos To Windows Server” speak volumes.
Microsoft’s many attacks on GNU/Linux and Free software can only be as effective as GNU/Linux users can be dumb, gullible, defeatist, or lenient. Scott M. Fulton III, a Microsoft expert, wrote the other day that:
Developers outside of Microsoft will be able to experiment for the first time with new classes of applications that run partly on Windows, partly on Linux.
As one response to this framed the key message: “It’s hard to imagine anyone actually wanting to build an application that is part-Linux, part-Windows. Or, to go one step further, to intentionally engineer a server-based program that straddles two very, very different flavors of operating system.
“Why on Earth would anyone build or use an application that needs two operating systems to function?”
Why would anyone need a platform from Mesosphere to manage GNU/Linux? It’s not even Free software, so back doors are to be expected (voluntary or not), compromising the security of everything down the hierarchy/stack.
Avoid Mesosphere, Mesos, and the Data Center Operating System (DCOS). Treat them as a creation of Microsoft, emanated silently to entrap the competition. Time will tell what Mesosphere really is and where it’s heading. █
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Summary: A look at the recent assault on GNU/Linux in Munich and the likely cause for this assault (in such a timely fashion, too)
Over the past couple of days we have been writing about what Microsoft does in Munich, basically trying to stereotype/stigmatise this city’s GNU/Linux migration (also on the desktops) as a failure, doing so repeatedly, each time just quoting a person or two at most. There is now a good article on the subject, noting: “This “story” surfaces every several months and, for some reason I always fail to fathom, everybody starts parroting it. It goes thus: Munich is sick and tired of how inadequate Linux is for everyday use and is ready to ditch years of work and millions of euros to return to Windows.
“As usual, the facts say something different: all that has happened this time around is that two (count ’em: 2) councillors have sent a letter to the mayor requesting that some new devices that have had Limux (Munich’s tailored Linux flavour) installed on them, be equipped with Windows because the Linux distro comes with “no programs (text editing programs, Skype, Office, etc.)” that the councilors can use.”
This “story” has once again been amplified by Microsoft propaganda sites and then some blogs, perpetuating old myths and factual inaccuracies (some more gross than others). Microsoft AstroTurfing is quite possible here. As one person, Michael Matthew, put it this morning, “Microsoft Germany has their own dedicated team to wrest Munich away from Linux” (and Free software at large).
“They are trying to scare those who wish to move governments to GNU/Linux, especially in light of Vista 10′s serious failings.”It is not hard to see why Microsoft is nervous about Munich. The city’s success story with GNU/Linux can lead to the spread of a new trend, so McCarthyism (like witch-hunt against Communism) is what Microsoft now resorts to. Vista 10′s overt privacy violations combined or conjoined with NSA leaks that show Microsoft collusion in espionage can potentially destroy the Windows monopoly everywhere in the world, including parts of the US. There are “Lots of Reasons to Avoid Windows 10″, as the Goodbye Microsoft Web site put it earlier today, and “Meanwhile, Linux is getting easier to install and more capable every year. And it doesn’t snoop. Some applications issue crash reports that ask me if I want to send them to the developers; “no” is always presented as an option.”
Ken Starks, in the mean time, says it’s time to target (and boycott) Lenovo for spyware that it adds to Windows. Lenovo merely piggybacks Microsoft when it comes to surveillance, so it would make sense to target everything that runs Windows, not just Lenovo. It’s a tool of espionage. It is also not secure (by design), so even Five Eyes oughtn’t use it in governments. It’s a bait or a trap.
Microsoft is understandably nervous right now because Vista 10 is failing in a very big way, as we last showed last night.
The large army of Microsoft boosters at IDG (some are existing Microsoft employees, not just former ones) continues to belittle Vista 10 issues. Remember that IDG receives a lot of money from Microsoft in order to promote Vista 10 (advertisements in IDG sites), so IDG appointing many Microsoft people as “writers” simply makes business sense. Preston Gralla is the latest among the boosters of Vista 10, doing his usual Microsoft propaganda (he has been doing this for over a decade) which iophk calls “spin and lies” because it’s hardly hinged on facts at all. It’s jaw-dropping drivel which might only fool the most gullible among readers.
