07.16.09

Confirmed: Novell Puts Mono (and Moonlight) at Centre of the GNU/Linux Desktop

Posted in Debian, GNU/Linux, Java, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Search at 4:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“We could refresh the look and feel of the entire desktop with Moonlight”

Miguel de Icaza

Summary: Another new roundup of Mono news

YESTERDAY we wrote about Moonlight and Mono-based applications getting more tightly integrated. We now see it confirmed by Novell employees Miguel de Icaza and Jonathan Pobst [1 2], so our suspicions were correct from the very start. This is all part of Microsoft’s ambition to fill the Web with Silver Lie content and the desktop with .NET/WPF, which in turn imposes a patent tax on GNU/Linux and makes a poorer experience for GNU/Linux users. From ITPro news:

The first version of Silverlight was launched in April 2007, while version 2 arrived in 2008. It runs on Windows and Mac – and even Linux. The latter is developed by Novell in conjunction with Microsoft, a project known as Moonlight.

“[I]n conjunction with Microsoft,” says this article, but the Microsoft/Novell Web site calls it “Microsoft Moonlight”. It serves Microsoft’s interests.

Microsoft’s Anti-Java

In the blog post where Mini Microsoft suggests laying off 15k employees we also find this comment which reminds us why it’s good that Bing is dying. Microsoft uses Bing to smear .NET’s (and Mono’s) main competitor, Java. From the commenter:

Regarding Bing, I believe there are untrustworthy behaviours under the hood, specifically black list result filters. Try this searching for “transferhandler.export to clipboard swing”. Google finds about 100 results all related to Java. Bing finds exactly two results. One is my comment on this subject elsewhere and the other is in French. How can it be possible without deletion of “things Java” ?

This is not surprising because Microsoft applies the same type of treatment to all major competitors of Microsoft, GNU/Linux included. See our previous posts on the subject, e.g.:

Attacks on Stallman

For the past fortnight or so (shortly after Stallman’s official statement on Mono and C#), Stallman has come under attack from many directions, usually from defenders of Mono or users of Mono (including Canonical employees). He is still not impressed by Microsoft’s “Community Promise” (CP) [1, 2, 3] and this makes him no friends. Stefano Forenza wrote about these attacks on Stallman only to be called “misguided” by Caonical’s CTO.

The first meme being directed to Richard Stallman for citing ‘eMacs virgins’ in a speech and the other one only gods knows whom.

While the latter is just is yet another generalist campaign (like the infamous “hey, even double click is patented!”) the first is a frontal attack to Richard Stallman as a person: knives coming out all of a sudden.

Even the Canonical CTO blogged about it.

While the video isn’t available yet, I have big doubts there is something even remotely offensive in such Stallman talk. It’s very easy to take feminism as an excuse, as many people (not just girls) will jump in no-matter-what without even knowing what it’s being talked about.

The new method in place seems to be that if you support Stallman and support his stance on Mono, then you’re also a chauvinist. It’s not said explicitly, but it is being implied that to be associated with Stallman is also to accept his sometimes-tactless humour/modest proposals.

Sam Varghese correctly points out that Mono’s most vocal defender inside Debian is himself quite chauvinistic. That person is Josselin Mouette.

Mouette, it may be recalled, is the developer who had posted what were considered sexist posts to the Debian project mailing list meant for important announcements for developers.

(Mono is an open source implementation of parts of Microsoft’s .NET development environment; many sections of the FOSS community fear that Mono may prove to be a patent trap down the line as .NET is totally Microsoft technology. Recent statements have done little to dispel this impression.)

I asked the Debian leader Steve McIntyre a few queries about the Mono change and he, as always, sent back straightforward replies. McIntyre, I may add, has always been open and upfront in dealing with iTWire.

But after Free Software Foundation chief Richard Stallman called the Debian move risky – he based the statement on the inference that a decision on including Mono in the Debian default install had already been taken – Debian spokesman Alexander Reichle-Schmehl decided that the project had to speak up and did so by trying to explain things through a post on his blog.

For those who have not been following the whole Mono kerkuffle (a lot has happened recently), here is an excellent summary, which concludes thusly:

Well there are issues around Mono, including patents. This means that some people, myself included now refuse to use it. Those that are pro-mono don’t seem to understand exactly why everyone isn’t shouting hosannas over their projects. Indeed one of them classified Tomboy as ‘An Exciting Program’, which stunned me. Tomboy? Exciting? I didn’t think so.

