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08.09.09

Microsoft Still Says That Linux is Derived from Unix

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Minix, UNIX at 5:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“A couple of years ago this guy called Ken Brown wrote a book saying that Linus stole Linux from me… It later came out that Microsoft had paid him to do this…”

Andrew S Tanenbaum, father on MINIX

Summary: Microsoft calls Linux a Unix derivative, and this is not the first time Microsoft is doing this, just like SCO

Dishonesty of this kind is nothing new at Microsoft. The same old myths that Microsoft is spreading are probably geared towards implying that Linux does something illegally.

Microsoft paid an author to write similar lies about MINIX [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], and in a conferences a few years ago Microsoft disseminated these lies, despite them being challenged. Microsoft also spread false rumours about Groklaw being a front of IBM.

“Microsoft also spread false rumours about Groklaw being a front of IBM.”Groklaw’s editor took a look an article from The Register where Microsoft’s SEC filing is quoted as follows: “The Linux operating system, which is also derived from Unix…

“That’s not true,” says Pamela Jones, “It was what SCO claimed, but SCO has to date been unable to prove any such thing. Microsoft also calls Linux a “UNIX variant” like Apple. So why is Microsoft channeling SCO like this in its 10K? You tell me.”

A few days ago we wrote about how Microsoft uses its search engine to funnel in self-serving disinformation [1, 2, 3]. There is yet another analysis of this behaviour, which is over a year old.

The poster had searched for “why is microsoft word so expensive?” in both Google and Bing. The results were strikingly different. Google’s first two results were clearly web pages discussing that very question: one on MacRumors.com and the other on Ibibo.com. A look at Bing made me scratch my head…just as the post had intended. It’s first response was to the question, “Why is Manhattan so expensive?” If, in Bing’s algorithm, “microsoft” is the same as “manhattan” I think they need to check their programming. The second and third results were about the differences between various versions of Word.

Microsoft is very good at lying with apparent sincerity.

“We have 17.1 million users of bbc.co.uk in the UK and, as far as our server logs can make out, 5 per cent of those [use Macs] and around 400 to 600 are Linux users.”

Ashley Highfield, Microsoft

05.18.08

Silverlight and Microsoft’s ‘Open’ Status Still Very Low, Indicate Studies

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Minix, Novell at 9:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t (always) make it drink.”

Earlier on, trashing of the World Wide Web using proprietary XAML was seen as a subject worth discussing due to the unnecessary arrival of Moonlight. It’s a Novell project that is probably most craved — it at all — by Novell and its paying (to Microsoft) customers, who may or may foolishly believe that they receive some sort of ‘protection’ (from whom? Microsoft? Its patent-trolling ‘spinoffs’ [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14]? Any of the above? Or none of the above?).

Fortunately, according to this new post from O’Reilly Radar, Microsoft’s Silverlight isn’t taking off, despite Microsoft’s forcing of some of its partners (sometimes akin to bribery) to embrace it.

What’s Keeping Adobe Up at Night? Probably Not Silverlight.

[...]

In short, if book sales are any indicator, traction for Silverlight appears to be quite low.

Last month we placed emphasis on an interesting new report from a RIA expert. He argued that Microsoft was faking Silverlight adoption in order to create hype and then simply hope for the ‘cattle effect’. The following memorable leak comes to mind:

“Working behind the scenes to orchestrate “independent” praise of our technology, and damnation of the enemy’s, is a key evangelism function during the Slog. “Independent” analyst’s report should be issued, praising your technology and damning the competitors (or ignoring them). “Independent” consultants should write columns and articles, give conference presentations and moderate stacked panels, all on our behalf (and setting them up as experts in the new technology, available for just $200/hour). “Independent” academic sources should be cultivated and quoted (and research money granted). “Independent” courseware providers should start profiting from their early involvement in our technology. Every possible source of leverage should be sought and turned to our advantage.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

As we alarmed before, Microsoft already has “Silverlight boosters” on its payroll.

Speaking of fake support, a new survey suggests that most people are not so easily fooled by Microsoft’s faking of support for ‘openness’. What probably speaks greater volumes, however, is Microsoft’s steep brand decline from 11th to 59th.

Our survey shows that business technology pros aren’t convinced that Microsoft is doing enough to shed its old proprietary habits.

[...]

Not surprisingly, business technology pros, who have had to force-fit Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies together for years, have their own doubts about Microsoft’s openness. Fifty-one percent of those we surveyed regard Microsoft’s openness push as mostly a PR campaign. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being “extremely open,” Microsoft garners an average score of only 2.3.

