Microsoft is hiding the price tag
Summary: More proof that Microsoft charges quite a lot for Vista 10 (at OEM level), despite the perpetual deception about costs
“NOT FREE” is the only way to describe Vista 10, despite repeated lies from Microsoft and its boosters [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Vista 10 not just nonfree (proprietary) but also not free (non-gratis) and exceedingly expensive. There is no other way to put it.
We gradually see (or start seeing) Vista 10 puff pieces that promise us everything and make this yet-unreleased piece of software sound like the best thing to ever reach planet Earth. We caution our readers and ask them to remember that Microsoft bribes bloggers, journalists, etc. who review the latest Windows before anyone else gains access to it. In addition, we saw Microsoft shamefully blacklist ‘unwanted’ voices, then ask the media to claim that reviews (bribed for at approximately $1000 a pop) are largely positive. It’s intended to shape consensus before the release. It’s trend-setting by gross manipulation.
Regarding the cost of Vista 10 (hidden in OEM contracts, under NDA), now we have a clue. According to the media in Taiwan, “Microsoft has been talking to notebook brand vendors about the licensing of Windows 10 recently and is planning to charge extra fees for notebook models with high-end hardware such as Core i7 processors or Full HD display.”
So Microsoft is quietly raising the price of Windows. There’s nothing “free” about it. “Expect GNU/Linux to have a really great year,” writes Robert Pogson. Microsoft hopes to bamboozle people into the false belief that Windows and GNU/Linux are the same price. It’s all about perception, even if by repeatedly lying. █
“There’s no company called Linux, there’s barely a Linux road map. Yet Linux sort of springs organically from the earth. And it had, you know, the characteristics of communism that people love so very, very much about it. That is, it’s free.”
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“The email details how, surprise surprise, Microsoft has arranged virtually all of SCO’s financing, hiding behind intermediaries like Baystar Capital.”
Summary: The Microsoft plot to paint its proprietary software ‘open’ is largely successful, as even the Linux Foundation relents on defensive antagonism and gives up on software freedom
SEVERAL weeks ago we wrote about the openwashing of “Edge” (not to be confused with Ubuntu Edge), which is a Microsoft rebrand essentially, pretending that Microsoft embraces “Open Source” on the Web. Microsoft is still openwashing proprietary software by virtually googlebombing [1, 2, 3] “open source edge” etc. When searching for “open source windows” you might expect ReactOS, but that’s no longer the case, surely not after a misleading media blitz. Here is an example from a Microsoft propaganda site. It says: “Microsoft now makes all these feature demos available as open-course on GitHub, so that the developers can get them hands-on to learn more about it. The sole aim of presenting the Test Drive Site is to help developers play around with the new interface and its features and to get hands-on review and endways experience before the official launch of Windows 10 in July 29.”
“Are all these recent hires from Microsoft making the Linux Foundation unable to say “no” to Microsoft?”The kind of openwashing extends from Edge (proprietary) to Vista 10 (also proprietary and definitely not free, no matter how many times Microsoft lies about the cost [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]). How can Microsoft get away with this? If people are passive enough, it might actually pass muster.
We have meanwhile found this new article titled “Install Microsoft Visual Studio Code on 32-bit Ubuntu Systems with Ubuntu Make 0.8.2″. It’s an article from a Linux site (Softpedia’s Linux section) which tactlessly helps Microsoft entrap GNU/Linux users. That’s the second time in about a month and once again, installing proprietary software from Microsoft is described as a reasonable thing to do (or worth doing, like installing Microsoft’s malware Skype on GNU/Linux). Visual Studio Code is proprietary and it may have malicious antifeatures that no audit can yet demonstrate. That’s aside from the fact that helping Microsoft is unwise. The editor promotes .NET and other Microsoft lock-in. GNU/Linux already had plenty of fantastic code editors, most of which are Free software and framework-neutral.
Speaking of helping Microsoft, watch the Linux Foundation’s Open Container Project — like others before it — getting infiltrated by Microsoft upon launch:
Microsoft and a bunch of its biggest competitors, including Google and Amazon, have joined forces for the Open Container Project, a non-profit organization housed under the Linux Foundation – the governing body of the Linux open source operating system, which Microsoft once considered its biggest competitor.
The Linux Foundation needs to watch out as it foolishly opens the lion’s mouth wide open yet again, as if just to look at what’s deep inside the lion’s throat (lots of carcasses of other prior fools like Corel, Yahoo!, Nokia, and Novell). Microsoft still wants to destroy GNU/Linux and its participation in the Open Container Project is about promoting Windows (containers greatly contribute to the obsolescence of Windows, according to a new Red Hat study). What was the Linux Foundation thinking in this case? Are all these recent hires from Microsoft making the Linux Foundation unable to say “no” to Microsoft? █
“We [Microsoft] believe every Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability.”
