02.17.10

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Windows Phone 7 Falls on Its Face and Microsoft Still Wants Patent Royalties on Linux Phones

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, LG, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Samsung, Windows at 5:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Zune Mayday

Via OpenBytes

Summary: Microsoft disappoints many people with its announcement of a product that shows little progress; Microsoft’s plan B still relies on the Novell-inspired patent deals

“Microsoft made a phone, and I hate it already,” says this headline from The Register. It’s just an exercise in rebranding with “7″ because Windows Mobile in inherently poor.

Microsoft’s next mobile platform will probably make for nice mobile phones, but for those of us hankering after a mobile computer it’s just going to be annoying.

The former editor of Microsoft Watch, Joe Wilcox, is not impressed by Windows Phone 7, either.

“So what does Microsoft do to gain some more attention? On the face of it, fake hype.”Android and Linux (MeeGo and LiMo for example) are actually quite dominant in the news from the big event called Mobile World Congress and Apple is pretty much absent, except in its closed, echo chamber events. So what does Microsoft do to gain some more attention? On the face of it, fake hype.

Earlier this month we showed what appeared like fake "leaks" whose purpose was to create Windows Phone 7 hype. In order to increase audience size, Microsoft is possibly producing some more fake “leaks” and right now it claims that its site is down due to “unexpected” demand. It’s hard to believe that Microsoft lacks server capacity.

“Due to the unexpected number of click-thru’s to the Windows phone 7 Series website it’s decided to crash, will have it back up asap,” he said on his Twitter account about two hours ago.

Sounds like a potential fake. Our reader Omar Hafez says: “If Apple want to prove how really dumb they are, they would let MS’s new blatant cloning of the iPhone slip without the lawsuit.” Another reader writes about “what Gates really thought of the iPod”. He links to some Comes vs Microsoft exhibits, namely PX07255 and PX07219. This couple of exhibits are of interest in this context. These relate to recent comments on the iPhone — ones that came from Gates. If one reads the Comes documents, s/he can contrast that with his current utterances. A case of “temporal cognitive dyslexia” as our reader calls it? In Exhibit PX07255, one finds E-mails from 2003 where Jim Allchin and others bemoan Apple’s success and say: “There is no question we are being clocked by Apple in a number of dimensions.” In PX07219, Gates said about the iPod: “Warren Buffett just loves the thing.”

Gates is now saying: “So, it’s not like I sit there and feel the same way I did with iPhone where I say, ‘Oh my God, Microsoft didn’t aim high enough.”

The translation of which can go like this (from our reader): “It’s not that Microsoft failed with their own clone of the iPhone, it’s that they didn’t aim high enough. Could’ve beat Apple if we tried… sour grapes anyone?”

The phone from Microsoft resembles Sidekick (an acquisition of Danger, former home of Android's brainchild), which we wrote about in:

Going back to Windows Phone 7, Glyn Moody jokes about Microsoft “building on the success of the *Zune*: only MS could do that”. The Zune was an utter disaster and Microsoft has just appointed new managers (the previous ones quit in droves) who are mostly unknown and inexperienced.

Version 7 of Windows Mobile may be as as insignificant as Windows Mobile 6.5. This is good news for the many Linux phones, which Microsoft is still trying to tax with software patents, as it already does in LG and Samsung. We will write about this on Saturday. In the mean time, here is an old reminder of how Microsoft uses the Novell deal to achieve this.

Qualified as “symbolic” by several editors of daily newspapers, the agreement signed by Microsoft and Novell on November 2, 2006 is indeed just such. But it doesn’t not make a good news for Free Software. Through buzzwords as “interoperability” or “open standards”, Microsoft managed to divert the journalists’ attention from the essence of the agreement: Microsoft only embraces Novell to try to suffocate better Free Software in general.

The first issue with this agreement is that Novell agrees to pay a tithe for the distribution of copies of popular free software containing code which supposedly falls under the purview of Microsoft patents. The Linux kernel and various pieces of software used on computer servers are concerned. In return, Novell obtains the guarantee that Microsoft will not pursue it, nor its customers. Developers contributing to OpenSuse, the community version of Novell’s commercial offer (Suse), as well as the voluntary free software developers, would also be authorized to contribute to the free programs listed in the agreement.

Jeremy Allison, a former Novell employee who left the company in protest against this deal, recently told the crowd in LCA 2010 that Microsoft would try to use those software patents to collect revenue from Linux phones [1, 2]. Microsoft cannot compete in phones, but it still strives to take away money from those who succeed.

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7 Comments

  1. dyfet said,

    February 17, 2010 at 7:23 am

    Gravatar

    Wow, a single device that combines things from Bing, Zune, XBox and Microsoft Mobile….four failures for the price of one?!

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I don’t think that anyone had high expectations when it comes to WM7. Their management fled.

  2. NotZed said,

    February 17, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Gravatar

    Omar Hafez says: “If Apple want to prove how really dumb they are, they would let MS’s new blatant cloning of the iPhone slip without the lawsuit.”

    Is Omar a lawyer? Who else would think there is any good reason to waste money on lawyers and time on courts trying to stifle competition, money better spent on researching and implementing new ideas. The courts really have no business interfering with technology in this way.

    You can’t sue for ‘look and feel’ anyway, Apple already tried that, and apple and ms probably already have tons of cross patent licensing for what they can sue over.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Well, “cross licensing” is a form of entry tax that is altogether unnecessary, much like those lawsuits. It only reduces competition.

  3. Robotron 2084 said,

    February 17, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Gravatar

    Ahh, so Windows Phone 7 falls on it’s face. Terrible. I mean, just look at the links here. Everyone Roy links to gives a negative review of the phone. It looks like everyone is in agreement, right?

    Wait a minute. I found this review, but something is very wrong: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/microsoft/7248845/Microsoft-Windows-Phone-7-series-review.html

    This article gives us an overall positive review. How can that be? Roy is telling us that yet another Microsoft product is garbage. He then provides links to back up his claim. So what’s the explanation for this review that goes against the grain? Why wasn’t it included with this article?

    Wait…. it must have been written by someone who was bribed by Microsoft, or maybe someone working for them directly. Anyone who says anything positive about Microsoft products must be lying for money. Right? What other logical explanation could there be?

  4. satipera said,

    February 17, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Gravatar

    Robotron

    The Telegraph used to place stories like this for the firm I worked for, it does not exist now in its original form. I also remember the stories that the Telegraph ran after the last invasion of Iraq. How the trail blazing Telegraph journalist happened to stumble on documents in the Iraq oil ministry that “proved” George Galloway was on the take. All wrong. Telegraph for sale as usual. There are more examples if you look. So on the whole Telegraph equals paid for zero credibility.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    They play nice with the rich boys (never “challenging authority” as they call it).

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