Having already made a beautiful Spanish word, “Vista”, get a bad connotation (Like Isis), Microsoft now does the same thing to a special decimal number, “10″. Attacking Munich’s story of successful migration to GNU/Linux is a priority at the moment. They are trying to scare those who wish to move governments to GNU/Linux, especially in light of Vista 10′s serious failings. In many countries and in many occupations the EULA of Vista 10 is not even compatible with the law. █
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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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Summary: Microsoft and its minions refuse to leave Munich alone, even though the vast majority in Munich are perfectly happy with Free/libre software
A story that we covered here on Monday has received quite some attention, far more than we anticipated. It’s basically about a letter composed by two technically-incompetent people, which means it’s full of factual errors and serves more as Microsoft endorsement and scare tactics against GNU/Linux, ODF, and Free software. It’s about Munich, where two officials got a lot more press than they deserved (even in English-speaking media [1, 2, 3]). As one article put it, “proprietary software companies are known for their public affairs (lobby) large budgets.” The article recalls “90 percent discount from then Microsoft CEO Steve ‘I’ve had the time of my life’ Ballmer to keep Windows” (a form of bribery in a sense).
“The article recalls “90 percent discount from then Microsoft CEO Steve ‘I’ve had the time of my life’ Ballmer to keep Windows” (a form of bribery in a sense).”Continuing the trend and the line which we went along the other day, in this article from the Monday Glyn Moody said that Russian “Members of parliament [are] worried about personal and classified data being sent to the US.”
The British media covered this as well, saying that “Russian lawyers have filed a complaint calling for an outright ban – or at least tight restrictions – over the sale of Windows 10 in Russia.”
Well, they’re right and Munich would be ever so dumb to abandon software Freedom, having already paid a lot to escape the lock-in/exit barrier, whereupon it chooses to be spied on by a hostile country which targets Germany (political espionage). Moving to Windows would mean Vista 10 or later (our contacts at Microsoft says that future version will have even more spying).
Munich is going to stay with Free software, as before, but the Microsoft camp keeps trying to maintain the mythology of failure there. The negative press gives many officials the wrong impressions and scares them, discouraging any other nation-wide moves to GNU/Linux. That’s what it’s all about. █
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Strapping NSA back doors onto Munich oughtn’t be an option
Summary: A look at a strange suggestion, signed by Sabine Pfeiler (above) and Otto Seidl, who suggest going back to Microsoft which is basically a spyware company now
THE enormous long-term cost of Microsoft Windows, deferred and inevitably incurred due to blackmail and espionage (possibly more expensive then dealing with script kiddies/crackers alone), was detailed in the previous post. No nation other than the US (not even other Five Eyes nations) should procure proprietary software from the United States. Britain has just repeated this error  and some Microsoft fans in Germany apparently want to revert back to making this error, having already undone this error (dumping proprietary software, including Microsoft, in Munich).
We wish to start with some rather exciting news. Thankfully enough, Russia is now following China’s footsteps and may ban Vista 10 (China also banned Office in government, not just Vista 8, recognising that it’s a collective Trojan horse from the NSA). Last year or the year before that Russia had already taken first steps towards banning Windows by banning x86 in government (Wintel) and days ago it went further. Citing Russian media, Linux Veda writes: “The vice speaker of Russia’s State Duma, Nikolai Levichev, has written to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev asking for the Russian government to ban the use of Windows 10 amongst Russian civil servants. Levichev is concerned that Microsoft may allow US agencies to access data collected from Russian officials.”
Based on countless leaks from the NSA (many mention Russia by name), the above is undoubtedly being done. To think otherwise would be willful ignorance. Germany too is a target (political and industrial espionage), as recently demonstrated by Wikileaks, not just Snowden’s leaks and subsequent unattributed leaks.
It then leads us to our main topic, which is bogus stories from Microsoft propaganda sites, distorting the stories that were originally published in Germany about a week ago. We have a misleading headline about just two people, making them sound like the whole city of Munich. These people are Sabine Pfeiler and Otto Seidl.
Microsoft propaganda sites will latch onto anything and anyone, as they have been doing for years, never leaving Munich alone because it has become an embarrassment to Microsoft and a winning example/trophy for GNU/Linux on the desktop. What Microsoft does in Munich right now is definitely not sitting on its hands and accepting defeat. There is lobbying that is difficult for outsiders to see, but evidence occasionally comes out, as we have shown here over the years (we wrote dozens of articles about this). Partner companies, not just moles or lobbyists, are involved in this. Munich is constantly under attack.
A European reader of ours helped us understand what is happening in Munich right now. “Two ‘softers,” he said, is what it boils down to. “Annoying that they get any press at all. [...] it does look like only two ‘softers and not two independent people. More can be done to bring up the games that Microsoft continues to play against competitors, especially FOSS. Too many are falling for that “another chance” tactic, one that’s been used every few years for decades.”
