07.08.21

Microsoft is Basically Buying the Competition to Deny GNU/Linux Users a Choice

Posted in Antitrust, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Ubuntu, Windows at 7:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: In order to entrap GNU/Linux users or to send them Microsoft’s way Microsoft has secured some strategic alliances with companies that were all along supposed to compete with Microsoft; antitrust officials seem to be M.I.A.

SABOTAGE by Microsoft has long been the modus operandi, combined with cult tactics like charming and bribing decision-makers and public officials. Microsoft is basically a criminal operation; but it doesn’t want people to see that. It spends a lot of money for people not to notice.

Check out the following from Microsoft (yes, officially):

Microsoft stickiness

“Give this a read then try to find it on Google,” told us the person who had sent it along. “It’s been scrubbed since I’ve started pointing this out with regard to anti-trust and my links to it are broken now. This behavior is anti-trust AF and I’m going to start reaching out about it now that I know they’re concerned. [...] Them scrubbing this post shows that they’re afraid of it being realized.”

But the reason we are writing this post is actually this this new press release from Canonical (“Canonical recognized as a 2021 Microsoft Partner of the Year finalist”), followed very soon afterwards by shallow puff pieces like this one (“Ubuntu Linux-maker Canonical is 2021 Microsoft Partner of the Year finalist”).

Microsoft has been grooming Canonical like this for quite some time instead of buying Canonical, raising antitrust stink. Canonical has been spying on potential clients in cahoots with Microsoft, promoting Windows (WSL), and working for the company that is attacking us in various other ways.

Why are they so openly bragging about being associated with gangsters who use political corruption to incite against rivals even though Microsoft is a lot worse and much more deserving of antitrust scrutiny, including split-up? This ought to make people think twice before installing Ubuntu, choosing it either for a server or a desktop. Has Mark Shuttleworth (MS) become part of the other MS? Has he sold out to the schoolyard bully?

“That’s extortion and we should call it what it is. To say, as Ballmer did, that there is undisclosed balance sheet liability, that’s just extortion and we should refuse to get drawn into that game.”

Mark Shuttleworth

“Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won’t say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: “It’s an unsafe neighbourhood, why don’t you pay me 20 bucks and I’ll make sure you’re okay,” that’s illegal. It’s racketeering.”

Mark Shuttleworth

06.29.21

Microsoft is a Lot Worse Than Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple

Posted in Antitrust, Deception, Microsoft at 8:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: There’s now solid evidence that the “GAFA” or “Big Tech” narrative was Microsoft’s own making or fiction (parallel reality), intended to shift attention away from Microsoft’s crimes; sadly, however, amid googlebombing and other forms of noise-making (or smokescreen) not many publishers speak about it; some that do cover the issue turn it into an unnecessarily partisan issue

FIVE days ago we wrote about this subject, expecting that Microsoft would bombard the media (as it did!) for days to come, likely with vapourware rather than something of substance. Microsoft has long been trying to distract everybody with “GAFA” or “Big Tech”. Now we have proof that Microsoft was behind all this… all along.

“It’s time to quit talking about the vapourware and instead talk about how to deal with the criminal enterprise or that cult Microsoft became a number of decades ago.”People who tell us that Microsoft is no longer a danger and that antitrust scrutiny is unnecessary for Microsoft (even when it hijacks the competition and bribes key outposts) are participating in the abuses and crimes of Microsoft; Microsoft sometimes pays them to do this.

It’s time to quit talking about the vapourware and instead talk about how to deal with the criminal enterprise or that cult Microsoft became a number of decades ago. Nothing has improved. They just changed the messaging, increased the lobbying etc. The Gates Foundation is already floundering, but we must ensure the same happens to Microsoft — the larger part of that same cult.

Incidentally, earlier today we added the Gates Foundation and Linux Foundation to Gemini, in gemini://gemini.techrights.org/gatesfoundation/ and gemini://gemini.techrights.org/linuxfoundation/ respectively.

New articles/items from the video (in order of appearance):

  1. Creating State Action Via Antitrust Law And Making The People Who’ve Been Wrong About The Constitutionality Of Content Moderation Suddenly Right
  2. Supreme Court Won’t Stop Antitrust Trial for Comcast
  3. Court dismisses FTC, state antitrust cases against Facebook
  4. Federal court dismisses FTC’s bid to unwind Instagram from Facebook
  5. Facebook Scores Big Win With Antitrust Dismissal
  6. US antitrust cases against Facebook tossed by judge
  7. Federal Judge Tosses FTC’s Antitrust Case Against Facebook
  8. Facebook hits $1 trillion value after judge rejects antitrust complaints
  9. Microsoft has talked up antitrust actions against Big Tech, and the other companies are tired of it

06.24.21

Politicians Need to Crack Down on Microsoft’s Monopoly Abuse Amid Yet More Attacks on Linux (Even From the Inside)

Posted in Antitrust, Deception, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft at 7:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The most abusive ‘tech’ company (akin to a cult disguised as “software company” since the 1970s) is distracting lawmakers and attacking Linux from the inside; thankfully, those insipid plans of theirs face major backlash from longtime kernel developers and GNU/Linux users

THERE is a longstanding problem associated with Microsoft lobbying and entryism. It is simply like a cult that poisons everything and bribes everyone, even its enemies (to get them to defect, to effectively switch sides).

“Don’t be misled by smiles and shallow gestures. Cults are good at those things.”The profound issues associated with Microsoft’s history have been covered here for many years. Repeating old information shouldn’t be necessary. We try to focus on new attacks, new threats, or the latest developments.

At the moment, Microsoft is attacking Linux. Of course it says that it “loves Linux”, but that’s just a deliberate smokescreen. Microsoft’s Jim Allchin, a Microsoft VP at one time, said “I feel we are much too smug in dealing with Novell” and on a separate occasion he said: “We need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger….If you’re going to kill someone, there isn’t much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. You just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger.”

Don’t be misled by smiles and shallow gestures. Cults are good at those things. If they weren’t, they would not spread far and eventually they would simply perish.

LKML vs Microsoft GithubThe video above introduces folks to this new article; someone from Microsoft sent us this article. This explains a lot regarding the very recent (albeit pattern of a longstanding pattern) and very biased coverage with slanted political focus. Another new report, from a more left-leaning publisher, says/quotes: ““I’m trying to figure out why one of the biggest offenders, of Big Tech, has mysteriously avoided the scrutiny of this committee and this broad swath of bills that seek to radically rewrite our antitrust law,” Massie said, waving a draft of the bill that he said was shared with Microsoft before it was public. “I’m talking about Microsoft.””

Microsoft is inciting politicians in Europe and the US against “GAFA” (everyone but Microsoft!) to distract from its very own and vastly worse takeover and monopolisation, including abduction of Free software. They are trying to take over Linux, not just the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation. In fact, we covered this about half a dozen time almost a year ago when the plot first surfaced and many kernel hackers rightly complained about it; it started with Microsoft operatives inside the Linux Foundation and it didn’t take long before they tried to pocket Linux inside GitHub (whose COO is in the Board of the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation, in effect bossing Linus Torvalds).

We don’t want to repeat many of the counterarguments from last year, so instead we’ll just remind readers that this isn’t about ease of use but about control. Microsoft is trying to control Linux. A barrier to entry (learning curve) is not always a bad thing, as the University of Minnesota proved just months ago. People who cannot cope with something like patch via E-mail likely don’t know much about the kernel, let alone know how to program so well (their code might do more harm than good). This has nothing to do with race or gender; it’s all about experience and having a track record (for chain of trust and accountability)

E-mail? Ooooh, app!That a bunch of Microsoft operatives suddenly want to portray Linux as a failure (not “success story”) because of something like “diversity” overlooks the simple fact that kernels are highly technical programs that, regardless of the tools used for version control, would repel people who aren’t highly specialised.

Regarding the whole slant of Microsoft, trying to distract us with nonsense and misdirect hate/anger, an associate of ours wrote this morning that “they’re trying to turn it into a partisan thing. However, maybe the expose resulting from the whistleblower’s actions can make action bipartisan.”

“Either way, to be sure, Microsoft will start to make lots of noise and make as many distractions as they can. Much of it will center around Vista 11 today or tomorrow.

“What would really help the world more than any whistleblowing on Microsoft would be for the courts to neutralize non-disparagement clauses and certain non-disclosure ‘agreements’ attached to ending employment. A lot of ‘ex’ microsofters could then talk freely. It’s a cult so many won’t but some probably want to talk but are afraid of the papers they signed on the way out.”

For those who wish to know more about the latest Microsoft attack on Linux (no paywall for this link), watch the comments in LWN. Or watch the video above.

Linux already has easy-to-use and widely accessible (even to blind people) Git repositories. It doesn’t need any proprietary Microsoft bloat and “apps”.

