Bonum Certa Men Certa

Tuxera and Ulteo Repeat Novell's Mistake

Partners in Crime - US First Edition Jacket 1929



Summary: What becoming a "partner" of Microsoft actually means based on history and based on the present

WHEN someone becomes a partner of Microsoft, this often means that Microsoft will exploit the peer while pretending to be a friend. There are hardly any exceptions to this rule, as anyone who is a Microsoft watcher ought to know by now. To trust a predator is to simply ignore its inner instincts and that's what Microsoft is -- a predator.



As the SCO case comes to an end the WordPerfect case resumes. We last wrote about it in March-April [1, 2].

According to Groklaw, "Novell Appeals in Microsoft Antitrust Litigation on WordPerfect Claims":

Novell has filed a Notice of Appeal in its antitrust litigation against Microsoft. That's the case about its WordPerfect claims. Despite Microsoft prevailing on its motion to dismiss, for technical reasons I'll explain a bit in a minute, I want you to read what the judge said Microsoft did to Novell:
Microsoft did not just withdraw a charitable helping hand; rather, Microsoft allegedly first cooperated in an effort to improve its own product, subsequently misled Novell into relying on information provided pursuant to that cooperation, and then withdrew its cooperation after Novell reasonably relied on Microsoft’s representations.
Ouch. Bad doggie. Microsoft didn't prevail because it was clean as the driven snow, in other words. It prevailed on a theory of what the contract covered that is so convoluted, I can barely explain it to you, although I will try, and because as a result of that theory, the judge ruled it was too late to go to court over what happened. I wanted to remind you, in case some of you have forgotten, that it's not historically unmitigated good news when Microsoft decides it wants to partner with you.


"Partner with you" usually means "exploit you". Microsoft attracts users, but not computer users. It attracts employees who are users -- people who use other people. I happen to have personal experience with such people (not involving myself directly, but I discussed this with a friend who is a victim today); Microsoft employment turns them into arrogant users who think that they can exploit other people and get away with it. Judges have said so too, having looked at extensive evidence.

It was rather bizarre when Tuxera publicly stated that Microsoft would be a great partner. While it would be wise to boycott exFAT and products that use it (and refuse such products from anyone who brings them over and thus pressures a peer to buy from Microsoft), it is sometimes impractical. This trap from Microsoft is a vicious one because it means that people who swap USB devices (even cameras) may rely on or require Microsoft exFAT patents. It's the same with exchange of documents sometimes (so exFAT is just like OOXML in some ways, therefore both should be avoided at all costs). Malik's network of sites advertises exFAT this week and so do other Microsoft-sympathetic sources. The latter notes:

Tuxera has licensed the appropriate technology from Microsoft so companies deploying exFAT are entitled to use the technology enabled by the filesystem. The company has not named any partners who have licensed the technology for Android, but it is likely we will see exFAT on Android devices down the road.


Hopefully not. Better yet, Google ought to work hard to abolish exFAT, which mustn't be anywhere near an industry 'standard'. It should be considered an antitrust offence.

Speaking of Microsoft partners, Ulteo had a little announcement to make and some readers were concerned because of the Gaël Duval link (Mandrake founder). But the thing is, Ulteo has always been Windows-oriented in its newer path (adjunct to Windows function after attempts to just be a GNU/Linux distribution). Ulteo will sooner or later find out that Microsoft "partnerships" are a one-way relationship. Many companies found that out the hard way. These are partnerships of desperation or gullibility, disguised as a marriage of convenience.

"An analogy [of Microsoft] would be the owner of a toll bridge, which is the only bridge across a river, paying the owner of land to deny access to a site where a competitive bridge is partly built."

--Judge Robert Bork, former US Supreme Court nominee



"Their documents display a clear intent to monopolize, to prevent any competition from springing up. And they have used a variety of restrictive practices to prevent that kind of competition."

--Judge Robert Bork, former US Supreme Court nominee

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