07.20.09

Guess Who Inside Yahoo! Supports a Microsoft Deal? Microsoft’s Correspondent, Icahn

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Search, Virtualisation, Xen at 2:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tabloid

Summary: Even the yellow press misses the historical record of Icahn’s role

According to news reports, Microsoft and Yahoo! are still talking.

The talks between the two have been continuing off and on since earlier this year, after Carol Bartz, Yahoo’s new chief executive, responded to Microsoft’s repeated overtures for discussions.

Reuters shows that one prominent advocate of a deal is one whom we suspected and considered to be a Microsoft "proxy fighter" that the press spoke about (the press openly spoke about “proxy fight” over Yahoo!).

Yahoo board member Icahn wants Microsoft deal

[...]

Icahn declined to comment on the state of any negotiations between Yahoo and Microsoft. He had tried to broker a partnership between the two companies last year, when talks on Microsoft’s $47.5 billion takeover bid for Yahoo fell apart.

“I’ve been a strong advocate of getting a search deal done with Microsoft,” Icahn, who owns about 5 percent of Yahoo and is a director on its board, told Reuters on Friday.

He also put friends of his on the board, so his influence there may be greater than 5%. For a bit of history also see:

There is nothing final or concrete to indicates a Yahoo!-Microsoft deal materialising, which would show sheer hypocrisy because Microsoft blocked a similar Yahoo!-Google deal. This would prove cheaper than a full acquisition, that’s for sure. Speaking of which, there is one writer with the opinion that Microsoft should buy Citrix.

Why Microsoft Should Finally Buy Citrix

I’ve written a good bit here about the various ways Microsoft and Citrix overlap in the hypervisor space, ranging from topics like shared code base through competition for the desktop space.

[...]

To be clear, I am not being critical of Microsoft technologies or business practices (as any long-time readers of my blog will undoubtedly know). I am suggesting that when compared on a chart, Citrix is closer today to where the market and VMware are going for virtual platforms, and if the goal is to compete with VMware for both enterprise and cloud virtual platforms then Microsoft could benefit in leaps and bounds by acquiring Citrix for both Xen and their networking products. Microsoft would get virtual platform, application, and networking tools that they don’t have today.

Microsoft might not need Xen all that much. Microsoft has just released a new Linux patch to advance Hyper-V. While it is commendable that Microsoft is no longer entirely allergic to the GPL(v2, not v3), it ought to be strongly emphasised that this is the latest example (amongst others) where Microsoft submits an open source patch from which Microsoft Windows or another part of the proprietary Microsoft stack is to gain. Prior such examples were beneficial to SQL Server, for example. I would be more delighted if Microsoft decided to rescind its patent threats, which it uses to suppress adoption of the very same kernel it purports to be contributing to. The accompanying press release is sign that Microsoft also uses this as a publicity stunt — selling people the impression it needs for all sorts of reasons. We shall write about this later.

07.16.09

Update on Novell and Microsoft’s Virtualisation Pact

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Ron Hovsepian, Virtualisation, VMware, Windows, Xen at 4:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Umbrella

Summary: Bits from the press about Novell and virtualisation for the most part

MANY people may not remember this, but Ron Hovsepian admitted giving power to Microsoft in the datacentres. It was part of the deal that Novell should permit Windows to run as a host and SUSE usually be a guest. Novell was the feeble party in this relationship and by signing that notorious patent deal, Novell sort of passed its inferiority onto other GNU/Linux distributors.

Moreover, it cannot be stressed strongly enough that Citrix bought XenSource only to advance Windows for the most part. Here is a new article from The Register:

Citrix Systems and Microsoft are co-mingling some of their virtual desktop technologies. But Redmond stopped short of endorsing the XenClient bare-metal PC hypervisor that chip maker Intel and Citrix are working on for delivery later this year.

Also new from The Register is an article about FastScales:

Novell’s SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is not yet supported, and neither are other hypervisors, such as XenServer from Citrix Systems or Hyper-V from Microsoft, and this could be a problem. FastScale said back in April – when VMware launched its ESX Server 4.0 hypervisor and its related vSphere 4.0 tools – that it would support these by the end of the year.

