Bonum Certa Men Certa

Latest FUD Attack on GNU/Linux-powered Sub-notebooks Comes from Microsoft-influenced Lenovo

"I feel we are much too smug in dealing with Novell. Perhaps they didn’t hurt us in DOS yet — but it’s not because of product or their trying. It’s because we already had the OEMs wrapped up."

--Jim Allchin, President of Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft



Summary: Microsoft's offensive against GNU/Linux on sub-notebooks gains a familiar ally

NO MATTER IF Microsoft hires NPD or sends one of its pseudo-journalists to mock GNU/Linux on sub-notebooks, the simple reality that Microsoft shows its investors on a quarterly basis is that GNU/Linux brought Windows margins close to $0*. While this may lead to more Microsoft layoffs, that is not the subject of this one particular post.



“Lenovo put Microsoft employees near its management and not surprisingly it dissed and excluded Red Hat, even from the server side (in places).”We are now dealing with hostile statements and strategies that we have been observing in Lenovo since Microsoft employee made their way into the company [1, 2]. Lenovo put Microsoft employees near its management and not surprisingly it dissed and excluded Red Hat, even from the server side (in places). This is not excusable. It offered the Microsoft-taxed SUSE but not Red Hat, as evidenced by its very own statements and press releases.

What gives?

Lenovo has also been rather hostile towards GNU/Linux in sub-notebooks. Almost no OEM has been this reluctant to offer GNU/Linux (at least in the United States in Lenovo's case). And off they go again, only to be rebutted at a purely technical level. Carla has already addressed their argument in isolation, based on practical grounds:

This is Why Lenovo Sucks at Linux



[...]

When someone makes such giant mountains out of such tiny molehills it makes me wonder. How is it that ordinary Linux users can download and install Linux on Thinkpads, Ideapads, EeePCs, Mini Notes, and all kinds of computer brands and models without it being a big hairy failure? What special knowledge do they possess that Lenovo is unable to grasp? How can anyone in tech these days get away with not having broad knowledge of multiple operating systems, applications, and trends in development? You don't have to be a total elite expert in every detail, but I think anyone who isn't informed enough to avoid spouting pure nonsense should not have a job in tech.


Microsoft has many reasons to fear GNU/Linux in sub-notebooks. Its former employees who are now inside Lenovo might contribute to decisions; it would be naïve to believe otherwise. Google/Android sub-notebooks have just made their first appearance and they hurt Microsoft's profitability very badly (margins to be compromised for Windows to stay competitive). Microsoft itself has openly admitted great fear of sub-notebooks running Android. Vista 7 may not have any compatibility advantage to offer (it apparently got worse than Vista) and on sub-notebooks it also has the 'advantage' of limiting the user to just 3 processes. Pro-GNU/Linux reporters are having a field day over this:

David writes: "The offensive Microsoft anti-Linux netbook offensive"

Ever since the unexpected advent of netbooks – who would have expected low-powered computing to be such a winner – Microsoft has been working to push Linux out. Unlike Vista, Windows 7 will run effectively on a netbook. However, Microsoft have reminded us they’re a proprietary company with the offensive Windows 7 Starter Edition being limited to three apps only. Are they trying to insult us or what?


SJVN writes: "Will Microsoft blow its netbook lead with Windows 7 crippleware?"

When netbooks first came along, they almost all ran Linux. Microsoft, which was stuck with the resource pig known as Windows Vista, simply couldn't compete. So, reluctantly, Microsoft gave Windows XP Home a new lease on life and sold it below cost to OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to kill the Linux desktop at the root. For this cost, Microsoft was successful, but now Microsoft is about to blow it by replacing XP Home with Windows 7 Starter Edition, which is crippleware by any other name.

Microsoft has been selling crippleware, software that's deliberately had features removed, for some time. The only real difference, for example, between XP Home and XP Pro, besides the price-tag, was that XP Home couldn't handle business domain or AD (Active Directory) networking. To get this one feature activated, millions of business users paid an average of $80 more per PC.


Microsoft has new failures in other areas too. For an overview which is incomplete, see this new post from Goblin.

Digg is reported to have ended its exclusive advertising partnership with Microsoft over a year before it was due to expire. The deal, which began in 2007 was intended to be one for three years and one which Microsoft was (IMO) very proud of at the time.

“You’ll continue to see us be aggressive in this field,” said Steve Berkowitz at the time.

Well, you can be whatever you want. Difficult to be aggressive if youre not wanted though isnt it?


There are always neat ways to spin bad news as good news. _______ * GNU/Linux contains office suites too, so not only Windows is negatively affected.

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