05.17.07

Microsoft’s Latest FUD Attempt May in Fact Eliminate the FUD Once and For All

Posted in FSF, FUD, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Patents at 4:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Over time, Microsoft has proudly built its ‘portfolio’ of any anti-Linux FUD, notably highlighted by loud and memorable statements. Fortunately, Matt Aslett keeps track of these using a detailed list. He names it “FUDwatch”.

The FUD, however, is getting weaker and less effective whenever Microsoft brings it up again. Why? Because people discuss it in public. Interesting perspective follows:

…Microsoft may be making a miss step. By focusing so much attention on this issue, it causes more articles — like this one — to be written to dispel the FUD. And it spawns more patent-focused efforts like those noted above to support open source software development and use. The result is that instead of cowing the little people, it helps pull back the curtain.

And then you find that all-powerful Oz (and his patent portfolio) doesn’t look so all powerful, after all.

Yesterday we saw Microsoft’s actions being named “Corporate Terrorism” (brief contexual discussion here) and today we see it described using a comparison that involves a vicious leader—Saddam Hussein. The headline, “Microsoft: shades of Saddam Hussein“, sounds more radical than the content therein.

When they write the history of the computer history 10 years from now, the date May 14, 2007 will be marked in red: it’s the day when everyone knew that Microsoft was starting to go down the tube.

An encouraging new article confirms that GPLv3 is on course to torpedoing Microsoft’s malicious plan.

The current version of the GPL, the open-source license for Linux, does not have specific protection against patent litigation for companies distributing Linux. However, GPLv3, which is expected to be in final release in the next couple of months, has a provision promising patent safety to those who receive software, such as Linux, distributed under the license.

No wonder the Microsoft has launched an aggressive assault on GPLv3. It must be very rainy in Redmond these days.

Why You Should Never Trust Novell/Microsoft Assessments in the Press

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Novell at 1:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As promised earlier, here is a detailed list of articles that teach us why the press is often just a delivery system for companies. Remember that Linux hasn’t many backers that would spend money promoting it.

Linux Journal hits the nail right on the head.

What happened to the guts?

Of one thing I am fairly certain. Microsoft all but eliminated mainstream software competition. As a result, Microsoft became the primary source of advertising revenue for mainstream publications. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you. So instead of publishing issues calling for a worldwide boycott of Vista because it focuses more on what you can’t do than what you can do, you see special editions praising Vista as the greatest advancement in computing since Windows 95. Granted we all know that Windows 95 was a dog from day one, but by the 90s, the mainstream press had already become rampant with Microsoft sycophants and they pushed Windows 95 like it was the second coming.

[...]

In short, I’d love to see a mainstream publication become an advocate for the consumer once again.

As noted above, there are exceptions, including Linux Journal, most other FOSS-centered publications and even The Register. But we’re the little guys.

Some months ago (almost a year), the BBC got very close to Microsoft, whom they hired to do a lot of their work in the technology front. It did not take long for bias and gross discrimination against GNU/Linux users to appear. Consider these:

Beeb [BBC] slammed for ‘fawning’ to Bill Gates

BBC viewers have flooded the corporation with complaints over how it covered the launch of Microsoft Vista earlier this week.

In one cringingly servile interview worthy of Uriah Heep, the Beeb’s news presenter Hugh Edwards even thanked Gates at the end of it, presumably in appreciation at being allowed to give the Vole vast coverage for free.

In other TV news items presenters excitedly explained how Vista could be obtained and installed – details courtesy of the BBC’s website.

But British viewers, currently forced to pay a £131.50 licence fee to maintain the BBC’s “impartiality”, were less than impressed.

Scores got in touch to complain that so much was Auntie up Bill’s bum that you could barely see her corset.

Brits! Act now to save the BBC from Microsoft

The BBC are holding an open consultation regarding how they’re going to delivery on-demand content, they want answers to questions like: “How important is it that the proposed seven-day catch-up service over the internet is available to consumers who are not using Microsoft software?”

GNU/Linux is still being excluded. This leaves many Brits rather angry. The BBC, mind you, is funded by tax money.

