EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

02.19.08

Poor Microsoft Gives Poor Software to Youngsters, Hoping to Remain Relevant

Posted in Bill Gates, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Open XML at 11:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good.”

Adam Smith

Consider this a sequel in the “let them eat Vista” series of posts [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. 9]. We strive to better understand the black art of using free (gratis) software to capture the minds and the personal data of young individuals in less privileged parts of the world or those who do not know better (about cross-platform development).

The Ugly

As you have probably read by now (because it is widely covered in a lot of media), Microsoft is now reaching out to young people, whom the company hopes to use in order to back its agenda of (re)capturing the Web (Novell helps Microsoft here). The press release is very coy and subtle. This has an effect on media coverage as well. Although Adobe is mentioned as a party yet to be affected, the technology behind this move gets almost concealed.

“If Microsoft cannot continue its ownership of many desktops (devices aside), it wishes to leave a proprietary ocean of data spread all over the Web.”If Microsoft cannot continue its ownership of many desktops (devices aside), it wishes to leave a proprietary ocean of data spread all over the Web. It would be hard to clean up such a mess and it creates a great deal of dependency on Microsoft (for access to vital information).

Think about tomorrow’s generation of Linux-based mobile devices and Microsoft ambitions of turning the Net into .NET, most notably using Silverlight. Where does that position Linux? What about Moonlight? And why is a Microsoft ISV trying to shove the patent-encumbered Mono into Linux phones? These are urgent questions. The quicker they are raised, answered and brought to people’s attention, the quicker they can be addressed.

The Bad

This brings us back to the big news from yesterday. Microsoft spreads its seemingly-innocent love with seemingly-free tools, from which Microsoft benefits a lot.

Using a broadband connection, students can download Visual Studio, Microsoft’s main development tools used by professional developers, and Expression Studio, design software that rivals Adobe Systems Inc’s Creative Suite offering.

This pick from Groklaw is very telling:

Giving away Microsoft software also helps to ensure the next generation of code writers is well-versed in the Redmond, Wash., company’s technology…. Because they are minors and can’t sign license agreements, high school students will have access to the tools only through their teachers.

Think about this offer like you think of reduced student rates for Microsoft Office 2007. As Bill Gates once put it (to paraphrase a little) “they’ll get sort of addicted and we’ll [Microsoft] figure out how to collect [some time when they graduate, having been locked in on a mental (skills) and technical (data) level].”

Microsoft also has a lot to gain here because these young people, unaware of exactly what their use of these tools means to the market, might develop Web sites that work only in a couple of proprietary operating systems. In a sense, they ‘spread the plague’. They ‘proprietarise’ the World Wide Web — something which Tim Berners-Lee last warned about just months ago.

The Good

We apologise if too often we seem to predict doom and gloom. Be aware that Microsoft is in some seriously deep trouble at the moment and it’s important to maintain this momentum working against the company rather than give it a chance to regain the upper hand. Some of Microsoft’s internal problems we share among (and within) the links digests and here is another good pick from yesterday:

Would you believe… that Microsoft has dropped down to #86 within the Fortune Best Places to Work survey? That’s down from #50 in 2007 and #42 in 2006. Like a rock. In a bad way. And who is #1 for two years in a row? Grab that chair and give it a big effen toss in the air to Google! Toot! They get bigger and they’re still #1.

To give you sample of more optimistic analyses of this development (Microsoft calls it DreamSpark, which seems to have remainders of the previous name, “Sparkle”):

DreamSpark would have been cool…20 years ago. Today it’s an admission, as Glyn Moody writes, in “the plainest possible terms that its business model has failed.” Sorry. Maybe you’ll catch up next century.

These days, dear Mr. Gates, you must give away the core. No one is interested in mere complements anymore. Those are the tools necessary to drive revenue around the core being open sourced. Look around. Everyone (Google, Yahoo, MySQL, Red Hat, etc.) is doing it.

Here is Glyn Moody’s take:

Microsoft’s DreamSpark – What a Giveaway

[...]

The rest of the $44.6bn (£22.3bn) deal would be financed with an undisclosed amount of credit.

What that means is that it must squeeze as much money as it can from its operations to fund that debt and still pay dividends to shareholders, who will be looking for some payback from the Yahoo takeover. Giving away software is the last thing it would want to do in these circumstances, and the DreamSpark announcement shows just how worried it is about the future.

