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Microsoft Boosters Turn Ars Technica Into Fox Technica

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Summary: The codecs debate is disrupted by lies and misdirection from known boosters of Microsoft, who found a 'host' in Ars Technica

SITES like Ars Technica were exceptionally informative before Microsoft minions came long and took positions as authors. In the case of Ars Technica (other sites like The Register have had similar problems), Peter and Emil are the principal Microsoft boosters and they make the site reek sometimes.



Some days ago we wrote about Peter's latest gross spin, which was picked by many sites not because it was accurate but because it needed rebuttal. The mobbyists and the boosters -- people just like Peters -- are using the same spin and lies to defame those who advance open standards, ridicule companies that work against this goal, and confuse a lot of people who do not understand technology well enough. Groklaw too has responded to Peter's spin, specifically writing: "ars technica shows its true colors in this article, which demonstrates it doesn't at all grasp the value of freedom, so it doesn't get why patents are contrary to achieving it. One subhead in the article says it all, "Is freedom all it's cracked up to be?" The answer to that question can only be, from Google and me, is "Yes, it is." Google has taken a bold step, and it deserves commendation, not snarky articles like this. Go Google."

We linked to other rebuttals the other day. There are many that include Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols' or Adam's (from Fedora, linked yesterday) and they are damaging to the once-good reputation of Ars Technica. Maybe it goes through the same phase that The Register went through some years ago (writers still leave the publication at a high pace, which only makes it more susceptible to entryism). Anyway, let us digress. Someone from Opera also responded to this booster from Ars Technica and reached the point where he could show Peter's spin for the nonsense that it is.

Conclusion: By rejecting that which closes the web, while at the same time promoting open technologies, Google is contributing to a more open web, contrary to the claims in the article.


The same person from Opera provided some numbers that compare WebM and H.264:

Conclusion: The Numbers

As you can see, WebM has a huge advantage when it comes to browser adoption.

IE users are notoriously slow at upgrading, and IE9 will only be available for Windows Vista and Windows 7. Half of all Windows users will not be able to upgrade to IE9!

On the other hand, recent versions of Opera and Chrome already support WebM, users are upgrading to these versions much faster than they are upgrading Safari or IE, and Firefox 4 is likely to be released in the near future, thereby boosting the market share of WebM-supporting browsers to possibly more than 30-40%.

This leaves Safari basically carrying the torch for H.264 with little help from Internet Explorer. Within the next 12-24 months, H.264 might be lucky to have a market share above 10%!

As a final nail in the coffin, IE9 and Safari, being bundled with operating systems, are likely integrated with those operating systems in a way which makes adding WebM support as simple as installing it as a system codec.


In reference to those who give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt when it comes to web standards, Groklaw wrote: "I don't think it's that Microsoft can't grok the web. It's that it doesn't like it. In Apple's case, I see the app store as Apple's way to get a kind of open source substitute -- a way to get programmers to enhance the value of its hardware without Apple having to do all the programming itself. One has to admit Apple's a bit more fair than some companies that use FOSS without sharing a dime with the programmers or even a share in the trademarks the programmers help to build. But it's still a substitute for the real thing. Google has the real thing. Anyone can build on Android, so it doesn't need to create an app store to enable programmers to write for Android unless it wants to, because they can already." And since Apple was already brought up, worth mentioning is Groklaw's response to Microsoft's trademark complaints against Apple. "Microsoft has no shame," Groklaw wrote, "Windows is not a generic name? And didn't Microsoft block Lindows from using even a sounds-like-Windows name because of a claimed trademark? I mean, come on. Here's the Microsoft filing, if you are in the mood for a good laugh or a curled lip, depending on your mood today."

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