“Embrace and extend” manoeuvre in action
Image credit: Linux Veda
Summary: Articles in the corporate media and some analysis from smaller media sites serve to highlight the role which Microsoft plays in Cyanogen
THIS topic was covered here before (to some degree), but the severity could not be emphasised strongly enough because Microsoft is in the “extend” phase of its infamous “embrace, extend, extinguish” (EEE) manoeuvre and this time it targets Android.
In our previous posts about Cyanogen (almost a dozen of them) we highlighted Microsoft’s offers of funding to Cyanogen and Microsoft-friendly sources of financing to Cyanogen. Rupert Murdoch aside (a friend of Bill Gates and sworn enemy of Google), Twitter reportedly helps fund the Microsoft-serving actor known as Cyanogen; it is worth noting that Twitter partnered with Microsoft on translations, ads, etc.
To avoid us having to recapitulate and repeat the broad evidence connecting Microsoft and Cyanogen, consider reading articles such as:
For those who still believe that Microsoft is trying to be ‘nice’ here, see what we wrote exactly one week ago; it’s a 6-part series:
There is a new article from Jack Germain and the article is titled “Big Money Helps Cyanogen Go for Android’s Jugular”.
ECT’s Germain foolishly (if not foolishly, then it’s malicious) quotes Microsoft mouthpiece Rob Enderle regarding this Microsoft proxy, Cyanogen. It is not surprising that he comes up with phrases like: “In some developer communities, negative reactions toward Google rival the disdain usually reserved for Microsoft.”
That’s actually not true. Many developers love Google or at least accept it much more openly than they accept Apple for example. Google not only funds many FOSS projects but also runs many of its own. This article not only relays Enderle’s Microsoft-inspired talking points but neglects to mention ECT also gave Enderle its platform for a pay in the past. Very irresponsible ‘journalism’. See part 6 of the 6-parts series above. Microsoft relies on such media distortion to distract from its crimes and abuses.
“Many developers love Google or at least accept it much more openly than they accept Apple for example.”A much better article has just come from Eric Brown, who explained Cyanogen’s connection to Microsoft. He correctly noted that Samsung’s Microsoft ‘deal’ came just one “month after Microsoft and Samsung settled a longstanding royalties lawsuit” (there is a connection there).
“An acquisition,” he explains, “also remains a possibility. Like Microsoft, most of Cyanogen’s employees are based in Seattle.” It would not be shocking if some of the staff is former Microsoft staff trying to disrupt Google.
Cyanogen and Microsoft are “close to finalizing a wide-ranging partnership,” he added, citing seemingly reliable sources.
Brown’s article, “Are Cyanogen and Microsoft Ready to Stick it to Google?”, is a good and comprehensive roundup of many things we have covered. It says: “The rumor of a Cyanogen partnership with Microsoft emerged in January in a Wall Street Journal report that Microsoft would be a minority investor in the fast growing software firm. The Forbes story reports that the rumored $80 million funding round has just been completed, but did not include Microsoft. An investment may well be part of the bundling deal expected later this year, however.”
Brown also explains that “many of CyanogenMod’s 50 million users purchase Google Apps, even if they’ve just flashed it from their Android phone in order to load CyanogenMod. The open source Android clone has gained its huge following, including some 9,000 open source developer volunteers, due to its up-to-date, open source, bloatware-free Android code. Also popular are its extensive customization opportunities, better battery life, and often faster performance. The project was launched in 2009 by hacker extraordinaire Steve Kondik, who continues on as Cyanogen’s CTO.
“Mobile device vendors who pay big money to Google to pre-install the popular Google Apps have long chafed at the relationship. Google has reportedly used the apps as leverage to ensure greater control over Android or sell other Google services. Samsung’s backing of the Linux-based Tizen platform was seen as a response to Google’s app domination, although the company now appears to have slowed its push for Tizen on phones even as it continues to deploy it elsewhere.”
“Bribes and extortion don’t make Microsoft ‘nice’; they make it more evil (and arguably more dangerous) than ever before.”Cyanogen as a Microsoft proxy does not require unsound hypotheses. It’s not far-fetched at all given all the evidence, including patent extortion against Samsung and OEM partners like Dell (now directly connected to Microsoft). “A month after Microsoft and Samsung settled a longstanding royalties lawsuit,” Brown explains, “the companies expanded a partnership this week that was announced at Mobile World Congress. In addition to pre-installing Microsoft OneNote, OneDrive, and Skype on Samsung’s new Galaxy 6 phones, Samsung says it will soon bundle those apps, along with Android-optimized Office apps (Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), on selected Samsung Android tablets. Microsoft also announced it has signed similar deals with Dell, as well as 10 other lesser known hardware partners.”