We tried to find out more, for instance anything suspicious in the professional background of the troublemakers. Microsoft recently blackmailed members of the British Parliament, as it had previously done in Norway and other places (if you do what we say, we’ll do this thing for your area, but if you don’t, we’ll punish you). There are plenty of bribes and blackmail examples; Microsoft is full of those.
Our reader tracked down the original PDF. It is signed by these two people:
Sabine Pfeiler, Stadtrat
Otto Seidl, Stadtrat
“Your German is certainly better than mine,” said the reader, “but there are probably these two. They’re both in office through 2020. The main argument that the laptops have no programs for text editing, Skype, Office etc does not hold water. LibreOffice and even nasty ol’ unsafe Skype are available for GNU/Linux on x86, though the latter has not been approved by the IT dept there. But the Tech Republic article does say they are using Intel processors and that LibreOffice is on them.
“Seidl had in 2014 defended LiMux against mayor Dieter Reiter and Josef Schmid. However, I think that something is fishy, but cannot find anything with just a cursory search.”
“Microsoft just remotely modifies Vista 10 and won’t explain how, why, and when.”Vista 10 is an unacceptable risk, especially for government, and German has been more strict than most nations about digital control over its computing (even UEFI 'secure boot' is verboten). Vista 10 can add back doors, bug doors, delete files, add files etc. and it won’t even tell the user. We covered this the other day, noting that RMS (Richard Stallman) was right all along. This is why Microsoft will consider doing almost anything (even blackmail and bribes) to get its way here, enabling the Trojan horse to slip inside the whole of Germany. The NSA would certainly like for this to happen.
According to Manish Singh, “[i]f you’re having trouble deciphering what exactly Microsoft is bundling in Windows 10 updates, it is not your fault. Moreover, it is about to get worse. Microsoft has confirmed that it might choose to not offer a detailed changelog with new Windows 10 updates.”
Microsoft just remotely modifies Vista 10 and won’t explain how, why, and when. It is virtually as though one’s own computer is rented or leased. Even the British media took note. Simon Sharwood spoke to Microsoft and then reported that “Microsoft has explained its policy about how much information it will offer on the content of Cumulative Updates to Windows 10.”
Remember that for most users it will be impossible to even deny automatic updates. Microsoft Peter, not only Microsoft sceptics, reminds us right now that Microsoft has no plans to tell us what’s in Windows patches. Vista 10 already has back doors (and worse, it turns networks into botnets), but the point is, additional ones can be added at any time, silently. What would happen at times of war? Germany simply mustn’t consider going back to Windows and more cities should now follow Munich’s lead, maybe adopting much of the same Free software that Munich developed over the years.
Have politicians actually been following what’s happening right now? BND collusion with the NSA makes it simpler to blackmail German politicians, this we know for sure… █
Related/contextual items from the news:
The UK’s Crown Commercial Service (CCS) yesterday revealed that it would be teaming up with software giant Oracle, in a three-year partnership which will see the two collaborate to deliver services to public sector bodies including the National Health Service (NHS).
Just weeks after the government announced that it would be cutting back on its use of Oracle software, the new deal instead extends the existing agreement signed in 2012 and aims to bring new cost-saving solutions. The CCS has promised the that the signing of the Oracle memorandum of understanding (MoU) will “deliver additional savings for the taxpayer.”
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…but some people install it because it doesn’t cost them anything upfront
“I’m going to f—ing kill Google.”
–Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO
Summary: A roundup of recent reports about Windows 10, which is akin to Windows Vista in many ways
VISTA 10 is a mess. Ask the management of Microsoft what it thinks of it (while no cameras or microphones point at the management’s direction). When Vista was released the company gloated and dubbed it the “best ever” although later E-mails (requested by subpoena) showed that internally the opposite was being said. Ask Microsoft’s engineers what they think of Vista 10 (I have). Look at how a third mega patch got released within just 2.5 weeks, essentially acting almost like a re-release of the whole operating system given its massive size (almost everything at the core gets replaced).
See “Bill Gates dumped a huge amount of Microsoft stock this year” and “Bill Gates unloads $717M in Microsoft stock in first half of 2015, tops list of U.S. insider stock sales” (composed by Microsoft’s longtime booster, Todd Bishop). This accelerated just shortly after the release of Vista 10, as we noted over a week ago. He seems to be taking his money out before it’s too late, more quickly than ever before. This is not a sign of confidence.
