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01.06.14

Microsoft and IBM Still Lobby for Software Patents in the US

Posted in IBM, Microsoft at 11:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[This article was written in February 2013 and was accidentally never published]

Bulbs

Summary: IBM — not just Microsoft — part of the problem known as software patenting

THIS morning we chastised IBM for its OIN strategy; but IBM plays a role in actively promoting software patents, and not just in the US (IBM promoted software patents in Europe and New Zealand for example). The other day we found this report:

Software patents, facing new scrutiny in the U.S., drive innovation and protect huge investments by developers, representatives of software companies said during a Capitol Hill briefing.

Here is a key part which says: “The U.S. patent system isn’t perfect, but lawmakers and judges shouldn’t solve current controversies by eliminating software patents altogether, executives with Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, Covia Labs and Procter & Gamble said during a briefing Thursday before congressional staffers in Washington, D.C.”

The Hill has published “Microsoft, IBM executives defend software patents”, which means that they go against Obama's apparent will.

Executives for IBM and Microsoft defended the value of software patents on Thursday, saying they are key to protecting their companies’ competitive edge and innovation.

“We think software patents or patents that are implemented in software are important and valuable, and necessary to protect the investments that we make in research and development and to preserve our competitive advantage,” Neil Abrams, vice president and assistant general counsel at IBM, told The Hill following a Thursday briefing hosted by BSA |The Software Alliance and National Association of Manufacturers on Capitol Hill about patents. “We think it’s important for the American economy.”

IBM is not helping the FOSS community or even Linux by doing what it does here. IBM was also a funder of the BSA until a few years back. Meanwhile in Seattle (Microsoft’s back yard), Motorola/Google is needing to defend itself from Microsoft’s software patents. Groklaw has details on that:

Matt Rizzolo at The Essential Patent Blog reports that there’s a new order [PDF] from Judge James L. Robart in the Microsoft v. Motorola litigation in Seattle.

For Microsoft it’s predictable to assault FOSS with patents, but why does IBM continue to do this massive disservice to the FOSS community?

01.02.14

OpenStack Follows the Trajectory of GNU/Linux, Joined Into Linux Protection Programme

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, OIN, Patents at 12:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: OpenStack grows mature enough to be bundled into the OIN’s ‘portfolio’ of protected (from patent litigation) projects

IT IS ALWAYS encouraging and very much rewarding to see the impact of Free software expanding to the higher layers/levels in the stack. OpenStack, an Apache-licensed project which may as well be called FreedomStack (but not “OpenCloud”), has just been added to OIN’s coverage, protecting it from the likes of SCO now that new trolls (Microsoft- and Apple-backed) arrive at the scene [1].

OIN has roots at IBM, which still promotes mainframes [2] and puts GNU/Linux in them [3], essentially to be managed by a proprietary hypervisor/platform (proprietary like UNIX/AIX [4]).

IBM is a big backer of OpenStack [5], but it’s not alone; almost all the large OEMs are embracing OpenStack (very recent examples in [6-15]), even Oracle [16-18]. Foes of OpenStack are Microsoft-funded groups like Gartner, who keep saying about OpenStack [19] what they used to say about GNU/Linux (Gartner was proven wrong, as usual).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Is Rockstar Android’s SCO?

    Am I the only one who’s been having a bit of SCO déjà vu when it comes to Rockstar’s suit against Google and a bevy of Android handset makers?

    You remember SCO, don’t you? They’re the company, once a major Linux player with the Caldera distro, that bought the rights to Unix then turned around and sued IBM for $1 billion, claiming that Big Blue had been copying Unix code into Linux. They’re also the company that sued two of their former clients, AutoZone and Daimler Chrysler, for moving to Linux. Trouble was, they had nothing, not even the copyrights to the code they claimed had been infringed.

  2. The Big Iron Crunch
  3. GM of CA Technologies: 3 mainframes replaced 100′s of Linux blades
  4. eWEEK 30: Unix Proves Staying Power as Enterprise Computing Platform

    eWEEK 30: Unix remains a major server platform in enterprises and on the Internet three decades after PC Week started covering the computer industry.