Those other hardware partners were always — as far as we can tell — subjected to patent extortion from Microsoft. Brown concludes: “It’s unclear whether that bullet may someday ride in on a deal with Microsoft that goes beyond apps to include a version of Windows Phone based on Cyanogen OS. An acquisition also remains a possibility. Like Microsoft, most of Cyanogen’s employees are based in Seattle.”
Brown does not omit context such as Microsoft’s hatred of GNU/Linux. He additionally notes: “The ironies are thick here, considering that for many years Microsoft strong-armed PC vendors into pre-installing Office, or pressured them into loading Windows on netbooks instead of Linux. Now, after Google ruined its plans to establish Windows Phone as the rival mobile platform to Apple’s iOS, Microsoft is playing the underdog game while increasingly cozying up to open source projects, including the Raspberry Pi Foundation and perhaps Cyanogen.”
We have already chastised the Raspberry Pi Foundation over this. Its response to us was sarcastic, not factual, which does make one wonder if Microsoft is indeed paying the Raspberry Pi Foundation a lot of money to do this. Bribes and extortion don’t make Microsoft ‘nice’; they make it more evil (and arguably more dangerous) than ever before. █
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Summary: Microsoft’s obscene double-standards leave Android and Linux between a rock and a hard place
IS IT true that Microsoft loves Linux? What a silly question, but some people and even GNU/Linux vendors actually entertain the possibility that Microsoft loves GNU/Linux, even in the face of heavy and overwhelming contradictory evidence (we gave plenty of evidence to the contrary on Saturday, in a 6-part “Microsoft Hates Linux” series).
As Zacks put it earlier today, “Microsoft has come up with a way for Android users to install a Windows 10-based ROM on Android devices that would take them over and offer Windows-based software offerings (Cortana, Office and Skype).”
For Microsoft, wiping Android from inside Android is "OK", but wiping Windows is not allowed or even possible in some cases. Microsoft actively works to prevent it. As this new article reminds us, “Microsoft tightens Windows 10′s Secure Boot screws” to prevent GNU/Linux from booting (let alone being installed). There are borderline apologists of this — those who try to spin that as “good news” because people can now avoid such machines or buy GNU/Linux preinstalled instead. Either way, Microsoft has made life very hard for GNU/Linux users and one comment I received earlier today said: “I want to buy the hardware I like and I want to install the software I like onto it. Why is there a company (read: a devil) who decides what my options are? Why aren’t there any independent hardware builders? So the Linux community is depending on the mood of angry corporations?”
Well, Microsoft is now relying on vendors to help it reduce options and prevent people from exercising real choice. It’s like an assault by proxy — one to which antitrust laws apply. There is patent blackmail in the mix, as Microsoft coerces vendors into betraying their customers, at legal gunpoint.
Bridget Carey from CNET (part of CBS) said that “Microsoft is getting friendly with Android.”
Apparently then, patent extortion and bribes is “friendly”. We are very much annoyed to see Microsoft-friendly media (paid by Microsoft) characterising extortion and bribes as Microsoft “getting friendly” or “playing nicer” with Android. It’s a massive lie. There is also no mention of what Microsoft is really up to in the article “Microsoft’s Android and iOS assault”. It mentions nothing about coercion using patent extortion. Microsoft decided to sue over software patents (mere claims) with their lawyers (e.g. against Samsung), that’s how they strike so-called “deals” for “select Android devices”. Tools of blackmail are not about “deals” but about abuse. Three years ago Pegatron was extorted by Microsoft, so no wonder it too got ‘co-opted’. Pegatron, Samsung and so on (even the Microsoft-connected Dell) are not surprising members of this blackmail-driven ‘pact’; Microsoft likes to target large distributors of Android using lawsuits. It’s Microsoft’s new strategy, there is no newly-found love.
