11.01.08

Microsoft: 800 lb. Guerrilla

Posted in Apple, Bill Gates, Google, Microsoft, Novell at 7:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Guerrilla Against Apple

Microsoft’s means of aggression against Apple, such as offering $15,000 for Mac bloggers to sell out, have almost culminated in moves that resemble their recent interference in a VMware conference [1, 2], crashing of PlayStation3 launch parties, the Linux Personas Web site and so forth. Microsoft seems to have used similar techniques against ODF [1, 2] and Novell is guilty of the same behaviour [1, 2].

A reader who prefers to remain anonymous has just sent us a pointer to this.

Microsoft Corp., engrossed in multi-million dollar marketing blitz to counter anti-Vista propaganda from rival Apple, Inc., is now using a portion of its budget to fuel guerilla retail tactics near the Mac maker’s stores.

Says the unnamed reader: “See the poster on the right in the background: The product that just won’t die.

“If it weren’t for OEM lock-in BeOS, Amiga and Apple would have each bitten off a third each.”“If it weren’t for per-processor fees and such, DR-DOS would have killed off Microsoft.

“If it weren’t for OEM lock-in BeOS, Amiga and Apple would have each bitten off a third each.

“If it weren’t for all kinds of lobbying and out-sourced marketing with off-the-scale marketing budgets, Red Hat and Ubuntu would have seen the end of Microsoft.

“It’s responsible for 90+% of the world’s spam, nearly 100% of the world’s botnets, the vector for nearly 100% of the world’s viruses and worms, in violation of most privacy and security laws, and yet the product line just won’t die.”

Guerrilla Against FCC

We previously discussed the relationship between Microsoft and the FCC, as well as with Comcast. A few months ago we also showed Gates' political intervention in the United Nation, which is part of a much broader phenomenon [1, 2] that shows Microsoft is a political creature no less than it is a legal, marketing and technical company. That last part too is in doubt…

“Usually Microsoft doesn’t develop products, we buy products.”

Arno Edelmann, Microsoft’s European business security product manager

Anyhow, another thing that was shown before is that Gates’ lobbying for more visas was only for selfish gain [1, 2]. It was seen as unnecessary or even harmful at the time and earlier this month it turned out to be a fraud.

With all this knowledge in mind, can Microsoft and Gates be trusted as they approach the FCC regarding white spaces? Here are some bits from various articles in the news:

1. Gates, Microsoft lobby FCC for unlicensed white spaces use (Microsoft-influenced New York Times)

Microsoft is lobbying the FCC this week to allow unlicensed use of so-called “white spaces” television spectrum for wireless Internet services.

2. Microsoft urges FCC vote on airwaves access (Gates-funded Mercury News)

Microsoft Chief Strategy Officer Craig Mundie said a plan to use television airwaves for free Internet access may face significant delays if the Federal Communications Commission puts off a vote next week.

3. Microsoft’s Gates steps up FCC ‘white space’ lobbying (FUD-mongering Reuters)

Bill Gates and other Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) officials stepped up lobbying of top U.S. communications regulators on Monday, ahead of an important vote next week to open up unused wireless airwaves.

Aren’t governments supposed to think for themselves and make their own judgment? Are they not capable? Since when is Bill Gates a white space expert?

Guerrilla Against Yahoo and Google

Magnifying glass

Still searching for answers to Google

“Forty percent of servers run Windows, 60 percent run Linux…”

“Ballmer Still Searching for an Answer to Google”

According to Bloomberg, Yahoo is still gaining in search and the main loser continues to be Microsoft.

Yahoo had about 20.2 percent of queries in September, up from 19.6 percent in August, Reston, Virginia-based ComScore said today in an e-mail. Microsoft’s share fell to 8.5 percent from 8.9 percent. Google Inc. handled 62.9 percent, compared with 63 percent in August.

Todd Bishop argues that Microsoft’s attempt to pay users was unsuccessful.

[O]verall, those initiatives haven’t had a lasting impact on Microsoft’s share of the market.

According to another independent meter, Microsoft declined to 5.46%, down from 9.85% the year before. This statistic was shown around the same time that Microsoft began paying users in order to entice them to use its search engine (only to be spied on for harvesting behaviour of search and clicks).

These unsustainable strategies may not last for long though because Microsoft cut $400,000,000 in this particular area, due to lingering financial issues.

In reporting its latest quarterly results, the company last week said it will lower spending by $400 million to $500 million over the next year to weather the downturn.

Microsoft’s last resort seems to be Yahoo, but that too would be costly (also to the consumer). One has to remember the referrer spamming that Microsoft uses, as well as other black-hat tricks and tweaked search engine results [1, 2, 3].

Several sources, all of which cite a report from the Wall Street Journal, claim that the Google-Yahoo deal is becoming less likely to materialise.

Google and Yahoo may abandon their planned search advertising deal as early as next week.

What’s to blame? The very same department which Microsoft is known to have lots of control over.

Google is considering walking away from its advertising deal with Yahoo! because the Department of Justice is demanding too much in return.

We have already covered the abuse and the political games Microsoft has played to intercept this deal [1, 2]. It’s always disturbing to find governments that are run by corporations.

“[If I ask you who is Microsoft's biggest competitor now, who would it be?] Open…Linux. I don’t want to say open source. Linux, certainly have to go with that.”

Steve Ballmer (Microsoft’s CEO), February 28th, 2008

Quick Mention: Layoffs at Microsoft Begin

Posted in Microsoft at 5:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Axe sign

Down goes the axe

As budgets are being cut at Microsoft and debt looms, Microsoft lets some people go.

Microsoft’s online ad agency Razorfish laid off 40 staff in its New York office this afternoon, citing a dropoff in business from the financial services sector.

That rumoured hiring freeze makes a lot more sense now [1, 2].

Microsoft Polices Coverage of Vista 7 by ‘Kicking Out’ Disobedient Journalist

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Vista, Windows at 5:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Professor at work

IT IS difficult to forget how Microsoft used journalists to glorify OOXML, having given them free trips around the world [1, 2]. In general, Microsoft does a lot of gifting in exchange for love from the press, so suffice to say, the true story is rarely told by an impartial crowd.

Watch Mary Jo Foley or other Microsoft bloggers proudly proclaiming that Windows 7 was well received, despite what we saw yesterday, as well as some claims that the reviews were “mixed”.

The side stories are sometimes more interesting that the polished articles. Such is the case with the following rant about a journalist being denied access (having it retracted rather) for not being a fan of Microsoft.

Blacklisted by Microsoft!

[...]

Basically, they blacklisted me from certain super-secret (i.e. pre-conference, NDA, off-the books) sessions at their Professional Developer Conference (PDC) –- this after formally inviting me to attend those sessions as an “esteemed reviewer” representing InfoWorld.

[...]

Oct. 9, 2008 — A short while later, I get my first hit. It seems that the whole mess started when the Windows Server team made the mistake of inviting yours truly to an event hosted by the Windows Client team. Apparently, the folks on the Server team were unaware of my decidedly negative views towards Vista, and when the Client folks found out they had invited Randall C. Kennedy -– a.k.a. Vista’s most vocal and effective critic -– to their special, “for fanbois only” (nice photos, Paul) shindig, they went ballistic.

First, it appears that someone high up on the Client Team (Steve?) really doesn’t like me. I mean, really, truly loathes me. And it’s not just your run-of-the-mill frustration with a journalist who picks on them. This thing is personal, and the executive in question is allowing his or her personal feelings to spill over into the company’s handling of formal press relations with InfoWorld.

This is not the first time that Microsoft plays “reward & punishment” with journalists in order to control or at least police coverage.

In addition to yesterday’s complaints about Vista 7 [sic], consider the following from the news:

1. Windows 7 Upgrade Chaos Looms

Businesses that plan on skipping Vista to move directly from XP to Windows 7 could face application-compatibility headaches.

2. PDC: Brand expert knocks Windows 7 name

“It lacks credibility and reeks of ‘consensus,’” he wrote on his blog then.

3. Windows 7: The ‘Dog Food’ Tastes Bad

Not wanting to rag on something publicly that I hadn’t experienced intimately myself, I decided to take the plunge (called “eating your own dog food” in developer parlance) and see if I could move over full-time to the new Windows 7 M3 pre-beta. After all, with an essentially unmodified kernel and no major changes to the security model, how bad could it be?

[...]

My first compatibility roadblock involved Daemon Tools. One of the most widely used ISO-mounting utilities, Daemon Tools is a core part of my day-to-day compute stack. It’s how I install software into any new system (physical CDs and DVDs are so yesterday), and as such, one of the first things I add to a new installation.

And it broke. Not in any minor, cosmetic way, either. It broke big time. The core “SPD” driver — kernel-mode component used to simulate a physical CD/DVD drive — refused to install. This came after I had forced the installer to continue by enabling the “Windows Vista RTM” option in the compatibility tab for its disk file (otherwise, Daemon would refuse to even attempt an install).

[...]

Regardless, my real takeaway from all of this is that, despite leaving the core Vista kernel and driver model intact, Microsoft is still finding ways to break applications. So much for the whole “seamless transition” promise to Vista users. I can only hope that things get better before RTM or even the official beta launch. But, frankly, even at an M3 revision level, this sort of incompatibility nuttiness simply shouldn’t exist — not for an OS that is just a lipstick tube away from its piggish predecessor.

GNU/Linux continues to be a major problem to Microsoft, according to the post “Microsoft facing bleak outlook for Vista sales.”

The computers being shipped to developing countries generally include less expensive operating systems, including XP or the least expensive version of Vista. Netbooks are also aimed at customers looking for low cost devices that likely will ship with XP or Linux installed.

This was covered here last week. Vista 7 is no remedy.

“My initial evaluation of Windows 7 shows that it’s really just Vista with a fresh coat of paint.”

Randall Kennedy

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: October 31st, 2008

Posted in IRC Logs at 4:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Enter the IRC channel now

Read the rest of this entry »

Links 01/11/2008: Qt Creator IDE and Open World Forum Created

Posted in News Roundup at 3:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

F/OSS

Web Browsers

MAFIAA/Music

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Dan Gillmor, creator of the phrase, “Distributed Journalism” 07 (2005)

Ogg Theora

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

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