06.28.10

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Manual for Removing Microsoft Trap From Ubuntu GNU/Linux (and Lessons of TomTom and SCO Cases)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, SCO, TomTom, Ubuntu at 8:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Trash sign with Mono

Summary: How to put Microsoft’s and Novell’s Mono where it belongs (the garbage can)

SOMEONE has just published these instructions for removing Mono from the Ubuntu distribution of GNU/Linux and one reader of ours wrote an ode about Mono earlier today:

Alejandro Nova

Life with Mono – Mononono

They sold us it was free
>From someone else’s claims
The code began to show
And no one spoke at all
But when I asked to Novell,
If I’m protected…
Ingenue

Ingenue
I just don’t know what to do

GNOME-sized avenues
Brought us a perfect doom
F-Spot, Banshee and a paint
Made us target for threats
But if you still trust MS
Then you are a complete…

Ingenue

Ingenue
I just don’t know what to do

Ingenue
I just don’t know what to do

For reasons we explained before, Mono is a gift to Microsoft and a Trojan to GNU/Linux. Even Canonical's CTO is aware of the issues associated with Mono. According to this uncertain post from Groklaw, Microsoft’s preparations for lawsuits against GNU/Linux (like SCO and later TomTom) may take a long time to ‘cook’ before action is taken. Groklaw’s post uses evidence that we covered a year and a half ago [1, 2, 3, 4], thanks to Comes vs Microsoft exhibits.

What did Microsoft know about SCO’s plan to attack Linux, and when did it know it? And was it a force behind it?

[...]

But now, thanks to a volunteer working on doing the exhibits in the Comes v. Microsoft antitrust litigation as text, we find an email thread in Exhibit 8953 [PDF] where Microsoft employees, including the managing director of Microsoft in India at the time, mention SCO in a discussion about heading off the Linux threat in India. The emails are dated September 11, 2002. Given the date, I believe this opens up the question of Microsoft’s involvement once again. At a minimum, it needs clarification. If it doesn’t demonstrate Microsoft knowing about SCO’s plans before they unfurled, what does it mean? I’d like Microsoft to tell us. Because I have a lot of questions about the email thread.

[...]

If you recall, EDGI was about pushing Microsoft in India so as to head off Linux and StarOffice use there in government and education. This email says Bill Gates thought they should just give away their software in India and wherever necessary to head off the threat, and that is part of what is being discussed, because some disagreed about giving it away for free. But EDGI was not restricted to India; it could be implemented wherever needed.

I believe this exhibit may be a smoking gun. At a minimum, it calls for clarification, and if and when SCO v. IBM starts up again, I believe it could provide a basis for limited discovery on this very topic or if Michael Anderer is put on the stand, it opens up a fruitful thread. Regulatory bodies are also completely free to investigate whether it was indeed Microsoft using SCO as an anti-competitive weapon against Linux in violation of antitrust law.

The email mentions Novell, SCO and Trishul, and I thought it might be referring to an inside name for the strategy, since that is the name of a Trident air defense missile (“The Trishul air-defense missile is intended to counter a low level attack with a very quick reaction time and has an all weather capability.”), but it is also possible it’s referring to a Microsoft employee who heads up the Runtime Analysis & Design research group, so I’ve written to him asking him which it might be or if he can clarify the email. Meanwhile, take a look. The reference to Novell is more puzzling, but it is certainly possible, given the evidence that SCO thought Novell would join them, that Microsoft back then thought so too.

This fascinating part of an antitrust exhibit about EDGI and the mentioning of SCO was covered by Techrights last year, but for those who are interested in a detailed analysis and some background, the above will do. Mono — like FAT — is a form of an ambush. Microsoft recently validated a FAT patent in Germany. But Mono is not just about software patents; it’s about controlling developers and it’s developed/coordinated by a Microsoft MVP.

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