Summary: Very low customer retention at Microsoft as Nginx and Apache grow, Android spreads Linux on the client side
MR. Pogson has been tracking the decline of Microsoft's IIS and the latest report speaks of Microsoft falling to 3rd position in Web servers. To quote the commentary: “Nginx surpassed M$’s IIS as the number two web server on active sites in Netcraft’s estimation. This is only fitting since IIS is burdened by having a bunch of salesmen design it and it being a part of M$’s lock-in. People want lowest cost IT that performs well. Both Apache web server and Nginx web server are better choices, apparently. IIS clung to less than 12% share while Nginx took a bit from Apache and grew a bit. Gone are the “good old days” when M$ paid people to use IIS to boost share. That plan failed.”
“Linux is not going away. It’s spreading at Microsoft’s expense.”GNU/Linux market share is a subject that occupied our attention quite a lot a few years ago. One reader sent us some aggregated data [ODF | PDF] that shows growth for Linux on desktops and phone as well. The reader says: “I just finished collating the annual market share statistics from w3schools.com browser OS statistics. It is a comparison between MSFT, Linux, Mac, and mobile OS’s. I thought you might appreciate these, you may use these as you wish.
“Note, Linux is on the rise as shown by the numbers. MSFT is now 84.1%, which seems to mirror other info sources, as I informally have seen. I think Linux underrepresentation may simply be due to the fact that these are only on-line statistics. Linux in foreign 3rd world countries and education will under reflected, as Internet service is expensive. Overall, education and businesses for example will rely upon their internal Intranet (server) resources more than on outside. (Reference Eddie Ball’s article some time back, that if a person does not need an Internet browser, they don’t have access, to cut down company time abuse.)”
Linux is not going away. It’s spreading at Microsoft’s expense. █
“Really, I’m not out to destroy Microsoft. That will just be a completely unintentional side effect.”
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Summary: Microsoft server chief leaves the company as the company’s share in servers declines; back doors recalled
THE exodus of Microsoft executives was covered here when we watched the company very closely, especially in 2009. Although we no longer follow this sort of stuff (Microsoft is dying on its own), the Microsoft booster writes about an important departure that serves as evidence of the problem Microsoft has got against GNU/Linux, especially on servers in this case. To quote:
Corporate vice president Robert Wahbe is leaving Microsoft at the end of next month, according to an updated version of his corporate biography here.
Wahbe is responsible for all product and business management for Windows Server, SQL Server, Visual Studio, System Center, and Forefront – meaning he’s in charge of pricing, packaging, branding and advertising. Microsoft’s $15bn Server and Tools group is also home to Microsoft’s cloud effort, Windows Azure.
There was no word on why Wahbe is leaving or where he’s going, while it’s reported here he is being replaced by Office product management group corporate vice president Takeshi Numoto.
Not just Apache is ahead of Microsoft when it comes to Web servers (another player is ahead of IIS now). The monopolist just cannot offer good reasons to choose something proprietary. Given that we now know for a fact about back doors in proprietary software, only a fool would put Windows on Internet-facing servers. And speaking of back doors in secret code, Xbox turns out to have them too (although in another form):
In June 2009, a Massachusetts state trooper was gathering evidence in a case that involved a suspect having sex with an underage girl. He hoped to find one crucial piece of evidence—video of the encounter—on a digital device from the suspect’s home. But the device wasn’t a computer; it was the suspect’s game console. The investigator was stumped as to how to sift the device for clues, and he turned to a digital forensics mailing list for help.
Do police actually hang out on Xbox Live, trying to strike up audio chats with criminal suspects, then recording the conversations as evidence for investigations in robberies, child porn cases, and more? Apparently they do. A Microsoft presentation to law enforcement, included in the leaked e-mails, makes clear that “investigators may participate in Xbox live in undercover operations.” The company even sketches out diagrams for recording suspect conversations by building a special “Frankenbox.”
