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The Slime About ARM and Android

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Hardware, Microsoft, Windows at 5:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Paint bucket

Summary: A compilation of new factors that stifle adoption of Linux on the low end

MICROSOFT is losing money because of sub-notebooks that run GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], so Microsoft trying to just eliminate them altogether. When it comes to sub-notebooks, Microsoft is hoping to embrace (through dumping and maybe kickbacks), extend, and extinguish them for good.

“When it comes to sub-notebooks, Microsoft is hoping to embrace (through dumping and maybe kickbacks), extend, and extinguish them for good.”This devious plan would not quite work because of ARM-based sub-notebooks, but Microsoft is working on attacking them too. Spin is a major component of this; some weeks ago they tried to spin the lack of Windows for ARM as a loss for ARM rather than a loss for Microsoft and Scientes now warns that “Slashdot spins ARM CEO’s Warren East statement.” What is going on?

According to Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft is still trying to replace sub-notebooks with more expensive computers where Windows is no longer given away almost for free. This is not news because about a month ago Microsoft tried using terms like “Smartbooks” (as opposes to small notebooks) to pretend that naming alone would resolve pricing issues; it’s like trying to make “Windows” and “PC” synonymous.

Ballmer, unlike some Microsoft execs, wasn’t afraid to say the word “netbook.” In fact, he told FAM attendees that netbooks are synonymous with MIDs (Mobile Internet Devices).

Ballmer disputed the notion that netbooks are killing Microsoft’s Windows client revenue base. He showed a slide he admitted the rest of his team had warned him was overly complex (and I have to say I agree) to try to show why netbooks aren’t going to keep chipping away at Windows’ margins.

In this morning's news digest, we gave many new examples of Android wins. There are some funny things happening at Acer and suspicions arise with regard to cause and impact.

Android logoWe’ve reported about Android netbooks for a while, and made it clear we’re not sure if anyone really wants one. Acer first announced it would produce what would likely be the first Android netbook, then explained it really meant it would dual-boot with Windows.

It is abundantly clear that Microsoft is afraid of Android because it is superior to everything Microsoft has at the moment. Business Insider published the following yesterday:“Microsoft Admits Its Phones Are Crappy, Vows To Improve (MSFT)”

No more blind cheerleading from Redmond: Microsoft (MSFT) finally admitted that its mobile business needs some work.

At Microsoft’s analyst day in Seattle, Robbie Bach confessed in his finest business school jargon that the company hasn’t “done as good a job as I would like building relationships and getting the right integration with our hardware partners,” according to the WSJ, and vowed to improve: “You’re going to see dramatic improvement in integration.”

He added, “You’ll see our execution rhythm pick up and the quality of our execution improve.”

A new essay at GigaOm opines or at least puts forth the possibility that ” Google’s Android [is] Killing Windows Mobile”

I wonder if it will be too late for the company to make a comeback, similar to Zune struggling to playsanjay catch-up with the iPod. So while there is a lot of focus on Apple v Google, the real battle is actually between Microsoft Windows Mobile and Google Android. It looks like Google has drawn its first blood.

Android, Chrome OS, and other implementations of GNU/Linux for the low end are causing major headaches to Microsoft. Some other products like the BlackBerry and iPhone are proving to be a challenge too, so either way, it is worth keeping an eye on Microsoft’s response. In Russia, Microsoft and OEMs are already under investigation for anti-compeitive conduct (against GNU/Linux).

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  1. zatoichi said,

    July 31, 2009 at 10:54 am


    …Android, Chrome OS, and other implementations of GNU/Linux for the low end are causing major headaches to Microsoft.

    How can Android on netbooks, much less “Chrome OS”—both of which could only be termed “vaporware” at the moment—be “causing major headaches to Microsoft”?

    The fact seems to be that Android’s proving to be a lot more difficult to get running on random pieces of hardware in a market-ready way than Google would like people to believe. Why isn’t every ODM in Taiwan offering an Android phone, otherwise?

    phel Reply:

    Every ODM in Taiwan isn’t offering Android phones because, sadly, they depend on reasonable pricing of MS products for large portions of their product portfolio. Thus, stepping on MS toes might not be such a good idea. MS is not only putting pressure on the brands, but also on manufacturing. Small new brands who try to establish a presence based on MS-free products have a hard time finding factories willing to produce the goods.

    zatoichi Reply:

    And how many Taiwanese ODMs have you actually discussed this with…? I only ask, because I’ve talked to several about it—who happen to ship phones made for a variety of operating systems, not just Windows Mobile. None of them cited the issue you describe (which you, as a paranoid, will take a proof of a cover-up and a conspiracy).

    phel Reply:

    It doesn’t take much guessing, as it is a known MS tactic. I’ll take your point once there are examples of MS-free brands failing even after being offered production capacity and distribution/marketing at competitive prices.

    zatoichi Reply:

    I’ll take your point once there are examples of MS-free brands failing even after being offered production capacity and distribution/marketing at competitive prices.

    Sorry, that’s ridiculous. The Taiwanese and mainland Chinese markets are awash in iPhone clones of varying degrees of fidelity, none of ‘em running Windows Mobile or Windows CE.

    So, what are you talking about? They’re not afraid to go into the iPhone business for themselves at the risk of slam-dunk trademark infringement suits from Apple, but they won’t make Android phones (which don’t have the IP issues around the iClones) because of pressure from Microsoft…?

    Makes no sense. ‘Splaina me this.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Okay, well, now we’ve established that what you presented as a fact was, in actuality, a guess.

    Given that these same ODM make phones all up and down the price spectrum, and given that we’re not seeing a single Android device produced independently of Google in spite of the software’s being free, somehow it’s got to be Microsoft’s fault.


    I’d hate to see Occam’s Razor interfering with your paranoia, heaven knows.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Small new brands who try to establish a presence based on MS-free products have a hard time finding factories willing to produce the goods.

    [Citation needed]

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    July 31, 2009 at 3:41 pm


    Android’s quite nice. Anyone can give download and try a live CD:


    It’s a modified version of the eee_701 Android OS

    The braver can do a native install. To install it on a mobile phone, instead of a regular netbook, look up the developer community forums for your mobile phone.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Anyone tried this and experienced for themselves just how “nice” it is…?

  3. zatoichi said,

    July 31, 2009 at 6:04 pm


    Good luck with that! Freezes, no mouse, dead networking, more freezes. You’re not making a case with that link that it’s easily to get Android to work on a randomly-chosen piece of hardware. Your summation of it as “quite nice” suggests strongly that you’ve never actually tried this.

    As far as installing it on a mobile phone goes, you’ll find that—at least if you like it to continue operating as a phone—you’re pretty much limited to the phones HTC’s already made available through carriers, and you can’t randomly replace the firmware on those.

    I guess you don’t mind about “Tivoization” if it’s Google doing it, hm?

  4. zatoichi said,

    July 31, 2009 at 7:18 pm


    Here‘s a case in point.

    Acer had originally planned to release an Android netbook in August, i.e. sometime between tomorrow and 4 weeks from now; it’s been put off until November, accoding to Acer, because “further evaluation has found demand for an Android Netbook is not strong enough”.

    I’m still of the belief that putting Android on hardware isn’t easy. If you’d prefer to believe (or wish to additionally believe), as Acer says, that nobody wants Android netbooks, that’s fine with me, too.

    Either way, Roy’s story here lacks factual support. Again.

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