Here is the Boston press about Novell:

Matt Rosoff, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft, a Kirkland, Wash., firm that specializes in tracking Microsoft, said that by creating a rival operating system, Google is leading with its chin.

“I don’t see why Google has to get into this business,’’ Rosoff said. “It seems like they’re waving a red flag directly at Microsoft’s core business.’’

Microsoft has crushed a host of erstwhile technology titans that posed similar head-on threats – browser maker Netscape and networking software company Novell Inc., for example, he said.

Matt Rosoff would be biased because of his professional focus and location (Kirkland, just like Gates), so by “crushed” he probably means broke the law to put competitors out of business and thus obtain a monopoly, then pay fines for the crimes and benefit from the outcome of the crime (financially) over the years. The article above is noteworthy because of another new article (from Alibaba) about VMware and Microsoft. Microsoft executives are pretty much running VMware right now. The article states:

But Maritz knew how to play hardball: He made decisions that helped vanquish past Microsoft rivals, including Lotus, Novell and Netscape.

“Play hardball” or break the law? How the press attempts to soften the seriousness of crimes over time. We see it constantly, even days ago. As Comes vs Microsoft exhibits show, Paul Maritz participated even in vandalism. There are many more examples, some of which are yet to come.

“We are going to cut off their air supply.”

Paul Maritz, former Microsoft Vice President, referring to Netscape

07.12.09

Gartner Group Pretends Only Microsoft Competes with VMware, Novell Helps Microsoft Too

Posted in FUD, Microsoft, Novell, Servers, Virtualisation, Windows, Xen at 8:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft dirty tactics

Summary: Novell sidles with Microsoft’s end of the spectrum and Gartner promotes Hyper-V by comparing VMware to Novell

MICROSOFT HAS ALREADY used up most of its ‘puppets’ in order to attack VMware and advance Hyper-V. It used the Burton Group, which needed to be asked for an apology in some other circumstances. It also used the Yankee Group, which was soon forced to pull what seemed like a result of the usual fraudulent study methodologies [1, 2]. Then there was IDC versus VMware. The only pro-Microsoft analyst which has been conspicuously absent from this slog was the Gartner Group [1, 2]… until now. It is now Gartner’s turn to take shots at VMware. Gartner’s David Cappuccio published this article in the Indian press and his own turf. Characteristically enough, he too is totally ignoring anyone but Microsoft, pretending it is just Microsoft’s game. It is a familiar pattern of promotion through deception.

Matt Asay falls into this trap and spreads the word further in a blog about “open source”.

Could VMware be the next Novell? That’s the question Gartner managing vice president and chief of research for Infrastructure David Cappuccio asks in a provocative post, one that bears further discussion. While VMware is at the top of its game, there are several historical analogs between VMware and Novell.

A Citrix veteran pushed out there not one but two articles that give magnitude to this Microsoft promotion from Gartner:

First: “Gartner Wonders; Will VMware become the next Novell?”

Back in the early 1990’s Novel owned the local area network market – they were as dominant as VMware is today with well over 90% of the market and had an incredibly loyal following (I can attest to this having attended multiple Brainshare events with 10,000+ attendees – and I have the t-shirts to prove it).

Second: “Is VMware More Like Novell or Oracle?”

Unlike Noorda’s Novell, VMware’s CEO, COO and Executive VP all come from high-level positions at Microsoft. They understand the Microsoft culture, strengths and threat. VMware is a company with a laser beam focus on virtualization that is undistracted by a personal vendetta.

They are giving Microsoft credit (only Microsoft), not to KVM, for example, despite the fact that it runs/will run on many Red Hat (and generally GNU/Linux) servers out there.

And then there is Citrix, which is all about Windows and Microsoft. Yes, it truly shows. From The Register:

It will launch a freebie version of its Citrix Essentials virtualisation tool set that works in conjunction with Microsoft’s Hyper-V hypervisor for Windows Server 2008.