Then there is the Cyanogen case, which nicely shows how Microsoft works by proxy. The Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal misleads on Google ‘antitrust’ while Murdoch himself now openly invests in this anti-Google and pro-Microsoft company called Cyanogen. We wrote about it earlier this week. There is a new article titled “Why people are wrong about the world needing an Android that Google can’t control” and what it fails to mention is that Cyanogen sells Android users to Microsoft. That’s the business model. Cyanogen is now a tool of Microsoft and this article says that “[a]ccording to sources familiar with the matter, future devices taking advantage of Cyanogen OS might actually ship out with Microsoft Bing and Office apps instead of Google Search Drive.”
eWeek has got a misleading series of articles right now. One is titled “Cyanogen Aspires to Become Open-Source Android Alternative to Google”. Well, preinstalling Microsoft’s proprietary software is not “Open-Source Android Alternative to Google” but a proprietary alternative to Android. Todd Weiss, writing another article for eWeek, is also wrong. The headline says “Android Open-Source Vendor Cyanogen Veers Off Google’s Android Path”. However, Cyanogen is not “Android Open-Source Vendor” but a Microsoft tool replacing FOSS (for the most part) with Microsoft proprietary software which sucks up data (documents, audio, etc.) to be relayed to the NSA.
In our IRC channels MinceR wrote that “Cyanogen shows its true colors as yet another front for Microsoft,” citing this article. The goal is to destroy Android and to make it another Windows. Microsoft will try to make it less visible by changing the terms of financing, keeping Cyanogen at a short distance to save face. Microsoft is now paying them handsomely but secretly, as an applications (via OEMs) partner rather than an investor. Here at Techrights we wrote about 4 articles about it in the past 1.5 weeks alone and prior to that we warned about Cyanogen for its proprietary software agenda, which is also apathetic towards privacy. Cyanogen has nothing to do with control, privacy, freedom etc.; it just tries to turn Android into Windows in exchange for cash. Bill Gates’ friend Rupert Murdoch now funds it personally and Microsoft was going to fund it too before Murdoch’s media published an exclusive article about it, drawing criticism rather than glee.
Mark said that Cyanogen is “a colorless, toxic gas,” according to Wikipedia. “Cyanogen is a highly toxic compound” “Lethal dose through inhalation typically ranges from 100 to 150 mg. [...] cyanogen is very toxic, as it readily undergoes reduction to cyanide, which poisons the cytochrome c oxidase complex, thus interrupting the mitochondrial electron transfer chain” (see Wikipedia for more).
“Why in the world,” remarked Mark, “would anyone name their software product after a deadly poison? Perhaps their subconscious mind is warning people.”
In part 6 of our "Microsoft Hates Linux" series we wrote about Microsoft’s manipulation of the press, which causes proprietary software from Microsoft to be characterised as “open”. Even Linux Magazine fell for it; it’s part of the effort to paint Visual Studio “open”, “free”, or whatever.
India’s Government, as we mentioned at the time, currently formulates policy on adoption of open source software (several more articles are appearing right now to cover this right now) and that’s why Microsoft pretends to be “Open Source”. It doesn’t want to be left excluded, so it needs to pretend to be part of the Open Source crowd. It’s achieved by means of hijack/capture/infiltration and unless the public antagonises this, Microsoft will get its way. █
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Summary: Microsoft’s Android coup d’état is succeeding owing to public apathy and poor comprehension of what Microsoft really is up to, partly due to media misdirection
Promoters of Microsoft try to tell us that Android backers are now turning to Microsoft, but what they don't talk about are the extortion, bribes and back room deals. This new article from Neil McAllister is belittling (by not even mentioning) the role of blackmail in the case of Samsung, the clear leader in the Android world (based on market share). McAllister says that “Microsoft, still struggling to gain a foothold in the smartphone market, is pressing ahead with efforts to have its software bundled on Android devices from major manufacturers, with Samsung as its first partner.” This is a classic lie by omission and we have seen it almost everywhere we looked on the Internet (presumably it’s the same in the press).
What’s rather troubling is that with more patent lawsuits (Microsoft is still suing Android/Linux using software patents) Microsoft might have more such 'partners' (extorted parties) on the way, not to mention bribed ‘partners’ [1, 2]. Cyanogen got caught opening up to money from Microsoft because they got coverage from Rupert Murdoch-owned media (Wall Street Journal) and interestingly enough it is now Rupert Murdoch who provides funds to this company which turns Android into ‘Microsoft Android’ (Microsoft software pre-loaded). It isn’t too shocking given Rupert Murdoch’s close relations with Microsoft and with Bill Gates, let aside his hatred of Google.
According to this report, Cyanogen “has secured $80m (£54m) in funding from the likes of Twitter, Telefonica and the media mogul Rupert Murdoch.” CBS says “Cyanogen raised $80 million in a series C round of funding led by venture-capital firm Premji Invest, the company announced on Monday. Twitter’s private-investment arm, Twitter Ventures, as well as Qualcomm, and even media bigwig Rupert Murdoch participated in the funding round. In total, Cyanogen has raised $110 million since 2009.”
As we pointed out even years ago, Cyanogen is neither about freedom nor privacy. At the moment it’s about pre-loading Microsoft software (surveillance-centric) from Microsoft. It’s not hard to see whose interests are being served by Cyanogen. █
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Microsoft loves [to hijack and repurpose] Linux
Defections at gunpoint
Summary: A strategy involving harassment and bribes drives large Android players into Microsoft’s arms (PRISM and lock-in), much to Google’s (and users’) detriment and beyond regulators’ range of visibility
LAST month we said that Microsoft was reportedly using patent blackmail to pressure Samsung into becoming a Microsoft peon. We were later proven right and Microsoft’s booster (one of very many who now work for CBS) Mary Jo Foley put a positive spin on it, as if it was all kisses and roses. She continues doing that in her latest puff piece (framing that as nothing nefarious) where she says that “Samsung announced last month it would preinstall OneNote, OneDrive and Skype on the Glaxy S6 and S6 Edge. In the coming months — some time in the first half of calendar 2015, Samsung also will preinstall Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype on “select” Samsung Android tablets, Samsung announced today.”
Mary Jo Foley does not mention the patent case and settlement, does she? That would upset Microsoft, which is too busy portraying itself as a friend of Linux while it is suing Linux (using software patents).
Following Microsoft’s support for Cyanogen (again, do not be misled by retractions after getting caught) Microsoft’s booster writes that “[i]f the rumor mill is right, Android distribution startup Cyanogen might be next up to forge a similar bundling relationship with Microsoft. A recent Forbes report claims Cyanogen is “close to finalizing a wide-ranging partnership to incorporate several of Microsoft’s mobile services, including Bing, the voice-powered Cortana digital assistant, the OneDrive cloud-storage system, Skype and Outlook, into Cyanogen’s devices.”
Microsoft’s booster also mentions Dell. How convenient. Our Dell wiki pages would help remind readers what Microsoft has done to Dell not only on the Android front but on other fronts too. Dell is nothing but a vassal of Microsoft right now.
We expect the next step to be use of patent extortion to force more Android backers into Microsoft's bed. Don’t expect Mary Jo Foley and fellow Microsoft spinners to tell the whole story. Lies by omission may be the strategy.
Microsoft loves Linux like a shark loves fish. █
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Devouring Linux by getting into bed with it
Summary: Microsoft ‘loves’ Linux so much that it is trying to get on top of Linux and then delete Linux
MICROSOFT is trying hard to derail Android, which is the biggest disseminator of Linux. Now we have additional clues about Microsoft’s motivation in getting control over Cyanogen or getting into Android’s bed. It’s akin to someone trying to stab someone in his/her sleep, or shoot him/her in the back whilst pretending to be a friend/lover.
According to some sources, competing in terms of quality or price (or hijacking another company like Nokia) is not enough for Microsoft. Embrace, extend, and extinguish is the plan. See the articles “Microsoft Is Developing Software That Converts Android Phones To Windows 10″, “Microsoft is building a Windows 10 ROM that wipes Android off phones” and “Microsoft’s new scheme could become Google’s worst Android nightmare”. These are self-explanatory, so no further comment from us is needed.
It is stuff like this which one ought to alert Canonical/Ubuntu about, since they are willing to go into Azure (trap/Trojan horse), as we shall explain some time next week. Wait until some fools like Canonical’s managers find Microsoft offering conversion tools on Azure (from Ubuntu to Windows’ latest version), reminding us how Microsoft treats so-called ‘partners’. Ubuntu just refuses to learn from experience or observation of Kyocera's fate. Microsoft has no friends, only partners to be used and then eliminated (when there’s no use left in them).
Over at CBS, the Microsoft booster wrote that “Microsoft cooks up way to run Windows 10 on Android devices”. Now, Microsoft, tell us again how you “love” Linux. Enough love to delete Linux? █
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Android under numerous attacks (from Microsoft), which are conveniently but erroneously disguised as niceties
Image credit: Linux Veda
Summary: How Microsoft tried to destroy Android using a coup d’état approach, just shortly before getting caught, then retreating and rewriting the public record
FOR a company whose CEO publicly claims to have “love” for Linux, this has got to be stand-up comedy. Microsoft hates GNU/Linux like no other company, yet we are supposed to believe that the very opposite is true. Perhaps Microsoft really does think that the world is chronically stupid — in fact stupid enough to pay for rented operating systems that spy on everything and put law-abiding people in prison.
Microsoft is working hard to promote proprietary spyware with OOXML lock-in even on Android. This too Microsoft does poorly. x86 is not supported amid the death of Wintel (x86 is on the demise and Intel is losing big). Microsoft targets Android only because Windows is dying as a common carrier and for Office/OOXML (office suite lock-in/monopoly) to survive it must continue to spread. My in-laws, who recently moved to Android/Linux, had already used LibreOffice, Firefox and Chrome (by personal choice/preference); they did this migration before I even introduced them to GNU/Linux, demonstrating that these things are quietly spreading and are now widely used. Hearsay and friendly neighbours disseminate Free software. Microsoft spies on Windows users and collects data on what applications are installed, so no doubt Microsoft realises the severity of this ‘issue’ (called fair competition). Spreading Office to Android is far from goodwill; it’s more like an intrusion, even in the formats sense (Android is poised to promote ODF, not OOXML).
There is an article this month which is titled “Microsoft’s quiet Android coup”. Well, Microsoft’s Android coup was covered here many times before and it often uses or relies on blackmail, extortion, bribes, etc. It’s an aggressive coup. It’s also covert. There are even attempts at identity change, with the Microsoft-backed Cyanogen changing its logo and now trying to distance itself (in the public eye) from Microsoft. It’s ‘damage control’ as some choose to call that.
From what we can gather regarding Cyanogen, based on numerous news articles, Cyanogen sought Microsoft money, Microsoft agreed, but then the press revealed it, so Microsoft retreated. It was a failed coup attempt. Here is how Microsoft-connected sites put it: “The idea of Redmond investing in Android mod-maker Cyanogen may be too good to be true. Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg reports that Microsoft is not, in fact, a part of Cyanogen’s upcoming funding round, which is now said to be in the ballpark of $110 million. Nonetheless, Microsoft may ultimately end up partnering with Cyanogen in the form of a deal that gets Microsoft’s apps into future Cyanogen software builds, Bloomberg says.”
Actually, the original report from the Wall Street Journal was most likely correct. It’s just that things have changed since then, possible because of the Wall Street Journal report. Here is some more Microsoft-friendly media helping rewrite history: “Although Microsoft has reportedly been in talks with the firmware startup about a possible investment, however, Bloomberg’s sources say Redmond won’t be participating in this funding round.”
It should be noted that Bloomberg itself is a longtime booster of Microsoft, not just those citing it. Public pressure on Cyanogen apparently drove Microsoft away from plans to use this particular proxy, or maybe Cyanogen just freaked out because of publicly-accessible backlash. Articles like this one rewrite history. It’s as though the coup never happened because decisions were consequently changed. How else can a 2-week delay between original report and so-called ‘refutation’ (however poor) be explained? The original ‘refutation’ also fails to deny that Microsoft and Cyanogen got in touch regarding financial transactions. Here is a Microsoft-linked site rewriting history in a very blatant way, stating: “Last month, Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft was planning to take part in this round as a minority investor, but Bloomberg noted today that the Redmond giant ultimately decided to not invest.”
Well, no wonder, given the resultant negative publicity.
In other news, many sites (not just Microsoft-linked sites) said that Microsoft brings software to iOS and Android, namely Cortana, which is a surveillance app (recording the user and transmitting the audio to Microsoft) [1, 2, 3]. As with Office, anyone who characterises this as Microsoft being nice to Android has got to be a fool. Microsoft Peter comments on Microsoft’s motivation, another writer says that Google should worry, and according to this article, [Cortana] “serves as ‘connective tissue’ that ties and binds Redmond’s services, says analyst” (it’s about surveillance and lock-in, it is not added value to Android users).
