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Microsoft begs for Windows Phone developers?

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psgDespite the usual Microsoft PR, Windows Phone (and infact) many of Microsoft’s many “new ideas”, have been met with apathy from the consumer.  Windows Phone has found itself in a catch-22 I believe where the consumer wants the apps and the devs wont come and make the apps they want until they are Windows Phone users.  That in addition to the image of Microsoft in the eyes of the mainstream consumer all leads to apathy at best.

Seemingly now very desperate to attract developer support for its ailing phone ecosystem, Microsoft is running a set of free lectures (or training weekend) where, I am sure you will hear the Microsoft buzzwords of “reaching out” quite a few times as they try to convince devs (and would-be’s) to come over to their platform.

Of course, free lecturers probably are not enough, so as is usual with Microsoft, a gift or two (or the promise of prizes), make this whole weekend seem more like a game-show rather than a training course.  Develop now! Amazing prizes to be won.

Developers go where the consumer are.  The consumers are buying Android and Apple products by the bucket-load.  The emerging form factor of the tablet and the smart-phone will hopefully not be subjected to the Microsoft domination we saw on the desktop for so many years.

Tim (Goblin)

Mail: bytes4free@googlemail.com

Skype: tim.openbytes

 

Windows – Now with added malware!

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In the past, securing your Windows PC was merely a personal chore now it seems that in some cases the malware is present before you even buy the machine.

Windows users the world over will almost certainly be familiar with malware and the numerous hoops one must jump through in order to try to prevent it.  How many PC’s have been replaced because the unsuspecting (and often inexperienced) PC user thought that the problem was with the PC hardware itself and not the “software” (and I use that term loosely)  that was pre-loaded onto it.

The BBC have recently written about a sample of PC’s in a study being pre-loaded with malware intentionally prior to buying them , so with the best will in the world on behalf of the consumer, you’ve lost before you have begun.

One virus called Nitol found by Microsoft steals personal details to help criminals plunder online bank accounts.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19585433

Comforting to know when, if it was up to Ballmer and crew you’d be doing everything “The Microsoft Way”.   It gets better:

Microsoft said the criminals behind the malicious program had exploited insecure supply chains to get viruses installed as PCs were being built.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19585433

Ah…thats ok.  It’s not a mistake, it’s not an accidental infection, its criminals intentionally infecting these machines before consumers purchase them.  That’s ok then.  I’m sure potential customers feel better already.

Microsoft are claiming to take responsibility for the report and the subsequent discovery of this criminal act, however what about the years of problems and continued infections of other Windows users?  Where’s the aggressive tackling of issues there?

Speaking of aggressive, the only aggression I saw when I did use Windows in the home many years ago, was the keenness some Microsoft Advocates tried to shift the blame onto the users and their poor security habits.  Infact they blame everyone but Microsoft themselves for releasing an Operating System  open to abuse.

Now we are entering into an age of tech diversity and multiple platforms/form factors the Microsoft issues will become less prevalent, as we see numerous customers choose alternative solutions, be that Apple, Linux or anything else, we see the appeal of the pre-installed Windows becoming less desirable for the criminal element.  That can only be a good thing.

Putting pre-loaded malware infested Windows to one side, I think that the only way to be 100% sure that as a Windows user you don’t become a victim is never to connect your Windows PC online.

Mail: bytes4free@googlemail.com

Skype: tim.openbytes
I can also be found in #techrights, #techbytes on freenode.net.

Nokia’s IPcom patent problem

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If it wasn’t bad enough that Nokia backed the three legged horse in the smartphone race (Windows Phone 7), its now got another problem on its hands.

It is reported by the Wall Street Journal that a court has ruled Nokia is infringing a patent belonging to IPCom:

The ruling means IPCom could seek an injunction to force Nokia to halt sales of its third-generation mobile phones in Germany unless Nokia pays a license fee for the patent.

Source: Wall Street Journal

Can things get any worse?

Elop’s “burning platform” seems to still be burning…. How long before it burns out?

Tim (Goblin)

If you are new to this blog (or have not yet read it) please take time to view the OpenBytes statement, here.

Mail: bytes4free@googlemail.com
Skype: tim.openbytes

Nearly half a billion $ lost online – Microsoft’s continuing tale of woe

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Throwing money down the drain - no, we are not talking about consumers who took a leap of faith on an MS project like the Kin, we are talking about Microsoft and its online woes!

Despite what Microsoft advocates may claim about Windows 7 sales or office sales (lets face it there’s no bragging about WP7) they can’t seem to talk up  their online efforts.

It is reported over at Business Insider that this quarter Microsoft lost $476 million on line, with the only light seeming to be they are throwing away less money now than before.  Maybe its a testament to what Microsoft is, in that it can suffer a loss like this without obvious issue and maybe suggests Microsoft will be getting out its patent portfolio very soon to top up its coffers.

With the news that Microsoft is also seeing a decline in 360 sales with an excuse that people are holding back for the 720 it would seem that there will be many a sweaty shirt day for Steve Ballmer in 2012 – he’s going to have to dance like he’s never danced before to get Microsoft going in a product sense.

And take a look at the comments for Windows 8, are you seeing anticipation or excitement? – I’m not, Microsoft are still rumbling at people to “upgrade” XP.

Tim (Goblin)

If you are new to this blog (or have not yet read it) please take time to view the OpenBytes statement, here.

Mail: bytes4free@googlemail.com
Skype: tim.openbytes

Stating the obvious – Microsoft and open $ource

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A rather short post today relating to an article which explores Microsoft’s relationship with open source and its future direction.  A rather interesting (if somewhat already known) piece which states:

You know why I know Microsoft has no leadership and vision when it comes to Open-Source? Because I asked Steve Ballmer when he was in London, and he replied with this: “I don’t know, but we won’t impose any view on our divisions. I’ll come back to you by email though.”

Source: http://codebetter.com/sebastienlambla/2012/04/05/microsoft-and-open-source-2/

Which then goes on to say:

Microsoft has no vision when it comes to Open-Source, no strategy and no leadership….

And this comes as a surprise or something new? Isn’t the Microsoft business model completely incompatible with the ideals and ethos of real open source software?

Its a good article though which I would recommend you read, in the meantime, taking a more generic look at Microsoft, here is a comment from a Cnet reader which I think sums up Microsoft very nicely and maybe hints on its perception with the mainstream consumer:

…Let’s face facts, Microsoft has gotten it’s hand into everything. Once there, they consistently become the 900lb gorilla in the room with a bad attitude that kills competition and is bad for consumers….

Source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57411175-94/microsoft-gives-away-free-time-to-promote-windows-phone/

I’ll leave it there.

Tim (Goblin)

If you are new to this blog (or have not yet read it) please take time to view the OpenBytes statement, here.

Mail: bytes4free@googlemail.com
Skype: tim.openbytes
I can also be found in #techrights, #techbytes on freenode.net.

UK Government going ahead with Open Source

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Intellect 2012 Open source and open standards are the direction for UK government IT, the civil servant leading the government’s technology change agenda has said.

Source: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/02/10/open_source_government/

Has the penny finally dropped for government that Open Source is viable and the future for UK government IT?

More often than not, the UK governments grasp on technology/software is rather vague to say the least.   We need look no further than BBClick to see the level in which these people comprehend (I’ve always thought the ignorance of Click mirrored the government perfectly – trying to be trendy, missing out the obvious whilst pandering to the monopolist)

It comes then as a pleasant surprise that in recent times Government latched onto words such as “open source” and now we see news of how its to manifest itself within the spending plans of those who handle our taxes.

Liam Maxwell, Cabinet Office director of ICT futures, said:

Opensource software is not three guys in a shed anymore. There are a lot of misconceptions about open source but open source is the future model for delivering IT.