This whole article shows the bias at Citrix (just Hyper-V/Xen and Microsoft/Novell). Linux is hardly a consideration after Citrix hijacked Xen. The Linux Foundation appears to have noticed that too. In another article from the The Register, it is shown that Novell chooses to help Microsoft and its semi-subsidiary Citrix. Novell will not help KVM, which competes directly with Microsoft, the Microsoft-influenced Citrix, and the Microsoft-dominated VMware (after Tucci’s aggressive transitioning).

SUSE Linux 11 has a technology preview of Red Hat’s alternative KVM hypervisor, but Novell is still pretty cool to it, having made big investments in Xen. “We don’t see an ecosystem developing around KVM yet,” says Steinman dismissively. But when Red Hat gets its freestanding version of KVM, called Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization, or RHEV for short, out of beta and into production later this year, Novell will have to make up its mind what to do. Red Hat already has, and Xen is not its future.

Novell finds itself stuck with Microsoft. It is obliged to keep Microsoft happy in order to receive those cash infusions, without which it probably could not survive.

06.19.09

Do Citrix and Black Duck Help Microsoft Embrace (and Extend) “Open Source”

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, GPL, Marketing, Microsoft, Virtualisation, Xen at 6:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Citrix logo

Summary: Microsoft-tied entities brushing shoulders amongst people in the Free(dom) software world

“Microsoft” is not a company, it is an ecosystem. It is a network of connected businesses that share the same goals and thus help one another. The role of Citrix is clear to see based on the XenSource story. The short story is that Citrix took Xen away from GNU/Linux, which is gradually gravitating towards KVM, probably as a direct result. Unsurprisingly, one of the only remaining supporters of Xen in the enterprise-oriented space is Novell, which is part of Microsoft's linked interests.

As we pointed out several days ago, an investment from Citrix in Vyatta may be cause for concern [1, 2]. On the surface, it sure seems rather innocent and virtualisation guru Dan Kusnetzky opines that this may be a strategic move against Cisco (Cisco and Microsoft don't get along so well anymore).

Dell, HP, IBM are you watching? I believe you would gain some important ground in your emerging competition with Cisco by also becoming buddies with Vyatta.

Dana Blankenhorn believes that “It’s a delicate dance, especially at times like this when growth capital is so scarce. Time will tell whether Vyatta tilts toward, say, Xen in helping craft customer solutions. Or whether it starts pushing Novell’s Suse Linux over, say, Red Hat.”

Considering the fact that Microsoft promotes SUSE and vilifies Red Hat, how likely is it that some gentle pressure might come from Citrix so that Vyatta leans towards Microsoft’s patent ploy? This hopefully will never happen.

Moving on a little, last month we noted that Black Duck (created by a Microsoft employee, who is still on the Board of Directors along with Roger Heinen from Microsoft) had invited Microsoft to FOSS ‘on our behalf’ [1, 2]. It is almost as though they act as a gateway. Gavin Clarke, a Microsoft spinner/PR person for the most part, passes on Black Duck’s latest praise of Microsoft:

A home-cooked Microsoft license has carved out a small but growing following among the open-source community in less than two years.

[...]

That’s according to license and code watcher Black Duck Software, who attributed the rise in MS-PL to Microsoft’s efforts to increase the appeal of its CodePlex project-hosting site. MS-PL is one of 1,577 software licenses from 200,000 projects analyzed by Black Duck.

It is important to be reminded that these are licences whose goal is to attack Free software and give Microsoft greater control over a much more confused and diluted 'community' (of Windows developers who give their code away for free).

“It is very dangerous to allow Black Duck to become (or be perceived as) a sort of spokesman for “open source”.”It is also important to remember that Black Duck is a proprietary software company (and marketing puppet at times, for press exposure that leads to shameless self-promotion). Black Duck talks a lot about “open source ” while selling proprietary software and nothing which is Free (libre) software at all, not to mention Black Duck’s ripoff of Palamida’s good *GPLv3 database (but that’s old news).

It is disappointing to see Matt Asay parroting a message of this company which ushers Microsoft into embrace & extend of “open source”. There is more in SD Times, following another Black Duck press release about open source in healthcare last week.