Here are some very ugly ones:

Bill Gates lends cash to buy newspapers – $350 million to MediaNews

Gates involvement has been very behind the scenes. In fact many of those involved in the deal didn’teven know he was one of the investors. It was carried out through the Gates Foundation, the world’s largest philanthropy outfit.

The real question: How to keep Microsoft on the transparency track

Some media members are simply shocked that Microsoft’s PR team keeps dossiers on the reporters and bloggers who cover the company.

NBC is guilty as well.

Wrong Yesterday Wrong Today Wrong Tomorrow

I just got through watching a segment on the Today Show on NBC highlighting the launch of the Microsoft Zune.

First of all, I thought journalists were suppose to reveal their affiliations with any product if such an affiliation exists. Microsoft owns a stake in NBC ie MSNBC News Network.

[...]

Second, all the side by side product comparisons showed 4th Gen iPods with monochrome screens with no song selected or playing, while the Zune was playing a video.

[...]

This isn’t the first time NBC has misled its morning viewers with puff pieces about the Zune.

Should MSNBC really be ‘reviewing’ [Microsoft's] Gears of War?

MSNBC recently reviewed Gears of War, calling it the Xbox 360′s first killer app…. Nowhere on the page is any indication of the possible ethical issue MSNBC is “Microsoft-NBC”, and the site is hosted as a subdomain of msn.com (a major Microsoft portal). Is this really balanced journalism?

Consider this very recent story, which reminds us that the boss of a newspaper is that which injects the most money.

PC World Editor Resigns When Ordered Not to Criticize Advertisers

Apparently he also told the staff that product reviews had to be nicer to vendors who advertise in the magazine. The sad thing is that given the economics of publishing in this day and age, I doubt anything even comes of this even tho it essentially confirms that PC World reviews should be thought of as no more than press releases. I know that’s how I will consider links from them in the future. But congratulations to anyone willing to stick to their guns on such matters.

Finally, the severity of the problem is confirmed no one other than Dan Rather.

Dan Rather: Journalism has ‘lost its guts’

To longtime CBS broadcaster Dan Rather, American journalism in recent years “has in some ways lost its guts.”

[...]

I do not exclude myself from this criticism… By and large, so many journalists–there are notable exceptions–have adopted the go-along-to-get-along (attitude),” he said.

[...]

“In many ways,” said Rather to loud applause, “what we in journalism need is a spine transplant.”

Now that we know who owns and controls the media through stakes and advertising, one should be aware that the Novell/Microsoft deal will be portrayed as a very positive event. Be critical when choosing your sources. The press will not always tell you the truth; instead, it will be companies’ perception of a truth convenient enough to embrace.

Why Was Novell Targetted? Because of Vista and Longhorn (Server 2008).

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Servers, SUN, Windows at 1:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sun Microsystems’ CEO reminds us and confirms what we already know very well. The recent attacks on Linux, including the Novell deal which is essentially a Linux attack, do not reveal any weaknesses in Linux. Au contraire. Windows is the weakness. To quote Jonathan Schwartz:

You would be wise to listen to the customers you’re [Microsoft] threatening to sue – they can leave you, especially if you give them motivation. Remember, they wouldn’t be motivated unless your products were somehow missing the mark.

This is something for which we provided a compelling and extensive case before. The “shipping is a feature, too” syndrome in Windows proves that Microsoft has hit a wall. Failures to evolve for the Web aside, GNU/Linux compared Windows is not only cheaper, but it is also better and faster than Windows, in terms of development. Microsoft knows this. In fact, to make things worse, it is failing in (at least) two fronts at the moment — the desktop and the Web as well, according to Tim’s O’Reilly’s latest blog post.

Again, despite the strategic insight into the power of advertising as a model, it’s not Microsoft that is seizing the palm. It’s far too early to count Microsoft out, but a year after the fanfare of Ray’s hiring at Microsoft and the justified celebration of his strategic insights, Microsoft continues to struggle. As science-fiction writer Frank Herbert once said to me, “Ideas are a dime a dozen. It’s execution that counts.”

As some prominent people have predicted and argued, Microsoft’s fight for survival has begun. It is becoming very aggressive as a result of an inevitable demise. The Novell deal was a milestone to Microsoft in the sense that it marked the beginning of legal actions, or at least loud threats and fruitful extortion attempts.

Red Hat Does Well, But Linspire Needs a Gentle Shake

Posted in GNU/Linux, Linspire, Red Hat at 12:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Despite all the FUD, Red Hat isn’t hurting. There’s no evidence to suggest that other Linux distributors are affected, with the exception of Linspire. We’ll get to that point at the end. Here are a couple of articles demonstrating that Red Hat, which represent much of strength of Linux in wealthiest of industries, is getting along just fine. Customers are simply not enticed by Novell’s ‘protection’ added value, which has no value at all. We are yet to see how far interoperability goes.

Red Hat is also making waves in Germany, which is the home of Novell SUSE Linux development. Pinchev said he could not even count the number of SUSE customers in Germany that have moved to Red Hat.

Red Hat is sticking to its Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 roadmap, because it’s still drawing in new customers and retaining the old ones…

Red Hat has been in this industry for quite some time, so it appears to know the rules of the game. It also know the business models better than Novell does. Linspire, on the other, being a somewhat controversial newcomer, appears confused. BoycottNovell reader, gpl1, points out that Linspire engages in coversations with its customers. Bear in mind that Linspire has at one point given Rob Enderle, whom I mentioned an hour ago, a virtual pat on the shoulder. This harmed its image.

On the other hand, Linspire has been getting close to Canonical and it even uses Ubuntu as its codebase, having replaced Debian. Mark Shuttleworth clearly explained to Matt Asay that he will not tolerate these ‘protection racket’ attempts. Perhaps Kevin Carmony (of Linspire) and Mark should speak.

Tread Carefully, Linspire, or Face the Consequences.

FUD is FUD. It is not actual risk. It’s imaginary and perceived risk and you seem like an innocent victim here. Please do not humiliate yourselves, Linspire. You are as safe as everybody else.

Identity Management Contract for Novell, But Is It Open?

Posted in Identity Management, Interoperability, Novell, Red Hat at 12:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

There are good reasons to sigh whenever Novell deploys its legacy software, but this is very much understandable given that Novell is in a state of transition (not towards open source, but towards what it calls ‘mixed source’). Here’s one item in the news:

Sussex Health Informatics Service – the IT services provider for the NHS in Sussex – is implementing Novell’s ZENworks resource management system to 11 NHS trusts across the county.

But another item in the news indicates that Red Hat does this as well. Red Hat, on the other hand, consistenty embraces openness. Red Hat believes in open APIs. Have a look:

Because of its vital importance, Red Hat believes identity, policy and audit information should be Open, Interoperable and Manageable.

Novell’s role (and deal with Microsoft) is mentioned in this short article. Let’s reminds outselves why Red Hat is unlikely to ever even negotiate a Novell-type deal.

Red Hat will only sign an interoperability agreement with Microsoft if it is based entirely on open standards, the company’s executive vice president of Engineering Paul Cormier told vnunet.com.

Novell signed the deal in order to get access to Microsoft code (IP), which it claims will help interoperability. Whose interoperability? Novell’s or Linux’s? Is Novell part of the development community or a selfish defector? Its decision is very damaging to antitrust investigations in the EU. It also make one wonder if visibility of Microsoft code will lead Novell coders to ‘polluting’ other projects, where Microsoft could claim SCO-like plagiarism.

Will Microsoft ever accept interoperability that is based on industry consensus? This seems unlikely, based on what Microsoft stated many years ago [zipped PDF].

“[Microsoft:] For example, we should take the lead in establishing a common approach to UI and to interoperability (of which OLE is only a part). Our efforts to date are focussed too much on our own apps, and only incidentally on the rest of the industry. We want to own these standards, so we should not participate in standards groups. Rather, we should call ‘to me’ to the industry and set a standard that works now and is for everyone’s benefit. We are large enough that this can work.”

Thank you, Novell, for becoming an accomplice in a malicious agenda.

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