Source: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/02/10/open_source_government/

To which I would add that those “misconceptions” are still on the lips of many Microsoft MVP’s and advocates, most notably on forums and maybe the best example of these “misconceptions” given form are in comp.os.linux.advocacy (link leads to Google Groups if you have no Usenet access) where you have had Microsoft advocates posting for years that open source (and obviously Linux) are things for the hobbyist, created in the basements of unshaven single men – Doubt that? Get yourself over to the news groups and see Linux advocates get attacked personally by those who have spent more than 10 years posting vulgarity in a newsgroup about Linux and open source advocacy.

I would actually go further than Mr Maxwell and state these “misconceptions” are generally not misconceptions at all, they are downright lies by people who have much to lose if their customer base discovers the benefits of Open Source and withdraws their money from the traditional cash cows that they have made a living off for years.

That’s where the future is moving. It’s moving to  a new model of service and delivery, it’s big data and big data is going to be open source. We are going to spend a lot of time looking into that. If we move to being one common government we need open source…

Encouraging news for the end-user/consumer.  Not so for those still trying to sell proprietary which already clearly has a FOSS alternative.  I strongly suggest you read the entire linked article to find out exactly what form open source is to be taking.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/02/10/open_source_government/

Tim (Goblin)

If you are new to this blog (or have not yet read it) please take time to view the OpenBytes statement, here.

Mail: bytes4free@googlemail.com
Skype: tim.openbytes
I can also be found in #techrights, #techbytes on freenode.net.

Justice for the consumer who didn’t want Microsoft – An EU precedent?

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Readers to OpenBytes may remember that a couple of years ago, I like many people bought a PC of my choice only to have Windows pre-installed.  It was unwanted, it was uneeded and presumably this forced inclusion, added to the claimed “sales figures” of Windows.  I enquired about a refund and after a little to and fro, found it was possible albeit a rather convoluted and maybe intentionaly weary return process where my machine could be striped of Windows and a recompense given.

An encouraging story from the pages of TechWorld which details a user with far more tenacity than me states:

A French laptop buyer has won a refund from Lenovo after a four-year legal battle over the cost of a Windows license he didn’t want. The judgment could open the way for PC buyers elsewhere in Europe to obtain refunds for bundled software they don’t want..

Source: Techworld

I imagine after much manovering and squirming the news that the laptop buyer has finally achieved justice will come as a refreshing conclusion in a world where consumers shouldn’t be forced into paying for items they don’t want:

After reconsidering the case, on Jan. 9, Judge Jean-Marie Dubouloz ordered Lenovo to pay Petrus legal costs of €1,000 (around US$1,300), damages of €800 and to refund the cost of the Windows license. Petrus had estimated the cost of the software at €404.81, but the court found that excessive, given that he had paid €597 for the PC and software together. Observing that “it is commonly accepted that the price of a piece of software represents 10 percent to 25 percent of the price of a computer,” the court ordered Lenovo to reimburse Petrus €120 for the software…

Source: Techworld

So maybe the old saying “the customer is always right” holds wieght with Judge Dublouloz.

A good link to bookmark would be the global campaign group “No More Racketware” which can be found at http://no.more.racketware.info/index and they have numerous projects aimed at people who want to become involved in ensuring that the future of computer is not one which software is forced onto users.

Thats good news for the consumer and in my opinion not so good on companies like Microsoft who have for so long ruled the computing world with software crammed onto a harddisk with no thought for what the end-user wants or needs.

I suppose Microsoft can always resort to plan B though – “If you can’t make the products people want to buy, skim a little off the top of those that do” (in respect of its patent aggression)

Tim (Goblin)

If you are new to this blog (or have not yet read it) please take time to view the OpenBytes statement, here.

Mail: bytes4free@googlemail.com
Skype: tim.openbytes
I can also be found in #techrights, #techbytes on freenode.net.