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. Links 30/3/2015: Linux 4.0 RC6, OpenELEC 5.0.7

    Links for the day



  2. Techrights Cited by European Politicians in Support of EPO Staff's Causes

    Benoît Battistelli's right-hand man is charaterised as suspected of corruption in European Parliament questions



  3. When the EPO Came Under Fire From the Netherlands and Before Systemic Corruption Was Revealed

    Questions that targeted the Dutch Minister of Justice amidst EPO abuses against staff and a shameful failure to enforce a court's decision



  4. Links 29/3/2015: Red Hat's Stock Soars, Kodi 14.2 Released

    Links for the day



  5. Speculations That Microsoft is About to Buy Cyanogen (or at Least Officially Partner) to Attack Google's Android/Linux, Replacing Everything With Microsoft

    Articles in the corporate media and some analysis from smaller media sites serve to highlight the role which Microsoft plays in Cyanogen



  6. Links 28/3/2015: FoundationDB FOSS Shut Down by Apple, European Commission Support for Free Software

    Links for the day



  7. Microsoft Keeps Pretending to be 'Open Source', Despite Relentless Assaults on Open Source

    Microsoft's charm offensives against Free/libre software are proving to be rather effective, despite them involving a gross distortion of facts and exploitation of corruptible elements in the corporate media



  8. Željko Topić and Ivan Šimonović, Two Residues of Ivo Sanader's Corrupt Regime, Seen as Indirectly Connected

    Further exploration of the remnants of Sanader's highly notorious record and those whom he had brought to power before he landed in jail



  9. Links 27/3/2015: Ubuntu 15.04 Second Beta, Dart 1.9

    Links for the day



  10. The EPO's Dutch Scandal Leaves Battistelli and His Cronies on the Run

    EPO management is making concessions and issues statements which admit defeat, allowing the staff union to continue its activities



  11. Microsoft Won't Let People Wipe (Off) Windows But Happily Wipes Android, Wipes Android Apps Through Cyanogen and Blackmailed 'Partners'

    Microsoft's obscene double-standards leave Android and Linux between a rock and a hard place



  12. Links 26/3/2015: GNOME 3.16 Officially Released

    Links for the day



  13. Links 25/3/2015: India Moving to Free Software

    Links for the day



  14. Another Reason to Boycott UEFI: Back Doors or Crackers

    UEFI makes computers more prone to infections, according to some security experts



  15. The EPO's Administrative Council is Under Increased Pressure to Rein in and to Finally Stop Benoît Battistelli

    The EPO's Administrative Council (AC) is about to have a meeting, so the Member States' delegations are urged to call for action



  16. IRC Proceedings: February 22nd - March 21st, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  17. The Latest Microsoft Attacks on GNU/Linux and Free/Libre Software

    Microsoft is still hiding behind the façade of 'love' whilst actively attacking GNU/Linux and Free software from many directions



  18. Attempts to Disrupt Android by Pushing Microsoft Software Into It (Using Patent Blackmail and Cyanogen)

    Microsoft's Android coup d'état is succeeding owing to public apathy and poor comprehension of what Microsoft really is up to, partly due to media misdirection



  19. Links 24/3/2015: WebKitGTK+ 2.8.0, Black Lab Linux 6.5

    Links for the day



  20. Concerns Over Željko Topić's Alleged Powerful Links in Croatian Diplomacy

    Rikard Frgačić explains the powerful connections acquired though Ivan Šimonović, who is himself connected to EPO Vice-President Željko Topić



  21. Benoît Battistelli's EPO Comes Under Fire From Prominent Figures Who Are Key EPO Stakeholders, Expect Battistelli to Resign 'in the Longer Term'

    The ‘reign of terror’ which is primarily attributed to Battistelli and his cronies may be about to end; the Luxembourg parliament approves the Unified Patent Court



  22. Benoît Battistelli's EPO is Under Attack From French Politicians Yet Again

    More EPO interventions -- this time from France -- target Benoît Battistelli over his abuses and take it up to Eurocrats for political actions



  23. Bribes and Extortion Help Turn Android (Linux-powered) Into 'Microsoft Android'

    A strategy involving harassment and bribes drives large Android players into Microsoft's arms (PRISM and lock-in), much to Google's (and users') detriment and beyond regulators' range of visibility



  24. Microsoft-connected Black Duck Software Created by Microsoft Marketing Man as an Anti-GPL Operation, Admits the Management

    Black Duck "was founded [on] the idea ... to keep GPL-licensed code out of corporate codebases entirely," according to a new report



  25. Links 23/3/2015: Linux 4.0 RC5, Kubuntu Celebrates Ten Years

    Links for the day



  26. Microsoft Admits Lying (or Deceiving) About the Cost of Vista 10

    After much hype in the press about Windows being 'free' it turns out that Microsoft just lied yet again, leaving that lingering perception that Windows is as inexpensive as GNU/Linux



  27. Politics of Blackmail at the EPO

    Comments serve to highlight the role of bribes (or contrariwise blackmail), as allegedly exercised by the current management of the European Patent Office



  28. Benoît Battistelli's EPO Comes Under Attack From the British

    A British MEP criticises Battistelli and the management of the European Patent Office (EPO) while Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe, UK Minister for Intellectual Property, gets closer to Battistelli in a tactless effort to improve relations



  29. The Royal Norwegian Department of Labour on the Right of European Patent Office (EPO) Workers to Strike

    The role of bureaucrats from Norway in defending (or not) the rights of EPO workers -- rights that the EPO's management is actively trying to deny and punish for



  30. Michael Silver Back to Acting as Gartner's Microsoft Agent, Promoting Vista 10 Based on False Promises

    Vista 10 in the headlines as its marketing propaganda zones in on false perceptions around cost, aided in part by longtime foes of GNU/Linux such as Gartner, especially its Microsoft-embedded elements (Michael Silver and co-workers)


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