One might look at Silverlight merely as a development tool and recall the fact that Microsoft is losing developers to Linux. To recap, consider the following articles:

There are some more links of this kind in this older post. Microsoft has been losing developers for several consecutive years, at least based on Evans Data’s surveys. Other surveys appear to concur, so the results are consistent and difficult for Microsoft to dismiss.

“The fact that Microsoft is targeting young and innocent minds is eerily reminiscent of the fact that Novell brought Mono to teenagers.”The fact that Microsoft is targeting young and innocent minds is eerily reminiscent of the fact that Novell brought Mono to teenagers. Yes, a company that takes pride in ‘open source’ is actually choosing Microsoft technologies for its curriculum targeted at young minds. That’s Novell for you.

At the moment, amid an executives exodus, Microsoft pretends nothing is happening. Last week it talked only about promotions, but not about the vacancies created when top executives left the company (abruptly in facy). It was spinning a total disaster as a win. Saving face is the name of this game. Bank accounts don't lie though, especially not with Wikileaks around.

The Takeaway

Silverlight and OOXML are among Microsoft’s last attempts to survive what it called “a sea of change” (a phrase used by Bill Gates, or maybe that was Jim Allchin). They must both be intercepted. The quicker, the better. Sadly, Novell is lobbying for both Silverlight and OOXML. Novell is enslaved by its contract which had it receive a cash infusion.

Silverlight and OOXML are a pair to shoot down. So are Microsoft and Novell, in order to restore competition based on standards in this market (as opposed to software patents and secret deals).

Bad Silverlight

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 28/3/2017: Linux 4.11-rc4 Kernel Released, Red Hat Surge on Sales

    Links for the day



  2. The Crook Goes to Brussels to Lie About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The person who spent years lying about the UPC and severely attacking critics (usually by blatantly lying about them) goes to Brussels for another nose extension



  3. The EPO's HR Roadmap Retrospective

    A look back at the terrible ‘accomplishments’ of the Jesper Kongstad-led Administrative Council, which still issues hogwash and face-saving lies, as one might expect from a protector of Battistelli that lies to national representatives and buries inconvenient topics



  4. Links 26/3/2017: Debian Project Leader Elections, SecureDrop and Alexandre Oliva FSF Winners

    Links for the day



  5. His Master's Voice, Jesper Kongstad, Blocks Discussion of Investigative and Disciplinary Procedures at the EPO

    The Chairman of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation is actively preventing not just the dismissal of Battistelli but also discussion of Battistelli's abuses



  6. Heiko Maas and the State of Germany Viewed as Increasingly Complicit in EPO Scandals and Toxic UPC Agenda

    It is becoming hard if not impossible to interpret silence and inaction from Maas as a form of endorsement for everything the EPO has been doing, with the German delegates displaying more of that apathy which in itself constitutes a form of complicity



  7. With IP Kat Coverage of EPO Scandals Coming to an End (Officially), Techrights and The Register Remain to Cover New Developments

    One final post about the end of Merpel’s EPO coverage, which is unfortunate but understandable given the EPO’s track record attacking the media, including blogs like IP Kat, sites of patent stakeholders, and even so-called media partners



  8. Everyone, Including Patent Law Firms, Will Suffer From the Demise of the EPO

    Concerns about quality of patents granted by the EPO (EPs) are publicly raised by industry/EPO insiders, albeit in an anonymous fashion



  9. Yes, Battistelli's Ban on EPO Strikes (or Severe Limitation Thereof) is a Violation of Human Rights

    Battistelli has curtailed even the right to strike, yet anonymous cowards attempt to blame the staff (as in patent examiners) for not going out of their way to engage in 'unauthorised' strikes (entailing dismissal)



  10. Even the EPO's Administrative Council No Longer Trusts Its Chairman, Battistelli's 'Chinchilla' Jesper Kongstad

    Kongstad's protection of Battistelli, whom he is supposed to oversee, stretches to the point where national representatives (delegates) are being misinformed



  11. Thanks to Merpel, the World Knows EPO Scandals a Lot Better, But It's a Shame That IP Kat Helped UPC

    A look back at Merpel's final post about EPO scandals and the looming threat of the UPC, which UPC opportunists such as Bristows LLP still try hard to make a reality, exploiting bogus (hastily-granted) patents for endless litigation all around Europe



  12. EPO Critics Threatened by Self-Censorship, Comment Censorship, and a Growing Threat to Anonymity

    Putting in perspective the campaign for justice at the EPO, which to a large degree relies on whistleblowers and thus depends a great deal on freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and anonymity