Hope remains, despite what we wrote last night and in spite of Novell's PR work for Microsoft. This game of posturing has not proven to be hugely successful.

02.26.08

Latest Novell Acquisition a Sign of Total Identity Loss

Posted in Dell, Microsoft, Minix, Novell at 3:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The CEO of MuleSource has posted an interesting quick reaction to yesterday’s Novell acquisition. It’s an assessment with which we agree entirely. Just like the other recent acquisition, this latest one illustrates that Novell is simply not the open source company it purports to be.

At this point, what is Novell? It’s clearly not an open source company.

Neither of the recent Novell acquisitions:
-Have a large volume of customers
-Are open source
-Have complimentary architectures (I think they are both Java but not sure)

In some previous analysis from Matt (Asay) and Dave it was argued that Novell might as well just swallow the Mono/.NET universe and serve as a Microsoft subsidiary in that area. It already seems like it anyway. People tend to forget that Mono is Novell.

Mono is Novell

01.07.08

Speaking of So-called ‘Conspiracy Theories’ and ‘Coincidences’

Posted in Africa, Apple, Courtroom, DRM, FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, IBM, Law, Microsoft, Minix, SCO, SUN at 12:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“A couple of years ago this guy called Ken Brown wrote a book saying that Linus stole Linux from me… It later came out that Microsoft had paid him to do this…”

Andrew S Tanenbaum, father on MINIX

In a previous post we showed that it would be foolish to ignore what Microsoft constantly does to sabotage and stifle competitors. At times, the company stumbles and falls. It fails to defend itself after leaving too many fingerprints or leaving in tact the trail of evidence which shows how it pulls strings in order to secretly attack it worst of fears.

Recent examples include Google, possibly IBM and possibly OLPC. And never mind SCO (Goldfarb declaration), the many possibilities surrounding Acacia and what PJ (of Groklaw fame) has just revealed thanks to a large community of investigators and experienced lawyers. She calls it — quite sarcastically in fact — just a coincidence. Microsoft is apparently suing Apple by proxy, just as it recently did with other companies and Linux. We will get to this in a moment.

Groklaw links to some recent articles of interest. Here are the accompanying remarks:

[PJ: Hey, is this sue-your-competitor-by-proxy-thing getting more and more transparent, or is it just me that finds it hard to believe a consumer wants her music protected Microsoft's way enough to sue over it ... bit of a stretch, no? That reminds me: Microsoft's Silverlight uses Windows Media Video:

"We depend on Microsoft Windows Media technologies, and we’re excited about Microsoft Silverlight as a platform to enable instant watching of great content for all our members, on multiple platforms.”

"Silverlight customers will also enjoy compatibility with the broad ecosystem of Windows Media-enabled tools and solutions, and the proven scalability and reliability of the Emmy Award-winning Windows Media technologies. At the discretion of content providers, Silverlight will also deliver digital rights management support built on the recently announced Microsoft PlayReady™ content access technology — with feature parity on Windows and Mac....

Microsoft Expression Media Encoder, which will be a feature of Microsoft Expression Media, enables rapid import, compression and Web publishing of digital video imported from a variety of popular formats, including AVI and QuickTime, into WMV."

So, anyone see a possible tie-in to this litigation? Microsoft might want to clear that up right away. I'm guessing that Microsoft wants to own the Internet. And I'm sure we can all trust *them* to do the right thing with it.]

Further, in reference to another item she adds:

[PJ: If this is Stacie Lynn Somers, the attorney, then go to PACER and plug in her name, and you'll find there is some class action history there, including a reference to Lerach Coughlin, in an entry in an earlier case against Nextel that reads, "FAX number for Attorneys Theodore J Pintar, Stacie Lynn Somers, John J Stoia Jr with the Law Firm of Lerach, Coughlin, Stoia and Robbins is [redacted].”
The firm is no longer associated with William Lerach who pled guilty last September to kickback schemes regarding getting plaintiffs for class action lawsuits. I don’t see Ms. Somers listed at Coughlin Stoia now. But here’s what the firm is doing including another Apple antitrust case:

The Apple iPod iTunes Antitrust Litig., Case No. C-05-00037-JW (N.D. Cal.). Coughlin Stoia is one of two firms appointed lead counsel for the proposed iPod direct-purchaser class – a class of several million people. Plaintiffs assert that Apple illegally tied the purchase of digital music and video files from its iTunes Store to the purchase of an iPod by making it impossible to play music and video purchased on iTunes using other portable players, and unlawfully monopolized the market for portable digital music players.” Probably just a coincidence.]

