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05.22.15

Microsoft Blackmails and Extorts British Politicians Over Open Standards and Free Software-Leaning Policies

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, OpenDocument at 11:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Westminster Abbey

Summary: Microsoft’s digital imperialism in the UK getting defended using blackmail, reminding a lot of Brits that Microsoft is just as evil as ever before

LARGE nations are moving away from Microsoft for technical reasons. Free software is simply better, not just more ethical. Despite Microsoft’s strong influence in the Indian government, the government of India is one of the latest to put Microsoft behind. Microsoft is already using the Indian corporate media to attack India's decision, sometimes lobbying by proxy. The same has been happening in the UK, whose government probably spends far more money than any other nation in the world on Microsoft software (per capita).

“They can incite against politicians to induce resignations or firings.”One year ago, when an ODF consultation was still ongoing, we warned Cabinet Office (UK) about what now turns out to be true. No country is immune to it, not even a large and powerful nation like India, let alone the UK (which for many years occupied India)

Microsoft already attacked the government just weeks or months after the consultation and did this again later in the year (these are the cases where we found out about it, surely there is more that was never reported on). Microsoft’s FUD attacks on ODF at the time often relied on Microsoft buddies and cooperation from some goons inside the British media. We named and shamed the culprits at the time.

The Inquirer, which is not Microsoft-friendly, says in today’s headline that “Microsoft bullied MPs over government switch to open source standards”. To quote: “As reported at Bloomberg, Steve Hilton, who was the prime minister’s director of strategy until 2012, revealed at an event that Microsoft began lobbying members of parliament after the Conservative Party proposed shifting government computer systems to open standards.”

In the original report from Bloomberg, which is usually quite Microsoft-friendly, the headline says “Microsoft Threatened to Close U.K. Plants, Ex-Cameron Aide Says”. “We just resisted,” the aide is quoted. “You have to be brave.”

Have to be brave? Who is in charge of who? Are corporations from the US now controlling the British government, too? Well, that pretty much sums up Microsoft. They will retaliate and intimidate, as per their usual behaviour. They can incite against politicians to induce resignations or firings. Watch what they did to Peter Quinn, who had been supporting ODF in his state.

The British media is gradually waking up. It is being filled with more and more news reports about Microsoft’s political blackmail over ODF (the modus operandi of Microsoft’s allies at the NSA). This is going to cost them. Here is the most widely-cited (in the UK at least) report which says: “Microsoft executives telephoned Conservative MPs threatening to shut down a facility in their local area because of planned IT reforms, David Cameron’s former strategy chief has claimed.

“Steve Hilton, who worked for Cameron in opposition and for two years in Downing Street, made the allegation as he argued the dominance of corporate lobbying in the UK was leading to bad policy-making.

“Asked how the government should deal with lobbyists, he said: “You just have to fight them off. I can give you specific examples: the thing I mentioned about IT contracts. Maybe there is someone here to confirm this from Microsoft? When we proposed this, Microsoft phoned Conservative MPs with Microsoft R&D facilities in their constituencies and said, ‘we will close them down in your constituency if this goes through’.”

“There are a lot more cases like these, but they are scarcely reported on or never reported on.”Here at Techrights we are not surprised that Microsoft blackmails. It always did. Almost exactly a year ago we foresaw this and warned Cabinet Office staff that this would happen. Microsoft is not a company but a Scientology-like cult, to quote a government delegate with Microsoft experiences. Paolo Vecchi asked rhetorically: “Is anybody shocked about the fact that MS used lobbying, blackmailing and bribing to create & maintain their monopoly?”

Remember that “Microsoft loves Linux” (its CEO says that). Under the leadership of that phony, Nadella (right-hand man of Bill Gates and the real owners of the company), Microsoft is unable to decide whether it supports FOSS (pretending to anyway) or attacks it (usually secretly, in order to support the former illusion).

Surely Microsoft hates not only Linux but also FOSS and open standards, such as ODF. Recall the following older posts:

In summary, watch out for and keep an eye on Microsoft. These are lunatic bullies who are willing to get people out of their job (or make their job deprecated) if these people ‘dare’ to stand in Microsoft’s way, i.e. not fully serve Microsoft’s interests. This was reportedly the case in Bristol (UK), not just in Massachusetts (US). There are a lot more cases like these, but they are scarcely reported on or never reported on. Microsoft does this covertly and quite often indirectly, too.