It is “exciting” for Microsoft, that’s for sure. Its APIs spread to the competitors’ platforms, which makes Microsoft more powerful. It does not bother Novell.

“Our partnership with Microsoft continues to expand.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

“[The partnership with Microsoft is] going very well insofar as we originally agreed to co-operate on three distinct projects and now we’re working on nine projects and there’s a good list of 19 other projects that we plan to co-operate on.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

IRC: #boycottnovell @ FreeNode: July 15th, 2009

Posted in IRC Logs at 4:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.

Update on Novell and Microsoft’s Virtualisation Pact

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Ron Hovsepian, Virtualisation, VMware, Windows, Xen at 4:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Umbrella

Summary: Bits from the press about Novell and virtualisation for the most part

MANY people may not remember this, but Ron Hovsepian admitted giving power to Microsoft in the datacentres. It was part of the deal that Novell should permit Windows to run as a host and SUSE usually be a guest. Novell was the feeble party in this relationship and by signing that notorious patent deal, Novell sort of passed its inferiority onto other GNU/Linux distributors.

Moreover, it cannot be stressed strongly enough that Citrix bought XenSource only to advance Windows for the most part. Here is a new article from The Register:

Citrix Systems and Microsoft are co-mingling some of their virtual desktop technologies. But Redmond stopped short of endorsing the XenClient bare-metal PC hypervisor that chip maker Intel and Citrix are working on for delivery later this year.

Also new from The Register is an article about FastScales:

Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is not yet supported, and neither are other hypervisors, such as XenServer from Citrix Systems or Hyper-V from Microsoft, and this could be a problem. FastScale said back in April – when VMware launched its ESX Server 4.0 hypervisor and its related vSphere 4.0 tools – that it would support these by the end of the year.

Here is the Boston press about Novell:

Matt Rosoff, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft, a Kirkland, Wash., firm that specializes in tracking Microsoft, said that by creating a rival operating system, Google is leading with its chin.

“I don’t see why Google has to get into this business,’’ Rosoff said. “It seems like they’re waving a red flag directly at Microsoft’s core business.’’

Microsoft has crushed a host of erstwhile technology titans that posed similar head-on threats – browser maker Netscape and networking software company Novell Inc., for example, he said.

Matt Rosoff would be biased because of his professional focus and location (Kirkland, just like Gates), so by “crushed” he probably means broke the law to put competitors out of business and thus obtain a monopoly, then pay fines for the crimes and benefit from the outcome of the crime (financially) over the years. The article above is noteworthy because of another new article (from Alibaba) about VMware and Microsoft. Microsoft executives are pretty much running VMware right now. The article states:

But Maritz knew how to play hardball: He made decisions that helped vanquish past Microsoft rivals, including Lotus, Novell and Netscape.

“Play hardball” or break the law? How the press attempts to soften the seriousness of crimes over time. We see it constantly, even days ago. As Comes vs Microsoft exhibits show, Paul Maritz participated even in vandalism. There are many more examples, some of which are yet to come.

“We are going to cut off their air supply.”

Paul Maritz, former Microsoft Vice President, referring to Netscape

Microsoft Propaganda (PR), Embargo, and New Convictions for AstroTurfing

Posted in Fraud, Marketing, Microsoft, Office Suites at 3:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Referee

Summary: Microsoft manages the press in order to hype up Office 2010 and it can be fined severely for AstroTurfing now that laws and enforcement are in place

AS WE pointed out some days ago, Microsoft is likely to be breaking the law when it sends full-time workers to promote Microsoft products in other people's blogs, without disclosure. As the links at the bottom show, our encounter is not an isolated incident and as part of “perception management” [1, 2] Microsoft is looking to control how journalists cover Office 2010. It uses embargoes to limit what they know about the product and how it gets covered. One person spilled the beans on what Microsoft did for Office 2010 coverage.

Well, perhaps. It’s only Office, after all. But then the official Microsoft twitter account @MicrosoftEMEA twittered a link – with a smiley – to the embargo breaker’s copy. A hack twittered back, saying “Thanks for applauding someone breaking the embargo” only to get a direct message saying “I’m not sure if you taking the Michael? :)”. A similar tweet from me got a “me, “official”,??? I couldn’t possible endorse that kind of behaviour.”

