Links 11/01/2009: Linux 2.6.29 Reaches RC, To Boot on Most Desktops

Posted in News Roundup at 10:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish


  • Even Better: Linux to *Be* on More Desktops than Windows

    With apologies to my boss, a story in today’s Wall Street Journal has me thinking that the future of Linux deployment might perhaps be even better than he predicted.

    The realization didn’t come quickly. My first glance at the paper is about 10 minutes after rolling out of bed and starting the process of getting my kids to school. I’d like to be able to tell you that as soon as I saw the article, I made the instant leap to my conclusion, but in reality, at 0-dark-hundred my thought process is something like this: “mrmmsmrm… coffee… mehhphrm drmhfsp… coffee…”

    Apparently something must have clicked, because I had the presence of mind to place the article in my office for later (coherent) consumption. The topic was netbooks, and how hardware vendors are scrambling to get some new offerings out the factory doors after the very popular Asus Eee PC came out in 2007 and made a big splash in an otherwise bleak electronics market.

  • Is it GNU/Linux or Linux?

    It is Debian GNU/Linux, but it is Linux Mint and just plain old Ubuntu. But Canonical says Ubuntu is a Linux-based distro, not a GNU/Linux based distro. It is also PCLinuxOS and not PCGNU/LinuxOS. Redhat calls it Redhat Linux and the list goes on. So what is it GNU/Linux or Linux?

    I have been criticised for using Linux by itself and have seen others being chastised for it elsewhere. You write a long article and the only comment from some people is that you failed to call it GNU/Linux. They are showing disdain for you and are telling you that they will not read what you write until you follow their terminology. I get it, but don’t like the bad attitude. Their cause suffers as a result of their rudeness and quite frankly I don’t care that they choose not to read what I write. I actually believe in freedom.

  • Linux 2.6.29-rc1

    The merge window is over, and while it is quite possible that I missed a few merge requests in the crazy week that is behind us, apart from those we should now have most of the bulk of 2.6.29 merged up. And now it’s just a small matter of making sure it’s all stable and ready to go.

  • Linux Courses Increase Job Options for Techs

    For software programmers and developers worried about layoffs and job security in these tough economic times, the answer may be as clear as the screen on your cell phone. That’s because manufacturers of small consumer equipment like cell phones and PDAs need programmers trained in embedded Linux to hand-tune the product’s software code.

  • Vista is a failure and GNU adoption is ramping up

    Today is one of those days that starts with a sweet taste. The FSF has declared another victory for its BadVista campaign: Vista is a clear failure for Microsoft and for FSF it’s time to devote energy to something else. (btw: did you donate to FSF?)

  • Applications

    • 7 Linux web editors that get the job done

      Way back at the beginning of the web (or when it started to become mainstream) it was popular to spend hours hacking away at a keyboard to type your first web page.

    • The Linux Applications Alternative Series: Bittorrent

      Its a common misconception that Linux doesn’t have applications for day to day computing, nothing can be further from the truth. In fact I would wager that there is an alternative for any app/function out there. And since this blogs claims to “bring Linux to the masses” I thought it would be a good idea to write a series of blogs about the different apps available to Linux users in different categories.This article’s category will be: Bittorrent Clients…

  • Audio

  • XBMC

    • XBMC

      If you are looking for a home media Centre, and have had it with figuring out MythTV, this is a VERY VERY good alternative to MediaCentre, Myth or TVersity. I think the interface is well written. and the software seems to be very well supported.

    • Sabayon – LiteMCE – sneak-peek

      With sabayon Linux 4.0 rolling on it’s way it’s time to look at some sort of a mini edition. We are gonna spin out a mini-dvd instead of a mini-cd. There is several reasons for this move and I’m not going to go into them as I don’t want to hear comments of not having a dvd drive for whatever reason it is. It’s the 21st Century, get with it and get a dvd drive, even microsoft is moving to dvd format releases.

      LiteMCE stands for lite dvd version, multimedia center edition. It’s desktop environment is gnome. It comes with xmbc for your multimedia. If I recall correctly the dvd download will be roughly 2GB.