There are similarly poor PR pieces, such as this one from CBS (ZDNet), titled “Microsoft’s iPhone and Android-friendly Band arrives in the UK”.
Microsoft seeks not to help Android but to destroy or abduct Android (so as to ultimately destroy it, as will be described in the next post, Part IV). Anyone failing to see it needs a closer look at Microsoft’s track record against Android. Do not become Microsoft’s Useful Idiot. █
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‘Loving’ Linux a little too much?
Summary: Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures are suing Android companies using software patents while some Android vendors settle by becoming slaves of Microsoft
MICROSOFT hates GNU/Linux with a very great passion. Its actions speak volumes and it’s easy to see the motivation given that no operating system threatens Microsoft’s very existence like GNU/Linux does. Microsoft needs a ubiquitous Windows as the common carrier, so it responds to the threat of GNU/Linux not by making better products but by undermining GNU/Linux by means of bullying, extortion, bribes, spurious litigation etc. Therein lies the issue.
Weeks ago we wrote that Microsoft was reportedly using patent blackmail to pressure Samsung into becoming a Microsoft peon and later we updated our article to state that Mary Jo Foley had been distorting or making up ‘facts’ about Microsoft’s patent attacks on Android/Linux. Well, Mary Jo Foley (Microsoft’s mouth) now reveals that it’s true that Microsoft blackmailed Samsung into a “Microsoft Android” sort of programme (Android base which runs Microsoft apps and gives users’ data to Microsoft). Mary Jo Foley’s headline, however, is marketing nonsense (for Microsoft). Her headline should say “Samsung Galaxy S6 offers more proof Microsoft is a blackmail and extortion company”. There are other Microsoft-friendly sources (like Mary Jo Foley) confirming this. But wait, it gets worse!
As the Microsoft-paid lobbyist and patent propagandist shows in his latest Android-hostile posts, Microsoft is now suing yet another company for using Android. Microsoft even pursues a ban on Android devices:
Microsoft has asked a court in Seattle to ban Kyocera’s DuraForce, Hydro and Brigadier lines of cellular phones in the U.S., alleging that they infringed seven Microsoft patents.
The software giant has in its complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington charged that some Kyocera phone features that come from its use of the Android operating system infringe its patents.
Wow. Microsoft sure loves Linux, eh?
Those two companies made a patent deal several years ago (with impact on Android), so this is how Microsoft treats its ‘partners’.
One article stated that “Microsoft may be taking some steps to make nice with the Android world, but the company is still willing to pick fights when its royalty payments are at stake. The Windows maker has sued Kyocera in the US over claims that Android phones like the Brigadier and Hydro series violate seven patents on features like location tracking and messaging.”
Only Microsoft boosters would foolishly state that Microsoft is being “nice” towards Android. Trying to abduct and derail it is bad; there’s nothing nice about it. In the Microsoft lawsuit against Kyocera notice that these are software patents, not hardware patents. Hence, Microsoft is still a corrupt bullies’ den, where Horacio and fellow patent aggressors get promoted while others get demoted or ousted. This is where Microsoft is heading strategically! Will settle if Kyocera notice convert to “Microsoft Android” as Samsung did? Well, one sure thing is that Microsoft is still an extortion company. It sues Linux users through vendors, passing liabilities to users. Will it settle if the users are forcibly converted to “Microsoft Android”? How is that not extortion?
The Kyocera news (lawsuit and effort to ban) ought to wake up all the fools (but not corruptible 'journalists') who say that Microsoft loves Linux.
An additional report by Joe Mullin, who tends to focus on patent trolls (for more than half a decade now), says that “Microsoft claims Kyocera infringes its patents with three of Kyocera’s lower-cost Android phones. The accused models include the Duraforce, Hydro, and Brigadier.”
Microsoft is still operating more or less like a patent troll. Watch how it behaves. Watch the strategy. No difference, except the size/scale of the troll.
