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

02.21.08

Microsoft Introduces New Taxoperability Program

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, ISO, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, Patents, Protocol, Red Hat, Standard, Ubuntu at 10:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I want you for money

Coincidence when it comes to timing? Surely they would jest. Last week we saw some rather useless (and incomplete) binary formats being released which are potentially doing more harm than good. Microsoft was then raving about a patent ‘promise’ (semi-valid as long as you're not one of those 'ugly' GPLers). which is by no means a binding contract.

“Microsoft really wants to world to think that the company suddenly loves openness..”“It’s advertisers, advertisers, advertisers,” as Steve Ballmer once said (watch the video). It’s a question of perception rather than reality. He more recently described the solution to Windows Vista’s problems as one which is hinged on advertising. And that’s what the latest announcement is all about. Microsoft really wants to world to think that the company suddenly loves openness and some journalists are innocently falling for it, making the press coverage a total disaster.

Antitrust, Antitrust, Antitrust

Bear in mind that there are 3 ongoing antitrust investigations (happening simultaneously) at this very moment. They all involve Microsoft and these include the abuses against ISO. Microsoft’s watcher in Seattle puts the news rather well with the headline “Microsoft tries to appease EU by sharing secrets”.

Microsoft, reacting to the rejection of its antitrust appeal in Europe last year, said this morning that it’s giving outside software developers new levels of access to its biggest programs.

[...]

Antitrust regulators in Europe were emboldened by last September’s ruling against the company by the European Court of First Instance, opening two new antitrust investigations into Microsoft’s activities last month.

Kroes Doesn’t Buy It

The European Commission is not naive. It does not blindly follow the press coverage and it can read between the lines. According to Associated Press, it’s not overly impressed by Microsoft supposedly ‘opening up’ (we’ll get to the substance of this news at the end, so bear with us).

EU skeptical on Microsoft sharing plan

European Union regulators are expressing skepticism over Microsoft’s latest offer to share more information about its products and technology.

Patents, Patents, Patents and Patents

Four software patent deals have been signed with GNU/Linux distributors and it was made very clear that Microsoft intends to use GNU/Linux to its own advantage. If it cannot defeat GNU/Linux (and more broadly FOSS), then it is tipping over itself to make it possible to warp GNU/Linux such that it’s owned by Microsoft, at least in the ‘intellectual’ sense. Microsoft can then turn GNU/Linux into another Microsoft cash cow. With that context in mind, think about Mono.

The 451 Group looks at the recent events and concludes that patents are a major ingredient of this latest development, even though Microsoft did not place emphasis on this. Well, not based on announcements which it made (high note on ‘open’, quiet on the ‘tax weasel’).

It is worth noting that the new strategy will see Microsoft providing a list of the patents and patent applications that relate to the protocols and formats it uses for the named products. This should mean that open source developers are able to identify some of the 235 patents Microsoft previously claimed were infringed by free and open source software and will be able to license them (on RAND terms), attempt to develop around them, or challenge their legitimacy.

Don’t Cry for Ron Hovsepian, Argentina

Ron Hovsepian

Matt Asay, the former Novell employee who is neither there anymore (nor a fan of the company) explains why Novell ends up with an egg in its face.

Microsoft’s pledge to truly interoperate with the rest of the planet, including open-source developers (both commercial and community), leaves two clear victors in the Linux camp: Red Hat and Ubuntu. While Novell capitulated to Microsoft’s early demands for a patent stooge, Red Hat and Ubuntu stood firm.

[...]

Well, Novell gained a few quarters of “coupon cash” from the deal (though my sources at Novell say that customers aren’t renewing their subscriptions at a rate that Novell would like), but I hope it recognizes the value in standing firm for openness. What little wind it got puffed into its sails from its interoperability lock-up with Microsoft just dissipated.

There is an interesting sort of ‘leak’ there (inside information) about poor levels of subscription renewal, indicating that former Novell customers may be walking away after the deal with Microsoft.

Press Corrected

A regular reader has E-mailed to inform us of the news stating rather sarcastically that he’s “sure we’ve seen the ever-spreading news that Microsoft are, er, ‘embracing’ Open Source today…”

“Like me, I’m sure you’re not fooled for an instant,” he writes.

The reader summarises what we are seeing in the following concise way:


It’s simply the next step in their plan to enclose the commons.

They understand that Free Software is going to win.

They have accommodated themselves to that, and are working on their best chance of retaining their abusive monopolist position in the new world.

So their answer is “Fine. You can have your ‘Open Source’. So long as you pay us a royalty for every single piece of Open Source you use. In fact, as long as they get their royalty stream, the are quite happy for us ‘filthy hippies’ to develop, unpaid, for them.

  • It’s all about the patent encumberment.
  • It’s all about owning the ‘standards’ (we saw their view of ‘standards’ in what they did to ISO).
  • It’s all about enclosing (and hence owning) the software commons.

If you want to drink the Microsoft Kool-Aid, read articles in the press. They have to be 'politically correct' and follow the Microsoft press release, as well as face the wrath of prodding from Microsoft’s PR arms. If you have some different views, feel free to share them. It remains clear that Microsoft is motivated by profit, not goodwill, which it only sees as a route or a tool for making more money.

Steve Ballmer license

Image from Wikimedia

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. Microsoft Windows Unsafe at Any Speed, by Design

    More timely reminders that Windows is simply not designed to be secure, irrespective of version, status of patching, etc.



  2. After Moonlight Dies and Even Microsoft Abandons Silverlight, the Abusive Monopolist Keeps Pushing for Other Microsoft Lock-in, Injecting OOXML Traps Into Free Software (Moodle)

    Despite a long history of Microsoft formats being proven guarantee of digital obsolescence, Moodle allows itself to become Microsoft prey and a Trojan horse for OOXML in classrooms (for children)



  3. Links 4/7/2015: Mostly (Geo)Political Catchup

    Links for the day



  4. Links 3/7/2015: KDE Applications 15.04.3, Ubuntu-Flavored Compute Stick

    Links for the day



  5. Patent Lawyers and Their Firms, Still Desperate to Protect the Status Quo, Manipulate the Media

    Patent lawyers are besieged by gradual tightening of patent scope and recklessly fight back (e.g. by saturating the media) to secure their revenue sources, derived from (and at the expense of) actual scientists and true market producers



  6. Amid Controversy, Political Scrutiny and Increased Media Pressure Željko Topić and Benoît Battistelli Allegedly Cancel Today's Trip to Zagreb (Croatia) Where Topić Faces Many Criminal Charges

    The Croatian press comments on the recent declaration from the Council of Europe and Topić's not-so-sterling status in his home country, where he is wanted for alleged crimes



  7. Microsoft Gradually Embraces, Extends, Extinguishes Linux Foundation as a Foundation of GNU/Linux

    By liaising with (or hijacking) existing members of the Linux Foundation, as well as by paying the Linux Foundation, Microsoft turns the Linux Foundation into somewhat of a Windows advocacy group



  8. Microsoft India Still Lobbies and Lies About Free Software in Order to Knock Down Policy That Favours Free Software

    Microsoft continues to bully Indian politicians who merely 'dare' to prefer software that India can modify, maintain, extend, audit, etc.



  9. Patent Lawyers and Corporate Media Nervous About New Patents Barrier/Reality (Less Patents on Software and Business Methods)

    The rich and the powerful, as well as their lawyers (whose job is to protect their money and power by means of government-enforced monopoly), carry on whining after the Alice case, in which many abstract patents were essentially ruled -- by extension -- invalid



  10. Translation of Pierre-Yves Le Borgn' Speech Against EPO Management and New Parliamentarian Interventions

    More political fire targeting the EPO's management, adding up to over 100 parliamentarians by now



  11. Links 2/7/2015: KDE Plasma 5.3.2, antiX 15

    Links for the day



  12. Links 1/7/2015: OpenDaylight Lithium, OpenMandriva Lx 2014.2

    Links for the day



  13. Munich Press, Münchner Merkur, Slams the Munich-based EPO

    Pressure on Benoît Battistelli to leave (or be fired) grows as the cronies whom he filled his office with have become a huge public embarrassment to the decades-old European Patent Office



  14. The Shameless Campaign to Paint/Portray Free Software as Inherently Insecure, Using Brands, Logos, and Excessive, Selective Press Coverage

    Some more FUD from firms such as Sonatype, which hope to make money by making people scared of Free/libre software



  15. National Insecurity and Blackmail, Courtesy of Microsoft

    British members of parliament (MPs) outsourced their communication to the number one PRISM company and they are paying the price for it; The US Navy's systems continue to be unbelievably insecure (Windows XP), despite access to the world's biggest nuclear arsenal



  16. Microsoft Keeps Shrinking

    As the era of shrink-wrapped software comes to an end so does Microsoft, whose effort to become a 'cloud' company with online operations has been miserable at best



  17. They 'R' Coming: More Microsoft Money for the Linux Foundation

    The problem with having Microsoft in a Linux Foundation initiative, the R Consortium



  18. Speculations About the EPO's Possible Role in DDOS Attacks

    Readers' views on who might be behind the attacks on this site amid confirmation that it's on the 'targets' list of the EPO



  19. Links 30/6/2015: Linux Mint 17.2, OpenMandriva

    Links for the day



  20. Techrights Confirmed as a Target of EPO Surveillance, With Help From Control Risks Group (CRG)

    Unveiling the cloak of secrecy from long-term surveillance by the European Patent Office (EPO) and a London-based mercenary it hired, bypassing the law



  21. Google's Fight to Keep APIs Free is Lost, Let's Hope Google Continues Fighting

    SCOTUS refuses to rule that APIs cannot be considered copyright-'protected', despite common sense and despite Java (which the case is about) being Free/libre software



  22. Patent Trolls in the Post-Alice World

    A round-up of news about patent trolls in the United States, some of whom are are doing well and some of them not as well



  23. DDOS Attacks Against Techrights

    Information about some of the most recent DDOS attacks against this Web site and the steps to be taken next



  24. The Patent System Not What it Used to be, Large Corporations and Patent Lawyers the Principal Beneficiaries

    A look at some recent patent stories and what can be deduced from them, based on statistics and trends



  25. After Intervention by the Council of Europe Comes a Detailed Summary of the Situation in the European Patent Office (EPO)





  26. IRC Proceedings: May 31st - June 27th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  27. Links 28/6/2015: Manjaro Linux Cinnamon 0.8.13, VectorLinux 7.1

    Links for the day



  28. Williamson v. Citrix Online (at CAFC) Reinforces Alice v. CLS Bank (at SCOTUS) in Crushing Software Patents

    More patent news from the United States, again serving to indicate that software patents over there are getting weak (harder to defend in court or acquire from the patent office)



  29. Proskauer Rose LLP is Cherry-Picking Cases to Make Software Patents Seem Eligible Despite Alice v. CLS Bank

    Naming and shaming those who are trying to reshape the consensus despite a rather consistent pattern of software patents being rejected



  30. IAM Biased: How IAM 'Magazine' Glorifies Patent Stockpiling

    A look at the bias of one of the most overzealous sites for and by patent lawyers


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