Attacking the Competition
Last week we wrote about how Microsoft attacked Linux on Raspberry Pi. This was first announced quite a while ago and now that it is practically happening reviewers say that Vista 10 IoT Core is a disaster on Raspberry Pi, which hardly surprises us. It’s all just branding. There is no substance and it’s technically a misfit.
A couple of weeks ago we showed how Microsoft used Vista 10 to also attack Mozilla, not just Linux dual-boot setups, as this article serves to remind us. Any of “the failed attempts [to install/configure dual-boot] had been reinstalls of once successful installations. And in all the failed attempts, the cause centered around installing the boot loader GRUB, as you’ll see from the following screenshots.”
Microsoft Tim wrote about how Microsoft uses Vista 10 to essentially delete (or remove the path to) Firefox as the default browser, just as Microsoft treats Linux partitions when one installs Vista 10.
Let this remind us that any news about Vista 10 is therefore relevant to GNU/Linux users. It cannot be ignored by GNU/Linux users because Vista 10 certainly won’t ignore, as opposed to try to screw, the competition. Remember that Google formally complained (to the authorities) about Windows Vista. It happened when Vista came out. Microsoft was deliberately trying to “f—ing kill Google,” to use Ballmer’s language. A lot people don’t remember this anymore. Microsoft plays dirty, still.
Privacy Violations in Vista 10
The Daily Fail, probably Britain’s worst newspaper, referred to Microsoft Peter as “Analysts” in this piece about Microsoft’s privacy violations that even GNU/Linux sites have covered. Well, Microsoft Peter didn’t find out about it, he just wrote about what people had been saying in some popular Web forums and what we also covered here nearly a fortnight ago. Microsoft blatantly ignores users’ settings for business reasons.
“With Windows 10 snooping on your every keystroke,” wrote SJVN, “it’s time to consider an alternative: the Linux desktop.”
Microsoft’s ‘muppet labs’ (that’s what our reader iophk calls this PR unit of Microsoft) is now being propped up by the New York Times. It is marketing disguised as an article, in which Microsoft’s attack on privacy is framed as “science”. They try to pretend that surveillance over people is somehow beneficial to ‘research’ or ‘science’. Nice spin they got there…
Microsoft Emil (Emil Protalinski, predecessor of Microsoft Peter at Ars technica) is back to Microsoft propaganda with this Vista 10 promotion. Has Microsoft recruited him or something? Maybe his loyalty from his previous job…
There are certainly still a lot of manufactured ‘articles’ in favour of Vista 10. There is a big budget behind it.
Deflecting the Outrage to Lenovo
Microsoft Peter managed to deflect criticism from Microsoft to Lenovo last week, causing some sites to call for a boycott of Lenovo rather than a boycott of Microsoft (or both). As The Register put it, “Microsoft made it possible,” so shouldn’t we discuss the role of Microsoft too?
Pushing People to Adopt Newer Versions of Windows
Some Microsoft apologists and boosters have been calling on Windows users to buy (pay for) or install newer versions of Windows, with more antifeatures. Citing “security”, as if newer is actually safer (the opposite is often true), they try to induce panic and rush people to ‘upgrade’.
Simon Sharwood of The Register has expressed concern about many out-of-date servers running an old version of Windows — one that is not even supported anymore. Back doors may therefore be exploited in many Web sites, databases etc. — back doors which not only Five Eyes espionage agencies know about.
Sharwood claims that at least 175 million such servers exist and that this “number comes from Netcraft’s regular count of the world’s web servers. The company’s August survey found 874,408,576 sites running on 5,391,301 web-facing computers.”
“The bottom line?” says Sharwood, is that “ten per cent of all web-facing computers are running old and poorly-secured web servers, at least by today’s standards.”
Well, any version of Windows has back doors, so any server which runs any version of Windows is a “poorly-secured web server,” to use Sharwood’s words.
Remember that some of these contain credit card details. Windows, which has contained NSA back doors for well over a decade, is clearly not suitable for any server anywhere in the world. Over the years we have given many high-profile examples where millions of credit card details had been snatched from Windows servers. Almost every such incident turned out to involve Windows, despite it being in a minority market share in this area.
But Hey, Microsoft Lowered the Cost to $0
Vista 10 is definitely not free, but for existing users of Windows, it can be viewed as a ‘free’ ‘upgrade’, if selling oneself to Microsoft qualifies as ‘free’ (it’s definitely not freedom).
As Susan Linton put it the other day, citing a poll from Microsoft-centric site and a Microsoft booster, “nearly 2/3 respondents say the zero price tag was the reason they chose to upgrade to Windows 10.” █
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