Turning back again to the Microsoft booster from The Register (Microsoft Gavin, formerly a colleague of Mary Jo Foley), we sure see that Microsoft continues blackmail and extortion against GNU/Linux using software patents. This is based on a conversation with the OIN’s CEO, dated March third (shortly before the Kyocera news). The article titled “Microsoft to Android OEMs: ‘Show me the money’” says:
Microsoft has reserved the right to nail firms making Android devices running its Office suit for possible Windows patent infringements.
The giant has decided against signing a licence with Open Invention Network (OIN), a group of 1,300 companies dedicated to defending Linux against patent suits.
Signing an OIN licence could have stopped the practice of Microsoft accusing Android and other Linux makers of infringing on its Windows patents and signing them up to IP licensing deals.
The decision followed a meeting with OIN in December, where the subject of Microsoft signing an OIN licence was apparently discussed.
OIN veteran chief executive Keith Bergelt met Microsoft’s then-new chief of patent licensing and intellectual property, Eric Andersen.
Bergelt told The Reg Monday his meeting had been a courtesy call to discuss differences and that he’d also held such a meeting with Andersen’s predecessor, Horacio Gutierrez.
Proceedings were “constructive”, Bergelt said, but any hopes that Andersen’s appointment heralded a shift in the giant’s shakedown of Linux device makers and software firms were dashed shortly after, when the OIN chief followed up.
This ought to remind us how Microsoft views Linux and Android. There is no love there at all. Here is how Microsoft’s longtime mouthpiece Todd Bishop framed extortion against Linux. Very shallow. Other popular sites offered equally shallow commentary. It’s virtually useless. They just parrot two PR departments and call that “journalism”.
Perhaps Microsoft loves Linux too much. That’s why Microsoft is suing Linux so often. Perhaps. Make believe!
Making matters even worse, Microsoft can be seen as suing Android also by proxy. Joe Mullin reveals that the Bill Gates- and Microsoft-funded troll, the world’s biggest patent troll, is now attacking Android/Linux at the core (Motorola/Google) with software patents, yet again (it’s not the first time).
As Mullin put it: “Patent-holding giant Intellectual Ventures (IV) began enforcing some of its massive stash of patents with lawsuits in 2010. But its first case, against Motorola Mobility, ended in a mistrial last year when a jury couldn’t agree on the outcome.”
Patent Troll Tracker mentioned this troll a week and a half ago, asking: “Do you mean to tell me that the life sciences industry sees Intellectual Ventures and IPNav as patent trolls? Will wonders never cease.”
Intellectual Ventures is not just another patent troll, it is tool of Microsoft and Bill Gates. They are almost inseparable and they are all exceptionally abusive.
Perhaps we’re just wrong though. Perhaps Microsoft just can’t help ‘loving’ Linux — so much that this month alone it attacks it with software from multiple angles. Or perhaps Microsoft’s Mr. “loves Linux” Nadella is a PR fraud whose role is to play dumb while Bill, Steve, Horacio and their patent trolls attack Linux (he pretends to have nothing to do with it, that’s the likely arrangement). █
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Samsung at risk of climbing back into Microsoft’s bed
Summary: Microsoft is reportedly pressuring Samsung, by means of expensive patent lawsuits, to turn Android into “Microsoft Android” (Microsoft spyware installed by default)
THE clown called Microsoft, which claims to “love Linux”, is still attacking Linux in a big way. Usually this is done more or less covertly, so enough “useful idiots” won’t see it and even defend Microsoft.
The other day we saw Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols addressing Microsoft's attack on Android through Cyanogen. Microsoft wants the world to believe that it ‘owns’ part of Android as it even claims to be ‘licensing’ Android, despite having nothing to do with Android development. Microsoft actively attacks Android from multiple directions and as Vaughan-Nichols put it:
The only thing that makes me take Cyanogen’s plans seriously is that Amazon and Microsoft appear to be looking into investing in Cyanogen to help create an Android software eco-system that’s not under Google’s control. But, honestly, even if Amazon and Microsoft backed Cyanogen to the hilt, would that really matter?
Both companies have tried, and failed, to produce a popular smartphone. Indeed, Amazon’s Fire smartphone lost approximately $170 million.
As for Cyanogen, its most well-known efforts to contract with phone vendors ended up with Indian phone giant Micromax and Chinese company Shenzhen OnePlus Technology locked in a lawsuit in the Indian courts. McMaster also made no friends for Cyanogen when he declared that “Samsung couldn’t build a good OS if they tried.” Since Samsung is the world’s number one Android phone vendor and Kondik’s former employer, this doesn’t strike me as a way to win sales partners and influence carriers.