  5. IBM, Mirantis Launch OpenStack Benchmarking Tool
  6. What’s Next for OpenStack Open Source Cloud Computing
  7. OpenStack implementation issues could be a business opportunity
  8. Dreamhost Aims to Accelerate OpenStack Cloud Adoption
  9. Red Hat snuggles up to Dell with ‘enterprise grade’ OpenStack offer
  10. Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 4.0 is here

    Red Hat claims that its “enterprise-ready solution combines the stability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) with the innovation inherent in Red Hat OpenStack technologies to deliver a scalable and secure foundation for building an open private or public cloud.”

  11. Dreamhost Aims to Accelerate OpenStack Cloud Adoption

    Dreamhost has emerged in recent years to become one of the world’s most popular shared hosting providers. The company is now expanding its lineup with new cloud compute and storage services, leveraging the open-source OpenStack platform serving as the foundation. Helping to fuel Dreamhost’s expansion is a new $30 million round of financing.

  12. Internap Enters Beta with OpenStack-based Cloud Platform
  13. How OpenStack differs from Amazon and must rise to the occasion

    The difference between these two cloud giants is that everything OpenStack does, it does in the open. All of our successes and failures are in the open. So, we must beware to believe the OpenStack processes cannot support growth beyond the core IaaS feature set. If we do, we fail to grow OpenStack’s own portfolio of features, and we risk quickly becoming irrelevant as Amazon continues its proprietary quest for cloud market domination and saturation. In order to have a competitive open source offering for building clouds, both public and private—we need to add new services and features to the OpenStack portfolio to mature and stabilize the ‘core’ projects.

  14. OpenStack Cloud Aiming to Improve Coding Consistency

    VIDEO: HP Distinguished Engineer Monty Taylor explains how the open-source OpenStack cloud platform is moving forward.

    There are many hundreds of developers who contribute code to the open-source OpenStack cloud platform. For the recent OpenStack Havana release, the top developer as measured by the volume of code commits was Monty Taylor, distinguished engineer at Hewlett-Packard.

    In a video interview with eWEEK, Taylor explains what he actually does at HP and how his team is contributing to making OpenStack the best it can be.

  15. Internap Launches OpenStack Public Cloud Platform

    Internap Network Services unveiled the beta version of its new OpenStack-driven public cloud, AgileCLOUD. The company claims it’s the first cloud platform that “will fully expose both virtualized and bare-metal compute instances over a native OpenStack API and delivers significant performance, interoperability and flexibility benefits.”

  16. Oracle showers gold on OpenStack, dreams of open-source splashback

    Oracle has started sponsoring an open-source cloud tech that it already uses within its commercial offerings, as the company tentatively embraces a market it once reckoned inconsequential.

    The company announced on Tuesday that it had become a “Corporate Sponsor” of the OpenStack Foundation, following El Reg reporting in September that the company’s new public cloud was partly based on the software.

  17. Oracle finally embraces OpenStack, but questions linger

    Of course, Oracle has spilled a bit of open source bad blood in recent years so when it says it embraces an open source standard, it’s not as though the open source community jumps up and down with glee about it. It’s more likely that the OpenStack community is more than pleased to see Oracle join the party, but they may wonder if the hardware giant has some ulterior motives, rightly or not.

  18. Strange Bedfellows: Oracle Integrates OpenStack
  19. Not Everyone Believes That OpenStack Has Succeeded

    Debate continues to swirl over whether OpenStack has emerged as a successful cloud computing platform in terms of actual deployments, or whether it is overhyped and immature. Earlier this month, we reported on survey results from The OpenStack Foundation that showed that many enterprises are deploying or plan to deploy the platform.