Okay, so you get the picture now. Mind the bit about kickbacks, which even Intel was caught engaging in on several occasions with several different companies. It is a form of bribery.

There is nothing conclusive in the Apple case, but it just happens to be the most recent investigation, backed by a pool of evidence and facts. While there’s no hard evidence, it makes a decent start.

Let’s repeat again what we’ve seen in recent weeks:

  • Google went under attacks while Microsoft urged publishers to sue Google. Microsoft also used lobbyists to almost intercept an acquisition that Microsoft pursed itself. Hypocrisy greater than this is very rare and hard to find.
  • Possibly a by-proxy lawsuit against IBM — an antitrust case in Europe courtesy a Microsoft partner/client/collaborator
  • Tanenbaum proxy story — we will get to it in a moment
  • Did Microsoft offer Sun Microsystems money to sue Linux?
  • Possibly OLPC/LANCOR — a convicted felon launched a lawsuit in Nigeria just shortly after a Microsoft bribery incident in Nigeria, along with empty threats of testing junk patents in America as well (FUD)
  • SCO — Goldfarb's declaration pretty much confirms that Microsoft fueled SCO financially
  • Possibilities to consider which involve Acacia [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9], a company comprising former Microsoft employees which is now suing Linux companies, with others like Intellectual Ventures (also founded by and consisting former Microsoft employees), which is lurking around the corner openly expressing Linux disdain or dismissal
  • Apple antitrust lawsuit with some Silverlight in the midst of it. See the notes from Groklaw (quoted at the top).

This brings us back to Bruce Byfield’s screed and his complaint about this Web site’s coverage. It’s a vague piece calling us to not worry about Microsoft and suggesting that there are merely ‘conspiracy theories’ out there.

“Those who watch Microsoft at play are being (mis)labeled using stereotypes like “conspiracy theorist”, which is almost synonymous with “loon”.”The piece is essentially encouraging people not to look at Microsoft’s business practices. Those who watch Microsoft at play are being (mis)labeled using stereotypes like “conspiracy theorist”, which is almost synonymous with “loon”. It does make one wonder if he got the special Redmond treatment just like another person from linux.com (Roblimo accepted a gift from Microsoft). They are both in linux.com, which has Microsoft’s “Get the Fact” banners featured in Linux articles. I don’t believe any of these accusations personally (that would be the real ‘conspiracy theory’), but it’s a case of throwing ideas out there. Those Microsoft adverts do, after all, pay some of these writers’ wages.

PJ is rightly concerned (she asked me about it because she thought Byfield was accusing her, not me), but then again, Bruce Byfield response seems to be making a mention of the LANCOR case, which we barely ever cover here.

The next time someone attempts to convince you not to keep an eye on Microsoft, consider many of the stories we already know about, including these:

  1. The whole Mandriva-Nigeria-Microsoft bribery incident, which is recent. Bribery is no acceptable way to intercept done Linux contracts.
  2. The OLPC story, which contains quite a lot of hints and quite a few coincidences. It remains clear that at least one party was actively scheming to take the charitable project down, ensuring it does not take off the ground and benefits from low costs associated with mass-production.
  3. Lawsuits by proxy, e.g. the Tanenbaum story:

Andrew S Tanenbaum: A couple of years ago this guy called Ken Brown wrote a book saying that Linus stole Linux from me, from Minix, and therefore the intellectual property rights are unclear and therefore companies shouldn’t use Linux because I might sue them.

It later came out that Microsoft had paid him to do this — and I defended Linus. I wrote on my Web site saying that this guy Brown came through, visited me and I gave him the [correct] story.

There are no coincidences here. We have real stories. We have hard evidence from those who were involved. In some circumstances, the ‘smoking gun’ is still absent, but it might be out there.

As someone wrote to me by E-mail yesterday: “Yeah, sure. The people who said the Gulf of Tonkin incident was staged were called conspiracy theorists. Same goes for those who said the US had a hand in pulling the Soviets into Afghanistan. Ditto for those who said the Pearl Harbour attack was known about in advance.”

Finally here is an interesting video which ought to teach us a lesson about that politically-correct press we are so frequently educated to trust too blindly.

Unfortunately, we cannot produce an Ogg version of this video because there may be copyrights attached to it.

10.22.07

(At Least) 3 Generations of Microsoft Anti-Linux Lawsuits, by Proxy

Posted in GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Kernel, Law, Microsoft, Minix, Red Hat, SCO at 7:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The perfect crime is one that goes undetected

Let’s look at the evolution of legal actions against Linux. Interestingly, Microsoft is always involved, but later the company is surprised to find that Linux users do not trust it.

It’s time for truth to be told. Here are some key cases, among a few more.

Generation One – MInix

Several years ago, Microsoft used a sophisticated money-funneling channel to stimulate bitterness and motivate lawsuits against Linux. Thew creator of Minix tells the story.

Andrew S Tanenbaum: A couple of years ago this guy called Ken Brown wrote a book saying that Linus stole Linux from me, from Minix, and therefore the intellectual property rights are unclear and therefore companies shouldn’t use Linux because I might sue them.

It later came out that Microsoft had paid him to do this — and I defended Linus. I wrote on my Web site saying that this guy Brown came through, visited me and I gave him the [correct] story.

Generation Two – SCO

Here is the ‘smoking gun’ evidence showing the connection between SCO (via BayStar) and Microsoft.

According to the Declaration, Richard Emerson was not the only Microsoft employee Goldfarb was dealing with in connection with the BayStar investment in SCO. He mentions by name two others, from two other departments.

We all know the rest of the SCO story.

Generation Three – Acacia?

So, Acacia recently attacked Linux using a couple of lawsuits. Acacia denies it’s an attack on open source and Microsoft denies connections with Acacia. BayStar, among other parties, are beginning to make it quite apparent that all fingers should be pointing at Microsoft’s piles o’ cash though.

Generation X?

Already spotted is another possible (future) proxies. It’s within some people’s range of sight.

Linus Torvalds still believes that if his kernel is the best one, it will also win. As he said in an interview that was published earlier today, “I’d rather just worry about the technology. The market will take care of itself.” Evidently, as shown above, the market does not take care of itself. Linus must be fully aware of all the forces that are aligned against his kernel. It’s not down just to technical merits when various parties pass money around and play dirty.

05.16.07

Speculation: Did Microsoft Try to Get Sun to Sue Linux? (Updated)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Minix, SUN, UNIX at 12:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We already know (or should know by now) that Microsoft funded SCO’s lawsuits against Linux users, at least in part. We also know that Microsoft tried to get the inventor and creator of Minix to sue Linus/Linux, essentially by persuading a writer to insert something into a book. Here is the gist of the story:

Andrew S Tanenbaum: A couple of years ago this guy called Ken Brown wrote a book saying that Linus stole Linux from me, from Minix, and therefore the intellectual property rights are unclear and therefore companies shouldn’t use Linux because I might sue them.

It later came out that Microsoft had paid him to do this — and I defended Linus. I wrote on my Web site saying that this guy Brown came through, visited me and I gave him the [correct] story.

This one story has a happy ending (except for Microsoft, which was caught red-handed).

Today, Pamela Jones (of Groklaw) has a little insight. Based on Jonathan Schwarz’s blog, she suspects that Microsoft may have tried to encourage Sun to sue Linux (the infamous ‘proxy manoeuvre’). Here is what Jonathan says…

Years back, Sun was under pressure in the market.

[...]

With business down and customers leaving, we had more than a few choices at our disposal. We were invited by one company to sue the beneficiaries of open source. We declined. We could join another and sue our customers. That seemed suicidal.

Notice that here you have the same dilemma that Microsoft (maybe even Novell) is now facing. Can they scrutinise their own customers? In any event, here is Pamela’s take, which relates to what got this impulsive post started.

PJ: This is interesting in its own right, but my paralegal hat on, I am also highlighting it for anyone thinking about an antitrust lawsuit someday. I’m wondering if Microsoft tried to get Sun to sue Linux end users. I don’t know if that is what he is alluding to here, but if I were in discovery, I’d surely investigate that possibility, as it could help show a pattern of using, or trying to use, surrogates to misuse litigation as an anticompetitive weapon.

Might Microsoft be pulling the same tricks in its fight against Google? It sure looks like it.

After a government- and monopoly-inspired period in which Microsoft had to pretend to be a gentle force for global good, the company is being forced to return to its ruthless roots. Ironically, it is doing this in part by decrying the unfair practices of a competitor and shamelessly sucking up to the Establishment.

As you may recall, Microsoft urged companies to sue Google over its YouTube content. Later on, Microsoft closed its YouTube equivalent (Soapbox) to subscribers because it had encountered and suffered from the same issues that earlier it decried. Need we even mention Microsoft’s attempt to shoot down the DoubleClick acquisition? Need we repeat Microsoft’s argument that Google is a monopoly? Where does hypocrisy begin and where does it end?

Update: The Register concurs and reaches similar speculations. It does not go quite so far however.

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