–Steve Ballmer, Microsoft
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“The purpose of announcing early like this is to freeze the market at the OEM and ISV level. In this respect it is JUST like the original Windows announcement…
–Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft
Summary: In a shameless effort to discourage migrations to the zero-cost BSD and GNU/Linux, Microsoft continues to flood the media with false claims about the cost of Windows and the price of Vista 10 (not even released yet) in particular
READERS have let us know that Microsoft propagandist Ed Bott is spreading the ‘free’ Vista 10 myth (it’s out there again and spreading quickly in corporate media; it’s a myth that is not dead, despite a lot of debunking [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]). It reaches a large audience in the CBS-owned ZDNet, despite being a lie and a nasty form of PR. No matter how it turns out (Microsoft Peter already admits that Microsoft just lies about ‘free’ Vista 10 this time too), a lot of the public may be left with the false impression about the cost of Vista 10. This propaganda or semi-truths (i.e. lies) would target ‘useful idiots’ or people who hardly follow the news. Many still think that Vista 10 will be made available free of charge. There is a war on the minds.
“People choose GNU/Linux not just for cost savings; some people are capable of thinking long term and factor in external transactional aspects.”Freedom, as ever before, is not free, so even if Vista 10 is somehow obtained (legally or illegally) at no cost it is not worth it; the price is people’s control over their own lives.
For those who truly pursue Free software on computers (as well underlying hardware, which assures freedom in other ways) there is now “Purism”. $1,649 will buy you a secure laptop with only Free software. As ZDNet (surprisingly enough) put it the other day:
The company hopes to expand the notebook lineup running its open-source PureOS with a smaller, $1,649 portable that will ship in September if it receives sufficient backing.
$1,649 may sound like a lot of money, but for a machine that can serve a person for many years (almost a decade) and ensure autonomy, privacy etc. in an age of increasingly-oppressive technology it might actually be worth it. People choose GNU/Linux not just for cost savings; some people are capable of thinking long term and factor in external transactional aspects. Windows lock-in is far too expensive even at $0 or negative pricing. Price can change over time and the abuses that come with proprietary software (e.g. espionage) are unforeseeable. █
“Some weeks it looks like Redmond feels entitled to capture not just part of what we save, but all of it. That just isn’t going to fly with corporate America forever. When your margins are more sensitive to Bill Gates’ pricing whims than they are the price of oil, that’s an untenable position for a large company to be in.”
–John Chapman Sr., BP Amoco Technology Executive
“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”
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“People that use Red Hat, at least with respect to our intellectual property, in a sense have an obligation to compensate us.”
Summary: Satya Nadella continues Steve Ballmer’s tradition of just attacking the competition rather than outperform or fairly compete against it
MICROSOFT not only invests in patent aggressors (e.g. Finjan) but is also feeding some patent trolls with patents (e.g. MOSAID, a.k.a. “Conversant” following a rename), creating new patent trolls (like the world’s biggest, Intellectual Ventures), and turning real companies into trolls (case of point being Nokia, which we wrote about yesterday in light of royalty stacking against Android).
We cannot emphasise this strongly enough: Microsoft is not a troll. It is a super troll. It is one giant troll (not the stereotypical kind), masquerading or hiding behind its brand and some products that nobody really wants to buy (OEMs force their customers to pay for these and in areas like phones or tablets even OEMs currently refuse to pay).
Nokia keeps pretending to be anything but a Microsoft stooge, but this revealing new interview with the post-Elop chief speaks volumes. “Microsoft makes mobile phones,” Rajeev Suri (Nokia chief) said. “We would simply design them and then make the brand name available to license.”
Make no mistake here; Nokia isn’t separated or even separable from Microsoft. The staff has been genetically engineered/modified/selected based on loyalty to Microsoft since 2011. The ‘original’ Nokia still has a lot of patents and it now officially uses them to tax Android, as we first reported last night. Nadella (not the real boss but the tactless and latest public face) continues Microsoft’s racketeering strategy against Linux and Android (we repeatedly wrote about this with accompanying examples) while having the audacity/nerve to say that “Microsoft loves Linux” (it very clearly hates GNU/Linux). Nokia as a troll and Microsoft as a troll is not dramatic labelling; just look at what they’re doing. They are selling almost nothing while taxing almost everything, including Apple’s line of ‘i’ devices.
“The ‘original’ Nokia still has a lot of patents and it now officially uses them to tax Android, as we first reported last night.”Microsoft is of course not the only company that behaves like this. Jawbone, for example, sues Fitbit again [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] (seems like litigation is Jawbone’s busines plan) and some companies like Cardiac Science are making patents their revenue source. Then there is the patent trap which is Blu-ray Disc™ (a big pile of patents) and Juristat, a new service, aims to untangle some of the patent web/backlog. There is a patent thicket in many areas right now and it’s only getting worse, hence harder for examiners to properly assess for duplicates/merit. Juristat tries to help patent lawyers increase their ‘output’. As this new article put it: “The Software as a Service (SaaS) company allows users to plot their chance of success in all aspects of the patent application process. Among the many features, Juristat can tell an attorney the number of allowed (approved), pending and abandoned patent applications in front of a current examiner, the likelihood of your application getting allowed and your chances of success in an appeals.”
In this world that had increasingly become patent-obsessed and then saw a bubble burst (Microsoft's patenting numbers dropped sharply this year) we are bound to see desperate/dying companies using patents in their last battle against competition that truly wins (like Android). Software patents may still have some years of lifetime in the US (they are a ticking time bomb waiting to implode, not explode). This is why Microsoft has been so focused (especially since the Novell deal) on attacking GNU/Linux with patents. █
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Microsoft uses patent/royalty stacking strategy to abuse and game the market
Summary: Nokia is now gunning down or picking on Linux-centric (and/or Android-focused) companies, extracting patent tax from at least some of them after Microsoft left this dead company with many of its patents, scattering the rest to strategic (Microsoft-leaning) patent trolls
WE ARE truly troubled to have just found out that Nokia, which was destroyed by Microsoft’s Elop (now outside of Microsoft again), is officially extracting money from LG. LG uses only Android for its phones (WebOS for other products and this too is Linux-powered) and since Nokia is Microsoft’s proxy and LG already pays Microsoft, this is a bit like double-dipping; this is patent stacking (the official term for this practice is sometimes “royalty stacking”, as this paper from Mark Lemley explains). According to CBS, “Nokia Technologies and LG have agreed to a smartphone patent licensing agreement, the companies announced on Tuesday. Under the terms of the deal, LG will pay royalties to Nokia for use of its patents on mobile communications.”
“Microsoft is quickly becoming more and more like patent troll and its sidekick, Nokia, sure works hard to ensure that Microsoft’s rivals cannot get a breath of fresh air.”So it’s not so much of a deal. It is hardly mutual because it’s LG which is said to be paying Nokia, the company which was already warned by European officials about becoming a troll like this (after Microsoft practically took over). Microsoft is now an almost non-practising firm, just a troll, directly and by proxy, attacking Android from many directions in an effort to increase its cost. According to this one new roundup of articles (relating to Nokia and Microsoft) “Microsoft Lumia phones are DEAD”, leaving Microsoft and Nokia in more of a “patent troll” status (but big trolls, not the stigma thereof). They hardly have any market share, but they sure attack the market’s winners.
To quote IDG: “Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s reorganization of the company is causing some serious head-scratching. Commentators — including this Humble Blogwatcher — are reaching the inescapable conclusion that the ex-Nokia Lumia business is dead (or, at least, mortally wounded).
“Redmond certainly seems to be sidelining the perpetually loss-making Windows phone devices group. And the departure of two notable scapegoats seems to confirm the view: Yes, Stephen Elop is out, along with one of his trusted lieutenants, Jo Harlow. Do you hear echoes of the KIN débâcle?”
Microsoft is quickly becoming more and more like patent troll and its sidekick, Nokia, sure works hard to ensure that Microsoft’s rivals cannot get a breath of fresh air. Free and fair competition is apparently not an option because Microsoft cannot cope with real competition. If “Microsoft loves Linux”, then it’s equally reasonable to say that I love Microsoft. █
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Will sue for income
Phil Hartstein, CEO of Finjan (Photo credit: Courtesy), via Times of Israel
Summary: The patent aggressor known as Finjan Holdings (originally subsidised by Microsoft) is celebrated by one of the most overzealous sites of patent lawyers as it continues to sue practicing companies
WE previously wrote about a firm called Finjan, which does much of its business by suing companies, not actually creating much of its own. A lot of people do not know that Finjan is Microsoft-connected (in the ownership sense), as we noted here before.
“Microsoft has many tentacles, including patent trolls. Finjan Holdings is one of several to keep an eye on.”We were rather disgusted to see this public relations parade (press releases [1, 2] from various parties), all citing the highly-biased Intellectual Asset Management (IAM), which we criticised here before. These are patent maximalists with little shame or dignity. See the latest appalling propaganda from IAM (patent extremism one might call it). What they are basically doing is framing Finjan and its CEO, Phil Hartstein, as some kind of heroic subjects.