12.22.13

USPTO to be Partly Headed by Google Executive

Posted in Google, IBM, Patents at 1:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Michelle Lee
Photo from Asian Pacific Fund

Summary: The USPTO gets leadership from a company that’s less known for advocacy of software patents and more to do with opposing them

THE USPTO is typically run by people from companies which it serves. Google is not exactly known as a big fan of software patents (not compared to IBM and Microsoft), so this new appointment gives some hope. As FOSS Force put it, “Reuters reported last week that former Google executive Michelle Lee will take over as deputy director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on January 13.”

Google, which probably sells the most Linux devices (or devices that have an operating system from Google), is currently facing patent aggression from Microsoft and Apple, which exploits pro-software patents policies at the USPTO to get patent monopolies on Android implementations. If Michelle Lee is loyal to her previous employer, then she will consider tackling software patents as a whole. David Kappos, who came from IBM (big promoter of software patents) sure defended — even publicly — software patents.

12.10.13

IBM and Microsoft Crushed Patent Reform in the United States, Last Resort is SCOTUS Again

Posted in IBM, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 8:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Though the people in black costumes have a poor record on software patents

Supreme Court US, 2009

Summary: Legislation in the US continues to be steered by large companies (or their lobbyists) with heaps of software patents; SCOTUS receives another opportunity to cross out software patents

HAVING destroyed Linux backers like Nokia (Jolla/Neo ⇆ Nokia ⇆ MeeGo/OpenMoko/Sailfish survive in other forms, thankfully enough), Microsoft is now destroying US law, as well.

Based on this new poll, Microsoft is still the most widely loathed company in the eyes of FOSS people. This is not because Microsoft is some scapegoat; Microsoft has done a lot to deserve this, including crimes.

Currently in the US there is some useless reform which mostly serves large corporations. it’s not about people’s interests and the only reason Congress passed it is that large corporations supported it (like they support Congress, financially). As one site put it: “As Congress gets ready to pass a greatly watered down patent reform act – watered down largely due to the lobbying of the two biggest patent trolls, IBM and Microsoft – and the Supreme Court begins to contemplate abolishing software patents, there are a few other news items.”

We already explained the role of IBM and Microsoft.

One FOSS site said: “This week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted with a huge majority of 325 to 91, to pass the Innovation Act, which would put significant constraints on patent system abusers.”

No, only a particular subset of them. The U.S. House of Representatives would not have passed this (with considerable majority) if it did not satisfy the desire of large corporations which control Congress through lobbying and bribes.

We should really stop referring to this ‘reform’ as a real sign of progress. The real test is still ahead of us. The software patents-friendly Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) is still expected to decide whether APIs can be copyrighted (even worse than patents) and SCOTUS, which almost always rules in favour of large corporations, is now the last resort when it comes to software patents. Despite some optimism, all it shows are decisions going into the wrong courts with all the biased (towards lawyers) judges, no jury in sight. As one pundit put it, “the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal on the Alice vs. CLS Bank case which is yet another case that looks at the patentability of software. The ruling in the Federal Circuit appeals court (CAFC) was one of the biggest judicial messes you’ll ever see. The ruling was 135 pages of different judges all disagreeing with each other. In all of that there is only one single paragraph that the court agreed on — one which rejected the patent as not being patentable subject matter. But as for why they did that? No one could agree. Chief judge Randall Rader has called that decision “the greater failure of my judicial career.””

Rader has repeatedly shown his bias in favour of software patents, inside and outside CAFC. He even gives himself away to patent lawyers’ sites which lobby for software patents.

At the end of the day we are left sort of defending countries outside the US (including Europe) from the invasion of USPTO practices and SCOTUS rulings that permit software patenting. Nokia, which has become Microsoft's biggest troll, mostly uses hardware patents for now, but it shows the threat of big trolls, irrespective of the scope of patents. “EU warns Nokia not to become a “patent troll”,” says this article, but it is “too late” according to iophk, who is Finnish. When Nokia is left to become part of a US company (like Skype being passed to Microsoft) it will become an instrument of abuse inside Europe, embargoing and eavesdropping, respectively.

TechDirt, a US-based site which is highly critical of US policy on copyrights, patents, privacy and other matters, suggests this fix and yet another fix which tackles public funding. To quote: “For many years we’ve been incredibly critical of the famous Bayh-Dole Act, which was passed in 1980 with the idea that it would encourage greater innovation by pushing universities to patent the research they were doing. The theory — based on a rather ignorant view of innovation and research — was that patents would create a market, which, in turn, would enable easier knowledge transfer from academia to industry, leading to a research boom. The actual results have been a near total disaster. What’s actually happened are two very bad things. First, it’s seriously harmed university research, by guaranteeing much less information sharing between researchers. And, it turns out, that information sharing is a big part of how innovation and big scientific breakthroughs occur. Not surprisingly (if you understand basic economics), when you try to lock up each idea with a patent, researchers (and, more importantly, their administrator bosses), suddenly don’t want to share any more. The end result? Lots of important research stifled. What a shame.”

In other words, taxpayers’ money in the US (or growing national debt) goes towards feeding the problems which further increase national debt. How can politicians not see it and why is nothing substantial being done to stop this trend? It is almost a rhetorical question.

Change will come from people, not Congress, and as long as Congress is funded by corporations no change will be permitted, not when it comes to surveillance or even intellectual monopolies, as TTP shows. The latest TTP leak [1,2] shows people power [3] at work, almost stopping business takeover [4] and shameless attack on democracy [5].

To stop the patent maximalists we need some actions like leaks, perhaps even bold protests and lots of angry phonecalls to politicians. Anything else would be defeated by lobbyists and bribes. Politics is business and no level of logic will beat a large-figure cheque.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Wikileaks exposes secret, controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations
  2. Second release of secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement documents

    On 13 November 2013 WikiLeaks released the draft text of the crucial Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) Intellectual Property chapter during the lead-up to a TPP chief negotiators’ meeting in Salt Lake City on 19-24 November 2013. Today, 9 December 2013, WikiLeaks has released two more secret TPP documents that show the state of negotiations as the twelve TPP countries began supposedly final negotiations at a trade ministers’ meeting in Singapore this week.

  3. Members of Congress: Fast Tracking the TPP is a Non-Starter
  4. Anti-poverty groups condemn WTO pact as big business boost
  5. The Secret Trade Agreement About to Complete the Corporate Takeover of Democracy

    The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) enshrine the rights of Corporations under International Law, restricting future governments from overturning the changes through fear of costly legal action. They are the largest trade agreements in history, and yet are not open for review, debate or amendment by national parliaments or the public.

11.25.13

President of the OSI Calls IBM, Microsoft and Other Companies Patent Trolls, Explains the Role of OIN

Posted in IBM, Microsoft, Patents at 4:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Simon Phipps

Summary: Useful analysis from Simon Phipps, who has turned more vocal in his opposition to software patents and those who promote them

Simon Phipps is a terrific leader. He is not self-censoring and over the years he has thrown some punches at companies which are hostile towards FOSS. He also built (or rebuilt) a relationship with the FSF, which helps reduce if not eliminate wasteful efforts such infighting and competitive advocacy; the OSI and FSF are now jointly submitting formal complaints against patent trolls. Phipps also spoke out repeatedly against patent trolls and patent aggressors — something which many in the FOSS groups don’t bother with. Here in Techrights, due to lack of time and resources, we have not focused so much on patents recently; so, here is something to make up for it.

Newegg is currently in the headlines because it gets sued a lot by trolls and it fights back. 30 infringement claims were made against Newegg in the past 8 years alone, based on Newegg’s claims. To quote: “Newegg was founded “in the ashes of the Internet trough” in 2001, said Cheng. The first 10 employees worked in a warehouse about 20 miles outside Los Angeles. Newegg still owns the facility, called Warehouse 1, though the company’s headquarters now resides in another warehouse in City of Industry.””

Newegg is not a massive giant like IBM, Apple, or Microsoft. It does not hoard patents and it is really suffering from patents, which are originally the game invented and played by the rich and the powerful. Also from Phipps (OSI President) there is this coverage of OIN, which was created by massive multi-nationals, including IBM. Phipps explains: “While many open source advocates remain rightly concerned about the chilling effect of software patents on both innovation and collaboration, open source software has additional defenses against patent aggression that aren’t available to proprietary software. The Open Invention Network (OIN), a novel patent pool fighting for rather than against open source, plays an important role in these defenses.”

But OIN is still not fighting to eliminate software patents. It’s more of an interest group. As Phipps put it, “make sure the software you use is under one of these modern licenses; older licenses like BSD and MIT don’t mention patents. Second, comply with the terms of the license — easy enough for almost all open source licenses, especially compared with the labyrinthine complexity of commercial licenses and EULAs. As long as you comply with the terms of the license, you benefit from the protection it offers. Third, work in the open rather than making last-minute contributions. This is good practice anyway, but it adds protection too.”

So in other words, OSI may be benign to Free/Open Source software players; for everyone else it’s not of much use. Newegg gets nothing out of it.

In another new post from Phipps it is claims that Microsoft and IBM are just “big trolls” — something he has said even back when he worked for Sun. “Rogue software patent trolls are the scourge of the tech industry. But the larger, better-dressed trolls don’t get a pass either.” Phipps writes.

To quote Phipps further: “The dirty secret IBM, Microsoft, and other self-proclaimed advocates of patent reform don’t want you to know is that they are trolls, too. They have large and highly profitable business units using exactly the same tactics as the patent trolls they hate. The reason they hate the trolls is not because of what they do — after all, IBM and Microsoft were the pioneers of treating patent portfolios as profit centers rather than cost centers. No, the reason they hate the trolls is because the trolls attack them with the weapons they themselves perfected.”

We already explained how IBM and Microsoft helped abolish patent reform attempts. This ought to make people who think of IBM as a friend of FOSS reassess their position; it is definitely not the first time IBM does this. IBM’s and Microsoft’s friends at SUSE have this new release (funded in part by Microsoft and IBM), but we should remember to regard it as nothing but an attempt to tax GNU/Linux with patents. We hardly cover anything SUSE-related anymore (we ignore rather than fight), but the fact remains that people should boycott SUSE. It’s about patents.

11.21.13

IBM and Microsoft: The AstroTurfing for Software Patents Continues

Posted in IBM, Microsoft, Patents at 1:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Lou Gerstner

Summary: Microsoft is AstroTurfing and IBM has learned no lessons from mistakes like going along with Microsoft

THE OTHER day we showed that a longtime Microsoft AstroTurfing group, ACT, had morphed again and lobbied for software patents under the pretence that it represented small businesses and developers (to whom software patents are really horrific).

Well, two of the biggest software patentors, IBM and Microsoft, are still at it. As TechDirt put it, “Microsoft’s Intense Lobbying Works: Goodlatte To Drop Plan To Allow For Faster Review Of Bad Software Patents” (software patents).

To quote: “Last week, we wrote about Microsoft’s intense, and somewhat dishonest, lobbying to try to remove one aspect of proposed patent reform: the covered business methods program, which would have allowed approved technology patents to get reviewed by the Patent Office much more quickly. It was based on Senator Chuck Schumer’s plan, which enabled the same feature for patents related to financial services. Many have seen that Schumer’s effort was somewhat successful in stopping bad financial services patents, and so it makes sense to do the same thing for software as well. In fact, it makes more sense, since so many patent lawsuits and patent troll shakedowns involve software-related patents.”

AstroTurfing gets called PR now: “Oh, and to the PR guy from Microsoft who sent me a laughable email trying to argue that Microsoft is supportive of patent reform and that my post was unfair because I didn’t mention that: next time stay on topic. Yes, Microsoft supports some forms of patent reform. Just the kind that stops trolls from hitting it directly. What it doesn’t support is the kind of patent reform that would stop Microsoft’s all too common practice of shaking down all sorts of innovators and entrepreneurs with crazy patent licensing demands from its bundle of patents. No, Microsoft isn’t a patent troll, but it is a patent bully with a lot of bad patents, which apparently it’s scared that real innovators might invalidate a lot of those patents under a covered business method review.”

Here is more on what happened [via] and a reminder that they are “pretending that the problem is “bad” patents rather than software patents in and of themselves,” as iophk put it.

“On Wednesday,” says the article, “the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to consider legislation aimed at reining in abusive patent litigation. But one of the bill’s most important provisions, designed to make it easier to nix low-quality software patents, will be left on the cutting room floor. That provision was the victim of an aggressive lobbying campaign by patent-rich software companies such as IBM and Microsoft.”

It’s just like what happened in NZ. Those two proprietary software giants and software patents hoarders just can’t help harming society. They do this quietly or by proxy to reduce public backlash.

10.24.13

The World According to Forrester’s Clients: Bashing Apache OpenOffice and LibreOffice

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Office Suites, OpenOffice at 9:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The latest FUD from Forrester and who’s behind it; more on IBM’s Power PR and why it should not be taken at face value

AS we showed in previous years, the marketing company (masquerading as “analyst”) called Forrester is Microsoft’s go-to entity for Free software bashing and GNU/Linux FUD. Microsoft literally pays Forrester to produce reports that belittle GNU/Linux. It’s just a real damn shame that Forrester gets caught doing this and Microsoft’s red-handed actions have them red-faced in the international press.

As one who spent many years working with statistics (common tool in computer vision) I am quite familiar with ways of cheating and Forrester [via [1]] seems to be cheating again [2], in pretty much the same way that IDC cheapted for Microsoft several years ago. If one looks carefully enough at who Forrester has surveyed, it is “a survey of 155 Forrester clients with responsibility for those investments.” Who are those clients and what are their relative roles? It doesn’t say. Forrester is gleefully generalising based on this biased sample (geographically, economically, etc.); classic tactic. ‘Disclosure’ without even names.

ZDNet, the vile tabloid which gave Forrester a blog (conflict of interest), already covers this paid-for propaganda as though it is factual and also “news” [3], claiming (in the headline even) that “Microsoft Office fends off open source OpenOffice and LibreOffice” (no attribution to Forrester even).

“Forrester is gleefully generalising based on this biased sample (geographically, economically, etc.); classic tactic.”Really? Says who? Says Forrester. So is Forrester registering billions of users’ computers and then doing a census? Of course not, see the methodologies. It’s bogus, but Forrester tries to pass it off as “professional”. Well, professional FUD it sure is because it is penetrating the press and is proving effective (FUD well worth the money). Microsoft-friendly press puts that forth as some kind of universal fact, not even scrutinising the methods, the messengers, the funder, the polled population, etc. That’s not real journalism, it’s simply PR relayed via Forrester.

Taking into account what Rob Weir (of IBM) says this week [4], “[t]he OpenOffice brand is strong and growing. Over 30% of consumers surveyed had heard of it. Of those who had heard of it, 67% had given it a try.” He also says that “[o]f those who tried OpenOffice almost 78% continued to use OpenOffice.”

Sounds pretty decent, but the IBM-dominated Apache OpenOffice is not to be trusted either. IBM in general is not worth trusting, definitely not with it comes to “trusted computing”. Regarding IBM Power investments, which have had a Linux-themed PR campaign, some say that it’s partly about the NSA: [via Gary Edwards]

The Other Reason Why IBM Throws A Billion At Linux (With NSA- Designed Backdoor)

[...]

Then another boon for IBM. Experts at the German Federal Office for Security in Information Technology (BIS) determined that Windows 8 is dangerous for data security. It allows Microsoft to control the computer remotely through a “special surveillance chip,” the wonderfully named Trusted Platform Module (TPM), and a backdoor in the software – with keys likely accessible to the NSA and possibly other third parties, such as the Chinese. Risks: “Loss of control over the operating system and the hardware” [read…. LEAKED: German Government Warns Key Entities Not To Use Windows 8 – Links The NSA.