  • Desktop Environments

    • KDE 4.2 Review From Inside Out. Part 1

      Plasma makes the desktop valuable again. I liked the default uncluttered mode without any icons and I liked the idea of widgets that you can put on the desktop. Unlike 4.0 and 4.1 Plasma in 4.2 is usable and stable (not without minor glitches though).

      KRunner is a killer feature. Once you try it, you’ll never stop, believe me. In my opinion, KRunner may easily be one of the reasons to switch to KDE4. I only wish it was more prominent and more documented.

      As a general conclusion, I should say that after KDE4 I don’t want to get back to KDE3. The new Plasma desktop is a huge success and with proper architecture and implementation behind it, I’m sure we’ll see even more exciting improvements in the future. And of course, I’m sure that in subsequent KDE releases we’ll also see even more polished and ironed out 4.x desktop.

  • Distributions

    • On Debian membership

      The more I think about it, The more I’m convinced that the both approaches that have been proposed to change the way we deal with Debian membership (Joerg’s new statuses for non-developing contributors, and Lars’ counting of advocates) are both steps in the wrong direction.

    • Fedora

      • Fedora 11 release name

        The Fedora 11 release name is:


        The full GPG-signed message from our election coordinator, Nigel
        Jones, is attached. Thank you to the community for their suggestions,
        Josh Boyer and the Board for their work on additional diligence
        searches, and Nigel Jones for setting up the voting.

      • Fedora 10 Impressions

        I decided to switch my desktop back to Linux now that I know I can play Counter-Strike in VirtualBox thanks to the OpenGL 3D acceleration availible in VirtualBox 2.1.0. I *was* going to go back to the ‘ol reliable Ubuntu, but I decided since I have Nvidia graphics now, that I would try out Fedora 10 since the drivers are availible in RPMFusion’s repo.


        Fedora has always been known to have great artwork, and Fedora 10 is no exception. The default look and feel is very sharp and professional. Fonts rendering is also very nice – seems better than the defaults in Ubuntu. I tend to use defaults for themes and such, so while the theme isn’t hugely important, having a nice theme as default is a niceity for me. I grow tired of the “brown” in Ubuntu (it’s depressing :-) )

    • Ubuntu

      • New Ubuntu Mods for Mac Looks

        If you like OS X’s look and feel, but you’re a Linux guy or gal at heart, this is a mod for you. While the mod to make Hardy Herron look like OS X has been out for a while, it is now available for Intrepid as well. So whether you are running Heron or Intrepid (Ubuntu) you can get the same look and feel for the Gnome GUI as you have with OS X. The Mac4Lin themes allow you to customize your Linux box with the same background as the Mac, and additional options even give some of the same functionality. Since the Mac OS and Ubuntu share a Unix base most of the common applications for the Mac can be found in the Linux world. Sometimes Apple even borrows things from Linux for the Mac OS.

      • gOS 3.1 Gadgets SP1 released

        The gOS (”good OS”) project released SP1 of gOS 3.1 Gadgets. The Linux based gOS is an excellent Operating System for Netbooks & NetTops.

      • Ubuntu 9.04 Receives EXT4 Support

        With the EXT4 file-system having been stabilized with the Linux 2.6.28 kernel, the Ubuntu developers are preparing to adopt this evolutionary Linux file-system update. EXT4 will not replace EXT3 as the default file-system until at least Ubuntu 9.10, but as of yesterday, Ubuntu 9.04 now has install-time support for EXT4. In this article we are looking at the EXT4 support within Ubuntu as well as providing a few Linux file-system benchmarks from a netbook-embedded solid-state drive. In this article we have published Ubuntu benchmarks of EXT4, EXT3, XFS, JFS, and ReiserFS file-systems.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux-based gizmo construction kit gets extra bricks
    • Sub-notebooks

      • HP Mini Mi Linux Netbook Released

        Hardware provider Hewlett-Packard has released a Linux version for its mini-laptop. HP wants to be clear from the outset that disabling the Linux command line interface in the product is not an act of heresy.