Free software usage is rapidly growing in public sector in the UK and it’s easy to see why Microsoft has gone off the rails. It must be furious over migrations to FOSS, which have become a frequent occurrence here. Good and honest journalism is key to exposing Microsoft’s real behaviour. Transparency would serve as deterrent against Microsoft’s corruption.

Microsoft Gives Another Bug a Name, This Time Logjam™

Posted in FUD, Marketing, Microsoft at 10:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Any logo/s yet?

Squirrel

Summary: The Microsoft crowd is good only at marketing, even when it comes to small bugs in software

Another brand for a bug, namely “logjam”, was made up by Microsoft et al. Linux sites cover this and add to the panic already. As the Microsoft-friendly BBC put it: “The “LogJam attack” was discovered by researchers at Microsoft and a number of US and French universities.” This “logjam” nonsense already has its own brand and even a dedicated Web site, just like Heartbleed™. As a reminder, Heartbleed™ too was coined by a Microsoft-connected firm, despite the fact that the bug was found by a man from Google.

Just over a week ago a Microsoft-connected firm spread the word VENOM™ as part of a marketing/propaganda campaign, serving to discourage companies from adopting Free/libre software for virtualisation. People remember brands better than they remember numbers (of advisories) or technical details, which may or may not indicate level of severity.

05.21.15

GNU/Linux Still Under Attack From Apple and Microsoft, Patents Remain the Weapon of Choice

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, Samsung at 4:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Aiming their biggest guns at Android

Bunker

Summary: A timely reminder of the importance of patent matters, for they are being used to eliminate the zero-cost advantage of Free/libre software and make it more proprietary, privacy-infringing, and user-hostile (as a result of blackmail)

WHILE pro-Apple sites keep bragging about new Apple patents (granted despite being monopolies on dumb or trivial ideas) there are many dozens of articles, such as [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] , about Apple’s latest assault and taxation of Android (nearly a billion dollars against just one Android backer). On the receiving end there is Samsung, which Microsoft blackmailed (using patent lawsuits) into including Microsoft's software/spyware, by default, in Android. Anyone who still considers Apple and/or Microsoft increasingly friendly towards Linux (or Android) is clearly not paying attention… or paying attention to proprietary software-leaning propaganda which calls extortion “licensing”, “settlement”, “agreement”, and so on. In the coming days we are going to refute a lot of patent propaganda in a rather long series of posts.

Gartner Group and NASSCOM: Will Lie for FUD, on Behalf of Microsoft and Proprietary Software

Posted in Asia, Bill Gates, Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 4:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft is like a political party

Bill Gates and Nasscom
Photo from NASSCOM’s Web site

Summary: Some of the latest arguments against Free/libre software turn out to be arriving from couriers of Microsoft and its agenda

LAST NIGHT’S article about Microsoft's lobbying in India sure made a lot of a splash. It had impact. It has been widely circulated by now, even by former Microsoft managers who had grown tired of the company’s abuses. Upon further research we found out the role of NASSCOM.

For those who cannot recall the historic role of NASSCOM, here is a quick summary of posts of ours, covering NASSCOM:

NASSCOM is now pushing against the Indian government’s Free software-friendly policy. Techrights is unusually popular in India (based on various Web metrics like Alexa) and our Indian readers have often been cynical about the integrity of their officials/politicians. They probably recognise Microsoft’s influence in the Indian government and right now Microsoft appears to be doing its lobbying (against FOSS) in India using a group that is tied to Bill Gates (not just Microsoft) and masquerades as non-commercial. This is gross distortion of justice, even corruption.

“NASSCOM is now pushing against the Indian government’s Free software-friendly policy.”Another Bill Gates-backed (and Bill Gates-funded) group, the Gartner Group, recently spread a lot of FUD against FOSS and advertised Windows using lies (some Gartner staff came from Microsoft). One very recent piece of FUD against FOSS (there is some against containers, using ‘security’) says that there is a lack of skills. Gartner recently injected these claims into a lot of Web sites, assisted by gullible writers. Mike Olson, speaking to the media, shoots down Gartner’s latest FUD, noting that Gartner cites a non-existent dilemma. And to use his own words: “The reason I think Gartner’s report is off base, enterprises don’t need to build deep data science skills if they can buy solutions and applications that run on top of the platform that allows them to solve business problems.”

The problem with Microsoft is that it is well connected and a lot of the talking points against Free software come from buddies, partners, former staff and mouthpieces of Microsoft. This cannot be conveniently ignored and refuting the lies isn’t a case of shooting the messenger, just showing who the messenger works for/with.

Windows is a Franchise in Demise, Don’t Believe the Hype

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 4:10 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gimmicks and marketing won’t save Windows

Glasses

Summary: Ongoing propaganda about Vista 10, ‘cloud’, and other buzzwords or brands are put in perspective

“Vista 10″ (or Windows 10, as Microsoft prefers to call it) is marketing propaganda and very little beyond that. Microsoft can afford to bribe a lot of news sites (‘incentivising’ as they might put it), offering favours in exchange for PR. We see a LOT of PR right now. Microsoft’s “PR guys and gals [are] working overtime writing press releases, which Internet news sites are posting,” wrote Christine Hall. We recently wrote about the Microsoft copywriters (writing propaganda pieces for Microsoft, to be carefully spread through the media) and the famous lie of 'free' Vista 10. Hall writes that facts notwithstanding, it “hasn’t stopped the PR guys and gals from working overtime writing press releases, which Internet news sites are posting while wondering aloud if Windows 10 will be enough to “save” the PC, and coming to the conclusion that if Windows can’t do it, then it can’t be done. They reach this conclusion with nary a whisper about ChromeOS, which is cleaning Redmond’s clock on the laptop — and with even less being said about traditional Linux.”

“Prepare for an increasingly GNU/Linux-dominated world, not just in mobile, embedded systems, and servers.”GNU/Linux can do just fine on the desktop, but Web sites and services are becoming more mobile-friendly over time. In turn, more people choose to access data/services/programs through portable devices with relatively small (touch)screens.

Overwhelming press-aided propaganda (at critical times) has had people talk about Vista 10 delusions rather than pay attention to sinking Windows profits. Windows was never sold, but it was certainly stolen. Proprietary software is rented, not sold; Bill Gates pinched early operating system (OS) code from the garbage can. “In my case,” Bill Gates once explained, “I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating systems.”

In a later article Christine Hall wrote: “If you believe what you read, which isn’t always a good idea, Nadella & Company is good with the fact that Windows’ market share is shrinking and the company is more than willing to share market space with others, like OS X, Chrome OS, and presumably Linux. The common knowledge is that the folks in Redmond have come to accept the future and understand that Windows will no longer continue being the cash cow on which an empire was built. Microsoft, going forward, will be more humble than it was in the past and will be leaving it’s plans for world domination behind.”

Prepare for an increasingly GNU/Linux-dominated world, not just in mobile, embedded systems, and servers.

05.20.15

Microsoft is Again Showing Its Hatred of Free/Open Source Software by Lobbying the Indian Government to Drop a Rational National Policy

Posted in Asia, Deception, Microsoft at 6:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Public display of hatred

Narendra Modi

Summary: Microsoft decides to attack Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in India, where the corporate media is very much complicit in misleading the public

E

ARLIER this year we repeatedly wrote that upon India's adoption of a Free/Open Source software-leaning policy Microsoft would attempt to paint itself "Open Source", or misleadingly associate Windows with "Open Source" (Microsoft is now openwashing Windows by throwing some Windows Communication Foundation code out there). We were only partly right because Microsoft is now making the decision to actually attack the judgment of India’s government.

Big mistake. It’s offensive and potentially offending.

Microsoft pretends to be “Open Source”-friendly but at the same time it lobbies India government’s against rational, pro-India policy — a policy that would create many jobs in India and improve national security. India, being a software-producing giant, needs Microsoft as much as Norway needs lumber imports from the Sahara. It is worth reminding readers that several months ago Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled to the US and met Microsoft’s CEO in person. See our past articles about Microsoft’s influence in the Indian government, where officials are notoriously corruptible.