Microsoft: come to papa; Stay where you are

06.23.21

First I Came

Posted in Antitrust, DRM, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 5:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Why Did Amazon Web Services Shut Down WikiLeaks?
Why Did Amazon Web Services Shut Down WikiLeaks? Because Amazon doesn’t care about Wikileaks, and moreover it does not wish to help expose the crimes of the rich

Summary: Time after time people will be reminded — or learn the hard way — that self reliance and avoidance of disappointment typically requires self-hosting, proper standards, free software, and simplicity, not outsourcing, large frameworks, and other kinds of unnecessary complexity

First I came to ActiveX
But Microsoft lost the Web wars, so my Web site stopped working

Then I came to Flash
But it was a security dumpster fire and total catastrophe, so it’s abandonware now

Then I came to AMP
But it didn’t accomplish anything useful, except spying by Google

Then I came to ClownFlare
But my Web site became unavailable at times, due to their systems, not mine

Then I came to Twitter
But my account got banned, for mentioning where Elvis Presley died

Then I created a YouTube channel
But it turned out my subscribers could no longer see my videos

Then I joined a large IRC network
But my channel was taken over by its true masters

Then I hosted on Amazon
But it turned out I was just a transient tenant to them

Then I created a GitHub account
But it turned out that Microsoft could take it down without notice or due process

Then I joined Google+
But I didn’t know I’d soon lose all my “friends”

Then I joined the Fediverse
But it only worked OK until the site shut down

Then I got a Chromebook
But everything I bought it for became unavailable after 24 months of system updates

Then I bought some music
But it stopped working when they shut down the DRM servers

Then I wrote in Blogspot
But the interface suddenly changed, without first consulting me

Then I donated to the Open Source Initiative
But later I realised they were sending my money to Microsoft

Then I bought a fitness tracker
But instead of improving my health it sold my data

Then I decided to read e-books
But Bezos decided to remotely delete some of them

Then I bought a printer to print my e-books
But HP remotely controlled my printer to curtail ‘unauthorised’ ink

Then I downloaded Chrome
But it turned out Chrome was downloading and uploading my data

Then I bought a car
But later it turned out it came with listening devices I was unable to remove or disconnect

And then I bought a smartphone
But it turned out the only intelligent thing about it is the intelligence agencies

Then I downloaded GNU/Linux
But my ISP sent me threats for that

05.04.21

Media Frenzy Around Gates Divorce Helps Distract From Bill’s Crimes

Posted in Antitrust, Bill Gates, Deception at 3:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The distraction from many Gates scandals is cushioned by yet another personal fluff; we would rather see investigative journalism pursuing real answers about real scandals

THE media likes to talk about Gates as a saviour, especially media that he funds (bribes). Whether they claim he combats COVID or climate change — both of which false by the way — it distracts from past and present stories and moreover seeks to discredit this man’s critics. Right now the media talks about a divorce, so the news cycle will be polluted by something akin to gossip.

“It serves to shift attention from the harm this man caused and continues to cause to society; instead people bicker about gossip and personal life ‘stuff’…”The video above discusses some background, notably events from decades back and also a couple of years back. Why isn’t the media inquisitive anymore? What’s the biggest scandal really? The patent profiteering? The indisputable connection to Epstein? Crimes seen in the Bill Gates deposition (many of the same crimes persist to this very day, e.g. UEFI 'secure' boot to lock out competition and an attack on Java in the classic Microsoft fashion)? What about tax evasion and political meddling or the dark past predating this shady “foundation”?

Bill Gates Paid MIT Through Jeffrey EpsteinAny coverage about Gates that fails to mention his misbehaviour or unlawful behaviour (he was arrested numerous times over the years) would certainly be beneficial to him. It serves to shift attention from the harm this man caused and continues to cause to society; instead people bicker about gossip and personal life ‘stuff’…

04.05.21

Techrights Commends US Supreme Court for Supporting Programmers by Defending Fair Use

Posted in Antitrust, Google, Intellectual Monopoly at 11:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Stephen Breyer, U.S. Supreme Court judge

Summary: Stephen Breyer (above), the author of the latest big decision after an 11-year legal battle, is once again doing the right thing from a software developer’s perspective; only two Justices opposed this decision or dissented

Copyright maximalists have suffered a blow; as it turns out, on a holiday, SCOTUS did the right thing by deciding that copyrights on APIs are a disservice to society. As LWN put it, a “long saga of Oracle’s copyright-infringement against Google, which copied much of the Java API for use in Android, has come to an end” (no appeals anymore).

“Although Google itself is a monopoly, a decision against Google in this case would have devastated software development in general, no matter if proprietary or Free software.”A law firms-funded site said “a 6-2 decision authored by Justice Breyer, the Supreme Court has held that Google’s copying of the JAVA API naming convention was a fair use as a matter of law.” Another Oracle proponent said: “This decision was supportd [sic] by six of the nine justices.”