        End of October 2008 HP began confirming rumors about their own Linux netbook variant, and have now followed up with release of their Mini Mi 1000 series. The netbook has 2 GByte system memory and an Intel Atom CPU, with the choice of an 8.9 or 10.1 inch display, and costs around $330. HP describes the mobile internet software as “a user-friendly, all-inclusive interface built on Linux.” In fact, “Mi” stands for mobile internet, a clear message that HP wants to put the mini-laptop square into the netbook market.

      • Atheros Turns Cell Phone Into Access Point

        It also comes with an onboard Linux based operating system, which will be able to host applications developed by third parties, according to Novatel.

      • Instant-on PCs Could Take off With Netbooks

        Freescale is also looking to add fast-boot capabilities to future Linux-based netbooks with its Arm-based i.MX515 processors, which the company introduced at CES. The company demonstrated an i.MX515-powered netbook made by Pegatron, an Asus spin-off, at the show.

      • Netbooks take center stage at CES


  • Mobile industry hands future growth to developers

    Competitors Apple, Google, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Linux-based Open Source platform LiMo and Nokia’s Symbian have begun to accept applications and services will now become crucial to growth, said Seema Haji, a technical manager in Silicon Valley.

    “Mobile phone technology is not just about voice anymore. Features such as global positioning, social networking and interactive user interfaces are determining the usefulness and effectiveness of these devices,” she said.

  • Commentary: Create a tech-friendly U.S. government

    Commit to open-source software and open standards: Free software, or as it is more commonly known, ‘open-source’ software, is software distributed under a license that gives users the right to copy, modify and redistribute the source code. In fact, most of the Internet runs on open-source software such as GNU/Linux, Apache and MySQL.

  • Can’t We All Just Get Along? Q&A With OSA Community Dev Chair Gopi Ganapathy

    What the open source community needs is a more streamlined way to bring everyone together to collaborate and ensure interoperability, says Gopi Ganapathy, president and CEO of Essentia and the new Community Development Chair of the Open Solutions Alliance.

  • Applications

    • Hyperic Enlists Partners For Open-Source App Management

      Open source and cloud computing are hot today, so its no surprise Hyperic, which plays in both technology spaces, says it’s having good luck recruiting solution providers to the channel program it launched in October. The company said its partner ecosystem now accounts for 30 percent of its sales and that number is growing.

      Even the tough economic climate may be aiding Hyperic. The company develops open-source tools for monitoring and managing the performance of Web applications, including those deployed on premise or hosted through cloud-computing systems. Jeff Santelices, Hyperic business development vice president, said companies are trying to control their IT operating costs, and that’s boosting demand for Hyperic’s software.

    • Customer Service, Say “Hello,” to Open Source

      On a mission to bring open source and software-as-a-service (SaaS) to the customer service and support markets, SpiceCSM has introduced their first set of products to the open source community. Using www.opencsm.org as its open source community portal, SpiceCSM is dedicated to delivering solutions that are tailored for customer service organizations such as call centers and help desks.

Knowledge/Open Access

  • Sysadmin mantra: Think ‘abundance,’ softly does it

    What will your keynote at linux.conf.au be about?

    I’m going to talk about the “scarcity mindset”, how it holds us back, and how adopting an “abundancy mindset” would free us to think more creatively about IT.

  • FTC Town Hall to Address Digital Rights Management Technologies – Eve

    Digital rights management (DRM) refers to technologies typically used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, and copyright holders to attempt to control how consumers access and use media and entertainment content. Among other issues, the workshop will address the need to improve disclosures to consumers about DRM limitations. Interested parties may submit written comments or original research on this topic.


  • Expo Notes: Araxis Merge adds to its file-comparison bag of tricks

    At this year’s Expo, Araxis Merge was back, and with a nifty addition to its bag of tricks: it can now automatically extract and compare text from Word, Excel, PDF, and Open Document Format documents. Just open these files directly in Araxis Merge, and the program will extract and compare the text within the files.

  • Meet the Tarrant County legislative delegation

    One priority is open-document-formatting legislation, which could save governments millions of dollars. He has also been active in efforts to reform school finance and property taxes.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Digital Tipping Point: IP attorney Julian Summers 02 (2005)

Ogg Theora

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

How Microsoft Really Feels About .NET in Linux/UNIX

Posted in Antitrust, Microsoft, Mono, SUN at 8:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


We have just copied (by hand) the contents of Comes vs Microsoft exhibit px08290 [PDF]. There are some curious bits there about .NET and the people involved are Charles Fitzgerald, Sanjay Parthasarathy, Tom Button, Yuval Neema, Graham Clark, and Joe Long.

“By putting CLI into ECMA, we are inviting x-plat implementations. With Rotor we are even doing some work on Linux and Solaris,” says Graham Clark, Microsoft’s general manager of .NET business development.

“…there is no mechanism to provide transaction (and other core services) support on these non-Windows implementations.”

–Microsoft GM of .NETFurther he adds: “For enterprise customers/partners, wanting to build enterprise apps, all this is meaningless as there is no mechanism to provide transaction (and other core services) support on these non-Windows implementations.”

“Microsoft is well aware of how to position .NET to make it seem attractive, but at the same time be worthless (or worth much less) without patented and non standardized, non-royalty free bits,” writes the reader who drew attention to this.

Worth paying attention are also the parts about "evangelism".

Appendix: Comes vs. Microsoft – Exhibit px08290, as text

Read the rest of this entry »

Microsoft Pills in eBay’s Punch

Posted in Microsoft at 7:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not one but two pills

People rarely forget where they came from

THE issue of influence through recruitment was last mentioned two days ago, with more examples given several months ago. This may lead to a clash of cultures because any employee in any company inevitably becomes an integral part of it. Former colleagues remain friends or contacts and it’s illogical to assume otherwise.

Citing this seminal report from Mary Jo Foley, it is stated elsewhere that eBay too took the pill (Microsoft vice president).

Positronic founder Chris Payne had formerly been Corporate Vice President of Windows Live Search at Microsoft and had also spent 3 years at Amazon.com. He is now Vice President of Search at eBay, and Positronic co-founder Dane Glasgow is Vice President of Engineering at eBay.

According to this other report, it’s not a case of one person alone. It’s actually two Microsoft executives who have just joined eBay.

In 2006, Microsoft search gurus Christopher Payne and Dane Glasgow left Microsoft to start Positronic.net. We’re not all that clear on what Positronic did, the company’s “about” page doesn’t add much detail and Mary Jo Foley describes Positronic’s work as “all about machine-learning and data-mining.”

It’s worth keeping an eye on what eBay does next, from either a technological or diplomatic (e.g. relationships, collaborations) point of view. VMware is a good case study [1, 2, 3, 4], but it’s still ongoing. XenSource is a much better example of vendor capture.

“…[C]ut off Netscape’s air supply.”

Paul Maritz, Vice President, Microsoft (Now VMWare CEO)

Old Proof That Microsoft Dislikes Free/Open Source Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 7:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Microsoft: Get your grubby hands off education” — Unnamed

Darth Vader Microsoft
Picture by SubSonica

“Microsoft has a PhD scholarship grants program which specifically excludes Free Software (Notice: NOT “Open Source”), the GPL, Sun, Netscape and Apache,” says one of our informants. Microsoft disinterested in open source? That can’t be. Or can it? Microsoft just pretends to like open source in order to weaken it and to change it. Moreover, in education, Microsoft’s track record has been abysmal and distasteful, to say the very least. It even bribes professors.

“There is so much scientific work which uses Free Software,” says our informant “and needing students who would deserve a scholarship can’t afford to spend money in proprietary software… let alone the fact of the philosophy commonly shared by freedom of knowledge fostered by Free Software and the scientific exchange of knowledge.”

