Happy Browsing Through Microsoft’s Antitrust Exhibits

Posted in Antitrust, Courtroom, Deception, Fraud, FUD, Law, Microsoft, Novell at 3:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

History can return to life when written communication gets resurrected then exposed. If you have been following Microsoft litigation, you must have heard about their short-yet-intensified battles in the State of Iowa. With quotes
like this one from Jim Allchin, who can possibly defend the Microvell deal?

[Allchin, a very senior Microsoft manager:] “We need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger… If you’re going to kill someone, there isn’t much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. You just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger.”

Under undisclosed terms, Microsoft has recently paid to settle Iowa’s class action lawsuit and (yet again!) escape prosection. Immediately after that, many valuable documents were no longer available for public access. But worry not, my friends. After a few weeks, everything was resurrected. The extensive mirror, http://edge-op.org/iowa/www.iowaconsumercase.org/ , has been up for a while. Merely each exhibit there, among thousands, contains an example of Microsoft ‘dirty tricks’, be it fraud, extortion, technical sabotage, exclusionary contracts, FUD, or malicious and uncompetitive tactics. Enjoy browsing as many secrets contained therein have not received the public attention they deserve. Spread the word. Knowledge will save us from ignoring history’s lessons.

Novell Boycotts Prove to Be Effective

Posted in Boycott Novell, FSF, Novell, Site News at 1:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Among the sites which explicitly called for a Novell boycott (e.g. Blogspot’s boycott-suse, OpenAddict), BoycottNovell.com appears to be the only site which has remained active. Launched in November 2006, the site has served hundreds of thousands of pages, which got its message out. While BoycottNovell.com can’t take credit for anything — as it is clearly a community effort — a new ECT article validates the assumption that Novell is still being frowned upon in the Linux community. The headline states “Linux Community Still Outraged by Novell Pact”.

Leaders of the open source movement are at work on a legal strategy that could let Novell retain the benefits of the deal, while preventing Microsoft from using it to attack other open source firms. They’re drafting a new version of the General Public License or GPL, the Free Software Foundation’s legal rulebook, which governs how Linux and other open source code can be used.

Microsoft Takes Patents Game to Europe, Uses Novell as Excuse (Then Grabs Toys and Goes Back Home)

Posted in Europe, Intellectual Monopoly, Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, Patents, Servers, Standard at 1:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Our recent discussions revolved around the events in Europe, as well as financial results. As we digress, let us take a deeper look at pertinent stories which affect Novell directly or indirectly.

Patents and Novell are mentioned in the following article, which among many things, explains how interoperability is affected by previous Microsoft-Novell technical relationships. It is unlikely that Novell will fire a shot at Microsoft now, having just reconciliated. Essentially, one of the loudest protesters in this heated debate has been muted through a deal. And that’s not good for anybody, except Microsoft of course.

EC’s New Penalty Threat Tightens Screws on Microsoft

The EU said Thursday that three years after the landmark antitrust ruling, the U.S. software company was still using heavy-handed tactics to choke rivals in the software sector, but did not name any specific competitors.

“This is a company which apparently does not like to have to conform with antitrust decisions,” said EU Commission spokesperson Jonathan Todd.

The following article has been eye catching for a variety of reasons. Highlighted below are fragments of interest:

Microsoft Fires Back at EU

Mr. Smith noted that Microsoft has submitted revised technical documents running about 8,000 pages, with documentation supporting its pricing calculations totaling about 1,500 pages.

“We hope to get feedback about the technical documentation and that it will take a constructive form,” he said. “We have spent a great deal of time and money on compliance. We believe we’ve been fair and reasonable in setting the proposed protocol prices.”

So, the game continues. Microsoft lawyers extend deadlines, they are pushing boundaries, and then deliver an ‘encyclopaedia’, hoping to slow down the whole process. This is not the first time. It relates to another issues which this site frequently discusses — document formats/standards. Have a look:

How to Write a Standard (If you Must)

If possible choose an implementation that has layers of complexity from years of undisciplined agglomeration of features. Of course this will lead to a specification of Byzantine complexity and epic length. But since no one will actually read the specification, there is no harm. In fact the length and complexity can bring several benefits: 1. Any criticism of the specification can automatically be dismissed as nitpicking. For example, if you are presented with a list of 500 faults in a 6,000 pages specification, you can respond, “That is less than 10%. You are just nitpicking. We can fix that in release 1.1″. … 2. Further, since review periods at ISO and most other standards bodies are of fixed length, regardless of the length of the specification, a sufficiently large specification will ensure that it receives no, or only cursory review.

Thickness of documentation can imperil judgment and action.

Here are a couple of items which are even more interesting. While one person argues that Germany chooses Linux for its quality, Microsoft continues with its software patents crusade in Germany. Needless to say, it loses.

Federal Patent Court declares FAT patent of Microsoft null and void

The Federal Patent Court has declared a Microsoft patent on the file allocation system File Allocation Table (FAT) invalid for the Federal Republic of Germany.

So, there are happy endings after all. But the EU fines should still be paid rather than escaped, or compliance reached (ideally). Moreover, Novell absolutely must stop, as we mentioned before, flaunting ‘protection’ from patent litigation in Germany and England, where software patents are out of the question.

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