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Eye on Microsoft: Intel Collaborations, Dumping, and Search Redux

One last item for the day is an accumulation of Microsoft news.

Vista Ultimate Edition Rejected Because GNU/Linux is Much Better



Well, that's the suggestion made by Techie Moe anyway:

I gave it a shot, but Vista Ultimate simply did not impress. If "the most complete version of Windows" can't cut it, I think I can definitely say that Vista is not for me. I for one plan on sticking with XP for my gaming fixes as long as it still works, and use Linux for everything else.


Nicholas Petreley actually writes about Microsoft for a change and the following bit is interesting:

I'll never forget the day Steve Ballmer visited me at InfoWorld to convince me that Windows 95 would be the wave of the future. In our conversation, and in front of a room full of editors and skilled technicians, he unapologetically admitted that IBM's OS/2 was superior to Windows 95.


Intel and Microsoft Join Forces Again



Microsoft and Intel, partners in collusion, appear to be busy getting people in middle east 'addicted' to Windows, to use the terminology of Bill Gates. Over in India, but also in the middle east, Intel crowns a close Microsoft partner, Wipro [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], granting it an innovation award, whatever that actually means.

Wipro Infotech, the India and Middle East IT Business of Wipro Ltd and a leading provider of IT and business transformation services announced that it has won the prestigious Intel Global Innovation Award for Storage at the Intel Developer Forum 2008 in San Francisco.


Additionally, and also in India, some low-cost Wintel laptops seem to appear. We previously showed how Intel and Microsoft were working together against Free software in Russia and China.

They go a long way to achieve this goal, even if operating margins and innocent children are badly hurt in the process

A Lost Search for Direction



When Microsoft first announced paybacks/cashback for Live/MSN search users, Charles Copper at CNET labeled it "bribery as a business model". It does not even seem to be working. Here are a couple of new article about it:

1. TechCrunch: Microsoft’s Live Search Cashback Scheme Fails To Move The Market Share Needle

When it comes to search, Microsoft is trying everything it can to become a serious player. It tried to acquire Yahoo, its latest version of Internet Explorer attempts to steer Web surfers away from Google, and then there is straight-out payola to search advertisers. I am talking, of course, of Microsoft’s Live Search Cashback promotion, which lets advertisers offer rebates to consumers who make a purchase after doing a Microsoft search.


2. Wired: You Can't Pay People to Use Microsoft Search

Microsoft has been desperately trying to chip away at Google’s dominance in search -- and the ad coin it brings in -- but it looks like its plan to pay searchers isn't having much impact on market share.


Microsoft's Online/Web division is losing many heads and things are not improving when mail outages become not only a recurrence but also the cause for lost work and unroutable (i.e. destructed) mail. Here is the latest incident.

Microsoft Office Live Small Biz suffers outage, possibly lost e-mail



[..]

"Outages you can understand, but the outright loss of data? They should be ashamed of themselves, being the biggest computer company in the world," said Joe Reilly, owner of Marine Wireless Internet in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.


Similar incidents and articles include:



Squeezing the Goose



Since revenue does not arrive from many of users of Windows (there's reliance on infringements) and Microsoft is under financial stress, some of the pressure is being passed to users now, never mind the economic situation.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software maker has expanded its definition of piracy to include instances of license misuse.


Here you have some more new complaints:

Relative: Why does my computer lose my wallpaper and give me a black screen every hour?

Me: Ah, that’s just Vista for you. You have to pay Microsoft to get rid of that.

Relative: Why? Why should I have to pay Microsoft? Why doesn’t it just work?

Me: A.) It’s not Linux, so it won’t “just work” no matter what you do, and B.) You didn’t really expect Microsoft to let you use their computer for free, did you?

Relative: Um, I already paid for it…


Fear of Free Software in South Africa



We noted this very recently, having already explained what Microsoft is doing down south. This carries on with more aggressive discounts for young people, whose personal data will be imprisoned in OOXML jail.

The price of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007 productivity suite has been slashed by up to 40 percent in an effort to ensure that technology is made easily accessible and affordable to people across Africa.


The article neglects to mention the real reasons for Microsoft's discounts, namely SaaS (e.g. Zoho, Google Apps) and Free software (e.g. KOffice, OpenOffice.org), even gratis proprietary software like Lotus. It's not about goodwill and it's not about Microsoft's affinity for students. Microsoft is a ruthless business.

OOXML data vacuum



It also turns out that Microsoft South Africa finally gets a new managing director.

Microsoft has appointed experienced industry executive Mteto Nyati to head up its SA subsidiary.


Recall the circumstances of the departure of the previous managing director. Microsoft cannot fight freedom forever. It makes it hugely unpopular among those who are well informed.

"Copying all or parts of a program is as natural to a programmer as breathing, and as productive. It ought to be as free."

--Richard Stallman

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There will be more next week