Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Hates Linux - Part III - Abducting the Competition (Android)

Android under numerous attacks (from Microsoft), which are conveniently but erroneously disguised as niceties

MS-CM
Image credit: Linux Veda



Summary: How Microsoft tried to destroy Android using a coup d'état approach, just shortly before getting caught, then retreating and rewriting the public record

FOR a company whose CEO publicly claims to have "love" for Linux, this has got to be stand-up comedy. Microsoft hates GNU/Linux like no other company, yet we are supposed to believe that the very opposite is true. Perhaps Microsoft really does think that the world is chronically stupid -- in fact stupid enough to pay for rented operating systems that spy on everything and put law-abiding people in prison.



Microsoft is working hard to promote proprietary spyware with OOXML lock-in even on Android. This too Microsoft does poorly. x86 is not supported amid the death of Wintel (x86 is on the demise and Intel is losing big). Microsoft targets Android only because Windows is dying as a common carrier and for Office/OOXML (office suite lock-in/monopoly) to survive it must continue to spread. My in-laws, who recently moved to Android/Linux, had already used LibreOffice, Firefox and Chrome (by personal choice/preference); they did this migration before I even introduced them to GNU/Linux, demonstrating that these things are quietly spreading and are now widely used. Hearsay and friendly neighbours disseminate Free software. Microsoft spies on Windows users and collects data on what applications are installed, so no doubt Microsoft realises the severity of this 'issue' (called fair competition). Spreading Office to Android is far from goodwill; it's more like an intrusion, even in the formats sense (Android is poised to promote ODF, not OOXML).

There is an article this month which is titled "Microsoft’s quiet Android coup". Well, Microsoft’s Android coup was covered here many times before and it often uses or relies on blackmail, extortion, bribes, etc. It's an aggressive coup. It's also covert. There are even attempts at identity change, with the Microsoft-backed Cyanogen changing its logo and now trying to distance itself (in the public eye) from Microsoft. It's 'damage control' as some choose to call that.

From what we can gather regarding Cyanogen, based on numerous news articles, Cyanogen sought Microsoft money, Microsoft agreed, but then the press revealed it, so Microsoft retreated. It was a failed coup attempt. Here is how Microsoft-connected sites put it: "The idea of Redmond investing in Android mod-maker Cyanogen may be too good to be true. Citing unnamed sources, Bloomberg reports that Microsoft is not, in fact, a part of Cyanogen's upcoming funding round, which is now said to be in the ballpark of $110 million. Nonetheless, Microsoft may ultimately end up partnering with Cyanogen in the form of a deal that gets Microsoft's apps into future Cyanogen software builds, Bloomberg says."

Actually, the original report from the Wall Street Journal was most likely correct. It's just that things have changed since then, possible because of the Wall Street Journal report. Here is some more Microsoft-friendly media helping rewrite history: "Although Microsoft has reportedly been in talks with the firmware startup about a possible investment, however, Bloomberg's sources say Redmond won't be participating in this funding round."

It should be noted that Bloomberg itself is a longtime booster of Microsoft, not just those citing it. Public pressure on Cyanogen apparently drove Microsoft away from plans to use this particular proxy, or maybe Cyanogen just freaked out because of publicly-accessible backlash. Articles like this one rewrite history. It's as though the coup never happened because decisions were consequently changed. How else can a 2-week delay between original report and so-called 'refutation' (however poor) be explained? The original 'refutation' also fails to deny that Microsoft and Cyanogen got in touch regarding financial transactions. Here is a Microsoft-linked site rewriting history in a very blatant way, stating: "Last month, Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft was planning to take part in this round as a minority investor, but Bloomberg noted today that the Redmond giant ultimately decided to not invest."

Well, no wonder, given the resultant negative publicity.

In other news, many sites (not just Microsoft-linked sites) said that Microsoft brings software to iOS and Android, namely Cortana, which is a surveillance app (recording the user and transmitting the audio to Microsoft) [1, 2, 3]. As with Office, anyone who characterises this as Microsoft being nice to Android has got to be a fool. Microsoft Peter comments on Microsoft's motivation, another writer says that Google should worry, and according to this article, [Cortana] "serves as 'connective tissue' that ties and binds Redmond's services, says analyst" (it's about surveillance and lock-in, it is not added value to Android users).

There are similarly poor PR pieces, such as this one from CBS (ZDNet), titled "Microsoft's iPhone and Android-friendly Band arrives in the UK".

Microsoft seeks not to help Android but to destroy or abduct Android (so as to ultimately destroy it, as will be described in the next post, Part IV). Anyone failing to see it needs a closer look at Microsoft's track record against Android. Do not become Microsoft's Useful Idiot.

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