Only Microsoft with Windows Phone has seen even 2 percent of the mobile market. That’s not enough. Even Windows Phone fans, given the lack of support for the platform from carriers like Verizon, have given up on Windows Phone. Major companies, including Chase and Bank of America, are also no longer supporting Windows Phone.
Cyanogen will fail just like similar attempts at disrupting Android at Microsoft’s behalf. But it doesn’t make the above any less harmful.
Samsung, based on some sources, is again leaning to Microsoft, which may blackmailing the Android leader (in terms of market share) into the agenda of “Microsoft Android” (extortion by Microsoft so as to get its way, as usual).
Engadget, for instance, wrote that “[q]uite a few smartphone fans will tell you that a Samsung phone’s Achilles’ heel is its software — you’ll find a ton of (frequently unwanted) apps and features that do little besides chew up space and slow things down. You may get to wave goodbye to that cruft when the Galaxy S6 shows up, however. A SamMobile source claims that Samsung is yanking a lot of its usual pre-installed bloatware, making the GS6 “amazingly fast” compared to a weighed-down phone like the Galaxy Note 4. The titles wouldn’t go away forever, but you’d have to download in-house apps if you did want them. Instead, the focus would be on a host of included Microsoft apps: Office, OneDrive, OneNote and Skype would give you some solid productivity out of the box. It’s not clear if the Microsoft deal has any connection to a recent truce with Samsung over patent royalties, although it wouldn’t be surprising.”
Samsung was the first devices company that publicly subscribed/signed up for Microsoft’s patent attack on Linux in 2007, so we wouldn’t be shocked if Samsung indeed decided to play ball for Microsoft, much as Nokia and Facebook had attempted (both Microsoft-owned, at least in part). █
Update: Mary Jo Foley is Distorting or Making Up ‘Facts’ About Microsoft’s Patent Attack on Android/Linux
An article by Paul Hill, linking to this widely-cited article, says that Microsoft is trying to hijack Android. He writes the following: “It looks like the two companies settled under the condition that Samsung will pre-load Microsoft’s apps on their Android devices.
“It’s likely that the next Samsung flagship smartphone will squarely try to appeal to corporate users as Samsung is already extremely popular with casual users. The device is expected to be launched on March 1st at Samsung’s annual ‘Unpacked’ event at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona alongside the Galaxy S Edge, an offering with curved edges that look as though they may give quick access to apps, but for obvious reasons, this isn’t clear.”
It has been clear that Microsoft would try hard to make Android users dependent on OOXML and other Microsoft traps, but ZDNet, which is owned by CBS, continues to distort some facts and we must respond to that. The company’s Microsoft booster (one of many) Mary Jo Foley promotes the infiltration by saying that “SamMobile claims the Galaxy S6 will remove pre-installed Samsung apps like S Voice, S Health, S Note and Scrapbook. These will be replaced by Microsoft apps like OneDrive, OneNote, the new standalone Office mobile apps and Skype.”
Putting aside the crucial observation that this is not yet confirmed (see context above and bear in mind that SamMobile is scarcely known and hasn’t acquired reputation), she adds some nonsense to it all by not introducing the full history of Microsoft and Samsung, including that old patent deal which apparently was more to do with FAT than anything else. ZDNet posts a summary  linking to the booster’s  biased claims that add to the unsubstantiated smear, repeating the lie that has Microsoft portrayed as making billions out of Android, despite there being no concrete evidence (it’s most likely that scaring OEMs is the goal). Given the patterns of Microsoft propaganda in ZDNet, we are not too shocked to see this. We do need to respond to these perceptions that are propagated to damage Android/Linux. These perceptions are mostly created and spread by sources that are aligned with Microsoft, as we’ve demonstrated in past years.
Related/contextual items from the news:
The suit against Samsung over royalty payments for Microsoft’s patents has been settled. It involved payments to Microsoft that Samsung had stopped paying due to claims that the former’s purchase of Nokia’s handset business was a breach of the royalty agreement.
Neither company disclosed terms of the settlement.
Samsung is one of about two dozen companies selling Android, Chrome OS and/or Linux devices that are paying patent-royalty licensing fees to Microsoft.
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