Here are the conditions of the grants program, for those who don’t believe it:

«7.2 The University shall ensure that the Resulting IPR does not include any Publicly Available Software, that is to say each of (i) any software that contains, or is derived in any manner (in whole or in part) from, any software that is distributed as free software, open source software or similar licensing or distribution models; and (ii) any software that requires as a condition of use, modification and/or distribution of such software that such software or other software incorporated into, derived from or distributed with such software (a) be disclosed or distributed in source code form; and/or (b) be licensed for the purpose of making derivative works; and/or (c) be redistributable at no charge. Publicly Available Software includes, without limitation, software licensed or distributed under any of the following licences or distribution models, or licences or distribution models similar to any of the following: (a) GNU’s General Public Licence (GPL) or Lesser/Library GPL (LGPL), (b) The Artistic Licence (e.g., PERL), (c) the Mozilla Public Licence, (d) the Netscape Public Licence (e) the Sun Community Source Licence (SCSL), (f) the Sun Industry Source Licence (SISL), and (g) the Apache Server Licence. »

Yes, Microsoft just loves open source.

Court house
When research meant sharing…

Microsoft SVP on GNU/Linux and .NET

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Quote at 11:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“As many of you may know, we’ve actually kind of broadened the product portfolio of Visual Studio, targeting all the way from the low end with students and hobbyists, kind of competitive in that Linux space, making sure that every developer has a copy of .NET and is trained in writing .NET solutions. [...] I think it will really help us in our competition with open source.”

Eric Rudder, Senior Vice President, Microsoft

Prompt says 'No'

Environmental Disinformation in the Microsoft Press

Posted in Apple, Deception, DRM, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 10:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


“THE Wintel treadmill has been responsible for sending countless boxes off to the dump and landfill,” claims a regular reader of ours. “Yet nary a peep about the role of a longer-paced replacement cycle on preserving the environment, even before the disaster known as Windows Vista.”

There is this new article which slams two major Microsoft competitors, Apple and Nintendo. It labels them offenders against the environment and it comes from a Web site where one of the writers is Rob Enderle, a Microsoft friend who negotiates his writings with Microsoft. “Bill’s minions seem to be able to play Greenpeace off against Apple,” says our reader.

“It’s about monitor waste.”Only two days ago, IDG (also with Microsoft connections [1, 2, 3]) pretty much daemonised environment protesters who had entered CES. It published the article “TV Zombies Kicked Out of CES.”. They are not “TV zombies”, they are activists, and in order to receive coverage — for their message to get across — they needed to put on a show. It’s about monitor waste. To say that they got “kicked out” is pretty much to show what sort of attitude the writer has towards people who try to fix society’s ills.

The real culprit here is not just Microsoft, but it is a major part of it. Here is the article “On Windows Vista, DRM, and new monitors.”

Microsoft and its partners want people to unnecessarily acquire new PCs and monitors (“to move the economy,” as the old saying goes, and drive up the revenue of Microsoft and Intel).

Speaking of DRM, there is a lot more to it. Microsoft, via its Wintel spokespeople (e.g. George Ou|ZDNet) smeared a researcher who had exposed this disaster while in the making. Way to handle the truth, Microsoft.

We ought to add some references for completeness. Microsoft in general is an environmental felon [1, 2] and Vista was repeatedly slammed by Greenpeace [3, 4, 5]. On the other hand, there is GNU/Linux (and Free software), which is undoubtedly doing a lot better [6-14].

[1] The Greenest Game Console

Microsoft’s Xbox 360, on the other hand, is a veritable power hog, sucking down 194 watts, rivaling Takahashi’s 42-inch plasma TV.

[2] Greenpeace Slams Microsoft, Nintendo

Greenpeace gave Microsoft and Nintendo abysmal rankings Tuesday on their efforts to phase out toxic chemicals from their game consoles.

[3] Greenpeace: Vista could trigger a deluge of electronic waste

Beau Baconguis of the Southeast Asia section of the environmental protection organization Greenpeace has warned that the introduction by Microsoft of its new operating system Windows Vista might as a side effect trigger a deluge of electronic waste (E-waste). “With Vista, Microsoft could effectively hasten the obsolesence of half the world’s PCs, especially in the absence of fully-functioning global take back systems for PCs,” Ms. Baconguis declared.

[4] Vista poses environmental dangers

Microsoft Vista could have serious environmental implications, experts have warned.

The latest version of Windows uses encryption methods that are incompatible with some older PCs. It also features high-end graphics capabilities that can only run on newer hardware.

[5] Vista gets slated – by the Greens

The Green Party has slammed Microsoft and it’s forthcoming operating system, Windows Vista, in a withering attack on the company’s “monopoly”.

Microsoft not only takes criticism for allegedly environmentally unfriendly policies, but for attacking civil liberties.

The party claims that “Vista gives Microsoft the ability to lock you out of your computer,” and that “Microsoft are determined not to play fair” in the video content market.

[6] Linux, Windows duke it out over energy efficiency

Linux appears to have an advantage at the moment: Companies are becoming increasingly open to adopting the platform both in the server room and on the desktop. Big-name vendors like IBM, HP, and Novell are giving the penguin a push in the datacenter, framing it as a flexible and energy-efficient platform. The fact that Linux offers greater virtualization opportunities than Windows (a sentiment recently expressed by the VMWare CTO Mendel Rosenblum) only strengthens the platform’s green standing.

[7] GNU/Linux is the most power-efficient OS on Intel hardware

According to a keynote given at OSCON, Intel’s PowerTOP application has allowed developers to get a close-up view of what is sucking power in a GNU/Linux system. Apparently they’ve gotten so much feedback and patches that they’ve been able to extend battery life by an hour since the first release, making GNU/Linux the best OS for power saving.

[8] Report: Linux, open source greener than Windows

A new report from the U.K. Office of Government Commerce about Open Source Software Trials in Government, has found that servers running Linux could combat the rising problem of e-waste because they last up to twice as long as machines running Windows.

[9] Going green

Linux is a free, open-source alternative to Windows that will happily run on older computers that struggle to run XP or Vista.

[10] Use GNU/Linux and help save the planet

Are Windows users, not by choice, the worst polluters of the planet relative to GNU/Linux? Well, not intentionally but the lifecycle of a machine running Windows must be shorter than that of a conscientious Linux user who can prevent that old 400MHZ Celeron PC with 128MBs of memory gathering dust in the corner from heading for the scrapheap.


The Chinese have a saying: the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Reusing a puffing and wheezing old computer by installing a minimal GNU/Linux distro and staving off the day when it trudges forlornly to the scrapheap is at least a baby step in the right direction.

[11] Consumer electronics vs. Planet Earth

several makers of Linux-based thin-client devices have begun touting their devices as environmentally-friendly alternatives to standard desktop PCs. Meanwhile, several companies are working to build Linux-based network computers for home users, including Zonbu, Linutop, and Thinteknix.

[12] Computers in schools are an environmental time-bomb

Schools are using computers as room heaters which then need to be cooled using expensive air conditioning and Modern thin-client networks could reverse this trend and are available from the Open Source community and vendors of proprietary software today.

[13] IBM Launches ‘Big Green Linux’ Initiative

The announcement was made at a press conference this morning at the opening of the LinuxWorld and Next Generation Data Center tradeshows in San Francisco. Supporting IBM in the event, which included announcements of new products, customers and services, were representatives from the Linux Foundation and Novell.

[14] Is ‘green’ software possible?

He suggests using software such as Puppy Linux, a low resource version of Linux, and Portable Apps, a service-based approach to delivering applications.

Microsoft: Use .NET to Fight GNU/Linux, Use Patents Against Clones (Mono)

Posted in Antitrust, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono at 8:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The previous post contained text that we prefer to present separately as it is important. Here is part of the presentation from Microsoft:

.NET patents

One of our readers says that the document “goes on to talk about how far they should license parts of .NET and how they will try to control clone through media formats.”

Here are the accompanying notes from Microsoft. These are not intended to be viewed outside Microsoft.

