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

02.06.10

Canonical Gets New Chief Operating Officer Who Already Defends Microsoft’s Biased ‘Search’

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, GPL, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Ubuntu at 6:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“But rather than a search engine or even a “decision engine”, Bing also appears to be a spin engine, in that it provides partisan answers to controversial topics, such as Steve Ballmer’s propensity to throw chairs to blow off stress.”

Christian Einfeldt

Summary: Shortly after deciding to send users’ search queries to Microsoft datacentres, Canonical hires a man who defends Microsoft for “options and competition”

THE chief operating officer (COO) of Canonical, Jane Silber, recently became the company’s CEO, replacing Mark Shuttleworth. Coming in to fill Silber’s COO gap is Matt Asay, as announced by Canonical and by Asay himself.

After more than four years at Alfresco, I have joined Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux distribution, as its chief operating officer.

It is worth understanding Asay’s background. He is an Apple enthusiast (Apple proponents are a subject we’ll address in the next post on DRM and Apple’s role in it) who also defended the GPL for a long time (these days he is promoting Apache and sometimes joining the the anti-GPL noise). He does not like Richard Stallman’s philosophy, he insisted that Microsoft should be allowed the enter the OSI (he was on its board at the time), and he also used to work for Novell (in addition to Alfresco and Lineo). He has a background in law, but on the technical side he understands matters as a computer user. This is hopefully an accurate representation of his views and background. Others wrote about that from a different perspective. Last night Asay told me that he would move to GNU/Linux on the desktop (he tried SUSE when he worked at Novell, but eventually ended up moving from Windows to Mac OS X, sometimes experimenting with Ubuntu afterwards).

“I’d estimate that the Yahell deal nets them at least a few hundred thousand dollars over the course of a year.”
      –Ryan
Ubuntu had a relatively weak last release (Fedora, for an opposite example, did well in the sense that reviews got better, not worse). Even this detailed review from a couple of days ago confirmed this. More recently, Canonical’s decision to send search requests to Microsoft’s Bong [sic] led to some controversy that we covered in [1, 2].

Well, we are somewhat saddened to see that Asay is perhaps trying to justify the company’s new policy by making a new post about “the importance of Bing”. Therein he writes: “It’s not about loving Microsoft. It’s about preserving options…and competition.”

This does not defend competition because it promotes a serial offender — a company that we already know manipulates its search results to advance its lies and business interests (and put competitors in positions of disadvantage). Asay will hopefully not defend Mono (.NET), which is about making Microsoft stronger (and making Novell, his former employer, stronger). It’s not “about preserving options…and competition.”

Microsoft is the antithesis of options and competition. Everyone knows that.

Jokingly, our reader Ryan twisted the above quote to say: “It’s not about loving Microsoft, it’s about loving their money and selling out our users.” He went on to describe it as “Inferior search engine but it makes Canonical some $$$’s. Ubuntu probably has several million users. I’d estimate that the Yahell deal nets them at least a few hundred thousand dollars over the course of a year. That money comes at the direct cost to Mozilla and detracts from Firefox development, so now Ubuntu is worse than a passive consumer of FOSS, they are another parasite. Well, Mandriva defaults to Ask, but I seriously doubt anyone keeps that. Yahoo might be passable enough to keep users content with it.”

MinceR called it “ridiculous” and stated: “apparently Canonical’s leaders have decided it would be fun for them to turn into another Novell”

That’s just too big a leap, which I disagree with. Novell is very different because it directly harms its competitors by legitimising software patents and using them to trash other vendors.

By the way, Asay comes from Alfresco, which is competing against Google, not just Microsoft SharePoint that Novell helps promote under the guise of “interoperability”.

According to the Var Guy (from last week), Google is trying to win disgruntled SharePoint users at the expense of Alfresco. Might this also explain Asay’s fear of Google?

No doubt, Microsoft and Google are waging a software as a service (SaaS) war. But the latest shot fired comes from a surprising source: LTech, an enterprise cloud service provider, is helping customers automate document migrations from Microsoft SharePoint to Google Apps. Here’s how.

As we stressed before, Google can help Free software by weakening or eliminating the industry's bully. Canonical should stand behind Google, not Microsoft. Google already collaborates with Canonical on Chrome OS, doesn’t it?

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

2 Comments

  1. a v said,

    February 6, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Gravatar

    The man isn’t that bad.
    Look at this part of his intervew with LWN.net at 2007 july 6.

    http://lwn.net/Articles/240877/

    What were your first thoughts when you heard about the Microsoft-Novell deal?

    I was extremely disappointed because if there’s any company that didn’t need to do that, it was actually Novell. Because Novell has patents that go to the heart of both Microsoft’s Windows Server business and its Office business. Novell was under absolutely no threat of ever being sued by Microsoft, period.

    The reason they did it is to try to club Red Hat. Novell thinks it has an interest in destroying Red Hat; really what Novell needs is for Red Hat to continue to be successful and for Novell to learn how to be successful with Linux.

    I just remember thinking: Here’s Novell. It’s best chance of surviving in the future is to move toward more of an open source model, and it’s just basically told the very community that could feed it that it didn’t want it. It was cutting itself off from its future. I think it’s done itself irreparable harm now. I just think Novell will have a very hard time ever gaining credibility again as an open source vendor.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 7, 2010 at 4:30 am

    Gravatar

    Novell was put in the wrong hands when people like Hovsepian and Steinman started attacking Red Hat rather than collaborating with it (instead collaborating with Microsoft).

What Else is New


  1. Team UPC Has Been Reduced to Rubble and Misinformation

    A roundup of the latest falsehoods about the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and those who are peddling such falsehoods for personal gain



  2. CRISPR Patent Debacle Demonstrated That Opposition Divisions Do Their Job, But Also Highlighted Serious Deficiency in Patent-Granting Process

    While it is reassuring that EPO staff managed to squash a very controversial patent, it remains to be explained why such patent applications/applicants were even notified of intention to grant (in spite of the EPC, common sense and so on)



  3. Links 23/1/2018: Castle Game Engine 6.4, Qt 5.9.4, SQLite 3.22.0

    Links for the day



  4. Confidence in European Patents (EPs) is Eroding and Stakeholders Are Already Suffering

    The rush to grant lots and lots of patents at the EPO is already taking its toll; quality is declining, decisions to grant are being overturned, and the already-overburdened appeal boards are unable to catch up



  5. Even More Uncertain a Future for the Independence of the EPO Boards of Appeal as Judge Corcoran Too Gets Sent to 'Exile'

    The attack on supposedly independent judges at the EPO escalates further; the judge whom the EPO was ordered to reinstate (by ILO) is being constantly pushed around, not just legally bullied



  6. The Response to Accusations of Censorship by Team UPC? Yet More Censorship to Shield UPC From Criticism

    The Empire of Lies upon which the Unified Patent Court (UPC) was conceived is being exposed for its lies; The Empire Strikes Back with yet more censorship



  7. Links 22/1/2018: Linux 4.15 Delayed Again, Libinput 1.9.901

    Links for the day



  8. Team UPC Calls Critics of the UPC Idiots, Deletes Their Comments, and Blocks Them

    A new low for Team UPC, which is unable to cope with reality and has begun literally mocking and deleting comments of people who speak out truths



  9. How the Opposition to CRISPR Patents at the EPO Sent Shockwaves Through the Industry

    Additional reports/coverage on the EPO (European Patent Office) revoking Broad Institute's CRISPR patent show that the issue at hand isn't just one sole patent but the whole class/family of patents



  10. Unified Patents Says That RPX, Which Might Soon be Owned by Patent Trolls, Paid Patent Trolls Hundreds of Millions of Dollars

    Unified Patents, which helps crush software patents, takes note of RPX’s financial statements, which reveal the great extent to which RPX actually helped trolls rather than stop them



  11. IAM Together With Its Partner, IIPCC, is Lobbying the USPTO to Crush PTAB and Restore Patent Chaos

    Having handled over 8,000 petitions (according to Professor Lemley's Lex Machina), PTAB champions patent quality at the USPTO, so front groups of the litigation 'industry' creep in and attempt to lobby the likely next Director of the USPTO (inciting him against PTAB, as usual)



  12. Software Patents Are Still Dropping Like Flies in 2018, Thanks to Alice v CLS Bank (SCOTUS, 2014) and Section 101 (USPTO)

    Section 101 (§ 101) is thriving in the sense that it belatedly throws thousands of patents -- and frivolous lawsuits that depend on them -- down the chute; the patent trolls and their allies in the patent microcosm are very furious and they blame PTAB for actually doing its job (enforcing Section 101 when petitioned to do so)



  13. Patent Troll Finjan Looks Like It's About to Collapse, But Patent Maximalists Exploit It for Software Patents Promotion