Governments and companies overseas paid rapt attention. They’re big customers of our American tech heroes – and they’re having second thoughts, and some are cancelling orders. Tech companies are feeling the heat. A debacle IBM apparently decided not to let go to waste.

This is a story worth exploring in isolation.

What are the true numbers behind OpenOffice and LibreOffice adoption? It’s hard to tell without a census. Free software is being spread vertically and unless it’s improperly designed it also discourages spying that’s needed to count the number of active installations. If Forrester claims to know how OpenOffice and LibreOffice are doing, then it is lying; but on whose behalf? My wife uses OpenOffice at this very moment while I’m typing this. She uses a Live CD, so how can the likes of Forrester count it? They can’t. They can only pretend to be able to.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Office Productivity Software Is No Closer To Becoming A Commodity | Forrester Blogs
  2. Office Productivity Software Is No Closer To Becoming A Commodity
  3. Microsoft Office fends off open source OpenOffice and LibreOffice but cloud tools gain ground

    Nine out of 10 firms simply give staff the installed version of Office, with only six percent offering some or all employees a non-Microsoft alternative, according to a Forrester survey.

  4. The Power of Brand and the Power of Product, Part 3

    The OpenOffice brand is strong and growing. Over 30% of consumers surveyed had heard of it. Of those who had heard of it, 67% had given it a try. That number is changed little. This is an opportunity for Apache OpenOffice marketing volunteers to improve both of these numbers. Of those who tried OpenOffice almost 78% continued to use OpenOffice. This is a modest increase, but there is certainly room to improve here. Put it altogether, and the estimated user share, the percentage of US internet users who use OpenOffice “sometimes” or “regularly” is 16.1%, nearly a 50% improvement year-over-year.

10.18.13

IBM Does Not Deserve That Much Credit for Power Systems Agenda

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, IBM at 3:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A turbine

Via Siemens

Summary: Recalling the real goal of IBM’s Linux-themed marketing and the side effects of this strategy

IBM only embraced the “Linux” brand in order to help sell its own hardware (so expensive that IBM does not publicly advertise the price — one has to call or request a quote online). It is merely an investment [1], an attempt to shift to Power Systems [2] all sorts of GNU/Linux or UNIX customers (many still move away from UNIX, e.g. [3]). When it comes to distributions [4], IBM’s Power limits those choices somewhat. IBM is increasing hardware choices in some sense, but this happens to concurrently reduce some distribution choices. Then again, some are not fans of the meme that “Linux is about choice” [5], so to them, IBM’s selfish agenda is irrelevant here.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Can IBM expect the same ROI from next round of investment in Linux?

    At the most recent LinxuCon, IBM announced it will invest $1B in Linux and related open source technologies over the next five years.

  2. Little Linux Pricing On Big Power Systems Iron

    In case you haven’t noticed, IBM thinks that getting customers to put their Linux workloads onto Power Systems is going to reverse the sales decline for the platform. That decline has more to do with all flavors of Unix falling out of favor compared to Windows and Linux in the data centers of the world with the exception of very large workloads, usually databases, and the relatively high prices that Unix system vendors charge for their iron.

  3. Senwes Unix to Linux migration

    When Senwes, one of the largest grain handling companies in the southern hemisphere, decided to upgrade its main data centre and disaster recovery site, it was looking for flexibility.

  4. Choosing A Linux Flavor For Your Datacenter

    There are hundreds of flavors of Linux, each with their own focus and opinion on how the soup of open source tools should be assembled and maintained into a workable operating system. Choosing one for your desktop can be fun, as you get to try different distributions out without a whole lot of investment. However, when choosing a flavor for the datacenter or cloud hosted environment, you may find yourself stuck with your decision for a long time.

  5. Doing more with less – The Free Software Column

    In a famous posting to fedora-devel-list back in 2008, adam Jackson wrote: “If I could only have one thing this year, it would be to eliminate [the meme that ‘linux is about choice’] from the collective consciousness.”

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