Photo by JD Lasica
Summary: Mark Hurd, who navigated closer to Linux and had Microsoft name HP as a competitive threat for this (in its SEC filings even), was not really ejected for his publicly-exaggerated situation with Fisher; MSI turns to Linux for slates and Microsoft starts turning to more Vista 8 vapourware
EARLIER this month we raised suspicions that Hurd got virtually fired (pressured to quit) for his policies rather than any particular scandal [1, 2, 3].
Our suspicions are beginning to seem more likely now that a news article reveals that “HP decided Hurd exit ‘before’ actress settlement” (quoting the headline in full). From the article:
HP had decided to force this month’s resignation of chief executive Mark Hurd before he settled a sexual harassment claim from a former actress, according to sources close to the matter.
Hurd was forced out of the company because the board concluded he had broken HP’s code of conduct. While the directors found Hurd had not harassed Fisher, they found improper expense filing that allegedly deliberately failed to reveal the actress’ name on a number of occasions.
Hurd said he was not involved in filing the expenses and was not attempting to conceal any relationship. Fisher has also said that she and Hurd “never had an affair or intimate sexual relationship”.
“This kind of hypocrite sexual puritanism and „political correctness” in American companies is imbecile at best,” told me Răzvan Sandu from Bucureşti, România (Bucharest, Romania).
As we pointed out before, HP officially brought Vista 7 back to tablets just days after Hurd got canned (yes, they made his departure look friendly and all). We are now learning from Mary Jo Microsoft that “Another Windows 7 slate dropped from this year’s Christmas list” (again, just quoting the headline):
Another week, another Windows 7 slate is cut from the list of those slated (pun intended) to ship in time for this holiday season.
This time, as Engadget’s PC reviewer extraordinaire Joanna Stern noted on August 23, the vendor didn’t decide to dump Windows 7 for Android. Instead, MSI has decided to delay its Windows 7-based WindPad so it can incorporate Intel’s Oak Trail processors that are expected to offer better power management and battery life. (MSI is also developing an Android WindPad slate, which is still on tap to ship before the end of this year, by the way.)
Here comes Linux (Android) again, this time to a slate from MSI. Will anyone toss management people at MSI? After choosing Linux (WebOS) over Vista 7 for slate at HP a Vice President from Microsoft was appointed to become software head at HP and then Hurd got ejected. One of our readers believes that Microsoft is ‘pulling a Belluzzo’.
On a separate note, since Vista 7 fails to sell much (don’t believe the hype), Microsoft keeps pushing the Vista 8 envelope. Microsoft booster Marius Oiaga produces more vapourware and there is also shameless fawning from an Indian site upon a certain anniversary.
Windows 95 marks 15th birthday in uncertain Microsoft future
The company is also now facing long-term threats to its success. Apple and now Google both have much larger presences in the smartphone space where Microsoft has had to scrap Windows Mobile and start fresh with Windows Phone 7 to stay current. Attempts by co-founder Bill Gates and later Steve Ballmer to force acceptance of pen-based Windows tablet PCs have also been undermined almost overnight as the iPad has crushed tablet PC records; Apple sold more than twice as many tablets in three months than Microsoft was expected to manage all year.
“When I want to do something mindless to relax, I install windows 95,” Jean-Louis Gassée once said. He had history at Apple, which challenges Microsoft at the consumer’s high end, whereas GNU/Linux challenges Microsoft at the business high end and the consumer’s low end. It’s not surprising that Microsoft's stock is approaching a minimum right now. Shareholders are not too happy.
It’s time for Microsoft to drastically raise its dividend, says Eric Jackson, the founder of hedge fund Ironfire Capital, which owns 12,000 shares of Microsoft.
How about having them pay tax for a change? █
“In January of 1994, Waggener Edstrom began recruiting 100 key editors, 32 analysts, and 150 third-party vendors for the Windows 95 bandwagon. Lining up the national media and the business press was easy. Edstrom had been massaging those relationships for over a decade, sending flowers and cartoons and reminding editors of their spouses’ birthdays and wedding anniversaries, earning her “Gates’s keeper” reputation. Not only would these people tout Windows 95, they would also be more inclined to show sympathy for Microsoft when competitors started ragging them. [...] In an unusual move, Edstrom’s minions had New York’s Empire State Building lit in the Windows 95 colors. [...] Waggener Edstrom claimed that Microsoft received more media attention than even the O.J. Simpson trial, which was going on at the same time.”
