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Microsoft Bypasses the Law and Breaks the Web for Opera and GNU/Linux Users, Again

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Summary: Some of Microsoft's latest mischiefs and law-dodging moves leave its competitors out in the cold, even on the ideally-standardised Web

OPERA is protesting against Microsoft's behaviour with Vista 7, which still comes with a crime-committing Web browser preinstalled [1, 2]. As The Register shows, Microsoft's flagrant disregard for the law continues to shine bright.



Several Register readers have been in touch because their early installations of Windows 7 have not come with a ballot screen offering them a choice of browsers to download.


Ryan, a Boycott Novell regular, complains that Microsoft's software technology continues to exclude and to punish Opera users (even on Windows).

Not every ASS.NET page breaks in Opera, but nearly every page that does break in Opera is built with ASS.NET. (On a side note, Silverblight won’t work at all, but who cares?)


Speaking of this "Silverblight" Ryan speaks about (or "Silverfish", or "Silver Lie"), watch what Microsoft is doing to GNU/Linux users who wish to find out about the Vista 7 boot sequence:

This is a classic, I surfed over to Agency Spy to read his post about the new Windows 7 boot sequence, thinking hey if it’s really fast or really good, maybe I’ll switch from Ubuntu. So visiting the site, the embedded video wasn’t able to run on Ubuntu Linux, and the reason, it’s done only in Silverlight.


Read yesterday's report from Richard Rasker about Moonlight (appended beneath). It may as well be added that Vista 7 nukes GNU/Linux out of the MBR when it is installed. Technical sabotage carries on.

"This is WAR, and in that regard, I believe we should design Janus such that if this multiboot partition (has a unique partition number (11)) is found, we should warn the user a foreign OS has been detected, give them a chance to exit and read the docs and possibly make a backup, and then repartition the disk, removing the multiboot partition. This way, we disable OS/2 2.0 in *all* cases."

--Microsoft internal mail



From: Richard Rasker <spamtrap@linetec.nl> Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy Subject: Microsoft crapware: "If it works, we'll fix it" Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2009 21:28:39 +0200

OK, so I set up Moonlight support for some of my users who complained that they couldn't watch videos on their favourite sites -- sites that have been stupid enough to swallow Microsoft's Silverlight lure. And OK, the picture was crappy and choppy, nevertheless with a huge CPU load, but it kinda worked. People could watch Microsoft Silverlight goodness, hooray.

And out of curiosity (and to be able to answer user questions), I installed it myself as well.

Sure enough, in true Microsoft style, an endless stream of updates began almost from the beginning. Up to twice a week, starting Firefox was delayed because crappy Moonlight needed yet another update -- sometimes with Microsoft license agreements, sometimes without. The actual updates didn't appear to do anything -- the picture remained crappy, and the CPU load remained high when playing video. I never watch Silverlight content anyway, so I didn't actually care. But I did feel sorry for my users.

Now guess what happened today: half a dozen e-mail complaints from users, complaining that Moonlight doesn't work any more. When I started Firefox this afternoon, I already noticed that Microsoft indeed had yet another update-plus-codec-pack-plus-license for Moonlight, and as usual, I simply let it install. And indeed, Moonlight now is well and truly b0rk3d -- the time counter is running, but there's only the Moonlight logo, and no sound. Even after trying to fix it for well over an hour, removing everything to do with moonlight and reinstalling it, it still doesn't work.

Well done, Microsoft, for once again confirming my views with regard to your competence, the quality of your software, and making me waste my time. Then again, I already wasted hundreds or perhaps even thousands of hours on your crap, so this hardly counts.

For the time being, I told my users that they're out of luck, and that they may send their complaints to those idiot Web sites who decided to go with Microsoft crapware. Sure, it'll get fixed within a few months or so. Until the umpteenth new update breaks it again, of course.

Richard Rasker


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