Bonum Certa Men Certa

Sharp Drop in Microsoft Patents, But Not in Patent Assaults, Coordinated Attacks on Android/Linux, and Googlebombing

A failed or losing strategy after all? Investors sure think so.

SCOTUS Old Senate
The Old Senate Chamber during the US Supreme Court's residency



Summary: Using patent blackmail (antithetical to the original goal of patents) and other forms of blackmail, Microsoft is desperately trying to crush GNU/Linux and Android, all while Windows 'sales' fall and investors lose confidence

"Issued US Patents Down 11% for Microsoft in 2015 Compared to 2014," wrote Patent Buddy. "705 Patents Down 49% for Microsoft in 2015 Compared to 2014" (depending on how it's measured). It is often said that empires collapse and ultimately end sorely defeated when they over-militarise (like with patents) and then implode. Microsoft is apparently imploding right now.



This is not surprising to us. Microsoft still attacks Android with patents, but right now it uses them for leverage, by means of extortion or SLAPP (an effort not to actually take the blackmailed party to court, as it makes Microsoft look bad and can invalidate the patents). Will it work out at the end? Well, we doubt it, but Cyanogen, the latest embrace extend and extinguish manoeuvre by Microsoft, does pose a threat. Using Cyanogen as a proxy is not competing, it is disrupting nefariously.

"Using Cyanogen as a proxy is not competing, it is disrupting nefariously."Investors' press is not very impressed. One site asked a couple of days ago: "Can Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Truly Take Away “Open Source” Android From The Market?"

Here is a portion of this analysis:

The other question which arises is, will Microsoft be able to drive the open source operating system away from Google’s perceived dominance? The answer is quite simply no, since without Google services, Android will not prove to be an efficient operating system. There will be a whole suite of Microsoft applications which will considerably fill the gap, but will users be content with Microsoft’s app store? The Google Play Store forms the crux of the argument, as it is the main reason why Android is currently thriving. Microsoft will not be able to uphold Android, thereby removing any prevailing beliefs that it will take away the openness of Android.

Currently, Android is by far the most popular operating system. However, there are some who do not like Google and its services. However, this does not take away the fact that the majority trust and support Google’s presence on the Android front.


Moreover, making Android an even more dominant platform is basically digging Windows' grave (Microsoft does the digging).

Investors' press insists "Office for Android Won’t Save MSFT" (Microsoft's biggest cash cow), neglecting to mention that patent pressure is how Microsoft hopes to convince companies to bundle it (possibly free of charge, i.e. no short-term profit, just lock-in). Here is how the press puts it: "In an effort to remain relevant in the mobile space, MSFT announced earlier this week that it has reached an agreement with 31 Android original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners to preinstall Microsoft Office on a host of current and future tablets. The idea is to expose a larger number of mobile users to the apps than what would be possible with sales of MSFT devices alone."

This number, 31, is actually nonsense for reasons we named here before. Only 4 of these actually count for something and the reason they cooperated with Microsoft is bribes or extortion (if not both). There is evidence to show this in the leading technology press from Taiwan. Microsoft is now using patents or threat of lawsuits, patent tax etc. as an instrument of coercion, just like the Mafia does. As Mark Shuttleworth once put it: “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.” On another occasion Shuttleworth made a Mafia comparison: “It’s an unsafe neighbourhood, why don’t you pay me 20 bucks and I’ll make sure you’re okay” (i.e. not sue by Microsoft).

"that’s illegal," Shuttleworth insisted. "It’s racketeering." Ironically, Shuttleworth is now helping Microsoft in several areas.

The investors' press curiously took note of Microsoft's blackmail tactics (curiously because the investment community is typically apathetic towards such behaviour, except when the public finds out). This is a matter which we covered here a week or more ago. This does not impress investors (or potential investors), who write that "Open source software is a different type of software. The developers of these platforms, for example Linux etc do not charge users when they use the software. The community of developers will update the software with advanced features bi-annually or quarterly. The issue is that these platforms also do the same kind of work that, say, Windows software is able to do. Hence, more and more users are switching to open source platforms. Therefore, the demand for paid software such as Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is increasingly on the decline."

Microsoft cannot compete with Free software. It constantly attacks it, as we saw recently in India (Microsoft lobbying even by proxy). Microsoft cannot and will not become/embrace Free/Open Source software either, unless it is connected to proprietary software from Microsoft. Watch this new example where a Microsoft-connected site is openwashing proprietary software from Microsoft (the bloated and expensive Microsoft Dynamics), essentially googlebombing to achieve the intended effect (googlebombing by Microsoft is now a regular strategy).

A reader alerted us about this Microsoft advertisement in IT Wire (looks like an article), associating Microsoft's proprietary software with volunteering efforts. Marine Rescue staff are wasting money (giving it to Microsoft) while people who volunteer give their time away and become 'addicted' to (or dependent on) Microsoft lock-in. They are broadcasting their own technical incompetence (the 'cloud' hype and proprietary software), but hey, it helps make the Australian government more locked in (to Microsoft). Less dependence on blackmailing of politicians, rights?

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