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 30/01/2023: Coreboot 4.19 and Budgie 10.7

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 29, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 29, 2023



  3. [Meme] With Superheroes Like These...

    Ever since the new managers arrived the talent has fled the company that falsely credits itself with "Open Source"



  4. Not Tolerating Proprietary 'Bossware' in the Workplace (or at Home in Case of Work-From-Home)

    The company known as Sirius ‘Open Source’ generally rejected… Open Source. Today’s focus was the migration to Slack.



  5. The ISO Delusion: A Stack of Proprietary Junk (Slack) Failing Miserably

    When the company where I worked for nearly 12 years spoke of pragmatism it was merely making excuses to adopt proprietary software at the expense of already-working and functional Free software



  6. Debian 11 on My Main Rig: So Far Mostly OK, But Missing Some Software From Debian 10

    Distributions of GNU/Linux keep urging us to move to the latest, but is the latest always the greatest? On Friday my Debian 10 drive died, so I started moving to Debian 11 on a new drive and here's what that did to my life.



  7. Stigmatising GNU/Linux for Not Withstanding Hardware Failures

    Nowadays "the news" is polluted with a lot of GNU/Linux-hostile nonsense; like with patents, the signal-to-noise ratio is appalling and here we deal with a poor 'report' about "Linux servers" failing to work



  8. Microsofters Inside Sirius 'Open Source'

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has been employing incompetent managers for years — a sentiment shared among colleagues by the way; today we examine some glaring examples with redacted communications to prove it



  9. Links 29/01/2023: GNOME 43.3 Fixes and Lots About Games

    Links for the day



  10. The Hey Hype Machine

    "Hey Hype" or "Hey Hi" (AI) has been dominating the press lately and a lot of that seems to boil down to paid-for marketing; we need to understand what's truly going on and not be distracted by the substance-less hype



  11. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 28, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 28, 2023



  12. Unmasking AI

    A guest article by Andy Farnell



  13. The ISO Delusion/Sirius Corporation: A 'Tech' Company Run by Non-Technical People

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ was hiring people who brought to the company a culture of redundant tasks and unwanted, even hostile technology; today we continue to tell the story of a company run by the CEO whose friends and acquaintances did severe damage



  14. Links 28/01/2023: Lots of Catching Up (Had Hardware Crash)

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 27, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, January 27, 2023



  16. Microsoft DuckDuckGo Falls to Lowest Share in 2 Years After Being Widely Exposed as Microsoft Proxy, Fake 'Privacy'

    DuckDuckGo, according to this latest data from Statcounter, fell from about 0.71% to just 0.58%; all the gains have been lost amid scandals, such as widespread realisation that DuckDuckGo is a Microsoft informant, curated by Microsoft and hosted by Microsoft (Bing is meanwhile laying off many people, but the media isn’t covering that or barely bothers)



  17. This is What the Microsoft-Sponsored Media Has Been Hyping Up for Weeks (Ahead of Microsoft Layoffs)

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan



  18. [Meme] António Campinos Wants to Be F***ing President Until 2028

    António Campinos insists he will be EPO President for 10 years, i.e. even longer than Benoît Battistelli (despite having appalling approval rates from staff)



  19. European Patent Office Staff Losing Hope

    The EPO’s management with its shallow campaign of obfuscation (pretending to protect children or some other nonsense) is not fooling patent examiners, who have grown tired and whose representatives say “the administration shows no intention of involving the staff representation in the drafting of the consultant’s mandate” (like in Sirius ‘Open Source’ where technical staff is ignored completely for misguided proposals to pass in the dark)



  20. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 26, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 26, 2023



  21. Sirius Relegated/Demoted/Destined Itself to Technical Hell by Refusing to Listen to the Technical Staff (Which Wanted to Stay With Asterisk/Free Software)

    In my final year at Sirius ‘Open Source’ communication systems had already become chaotic; there were too many dysfunctional tools, a lack of instructions, a lack of coordination and the proposed ‘solution’ (this past October) was just more complexity and red tape



  22. Geminispace Approaching Another Growth Milestone (2,300 Active Capsules)

    The expansion of Geminispace is worth noting again because another milestone is approached, flirted with, or will be surpassed this coming weekend



  23. [Meme] Cannot Get a Phone to Work... in 2022

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ wasted hours of workers’ time just testing the phone after it had moved to a defective system of Google (proprietary); instead of a rollback (back to Asterisk) the company doubled down on the faulty system and the phones still didn’t work properly, resulting in missing calls and angst (the company just blamed the workers who all along rejected this new system)



  24. [Meme] Modern Phones

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ is mistaking “modern” for better; insecurity and a lack of tech savvy typically leads to that



  25. The ISO Delusion: Sirius Corporation Demonstrates a Lack of Understanding of Security and Privacy

    Sirius ‘Open Source’, emboldened by ISO ‘paperwork’ (certification), lost sight of what it truly takes to run a business securely, mistaking worthless gadgets for “advancement” while compelling staff to sign a new contract in a hurry (prior contract-signing scandals notwithstanding)



  26. Links 26/01/2023: LibreOffice 7.4.5 and Ubuntu Pro Offers

    Links for the day



  27. Links 26/01/2023: GNU poke 3.0 and PipeWire 0.3.65

    Links for the day



  28. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 25, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 25, 2023



  29. Companies Would Collapse Upon Abandoning Their Original Goals (That Attracted All the Productive Staff)

    Staff with technical skills won't stick around in companies that reject technical arguments and moreover move to proprietary software in a company that brands itself "Open Source"



  30. [Meme] Listen to Your Workers, Avert Disaster

    Companies that refuse to take input from staff are doomed to fail


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