01.11.10

Latest Vista 7 Failures and Microsoft Dumping

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OpenOffice, Security, Vista 7, Windows at 11:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: An extensive look at our accumulation of news from the past week, focusing mostly on Vista 7 and Microsoft’s hijack of the education channels

THE reality behind Vista 7 requires further inspection this week. We managed to find just one headline about “Vista”, compared to at least 14 clusters of headlines about “Windows 7″ (in Google News). They have successfully buried the “Vista” name, even tough Vista 7 is just Vista in a new gown. It’s the “Real Mojave”. Ubersoft.net has just published nice new cartoons that have fun with this truism. “Windows” is called “ND” and part of it says:

King, are you still running Nifty Doorways Xceptional product? Why haven’t you upgraded to ND 7?

Microsoft’s dumping tactics are rather effective (if not illegal) and Microsoft is selling a heavily-crippled version of Vista 7 to fill up cheap computers with Windows, then upsell.

Apart from shameless promotion from Microsoft boosters like Shane O'Neill (same Vista 7 ‘informecial’ here, for increased readership), Microsoft announced that it is miserable enough to almost give Vista 7 away for market share gains. “Upgrade Incentives” is what it’s called and it is the same with Office. EDGI against OpenOffice.org is not enough [1, 2, 3], apparently.

Microsoft’s long list of dead products already included Microsoft Works, which is officially dead now based on this report. One of the new plans is to combat Free software using the *Spark programmes [1, 2], which target developers, students, and businesses (under separate names containing “Spark”, which is like cigarettes in the sense that it’s a free sample that gets users addicted and dependent on the “dealer” for a long time to come).

Here is Microsoft giving special honour to a BizSpark partner at CES:

CES: How to get mentioned in a Steve Ballmer Microsoft keynote

[...]

Turns out Graphic.ly is part of Microsoft’s BizSpark One program, which provides mentorship, free hosting for a few years and developer support to accelerate the growth of startups. Companies apply to join the program.

Our reader Ryan tells us that Microsoft is now offering free Windows Server even to some high school students (under the *Spark programme). They try to get them “addicted” to it before they finish school. Speaking of schools, there is a lot more Microsoft indoctrination in them, with evidence that we found in the past week under:

1. Boost your skills

Easter Seals Crossroads is Indiana’s only Microsoft Accessibility Resource Center. The partnership between Easter Seals Crossroads and Microsoft allows training participants to learn more about how Microsoft Windows can be better utilized by individuals with disabilities.

2. Microsoft teams up with community college for certification

Microsoft has teamed up with community colleges in eight states, including North Carolina, to offer free vouchers to take the exam at various designated “certiport centers.”

3. ‘Real life’ video

4. Tech School Shuts Down, Students Without Diplomas

Handy won’t get his diploma because ComputerTraining.edu went out of business last week. In operation since the early 1990s, the school operated 22 locations in 14 states. It called itself “America’s Largest Microsoft IT Academy.”

5. Investigation widens into computer school closure

Students paid more than $13,000 for a six-month Microsoft course, which is nearly three times more expensive than an identical certification program at a local community college.

6. Microsoft working with Irving ISD students

Irving ISD reports that 37 high school students from MacArthur High School recently visited the Microsoft campus in Las Colinas to participate in a contest.

7. NECC offers Microsoft Excel

The business, math and technology division at Northeast Community College in Norfolk has scheduled another Microsoft Excel class to begin in January.

Needless to say, all the above are cases where Microsoft is controlling or trying to control people’s education. Here is an opinion/update about the situation in Danish schools where Microsoft was accused of using a “scare campaign” against OpenOffice.org:

Unfortunately we don’t know how many students complained, how much influence came from teachers who resisted change the way old farts do, how much influence Microsoft’s local sales team brought to bear, or even whether there were any students and parents who applauded the decision to save a fortune in licensing costs. What I can definitely say for my part is that the kids I’ve had contact with in Central Scotland, although not reputedly the most intelligent in Europe, can easily use OpenOffice with practically no instruction whatsoever. And if they’re familiar at all with MS Office then it’s even more likely that they could intuitively move to OpenOffice. I’m sure the Scandinavians are just as bright. On the “Another Ubuntu Blogspot” article, one post by Aaron Wilson summed this up: “They gotta be smarter than American students. That said if you know how to use Office and you can’t figure out how to use OpenOffice you are a retard.” His words, not mine.

Iowa schools are going to receive compensation from Microsoft. They will hopefully use all this money to acquire hardware for GNU/Linux, or even services from firms that support a GNU/Linux deployment. Buying from the same company that committed crimes would make no sense whatsoever. From the news:

Representatives from Iowa school districts are currently strategizing how to best utilize their shares of the more than $60 million they stand to receive from the settlement of a lawsuit against Microsoft Corp. The money is a portion of a $180 million settlement of the lawsuit, which alleged that Microsoft overcharged Iowa consumers and businesses for computer products.

We previously wrote about Microsoft and Iowa in:

Watch the minister of education Bill Gates earning a computer science chair at the University of Washington. This new article from NPR (which receives funding from Gates by the way) had the following things to say some days ago:

“What this nation should be investing in is jobs that create other jobs and that’s what technology jobs do,” says Ed Lazowska, who holds the Bill and Melinda Gates chair in computer science at the University of Washington.

Gates is controlling the education system by putting money in it. We wrote about this subject in:

  1. Bill Gates Puts in a Million to Ratify His Role as Education Minister
  2. How the Gates Foundation is Used to Ensure Children Become Microsoft Clients
  3. More Dubious Practices from the Gates Foundation
  4. Microsoft Builds Coalitions of NGOs, Makes Political and Educational Changes
  5. Microsoft’s EDGI in India: Fighting GNU/Linux in Education
  6. Microsoft’s Gates Seeks More Monopolies
  7. Gates Foundation Funds Blogs to Promote Its Party Line
  8. Microsoft Bribes to Make Education Microsoft-based
  9. Lobbyists Dodge the Law; Bill Gates Lobbies the US Education System with Another $10 Million
  10. Gates Investments in Education Criticised; Monsanto (Gates-Backed) Corruption Revisited

The Abramoff-Gates visas also play a role in US education and this from Seattle ought to make some people’s blood boil:

KUOW: State college enrollment up after new H-1B visa law

[..]

Many Microsoft employees are benefiting from a law passed last year that makes foreigners who are here on H-1B visas, and their families, eligible for in-state tuition at public universities.

Now, we hardly wrote a single thing about Microsoft’s presence at CES (other than the Guardian's interview/advert). The truth is that there was hardly anything to write about. IDG chose the headline: “Why the Microsoft-HP Tablet Is a Big Disappointment”

That was their key product to be shown and dazzle the public. Many others who are saying the same thing include:

The Inquirer: “Microsoft flatters to deceive”

MICROSOFT’S BIG HURRAH ended up being a bit of a damp squib after power cuts, a “blown tube” and ultimately a lack of anything really new to show.

Geeks.co.uk: “CES 2010 – Microsoft’s Plans Fail To Excite”

The first we’ll look at is Microsoft. A giant in the world of computing, you’d expect the technical aspects of a Microsoft Keynote presentation to go off without a hitch. In fact, the presentation began with a power glitch that held up proceedings, and the announcements from Microsoft were similarly disappointing.

This “power glitch” is also mentioned here:

So Steve Ballmer, the Microsoft chief executive, can be forgiven for feeling mightily aggrieved that his opening address last week will be remembered for the wrong reasons: a power cut, a crashed computer and bored and angry online hecklers.

So, what’s in Microsoft’s future anyway? Can they become a security vendor for GNU/Linux when Windows is no longer used as much? GNU/Linux keeps gaining on the desktop and Microsoft offers security not as a characteristic of the O/S but as a premium package, which is ridiculous of course. The Seattle Times lists and answers the following question: “I read your article regarding the need for anti-virus in Windows 7. Any thoughts on why Microsoft didn’t make its free anti-virus tool part of Windows 7?”

Good question. Microsoft is basically selling a product without the security that Microsoft knows is required. And many people still wonder why Microsoft is in such a mess, where large security vendors too are unable to keep track and name of all the Windows malware.

Vista 7 is still not secure. We wrote about this in the posts below.

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3 Comments

  1. David Gerard said,

    January 12, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Gravatar

    As I keep calling Starter: Windows 7 Dumbass Edition™.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Or Bundle Edition. They just get PCs saddled with it as an ‘appetiser’ with a Windows advert as permanent wallpaper.

    your_friend Reply:

    That would make the other versions Bigger Dumbass, Professional Dumbass and Ultimate Dumbass. In the Windows world, the more you pay, the worse it gets.

    We should not blame the victims of monopoly abuse for being stuck with Windows when they buy a new computer. Microsoft’s plunging bottom line proves that PJ was right all along, people are not as dumb as Microsoft needs them to be.

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