Corporate Media to Microsoft’s Rescue

Here is the Business Standard (corporate press of India) helping Microsoft to get its message (lobbying) out. To quote: “The technology-savvy Narendra Modi government may have upset large software firms, especially Microsoft, in its bid to be more efficient and transparent. In March, the government announced an open-source policy that makes it mandatory for all future applications and services to be designed using the open-source software (OSS). In case of an exception, where proprietary or closed-source software (CSS) is deployed, officials have to justify their decision.

“Microsoft pretends to be a victim merely because governments want Free/libre software code and open standards.”“Microsoft India chairman Bhaskar Pramanik told Business Standard the government’s preference for open source is not an issue. However, putting a clause where use of anything other than open source has to be justified is an area of concern.”

How so?

This is a reminder of Microsoft’s unique stance (no other company is named here) and feeling/sense of entitlement. When the British government chose to go with open standards for document formats (ODF) Microsoft attacked the government’s decision rather than comply by properly supporting the standard. Microsoft is upset not about the policy but about rivals of Microsoft getting more of an opportunity. Microsoft pretends to be a victim merely because governments want Free/libre software code and open standards. What’s good for taxpayers is very seldom good for Microsoft.

Calling Proprietary “Open Source”

Speaking of India and its submissive corporate media, the Indian press is wrong yet again (just earlier today). Cyanogen, a proxy of Microsoft (classic embrace extend and extinguish manoeuvre by Microsoft), is not “open source” as this headline from the Economic Times (corporate media) foolishly claims. “US-based Cyanogen,” says the article, “the developer of an open-source mobile operating system, will open an office in India within the next three months, and plans to acquire startups, according to a senior company executive.”

“Microsoft is unable to bring Android apps to Windows, so it is trying to steal Android itself.”It is not an “open-source mobile operating system” because the company, Cyanogen (not to be confused with CyanogenMod), plans to put Microsoft proprietary software in the operating system of another company (Google), exploiting Google’s FOSS-friendly nature. Here is a new reminder (from yesterday) regarding what Microsoft wants/hopes to turn Android into: “Today, they’ve added phone support for beta testers – those who’ve joined the Microsoft Office Preview community on Google+ and sign up for the apps you want to try. You’ll then be able to find them on the Google Play Store, where the apps have dropped “for tablet” from their name.”

So Microsoft is now using Google+ to screw Google and take away Android from Google, turning the platform into just a carrier of Microsoft’s proprietary software, with extra spying of course. Based on [1] (below), there is a grand plan. Microsoft is unable to bring Android apps to Windows, so it is trying to steal Android itself. It takes something which is Free software and turns it into proprietary software that spies on users (turning them into products to be sold to spies, advertisers, and so on).

Microsoft Wants Everyone’s Data

Based on this new article, StackStorm is now playing along with this kind of agenda, giving Microsoft data to spy on. To quote: “StackStorm CEO Evan Powell says StackStorm can be used to not only automate that management of application workloads on the Microsoft Azure cloud, but also other cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services or an OpenStack-compatible cloud.”

“Indian officials would have to be out of their minds (or corrupt) to continue procurement of Microsoft software after the NSA leaks, among other revelations about Microsoft’s crude business practices.”How foolish. Microsoft is increasingly trying to exploit users for their data and based on this new article from PopSci, Microsoft is now trying to lure children into proprietary software that spies on children. As the article puts it: “This grim declaration is a part of [Microsoft's] De Cicco Remu’s push for pencil-less classrooms. She believes pencils, paper, and chalkboards are all outdated methods of teaching. If De Cicco Remu has her way, “inking”, or using a stylus and a tablet, will be the new handwriting. Also, kids need to have the appropriate products–all Microsoft, of course. (She plugs Office 365 and OneNote as being helpful for classroom settings.)”

These are surveillance products and it is worth recalling Microsoft’s special relationship with the NSA. Indian officials would have to be out of their minds (or corrupt) to continue procurement of Microsoft software after the NSA leaks, among other revelations about Microsoft’s crude business practices.

Modi is renowned as somewhat of a nationalist (as in, looking after his nation’s interests) and he holds a Master of Arts degree in political science. He should be wise enough to know that Microsoft is no friend of India.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Developers ‘uninterested’ in tweaking iOS and Android apps for Windows

    Developers are said to be reluctant to modify iPhone and Android apps for Windows Phone over doubts over app quality and how easy the process will be

05.19.15

Corporate Media and Friends of Microsoft Are Still Lying About the Cost of Vista 10

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 5:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

So Windows is “free”? People will believe it’s true if it’s repeated often enough.

