05.10.08

Gemini version available ♊︎

Leaked Memo Reveals Microsoft’s Latest Anti-GNU/Linux Moves

Posted in Antitrust, GNU/Linux, HP, Microsoft, OLPC at 10:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dumping Windows? Then Microsoft will dump virtually gratis copies.

This one has been circulating for the past few hours (also sent to Groklaw and added by now). The articles really speak for themselves and they all originate from (or cite) IDG. Although it is not related to Novell, it sure relates to anti-consumer — and probably anti-competitive too — moves from Microsoft. One issues we have been tracking in this Web site is Microsoft’s ‘dumping crusade’ against GNU/Linux (see links at the very bottom).

The latest is this:

Microsoft to limit capabilities of cheap laptops

[...]

Microsoft plans to offer PC makers steep discounts on Windows XP Home Edition to encourage them to use that OS instead of Linux on ultra low-cost PCs (ULPCs). To be eligible, however, the PC vendors that make ULPCs must limit screen sizes to 10.2 inches and hard drives to 80G bytes, and they cannot offer touch-screen PCs.

The program is outlined in confidential documents that Microsoft sent to PC makers last month, and which were obtained by IDG News Service. The goal apparently is to limit the hardware capabilities of ULPCs so that they don’t eat into the market for mainstream PCs running Windows Vista, something both Microsoft and the PC vendors would want to avoid.

[...]

Microsoft notes that the OSes under consideration for the devices include Windows and Linux. Some PC makers have expressed a preference for Linux because it helps them keep down the cost of the devices.

[...]

By offering Windows XP Home Edition at bargain prices, Microsoft hopes to secure its place in the ULPC market and reduce the use of Linux, according to an official at one PC maker, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to discuss the program.

“[Low-cost PC makers] have made some good inroads with open-source, and Microsoft wants to put a stop to it,” the official said.

The official did not seem opposed to the program. It should stimulate more competition between Windows and Linux in the ULPC market, and it could invigorate sales because consumers who want an easy-to-use PC are likely to prefer Windows, the official said.

What we might be seeing here is a case of spec-fixing, price-fixing, collusion, and anti-competitive practices. For further explanation refer back to previous posts that dissect and explain similar incidents (appended to the bottom of this post).

A reader has sent us another relevant article on this. It speaks even more directly and bluntly about GNU/Linux as Microsoft’s threat in mind.

Microsoft U-turn to stop Linux dominating ultra low cost PCs

[...]

By offering Windows XP Home Edition at bargain prices, Microsoft hopes to secure its place in the ULPC market and reduce the use of Linux, according to an official at one PC maker, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorised to discuss the programme.

Mind the fairly juvenile-yet-honest comments added to the article above. Additionally, from USENET (half an hour ago):


   From: Richard Rasker < spamtrap@linetec.nl>
   Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
   Subject: Microsoft pushes crippleware to defeat Linux
   Date: Sat, 10 May 2008 16:52:46 +0200

I hoped that the recent stream of lightweight Linux laptops wold mark the
beginning of a liberated computer market, with real competition, leading to
ever more powerful machines for lower prices, and more consumer choice.
But apparrently Redmond not only wants to claim what it thinks should be its
share of the market, but now it seems they also want to dictate what those
machines should be capable of — as in: cheap Windows infected laptops must
also be severely crippled in the hardware department, no doubt in order to
keep their Vista crapware sales up.

http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/145719/microsoft_to_limit…

So what will happen? If enough manufacturers give in to the bastards from
Redmond, pretty soon the only cheap laptops built will be the ones
complying with Microsoft’s crippling standards — and together with the
huge discount Microsoft gives on their crapware, they will make certain
that cheap, powerful Linux laptops are pushed from the market even faster
than they appeared.

This is yet another very clear example where our convicted monopolist once
again tries abuse its dominant position for the sole purpose of maintaining
that position — once again screwing customers and the market alike.

OK, over to you, Windolts, to explain that artificially crippled Windows
preloaded machines under Microsoft’s control are better for consumers than
far more powerful Linux machines for the same price.

Richard Rasker


Many thoughts and stories spring to mind given this rather obnoxious context. One article you are encouraged to read is this one: Microsoft selling hobbled software to poor countries

Surprisingly, no-one seems to have told Microsoft that it is not good marketing strategy to treat your customers as if they are stupid. Which is exactly what the company is doing with the release in Africa of the stripped-down operating system it calls Windows XP Starter Edition.

Microsoft South Africa launched Windows XP Starter Edition (XPSE) into the African market last week with very little fanfare and market hype.

Which is not surprising considering how the product was received by other media on its intial launch in 2004. Known for its straight talking, The Register labelled XPSE “crippleware”. Analysts Gartner said the product had “good intent, poor execution”.

Also see this article from July last year: The Problem with Crippleware

Imposition of development limits is something Microsoft is truly find of, not to mention EULAs that forbid benchmarking and Novell-like deals with an implicit non-compete clause.

Other recent posts you are strongly encouraged to read are about Intel's and Microsoft's sabotage of the GNU/Linux-based OLPC and the collusion fiasco which involves the Microsoft ‘holy trinity’, including companies like Intel and Hewlett-Packard. It’s about Windows Vista, so it’s recent. What we see here is by no means ethical, not as much as greedy. It’s a case of companies conspiring against customers by limiting choice, fixing prices, reducing feature sets, etc.

Twice very recently we wrote about the Eee PC incident from Australia [1, 2], so Microsoft’s tactics are already proving effective. Perhaps. A reliable source in the UK told us that Asustek receives considerable discounts from Microsoft for the Eee PC, so the leaked plan that’s unveiled above may have already taken effect, quietly.

Related posts:

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

3 Comments

  1. Victor Soliz said,

    May 10, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Gravatar

    Wow, did the article read as “Microsoft decides Vista is more important to the IT world than actual progress, hopes PC makers agree to their non-sense”

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 10, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Gravatar

    Microsoft looks at new ideas, they don’t evaluate whether the idea will move the industry forward, they ask, ‘how will it help us sell more copies of Windows?’

    — Bill Gates, The Seattle Weekly, (April 30, 1998)

    Regarding Vista as a DRM cage:

    Since when has the world of computer software design been about what people want? This is a simple question of evolution. The day is quickly coming when every knee will bow down to a silicon fist, and you will all beg your binary gods for mercy.

    — Bill Gates

    Welcome to Microsoft Windows — where innovation is economic alone.

  3. max stirner said,

    May 11, 2008 at 5:47 am

    Gravatar

    i thought this article was rather shocking and was actually waiting for you to pick it up ;)

    It shows how technological progress is effectively hindered by monopolistic arrangements rather than anything else. the big desktop machine is deader than vista, the cloud has arrived. the fact that MS is still managing to sell their 8-year old piece of rubbish is sad enough..

    one would want a 15” SSD-HD 1kg linux machine for 500 USD max., macair without the brand premium, and that is obv technically feasible! at the same time everybody would stand to lose a nice big margin (which has been shrinking since the 80s).

    cant we please have some taiwanese company cut the thieving lot out of the market here?!

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 25/9/2021: Wine 6.18 and Chromium Complier Woes

    Links for the day



  2. [Meme] When the EPO Watches Everything ('Dissidents', Media, Etc.) and Isn't Being Watched by Anybody

    The EPO is taking Europe for a wild ride; Everything is a vehicle for the very same agenda, with nobody left to hold it accountable or ask any tough questions… (even the media is in the EPO’s back pocket or back seat)



  3. Virtual Oversight

    “eMeetings” that simulate an impression of oversight are like ‘ViCo’ to simulate access to justice; will that ever change and will oversight be restored at EPOnia, Europe’s second-largest institution?



  4. The Corporate Coup Against the Soul of the Free Software Community Is Not Over

    The erosion of community role in the development of GNU/Linux is a growing problem; part of the problem is that large corporations target technical and philosophical (perceived) leaders in coordinated smear campaigns, led by media they own



  5. IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, September 24, 2021



  6. Links 24/9/2021: GNU Coreutils 9.0, BattlEye GNU/Linux Support

    Links for the day



  7. [Meme] 'Linux' Foundation is Greenwashing Microsoft Again, Misusing the Linux Brand Like Nobody's Business

    Microsoft has weaponised the Linux brand to dub a toxic company like itself (helping notoriously polluting companies and generating lots of waste, both directly and through planned obsolescence, inefficient software, DRM, etc.) as "green"



  8. Richard Stallman to Speak (in Person) in Poland, Dedicate the Talk to Medical Professionals

    Days after his talk in Ukraine Richard Stallman plans to do the same in Poland (just announced)



  9. Links 24/9/2021: 30 Years of Europe’s First Root Name Server, Repairability of Laptops Discussed

    Links for the day



  10. ZDNet Has Failed

    ZDNet is on the decline and its demise appears to have greatly accelerated in recent months; we take a quick look at this month's coverage and explain the conflict of interest (it's PR, not news, and it's far too shallow/blatant to simply overlook)



  11. [Meme] Some People Are Just Above the Law

    A lot of people are still flabbergasted or at least baffled/miffed to discover that some people are in effect above the law; not even Europol and Interpol can apprehend and hold them accountable; that needs to change. Had Benoît Battistelli worked for France Télécom S.A. (not the EPO), would he be arrested? What about António Campinos and his drunk son?



