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Does Anyone Still Use Xandros?

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Xandros at 9:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Xandros is for sale


Summary: The distributor which pays Microsoft $50 per copy (for patent assurance) seems to have gone silent

ONE distribution we only ever hear about in historical context is Xandros, which pays Microsoft for GNU/Linux (although SUSE is still Microsoft’s favourite child). It is usually mentioned in reference to Eee PC. Actually, we find a great deal of revisionism in this area. Rather than explain how Microsoft distorted the sub-notebooks market in anti-competitive ways, the newer pieces pretend that GNU/Linux should be blamed. But either way, how many people still use Xandros? It has virtually no existence in the news because the distribution, which is oddly enough still up for sale, is many years old. Xandros as a company seems to have gone missing and it even sold Scalix last month, making a bit of a wave at the time (more like a ripple though).

Is anybody aware of a business which still uses Xandros somewhere? If so, we would like to know. Using the latest Debian would be a lot better than using some ancient “Xandros”, which is a controversial ripoff job that many Debian GNU/Linux developers are not too happy with.


Attachmate’s First Milestone: Sign Another Patent Deal With Microsoft, Pay Microsoft a ‘Linux Tax’ on SUSE

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OpenSUSE, Scalix, SLES/SLED, Xandros at 3:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Buying Novell to shake Microsoft’s hands on patents in GNU/Linux (and validate malicious allegations)


Summary: Reiteration of the foolishness seen in the latest Microsoft deal (sellout) of Attachmate, which put its men in charge of SUSE

Nearly 5 years after signing a patent deal with Microsoft, Novell is no more. Attachmate took over the company, whose Web domain is mostly inactive except when new faces appear as in this case:

It’s been about 2.5 months that I have been in the role of President and General Manager of Novell, and since joining The Attachmate Group, Novell has taken many steps towards defining the next great chapter in its evolution and history.

What has Attachmate actually accomplished so far? It recently renewed the patent deal with Microsoft, which only leaves OpenSUSE in more of a scandalous scenario. The project is mostly idle, much like some Tumbleweed in the wind (there is a new article about it).

Christine Hall further solidifies the stance that we should keep the same attitude towards SUSE. She writes:

Indeed, it did seem that Boycott Novell had outlived it’s usefulness, until Monday’s announcement that Microsoft had renewed their deal with SUSE and would be putting $100 million into the Linux distro’s coffers. Although the announcement on the SUSE web site made no mention of patents, tech news sites like InformationWeek have indicated that it’ll be business as usual, with MS’s patent FUD being given the perception of legitimacy through SUSE..


Techrights is probably right, even after this development. Really, nothing has changed, it’s just the same old deal extended for another four years. There may be nothing about this deal that doesn’t stink, and stink badly, but there’s nothing new here. Sadly, the Microsoft/SUSE connection would seem to have become a legacy with which we are doomed to live for as long as both companies are viable.

This is a real shame. There was a time when SUSE was considered by many to be the Rolls Royce of distros. Now it’s basically “Windows for Linux.” All they need to do now is add a “Start” button, a registry, and put it on a file system that’s prone to rapid fragmentation.

Like we said before, people should strongly urge other people to boycott SUSE and choose other distributions instead. It’s very feasible and the boycott does work. The only use left for Novell is its case against SCO (which Pamela Jones continues to cover), but just like any company that falls into Microsoft’s hand, there is no future left. Former Novell employee Dr. Bill gets it wrong about how Novell got SUSE and how Attachmate gets SUSE in the following new video. Basically, he wrongly asserts that Novell bought SUSE from SUSE and that Attachmate bought SUSE from Novell rather than just buy the whole of Novell.

Novell was bad news for SUSE all along, especially after the Microsoft deal. Now that SUSE is in Microsoft-friendly hands, there is no reason to feel loyal to SUSE based on its old self. The move back to Germany is not a sign of independence or self-liberation, it is the increased dependence on Microsoft under leadership from Attachmate (previous SUSE leaders left or got nudged out). Let this entire affair teach us that Microsoft deals are suicide. Another sign of this is that, as we covered before, Xandros recently sold Scalix — a piece of news that even the Canadian press has covered a while later:

Fresco Microchip, a Toronto company with Ottawa operations that develop television imaging technology, has raised $9 million in new financing. Celtic House Venture Partners, Ventures West and others put the money into Fresco which previously raised $39.3 million Xandros, a New York company which develops Linux business software in Ottawa, has sold a Scalix Linus email product line for $12 million in cash and stock to Sebring Software of Sarasota, Florida.

They too break the company into pieces as though it gets liquidated (Attachmate’s deal was hinged upon given Novell’s patents to Microsoft). It wasn’t long ago that Xandros actually bought Scalix.


Sale of Linspire to Xandros Gets the Unofficial OK After Years in Court, Xandros Sells Scalix

Posted in Linspire, Microsoft, Patents, Scalix, Xandros at 3:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Imitating Microsoft Windows and paying Microsoft for GNU/Linux a poor strategy

Green hill

Summary: The companies that want to be like Windows die together, along with the lawsuit surrounding their merger/acquisition (as well as the sale of Scalix!)

IT HAS BEEN almost years since we regularly mentioned the second and third GNU/Linux vendors that agreed to pay Microsoft for patents. One bought the other, but this was followed by a long and ugly dispute between employees/managers of Linspire. Ever since then the court proceedings received little attention and the companies got mentioned as an historical reference in articles such as this one which mentions Linspire. Xandros vanished after Presto, although it got mentioned a lot in relation to ASUS returning to Linux, e.g. here and dozens of other publications in many languages. For the curious, we still have our Linspire/Xandros pages, which go all the way back to the time Kevin Carmony sold out to Ballmer, right after he had insulted GNU/Linux and used the “piracy” word. Anyway, the good news is that Carmony lost the legal case (plus legal expenses) in his attempt to defeat his former boss. According to a new report:

San Diego entrepreneur Michael Robertson claims he has scored a win in a lawsuit against the former CEO and CFO of Linspire. According to legal documents released by Robertson, former CEO Kevin Carmony and former CFO Chad Olson are liable for fraud, conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty, and other counts in a spat over disagreements after Linspire was sold to Xandros.

And in other news, Scalix gets out of Xandros just years after Xandros bought it. Not a good sign for Xandros, eh?

Sebring Software Inc. (symbol: SMXI) acquired the Scalix Email and Calendaring Platform from Xandros Inc., a New York-based firm, for $12 million.

To complete the acquisition, Sebring will pay Xandros $5.75 million in cash over six months, plus 6.25 million shares of Sebring’s common stock, being valued at $1 per share, a release says.

There is more information about it in [1, 2].


Microsoft’s Android Extortion Gets Price Tags

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kyocera Mita, LG, Linspire, Microsoft, Patents, Samsung, SLES/SLED, Xandros at 11:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Using software patents, Microsoft turns Linux into its own cash cow whilst also making it more expensive

Case with dollars

Summary: Techrights’ fight against ‘Linux tax’ from Microsoft is getting a lot more attention this Friday

“BOYCOTT NOVELL” was all about stopping Microsoft tax on GNU/Linux. More people are beginning to wake us and realise that our cause was all along on target, as several distributions of GNU/Linux which paid Microsoft for this ‘privilege’ simply went extinct (Xandros' price was $50 for Microsoft patents). Our goal was to ensure that people/companies do not become dependent on Microsoft-taxed distributions, as that would simply serve Microsoft’s goal of making GNU/Linux its own cash cow. SUSE, Turbolinux, and Linspire were also part of this problem and all those companies went into the ashtray of history. There are more such companies, but they sell hardware, not purely software.

Everyone appears to have just ‘discovered’ that “HTC Pays Microsoft $5 Per Android Phone” and there is already a lot of coverage about it. Quoting The Register:

Buy an HTC smartphone and $5 of what you spent on it goes to Microsoft – even if you’ve just bought an Android device.

So says Citi analyst Walter Pritchard in a note sent out to investors today, according to Business Insider.

Microsoft announced the royalty payment deal – the result of a legal settlement – last year, but the amount the software giant receives was not made public. MS has alleged Android infringes its intellectual property, and has other smartphone vendors in its sights.

Pritchard reckons Microsoft is pursuing other Android handset makers for a royalty of $7.50-12.50 per device. HTC clearly got of relatively lightly by settling Microsoft’s claims out of court.


Microsoft can’t be too forceful. If can’t afford to overly annoy those vendors who’re also selling phones based on its Windows Phone OS – they might just drop it, in a huff. Or they may trade lower royalties for a stronger commitment to WinPho – something Microsoft needs far more than even a few hundreds of millions of dollars in royalty payments.

Saumsung, LG, and Kyocera Mita also pay Microsoft for Android. There might be more such companies, perhaps not prominent ones though. Faced with a price tag, people act surprised about it even though our site has highlighted this issue since 2007 when Samsung signed the first such deal and in order to discourage similar deals we called for a boycott. The bottom line is, we do have a problem here, but it is not a new problem. We even found one anti-Linux propagandist writing: “This is just fraud. I really like HTC phones with their Sense interface but I have a Galaxy S II on order and I will not buy any HTC phone again while they give in to Microsoft’s blackmail.”

According to other news from today, Lodsys wants to go after Android developers. “Patent holding company Lodsys caused a stir recently when it demanded money from iOS developers using in-app payments,” says this report, “something it holds a patent for. Now it appears that Android developers could be next in line for a stern email from the firm.

“Android Community has spotted one developer who is claiming to have received a request for payment in relation to integrating in-app payments into an Android app. If true, it could stir up another hornet’s nest of anger in the development community.”

“Saumsung, LG, and Kyocera Mita also pay Microsoft for Android.”This is actually not news and we alluded to it before. Apple, unlike Google, is a patent aggressor, so it is not the same situation for Android and Apple’s hypeOS. Interestingly enough, Microsoft’s ally Nokia is also giving a hard time to Apple. How long before Microsoft uses Nokia to sue Android distributors too? Nokia has given hints about it. Microsoft’s strategy is to tax Linux from as many directions as possible. It’s blackmail [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], so regulators should step in to intervene.

“That’s extortion and we should call it what it is. To say, as Ballmer did, that there is undisclosed balance sheet liability, that’s just extortion and we should refuse to get drawn into that game.”

Mark Shuttleworth


Xandros Server is Allegedly Dead

Posted in GNU/Linux, Servers, Xandros at 6:00 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Inca skull from Peru

Summary: Some quick update on the state of Xandros Linux

IT has been a long time since we last wrote about Xandros. We had written about it extensively back in the days. Someone has just informed us that “it appears that Xandros server IS dead. We ordered and headr through our supplier that the software was “not supported”. Nitix has [been] gobbled by IBM.” For those who do not remember, Xandros agreed to pay Microsoft for GNU/Linux.


Linspire/Ballnux in Tablets; HP Possibly Experiments With Vista 7 in Slate After Abandoning It, Then Hiring From Microsoft

Posted in GNU/Linux, HP, Linspire, Microsoft, Patents, Vista 7, Xandros at 8:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: “Microsoft tax” in tablets is recalled now that Linspire meets MeeGo and Vista 7 allegedly meets the HP “Slate” again

SOME DAYS AGO we wrote about Linspire disputes following the sale of the company’s assets, including invisible ‘assets’ like the “Linspire” trademark.

Well, trademarks are a touchy subject in the Free software world and “Linspire” was never truly used as a trademark by Xandros which bought it. It has been MIA for 2 years.

Xandros is hardly mentioned anymore (with few exceptions like this one) and Linspire is rarely but still mentioned as a supported platform.

Earlier today we learned about this “Linspire on MeeGo” tablet thing, which is baffling as no other source seems to be covering it and it’s not clear what Linspire has to do with it.

The Linspire-MeeGo tablet will likely support touch-based input methods and gestures. Linpus will be creating touchscreen-specific apps to run on MeeGo, such as an eReader, maps, mail, a browser, and a media player. Linpus will also include a contact manager.

We were pretty sure Linspire (Ballnux) was in its grave by now; given that it was a Microsoft-taxed distribution, no love was lost. Is this “Linspire-MeeGo tablet” taxed by Microsoft for imaginary patent violations? What would Nokia say now that its CEO is a former Microsoft president (also see [1, 2, 3])?

Speaking of tablets, in our previous posts about the HP-Hurd scandal [1, 2, 3, 4] we explained that Microsoft entryism at HP seemed to have had the effect of making the company neglect Linux and bring back Vista 7 to the “Slate”, even after HP had officially abandoned it. According to this new video (“Supposed HP Slate prototype video”), Microsoft cronies at HP may have had their way.

It’s a Windows 7 version of the same old Microsoft Tablet PC form factor, but this time, with a finger instead of a stylus. They used to call these “slate”-type Tablet PCs. They were slaughtered in the market by the “convertible” type that had the flip-around laptop keyboards, because most Windows software simply works much better with a keyboard and trackpad.

This was brought to our attention by lnxwalt, who dented: “HP “Slate” video: http://cl.ly/2W0J via @mikegrace@twitter.com — should have killed it; #WebOS tablets should be *much* better. [...] Holy cow! That thing is awful! Is it Flash that makes it so slow?”

Well, Vista 7 is not suitable for portable devices. That’s why Linux/Android does so well on these form factors whose sales grow.


SCO Sells Its Few Remaining Assets. Is Xandros Next?

Posted in Linspire, Novell, SCO, Xandros at 12:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Picture market

Summary: SCO’s sale of the software business is approved, bringing back memories of Linspire

SOME TIME earlier this month we wrote about SCO looking to raise more money after a seemingly-fake bankruptcy. An author who is typically a SCO sympathiser has just caught up with the news about the court approving SCO’s sale of its software business.

The SCO Group’s software business is up for sale, but that might not mean an end to its controversial lawsuits against IBM Corp. and Novell Inc.

Judge Kevin Gross in Delaware has approved procedures for selling off the Lindon company’s Unix business before the end of this year.

Such sales of assets are not so rare. In last week’s news, for example, we also learned about Novell’s familiarity with the practice. From Jon Oltsik about HP:

They company backed this up when it sold its identity management portfolio to Novell.

Two years ago Xandros bought Linspire’s assets (and threw away the trademarks, which it never truly used). Linspire failed for reasons which are explained in this month’s article from a former Xandros user and the sale of Linspire to Xandros is also mentioned in this new press release about Michael Robertson and others.

Here is where Xandros is said to be today:

Xandros – If you prefer a Linux distribution with a Microsoft connection, Xandros is the one for you. Rumors aside, Xandros and Microsoft collaborate in what’s known in technical circles as “cooperatition.” This means that they compete cooperatively. To find out more about this unique perspective, check out the Xandros About page.

It does not seem like anyone really uses or buys it anymore. It’s out of date. The same goes for Presto, which very rarely gets a mention anywhere. Xandros — like KNOPPIX — has not much of a story to tell anymore. The main Debian derivative which gets all the attention is Ubuntu, as pointed out now that Debian turns 17.

Many popular Linux distros are based on Debian and still heavily rely on ‘upstream’ development including the very popular Ubuntu, but also KNOPPIX, MEPIS, Xandros and many others. In turn, these distros have each been used as the basis for many other Linux flavors.

It would be interesting to know what Ian Murdock, Debian’s founder, is up to now that OpenSolaris/”Project Indiana” received a blow from Oracle. Murdock has been exceptionally quiet for years (especially since he joined Sun Microsystems).


Xandros Might Let Freespire Die Within Days

Posted in GNU/Linux, Linspire, Microsoft, Xandros at 2:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Only days left for Xandros to decide that it wants to keep the Freespire domain alive; CNR Warehouse down for over 3 months

IT HAS been a long time since we last wrote about Xandros, which absorbed Linspire (both companies had signed a patent deal with Microsoft).

Xandros has already killed Linspire (the distribution), as it announced shortly after it bought the company. It said it would stay committed to Freespire, but it never made a release, not even of Xandros, for which it offers Microsoft patent 'protection' at the cost of $50. According to this thread, Xandros has only days left to renew the Freespire domain name. Will it do it? One former user is convinced that Xandros will make it “officially dead” (we too let our “Boycott Xandros” and “Boycott Linspire” domains expire last month):

According to this thread on the Freespire forum, the Freespire website and domain will expire on August 22, 2010, which at this time is a mere two weeks away. If Xandros doesn’t renew the website and domain and allows the Freespire website to go offline, then Freespire will be officially dead. Xandros cares more about kissing Microsoft’s ass and making insignificant OEM deals and killing off everything associated with Linspire, especially Freespire and CNR. The CNR Warehouse has been down for at least THREE MONTHS. Xandros, do you realize the money you could make from selling “Click N Buy” software on CNR?

That’s just what happens to almost every company which signs a submissive Microsoft deal.

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