“Just because something isn’t a lie does not mean that it isn’t deceptive. A liar knows that he is a liar, but one who speaks mere portions of truth in order to deceive is a craftsman of destruction.”
Criss Jami

“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
Mark Twain

“A truth that’s told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent.”
William Blake

Summary: In a desperate effort to beat operating systems that are Free (libre) and free (gratis), such as GNU/Linux or Android, Microsoft shores up the illusion of ‘free’ (gratis) Windows

SINCE the very beginning of this year Microsoft has been lying about the cost of Vista 10, usually by proxy, by deceiving the press or working with the press to mislead the public.

The terms “free” and “Windows” (sometimes in conjunction) are still being floated in news headlines so as to mislead. Vista 10 is not free, it’s just “marketing”, as Microsoft itself says. Here is a new example which contradicts prior statements. The title says “Pirates will be able to upgrade to a pirated copy of Windows 10 for free,” despite prior refutations.

“Anything to keep them from upgrading to GNU/Linux,” wrote iophk, who alludes to old reports such as “If You’re Going To Steal Software, Steal From Us: Microsoft Exec” or even Bill Gates’ own statement which went like this: “And as long as they’re going to steal it, we want them to steal ours.”

Well, surely because GNU/Linux is more evil than “theft” [sic], at least to Microsoft.

Microsoft calling Vista 10 “10″ (there’s no number 9) makes as much sense as Canonical calling the next Ubuntu “17.10″ in order to make it seem or sound more futuristic (a year ahead of the rest). Vista 10 is not a new operating system, it is new branding with a new marketing strategy that includes false claims that it is “free” (because Vista 8 did so badly and people actively avoided it).

The Microsoft-occupied tabloid ZDNet pays lip service to Vista 10 in this new article about Vista 10. It quotes so-called ‘analysts’ from firms that Microsoft paid to advertise Vista (IDC for instance), including the Gartner Group, which said that Windows Vista would be great and is already lying about the cost Vista 10 (some Gartner staff comes from Microsoft.

Watch out and be careful of articles that claim Vista 10 to be “free”. It’s a misleading case of “marketing”, as Microsoft itself explained to its own shareholders/investors in its latest SEC filings. When Microsoft bribed authorities in Nigeria (to drop a GNU/Linux deal with Mandriva) its spokespeople called it “marketing help”, so we know what Microsoft means by “marketing”.

05.18.15

Grooming of the World’s Biggest Patent Troll, Nathan Myhrvold of Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Patents at 7:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nathan Myhrvold

“Intellectual property is the next software.”

Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft patent troll

Summary: UCLA and Microsoft-linked media are framing big thugs as heroes, doing a great disservice to both academia and journalism

THREE weeks ago we wrote about a very tasteless move from UCLA, which had resorted to whitewashing thugs. Intellectual Ventures is a Microsoft proxy that attacks many companies and blackmails others (even universities are among Intellectual Ventures’ targets). How can this proxy be considered suitable for a commencement ceremony at a university? Are they paying Myhrvold for this or is he bribing UCLA for the ‘privilege’? It’s hard to say.

Either way, Steph from IP Troll Tracker wrote: “I only wish I had taken myself up on my dreams of attending UCLA so I could write a scathing letter to the Alumni Association, letting them know how I felt about this bad apple choice of a speaker.”

Microsoft’s booster Todd Bishop, an occasional grooming actor for Intellectual Ventures (a tool of Microsoft) and for Bill Gates (friend of Myhrvold and early financier of Intellectual Ventures), uses Intellectual Ventures to smear Google, a leading Microsoft rival. He says that “Google was an early investor in Intellectual Ventures’ patent fund but has since distanced itself from the Bellevue, Wash.-based company, and the companies have faced off over patents in the courtroom.”

Yes, Intellectual Ventures is now suing Android, as we showed several times last month (we highlighted this several times). Intellectual Ventures did not have Google as an “investor”, Google just wanted peace with this parasitic aggressor. Bishop is reversing roles to make Google look like the troll. Isn’t it funny how Microsoft-friendly (and at times Microsoft-funded) media keeps trying to groom Myhrvold and Intellectual Ventures?

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