Hard to see as MS holding up its end of the embargo deal.

Yes.

Witness how to the so-called “reliable press” actually works. It is an orgy of influence, selling people “perception” (or selling privileged audiences to corporations). That would be Microsoft's PR department. Returning to the subject of illegal AstroTurfing, according to the following report (there are many others), Microsoft can probably be fined millions or even billions for its practices.

The online journal gave a chatty account of a problem-free face lift. “You will never regret it,” the patient wrote.

But the seemingly satisfied customer actually was an employee of the firm behind the Lifestyle Lift, writing as part of a company campaign to plant plugs for the procedure online, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said in announcing a $300,000 settlement with the company Tuesday.

His office said the settlement appeared to be one of the first to address so-called astroturf marketing, or creating a bogus grassroots buzz about a product.

People should complain about Microsoft because it is doing the same thing at a massive scale and there is plenty of evidence. Andrew Cuomo may be known for his anti-USENET stance, but he would at least be valuable if he could also put an end to Microsoft AstroTrufing (or “astroturf marketing” as the article above calls it… our server administrator calls it “Internet Astroturfer”).

Related:

“I’m a huge fan of guerrilla marketing.”

Joe Wilcox, Microsoft Fan

$100,000,000 in Marketing (Imposed Ignorance) Bought Microsoft Nothing in Search

Posted in Google, Marketing, Microsoft, Search at 3:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The Bing Experiment has failed based on simple arithmetic, despite breaking of the rules by Microsoft

THE other day we wrote about Bing failing, only to be visited by a Microsoft employee whose job is to shill (without disclosure) and police the image of Bing [1, 2]. Some of the press is literally paid by Bing in order to praise it, but there are honest new reports coming right now, such as this one from Business Insider:

Survey Confirms: Bing Will Bomb

Analysts are positively gushing about Microsoft’s Bing. Initial Comscore numbers showed a pop in Bing traffic! Some observers have gone so far as to suggest that Bing will usher in a whole new era in the search war between Google and Microsoft.*

Keep dreaming.

We have noticed a pattern of what seems like AstroTurfing in the comments of each negative article about Bing (The Inquirer and WebPro for example).

As Search Engine Land puts it, comScore shows that “Bing Barely Gaines Share In June 2009.” So even a debut filled with advertising had almost no effect and it only managed to eclipse the launch of Wolfram Alpha.

Now a third major ratings service has released search engine share figures for June 2009, and like the others, they show that Bing made only a tiny gain in the wake of its launch and major ad campaign.

Lastly, adds one person:

In a report, Douglas Anmuth, an analyst for Barclays Capital, wrote he had been expecting Bing’s share to come in between 10 percent and 11 percent. He said the comScore data was good news to investors of Google and Yahoo concerned about Bing’s initial impact.

So here ends Microsoft’s latest annual attempt to enter search, for which Microsoft broke the rules as the links at the bottom show.

“It’s not the first entry for Microsoft, They do this about once a year.”

Google CEO, regarding Bing

Related:

Boycott Melco

Posted in Deals, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Patents at 2:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft again claims to be ‘owning’ Linux and Melco says “yes”

Microsoft’s patent racket has just hit another company, which sold out to Microsoft without a fight, just like Novell. It pays Microsoft for Linux products. From Reuters:

Microsoft Corp. and Melco Holdings Inc., parent company of Buffalo Inc. and Buffalo Group (Melco Group), announced that they have entered into an agreement that will provide Melco Group’s customers with patent coverage for their use of technologies running Linux and other related open source software. Specifically, the patent covenants apply to Buffalo-branded Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices, which run Linux, and Buffalo-branded routers, which also run Linux. Although the contents of the agreement have not been disclosed, the parties indicate that the only financial consideration in this agreement is royalties paid by Melco Group to Microsoft.

This is about Microsoft being anti-competitive (see ECIS complaint [PDF] and full text), this time using software patents. It is safe to guess that Microsoft did not even name any patents. This is a form of extortion, so Microsoft has not changed one bit.

“Do you feel like you’re screwing a porcupine and you’re one prick against thousands?” the OSCON audience member asked Ramji. Ramji politely replied: “It takes time to change and I knew that I’d be unpopular when I took this job…”

Microsoft: Not worried about open source patents

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