–Barbarians Led by Bill Gates, a book composed
by the daughter of Microsoft’s Pam Edstrom
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Summary: HP suggests that a tablet with Windows may come before a tablet with WebOS and Microsoft entryism is therefore revisited
IN A COUPLE OF prior posts we warned that Hurd's departure might be bad news to Linux at HP. A few days later HP spoke to the public (conference call) and revealed what we had feared all along. HP has already hired a Vice President from Microsoft to become software head (that was a few months ago) and the ‘Microsoft press’ keeps talking about possible Hurd (CEO) replacements from Microsoft:
Internal candidates to replace Hurd include Todd Bradley, who turned around the company’s once-struggling PC business. Ann Livermore, who runs HP’s huge services business is another oft-mentioned possibility. Outside candidates include two Softies: Microsoft COO Kevin Turner and Stephen Elop, president of the company’s Business Division.
Another Microsoft-boosting Web site has other Microsoft candidates in mind:
Handicapping HP’s CEO search
This is a reach, but one interesting possibility to think about is Robbie Bach, the outgoing Entertainment & Devices Division president at Microsoft. Bach has said he truly plans to retire, but given his history across business computing and mobile devices — and his impending availability — he would seem less of a long shot than the Microsoft execs floated by the Seattle Times last week: Kevin Turner, the company’s chief operating officer, and Bob Muglia, the Microsoft Server & Tools president.
Tim Bajarin, typically a stern Microsoft booster, says that “HP’s New CEO Must Embrace Palm,” but based on Murdoch’s rags/tabloids, “HP to Ship Microsoft Tablet This Year, webOS Tablet Next Year” (and notice the bits about Android):
Noticeably absent from Bradley’s list: that Android device that was supposed to arrive at market in the fourth quarter of 2010. As I reported in July that tablet has been tabled–at least for the time being.
“HP Officially Delays Tablet until 2011,” says this report, but at least it’s not cancelled [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Here is one take on it:
Hewlett-Packard confirmed its tablet plans in a conference call on Thursday.
From a product standpoint, company executives said that a “Microsoft product” would appear in the “near future,” with a “WebOS product in early 2011.” That appears to confirm both reports of HP’s Windows tablet as well as the company’s plans to feature WebOS after HP purchased Palm.
It still seems like a step back because HP dumped Vista 7, at least when it comes to Slate (a form of tablet).
Speaking of potential Microsoft entryism, watch what goes in at OpenAmplify:
OpenAmplify, the Semantic Web platform, today announced that Sanjay Parthasarathy has joined its executive board. Parthasarathy brings over two decades of experience to the OpenAmplify team, most recently serving as corporate vice president of the Developer and Platform Evangelism Group (D&PE) and also the Microsoft Startup Business Accelerator.
Also mind changes at DigitalTown:
Mark is Director of Strategic Relationships for Microsoft Corp. /quotes/comstock/15*!msft/quotes/nls/msft (MSFT 24.23, -0.21, -0.86%) Media & Entertainment Group and has more than 13 years’ experience in developing innovative business and technology solutions for global media companies. He is based in Los Angeles.
Wipro is growing closer to Microsoft, which makes it hard to trust and Microsoft liars find a new home at Liar Liar List LLC:
Liarliarlist.com (http://liarliarlist.com), a brand new website that publishes members reviews of people who lie on their online dating profiles, has just appointed Microsoft Corporation alumni Adesh Desai as Chief Technology Officer and Deepak Sodhi as Chief Operating Officer.
It is possible that Microsoft too will be getting a new CEO. There are rumours about Ballmer being pushed out and Microsoft proponents don’t want him either (only 9% say he is doing a great job based on a recent poll). “Half of Microsoft’s (Anonymous) Employees Don’t Approve of Steve Ballmer,” heralded the Seattle Weekly blogs a short while ago, so now we know how even employees feel, despite being indoctrinated.