Slam dunk. Press coverage is starting to come out, e.g. HotHardware. Today isn’t just a bright sunny day but also a holiday and an epic milestone in the battle against copyright maximalists and software monopolists. Although Google itself is a monopoly, a decision against Google in this case would have devastated software development in general, no matter if proprietary or Free software.

03.28.21

Conflict of Interest: Microsoft and IBM Controlling the USPTO and Leaving GNU/Linux Users Shut Out (in the Cold)

Posted in Antitrust, Deception, IBM, Microsoft, Open XML, Patents at 8:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The first part in a series about the USPTO protecting the cabal of proprietary software giants/monopolies, including improper appointments and outright corruption (as observed by a longtime critic of the Office)

THE U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Director-turned-lobbyist David Kappos was discussed here many times in the past. He came from IBM, worked for the USPTO, then returned to lobbying for IBM and Microsoft (among others). Nowadays he’s lobbying hard for software patents (or to abolish/bypass 35 U.S.C. § 101). He’s working for software monopolies while they fund him to lobby. It harms the image of the USPTO. The Federal Circuit has a similar problem with two former chief judges.

The issue with Kappos may seem like “old news”, but here’s the gist of it:

IBM Microsoft USPTO

As was explained at the time:

Kappos corruption

“Then, too,” a reader has told us, “there is the issue of the USPTO not working with Linux, which might interest you.”

“The Kappos-Politico article is something I found, where people in Congress were – back in the day – suspicious about Kappos being from IBM, and bringing with him a Microsoft guy. They implemented something called the Electronic Filing Incentive. Trying to force people to use computers and, of course, Microsoft.”

“Can the USPTO moreover block GNU/Linux users wishing to file patents and interact with the Office?”We have been sent about 50 pages, but we are reproducing here just a subset of these (a lot of those deal with exuberant fees or marginalisation of “lone inventors”, which is a legitimate concern, albeit not our focus).

We’d rather focus on the GNU/Linux compatibility issues alone. As we noted here in recent years, the USPTO intends to financially penalise (punish) people who don’t use Microsoft formats [1, 2, 3] though it’s clear Microsoft is somewhat of a thing of the past with just about 30% of the public using Windows or other Microsoft operating systems.

Can the USPTO moreover block GNU/Linux users wishing to file patents and interact with the Office? Look at the status of GNU/Linux in the US government, as per Wikipedia:

Linux in the US government - Wikipedia

Proprietary stuff is required by the USPTO:

Adobe-USPTO dispute combined screenshots to print

Adobe USPTO pages not found

Adobe stuff hasn’t worked since 2013:

Adobe hasn't worked since 2013

“I’m a four-decade American inventor who has been fighting corruption at that USPTO for maybe about 15 years,” the reader said, “and I recently made an important medical discovery, and filed a patent application, and the USPTO is threatening my application, simply because I use Linux.”

We’ve been aware of such issues for a very long time. They range from formats to site access or specialised tools

 Who cares for me?“The Internet informs me that you are interested in USPTO corruption and medical biophysics and open-source software,” the reader told me, “so, perhaps, maybe we can connect to discuss a few things, although you are on the high-tech end of things, which I am not. I suppose, broadly, my medical discovery would be considered medical biophysics, since it involves mechanical sound waves and their effect on the body, and, specifically, urological function.”

We will likely revisit this issue some time in the near future. “As you can imagine,” the reader said, “I’m extremely angry, and I’m right now finalizing a big report that I’m going to send to a bunch of people in DC, hoping to get something done. I’ll send you the report when I finish it.”

We’ve mostly been focusing on EPO corruption, but some overlaps exist across the pond, with European software patents being used as an excuse against SCOTUS precedents, even in the face of challenges like Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs). Stay tuned for more…

03.16.21

EPO and Microsoft Collude to Break the Law — Part XI: Close Encounters With the Trust-busters…

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 9:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Previous parts:

Microsoft antitrust

Summary: A look some of the confrontations between Microsoft and anti-trust regulators

Microsoft’s run-ins with European data protection authorities are only half the story.

Over the last three decades, the company has also been scrutinised by anti-trust authorities around the world, including the following:

• US Federal Trade Commission / Department of Justice (1994)
• Brazilian Board of the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (1998)
• European Commission (2004)
• Japanese Fair Trade Commission (2004)
• South Korean Fair Trade Commission (2005)

The most high-profile of these investigations were those conducted by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and the European Commission.

In the US the Microsoft anti-trust case started rolling after an inquiry by the Federal Trade Commission in 1991 as to whether Microsoft’s conduct constituted an abuse of monopoly on the PC operating system market. The investigation was closed after the voting in the Commission ended in a tie.

However, the US DoJ opened its own investigation in the same year. This resulted in a settlement on 15 July 1994, in which Microsoft agreed not to tie other products to the Windows operating system. Microsoft still remained free to provide “features” alongside the operating system.

“The most high-profile of these investigations were those conducted by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and the European Commission.”The real action started when the DoJ and the Attorney Generals of twenty states sued Microsoft in 1998 for unreasonably restraining competition by expanding and abusing its monopoly position and for breaching the 1994 settlement, by tying its web browser, Internet Explorer, to the Windows operating system.

On April 3, 2000 Judge Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a ruling that stated that Microsoft had violated sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act. Judge Jackson ordered the break-up of Microsoft into two separate units, one to produce the Internet/WWW browser and one to produce the operating system.

The case dragged on through the appeal courts until 2001 when the DoJ and Microsoft reached a settlement which enabled Microsoft to avoid the threatened break-up of its operations.

Microsoft monopoly
Microsoft’s anti-competitive activities also attracted the scrutiny of the EU Commission

Meanwhile on the other side of the Atlantic, the European Commission started its own investigation into Microsoft’s activities after receiving a complaint from Sun Microsystems in 1998 asserting that Microsoft refused to supply interoperability information.

“The case dragged on through the appeal courts until 2001 when the DoJ and Microsoft reached a settlement which enabled Microsoft to avoid the threatened break-up of its operations.”During the course of its investigation, the Commission broadened the scope of its inquiry to include, amongst other things, Microsoft’s conduct in relation to its Windows Media Player.

That investigation resulted in a preliminary finding, issued in August 2001, stating that Microsoft had abused its dominant position by hindering the interoperability between its operating system and third-party workgroup server operating systems and by tying its Windows Media Player to the Windows operating system.

In March 2004, the EU Commission ordered Microsoft to pay € 497 million (USD 794 million), the largest fine ever handed out by the EU at the time, in addition to the previous penalties, which included 120 days to divulge the server information and 90 days to produce a version of the Windows operating system without Windows Media Player.

Microsoft initiated an unsuccessful action for annulment with the Court of First Instance (CFI) which rendered its final judgment on 17 September 2007. A compliance agreement between the Commission and Microsoft was reached on 22 October 2007.

Microsoft fines
EU fines for anti-trust violations were small potatoes for cash-rich Microsoft

To put things into perspective here, it’s worth recalling that, according to the Wall Street Journal in a report published in 2006, the total amount of the fines imposed on Microsoft by the EU was around USD 0.97 billion, a relatively small amount in comparison to the USD 4.93 billion paid out by Microsoft to major rivals, such as Sun Microsystems and IBM, in order to persuade them to drop other anti-trust claims. Both of these amounts are in turn dwarfed by Microsoft’s massive cash reserves, estimated at USD 34.8 billion in 2006.

“That investigation resulted in a preliminary finding, issued in August 2001, stating that Microsoft had abused its dominant position by hindering the interoperability between its operating system and third-party workgroup server operating systems and by tying its Windows Media Player to the Windows operating system.”In March 2009 it was reported that the EU was scaling back its monitoring of Microsoft’s adherence to the 2004 antitrust ruling because “the company’s good behaviour meant that full-time supervision was no longer needed”.

Since then Microsoft has for the most part managed to stay off the radar of anti-trust authorities although there have been occasional complaints filed against it for allegedly anti-competitive behaviour, for example the complaint filed by Moscow-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab in 2017 which was subsequently withdrawn following an amicable settlement.

More recently in July last year news broke of a fresh anti-trust complaint against Microsoft filed with the European Commission by Slack Technologies.

“Unless an amicable settlement is reached – which seems unlikely in this case – it could well be that Microsoft’s controversial “software bundling” practices will be back in the headlines again.”The essence of Slack’s grievance is that Microsoft has illegally tied its Teams product into its market-dominant Office productivity suite, force-installing the software for millions, blocking its removal, and hiding the true cost to users. Slack has called for Teams to be separated from Office 365 and for a market rate to be charged for the service.

Unless an amicable settlement is reached – which seems unlikely in this case – it could well be that Microsoft’s controversial “software bundling” practices will be back in the headlines again.

In the next part we will see how the US DoJ’s scrutiny of Microsoft has not been limited to the investigation of anti-competitive practices but has extended to alleged infractions of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

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