Investigators have long wanted access to IP-based voice services like Skype and, more recently, those offered on game consoles. Thanks to laws like CALEA, they already possess potent wiretap capabilities on traditional phone networks. Internet communications can be tapped, but when they are also encrypted, things get difficult. (When communications are peer-to-peer, rather than passing through central servers, this can get even dicier.) In 2010, the FBI was pushing to extend CALEA to a much broader array of Internet applications, forcing the companies behind them to provide built-in, realtime backdoor access to encrypted communications. The agency backed off a bit in 2011, but it still has its sites on IP-based voice chatting of all kinds.
Recall what we wrote about COFEE [1, 2]. █
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Summary: The influence of money does its thing again, this time potentially affecting another GNU/Linux distribution
Cloudera is a startup that builds a GNU/Linux distribution. Just like some companies that serve Microsoft or turn from Linux focus to Microsoft (or Citrix), Cloudera is now getting financial dependence on Ignition, whose Microsoft roots we wrote about before [1, 2, 3, 4]. To quote the press release:
Ahead of its Hadoop World 2011 conference in New York City, Cloudera Inc., the leading provider of Apache Hadoop-based data management software and services, today announced it has closed a $40 million Series D funding round led by Frank Artale of Ignition Partners and joined by existing investors Accel Partners, Greylock Partners, Meritech Capital Partners and In-Q-Tel. To support aggressive growth and increased momentum in the marketplace, Cloudera will use the funds to further expand its marketing and sales operations, and support key strategic initiatives.
At the moment, Hadoop is “making Linux gobble big data”. To quote this new article from The Register:
The Hadoop big data muncher has grown into more than Yahoo! conceived when it open-sourced its search engine indexing tool and its underlying file system back in 2009. And it has become exactly what open-source projects aspire to be: a centre of gravity around which a maelstrom of innovation coalesces.
It would not surprise us if Hadoop turned towards Windows (as least partly) after this cash injection from Ignition. See what Novell did for Microsoft in other "open" cloud efforts. █
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Summary: SUSE Makes OpenStack less open by putting SUSE Manager in it
The other day we wrote about OpenStack, noting that Microsoft and Novell were turning ‘open’ stacks into proprietary ones.
Coming from the company that puts “Open” before “SUSE” to make it look community driven (the weekly news seems to be the only community-driven component at this stage) we are not surprised to see proprietary software such as Manager inserted into ‘Open’Stack:
Based on OpenStack’s interrelated cloud computing platform components, SUSE’s cloud infrastructure solution runs on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and leverages existing and proven tools such as SUSE Studio and SUSE Manager. The integration of SUSE tools, platform and OpenStack, coupled with SUSE’s extensive experience delivering enterprise-class, open source solutions, removes many of the complex, cost-prohibitive and risky issues associated with cloud computing.
We also wrote about this in the context of Zonker’s spin. SUSE Manager is proprietary, not open. █
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Children and nephews of Microsoft Corporation
Summary: The presence of Microsoft-friendly entities in the FLOSS (free/libre open source software) world stressed in the context of a new announcement
THERE are some particular companies and small firms that brush shoulders with those in the FLOSS world. Such firms often have roots in Microsoft and their goals align with Microsoft’s. This should not be surprising. Those who familiarise themselves with antitrust exhibits will soon realise that Microsoft strategises this way. It even uses words like “infiltrate”. Microsoft wants to tame and control its own opposition, e.g. by repelling and ousting elements in it (e.g. FSF) that are risky to Microsoft’s business goals.
Black Duck (see Wiki) is one of the companies that were created by a Microsoft marketing executive to now serve as a de facto authority on the subject of Free/open source software licences. The SFLC has publicly complained about bias in Black Duck and over the years we did a lot to explain what Black Duck is really doing (ignore all the PR which is very well laid out and repeated). Black Duck is a proprietary software company with proprietary software, software patents, Microsoft deals, and FOSS FUD. There is absolutely nothing there which is FOSS, except the data it is digesting to sell proprietary software for Microsoft Windows only. Black Duck is often marketed as “open” something, but it’s just a scam. It’s not open at all, these are just gymnastics in semantics. According to IDG, it wasn’t until now that Black Duck’s Code Sight software even ran on anything other than Microsoft’s own proprietary Windows platform. To quote:
Black Duck Code Sight 2.0, out now, is also the first version of the software to run on Linux servers, in addition to being able to run on Microsoft Windows servers.
Yes, so people can now run proprietary software on a GNU/Linux server for the purpose of scaring themselves because their proprietary software might be misusing Free software. Quite the FOSS advocacy tool, eh?
Black Duck is not alone in this business. One of their rivals, ‘Open’Logic (not open) is run by a guy from Microsoft. This whole monkey business has helped Microsoft validate its FUD against Free software code (while denying FLOSS firms their voice). Apparently it also makes some ‘former’ Microsoft executives rich, all at the same time. What a winning strategy. █
“You want to infiltrate those. Again, there’s two categories. There’s those that are controlled by vendors; like MSJ; we control that. And there’s those that are independent. [...] So that’s how you use journals that we control. The ones that third parties control, like the WinTech Journal, you want to infiltrate.”
–Microsoft's chief evangelist
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Summary: The Novell-Microsoft agreement still helps Microsoft ‘pollute’ open stacks and tax Linux
NOVELL was obliged to give Microsoft several big gifts in exchange for money, as we have shown over the years (it is right there in the contract too). One of those gifts was the pushing of Microsoft deep into the kernel, Linux. Jos does not like to talk about it. As OpenSUSE’s community manager and a paid employee he would rather ignore all those “hard” subjects and instead talk about happy news. But the matter of fact is, just as we repeatedly showed, Microsoft used Novell to make a hook for Microsoft inside Linux and now it is using this hook to interfere with GNU/Linux domination in so-called “clouds”. Microsoft tries to shove proprietary into open after help from its slaves at Novell/SUSE, as shown by this Microsoft booster who tries to put a positive spin on it.
“Microsoft is already making a fortune from “Linux tax”, which Novell helped standardise nearly 5 years ago.”The short story is (not to entertain the booster’s own spin), some people are trying to establish an open/free stack with Linux at the centre, so Microsoft exploits the hooks Novell planted in there (as per the contract) to make this stack Microsoft- and proprietary-dependent.
Well done, Novell. Microsoft is very proud. Microsoft is already making a fortune from “Linux tax”, which Novell helped standardise nearly 5 years ago. This is the legacy of Novell — a legacy we still need to cope with before it’s eradicated for good (or Microsoft goes out of business █
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Microsoft’s little baby
Summary: A quick walk through the news shows that “cloud” hype — not business freedom — is what Novell still offers to prospective customers
THE NOVELL of 2008-2010 was not the same as the older Novell, which still marketed “Open Source” rather than “Cloud Computing”.
Somewhere along the line Novell decided to de-emphasise its original selling point. This let Red Hat claim the higher moral ground, not just because it was not paying Microsoft for GNU/Linux. In this month’s news we are reminded of SUSE’s history: “The past few years have seen many open source companies being bought by proprietary ones. Back in 2003, Novell bought German Linux maker SuSE. A few years ago, Sun Microsystems bought database maker MySQL in a landmark $1 billion deal, and then last year, Sun Microsystems was itself snapped up by Oracle. One of the more recent deals is VMWare’s acquisition of Zimbra.”
Over time Novell made SUSE more and more proprietary, to the point where it is marketed as “cloud” OS, its source code is hard to obtain, and there is a shady patent deal elevating its cost.
Novelldemo has just uploaded about 10 more videos like this one video about a dead product, Vibe. Why bother? Maybe a marketing leftover. Either way, this too is an example of proprietary software from Novell, based on open source from another company (Google). It got marketed as “cloud” and failed to gain traction. Attachmate pulled the plug.
Another new article from the same source says: “”We built the platform ourselves, but adopted the Novell cloud manager. Business people provision resources on the fly,” says Richard Vester, head of hosted services at Vodacom Business.”
