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Microsoft's Veiled Attack on Google Tries to Incite GNU/Linux People Against Chrome OS

"Diversionary tactics, holding action, and retreats may each seem contrary to the achievement of the overall objective when considered solely in their own terms, but taken in light of the overall conflict, may contribute to overall success."

--Microsoft, internal document [PDF]



Summary: How Microsoft works to create civil wars and Google hate/unrest (and even get Apple fans to distrust or dislike Google)

LET US START with some background or an introduction to Google's real impact in this area of desktop operating systems. Everyone has heard the news by now because the entire mainstream press covered it. Sam Varghese explains quite correctly why Microsoft is so scared (with only another Vista down the road and still no proper support for ODF [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]).

Chrome OS: Nice curveball from left field, Google



[...]

Also remember, this is an operating system that Google has announced, one that will come up against Microsoft's main cash cows, Windows and, by extension, Office.


According to new research, Chrome OS will gain tremendously because of ARM chips that are inexpensive and very energy efficient. 55 percent market share is projected.

Researcher: Chrome to boost Atom to ARM switch in netbooks



[...]

While Intel's Atom holds more than an 80 percent share of the 23.5-million netbooks sold in 2009 the ARM processor will to gain a 55 percent market share of the 96.0 million netbooks sold in 2012, according to researchers.


As Slated puts it, "ARM-incompatible Microsoft Windows Vista-7 need not apply."

Microsoft must respond fast. As usual, Microsoft does not respond by making better products; Microsoft just attacks its competition with vandalism or words.

Several people disparage Google and Ubuntu (even quite publicly) right now. Microsoft is also trying to have UNIX/Linux people attack Google over Chrome OS in particular. We have found Enderle, Yankee and Gartner doing it and as wallclimber puts it, it's all aimed at making these products less appealing. "I have mixed feelings about it," she adds. As another reader emphasised yesterday, "Microsoft is trying to spin Google OS as an attack against Linux." As we shall show in a moment, Enderle apparently incites Apple fans against Chrome OS and Google (Safari and Chrome are both based on WebKit, which used KHTML). It's a divisive role and we previously showed that Microsoft's strategy includes trying to create 'civil wars' inside or between competitors (for example, the use of Novell/patents against GNU/Linux and Mono/Ximian against critics and doubters of Microsoft).

Let's proceed to some actual new examples. We wrote about Rob Enderle just days ago because he continues to spread Linux lies and he incites people against Chrome OS (the Guardian does this too). But as Pamela Jones at Groklaw puts it (in reference to other punditry), "I must point out that Chrome runs on the Linux kernel. The Google announcement linked to by the article says so: "The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel." So, it's just Linux getting wings into the cloud, and Chrome running on the kernel. So Google is using Linux to challenge Microsoft. Once again, we see how appropriate it is to distinguish between the Linux kernel and the GNU/Linux operating system, so folks don't get confused as to which you mean. Here the author means GNU/Linux operating systems, like Ubuntu or other desktop distributions."

“Microsoft is also trying to have UNIX/Linux people attack Google over Chrome OS in particular.”Enderle is again spinning the Chrome OS announcement. He uses ECT (owner of LinuxInsider, which is considered rather GNU/Linux-hostile) to attack Apple and Google at the same time, thereby creating tension between the two (angle: Chrome attacks Apple). That is on top of all the lobbying against Google, whose important role in on-line office suites Microsoft had dismissed until it got something of its own ready and then re-announced old news (it was last re-announced only yesterday).

FUD like this is not uncommon, but one reader illustrates the nature of this attack by quoting and responding. For instance, Enderle writes: "The good news for both companies is that it doesn't look as though Google fully understands what it will take to succeed in this space. That means this move may be riskier for Google than it is for either Microsoft or Apple, unless Google focuses, builds up marketing competency, and executes better than it currently is..."

Our reader says: "This is a disguised directive from Redmond trying to bait Google into changing direction and fight Microsoft own battle on Microsoft's own territory, rich desktop applications. Whenever you see Microsoft giving advice to anyone, you can be guaranteed it isn't for the other fellas benefit."

The reader adds that Enderle is "rewriting history on top of it. This is the true function of shills like Enderle. Relentlessly polluting the record with self-serving distortions like the below."

Enderle writes: "In short, like Netscape, Google may have instigated one of the biggest changes since the beginning of the PC, but it might be unable to capitalize on it..."

The "FUD injection", as our reader puts it, is: "Netscape failed to capitalize on the PC revolution."

He argues that the reality goes like this: "Microsoft tried to buy out Netscape, negotiate with the NSCA for an exclusive license, then licensed Spyglass and never paid them as they 'gave away' the client. Meanwhile 'extending' their web server app with incompatible HTML extensions."

See some of the gory details in Comes trial documents and this petition.

Enderle was of course not alone in all this. See what Eric Lai (of a Redmond blog) did when he tried to create Google unrest or describe/accentuate a perceived issue of "fragmentation". As we noted on Saturday, Lai used a FUD-inspiring headline with a question mark (here is the direct link).

But more obvious are probably the attacks on Chrome OS from the Yankee Group, a longtime friend of Microsoft [1, 2]. From IDG comes the same storyline: "Google OS Could Put Squeeze on Other Flavors of Linux"

But just when some Linux distributions seemed to be gaining a foothold, Google may soon curtail their success. The strength of its brand, and its reputation as a company that builds sleek and easy-to-use products, means it could steamroll over the other Linux candidates, said Joshua Martin, senior analyst at the Yankee Group.


Because Yankee Group is surely an unbiased and "independent" party when it comes to Linux, right?

But wait. That's not all. Yesterday was the last time we wrote about Gartner and Microsoft and here is some fresh Gartner FUD about Chrome OS. The storyline remains: "Will Chrome endanger Android?" (that's the headline, with the obligatory question mark to save from accusations of trolling, as usual).

It is funny how all the same Microsoft-friendly analysts come out of the woodwork whenever a real threat to Microsoft appears before a receptive audience/crowd.

Chrome OS is by all means good news for Linux (see the remarks from Zemlin et al of the Linux Foundation). The opposite spin is a form of indoctrination that comes from Redmond through the Microsoft-tilted press. Here is a decent new analysis which is titled "Five Ways Google Spits on Microsoft."

Even the headlines this week fed off that animus. Google Drops A Nuclear Bomb on Microsoft said one, Google Launching OS, Firing Torpedo Into Microsoft, went another.

The 655-word blog post that announced Chrome OS started it all, of course. But almost lost in the hoopla over that manifesto were the shots Google took at its rival, five taunts that jabbed at Windows' most notable, and cliched, shortcomings.

Google says: "...the operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no Web."

[...]

Translation: Windows is a headache, plain and simple, and getting it to work right takes the patience of Job and requires that users discard any leisure time and instead dedicate hours every week to the chore.

Windows users, to greater and lesser extents, recognize this as a truth, and plan accordingly by taking the estimated time to, say, add a new printer, then doubling it for a real timetable.


Any more Chrome OS mockery from Microsoft-friendly press people? If so, please share.

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