Half of Microsoft’s (Anonymous) Employees Don’t Approve of Steve Ballmer
You’ve heard of this guy Mark Hurd, right? The Hewlett-Packard CEO forced to resign late last week because of a sexual harassment investigation? Lots of his employees apparently didn’t like him very much. At least according to his record-low approval rating of 34-percent on Glassdoor.com, a site that lets employees anonymously dish on their bosses.
It’s not impossible for Ballmer to replace Hurd, either. Earlier this year Ballmer was strutting HP’s gear (Slate) on stage. It did not really have a penguin on it; it had Vista 7. █
Original photo here, fair use for humour purposes
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Photo by JD Lasica
Summary: Microsoft loses its power struggle in the Free/open source community and the OEM channel; One of our readers opines that Microsoft may have been responsible for Hurd’s departure from HP
MICROSOFT is going through some tough times (unless one minds the PR). Fortunately, Microsoft is collapsing as even attempts to “embrace and extend” the free/libre competition bite the dust [1, 2, 3] and Microsoft Gavin spins it too weakly for Microsoft. “Microsoft has reportedly refused to comment officially on the changes,” he writes and “[r]eading between the lines, it would seem that Microsoft’s push for Microsoft-versions of dynamic languages has fallen victim to overall budget cuts and changing priorities.”
Jason Perlow suggests breaking up the company and famous columnist Robert X. Cringley is having a go at Microsoft as well (he “seems to sort of use Mac, not sure that’s true,” says a reader of ours. “But the same points could be used for switching to Linux as well.”):
It’s kind of pathetic, really. Most of these arguments are premised on the notion that if you’ve already wasted most of your adult life using Windows, you’ll be more familiar with it than the Mac, so you might as well waste the rest of your adult life. Which is really the only reason why Microsoft continues to dominate desktop market share: It’s harder to switch than to stick with what you got, even if what you got sucks eggs.
Cringely (over at IDG/InfoWorld, so maybe not the original pseudonym’s owner, Mark Stephens) also says that “Microsoft needs more than a new slogan” and in IRC we’ve been having an interesting discussion with an employee of HP. We have already mentioned that at least one possible replacement for Hurd is from Microsoft. Two articles pointed this out and someone who claims to be from HP (nadege) told us: “Hurd was not a Microsoft Monkey. We should know the new CEO within 2 weeks”
HP's new software head was hired from Microsoft a few months ago, which means that he sits on the desk in executive meetings of HP. gnufreex writes: “I have theory about canning Hurd
“Yahoo was too independent company and they put Bartz. And SGI too. And HP of 90′.”
–gnufreexnadege says: “Not sure Hurd was fired due to Microsoft Retaliation : HP & Microsoft are partners, and HP promote a lot the Microsoft products”
“HP does promote Microsoft, but Microsoft doesn’t forgive competition,” gnufreex tells nadege. “Palm is competition”
nadege responds with: “HP promotes Microsoft due to a special relationship. However, HP is still an independent company. So I don’t think Microsoft will put its own CEO at HP”
“Yahoo was too independent company,” gnufreex tells nadege, “and they put Bartz. And SGI too. And HP of 90′. Read this http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=belluzzo&defid=3861632”
Someone seems to have coined the term “belluzzo” for Microsoft mole. To quote from Urban Dictionary:
Someone who acts against the interests of the organization he’s with, often in favor of some other organization he may be secretly working for instead – a mole.
Those acts – along with the reward from Microsfot – got him the nickname “the microsoft mole” (google “microsoft mole Belluzzo”) in those companies, and occaionally the term “a belluzzo” is used to describe someone who seems to be acting in the interest of a different company than the one he works for.
For details about Yahoo! entryism, see our Wiki. Earlier today we showed that Newsweek‘s outgoing Managing Editor now works for Microsoft (MSN). Bartz could be just another Belluzzo.
“Also note what they did to IBM’s OS/2, IBM was special partner too,” gnufreex adds. “When you are Microsoft competitor, you are on their hit list [...] That is exactly why they are firing him [...] I mean, not they are not firing him, they are setting the harassment case”
“HP has to be close to Microsoft,” nadege confesses, “otherwise Microsoft will favour Acer or Dell, and HP will lose its leadership. It’s tough to be a Microsoft Partner [...] And believe me : Customers (Companies and end users) want Microsoft products. They won’t accept any huge replacement of Windows.”
Chips B Malroy says: “they will on tablets [...] just look at the iPad”
nadege responds with: “Tablets, OK. Android will perform well” and gnufreex adds: “Yeah, and that is why Microsoft’s want Palm dead, and they need CEO who will kill it. [...] When I said they need CEO to kill Palm, I mean new HP CEO. Hurd didn’t want to kill his product just to please Microsoft, and now has to go. But then again, he is maybe just a rapist and deserves to be fired, and Microsoft has nothing to do with it”
IDG has a new article titled “Did HP Board Have Hidden Agenda in Removing Hurd?”
“New theories on why HP’s Mark Hurd was forced out,” says another headline.
HP has just been sued by a shareholder [1, 2] (shades of Yahoo!) and an aide is leaving along with Hurd. Well, guess who else is leaving? “Palm Prē design lead ejects from HP,” says this report from The Register.
Demi-disgraced HP chief exec Mark Hurd may have been the most-recent high-level exec to exit that company’s Palo Alto headquarters, but he’s not alone in his good-bye drive down US Highway 101.
Thanks to TechCrunch, we now learn that Peter Skillman, Palm’s now-former vice president of design — and the man who shepherded the design of the Palm Prē — has also bailed. An HP spokeswoman tells The Reg that his resignation came “about a month ago.”
Skillman’s departure is no small loss to HP. As the company expands beyond the security of the staid PC ‘n’ server ‘n’ printer markets and dips its toe into the turbulent ‘n’ trendy consumer products free-for-all, it’s going to need all the vision and design expertise it can get.
That cannot be good, can it? Hurd’s ‘Delilah’ says she is sorry and gnufreex writes: “I think Microsoft set him up [...] Because of his Linux related acquisitions [...] I think Microsoft want HP to kill Palm [...] some new Beluzzo might replace him [...] HP Enterpirse Software division (HP-UX and VMS) already got Microsoftie at helm”
The full IRC logs are available to see these claims in sequence. This theory says that they ‘pull a Bartz’ on HP, but evidence is not sufficient.
It was only weeks ago (before Hurd left, followed by the Palm Prē design lead) that HP had filed for a WebOS tablet trademark. It has real potential, but after Hurd officially dumped Vista 7 in favour of WebOS we now learn that Vista 7 is back, almost at the same time that HP put a Microsoft executive (Veghte) in charge of software at HP. Could HP be putting back Windows after dumping Vista 7 from “Slate”? How come?
Last week we showed that there was crime at HP and additional coverage includes:
i. HP settles kickback complaint
ii. HP Takes Charge to Settle DOJ Kickbacks Case
HP allegedly paid more than $3 million to systems integrators between 2001 and 2006 in exchange for favorable treatment on government contracts, according to DOJ filings.
iii. HP pays to end kickback probe
HP is taking a two cents per share charge to end a Department of Justice investigation into bribery allegations.
Here’s more (not about the fraud/kickbacks):
As the many questions around Mark Hurd’s departure continue to go unanswered, a key aide to the former CEO has also abruptly resigned this week.
The mystery deepens. Caprice Fimbres McIlvaine, formerly head of internal communications at Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and a top aide to ex-CEO Mark Hurd, has left the company, following her boss out the door three days after his departure. Her exit is significant because, according to two people with knowledge of her former role, McIlvaine was the key conduit in hiring Jodie Fisher, the actress-turned-corporate hostess/”marketing contractor” who later filed a sexual harassment suit against Hurd, setting in motion the chain of events that resulted in the CEO’s resignation on Aug. 6. McIlvaine resigned effective Aug. 9, HP confirmed Wednesday.
Why HP was wise to put director Marc Andreessen forward as the board’s spokesman on the Mark Hurd crisis.
The delightfully jarring aspect to Hewlett-Packard’s (HPQ) bombshell news and investor conference calls last Friday was the board member the venerable company put forward as its public face: Marc Andreessen, not so very long ago the enfant terrible of Silicon Valley.
Mark Hurd’s silly exit has little to do with HP’s real problems. As an executive there about a decade ago, I saw a company that was giving up its differentiating value in the name of operational savings, not realizing that by now the Golden Goose of creativity would find greener pastures. But surprisingly, the classic HP tradition of building a great place to do engineering that results in a flood of excellent creative products is being followed…
Back we go to Cringely (the original one) who wrote about “Stupid CEO Tricks” — a post wherein he mentioned Intel for showing that “to a certain extent crime does pay. ”
This week brought two other news events worthy of comment — Intel’s settlement with the Federal Trade Commission and Mark Hurd’s sudden departure as CEO from giant Hewlett-Packard.
The Intel story is almost as it is being presented in the trade and general press. Yes, Intel has promised in very specific ways to no longer be evil. No, Intel isn’t being made to give back the money it made as a result of being evil, so to a certain extent crime does pay. Of course some will say the money damages were in part covered by Intel’s recent $1.25 billion settlement with AMD, but the FTC also doesn’t generally impose fines. So if you happen to be guilty of anti-trust I guess it is better to be sued by the FTC than by the DoJ, which does impose fines.
Either way, Intel got away with something and the graphics chip makers in particular should be pissed.
We have already explained how Intel and Dell are teaching our kids that crime pays off. Here is more coverage about that, starting with older articles:
i. FTC gives itself an anti-trust extension as Intel deal eludes it
AN APPARENT FAILURE TO FIND agreement has led to the US Federal Trade Commission extending by two weeks the time it has to find a settlement with Intel.
ii. Red faced Dell fined for cooking the books
iii. Dell Settles with SEC for $100 Million
iv. Dell pays $100m to settle accounting fraud charges
v. Dell to Pay $100 Million to Settle SEC Case
vi. Dell proposes settlement in SEC investigation
vii. AMD gets an order from Dell
The relationship between Dell and AMD has been getting closer lately. Certainly in the days when Dell was an Intel-only shop this sort of deal would have been unthinkable.
viii. Chipmaker Intel settles FTC antitrust lawsuit
ix. FTC Settles Antitrust Complaint Against Intel
x. FTC settles anti-competition case with Intel
xi. FTC settles Intel lawsuit to ‘help consumers’
What is this case teaching our children? That a slap on the wrist is all one gets for abusing the market? Earlier today we showed that Apple too had been caught using kickbacks, so an Apple manager goes to jail (which is rare, they are usually just fined).
The original Cringely has one last post on the subject. “Too Big to Fail” is the title.
Everything about the Intel/FTC settlement screams of one thing — Microsoft. Redmond’s multi-year nightmare with the FTC, DoJ, and the attorneys-general of several dozen states wasn’t lost on Intel, which is a more rational company and doesn’t want a Microsoft-like anti-trust experience. Both companies are guilty and both are paying something for that guilt, but Intel clearly wants to avoid the decade of pain and distraction suffered by Microsoft.
Microsoft was paralyzed with the FTC breathing down its neck. Intel is not paralyzed.
Roughly $2 billion in payouts and Intel is a free bird — a rich free bird at that — having proved that crime does pay.
These settlements will effectively pay for themselves in two months at current Intel profit levels.
Had Microsoft been “paralyzed”, then its abuses would not carry on; but they do. █
“Fuck! It took you a year to figure that out!”
“That’s the dumbest fucking idea I’ve heard since I’ve been at Microsoft.”
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Summary: HP’s CEO leaves amidst a new fraud scandal; Microsoft’s executives named among possible replacements and Microsoft’s own frauds are revisited
Microsoft’s financial situation is a matter of insincerity, for many reasons that we covered before. Adding to Microsoft’s problems we recently saw a downgrade, which we mentioned in [1, 2]. Here is the AP coverage of that:
Shares of Microsoft Corp. ( MSFT – news – people ) edged lower after Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry downgraded the software giant in part due to increased competition from Apple ( AAPL – news – people )’s Macs to its Windows operating system.
Apple has managed to grab a lucrative niche of the rich people’s market. It hardly means that Apple can ever attain dominance. As for Microsoft, it is being sandwiched by GNU/Linux and Apple while its shares are 10% within 52-week low, according to this financial news site:
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) shares closed the day at $25.37, which means they are now just 10.41% away from its 52-week low, is this finally the bottom for MSFT?
“Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Stock Flounders,” says another report and one last report bears the headline “Crash In Hindsight: Microsoft Currently 8.50% Below its May 6th Crash Low of $27.91 (MSFT)”; Based on this report, there are Microsoft layoffs/cuts in support and consulting.
Going some years into the past, a Macs-oriented Web site (which recently started praising GNU/Linux at Apple’s expense) speaks about “Microsoft the Ultimate Pyramid Scheme” (thanks to Tobin for the pointer).
According to an article at the Register, MS Website Trumpets ‘Pyramid’ Company, Microsoft has been featuring a case study about GoldQuest, a pyramid scheme company!
This, of course, is not Microsoft’s fault. Companies that use Windows to generate funds through pyramid schemes do not have to tell Redmond what they are up to any more than purveyors of spyware, adware, viruses, Trojan horses, networks of zombie computers belching up personal information to Mafia lords, spammers, or anyone else has to. These things manifestly do not have anything to do with Microsoft per se, any more than . . . some other analogy that I was thinking of but forgot.
Any way, the point of this article (and I do have a point) is that Microsoft itself is a kind of pyramid scheme.
In your classic pyramid scheme, you sell something of limited value and tell the seller that they can make money by selling the same valueless thing to friends for the same price less a minor finder’s fee. The “mark” is told that as more people join the pyramid, more money trickles down the pyramid to him through the finder’s fees, eventually making him rich with very little effort.
In the Microsoft version, the “mark” (an IT guy) is told that if they use Windows, they’ll be more compatible and more productive. Further, if they convince 10 users in their company to use Windows, then all the additional savings will be passed on to the IT department, which can hire more people to take care of the additional computers.
Here is the cited article:
MS website trumpets ‘pyramid’ company
A case study on Microsoft.com is unwittingly promoting a company which has been accused of operating a pyramid scheme targetting people in south-east Asia and Africa.
This page on Microsoft’s website explains how Hong Kong-based GoldQuest International Ltd made big savings by moving to Windows Server 2003. The page proudly trumpets GoldQuest’s achievements and “500,000 active customers in 120 countries”.
“GoldQuest has grown into a ecommerce powerhouse, generating 70 per cent of its $200m annual turnover online,” the page gushes. Microsoft claims it has saved the company $82,000 a year in IT costs and helped it increase revenue by $10m a year.
Wow. That’s quite an embarrassment, more so than LSE as a “case study” (LSE eventually dumped Windows and went with GNU/Linux instead [1, 2, 3, 4]).
This whole discussion came about in IRC last night. Tobin sought information about Microsoft as a pyramid scheme (like many in the stock market) and Chips B Malroy wondered “what the resignation of the HP CEO will mean with WebOS? Will the next CEO go back to windows?”
For those who have not heard yet, there is fraud claimed at HP, not just Microsoft. Here are some articles from the news:
It’s obvious there’s more to this story than we know and the two people who really know the truth, Fisher and Hurd, aren’t talking.
Mark Hurd, the man credited with reinvigorating Hewlett-Packard Co., resigned as chief executive of the technology giant after an investigation of his relationship with a female contractor found he violated the company’s business standards.
H-P said Friday that Mr. Hurd, 53 years old, didn’t violate the company’s policy regarding sexual-harassment but submitted inaccurate expense reports that were intended to conceal what the company said was a “close personal relationship” with the woman.
Mark Hurd, CEO of HP is resigning on the heels of sexual harassment charges by a former HP contractor. The company’s investigation concluded that there was no sexual harassment violation, however it did find that Hurd violated HP’s “Standards of Business Conduct.” Hurd said it was a “painful decision” and vaguely acknowledged that he displayed a lack of character.
As per the latest disclosure made by the largest computer maker Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ), the tech major has agreed to settle a lawsuit in principle imposed against it by the Department Of Justice (DOJ).