It is very dangerous to allow Black Duck to become (or be perceived as) a sort of spokesman for “open source”. But some people allow this to happen, not just Microsoft proponents with prominent positions in the press.

06.10.09

Is Microsoft Pulling a Xen on Vyatta?

Posted in Finance, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows, Xen at 3:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hopefully not.

Chess

Summary: Shades of Xen/Ignition Partners/Citrix maneouver in Vyatta’s round of funding

AS a quick recap, Microsoft employees in Ignition Partners had put money in XenSource and put it on route to acquisition by Microsoft’s other half, Citrix. As a result, Xen’s future on GNU/Linux became uncertain, Red Hat bought KVM, and Xen was used mostly to promote Windows and Microsoft, so the Linux Foundation abandoned it.

Having identified such patterns before, it’s not so encouraging to hear that Vyatta is now borrowing money (in a sense) from Citrix.

Open Source Networker Vyatta Raises $11 Million, Led By Citrix

Today, the company has announced that it has raised $10 million in Series C funding, led by Citrix.

Why would Citrix, a company that is all about Windows, be interested in routers running GNU/Linux? This gives Microsoft — through Citrix — a lot of leverage power.

For some background, appended below are some of the more recent stories about Vyatta and what it’s all about.
_____
[1] Vyatta Open Source Routing and Security Software

It has been a very long time since I had the chance to speak with someone from Vyatta about their open source routing and network virtualization technology. After rummaging through my files, it seems that the last time I spoke with them was in June 2007 (see Vyatta – changing the world of routers, firewalls and VPNs.)  They’ve been on my mind ever since and I’ve often spoken about their approach and their technology to Kusnetzky Group LLC clients.

[2] Vyatta – a fortnight in review

Well this is really simple, its managment interface (not the WebGUI) its awesome, some of our guys are cisco nuts, vyatta manages to deal with those guys – I have yet to dig into it too much but vyatta seem to have replaced bash with their own shell. The upshot of this ? you can type “configure” and it takes you into config mode like a cisco, it then will autocomplete router style commands like “run show bpg summary” its very clever – to really understand what i mean here try it.

[3] Vyatta Aims Higher

Belmont, Calif.-based open source router maker Vyatta has issued a flurry of press releases since the start of the year. The most significant news was the most recent: the release of its Community Edition 4.

[4] Vyatta: A high-end Linux-based firewall and router

Let’s play a Linux word association game. Red Hat is to Microsoft as Vyatta is to Cisco.

[5] Free x86 Linux router distro rev’d

Vyatta Community Edition 2.2 (“Camarillo”) features security and flexibility enhancements to the BGP (border gateway protocol) stack, and usability enhancements related to NAT (network address translation) and DHCP (dynamic host configuration protocol).  

[6] Enterprise router runs open Linux OS

Vyatta has spun a branded hardware “appliance” version of its dual-licensed Linux and open source software-based router and firewall stack. The first in a “Series 2500″ line of “Open Networking Appliances,” the Vyatta 2501 targets data centers requiring up to 10Gbps of throughput.

[7] Vyatta Enterprise Router Runs Linux

Vyatta has bundled its dual-licensed Linux and open source software-based router and firewall software into a branded hardware “appliance” version for the enterprise market.

[8] Vyatta gives Nortel the half-Nelson

Nortel became dependent on phone companies, outfits like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon. After DWDM brought the benefits of Moore’s Law to fiber, these companies stopped buying. And they’re still not buying.

05.27.09

New Speculations About Microsoft Buying Citrix or Grabbing Yahoo! Search

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Search, Xen at 9:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Citrix logo

Summary: New rumours about Citrix and Yahoo!

BACK in September it was argued that Microsoft would buy Citrix, which had already been assisting Microsoft in its battle against GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. According to Mary-Jo Foley, old speculations are back but she opines that a Yahoo! deal is more likely:

Microsoft quietly registered a limited liability company (LLC) last week, which points to the company being poised to make an acquisition or joint venture.

While some are speculating the new company could have something to do with Microsoft buying Citrix, I think all the signs, not to mention the timing, are pointing to a Microsoft-Yahoo hook-up. After all, this week is the “All Things D” D7 confab, where Microsoft is slated to show off to attendees its newest search release. And both Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz are on the guest list….

Whatever Microsoft does with its search engine, it is a lost battle from the get-go and also sheer hypocrisy because Microsoft blocked a deal between Google and Yahoo!

05.18.09

Microsoft Insiders Watch: Bruckheimer, Digiting, DoMedia

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OLPC, Virtualisation, Windows, Xen at 6:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Senior Microsoft employees who come to other companies are named

ACCORDING to the following report, Bruce Jaffe, who quit Microsoft not so long ago, brings Microsoft roots to the veins of this startup.

Take a moment to learn about Bruce Jaffe's role in the hijack of OLPC.

A new company called Digiting has done just that. The Seattle-based startup claims from Microsoft acquisitions chief Bruce Jaffe and former Twitter vice president Lee Mighdoll among its new employees.

Microsoft influence can now be found in Bruckheimer as well. From the news:

Jim Veevaert, formerly an executive producer at Microsoft, and Jay Cohen, previously senior vice president of publishing at Ubisoft, will lead Bruckheimer Games as president of production and president of development, respectively.

Most important, however, is the following appointment, which puts a former Microsoft executive in a chairman’s position. That company is DoMedia.

Little more than two months after bringing on a new CEO, online advertising database DoMedia has a new face in the chairman’s seat.

Here is the the corresponding press release.

In order to understand what impact former Microsoft employees can have, taking a look at Ignition and Xen might help. Citrix grabbed XenSource and thus essentially took it from GNU/Linux. Now it’s mostly about Microsoft, Windows, and Hyper-V. Here is a new press release which shows this and also an article. It was a good lesson in Microsoft’s ability to grab competitive threats using its ecosystem that absorbs the threat.

Speaking of ecosystem, here is something to watch out for: Intel, Microsoft, Dell band together for WiGig

Computer and home entertainment industry leaders, including Intel Corp., Microsoft Corp., Dell Inc. and Panasonic Corp., said Wednesday that they’re forming a new association to create an even faster wireless technology for zipping large files around the home.

What about Linux? No word about it. This is a triangle (and sometimes collusion) that we wrote about before [1, 2]. Intel pays Dell billions of dollars in kickbacks to avoid them stocking AMD, Dell and Microsoft share a bed, Intel and Microsoft conspire against consumers and so on and so forth.

05.08.09

Microsoft + “Open” Attack GNU/Linux and “Free” (as in Free Speech)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Virtualisation, Xen at 3:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

Summary: Citrix-controlled Xen keeps bending towards Microsoft, which misuses “open source”

THAT Microsoft manipulates the virtualisation market is something that we last summarised a couple of months ago and now there is more supportive evidence.

Citrix dazzles market — and Microsoft — with new Xen products

[...]

But the lack of Linux desktop support is disappointing from the pen source virtualization vendor.

This is part of the trend we’ve been seeing ever since Citrix, one of the closest allies of Microsoft, bought (and overpaid for) XenSource. It was partly about causing harm to GNU/Linux.

Microsoft dips its fingers in many wells which are “open source”, but in the case of Xen there was the GPL, so Microsoft could not acquire it directly (antitrust was another important issue). And speaking of which, Microsoft’s sponsorship of SourceForge.net 2008 Community Choice Awards turned it rather hostile towards open source [1, 2, 3], but there are no anti-FOSS prizes from this year’s contest, unlike last year’s. Microsoft does, however, still misuse the word “open” and thus dilutes it:

It’s Open, Gov, Honest

Interesting to see Microsoft jumping on the openness bandwagon again – specifically, on the open government bandwagon…..

If only more people knew what Microsoft means by “open”.

“More Open Than Open [...] I am constantly amazed at the flexibility of this single word.”

Microsoft’s Jason Matusow, integral part of the ‘Open’ XML corruptions (further background in [1, 2, 3])

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