Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Shifting Tide of Battle

  • Apr 22 / 2012
  • 25
technology

Shifting Tide of Battle

Techrights has had Novell and M$ under a microscope for the last five years but have now announced a change:
“NOVELL is no longer a company, so we officially let it go about 2 months ago. We stopped researching the subject, at least for the most part (news tracking). But what about SUSE, which Microsoft is subsidising? It has been over a month since we last researched it deeply/properly and issues like patents are the burning issues which take precedence, also at the expense of Gates Foundation watching.

As Microsoft is no longer the only company that which attacks Linux, e.g. with software patents, we also had to let it slide a bit.”

Those are true statements but the same folks are still running M$ and Apple seems less of a threat with their limited production and distribution capabilities that I will continue to concentrate on what is good in */Linux and what is bad about Wintel. Money is not the root of all evil in IT but love of money is. There’s no one on the planet more locked-in to loving money than M$ and they are the largest source of evil in IT. Oracle and Apple are like innocent children in comparison. The flush-lever has already been pushed in Oracle v Google (Android/Linux) and SCOTUS has software patents in its sights.

Despite all the good work in */Linux and efforts by government to restrain the largest excesses of M$, it is still a growing cancer in IT. The growth in the client division is radically curtailed but there’s still some. Until it quits growing, there is no hope of salvation from the cost and complexity in IT that M$ causes. I hope M$’s recent numbers are just some accountants’ tricks, but I will not declare the battle over until retail shelves are jammed with GNU/Linux everywhere.

25 Comments

  1. Robert Pogson

    Clarence Moon wrote, “In some unimportant way, that is true, but Android as an attribute affecting commerce has nothing to do with Linux.”

    In the recent activity in Oracle v Google, Google revealed the magnitude of their efforts producing Android. They had at one point 85 developers and have expanded. They would have needed many more if Linux were not available. Having OEMs and other hardware makers creating drivers for Android/Linux is a real savings for Google. That’s one of the main reason anyone uses FLOSS, so they can reuse code. Linux is a large proportion of the lines of code.

  2. Clarence Moon

    negative (rather than constructive) comments about Linux here

    I don’t think that is true, at least vis’-a-vis’ Linux. I have some disdain for a number of things that people seem to misinterpret as signs that Linux is coming into favor on a broad front. I think that most of my posting here is more along the lines of honest explanations of Microsoft’s actions, which seem to always be cast in an unfair light.

    Android IS Linux

    In some unimportant way, that is true, but Android as an attribute affecting commerce has nothing to do with Linux. Perhaps Google saved a few man-hours poaching code from Linux, but that is not much of a matter for the long run. You can search high and low and will never find anyone who really gives a fig about Android’s ancestry. Rather, the concern is in regard to how sophisticated the user may appear with it versus a real iPhone. Google’s brand has a lot of positive effect here, much more so than anything that might arise from Linux’ past. The hope here seems to be that the glory of Android in phones and tablets will somehow rub off onto the desktop/laptop world. I doubt it.

    I had a good chat with a manager…

    From whom you learned very little, apparently. Products in retail stores are determined by the store’s staff/corporate buyers. The clerks, even the clerk manager, have no say in the matter. They simply have to meet quotas and make no waves lest they be goners after the quarterly recap.

  3. Robert Pogson

    John Cockroft wrote, “they receive computers preloaded (and preconfigured) with Windows. Most of their staff are NOT TECHNICAL ENOUGH to reinstall operating systems (a very worrying fact from somewhere that you are buying PCs from) – analogous to glorified car salesmen (but for computers). He also said that he had had increasing numbers of people ask him about why they did not pre-install some PCs with Ubuntu and Red Hat Workstation (for businesses) and the reason was that Microsoft had an agreement with the manufacturers to pre-load Windows.”
    Amen! I have been saying for years that the primary thing holding back GNU/Linux was getting retail shelf-space. The techies, for the most part can roll their own. The consumers almost always buy what’s on those shelves. M$ knows that. It’s part of their plan. Fortunately large parts of the emerging markets are lapping up small cheap computers and running */Linux on them. In South America and Asia their are major PC OEMs cranking out GNU/Linux units. They sell them on retail shelves in some places.

  4. John Cockroft

    Addendum for Clarence Moon.

    I think that it is a positive thing that you work both with Linux Systems and Windows so an increasing use of open source software is not necessarily a threat to your business in any case. I am working with a fairly major blue chip company at the moment whose servers are almost exclusively run on Red Hat Enterprise Linux. They do use some proprietary software – primarily VMware – to handle virtualization although they are considering KVM.

    The key thing (I think) is interoperability and open standards so that no one vendor has a stranglehold and the use of cross-platform technologies to facilitate that. Even Microsoft has embraced HTML5 over use of .NET as the user interface in Windows 8. The use of Linux on servers is increasing massively (especially in cloud based deployments) – the answer is to remain flexible and embrace chance rather than reject it.

  5. John Cockroft

    Hi Clarence

    OK – first an apology if you are not connected with TM Repository. I spotted a few comments on “TM Repository” referencing you although there clearly is no direct link (as you stated above). You do, however, seem to make an awful lot of negative (rather than constructive) comments about Linux here.

    http://www.google.com/search?client=ubuntu&channel=fs&q=%22clarence+moon%22+mrpogson.com&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gl=uk

    Android IS Linux (my own aging HTC phone which runs Android 2.2 has kernel 2.6.29) and is fast becoming the defacto-standard in tablets and smart phones (Samsung has just surpassed Apple as the biggest shipper of smart phone and nearly all their smart phones are based on Android). These people are not ‘techies’ – just normal Joe Average sorts of people. Apple Mac’s OS/X (and their phone O/S iOS) is BSD-Unix (actually a variant called “Darwin”) and I know a lot of people who are not in any way technical that use Macs and Android so to claim that either are only for techies is a bit silly.

    I had a good chat with a manager at our local “PC World” – and what he said was that they receive computers preloaded (and preconfigured) with Windows. Most of their staff are NOT TECHNICAL ENOUGH to reinstall operating systems (a very worrying fact from somewhere that you are buying PCs from) – analogous to glorified car salesmen (but for computers). He also said that he had had increasing numbers of people ask him about why they did not pre-install some PCs with Ubuntu and Red Hat Workstation (for businesses) and the reason was that Microsoft had an agreement with the manufacturers to pre-load Windows.

    THAT is the reason that Linux is not sold – there is no opportunity to do it! There is an enforced monopoly (I guess duopoly if you count Apple Macs on their own hardware) – nothing to do with ease of use.

    I also brought in my own Lenovo S205 (which I had bought from the same store) running Ubuntu 11.10 and he was impressed with how fast and easy-to-use it was but said that they would not probably sell many PCs running it because … THEY DID NOT ADVERTISE IT and MOST customers did not know about it – the REAL reason!

    Modern Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, openSUSE etc are just as easy to use as Windows by an end user (especially Ubuntu) – as an IT freelancer – I always have my own Linux PC in work as well as my work machine and I have demonstrated Ubuntu to so many people who liked the general way it worked. My 12 year old daughter uses Ubuntu on her Netbook (and she was offered Windows) – is utterly NON-technical but it just works for her. Claiming that Linux is just for techies is utter FUD I’m afraid.

  6. Clarence Moon

    presumably you regard any positive posts about open source software as being FUD

    Hardly, Mr. Cockroft. I think that FUD, in its conventional definition of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt is entirely one way, and can only affect open source adversely. All of the leverage regarding safety and comfort to allay fears about software selection accrues to Windows and Microsoft.

    My interest here is mostly from a product marketing point of view. Most of our division’s business, and all of it that pertains to me, is Windows related. Company-wide, we supply products for varieties of UNIX, SUSE and Red Hat Linux, and Windows Server editions. Our stuff is rather esoteric and only pertains to server users and has starting prices on the order of $10K and going to $1M or more for enterprise accounts. At the moment, I do not even know of any open source project likely to bear on our businesses, so there is absolutely no source of fear on my part.

    I had to look up the “TM Repository” reference. It seems to be an odd sort of place that I have never had any transactions with. How do you associate it with me?

    I also think that it is beyond the wildest dream that Linux would displace Windows on retail store shelves, even in remote corners of the world, so I would have even less concern about BSD Unix ever doing that. I think that desktop versions of UNIX are the province of techies who are really of no concern to vendors of mainstream computer products.

  7. oiaohm

    Yonah do you forget the Linux worlds prime directive.

    Just for Fun. This is what “All the better to have pictures with fake captions to pull in his vast audience.” This falls under.

    “If you take a gander through the IRC logs, you’ll see it’s a place to trash talk about anyone or anything that isn’t FOSS.”
    So what is wrong here. You go into lot of Microsoft forums and they trash talk FOSS. Now maybe because the lead of techrights is medical he understands something.

    Most pacemakers have crap secuirty and a closed source. It has been demonstrated that they can be hacked. Walk by killing. Ok you are hurt the machine that is imaging you cannot afford to update to the latest version of software so could over cook you with radiation and kill you.

    If Dr Roy Schestowitz was pro closed source I would be very shocked. Being medicinal and you do understand the issues closed source equals death of humans due to stuff not being upgradeable and too much blind faith in secuirty by obscurity.

    So a channel run by a medical person being heavily anti-closed source why are your shocked. He just wants to live long term.

    Also a Medical person you expect to be anti censorship as well because censorship could prevent key medical information to save some-ones life from getting through.

    His degrees exactly explain why he is the way he is. He is not the only high person in medical imaging I have met with the same points of view. He is also one of the ones calling for all research to use open source software.

    By the way Roy early on he did believe in closed source and support it. Before he become a pusher of FOSS. Something happened that cost lives that changed him. Mostly say he working to prevent that from ever happening again.

    Yonah do you value your life.

  8. oiaohm

    Phenom You should never raised this
    Quote:
    “1.4 Why the FreeBSD-style license instead of GPL?

    Kannel is under the FreeBSD-style license because we want to limit the use of Kannel as little as possible.”
    FreeBSD developers are two faced.

    FreeBSD developers attacked Linux Kernel developers for taking BSD code extending with GPL code. Ok its fine for a closed source company to take there code extend and not give back. But when another Open Source project does it the fangs come out. O yes they limit the use of their karnel code.

    Yes the will run deformation and everything else against you. Do not think for one min the FreeBSD is a world of Angeles.

    Really FreeBSD developers can make GPL enforcement look nice. Since GPL enforcement will normally avoid the media. Only weapon Freebsd has to enforce is the media.

  9. John Cockroft

    I know of a fair number of people who follow Roy’s blog – and I would certainly say that he is not universally hated by the Linux world. It is useful to see some pointers to excesses by the proprietary software world (and each of Roy’s articles are backed up by links to evidence to support them). Certainly I do not agree with everything that he claims but neither do I agree with much of the propaganda which is spouted by Microsoft, Oracle, BSA and many others dedicated to maintaining the proprietary stranglehold on the software industry.

    Ah welcome Clarence Moon – I was looking at some of the ‘delightful’ posts on TM Repository – presumably you regard any positive posts about open source software as being FUD – because (no doubt) the world cannot survive unless everyone uses Windows (or OS/X). If Linux is not (in any way) a threat to Windows as the site says then why should you bother to post on sites like these? I am just as happy with BSD Unix as Linux (as both are open source operating systems) although there are more Linux based distributions suitable for desktop usage than BSD based ones at this moment in time. So would you be happy if (say) PC-BSD (http://www.pcbsd.org/ ) started to displace Windows in PC shops?

  10. kozmcrae

    Dr. Roy has taken on a huge corporation. That’s no easy task. Why give him grief for that? If he’s not going to shine a light on Microsoft’s back room shenanigans, then who will? Someone has to keep them honest, or at least try.

    What are you doing to make the world a better place Yonah?

  11. Yonah

    The purpose of Techrights (formerly Boycott Novell) goes far beyond simply documenting and reporting. It’s also about defamation, slander, and most of all, mockery. All the better to have pictures with fake captions to pull in his vast audience.

    From the viewpoint of what IS and what ISN’T journalism, a guy as biased as Roy Schestowitz is the wrong man for the job. My favorite example is an article where he says “Users of Microsoft Office 2010 Hate It, OpenOffice.org is Loved”. The research behind this claim at the time was just 5 reviews on Amazon giving OpenOffice 5 stars. Microsoft Office, which now stands with a higher rating (3.5) than was reported previously (2), apparently wasn’t good enough for Roy. As is so often the case, he completely ignores a majority of the ratings that were given at 4 and 5 stars. That’s the point. Roy ONLY reports the negative, only tells how EVIL Microsoft/Apple/Proprietary is. A company promotes and advertises, but for Roy a proprietary software company doing these same things is deception and indoctrination. I was amused for many years just wondering what he’ll type next.

    There are more examples of course. Check out the highly credible source for the claim in this story:

    http://techrights.org/2010/10/29/power-over-communities-misused/

    If you take a gander through the IRC logs, you’ll see it’s a place to trash talk about anyone or anything that isn’t FOSS. Though Roy claims the site receives many thousands of hits a day, his small audience of largely supporters are the only ones who ever comment on the articles and many articles pass by without any signs of life. Any offer to debate him and point out the flaws in his crusade have been swiftly ignored, followed by 5 more articles on the latest batch of “evil deeds” out of Redmond.

    The days when Techrights gets 10+ new articles a day written by the great one himself are long behind us. He’s soon to be married to a girl who eerily resembles Sméagol from Lord of the Rings. Though I consider him to be a lowlife zealot and one of the larger brown stains on the underwear that is the blog-o-sphere, I’m still happy for him. More love, less hate. That’s what a good doctor would prescribe. Maybe he’ll grow up in the process. I’m fairly confident few if any in the scientific community would endorse him given the years he spent writing ONE side of the story, and doing it badly. Dare I say he’s the “Fox News” of FOSS, except that Fox actually has a pretty good track record for factual reporting.

  12. notzed

    So, I wonder which ‘community’ it is that consists of people who despise members of the general public for simply sharing their thoughts with the world? Please enlighten us so we can all steer well clear.

    I think Roy does a pretty good job – as does Bob here – at advocating their point of view and bringing some fairly important issues to all of our attention. They might not get every fact right, but given their limited resources they get an awful lot right, and always the big issues.

    The only people who seem to put their ‘money where their mouth is’ with truly loathing Roy (and Bob) seem to be suffering from mental disorders. It isn’t normal behaviour of a groan adult to loathe a member of the general public (or anyone else) simply because you personally disagree with what they are saying.

    Either that or they don’t know how to use a dictionary and seem to think ‘don’t agree’ equates to ‘loathe and hate’.

  13. kozmcrae

    Ted wrote:

    “Roy Schestowitz has ZERO credibility in the IT world. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nil. Bupkis. Not a jot. F**k-all.”

    Ted, you have issues about Roy Schestowitz. I don’t know what they are or why you have them, but you clearly do have issues about Mr. Schestowitz. You may want to back off on any further remarks about Mr. Schestowitz otherwise this may turn into some kind of comparison between the two of you. You certainly don’t hold the kind of credentials he does. You come out holding the short end of the stick. Just FYI Ted.

  14. Robert Pogson

    PhD PhD, PhD Ph.D.n. [Abbrfev. from L., Philosophae Doctor.]
    A scholastic degree awarded for study beyond college; the
    Doctorate degree in Philosophy. In America it is usually
    based on at least 3 years graduate study and a dissertation;
    the doctorate is the highest degree awarded by a graduate
    school, and is awarded in other fields, such as Doctor of
    Arts. The Ph.D. is broadly applicable, as in most fields of
    science and technology; — the term philosophy being derived
    from an earlier label for experimental science as Natural
    Philosophy.

    Syn: Doctor of Philosophy.

    Clearly, Ted does not have a PhD or he might appreciate what that means. I have M.Sc. after my name. Medical imaging involves an awful lot of IT and one does not need to be expert in law to have an opinion about legal matters. Clearly, Ellison is not expert in law but he still took Google to court on flimsy claims.

  15. Ted

    “Roy Schestowitz has a PhD in medical imaging from Manchester University.”

    How does this qualify him in legal matters to do with SuSE and Microsoft or IT matters in general?

    “I think Roy Schetowitz’s credibility exceeds ernest’s by a fair margin.”

    Roy Schestowitz has ZERO credibility in the IT world. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Nil. Bupkis. Not a jot. F**k-all.

    He’s roundly loathed by the very community he claims to represent. I won’t try to supply links, as this post will probably get eaten if I do, but try looking up articles about him that are not written by him.

    “That Roy Schestowitz takes the time to document the evils of non-free software and monopoly is a plus to me.”

    Oh, alright. One link;

    http://verofakto.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/just-another-day-at-boycottnovell.html

    Takes the time? It’s ALL HE DOES. If he has a job now, I’m quite thankful, as it should stop him crapflooding half the internet for about eight hours a day.

    “He makes the world a better place.”

    Are you kidding? He’s the most poisonous, odious little reptile in the whole festering snake-pit of extreme anti-Microsoft zealotry.

  16. Phenom

    Quote:

    “1.4 Why the FreeBSD-style license instead of GPL?

    Kannel is under the FreeBSD-style license because we want to limit the use of Kannel as little as possible.”

    No comment.

  17. oiaohm

    ernest The decline of GPL is a laugh.

    When GPL started BSD was dominate. Due to businesses treating open source projects badly gpl grew under GNU.

    GPL projects have not reduced. Just more companies are returning to bsd and other open license development. Normally growth patern. More permissive grow for a while a few greedy people move in and GPL grows and the cycle repeats. Each time GPL gets larger.

    “UPDATE – It is has been rightfully noted that this decline relates to the proportion of all open source software, while the number of projects using the GPL family has increased in real terms. Using Black Duck’s figures we can calculate that in fact the number of projects using the GPL family of licenses grew 15% between June 2009 and December 2011, from 105,822 to 121,928. However, in the same time period the total number of open source projects grew 31% in real terms, while the number of projects using permissive licenses grew 117%. – UPDATE”

    Just permissive licenses are growing faster at the moment. Question is how long will the good behaviour last. Back in 1993 when wine started it was BSD-style license in 1999 changed to MIT license from X11 for better license compatibility. Due to hostile assault in 2002 changes to LGPL. Was not alone changing around that time.

    Around 2000-2004 there was a spike in GPL take up due to companies being hostile. And it it follows the normally spacing the next lot will be about 2020-2024. Once enough have forgotten what happens when you abuse a FOSS project and don’t give back.

    Question ernest how long do you think companies will resist the force to be greedy.

  18. kozmcrae

    I will not repeat what you wrote. The depth of your hate ernest is astounding.

  19. ernest

    “There’s no one on the planet more locked-in to loving money than M$ and they are the largest source of evil in IT. Oracle and Apple are like innocent children in comparison.”

    Well, the fact that Apple is valued by the stock market as being worth more money than almost any other company can be left to one side, then. Clearly, they are innocent children.

    And Uncle Larry cares not one whit about money. Hardly! He would hand his yacht and his zen monastery to the next indigent he meets on the streets of Redwood Shores.

    As for IBM, you’re absolutely right on that one. All that nonsense about supplying Hollerith algorithms and punched cards to the Nazis in the 1930s and (whisper it not) the 1940s?

    It wasn’t at all about the money.

    It was simply that IBM wanted to see as many Jews as possible exterminated.

  20. ernest

    “That Roy Schestowitz takes the time to document the evils of non-free software and monopoly is a plus to me. He makes the world a better place.”

    Well, maybe, if you’re interested in regurgitated statistical evidence that the concept of “specificity” — which as far as I can tell is a synonym for cosine difference — is important to medical imaging. If those in charge of medical imaging do not recognise this fact, then Roy does indeed make a difference.

    His weird, polarised, and uninformed rantings about IT, on the other hand: not so much. Just try reading them.

    Let’s put this in a non-contentious way. Were Dr Schestowitz to recommend a mango-based high velocity colonic irrigation as the cure to senility, would you pay his “qualifications” the slightest bit of attention?

    Well, maybe. After all, pineapples are not the only fruit.

  21. Robert Pogson

    Clarence Moon wrote, “the apparent lack of “GNU/Linux” on retail shelves “anywhere””.

    I have linked to many sources:

    • hundreds of Dell-branded stores in China selling Ubuntu GNU/Linux,
    • retail businesses in Europe, North America, South America and Asia,
    • reports of OEMs selling huge lots of GNU/Linux PCs in various roll-outs, and
    • the fact that globally many people are aware they have choices for OS and applications instead of taking what comes from OEMs.

    Where I live Walmart has not a single GNU/Linux PC but in Brazil, they have more GNU/Linux PCs than that other OS. There’s a reason for that. Brazilians value freedom and lower costs.

  22. Robert Pogson

    Roy Schestowitz has a PhD in medical imaging from Manchester University. You can see his thesis here. He works as a research assistant at Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in the computer science department. I think Roy Schetowitz’s credibility exceeds ernest’s by a fair margin. That Roy Schestowitz takes the time to document the evils of non-free software and monopoly is a plus to me. He makes the world a better place.

  23. kozmcrae

    Robert Pogson wrote:

    “I hope M$’s recent numbers are just some accountants’ tricks, but I will not declare the battle over until retail shelves are jammed with GNU/Linux everywhere.”

    I’ve been betting on a slow and painful (for everyone) decline for Microsoft, until recently. Now I have this unshakable feeling of a catastrophic implosion in the future for Microsoft. They are hiding something. Why should a company as successful and cash rich as Microsoft hide anything.

    Everything they touch turns to she it. Nokia is their latest shining example. I think Microsoft may be buying time until they can transfer from a marketing/technology company to a patent troll company. They know they can’t compete indefinitely against FLOSS so patent litigation would be their backup plan.

    Just the musings of a blog commenter. Nothing to get all upset about CoM. That is unless you just can’t let it go unchallenged. Oh, of course not. Challenge? No. But you just have to say something. Show me how good you are at ignoring me. Clarence does a pretty good job of that, mostly.

  24. ernest

    Robert: you are aware that Dr Roy is a total lunatic who isn’t even taken seriously in the Linux community, aren’t you?

    He’ll re-position himself in any way that gets him some sort of twisted fan-base, but essentially he’s just a demented train-spotter.

    Never mind. Here’s a new set of statistics as fodder for your analysis.

    I haven’t spent much time on it, but going by your own tried and trusted methodology (in this case, a straight line), it looks like the GPL will be utter toast, at 9%, in seven years time.

    Sounds about right. Linux will still be around. Android will still be around. But, by 2019, no sane human being will release software under the GPL when they could equally well release it under a “permissive license,” ie Apache or BSD or what you will.

  25. Clarence Moon

    I will not declare the battle over until retail shelves are jammed with GNU/Linux everywhere

    That strikes me as a very rough road to travel indeed, Mr. Pogson. Starting with the apparent lack of “GNU/Linux” on retail shelves “anywhere” much less “everywhere”.

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