Photo courtesy/source: Twitter profile
Summary: Malice from Microsoft is being framed as malice from Lenovo, owing to some shrewd spin from a longtime Microsoft booster
Peter is a brave man. Despite his love for Microsoft, he has been hanging out in our main IRC channel for a number of years. He probably joined after we had criticised many of his articles and pointed out the gross bias, which sometimes got a lot more severe and clearly upset a lot of readers, even employees of companies like Opera. Factual inaccuracies, outright errors, semi-truths, spin etc. are a standard routine.
Today we wish to discuss this article because it helps raise awareness of malicious things that Microsoft has been doing. What Microsoft Peter calls “anti-theft feature” is neither “anti-theft” nor a feature but an antifeature. It is part of Wintel’s attack on general-purpose computers or home PCs, tying these to Microsoft software at the hardware level (like OS signatures to be accepted or rejected at the motherboard level).
Microsoft Peter uses a cleverly-crafted argument of diversion; “Lenovo used Windows anti-theft feature to install persistent crapware” is the headline, but it might as well have said that Microsoft had turned many computers against their users and Lenovo merely borrowed this facility from Microsoft.
“The criticism is going to Lenovo for using this when it should be going to Microsoft for even allowing it.”
In our IRC channel, Ryan Farmer, a former Microsoft MVP (albeit no longer loyal to them), wrote: “Turns out there’s a Windows 8/10 “feature” that runs Windows programs that OEMs can put in the EFI firmware. But it works in Windows 7 as well because of a Microsoft extension to ACPI that lets the firmware pass Windows executables to Windows, which it executes even if they’re not related to power management. Seems like the last version of Windows that wouldn’t do this was maybe Vista. The criticism is going to Lenovo for using this when it should be going to Microsoft for even allowing it. In theory, it’s there to make it impossible for laptop thieves to remove anti-theft software, but since there’s no limitation on how it can be used…”
This article is debated right now by people without an understanding of the technical details. It’s talked about in some other sites and forums, even corporate media like Time. Microsoft Peter managed to get people angry at Lenovo rather than Microsoft (the culprit). Cory Doctorow fell for it and everyone else is directing the anger only at Lenovo (just take a glimpse at those headlines while they last in Google’s index, there at least two dozen of them at the moment).
We wish to remind readers to properly research before buying a PC without GNU/Linux already installed. Microsoft has been setting up artificial obstacles, culminating in Vista 10 with the latest/newest dual-boot complications, set aside UEFI ‘secure’ boot barriers (Microsoft now allows for no “off” switch to be present). Yesterday, a site specialising in this area reported =”GRUB-Install errors while attempting to dual-boot Windows 10 and Linux distributions” (check out the screenshots). █
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Summary: Lenovo still discriminates against market leader Red Hat and instead pushes the Microsoft-encumbered SUSE
NOT so long ago we remarked on Lenovo’s relationship with Microsoft. The companies appear in tandem more often than not and we have written about Microsoft staff who entered Lenovo’s top ranks, as well as Lenovo’s preference for SLE* (Microsoft-taxed) over Red Hat [1, 2, 3, 4].
Over at The Register, a new article expresses bafflement over Lenovo’s preferential treatment for the Microsoft-taxed GNU/Linux distribution.
All of the ThinkServers support Windows Server 2008 in the Standard, Enterprise, Small Business Server, and Essential Business Server flavors. Novell is the preferred Linux supplier at Lenovo, and customers can also get SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 on the new ThinkServers.
As for server virtualization hypervisors, VMware’s ESX Server 3.5 and ESXi 3.5 are certified on the machines, as is Hyper-V for Windows 2008 and the Xen hypervisors inside of SLES 10 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.
Given the proximity between Red Hat and Lenovo in North Carolina, you’d think they’d be best buddies. Anyway, if RHEL didn’t make the cut as a preferred Linux operating system, it is at least designated as a hypervisor. Yes, that is silly.
The servers are “virtualization ready,” meaning they are available with a choice of virtualization technology from Microsoft, Novell, VMWare or Red Hat pre-installed. With the expanded memory and storage capacity, the latest computers can be used to consolidate applications running on several legacy servers into one system.
At IDG, there is also this new reminder of what Novell did with Microsoft. The author later tries to defend it.
For me, this deal looks rather like the agreement between Microsoft and Novell back in 2006. While some open source advocates suggested Novel had sold its soul to the devil, the real story was Microsoft’s recognition that in future proprietary and open source software would exist side by side in most IT shops.
This is mostly the self-serving story told by Novell. To Microsoft, the Novell deal “clearly establishes that open source is not free,” to quote Steve Ballmer shortly after the deal had been signed. █
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Protests in India used Boycott Novell banners
Summary: More collusion to exclude GNU/Linux and more pressure to impose Windows+DRM on innocent schoolchildren
ASUS and Microsoft kickbacks are a subject we have not re-raised for weeks [1, 2, 3], but fresh signs are suggesting that Microsoft’s anti-competitive tactics in this area of sub-notebooks continue unabated.
Over at InfroWorld (IDG), a writer has just accused Microsoft (and OEMs) of collusion and here is the summary:
Microsoft is colluding with netbook hardware vendors to deny customer choice and protect profits
On to the impacts that are most disturbing, yesterday we wrote about Bill Gates and his visit to Spain. Today we find this new report:
A widespread project to equip Spanish primary students with laptops was under attack by the free software community for being an undercover operation from Microsoft to take over the educational system in the country. Now the government is considering a kind of dual booting system.
But it still seems that the powers that be in Spain haven’t given this new focus much consideration: publishing school textbooks in Spain is a multimillion-euro business and many publishers have insisted that the digital books that go on to the laptops be DRM-protected. How exactly this would be technically and legally implemented on an all FLOSS-based device remains to be seen.
It’s just like Portugal and the Magalhães fiasco. The company involved was brought to court for charges of fraud. Microsoft et al seemingly pass on their scam on to a bigger country accommodating even more children whom they want to become prisoners of Microsoft and DRM.
In other news, now that we’ve seen the invalid reasons for rejection of GNU/Linux in NSW education, having used children to advance corporate agenda (the Linux-hostile Lenovo is among those to blame, Adobe being a problem as well but for other reasons), there is this report which reveals that children will become marketing tools and beta testers for Microsoft. Who will pay? taxpayers of course.
“It’s just like Portugal and the Magalhães fiasco. The company involved was brought to court for charges of fraud.”Our informant from Australia writes: “I don’t think I’ve ever been more disgusted and angry at the state of IT and education in Australia… ever. Today the blatant nepotism and conflicts of interest (corruption) has reached a new level, especially in New South Wales.
“They won’t use Linux but they’ll voluntarily become beta testers for Microsoft and make our children beta testers for Microsoft as well as part of their corporate advertising slog
“They reject the top flight Linux distro’s and then they willingly agree to become Microsoft guinea pigs and test bunnies. Do I smell CORRUPTION ? Money changing hands…
“Ubuntu is not good enough but Windows 7 is ???? It is nothing short of sheer brinkmanship, disgusting corruption, and child abuse. Making our children corporate beta testers for Microsoft and offering kickbacks to schools who adopt and push Microsoft software.”
We have already seen kids waging protest against it.
“It reeks of collusion — collusion in which our children are used,” concludes our informant and reader. █
“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”
“DRM is the future.”
–Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO
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“Analysts sell out – that’s their business model… But they are very concerned that they never look like they are selling out, so that makes them very prickly to work with.”
–Microsoft, internal document
Summary: A look at the proximity between GNU/Linux-hostile analysts and the company which feeds them
WE HAVE already written quite extensively about how Microsoft uses analysts to advance its business agenda and several days ago we showed that the Microsoft-corrupted Gartner Group is a fan of the company's software patents. It’s only to be expected from those whose wages are paid by Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Here is more from an analyst at Gartner:
I am not a big fan of the Bilski ruling. But if it’s impact ends up being more acutely felt on the business models necessary to commercialize innovation than on innovation itself it, that would seem to me yet another reason to find fault with it.
So here is advocacy of monopoly on thought — on a process that can be carried out with pen and paper or just words. Since one of the main losers from In Re Bilski fallout is Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14], this should not be too surprising.
In other interesting news, a lot of people parrot the words of some Lenovo analyst, but very few people bother to mention the company’s strong ties with Microsoft as of late [1, 2, 3, 4]. It even includes Microsoft executives as employees and it always looks to reinforce or justify its decisions. The analyst in question is telling as well. His blog is filled with Vista posts and nothing except Windows. So should one be surprised that he bashed GNU/Linux? DaemonFC published a post about it last night:
Microsoft-paid anti Linux stooges at Lenovo
This isn’t like Windows at all which already has or provides easy access to everything I want it to do, can be downloaded and burned legally and for free to any blank disc I have laying around, and is entirely open source. Linux is proprietary and costs between $140-$1000 a license.
In response to that latest FUD from Lenovo, one person explains that “retail shelves are rented.”
when it comes to the retail shelves, what you see on the shelf is not what customers or the market have picked. These products are placed on rented space and the marketing people placed the product there. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. But, because Microsoft was/is allowed to throw money at hardware resellers(Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc) in the name of marketing partnerships, what products you see on shelves have more to do with backroom contracts than customer demand. Especially when you’re talking about Linux as an option. And yes, I’ve heard product development people talk about how Microsoft influences product configurations with disruptions of these marketing contracts.
Windows Vista is so widely disliked that the Vista Uncompetition has just been launched. Vista 7 won't be much better and we keep seeing vicious attacks from unnamed individuals against anyone who dares to criticise it ahead of arrival, including attempts to shun those critics and get them in trouble with their publisher; the latest example, for which there is a lot of evidence, is Charlie from The Inquirer. One has to wonder if the PR agencies are at work again, policing coverage of key products. █
“Mopping Up can be a lot of fun. In the Mopping Up phase, Evangelism’s goal is to put the final nail into the competing technology’s coffin, and bury it in the burning depths of the earth. Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.” Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the competition’s technology part of the mythology of the computer industry.”
–James Plamondon, Microsoft
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Recently, Ron Hovsepian has spoken with SiliconRepublic.com regarding the Microsoft deal and it’s effects on the woebegone Novell. Honestly, there are very few ‘new’ pieces of information to be gleaned from the interview, but there were perhaps a couple of notable assertions by the CEO.
Up to 17 New Collaboration Project Areas
Hovsepian said that as part of the pact both Microsoft and Novell would meet on a quarterly basis to review the current status of the project and that this has resulted in up to 17 new potential project areas emerging.
“These really came from the customers who are driving this. We’ll be meeting later this month to discuss these new projects and some of these we’ll make public in the not-to-distant future.”
Preloaded SUSE Desktops
“The desktop element is particularly critical”, he added. “PSA Peugeot has selected us to replace over 20,000 desktops with SUSE Linux. In India, Tamil Nadu Electronics have chosen us to replace over 30,000 desktops with SUSE Linux. Dell in China and Lenovo have both committed to pre-load SUSE Linux so our desktop strategy is getting stronger and stronger.
I would be remiss to not remind readers of Lenovo’s recent deal with Microsoft, as Roy so presciently deduced at the time, it seems to have finally enabled them to deliver on their repeated promises of SUSE preinstalls. Kinda sounds like when Dell got permission from our friends in Redmond to sell, er I mean meet (but not create) customer demand, for GNU/Linux.
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