This lawsuit dates back to the year 2007, when Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) first initiated this lawsuit, and the Government agency with others to form a combined lawsuit against the three tech majors namely, HP, Sun Microsystems and Accenture.
Steve Elop, chief of Microsoft’s business division, which handles MS Office. He was formerly chief operating officer of No. 2 networking company Juniper Networks. Known as a no-nonsense taskmaster, Elop is a veteran in the technology industry, having served in senior positions at Adobe Systems and Macromedia.
It is reported that HP will look for suitable candidates to the likes of companies such as Apple, Oracle and Microsoft.
Notice the possibility that HP will hire a new CEO from Microsoft (there is a temporary replacement that is a lady, which is interesting after the previous CEO’s scandals). We may have already seen the effects of HP hiring a Vice President from Microsoft to become software head. The other interesting thing is, maybe now that companies like HP reveal fraud, so will Microsoft (again). Dell and Intel were in the midst of such a blunder just weeks ago. █
“There is such an overvaluation of technology stocks that it is absurd. I would include our stock in that category. It is bad for the long-term worth of the economy.”
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“Where are we on this Jihad?”
Summary: “Red Hat’s Adam Williamson discusses the troubling epidemic of Vista 7 Crippleware Edition taking hold of netbooks,” as our reader Ryan put it last night
LAST night we had a long discussion (warning: 1 MB page) about this new post written by Adam from Fedora. As he put it, “Only Dell of the major-tier manufacturers has shipped netbooks with Ubuntu pre-installed; the other major tier vendor we’ve discussed, HP, ships/shipped SUSE). But really, what I’m interested in with this post is the question of how Linux is doing.”
In order to understand what Microsoft has done in the area of sub-notebooks, people must first look at confirmed stories where Microsoft was coercing OEMs, dumping, and allegedly sometimes bribing and using Intel-type tactics to exclude GNU/Linux. We covered the subject in posts such as:
Those who ignore the history of sub-notebooks will fail to understand the present. Microsoft still abuses its position (a monopoly). █
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Summary: Power struggles which sometimes involve bribes are still taking their toll on the computer industry, but Microsoft remains an outcast in the mobile space
Dell was the subject of long debates yesterday and a few days before that for two reasons. Reason one is the crimes it committed with Intel and reason two is the abolishment of GNU/Linux (Ubuntu to be more specific). The people at Linux Today debated the latter issue but also the former one, which probably makes a very compelling case against Dell. Like it or hate it, Dell engages in illegal (criminal) activities.
“Both Michael Dell and [whoever's in charge of Intel nowadays] need to be removed from their positions and thrown in prison.”
–Tony O’BryanAs Tony O’Bryan put it in the Linux Today discussion: “Both Michael Dell and [whoever's in charge of Intel nowadays] need to be removed from their positions and thrown in prison. They are both economic criminals who have no business being in business.
“As someone pointed out on Slashdot, our justice system is hopelessly corrupt since the rich can buy their way out of prison sentences that the rest of us would have to serve for lack of ability to pay off prosecutors, judges, and Congress.
We tend to agree on that.
Dell is said to be recommending Internet Explorer in its Ubuntu pages (maybe this endorsement too is paid for) and there are screenshots to prove it over at Ghabuntu.
Following the recent brouhaha about Dell’s public claims that Ubuntu is safer than Windows and its subsequent change of stance, I hopped onto the Dell Ubuntu site this morning just to see what has changed since and to my amusement, the site tells me it recommends IE8.
There’s nothing wrong with that until you realize I am on the Ubuntu site, which invariably means I want to use Linux! Now you are recommending IE8 for me when I am shopping for a Linux machine? Oh and I visited the site via Google Chrome, is that not a good browser too?
Ghabuntu also recommends replacements for Dell.
Dell has all but bowed to pressure from Microsoft to torpedo its Ubuntu line of computers. Add that to the relative success of Windows 7 among Redmond’s user base and you get a clearer picture of what is going on.
HP — unlike Dell in this case — seems to be increasing its use of Linux (in the form of webOS, which it very recently acquired). From this weekend’s news:
• HP Turns Its Back on Windows Phone 7
• HP Windows Phone 7 Wont Happen
• HP not making Windows Phone 7 devices, focusing on webOS instead
No big surprise here, but HP Personal Systems Group VP Todd Bradley just flat-out confirmed to CNBC that HP will not be making any Windows Phone 7 devices, preferring instead to focus on the newly-acquired webOS for its line of smartphones.
We shall see if Linux proponents at HP can fight the enemy within. Dell seems to have surrendered to Microsoft (and to Intel) far too often, as we demonstrated in the past. █
“The accomplice to the crime of corruption is frequently our own indifference”
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Summary: The possible role of appointments from Microsoft (entryism) — the HP edition and an example from Lenovo
AS we noted the other day, a little HP coup may be the cause of changes regarding the Linux-based webOS. It is now confirmed that HP brings back Vista 7 into tablets.
As a recap, HP dumped Vista 7 from the Slate and made it official that it was moving to Linux. Only weeks later a 20-year Microsoft senior executive (who spoke to Ballmer just before his departure) became the vice president in charge of software and solutions business at HP. Now we hear about Vista 7 coming back. Coincidence? Maybe.
One company which we previously showed to be filling itself up with former Microsoft executives is Lenovo. We gave several examples. According to some news, “Lenovo to launch Android tablet by year’s end,” but commenters in Linux Today are still sceptical given the company’s track record when it comes Linux, especially after Microsoft executives got the top spots there.
Dubbed “LePad,” the tablet will run Google’s Android operating system, according to comments made by Liu Jun, senior vice president for Lenovo Group, as reported by TradingMarkets.com and other sources. Details are few so far, and there’s no word from Lenovo or other sources on whether the tablet will venture abroad after its initial debut in China.
As Lenovo lost its spine after accepting management from Microsoft, one commenter says:
lenovo will release a tablet with android just as a stop gap.. as soon as MS dictates to them that they have to stop and support anything in the form of a tablet MS puts out they will drop the android OS like a hot potatoe..
Those who ignore the role of former Microsoft executives inside companies like HP and Lenovo are conveniently blinding themselves to the way industry works. █
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Summary: Microsoft is trying to break Linux’ near-monopoly in ARM and software patents may be in the arsenal
MICROSOFT HAS already managed to use its extortion racket [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] to make money from Android in quite a few companies (HTC, Samsung, Kyocera Mita, and LG). This morning we wrote that GNU/Linux proponents must defend against such 'Microsoft tax' in order for Linux to remain a competitive platform based on price. Linux mustn’t become Microsoft’s new cash cow.
At the moment, Miguel de Icaza and fellow Microsoft folks (they co-develop Mono now) are trying to further the cause of Microsoft by increasing .NET dependency in Android [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10] and in the hypePhone. Even Apple has become hostile towards MonoTouch. To quote a Mono booster (David Worthington) from his new article:
That’s OK. Apple does the right thing here for a change. It also gives the finger to Flash. We wrote about this subject in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8].
According to the latest news, Microsoft befriends the company behind Linux’ huge growth area. That company is the ARM giant.
“How soon will Linux stop working with ARM and when will MS claim their patented Intellectual Property is in Linux running on ARM?”
–Anonymous readerThe article says that a “spokeswoman for Microsoft in the U.K. said the software giant might contribute ideas and technology to the “ARM ecosystem” but declined to say what Microsoft might do with the license” and “With closer access to the ARM technology we will be able to enhance our research and development activities for ARM-based products,” says another part. One reader of ours has asked, “How soon will Linux stop working with ARM and when will MS claim their patented Intellectual Property is in Linux running on ARM?”
Linux is gaining and gaining on ARM and Microsoft wants to either monetise or replace Linux on ARM. Watch the enthusiasm of Microsoft Jack (Schofield). To Microsoft, this is a cornerstone in the fight against Linux.
It ought to be added that HP announced that it would sell tablets with the Linux-based webOS and shortly afterwards it hired a 20-year Microsoft senior to become its vice president in charge of software and solutions business. Weeks later HP changed its mind about those tablets which run Linux and currently it’s not known why HP changed its mind.
It would be so much easier if Microsoft just went out of business or shrank a lot faster (there are more layoffs at the moment [1, 2]). More on that in the next quick post. █
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