“Another similar product from Novell is just the repackaging of Red Hat’s product.”Cloud manager, eh? Be sure to check where it came from [1, 2]. Another similar product from Novell is just the repackaging of Red Hat’s product.
An additional new article states: “However the technology is used, shopping in a few years may not look much like shopping today.
““We hope so,” said Wilson, who worked for IT firm Novell for 21 years. “We’re counting on it.””
To be fair, the decisions at Novell came from managers consulted by marketing people, it is not the developers down the food chain who should be blamed. Developers often prefer to share their code, making it a source of pride, too.
Another article quotes Randy Hugie (program manager, certification and skills assessment at Novell) as saying: “Using the cloud, we implemented a 14-week, wide-scale partner academy.”
More cloud hype then. This other article which mentioned PlateSpin still plays along with those ideas. Novell bought some “cloud” stuff rather than vendors of Free/Open Source software. All that is left from Novell is legal mess, as we shall show later. █
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Acid3 results for Internet Explorer 8.0
Summary: Why Microsoft’s erosion in the server side (usage-wise, not revenue-wise) is likely to further motivate erosion on the desktop
HE WHO controls the back room will also dominate the client side, be it cellphones and desktops or whatever. It’s a well known fact and one that must really worry Microsoft.
Major Microsoft outages may lead to ASA intervention for false advertising. There is this new article about the Hotmail outage, sent to us yesterday by a reader. This whole downtime mess helps demonstrate what happens when one relies on Windows and other Microsoft products. Just watch how Microsoft fails to tackle ARM compatibility issues, even in the mythical Vista 8 which lacks support for browser plugins and is likely to suffer a backlash similar to Vista’s when it’s out in 2 or more years. It has been advertised since April 2009, 4+ years in advance (a time period throughout which a GNU/Linux distribution might have 8+ new versions released).
Going back to Web services, this is where GNU/Linux is clearly winning as we noted some days ago. The Inquirer has this to add:
Microsoft’s IIS webserver is the second most widely used webserver daemon after Apache. While it never occupied the top spot, at one point in 2007 it was starting to get close to Apache’s hugely popular webserver software. However since 2008, its market share plummeted and while it still manages to hold onto second place, there’s the best part of 50 percentage points difference between Apache and Microsoft’s IIS and the Vole’s IIS apparently is back to the level of market share that it saw in 1997.
Apache’s HTTPD webserver is popular for two reasons. It runs on just about every operating system out there, and it can be implemented in other products such as Oracle’s own application server products. Microsoft’s IIS, on the other hand, is closed source and runs only on Windows, so it’s no surprise that it lags behind Apache’s more robust and flexible sofware offering.
Microsoft failed so badly that it decided to just hijack Yahoo and eventually iinstalled a henchwoman there. Microsoft might be preparing to formally scoop up Yahoo! and maybe Nokia too, at least at a later stage (when it becomes cheap). Check out the news following Microsoft's passage of Nokia's patents to patent trolls (an antitrust issue):
Finnish mobile phone company Nokia has been deleted from the Stoxx Europe 50 index, a benchmark index owned by Deutsche Börse and the SIX Swiss Exchange Group that tallies the top 50 largest European corporations.
Late in August, Stoxx announced that Nokia would be delisted from the Stoxx 50 index, along with three banks: Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit from Italy, and GRP Societe Generale from France. Meaning the former powerhouse mobile phone maker is no longer big enough to be considered one of Europe’s biggest corporations.
Steve Ballmer keeps talking about Windows phones that don’t exist yet (see articles in the the previous post) and Microsoft is trying to make people think of about mythical versions of Windows rather than today’s version of Windows. What does that tell us? █
“In the face of strong competition, Evangelism’s focus may shift immediately to the next version of the same technology, however. Indeed, Phase 1 (Evangelism Starts) for version x+1 may start as soon as this Final Release of version X.”
–Microsoft, internal document
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