Please note that this article from earlier this month reminds us that Finjan (now known as “Finjan Holdings”, apparently) is still attacking practising companies like Symantec.
Microsoft has many tentacles, including patent trolls. Finjan Holdings is one of several to keep an eye on. One day it might choose to pick on (harass or sue) Free/Open Source software (FOSS) actors.
Another Microsoft-connected entity, Black Duck, is now amplifying the “FOSS is not secure” message with this plugin for its proprietary software (covered by software patents). To quote the press release:
Free Jenkins plugin empowers developers to rapidly identify known open source security vulnerabilities
Yesterday we wrote about the campaign to characterise FOSS as not secure, using misleading branding of FOSS bugs [1, 2, 3] (often branded by partners of Microsoft if not Microsoft itself). Black Duck has been using these bug “brands” to sell its services in the media, including in the IDG network. █
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Microsoft has truly hijacked Slashdot
Summary: Dice is milking Slashdot to death (just as it presently does with SourceForge) in order to sell some Microsoft lock-in and proprietary software
“I am done with Slashdot,” told us a reader. “Did you see this?”
The reader in question was not the only one pointing to the latest .NET promotion from Slashdot and Dice (second in just a couple of days, as we first noted it yesterday). Several other people have pointed out that it comes to show how shameless Dice has become, essentially deciding — without readers’ consensus — that selling Microsoft Nick’s agenda (second day in a row) is more important than the site’s credibility. It extends to Dice’s own site. It’s a suicidal move.
“Yes,” wrote to us iopkh, “but the destruction of a (the?) major FOSS site was really the original goal IMHO. Microsoft has been aiming at it for over a decade.”
“Nick Kolakowski has a long career doing this, promoting Microsoft’s agenda while pretending to be delivering news.”This is like vendor capture, just as we worried when Dice hired Microsoft Nick, a longtime booster and propagandist of Microsoft. They are really milking Slashdot to death, perhaps quite consciously for the sake of selling some Microsoft propaganda, just as they are milking to SourceForge to death (c/f GIMP fiasco).
As Dice continues to prostitute itself to Microsoft, even so shortly after the latest .NET and Mono ads, we do at least have an explanation. It is Nerval’s Lobster (Microsoft Nick) again. Nick Kolakowski has a long career doing this, promoting Microsoft’s agenda while pretending to be delivering news. SourceForge/Dice previously also bought (i.e. hired all the staff of) Ohloh. These were all people from Microsoft (later bought/hired by Black Duck) and the hiring had the expected effect, resulting in .NET/C# promotion. We wrote about this quite a lot at the time.
The latest sellout from Slashdot is Microsoft Nick linking to himself (Nick Kolakowski) and attracting a lot of comments (i.e. audience). He uses a dramatic headline to actually do .NET promotion:
Is the .NET ecosystem really headed for long-term implosion, thanks in large part to developers devoting their energies to other platforms such as iOS and Android?
He is using it to counter dissidents from Microsoft who say that .NET is on the decline. This is more like Microsoft ‘damage control’, delivered by Microsoft Nick, who is now "Senior Editor" at the site.
Slashdot (Dice) is truly disgusting. After hiring a well-known (based on his track record) propagandist of Microsoft the site became his Microsoft PR platform. Expect a lot of Vista 10 advertisements quite soon, especially when the release is imminent (the advertisements will be in the news section, embedded as articles, as usual).
It’s probably time to just boycott Dice, which has clearly turned Free software-hostile. It will be sad to see Slashdot going down the chute, but given what the site is used for (or repurposed for) these days, we might be better off this way. █
“Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”
–Microsoft, internal document
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Stephen Elop has a long track record of corporate destruction (his expertise)
Summary: Lesser-explored aspects of Microsoft’s corporate sinking, which the company disguises as ‘shakeup’ while releasing (yet again) its demolition man, Stephen Elop
THIS post tackles various issues that the corporate media overlooked. First, Elop’s exit merits more analysis and retrospection; second, Microsoft’s state is much more revealing right now, as well as Microsoft’s stance on Google and Android; finally, comments are needed about Elop’s legacy, which makes the world a much more dangerous place for Free/libre software.
The big news isn’t Elop being fired but Microsoft setting itself on fire after a misguided strategy which revolved around destruction rather than creation (giving Nokia’s patents to patent trolls, killing Nokia’s multiple Linux efforts, and so on). Many executives are leaving in droves right now and we are hardly surprised. There are certainly more layoffs on the way, but puff pieces like this new one from Microsoft sympathiser Mark Hachman (of the shameful IDG) serve to distract from that. More “restricted boot with uefi” is Microsoft’s last hope, assures us a reader, basically ensuring it is exceptionally hard to remove Vista/7/8/10 from PCs after OEMs were bribed to preinstall it.
Tackling the media’s narrative in this case, let’s look at the repetition of deceptive terminology. The media repeats Microsoft’s words, but here is the basic rule (based on history): when Microsoft says “reorg” it means layoffs and “shakeup” means key managers are fleeing/abandoning. We wrote about this for nearly a decade. Common euphemisms like “shake-ups” (with or without a dash) or “reorg” (for layoffs) are very frequent an utterance at Microsoft and it’s all damage control. Corporate journalists don’t do their job; they don’t look any further or any deeper.
What we really have here is a departure of Mark Penn, Microsoft’s anti-Google guy [1, 2, 3, 4] (and by extension anti-Android guy). He is out, so Microsoft’s strategy to incite against Google must have failed pretty badly. Quoting damage control from Microsoft’s booster, “Eric Rudder, whose Microsoft bio indecisively describes him as both Vice President of Advanced Technology and Education, and Vice President of Advanced Strategy, is also leaving.” Rudder, a longtime thug from Microsoft (see and recall his role in dirty tricks [1, 2, 3]), was probably essential to Microsoft’s abusive monopoly. They are attacking GNU/Linux behind the scenes. They are top-level executives — people who rally the troops and pressure (or bribe, or blackmail) other executives, even politicians. Their departure is probably a news bigger than Elop’s ‘departure’ (more on that later).
The Nokia angle was covered the most (as the leading story), but almost nobody mentioned that Elop got a massive bonus for destroying Nokia and passing it to Microsoft. He is a very rich man, having made a lot money from demolition.
Nokia expert Tomi Ahonen wrote:
So the Elop nonsense and destructive managment methods lasted only 15 months under Satya Nadella’s watchful eye at Microsoft. He is effectively fired from Microsoft. The company realigns handsets into one division under Windows headed by Exec VP Terry Myers. And Elop plus two other senior execs are kicked out with the press release out today.
Good riddance. Stephen Elop was the worst CEO in corporate history. He clearly was at fault on the top, when he went to Microsott, that same ex-Nokia handset unit with Lumia running on Windows Phone never did any better. Today we’ve seen new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella examine Elop’s performance of the flagship future division – you remember Nadella’s introductory remarks to his employees were all about mobile and the cloud – now Elop is gone. And look at the text of the press release. Not one word about ‘mobile’ or ‘handsets’ or ‘Lumia’ in the actual announcements (only one mention on the bottom from the description of Microsoft the company being a ‘mobiile-first’ company). What a huge shift away from the failing Lumia unit to ‘Windows and Devices’ ie Surface will do fine, Xbox is doing fine. Lumia is dead.
Now someone will be running the Lumia unit under Exec VP Myers for a while, and then when they see it is irretrievably dead, they will quietly shut down that business. This is a VERY clear sign of the writing on the wall. And sadly for any ex-Nokia employees, expect more layoffs to come in the aftermath of this announcement and the ‘consolidation’ within that new business unit. I think the ex-Nokia handset unit has no more than 24 months ahead of this point, and may be shut down far faster than that. Clearly Nadella knows how to read mathematics and the math about Elop’s business was brutal. Elop is gone! A day of somber celebrtaions in Finland and all who were fired by that clown will think – at least he also got fired.
Finally good news from Microsoft because it shows that it’s dying, much like its efforts to derail Android. As iophk put it: “none, not even Ahonen, remind us that Elop was a mole and fulfilled the sale to Microsoft as a requirement for receiving his 25m bonus.”
Nadella’s hogwash of corporate collapse (in his E-mail) is hilarious if properly dissected. To quote the British media, “Nadella said in an email to employees: “We are aligning our engineering efforts and capabilities to deliver on our strategy and, in particular, our three core ambitions.
“This change will enable us to deliver better products and services that our customers love at a more rapid pace.””
Nadella is talking complete nonsense. It was probably written by someone else (PR) and just signed by Nadella. Nilay Patel asks (in his headline), “What company will Stephen Elop steal for Microsoft next?”
He dubs Elop “Trojan Horse, King of Thieves” and says: “So now that Elop is free to roam the badlands once again, it’s only fair to ask what new company he might infiltrate as part of an elaborate Microsoft M&A strategy. Here’s a quick list.”
Watch how Elop destroyed companies before he even joined Microsoft. He is a very evil Trojan horse and it’s important to check where he goes next. He is a demolition man, not a manager. Therein lies the real story. █
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