    Patent trolls are struggling in their use of software patents; few (if any) of their patents are upheld as valid and those that miraculously remain in tact become the subject of fascination if not obsession among trolls' advocates



  14. The Attacks on PTAB Are Slowing Down and Attempts to Shield Oneself From Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs) Are Failing

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) reapplies patent eligibility tests/guidelines in order to squash likely invalid patents; The litigation 'industry' is not happy about it, but its opposition to PTAB is also losing steam



  15. Links 21/1/2018: Wine 3.0 Coverage, KaOS 2018.01, Red Hat Among 'Admired Companies'

    Links for the day



  16. Blockchain Patents Are a Catastrophe in the Making as Trolls and Aggressors Accumulate Them

    As patents pertaining to blockchains continue to be granted -- even in defiance of Alice/Section 101 -- it seems likely that patent wars will sooner or later erupt, involving some large banks, IBM, and patent trolls associated with the notorious Erich Spangenberg



  17. Qualcomm/Broadcom/NXP Combination Would Become a Disastrous Patent Thicket Which Benefits Nobody

    Worried by the prospect of mega-mergers and takeovers which would put far too much market power (and monopoly through patents) in one place, governments and corporations speak out



  18. Patent Litigation in East Asia: Huawei, Samsung, HTC, Nintendo and COLOPL

    A quick look at some high-profile cases in which large Asian firms are embroiled; it seems clear that litigation activities have shifted eastwards (where actual production is done)



  19. Patent Litigation in the US is Down Sharply and Patent Trolls' Demise Has Much to Do With It

    Docket Navigator and Lex Machina both show a significant decline in litigation -- a trend which is likely to carry on now that TC Heartland is in tact (not for just half a year but a whole year) and PTAB completes another record year



  20. Cheating the US Patent System is a Lot Harder After TC Heartland

    Some new examples of tricks (and sometimes cheats) attempted by patent claimants and their representatives; it does not go as well as they hoped



  21. RPX Might Soon be Owned by Patent Troll Erich Spangenberg

    RPX, whose top executives are leaving and business is gradually dying, might end up as another 'asset' of patent trolls



  22. Patent Quality (Not Numbers) as an Asset: Oppositions, Appeals and Rejections at the EPO

    Benoît Battistelli wants a rubber-stamping operation (like INPI) rather than a functional patent office, but oppositions at the Office prove to be fruitful and many erroneously-granted patents are -- by extrapolation -- already being revoked (affecting, in retrospect, Battistelli's so-called 'results')



  23. Links 19/1/2018: Linux Journalism Fund, Grsecurity is SLAPPing Again

    Links for the day



  24. The EPO Ignores This Week's Decision Which Demonstrates Patent Scope Gone Awry; Software Patents Brought Up Again

    The worrisome growth of European Patents (EPs) — a 40% jump in one year in spite of decline in the number of patent applications — is a symptom of the poor judgment, induced largely by bad policies that impede examiners’ activities for the sake of so-called ‘production’; this week's decision regarding CRISPR is another wake-up call and software patents too need to be abolished (as a whole), in lieu with the European Patent Convention (EPC)



  25. WesternGeco v ION Geophysical (at the US Supreme Court) Won't Affect Patent Scope

    As WesternGeco v ION Geophysical is the main if not sole ‘major’ patent case that the US Supreme Court will deal with, it seems safe to say that nothing substantial will change for patent scope in the United States this year



  26. Links 18/1/2018: MenuLibre 2.1.4, Git 2.16 Released

    Links for the day



  27. Microsoft, Masking/Hiding Itself Behind Patent Trolls, is Still Engaging in Patent Extortion

    A review of Microsoft's ugly tactics, which involve coercion and extortion (for businesses to move to Azure and/or for OEMs to preload Microsoft software) while Microsoft-connected patent trolls help hide the "enforcement" element in this whole racket



  28. Patent Prosecution Highway: Low-Quality Patents for High-Frequency Patent Aggressors

    The EPO's race to the bottom of patent quality, combined with a "need for speed", is a recipe for disaster (except for litigation firms, patent bullies, and patent trolls)



  29. Press Coverage About the EPO Board Revoking Broad's CRISPR Patent

    Even though there's some decent coverage about yesterday's decision (e.g. from The Scientist), the patent microcosm googlebombs the news with stuff that serves to distract from or distort the outcome



  30. Links 17/1/2018: HHVM 3.24, WordPress 4.9.2

    Links for the day


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