10.03.10

Gemini version available ♊︎

Vista Phone 7 is Dead on Arrival, So Microsoft Resorts to ‘Chill Attack’ on Linux/Android

Posted in Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 8:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Panic

Summary: Microsoft is trying to make sellers of Android phones panic just shortly before its embarrassing competitor, Vista Phone 7 [sic], arrives at the market

IT IS no longer news that Microsoft is suing the last large seller of Android phones for not paying Microsoft for Linux. The FFII calls it:

New #Android stunt, start of #swpat wars or the last defense?

David Sugar from GNU Telephony alleges that Microsoft “can use the mere threat of patent lawsuits to effectively extort payments like a modern day Al Capone.” Here is his excellent (and widely-cited) post titled “Legal terrorism Microsoft style” (also published here):

Many people I think misunderstand Microsoft’s supreme court appeal of the i4i patent case. Some suggest that by focusing on limiting the ability to actually win patent cases that Microsoft is somehow limiting it’s own ability to use software patents against others. Nothing can be further from the truth, and indeed I think this case and their newly launched lawsuit against Motorola represents a milestone in their transformation from a proprietary software vendor into a litigation house.

What I think people fail to appreciate is that Microsoft does not seek the elimination of software patents but only to further limit the possibility of suffering spectacular losses at the end of such cases. This is because they understand well their most effective strategy is not in actually winning large judgments in patent cases against others, but rather simply in being able to financially exhaust others that they choose to sue. Hence, they wish to have an environment that is for them “safer to sue”.

Being a failed software company that can neither produce nor enter markets they are unable to illegally force people to buy their defective products, they clearly see future growth by taxing everyone else’s success. This is made possible by the threat of launching multi-year patent lawsuits that will cost millions of dollars to defend against even if they are entirely groundless, but for which they are far better positioned to financially sustain than their chosen target. They therefore can use the mere threat of patent lawsuits to effectively extort payments like a modern day Al Capone.

Microsoft is trying to deter companies from selling Android/Linux, using software patents. Sugar quotes Benjamin Franklin as saying: “That as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others…”

“To Microsoft, sharing work is a one-way affair (exploiting the work of others).”Microsoft does not understand sharing. To Microsoft, sharing work is a one-way affair (exploiting the work of others). By the way, Sugar’s use of the word “legal terrorism” may cheapen the term “terrorism”, but it is a proper term to use in this context. A few years ago, James Eagleton, the systems product manager for Sun Microsystems, said about Microsoft’s aggressive action: “What we’re seeing though now can be loosely described as patent terrorism, where people are using their patent horde as a threat [...] It’s almost like a cold war stand over tactic; where I have these patents and if you breach these patents, I’m going to come after you and sue you.”

Last night in IRC we showed that the MSBBC’s coverage of the lawsuit against Motorola seemed more like Microsoft propaganda and many other publications fell into the same trap; they describe Motorola like some kind of “thief” and Microsoft as a victim rather than explain to viewers/readers that Microsoft cannot compete, so it is just agitating everyone else around it.

A Microsoft booster from the The Seattle Times wrote a decent piece for a change. It’s titled “Microsoft using anti-Linux tactic against Google’s Android” and it starts as follows:

The lawsuit Microsoft filed against Motorola and its use of Google’s Android phone software is awfully familiar.

Microsoft used the same tactic against Linux when the open-source software reached critical mass in the data center and threatened to derail the growth of Microsoft’s server business seven years ago.

After name-calling failed to slow Linux, Microsoft started warning big companies that the free software wasn’t really free. It also said companies should take into account the potential cost of patent and licensing litigation around open-source products.

Uncertainty increased in 2003, when SCO, a Utah company, alleged that Linux was using some of its technologies. SCO licensed its technology to Microsoft and sought royalties from hundreds of companies using Linux.

That helped Microsoft persuade customers that free software isn’t really free. It even promised to indemnify customers that went with Microsoft products instead, offering a sort of insurance against patent issues.

Microsoft is the new SCO. “Beat The Bully” is the title Pogson chose for covering this development and he said:

The only thing good I see coming from this action is that the world will see M$ is a patent-troll and refuse to do business with them and the world will reject software-patents. They just make no sense. You don’t invent software. You figure it out step by step. You can obtain a patent on a particular type of door-latch but your patent cannot cover all door-latches and block out innovation by others. That’s what software-patents attempt to do. Given a particular goal a number of programmers can reach the same solution by any number of methods. M$ wants to define every possible goal of technology and block others from getting to it. That is wrong and this litigation must be fought tooth and nail or M$ will just become more dangerous. Technology in USA will become a backwater if they are allowed to stifle innovation this way.