* The NET framework contains the latest developer platform innovation for the future, and it must be licensed like Windows. Subsets have gone about as far as they should go in the standards bodies, but we need a compact subset for phones and TVs. It was noted that we have to be careful because once the horses are out, they are out forever. At the right royalty, we can have the discussions around technology beyond this.
* Terminal services were acknowledged as having great potential; that in all that we do, if we win in the device/application class; that is all that matters; this doesn’t favor MSN, but ..
* It was raised if strategically we should invest heavily in children’s software; that the entire business might not be more than a couple hundred $M – mid that we might need to heavily discount the OS as we did in Czechoslovakia. It was mentioned that we could do this, but it might not be that key.
* The plan is that images, inks, and still formats will not go to Linux like some of our digital media formats will. This would mean that if someone downloaded images, it might violate patents. There was a discussion era new format where as one takes pictures, the pixel resolution compresses.

“It’s a nice indicator that Microsoft is well aware of how to use mono/.NET against Linux by standardizing the base, and patenting all the “good parts”,” says our reader.

“I saw that internally inside Microsoft many times when I was told to stay away from supporting Mono in public. They reserve the right to sue”

Robert Scoble, former Microsoft evangelist

Microsoft on “Maintaining Gap vs Linux” Using “Patents“, “Children’s Software“

Posted in Antitrust, Formats, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 8:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sign against dumping

THIS POST is the latest part of a series that has so far included:

Today we turn our attention to Comes vs Microsoft exhibit px07046 (2001) [PDF].

In page 29, the section “Maintaining Gap vs. Linux” appears. This part of the presentation talks about “children’s software” and patents in file formats as an anti-GNU/Linux weapon.

The presentation and accompanying notes make it clear that GNU/Linux is on Microsoft’s mind, e.g.:

- Linux offers a modular pool of commodity system and application OP that
eases competitive entry into targeted segments 
    - "Good enough" functionality, low cost and compatibility for key applications
    and hardware profiles threaten  corporate/educational/international desktops
    - Evolutionary development ecosystem that continues to Improve the basics

Here is what Microsoft wants:

    - Community development a la Linux
    - Content protection/DRM


    - Create a business model for shareware 

We often complain about CNET, so here is something to bear in mind:

6. Download.Com/CNET: RogersW to explore possible partnership with CNET around download.com.


* On a business model for shareware, the expectation is that it would raise quality, intent other people who are too small to set up the infrastructure that big sites already do today. Someone had spent 40 minutes talking with CNET about download.corn, and suggested we might want to partner with them (AI6): that 75-80% of their traffic is from download.corn, and that the head of that might be Halsey Minor (sp?) who is a friend of REmerson.

Regarding “Business Situation,” say the notes:

* Linux was noted as a big factor; a small share could grow quickly. While we have not seen material Linux clients, we are losing in academic areas, and professors using Linux are entrenched.

In a matter of days (or weeks) we will show how Microsoft manipulates Intel. From this exhibit we also extracted:

* Our 64 bit work with AMD has positive competitive effects, and the incompatibility of 64 bit platforms between AMD & Intel is significant. We should be patenting appropriately, this creates more influence with Intel than in the past. Our relationship with Intel is positive relative to the past 4 years.
* Two observations on Intel’s go to market are. 1) because of the marketing power behind Intel Inside, there is little margin for retailers to do much beyond this because the message would get lost; 2) we want them to favor Windows over Linux and they are imprecise there. Intel uses Intel Inside money to compete with AMD and lets OEMs promote scenarios; Intel has huge financial and legal obligations here It was noted that they are much less Linux focused than 1 year ago, and 2 reasons were given: 1) they were less positively disposed towards us than now; 2) they were playing other hands; there were legal and personality reasons why it was hard to play their hand with us. It was also added that now IBM has them scared and that Linux is double-edged for them relative to us; it could pull us into a closer relationship, or could alienate us.

More fear of GNU/Linux is expressed later:

* Linux was listed first not because of where it is now, but because of where it is going with their engineering inertia. RedmondLinux is a look-and-feel clone with installer and it is good; if we stand still they will catch us.

A lot of the text below needed to be extracted by hand due to the poor quality of the scans. Some of the less important slides we did not transcribe, but they are legible in the PDF.

Appendix: Comes vs. Microsoft – Exhibit px07046 (2001), as text

Read the rest of this entry »

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