04.29.09

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Hewlett-Packard: You Will Pay Microsoft for Any Laptop You Buy

Posted in Dell, GNU/Linux, HP, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat, SLES/SLED at 5:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Refreshing ice cream
Illusion of choice

Summary: Hewlett-Packard supports and offers only the Microsoft-taxed version of GNU/Linux to prospective users

H-P is repeating its older mistakes. For a little bit of background (as this has become repetitive) see:

It’s a little similar when it comes to Dell, albeit nowhere as severe. H-P is still playing for Microsoft and now it gives an illusion of choice, whereby Microsoft gets paid no matter what operating system the buyer chooses.

Reuters was probably first with this report which soon circulated.

The ProBook offers users a number of new features, including an optional Linux-based operating system pre-installed — Novell Inc’s SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 — for those seeking an alternative to the dominant Microsoft Corp Windows platform.

This was also covered in some other sites which neglect to mention the fact that SLE* 11 is a Microsoft-taxed distribution, which is obviously filled with Mono and other Microsoft-like software.

According to InfromationWeek, this is unprecedented for the following reason:

The laptops are available with Windows Vista, which can be downgraded to Windows XP. In addition, buyers can choose Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 as an alternative to the Microsoft platform. It’s the first time HP has offered preinstalled Linux on a mainstream business laptop.

OStatic claims:

Notably, HP is offering SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 as an operating system choice on the ProBooks, in addition to Windows Vista and XP. HP’s arch-rival Dell is also continuing to ship portable computers with Linux installed, and is seeing many users satisfied with Linux. Can Linux remain a fixture on portable systems?

But this is not “Linux”, it’s Ballnux. It’s what Microsoft wants GNU/Linux systems to become — just another cash cow for Microsoft. Even if one erases and replaces SUSE, the Microsoft tax still exists; and moreover, support from H-P is probably then voided.

“Novell takes the role Microsoft requires and segregates the crowd (“legal” versus “illegal”).”To Microsoft, SLE* is to be used where Windows has already lost for sure (e.g. mission-critical Red Hat servers or GNU/Linux desktop loyalists), so they try to shove SUSE in these niches. Then, they indoctrinate the public, call vendors like Red Hat “patent pirates”, and try to fill that area with ‘IP’-riddled SUSE.

If there is anything to be learned from the copyright cartel, it is that their common strategy (e.g. more recently against a book reselling Web site) goes like this: they first call it something evil, then they attack, and they also offer a so-called ‘legal’ remedy (like SUSE in this case, offering “peace of mind”).

Microsoft is essentially trying to change the rules of the market it competes in. It’s basically Microsoft spin to the extreme. Rather than describe its practices as inherently anti-competitive it daemonises GNU/Linux, describing it as some kind of a “criminal”/”thief” and then attacks it. Novell takes the role Microsoft requires and segregates the crowd (“legal” versus “illegal”).

One of our regulars who agrees said that he “meant to focus in on that particular point. The idea that Novell — who relies on the Microsoft vouchers entirely — to remain profitable is going to act in any way that Microsoft does not want is ludicrous.”

We did some rough calculations to arrive at an estimate that Microsoft paid Novell’s wages for half a year about 8 months ago. That’s how dependent Novell has become.

“Our partnership with Microsoft continues to expand.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

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