The Microsoft boosters have little to offer in terms of coverage (they mostly refuse to denounce Microsoft) and OpenBytes twists a famous quote from “Field of Dreams” (the film) in order to describe what Microsoft is doing here:

“If you build it, they will sue”

Yes, Microsoft is at it again. Maybe worried by the lack of mainstream interest in their upcoming “creation” Windows Mobile 7? Its being reported that good old Redmond is now after Motorola (its already had a go at HTC and Samsung) and looking to suck a bit of revenue from the sale of Android, since in my view it seems doubtful they will get much from their own platform.

Very clever, Microsoft. The company’s failing mobile business leaves it with no choice but to merely become the class bully. According to this new report, the same companies which Microsoft has already got as paying sellouts (paying Microsoft for Linux) are willing to dabble in Vista Phone 7 [sic]. The title of the article is “5 Reasons the Windows Phone 7 Will Fail” (the are many new posts like that) and it says:

Samsung, HTC, and LG will manufacture the handsets, but so far there has only been speculation on what the phones will offer and look like. What we do know is that Microsoft has to make up a lot of ground if it expects to gain market share in an Apple, Android, and BlackBerry dominated world.

Prepare for the brainwash we have been warning about:

So far, we know that Microsoft is sinking $500 million into a marketing and advertising blitz and will be offering Windows Phone 7 first in Europe, three weeks before America.

Well, even Microsoft boosters are pessimistic about Vista Phone 7:

However, there’s at least one person who says this revolution ain’t gonna happen. Eric Bleeker, analyst over at The Motley Fool, reckons Windows Phone 7 might be humped before it even gets going. To quote the erstwhile Mr Bleeker, “I hate to sound dismissive of Windows Phone 7 before it even hits stores, but the deck is stacked against it. Regardless of Windows Phone 7’s features, it’s just too late in the game.”

According to this link we got last night, Vista Phone 7 is still primitive. To quote: “The parody says that Windows Phone 7 can?t copy and paste, can’t multitask, and can’t tether. All of these are true, but Microsoft said that these functionalities will become available soon after launch.”

“As annoying as the Motorola lawsuit may be, it is important to understand that it’s a sign of death for Microsoft in mobile.”It’s just about as bad with HP's Vista 7 tablet, which VentureBeat considers to be an embarrassment compared to Android tablets (they only name the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which Microsoft makes money from as well).

As annoying as the Motorola lawsuit may be, it is important to understand that it’s a sign of death for Microsoft in mobile. The company ran out of ideas. There has been a major executives exodus in this department (as well as others), so the main remaining risk is that of entryism. As the news put it some days ago:

Stephen Elop is said to have taken up as the CEO at Nokia Corp. Also Division President Robbie Bach is due to retire this year. Robbie Bach was handling included Microsoft’s mobile and games businesses, reportedly.

Don Reisinger, who only ever writes at CNET to provoke with bait, goes with the headline “Mobile woes slice Ballmer’s bonus in half” and CNET‘s partner site ZDNet helps Microsoft attack Android by giving Ed Bought a platform in which he stages a dumping of Android under “Why I dumped my Droid” (just to create some Microsoft hype in ZDNet ahead of the arrival of Vista Phone 7).

Lastly, remember this: Microsoft claims to be spending half a billion dollars just on marketing of Vista Phone 7. Lawsuits against Android distributors (and their timing) can be seen an just part of the publicity stunts.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 25/10/2021: EasyOS 3.1 and Bareflank 3.0

    Links for the day



  2. The Demolition of the EPO Was Made Possible With Assistance From Countries That Barely Have European Patents

    The legal basis of today's EPO has been crushed; a lot of this was made possible by countries with barely any stakes in the outcome



  3. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXII: The Balkan League - North Macedonia and Albania

    We continue to look at Benoît Battistelli‘s enablers at the EPO



  4. Links 24/10/2021: GPS Daemon (GPSD) Bug and Lots of Openwashing

    Links for the day



  5. Links 24/10/2021: XWayland 21.1.3 and Ubuntu Linux 22.04 LTS Daily Build

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 23, 2021



  7. Links 24/10/2021: Ceph Boss Sage Weil Resigns and Many GPL Enforcement Stories

    Links for the day



  8. GAFAM-Funded NPR Reports That Facebook Let Millions of People Like Trump Flout the So-called Rules. Not Just “a Few”.

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  9. Some Memes About What Croatia Means to the European Patent Office

    Before we proceed to other countries in the region, let’s not forget or let’s immortalise the role played by Croatia in the EPO (memes are memorable)



  10. Gangster Culture in the EPO

    The EPO‘s Administrative Council was gamed by a gangster from Croatia; today we start the segment of the series which deals with the Balkan region



  11. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXI: The Balkan League – The Doyen and His “Protégée”

    The EPO‘s circle of corruption in the Balkan region will be the focus of today’s (and upcoming) coverage, showing some of the controversial enablers of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, two deeply corrupt French officials who rapidly drive the Office into the ground for personal gain (at Europe’s expense!)