  12. NPR and PBS, Both Funded by Bill Gates, Try to Save Him

    Bill Gates continues to corrupt the media and corrupt social control media (such as Twitter) using his money



  13. The EPO Must Forsake Its Diplomatic Immunity and Quit Pretending It's About Patent Law (or Any Law)

    There's no sign of the EPO actually trying to obey the law and correct the mistakes of the past; to make matters worse, the existing administration adds yet more corruption to an already-massive pile while dismissing any form of oversight



  14. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, September 23, 2021



  15. Links 24/9/2021: Ubuntu 21.10 Beta, Istio 1.11.3, and More Milestones for Steam Deck

    Links for the day



  16. [Meme] President Campinos Addresses the Legacy of Battistelli's “Strike Regulations”

    A sequence of four EPO memes about those infamous and unlawful “strike regulations” that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos have exploited to abuse thousands of workers



  17. [Meme] Bill Gates Keeps Digging Himself Deeper in the Grave Each Time He Speaks

    These sorts of ‘interviews’ with Gates’ own propaganda mills (he also pays Twitter now) aren’t going to improve his image; people aren’t infinitely gullible (Source)



  18. Linux Foundation and Other 'Diploma Mills' Say There's Demand for Their Products in Their New 'Research' (Marketing)

    The so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation (LF), together with edX, are basically marketing their services and products, but this is disguised as 'research' (a false narrative widely parroted by shallow and paid-for media partners of theirs), piggybacking brands like “Linux” and buzzwords like “Open Source” (even when they promote proprietary things, e.g. memorisation of proprietary GUIs)



  19. [Meme] The EPO's Carte Blanche and 'Diplomatic Immunity' Card

    EPO staff is being taken for another ride by António Campinos and his cohorts, whose popularity among staff has likely gone down to sub-zero levels already (even faster than Benoît Battistelli)



  20. As Expected, Minimal Pseudo Compliance From EPO Management, Adding Insult to Injury

    SUEPO Central, the core of the staff union of EPO staff (almost 7,000 workers at the EPO, most of whom are SUEPO members), has strong words about the EPO's attitude and stance, which is perhaps unsurprising but still extremely disappointing



  21. Links 23/9/2021: PostgreSQL 14 RC 1 and MidnightBSD 2.1

    Links for the day



  22. Links 23/9/2021: More UPC PR Stunts and IBM (Poettering) TPM for Linux

    Links for the day



  23. The EPO is on the Run (Escaping Negative Press Coverage)

    Aside from tens of millions of euros granted to media and academia (to keep them complicit or silent about EPO corruption, which also implicates the EU) there’s also SLAPP and threats against staff representatives; but Members of the European Parliament are becoming interested in what’s really going on in Europe’s second-largest institution, so this utter waste of EPO money (manipulating the press and gaming universities’ research) might in itself become a scandal sooner or later



  24. [Meme] Lowering the Standards...

    It's time for another round of fluff at the EPO, this time without even travelling (PR-over-'ViCo')



  25. Gemini HTTP/HTML/Web Proxies and Self-Hosting Your Own Proxy

    Gemini protocol (gemini://) and the fast-growing Geminispace (expected to exceed 2,000 known capsules by year’s end, in effect quadrupling in a single year!) are possible to access using Web browsers, at least for those who do not have Gemini clients/browsers just yet; today we examine and give an outline of the options



  26. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, September 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, September 22, 2021



  27. Links 23/9/2021: GNU Parallel 20210922, Moroccan Propaganda From EPO

    Links for the day



  28. Links 22/9/2021: Google 'Upstream First' in Linux and New Maui Report

    Links for the day



  29. Links 22/9/2021: Mesa 21.2.2, GNOME 41 Released

    Links for the day



  30. Socially- or Corporate- or Centrally-Controlled Surveillance, Censorship and Throttling is Not Media

    The 'social control media' situation is getting out of hand; in YouTube, for example, there's a broad revolt against strict editorial control by Google and in Twitter it seems like ordinary users aren't shown so much to people who actually "follow" them


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts