Microsoft’s Bing Spams Web Sites with Referrer SPAM and Net Applications Lies Again

Posted in America, FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Search at 3:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Net Applications

Summary: Grey- and black-hat behaviour from Microsoft and its surveying allies

THE FOLLOWING bad behaviour should not be entirely surprising because it’s merely inherited from the previous public identity of "Bing", which is just Live/MSN renamed and rewrapped.

Bing Continues With Fake Referrers: What Part Of Stop Don’t They Understand?

For over two years now, Microsoft’s search engine has been generating fake information that can make site owners think they’re getting strange search traffic (including porn traffic), when they are not. It’s time for this to come to an end.

The culprit? Microsoft’s “crawler,” the software that visits web pages across the web that go into the search engine. The crawler is known as MSNBot, from the days when the recently renamed Bing search engine was known as MSN Search. When that crawler gathers a web page, it sometimes leaves behind “referrer” information in a web site’s logs — fake referrer information, that is.

There are many other serious issues with Microsoft’s search, including antitrust issues. Regarding those “Screw Google” meetings (part of a trend [1, 2, 3, 4]), which Microsoft is now denying, Simon Phipps writes:

Of course, every company is using its spending power to lobby in DC so while this alleged activity is completely in character, I fully expect that other businesses are engaging actively in similar anti-competitive lobbying in both Washington and Brussels. I heard rumours that certain Oracle competitiors were encouraging the US and EU authorities to engage in long investigations of the Sun acquisition, for example. No data, but it’s to be expected. The best solution? Bringing it out into the daylight and requiring all lobbying activity to be documented.

Looking at a global scope, Microsoft’s chance of advancing is rather pitiful. We previously wrote quite a lot about how Microsoft cites US-only figures to give the illusion of potency. But US-only data is bound to magnify the dominance of Windows and Microsoft by almost an order of magnitude (when measured in terms of relative market share to GNU/Linux, for instance). According to one survey where there is no Microsoft money on the table, Microsoft’s global market share is only about 3% in search (and apparently declining, still).

Worldwide Microsoft and Yahoo combined grabbed 8.42 percent of the search market in August, a decline of 0.35 percent from July (8.77%). Google remains then leader in the global search market with 89.57 percent in August (89.23% in July).

Now, that paints a totally different picture, does it not?

Tony Manco drew attention to this, adding that “Net Applications lies again.” We wrote about this subject extensively. Google is not a customer of Net Applications, unlike Opera, Microsoft, and Apple. “Net Applications made some post today stating that Bing and Vista 7 are growing,” adds Tony Manco. Sounds promotional, does it not? Read the following to see why it is not surprising:

Given that Microsoft commands only about 3% of the search queries (globally), what is this latest nonsense from Net Applications? Is it an advertisement for their client, Microsoft? comScore does the same thing after signing a deal with Microsoft [1, 2, 3]. “The catch is that on the search engine pie chart you can see Google has about 75%, everybody knows that those values are US-only,” writes Manco. “Same applies to their horrible OS share numbers,” he adds. When will people stop citing Net Applications numbers then?

“It’s US-only and they want people to believe it’s global,” concludes Manco. Over at TG Daily, Microsoft sockpuppet Andrew Thomas is already using the latest Net Applications data to slander GNU/Linux by saying that Vista 7 exceeds its market share. They lie with sincerity, always.

Ballmer's slide on Macs and GNU/Linux
Steve Ballmer’s presentation slide
from 2009 shows GNU/Linux as bigger than Apple on the desktop (globally)

ODF Gains Ground in Denmark, Endorsed by Hungarian Standards Institution

Posted in Europe, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard, Windows at 2:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hungarian flag

Summary: The latest success stories of ODF include a hospital in Denmark and legislative moves in Hungary

Since Microsoft was unable to properly support ODF [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7], Sun continues to make available an ODF plug-in for Microsoft Office. And alas, nonetheless, someone in Wikipedia has already bothered to insert the claim that Microsoft Office 2010 will support ODF, without any citation as proof. In Twitter, writes one person: “Ha ha nice WIndows 7 ships with ODF support inside of WordPad! I wonder how borked it will be on writing out”

A hospital in Denmark seems to have paid close attention because rather than comply with forced upgrades and pseudo-support of ODF, it has decided to obtain the plug-in from Sun and it can now exchange data as ODF. The Open Source Observatory and Repository has these details:

The Danish Århus University Hospital in Risskov, a long-time user of OpenOffice, says there are no problems at all exchanging ODF-based documents with other hospitals using Microsoft’s proprietary Office 2003.

The trick is to have Microsoft users install the free Sun Microsystems ODF plugin. “Once that is installed, there are no more problems in exchanging ODF-based text documents”, says Jens Christian Damgaard one of the hospital’s IT administrators.

Recommendations of Sun’s ODF plug-in have become commonplace. It is better to avoid what Microsoft claims to be its support of ODF.

“It is better to avoid what Microsoft claims to be its support of ODF.”Considering what Microsoft did in Denmark, it would also be reasonable for this hospital to follow the footsteps of some French hospitals which migrated to OpenOffice.org successfully. It’s about freedom (control), cost savings, and fidelity/preservation.

ODF has already been made an Hungarian national standard and Rob Weir claims that ODF is now “endorsed by the Hungarian Standards Institution as a Hungarian National Standard.” Among those passing on the message, there are many people that include Bob Sutor, Weir’s colleague. There are no additional pieces of information about this yet, just the quick word from IBM.

More informative pages about ODF continue to appear, whereas OOXML seems to lead to backlash. Nessuno has found this new call for questions about Microsoft Office. The Wall Street Journal published many that include:

Can anyone tell me when MSFT will produce a genuinely compatible Mac version of Office instead of buggy, crippled version that endlessly nags about its shortcomings with incessant messages about compatibility, macros, etc.

It should be an embarrassment for a company like Microsoft to produce something like Mac Office that always seems like it is going to fall apart just when you must depend on it. With all of its much advertised innovation capability, why can’t MSFT just fix Office right?

For those of us who use Office daily, it is a source of chronic irritation that never fails to fail to satisfy.

And another one:

Microsoft’s Office and Madoff’s Office have had a good reputation and will have a similar future.

And another one:

When will Microsoft *fully* support the Open Document Format (ODF) worldwide standard in Office and drop the Microsoft Office OpenXML?

And another one:

Two Questions: 1) Summarize why we should continue to use Microsoft Office instead of “Cloud Computing” and 2) What is the upgrade cost for office from Office 2003?

And another one:

When will Word support ODF in a way that will interoperate properly with other ODF-based word processors?

And another one:

Will Microsoft ever create a version of MS office that is interoperable in both directions?

And another one:

Tell me WHY I need to switch from office 2003 to 2007? Is there a significant benefit to the average user? I personally have no desire to learn an all new interface if there is no real benefit. My company never moved off of XP and is also holding back on Office 2007.

And one last tidbit:

Is it true that the Office 2007 Interface change was so that MS could
use a patented technology to distingush MS Office from OpenOffice.

Nessuno asks: “Could it be that cash cow #1 is feeling the heat?”

“It’s a Simple Matter of [Microsoft’s] Commercial Interests!“

Microsoft on OOXML

Patents Roundup: Software Patents Seen as Harmful to Innovation, Tuxera Discussion Continues

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 2:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bright idea with clipping path
Lit when software patents are annulled.

Summary: Miscellaneous news and views about software patents

SOME interesting new articles have appeared which can be used as ‘ammunition’ against the false argument that patents promote innovation. The first one is this:

Yet Another Study Shows That Patents Lead To Sub-Optimal Innovation


A few months back, two professors, Andrew W. Torrance and Bill Tomlinson, published a paper on a simulation game they ran to test out some of these hypotheses. A bunch of folks submitted this back when it first came out, but I wanted to spend some time looking over the details before writing about it. Basically, Torrance and Tomlinson create a nice simulation system that really does a good job simulating the various models for innovation with patents or in a more collaborative world. And, what they found in the simulation they ran supports what has actually happened in the real world, according to the research we’ve discussed in the past:

These results indicate that current patent systems (that is, systems combining patent and open source protection for inventions) may generate significantly lower rates of innovation (p<0.05), productivity (p<0.001), and social utility (p<0.002) than does a commons system. This suggests that current patent systems may significantly deter, rather than spur, technological innovation compared to a commons system.

Specifically, the results compared three separate models: one where everything gets patented, one where it’s a hybrid model with both patents and a common, and one that was pure commons. The results are pretty striking. In the pure commons (no patents) world, they ended up with more innovation, significantly greater productivity and massively more social utility.

Timothy B. Lee, a longtime critic of the patent system, also wrote the following essay:

The Case against Literary (and Software) Patents


Imagine the outcry if the courts were to legalize patents on English prose. Suddenly, you could get a “literary patent” on novels employing a particular kind of plot twist, on news stories using a particular interview technique, or on legal briefs using a particular style of argumentation. Publishing books, papers, or articles would expose authors to potential liability for patent infringement. To protect themselves, writers would be forced to send their work to a patent lawyer before publication and to re-write passages found to be infringing a literary patent.


The patent at issue in Bilski is not a software patent; it is a “business method” patent that claims a strategy for hedging against financial risk. But the case is being closely watched for its effects on the software patent issue. Patented business methods are often implemented in software; for example, a key decision on the patentability of software, State Street Bank v. Signature Financial Group, involved a software-implemented business method. And the standard articulated by the Federal Circuit in Bilski, known as the “machine-or-transformation test” has been used by the Patent Office in recent months to invalidate several software patents. The Supreme Court could ratify the Federal Circuit’s mildly restrictive standard, or it could articulate its own standard that is either more or less restrictive of patents on software.

Reiterating that software cannot be patented would be a dramatic step, but it would be the right one. Supporters of software patents insist that barring software patents would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. But it’s not clear there was a baby in there to begin with. Empirical research suggests that software patents are dramatically less effective at promoting innovation than other categories of patents, producing more litigation and smaller revenues for innovators.

The Inquirer covered this too.

Most software companies infringe patents


In a report, Cato denizen Timothy Lee compared patents on software and business processes to patents on English prose.


Since patent protection was first extended to software in the 1980s, it is difficult or impossible to create any significant software without infringing one or more patents. With tens of thousands of new software patents granted every year, and no effective indexing method for software patents, there is no cost-effective way to determine which patents cover any piece of software.

Relating this to Free software and Linux, the latest major issue is to do with Tuxera [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. One person raises the point thatThere are numerous open source file systems available, why do they persist with FAT? it’s a horrid file system to begin with.

Another person argues thatIt will be interesting to see how MS will be stabbing these guys in the back, as they are wont to do.

Rainer Weikusat writes:

It has the technical advantage of being really
simple-minded and that’s something many people
from the embedded swamp will be happy about,
because this means they have some chances of
understanding it. At the base of FAT sits a
so-called ‘ressource-map allocator’ which is
one of the oldest and most primitive memory
management schemes in existence, And who
would want to throw all this DOS-code away
for as long as there is still somebody willing
to buy it again?
After all, products are sold by devising
innovative marketing strategies, especially
since ‘the customer’ isn’t going to understand
anything about them anyway, not the least be-
cause technical information is usually shot
down by pointing out that anything requiring
more thought than ‘the cavemen interface’
(“point&grunt”, term coined by E. Moglen)
is just to complicated for the average
cavemen (who still spends a sizable amount
of his time with roasting raw meat on open
fires and trying to make sexually useful
contacts while doing so).

In response to this, claims another commenter:

Yes, it appears most technology marketers take Scott Adams’ advice and aim their products at the “Stupid Poor” market segment, with a view to eventually following Microsoft’s lead and breaking into the “Stupid Rich.” What I don’t understand is why they get so annoyed when people from the other two market segments try to buy/use their products. Does the ‘smart money’ have a different exchange rate?

In a more reasonable market, the chosen file system would be something like ext3, which nobody claims (or enforces) patent rights over.

« Previous Page « Previous Page Next entries »

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts