Microsoft Accused of Blackmailing UK Officials Supporting Open Document Format

23 05 2015

The IT reform that the United Kingdom is working on is faced with strong opposition from tech giants operating facilities and doing business in the country, with some going as far as to blackmail MPs in order to block some changes from being adopted.
David Cameron’s former strategy chief, Steve Hilton, revealed during a public speech that Microsoft officials called MPs and tried to blackmail them to block the adoption of certain laws, threatening with the closure of local research facilities if the proposed changes go through.

“You just have to fight them off. I can give you specific examples: the thing I mentioned about IT contracts. Maybe there is someone here to confirm this from Microsoft? When we proposed this, Microsoft phoned Conservative MPs with Microsoft R&D facilities in their constituencies and said, ‘we will close them down in your constituency if this goes through,’” Hilton was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

Read Full Article @Softpedia

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Tribunal anula concurso público de software Microsoft no Município de Almada

25 04 2013

Na sequência de acção judicial intentada pela ESOP no Tribunal Administrativo e Fiscal de Almada, foi anulado o concurso público n.º 31A2012 relativo ao licenciamento e manutenção de software Microsoft, lançado pela Câmara Municipal de Almada em Setembro de 2012, no valor de 550.000,00 EUR.

Segundo a ESOP, trata-se da primeira decisão judicial sobre esta matéria em Portugal, em que é reconhecida a ilegalidade deste tipo de procedimento para aquisição de licenças de software, apesar dos inúmeros alertas da associação para situações de concursos ilegais, que têm ocorrido nos últimos anos.

artigo completo

english Language: Illegal procurement favouring Microsoft in Portugal killed in the courts

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Linux Has Not Won, Microsoft is as Dangerous as Ever, Fie on Secure Boot

5 12 2012

I think UEFI Secure Boot is a shuck and a bald-faced Microsoft anti-competitive tool. I’ll get to my reasons in a moment, because my most important point comes first:

Every purchase of a Windows license is an attack on Linux. Linux has not won, and Microsoft is as dangerous as ever.

Every time you buy a computer that bundles a Windows license just to save a few bucks over buying a Linux machine, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. It doesn’t matter that you blow Windows away and install Linux– it still counts as a Windows sale, which reinforces your vendor’s belief that they need Windows users and can safely ignore Linux users. It sends money to Redmond. It rewards all the junkware, adware, and spyware vendors that load their garbage on Windows PCs. And it cements the anti-competitive status quo more firmly. Buying Android devices sends a significant revenue stream into Microsoft’s pockets– Linux PCs and bare hardware are almost our only remaining options to avoid paying the Microsoft tax.

Independent Linux vendors like System76 and ZaReason do more than stuff Linux into off-the-shelf machines. They do their own engineering and design, build with quality components, and use hardware that supports open drivers. So you don’t need to worry about custom drivers or lockin, but can use your machines however you see fit. You’re not going to be plagued with strange errors and bad performance from sub-par electronics. You get good stuff that you control and better service.

UEFI Secure Boot is More Microsoft Abuse

Microsoft has a long history of gaming and bullying standards organizations. Probably the most egregious example was their scorched-earth all-out assault on the ISO/IEC during the MS-OOXML standard debacle, including costing Massachusetts CIO Peter Quinn his job, and flooding ISO with new members whose sole purpose was to vote for MS-OOXML.

Microsoft scored a quiet coup when they got their proprietary, closed exFAT filesystem (essentially it’s FAT64, an extension of the creaky antique FAT12, FAT16, and FAT32 filesystem line) made part of the SDXC specification for Flash storage media. The Free exFAT driver is immature and its developers are working in the dark because the spec is closed. Nor is there a commercial exFAT for Linux users, but only the Tuxera driver for OEMs.

Those are just two out of many hundreds of possible examples. And now we come to the UEFI Secure Boot. A lot of people are all excited over the phrase “Secure Boot” because it sounds like a good thing. Sure, who wouldn’t want a secure boot to keep all those pre-boot malwares off their nice Linux boxes?

What Linux pre-boot malwares? If you’re multi-booting Linux and Windows, then you’re at risk for everything. If you’re not running Windows I can’t promise that you’re immune. But your risk is magnitudes lower.

The biggest flaw in Secure Boot is the spec requires a single Platform Key. You can add more keys, but they must be signed by the Platform Key. This is the cause of all the woe from Microsoft requiring all Windows 8 systems to ship with Secure Boot turned on– if you want to multi-boot Linux and Windows 8 you have to disable Secure Boot, or figure out how to generate keys for Linux that are signed by the Windows Platform Key. You cannot easily use Secure Boot for Windows 8 and disable it for Linux.

Full Article

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Microsoft Wants To Hide Which Patents Android, Linux Violate

30 07 2012

Bhartiya

There was always clouds of doubts around Microsoft’s claims that Android and Linux infringes upon their patents. While Microsoft continued to threaten companies into signing deals with them or face legal actions, it never disclosed what patents were at stake. The victims were forced to sign an NDA so that the world never gets to know which patents Microsoft is talking about — the chances are these are non-existent claims and Microsoft doesn’t want this bluff to be caught.

Barnes & Noble caught this FUD and counter sued Microsoft. Microsoft was sweating in its pants as the case headed towards the trial and Microsoft started to withdraw their bogus patents from the case. Just before the battle reach the trial Microsoft, typical to its character, paid B&N heavily, settled outside the court, and the world never got to see the bogus patents.

Microsoft is again at the verge of being exposed.

full article:





Dutch Judge Who Ordered Pirate Bay Links Censored Found To Be Corrupt

13 05 2012

Judge Chris Hensen, who ordered the Dutch Pirate Party to censor all links to The Pirate Bay recently, appears to have quite a bit of dirt in his baggage.

Full Article

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Microsoft accused of trying to secretly influence government consultation

28 04 2012

Microsoft is accused of trying to exert clandestine influence on a UK government consultation which could slash the software giant’s £700m income from the UK’s public sector.
The Cabinet Office has thrown out one “independent” expert who had been helping organise a public discussion on how to introduce free software into government – a move that has been calculated could save £600m annually – because he had not declared that he was also advising Microsoft directly.

Read full article:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/apr/27/microsoft-government-consultation?cat=technology&type=article

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TOMTOM? Why are you paying to Microsoft?

29 03 2012

Year 2007, Microsoft’s used Forbes to accuse Linux of infringing upon its 235 patents. The one sided, pro-Microsoft Forbes story was seen as an attempt to scare the Linux companies and customers. It failed. I talked to almost every top-shot in the free software world and did a long story exposing how bogus those claims were. You can read the story here [PDF].
Linux continued to grow and with Android it is today the dominant platform of the world in the mobile market. Microsoft has not given up. They are still playing the same old, scare tactics. They are signing undisclosed deals with Android players over Linux patents.

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Linus Torvalds in comp.os.minix Dec 23 1992, 8:34 am wrote:

(b) do the long filenames by fooling around with several consecutive minix-type directory entries. Depending on how you do it, you can make old binaries see only th first characters of a extended filename, while new binaries see them all. Besides, this means you won’t waste a full 64-char direntry for short files, but instead use several entries only when necessary. The downside is that it’s a bit more work in the kernel.

Full article@