  12. Links 23/10/2021: FreeBSD 12.3 Beta, Wine 6.20, and NuTyX 21.10.0

    Links for the day



  13. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, October 22, 2021



  14. [Meme] [Teaser] Crime Express

    The series about Battistelli's "Strike Regulations" (20 parts thus far) culminates as the next station is the Balkan region



  15. Links 23/10/2021: Star Labs/StarLite, Ventoy 1.0.56

    Links for the day



  16. Gemini on Sourcehut and Further Expansion of Gemini Space

    Gemini protocol is becoming a widely adopted de facto standard for many who want to de-clutter the Internet by moving away from the World Wide Web and HTML (nowadays plagued by JavaScript, CSS, and many bloated frameworks that spy)



  17. Unlawful Regimes Even Hungary and Poland Would Envy

    There’s plenty of news reports about Polish and Hungarian heads of states violating human rights, but never can one find criticism of the EPO’s management doing the same (the mainstream avoids this subject altogether); today we examine how that area of Europe voted on the illegal "Strike Regulations" of Benoît Battistelli



  18. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XX: The Visegrád Group

    The EPO‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations” (which helped Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos illegally crush or repress EPO staff) were supported by only one among 4 Visegrád delegates



  19. [Meme] IBM Has Paid ZDNet to Troll the Community

    Over the past few weeks ZDNet has constantly published courses with the word "master" in their headlines (we caught several examples; a few are shown above); years ago this was common, also in relation to IBM itself; clearly IBM thinks that the word is racially sensitive and offensive only when it's not IBM using the word and nowadays IBM pays ZDNet — sometimes proxying through the Linux Foundation — to relay this self-contradictory message whose objective is to shame programmers, Free software communities etc. (through guilt they can leverage more power and resort to projection tactics, sometimes outright slander which distracts)



  20. [Meme] ILO Designed to Fail: EPO Presidents Cannot be Held Accountable If ILOAT Takes Almost a Decade to Issue a Simple Ruling

    The recent ILOAT ruling (a trivial no-brainer) inadvertently reminds one of the severe weaknesses of ILOAT; what good is a system of accountability that issues rulings on decisions that are barely relevant anymore (or too late to correct)?



  21. Links 22/10/2021: Trump's AGPL Violations and Chrome 95 Released

    Links for the day



  22. [Meme] How Corporate Monopolies Demonise Critics of Their Technically and Legally Problematic 'Products'

    When the technical substance of some criticism stands (defensible based upon evidence), and is increasingly difficult to refute based on facts, make up some fictional issue — a straw man argument — and then respond to that phony issue based on no facts at all



  23. Links 22/10/2021: Global Encryption Day

    Links for the day



  24. [Meme] Speaking the Same Language

    Language inside the EPO is misleading. Francophones Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos casually misuse the word “social”.



  25. António Campinos Thinks Salary Reductions Months Before He Leaves is “Exceptional Social Gesture”

    Just as Benoît Battistelli had a profound misunderstanding of the concept of “social democracy” his mate seems to completely misunderstand what a “social gesture” is (should have asked his father)



  26. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 21, 2021



  27. Links 21/10/2021: MX Linux 21 and Git Contributors’ Summit in a Nutshell

    Links for the day



  28. [Meme] [Teaser] Miguel de Icaza on CEO of Microsoft GitHub

    Our ongoing series, which is very long, will shed much-needed light on GitHub and its goals (the dark side is a lot darker than people care to realise)



  29. Gemini Protocol and Gemini Space Are Not a Niche; for Techrights, Gemini Means Half a Million Page Requests a Month

    Techrights on gemini:// has become very big and we’ll soon regenerate all the pages (about 37,500 of them) to improve clarity, consistency, and general integrity



  30. 'Satellite States' of EPO Autocrats

    Today we look more closely at how Baltic states were rendered 'voting fodder' by large European states, looking to rubber-stamp new and oppressive measures which disempower the masses


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 Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts