12.08.08

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Microsoft ‘Advocates’ Free Software by Suing the World

Posted in Finance, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 7:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

AS Microsoft’s financial woes persist [1, 2], the ‘nerve’ to extract more money increases, even from those who can hardly afford to but are left with no choice because they got addicted. As Bill Gates once said, “they’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.” Well, this decade has apparently come.

Tough Times for Microsoft

At the end of last week, Microsoft suffered a major blow from a respected analyst who foresees red ink.

Microsoft Profit, Sales May Fall Short, Bellini Says

There is also a blurb about this in the Seattle P-I’s Microsoft blog.

A Microsoft analyst thinks that the company might have to warn shareholders that its results won’t match forecasts, according to Bloomberg News.

Microsoft’s partner in collusion [1, 2, 3] does not do so well, either.

An Intel Corp. analyst lowered his outlook for the company Friday and said he thinks the chip giant will cut 6 to 7 percent of its work force.

Squeezing the Goose for Golden Eggs

Windows is very ubiquitous, but not many people pay for it. Those who do pay for it typically reside in affluent countries, yet in the majority of the world Microsoft turns a blind eye to illegal copying because it helps them against GNU/Linux and Free software that comes with it (e.g. OpenOffice.org).

“It’s easier for our software to compete with Linux when there’s piracy than when there’s not.”

Bill Gates

This is a subject that was covered recently and worth reminding ourselves of is propaganda fueled by disgraceful words like “pirates” and “piracy”. The executives or shareholders need more money, so they attack people who spread their software widely and distribute this digital commodity to those who can’t afford it. Here are several examples from the past week’s news:

1. Microsoft Targets Auctions in Counterfeit Crackdown

Microsoft continues to crack down on people it believes are counterfeiting and selling its software. On Thursday the company will add another 63 legal filings in 12 countries against individuals who it says are selling counterfeit Microsoft products.

2. Microsoft tackles auction pirates

Microsoft has launched 63 separate lawsuits against people peddling counterfeit software on auction sites.

3. Microsoft fights online auction pirates

Despite Microsoft saying that Vista sales are strong, they clearly aren’t if businesses favour XP to the extent that they’ll buy fake versions.

4. Microsoft sues counterfeit software dealers

“They’re not going to cease selling XP because Microsoft has.”

5. Microsoft goes after software pirates

Microsoft filed 63 lawsuits in 12 countries against software pirates, the company said today.

They are using the BSA as a front all across their world (there are BSA equivalents in some nations), as the following illustrates.

6. Microsoft Gulf and UAE Ministry of Economy

“Eliminating software piracy from the country is high on the agenda for the Ministry of Economy given the major negative impact piracy can have on the country’s growing economy. We will continue to work closely with the BSA and its members to curb software piracy across the UAE, and we are confident that our concerted efforts will bring in expected results,” said Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz Alshihhi, MoE Undersecretary.

The Battle of Trafalgar
War on real piracy… when “piracy” meant
piracy and cracker was no hacker

Microsoft tries to portray itself as a victim (an addicting nonetheless) and those who use computers as vicious people who murder and rape, i.e. “pirates”. The copyrights cartel shamelessly uses the same tactics.

Some of the articles above suggest that not even counterfeiters want Windows Vista. The site “Vista is Rubbish” seems fairly new and it tells how people feel about it.

The more Microsoft struggles financially, the more it will curse everyone else and try to squeeze out an extra buck. Here are lots more new articles that are packed with words like “piracy”, which it is not.

Microsoft is not only suing old people in this process. There are other interesting stories about Microsoft taking action against those whom it did not mind before (because they made its software widespread).

At the Internet marketplace sell.com, Schaun Johnson largely earned rave reviews — called the “best seller” and “recommended to everyone A+++” — when dealing video games.

Microsoft Corp., the Washington state-based software titan, was less impressed, classifying Johnson, also known as skj8100, as a counterfeiter who allegedly was dealing operating systems illegally to unsuspecting buyers.

Here is Microsoft pinching the Australian aged care once again.

MICROSOFT Australia has accused aged-care services providers of illegitimately buying software through a discount licensing program.

Some people fight back. Here is another report about a story that was mentioned before.

Dutch firm says Microsoft is unfairly pricing EU stock higher than US

Dutch reseller HW Trading has launched a legal battle with Microsoft, accusing the software vendor of illegally inflating prices in the EU.

The case, began with a filing at the Californian Central Court back in May, accuses Microsoft of breaching Article 81 that forbids anti-competitive agreements. Owner of HW Trading, Samir Abdalla claims that by selling software for 30 per cent less in the USA, it is breaching EU law.

This is a good time to embrace Free software. This is the time when proprietary software companies squeeze hard for every penny they can get, having held people’s skills set and data hostage (lock-in).

Microsoft’s Global Anti-Piracy Day campaign spans 49 countries, has initiated educational programs as well as legal actions, and will likely pick up speed in 2009. According to reports in October, Microsoft has filed lawsuits against 20 resellers in the United States suspected of selling pirated software (Source: Microsoft to describe anti-piracy campaign). In Singapore three retailers have already settled negotiations with the software giant after being caught in a raid that took place in April this year (Source: Microsoft launches global antipiracy campaign)

There is some more analysis here.

CIO.com offers a sobering reminder as to one potential downside to proprietary licensing: when vendors get desperate for revenue, auditing for “piracy” can help them clean up.

The harder the push for revenue, the more people will turn to Free software. This means that every crackdown on counterfeiting is in one way or another the best GNU/Linux advocacy money need not even buy. It’s self-inflicted marketing of fear, uncertainty and doubt (about non-Free software and its consequences).

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