  13. Links 25/3/2017: Maru OS 0.4, C++17 Complete

    Links for the day



  14. Judge and Justice Bashing in the United States, EPC Bashing at the EPO

    Enforcement of the law based on constitutional grounds and based on the European Patent Convention (EPC) in an age of retribution and insults -- sometimes even libel -- against judges



  15. Looking for EPO Nepotism? Forget About Jouve and Look Closely at Europatis Instead.

    Debates about the contract of Jouve with the EPO overlook the elephants in the room, which include companies that are established and run by former EPO chiefs and enjoy a relationship with the EPO



  16. Depressing EPO News: Attacks on Staff, Attacks on Life, Brain Drain, Patents on Life, Patent Trolls Come to Germany, and Spain Being Misled

    A roundup of the latest developments at the EPO combined with feedback from insiders, who are not tolerating their misguided and increasingly abusive management



  17. It Certainly Looks Like Microsoft is Already Siccing Its Patent Trolls, Including Intellectual Ventures, on Companies That Use Linux (Until They Pay 'Protection' Money)

    News about Intellectual Ventures and Finjan Holdings (Microsoft-funded patent trolls) reinforces our allegations -- not mere suspicions anymore -- that Microsoft would 'punish' companies that are not paying subscription fees (hosting) or royalties (patent tax) to Microsoft and are thus in some sense 'indebted' to Microsoft



  18. Links 24/3/2017: Microsoft Aggression, Eudyptula Challenge Status Report

    Links for the day



  19. Bernhard Rapkay, Former MEP and Rapporteur on Unitary Patent, Shoots Down UPC Hopes While UPC Hopefuls Recognise That Spain Isn't Interested Either

    Germany, the UK and Spain remain massive barriers to the UPC -- all this in spite of misleading reports and fake news which attempted to make politicians believe otherwise (for political leverage, by means of dirty lobbying contingent upon misinformation)



  20. Links 23/3/2017: Qt 5.9 Beta, Gluster Storage 3.2

    Links for the day



  21. The Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation Has Just Buried an Innocent Judge That Battistelli Does Not Like

    An innocent judge (never proven guilty of anything, only publicly defamed with help from Team Battistelli and dubious 'intelligence' gathering) is one of the forgotten casualties of the latest meeting of the Administrative Council (AC), which has become growingly complicit rather than a mere bystander at a 'crime' scene



  22. Nepotism at the European Patent Office and Suspicious Absence of Tenders for Big Projects

    Carte blanche is a French term which now perfectly describes the symptoms encountered in the European Patent Office, more so once led by a lot of French people (Battistelli and his friends)



  23. “Terror” Patent Office Bemoans Terror, Spreads Lies

    Response to some of the latest utterances from the European Patent Office, where patently untruthful claims have rapidly become the norm



  24. China Seems to be Using Patents to Push Foreign Companies Out of China, in the Same Way It Infamously Uses Censorship

    Chinese patent policies are harming competition from abroad, e.g. Japan and the US, and US patent policy is being shaped by its higher courts, albeit not yet effectively combating the element that's destroying productive companies (besieged by patent trolls)



  25. 22,000 Blog Posts

    A special number is reached again, marking another milestone for the site



  26. The EPO is Lying to Its Own Staff About ILO and Endless (Over 2 Years) EPO Mistrials

    The creative writing skills of some spinners who work for Battistelli would have staff believe that all is fine and dandy at the EPO and ILO is dealing effectively with staff complaints about the EPO (even if several years too late)



  27. EPO’s Georg Weber Continues Horrifying Trend of EPO Promoting Software Patents in Defiance of Directive, EPC, and Common Sense

    The EPO's promotion of software patents, even out in the open, is an insult to the notion that the EPO is adhering to or is bound by the rules upon which it maintains its conditional monopoly



  28. Protectionism v Sharing: How the US Supreme Court Decides Patent Cases

    As the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) starts delivering some decisions we take stock of what's to come regarding patents



  29. Links 22/3/2017: GNOME 3.24, Wine-Staging 2.4 Released

    Links for the day



  30. The Battistelli Regime, With Its Endless Scandals, Threatens to Crash the Unitary Patent (UPC), Stakeholders Concerned

    The disdain and the growing impatience have become a huge liability not just to Battistelli but to the European Patent Office (EPO) as a whole


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts