decoration decoration

When you want to know more...
For layout only
Site Map
About Groklaw
Legal Research
ApplevSamsung p.2
Cast: Lawyers
Comes v. MS
Gordon v MS
IV v. Google
Legal Docs
MS Litigations
News Picks
Novell v. MS
Novell-MS Deal
OOXML Appeals
Quote Database
Red Hat v SCO
Salus Book
SCEA v Hotz
SCO Appeals
SCO Bankruptcy
SCO Financials
SCO Overview
SCO v Novell
Sean Daly
Software Patents
Switch to Linux
Unix Books
Your contributions keep Groklaw going.
To donate to Groklaw 2.0:

Groklaw Gear

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

Contact PJ

Click here to email PJ. You won't find me on Facebook Donate Paypal

User Functions



Don't have an account yet? Sign up as a New User

No Legal Advice

The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

Here's Groklaw's comments policy.

What's New

No new stories

COMMENTS last 48 hrs
No new comments


hosted by ibiblio

On servers donated to ibiblio by AMD.

MS Serves Up a Heaping Scoop of SCO FUD in UK Tech Press
Monday, January 23 2006 @ 12:54 PM EST

Do you remember back in August of 2003 when SCO first began the chorus of calls for Linux to offer indemnification for end users? If you recall it that way, like me, you are misremembering. Then was it Laura DiDio? Nope. She wasn't the first either, although she sang the loudest. When I went to check, the very first hint I could find came from Microsoft back in May of 2003, when Steve Ballmer said about Linux, "customers will never really know who stands behind this product."

And do you remember these words of Bill Gates from July of that year:

"Over the next four or five years people will understand more about the intellectual property issues around open source software and Linux and that will address the open ended liability without indemnification for customers. There is going to be some friction around that side of the system."

However did they know, do you suppose? Maybe because they were making it happen? You think?

And so it comes to pass in 2006 that we find Microsoft distributing a flyer in the UK tech press entitled "Indemnification - Weighing the Risk," which uses the SCO case to ask if using open source can leave a company open to legal liability. Three Groklaw readers in the UK tell me that when they received their latest copy of IT Week or, it had the insert from Microsoft. Why only in the UK? Maybe Microsoft knows that in the US people would laugh out loud at such FUD, whereas in the UK it hasn't been as widely covered in the press. The insert's all about indemnification and why Microsoft's indemnification is allegedly better than what you can get for Linux. It does that by misrepresenting in an incomplete chart what indemnity and other legal help you can get for Linux. In fact, I think you could say the insert is an historic stroll through the fields of FUD in which SCO prominently starred. The only trouble is, the history comes to a full stop with a loud screech in March of 2004.

Why, isn't that around the time that SCO's rape-and-pillage ship began to list badly and start taking on water? Why, yes. Yes, it is.

The white paper opens like this:

Indemnification is a word that was rarely uttered in IT circles until the last few years, since when it has cropped up repeatedly, thanks in large part to concerns over intellectual property rights (IPR) and Linux.

Sparked by the dramatic steps taken in 2003 when SCO Group sued software companies and end-users for alleged infringements of Unix IPR it claimed to own concerns have been aired over how IT buyers can be protected against such cases.

The insert encapsulates material from an IT Week and Computing web seminar that debated, "Can IT Decisions Leave Customers Liable?" with Nicholas McGrath, Director of Platform Strategy at Microsoft in the UK, Richard Kemp, a lawyer with Kemp Little, and George Gardiner, a lawyer at Gardiner & Co, "former IT director with positive experience of open-source software".) By the way, the url listed in the white paper for the seminar is not working. Go here if you want to see it, or look for the link on this page. Registration required.

It purports to describe the SCO legal saga, but it gets quite a few facts wrong, aside from being incomplete, not mentioning any SCO negatives. As just one example, it says SCO sued IBM in March of 2003 for misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition and contractual claims. It never mentions that it dropped the trade secrets claims completely. Instead it says that in June of 2003, SCO "expanded the size of its claims". They seem to mean they asked for more in damages, but as SCO has been finding out, asking for damages and getting them are two different things. You can throw in any figure you please in a complaint, but then you have to prove your claims, and that appears to be the sticking point for SCO.

The insert says Novell and Red Hat later sued SCO, "on the grounds that it had unfairly represented the status of Linux and caused damage to their respective businesses." That isn't at all accurate. It was SCO who sued Novell for slander of title, after Novell stated it still held the Unix copyrights. Novell later countersued and while the counterclaims are many, including charging SCO with contract breaches -- one being an unjust enrichment claim that SCO pocketed revenues it owed to Novell -- outstanding is the claim that SCO has no valid copyrights in Unix, which would be the basis of SCO's ability to sue anybody for infringement. Novell asserts it still holds the copyrights, a fact you cannot learn from this white paper. Novell also accuses SCO of filing misleading information with the SEC. And it accuses SCO of "scheming" to extract licensing fees from Novell, the Linux community and Unix vendors, and that it asked Novell to go along with the scheme. Novell asks the court for an order attaching SCO's assets pending adjudication of Novell's contract claim, as well as damages, including punative damages, among other relief. None of this is in the white paper. See? That's what you need Groklaw for.

Red Hat asked for a declaratory judgment that it is not violating any SCO copyrights and it has some Lanham Act claims. Of course, if SCO doesn't have any copyrights, that declaratory judgment should be a breeze.

Let me show you a screenshot of another hilariously incomplete chart from the insert, so you can savor the moment when we see Microsoft struggling to cash in on all the FUD from Laura DiDio and others about indemnification. Here's the chart:

Yoo hoo, Microsoft, it's 2006, not 2004. The great plan fizzled. DaimlerChrysler sailed through without a scratch, in case you didn't hear, and AutoZone is as close to over as it can be, resurrectable only after IBM is settled and probably only if IBM loses massively, ha ha. And say, how's SCO's business doing, other than the PIPE fairy transfusions? Did it all work out well for them? Inspire others to want to be just like them? Or did the marketplace decide it was a bunch of hooey that IBM could handle on behalf of the world very nicely, thank you?

Microsoft probably should have left that last bullet point off. Of course, they also don't mention Judge Kimball saying he was amazed that SCO has presented no credible evidence of copyright infringement and the flyer doesn't mention any of the other negative court events since, one after the other.

The flyer quotes various "experts" who have been croaking about indemnification for a long time, including our longtime favorite, Laura DiDio. She says that SCO's litigation is "a dream outcome for Microsoft." Well, she got that part right. Then she says that the minute a corporation gets sued, it loses. In that case, Microsoft must be a losing company, I'd say, because when is it not being sued? Check out Groklaw's Microsoft Litigation page and you'll see what I mean. In contrast, Linux has never before to my knowledge been sued by anyone over IP. Or anything else that I ever heard about. For that matter, have you ever heard of anyone collecting from any of the indemnification offers made two years ago for Linux by HP, Novell or Red Hat? Even applying?

In fact, Linux isn't being sued now. The SCO v. IBM case has pretty much leveled down to a contract case, from all that is publicly available, and it's hard to see any impact it could ever have on Linux, unless SCO comes up with an 11th hour Perry Mason moment. Compare the two records and ask yourself, if what DiDio says true, shouldn't you switch to Linux right away?

Let's see by checking Groklaw's Archives what Ms. Didio's advice was in August of 2003 when SCO sent out its letters to the 1500 after it announced their SCOSource "licensing" program in May:

Several commercial Linux users, including Red Hat and SuSE , have expressed doubt about the need for the licenses –- which have yet to be priced officially by SCO. However, Yankee Group senior analyst Laura DiDio is advising customers not to dismiss SCO's licensing offer, despite the arguments of those who think SCO's claims will not be taken seriously in court.

"The customers who received these 1,500 letters from SCO have been told this isn't going anywhere," DiDio told TechNewsWorld. "I don't think anyone should listen to such empty assurances."

Soft Pitch for License

DiDio, who said SCO's copyright registrations illustrate the company's seriousness about its claims and represent a step toward possible litigation, described SCO's actions as "a very wise course."

"They went out of their way to say they are holding Linux customers harmless," she said. "They're not being greedy. Under the law, if they prevailed [in the IBM suit], they could hold the infringers liable."

DiDio criticized IBM's lack of indemnification of customers in the legal case and noted that by stating Linux creator Linus Torvalds had inherited the copyright violation and was therefore not responsible for it, SCO is "trying to ruffle as few feathers as possible."

SCO went out of its way to say they are holding customers harmless and they were not greedy? Is that the way you recall it? Anyway, that was her advice back then: seriously consider taking a SCOsource license. Ah, the advantages of 20-20 hindsight! Not to make fun of anyone, but seriously, how right was she? SCOsource died a horrible death, although I believe it is being kept on life support in hopes of harvesting its organs someday.

And so we come full circle. The only "question" left in my mind is, did Microsoft plan this call for indemnification so it could contrast its offering, or is it just trying to benefit from the SCO litigation after the fact? Perhaps like me you lean to the first, but either way, do you admire Microsoft's FUD? Does it make you want to do business with them?

Deeper, is this FUD really reflective of Microsoft's opinion of Linux? If they sincerely believed that Linux was a legal risk, would they sponsor the following seminar? Judge for yourself:

Ziff Davis Media eSeminars: The Online Seminar Standard Windows and Linux: Perfect Together January 26, 2006 @ 2 p.m. Eastern/ 11 a.m. Pacific Duration: 60 minutes Register & Attend Online If you are unable to attend the live event you may still register and will receive an e-mail when the on-demand version becomes available.

Event Overview:

Savvy IT managers, CIOs and other IT decision makers know that, when it really comes down to it, the Windows-versus-Linux battle being portrayed in the media is mostly hype. The fact is, Windows and Linux OSes can and do coexist peacefully in server rooms and on desktops at organizations worldwide. The benefits are numerous - Linux offers a reliable, extremely cost-effective platform that can run on the most modest of hardware, saving your company money on expensive server and desktop upgrades. Windows continues to be the standard on which most enterprise-class software and applications run, and combining the two means your organization gets the best of both worlds. And recent advances in dual-OS management technology means that a cross-platform implementation is no longer the administrative headache it used to be.

If your organization is already working with a dual-OS environment, you are well aware of the benefits. But how can you increase efficiency, productivity and ease system management? If you are considering a Windows and Linux platform, how do you know if it's the right business decision for you, or which Linux flavor will work best with your business? Join this live, interactive eSeminar sponsored by Microsoft as our panel of experts delve into these and other issues.

"Mostly hype" is correct, and I'm sure the seminar will be an absolute hoot, with hype up to your eyeballs. Even this ad for the seminar tries to portray Linux as something you'd only use for older computers, whereas to really swim with the big boys you need the latest from Microsoft. But the simple fact is, the hype is all coming from Redmond. It's one-way hype, you might say. FOSS developers aren't spewing out FUD about Microsoft.

Microsoft plays dirty, in my opinion and in the opinion of many, and FOSS doesn't. That is the fundamental difference. If Microsoft wishes to learn to play nicely with others, that would be fine, of course. I sincerely wish they would. But otherwise, it really can't have it both ways, where with its right hand it spews out antiLinux FUD and enables vicious lawsuits and with the left it suggests Linux and Microsoft work together. I don't think Microsoft would be saying that if it thought for one minute SCO had a prayer of winning in court. Do you? How dangerous, then, does Microsoft *really* think it is to use Linux?

It does matter about ethics in business. That is the piece the company needs to address about itself, or it's going the way of the dodo bird. They are starting a new ad campaign to alter people's perception that it is a huge US company. Instead, they should probably address the perception that it is a huge, mean US company. Most normal people care about ethics in business. I know some don't, but most want to do business with decent folks. Even people who lie and cheat prefer to do business with straight shooters they can trust. We're hard wired that way. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the GNU/Linux value add -- ethics. And flexibility and reliability. And no viruses that I ever bumped into.

I surely hope every business that is now 100% Microsoft decides to follow Microsoft's advice and becomes a mixed Microsoft-Linux shop. Then just watch which computers cost you time fixing them and heartache dealing with them. Add up all that time, and figure it into your calculations. Oh, don't forget to factor in the costs of upgrading your Microsoft software and the hardware it needs to be able to function. Those are all important numbers.

But never forget that a company that will do vicious things to its competition will likely do vicious things to you too. It's kind of like the old protective saying women quote if a friend is tempted by a married man: "If he'll cheat with you, he'll cheat on you." Likewise, if Microsoft will use SCO and dish out the kind of FUD it is dishing out about indemnification, what might they do to you if they ever felt like it?


MS Serves Up a Heaping Scoop of SCO FUD in UK Tech Press | 210 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 01:04 PM EST
The UK has some pretty draconian libel laws tha vastly favor the plaintiff.
Novell's UK office should have a good chance at prevailing in a suit over this

[ Reply to This | # ]

MS Serves Up a Heaping Scoop of SCO FUD in UK Tech Press
Authored by: Peter H. Salus on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 01:06 PM EST

It's clear to me that the reason the chronology comes to a halt in
March 2004 is that it takes M$ over 18 months to pull up its
sox. Alert and agile writing could have been available earlier;
this [UK] FUD could have extended over a longer time-frame.

But ... a big but ... that would have cut out N levels of review
and rewrite.

It takes longer to turn an elephant than it takes to turn a gazelle.

Peter H. Salus

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 01:10 PM EST
"...In contrast, Linux has never before to my knowledge been sued by anyone
over IP. Or anything else that I ever heard about..."

Just to clarify, Linux isn't a corporation.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Corporporation? - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 01:19 PM EST
  • Corporporation? - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 01:21 PM EST
  • Corporporation? - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 01:46 PM EST
MS does have a brand name that is respected... that is until they ruin it totally by lying!
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 01:13 PM EST
MS does have a brand name that is respected... that is until they ruin it
totally by lying!

One way to tarnish brand is to tell lies. AND GET CAUGHT.

It is amazing that companies like Microsoft, and even SONY and some others don't
have any faith in their brand anymore. Yes, when a consumer goes and looks on a
shelf that does matter. When comparing like products BRAND is an issue that
matters... what will I get for this, and for how long, is a good feeling.
Micrsoft, with the viruses, the DRM, the Lock-in, monopoly tactics, over
pricing, and now these lies, is destroying it's own highly regarded brand name.

However, when the press (a free press) then points out where the company with
brand name respect is caught time and again lying in order to protect their
monopoly and over priced product (that is laces with LOCK-in and DRM schemes)
well a percentage of the public then sees the brand as tarnished and they start
to disrespect the company that is dishonest.

[ Reply to This | # ]

MS Serves Up a Heaping Scoop of SCO FUD in UK Tech Press
Authored by: frk3 on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 01:16 PM EST

O.K., that does it for me.

This completely 100% tells me that Microsoft was behind SCO's antics, with cash etc. to spread FUD about Linux. Period, no possible doubt, etc.

Microsoft should be called on the carpet by the DoJ and EU regarding this heaping pile.

[ Reply to This | # ]

MS Serves Up a Heaping Scoop of SCO FUD in UK Tech Press
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 01:18 PM EST
Can't say I'm overly surprised that Computing got in on this, they've had a reputation for years of favouring their big advertisers and attacking those who don't advertise with them.

I also failed to notice anything in the online versions of Computing or about the WMF bug.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Another mis-statement in chart
Authored by: LouS on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 01:23 PM EST
IIRC the D-C case as actually filed had noting to do with linux and the
AZ case was not about linux per se but about how AZ conducted the
switch from SCO to linux

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections Here
Authored by: ThrPilgrim on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 01:24 PM EST
Here is the corrections thread

[ Reply to This | # ]

MS Serves Up a Heaping Scoop of SCO FUD in UK Tech Press
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 01:26 PM EST
It is pretty sad when a company can't compete technically anymore and you watch
them turn to lawyers, senators, and CEO's to shove thier product down people's

Now they are going to use the DMCA, DRM and the entertainment business to keep
feeding their monopoly.

Well they can have it - I don't watch too much tv anyway except for sports and I
will never, ever buy anything with DRM knowingly. They can keep Apple Itunes
too - I will never buy anything from them and there are plenty of better digital
audio players on the market (that play ogg the format that is unencumbered by
patents) than the IPOD.

People you have to get your rights back and stop buying the crap these media
companies are trying to sell us with DRM.

Just say no to DRM.

[ Reply to This | # ]

MS Serves Up a Heaping Scoop of SCO FUD in UK Tech Press
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 01:28 PM EST
Perhaps it's supposed to distract attention from the
latest real-life IP lawsuits:

[ Reply to This | # ]

M$ irony detector broken (possible keyboard hazard)
Authored by: tangomike on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 01:46 PM EST
For a nice look at how M$ indemnification applies, read ANY M$ EULA.

I saw a report last week that M$ has budgeted $100++ millions for an advertising
campaign to convince people they're "not big". I am not making this up
(thanks Dave Barry).

If Bill Gates had a nickel for every time Windows crashed...
Oh wait! He does!

[ Reply to This | # ]

MS-Linux eSeminar
Authored by: tredman on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 01:47 PM EST
I received the invite for this eSeminar, and it made me laugh out loud, for two

1) I've repeatedly sent eWeek mail about their eSeminars not being compatible
with Linux (at one time, they used ActiveX technologies). I don't know if
that's changed, after a while, I got tired of asking. eWeek put it off on the
company they had contracted to host them.

2) For Microsoft to be sponsoring a Windows-Linux interoperability seminar is
comic at best. 95% of Linux's interoperability with Windows came DESPITE
Microsoft making things difficult for the F/OSS community. When was the last
time you heard Microsoft helping out with Samba or WINE, and I'm not even going
to venture into the FAT arena.

"I drank what?" - Socrates, 399 BCE

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off-topic here....
Authored by: perpetualLurker on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 01:51 PM EST

Complete with clickable links, if possible...

Thank you one and all! ......pL.....

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that
take our breath away.

[ Reply to This | # ]

MS is TRULY afraid of only one Company
Authored by: wood gnome on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 02:14 PM EST
And that is Ol' Buddy Big Blue - backing Linux with all force right now -
because it brings money - through quality.
You're probably quite right that Bill wouldn't try to pull off a stunt like this
in the US. The UK, starting BLiar, is much less savvy and up to date, and
probably one of the last of the bigger battling fields where Billy thinks he has
a chance of trying to force a draw - for the time being.
The rest of Europe doesn't know what he'd be talking about. SCO? Why
Indemnification? Patent infringement? Where? Go to court and prove it..
Hardly any software patents here (yet, let's keep it that way).
Also remember, over here on the continent (Continental Europe I mean), Consumers
have A LOT more rights; many of these these supersede quite a lot of stupid EULA
provisions US companies may devise..

Oh, by the way: other reason why MS is afraid of Big Blue: it's Big Boys cannot
be bought... gnagnagna

[ Reply to This | # ]

IP Indemnification Programs
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 02:16 PM EST
It seems Microsoft didn't go into detail about all those different
indemnification programs put in place against SCO. Whether or not I infringe
SCOX IP, I know Novell will pay my legal bills when I get sued. At first I
thought it to be strange buying a product coming with such kind of warranty
attached. But then I realized Novell can't possibly be sure to know what it is
selling to me. Thus I really appreciated their offer to help me out when I get
in trouble. I don't see Microsoft doing it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

MS Serves Up a Heaping Scoop of SCO FUD in UK Tech Press
Authored by: gressil on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 02:29 PM EST

I'm a bit suprised (yeah right) that MS have done this again, it was only 18 months ago they were told off by the Advertising Standards Authority for doing the exact same thing: icle=18067

We need some of us UK posters to send this off to the ASA with a note explaining that MS are breaking the same rules again despite a previous decision against them (I'll do it as well if I can get hold of one of the fliers)

The ASA is the advertisers' self regulatory body, I'm not exactly sure they have that much power but it will be good to be able to point to another decision against them if this ever comes up in conversation:

ASA Homepage


[ Reply to This | # ]

It could be a sign of good news (no troll)
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 02:37 PM EST
After all, they've got a new operating system to sell.
Based on previous, it's probably going to cost shedloads
in hardware upgrades. We know it, they know it, everyone
knows it. If Linux were not scaring them white-haired,
they'd be ignoring it.

Time for a party, I think.

Don't bother with the ASA - it's nearly as bad as getting
slapped with a wet lettuce leaf.

Back in the USA - doesn't your government practice
extra-territoriality? (I'm thinking NatWest bank being
sued for example) Isn't there some way this can be sorted
in the context of SCO v everyone else except MS?
Supposing one of these were to go to Jury trial - isn't
this FUD something like contempt of Court or whatever it's
called over there?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Legends never die
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 02:57 PM EST
Legends never die. InformationWeek of Jan. 23 has a Unix article

stating the following:

But IBM's strategy of playing both sides has made it a target of a
copyright-infringement lawsuit by SCO Group, charging that IBM illegally added
SCO's Unix code to Linux. SCO also has filed suits against Linux users AutoZone
Inc. and DaimlerChrysler AG; those are on hold pending the outcome of the IBM
suit. The legal action has sent a chill through the Linux community, with users
uncertain whether they might one day be charged royalties.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Novell asserts
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 03:03 PM EST
> Novell asserts it still holds the copyrights,

I am not sure that Novell actually does assert that. Novell certainly claims
that it never transferred any source code copyrights, and it claims it holds
regitrations, but I have not seen any actual assertion from Novell that there
are any defendable copyrights on Unix code that Novell hold.

Clearly Novell asserts that SCO and SCOG do not have any Unix source code
copyrights, but that does not mean that Novell does have copyright on any
particular piece of code.

[ Reply to This | # ]

MS have been fined before for false advertising
Authored by: Chris Lingard on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 03:21 PM EST

This was when they compared the cost of running their system on a PC, with the cost of running Linux on a mainframe. In this instance it was true that the Linux system was more expensive, but the UK has laws about false advertising.

I suggest this flier is sent to the Department of Fair trading.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT from the The Independent Voice Of The Microsoft IT Community
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 03:37 PM EST
he Independent Voice Of The Microsoft IT Community Worry Free Web Server Support Is Not An Issue Apache is a better way to go. I use an open source tool called Webmin, which is basically a browser interface for managing your Linux system. It’s as easy to administer as Windows.” These people are jumping up and down with joy after finding Apache on Linux Clicky Here Grecco agrees, and says running Apache on Linux opens up other hardware options. “If you’re just running Web services, you can take a machine that’s three to five years old and it runs fine, especially under Linux. Windows requires a lot more resources, so you have to be more careful about the hardware.” Apache closes security holes after installation, whereas IIS sometimes leaves holes open. “It changed a little under Windows 2003 and IIS 6.0, which is more secure. But with IIS 5.0 under Windows 2000, the install was wide open,” says Wald. “It would install this and that, allow WebDAV remote authoring and so on. Users would have to go in and turn everything off to make it secure. With Apache, you have to turn things on before they’re open, which is a better way to go.” Apache is best suited as an Internet Web server. “Apache does one thing well. It does Web services,” says Grecco. “Microsoft IIS is made to integrate with all the Microsoft products. That’s great for an intranet, but if you’re going to host to the outside world, that’s when you run into security issues. Apache is a better way to go.”

[ Reply to This | # ]

Rebuttal Flyer
Authored by: archanoid on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 03:39 PM EST
So, how much does it cost to get a flyer inserted into IT Week or

I'd love to see a rebuttal flyer go out in the next issue formatted similarly, with a similar timeline, that "gets the facts" correct.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Another example of Microsoft (or its marketing dept) not "getting" the Net
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 03:39 PM EST

Famously, Gates took months if not years to grasp how big the Net was going to
be; and only managed to achieve dominance in the browser market (late in the
day) by well-documented anti-competitive behaviour.

But that blindness still infects their marketing dept. They still think that
their FUD really works and are stuck in the 90's era of press releases, seminars
and manufactured news.

Of course it does work in some cases - but their total failure to significantly
impact the take up of Linux should, by now, have given them a clue.

M$ releases a document, or commissions an "independent" report, on
Windows v Linux. What happens? The IT world yawns. Or if it's bored takes the
mickey out of them. It certainly doesn't make million-dollar business decisions
on such "advice" anymore.

One of Microsoft's biggest problems is that it's got a confused business model -
it operates half as a software developer and half as a marketing company.

To illustrate:

Question: What business are the printer manufacturing divisions of HP, Canon, et
al, in?
Answer: The business of manufacturing printers.
Wrong. They're in the business of selling toner/ink cartridges - building
printers just aids that business model.

M$ thinks it's in the business of producing and selling software (and so it
should be) but it operates, and makes its business decisions, as if it were a
marketing company.

One day maybe it'll realise that if you concentrate on producing a good, simple,
effective, easy to use, classy, product then the world will do 90% of your
marketing for you.

Witness the iPod. Sure, Apple spent millions (billions?) marketing it. But I
don't recall that any single part of that marketing campaign including
rubbishing their rivals, spreading FUD, anti-competitive practices, or any of
the other low-down tricks that M$ uses by simple reflex.

They didn't need to - because the marketing dept started off with a good solid
product to work with *after* it had been properly engineered and built.

(BTW - I'm a Windows professional, not a Mac user. The above example isn't a
Windows v Mac pitch.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

After my initial surprise when this fell out of the wrapper...
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 04:03 PM EST
... I've now come to the conclusion that this is too little too late. From what
I can see, anybody interested in Open source software and Linux is pretty clear
on what the future for SCO is. So by basing this paper on the SCO case, MS have
actually undermined their own FUD.

And I get the feeling that other companies that could go after Linux, have
decided that there are easier targets and deeper pockets around... "Hmm
Microsoft have money AND pay up when taken to court... and a million hippies
won't be after my blood."

[ Reply to This | # ]

"SCOsource died a horrible death, ..."
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 04:04 PM EST

"... although I believe it is being kept on life support in hopes of
harvesting its organs someday."

Nah - it never lived in the first place.

It'd take 10,000 volts through its rotting corpse to even make it twitch!

[Dark castle, thunderstorm, medical instruments. Boris Karloff as the lawsuit
(sorry, Monster). Darl's cries of "It's alive, IT'S ALIVE!!! .....]

[ Reply to This | # ]

The problem is BSA. The cure is GPL.
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 04:07 PM EST
A quick and easy test: Compare the number of BSA enforcement actions to the
number of Linux "IP" lawsuits vs. end users. Very few corporations
can fully substantiate all of their license purchases. Most (even the honest
ones) would get nailed in the event of a BSA audit. GPL is exemption from BSA.
It's really hypocritical for MS to talk about risks, when MS funds the BSA and
therefore creates the problem that most of its customers need protection from.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The real message Microsoft
Authored by: kawabago on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 04:16 PM EST
What Microsoft is really saying here is that it knows it's products cannot
compete against Linux and win.


[ Reply to This | # ]

M$ indemnification is a joke!
Authored by: eckenheimer on Monday, January 23 2006 @ 04:59 PM EST
M$ spouting off about software indemnification has been covered several times on Groklaw. They keep saying that OSS, particularly Linux, doesn't offer the (supposedly far superior) indemnification that M$ does. The first time this came up I went to the M$ web page which explains w hat their indemnification is ( facts/topics/policy.mspx).

IA NAL, but even I can see that "the Microsoft Indemnification Policy for End Users" is mainly about indemnifying M$ itself from any claims by users. The actual "Microsoft's Intellectual Property Commitment" is the bottom half of the linked page and contains such gems as:

"Our obligations will not apply to the extent that the claim or adverse final judgment is based on:
... [here a list of seven items]
(ii) the combination of the covered software with a non-Microsoft product, data, or business process; ..."
As I read this, if I use M$ software with non-M$ data or business processes, their indemnification does not apply. Would that non-M$ data include a letter to my mom or a spreadsheet of monthly expenses?

I'd love to see Allparadox or one of the other attorneys who frequent Groklaw give an informed assessment of what it really says. I'm certain that a rational analysis, followed by publicizing what Microsoft's vaunted indemnification really consists of, would go a long ways towards taking the wind out of their sails on this particular issue.

In a world without walls or fences, who needs windows or gates?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Death Throws of an 800 Pound Gorilla
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 24 2006 @ 01:04 AM EST
This is further evidence of the desperation of a bully being crushed by 21st
century open alternatives. Hopefully the SPA and all the other minion
organizations will fade away as those who have been terrorized by them choose
freedom over fud.

[ Reply to This | # ]

malignance vs. stupidity
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 24 2006 @ 02:31 AM EST
In this case M$ is really evil, there is no doubt they are.
Think of the Halloween letters.
And they appear to be stupid too, nowadays no one believes SCO.
It is futile to paint them dangerous.
Besides not infringing, Linux and FOSS in general are already at a stage where
it would be more harmful for big businesses and governments if there is any
So, there won't be any problem :)

[ Reply to This | # ]

PJ, You need to checkout the halloween documents
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 24 2006 @ 03:03 AM EST
and the Valentine documents while you are at it.

It should be understood that the UK is Microsoft's test-bed of choice for new
FUD and propaganda, if it works in the UK, you can expect to see it in the US.

The Halloween documents in particular shine a very bright light on Microsoft's
business plans. These are emails that that Microsoft has acknowledged are real,
that highlight MS's intention to generate FUD about IP and FOSS/Linux.

I highly enlightening read - combine it with what you know of Vista/Longhorn,
Hailstorm, and the new DRM enabled hardware they are starting to hype up.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Every time I see the borderline sociopaths running major parts of our society...
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 24 2006 @ 04:20 AM EST
...I wonder what problem people really have with someone like RMS.

[ Reply to This | # ]

So Why Now
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 24 2006 @ 07:45 AM EST
So why now ? why this fud campaign now ? Did they have a few thousand pounds to
throw away in a campaign ? Naaah ! I reckon that over the next few weeks there
is going to be an announcement of a major Linux switch or declaration of intent
to switch, I will lay good money on it. This is just to sow the first seeds of

DevilsAdvocado ( not signed in )

[ Reply to This | # ]

Other companies are serving it up
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 24 2006 @ 12:59 PM EST
Data Direct is another company who is against open source software. They cite
the SCO-IBM lawsuit.

[ Reply to This | # ]

MS Serves Up a Heaping Scoop of SCO FUD in UK Tech Press
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 24 2006 @ 03:24 PM EST
I worked at an automotive manufacturing company in Battle Creek and was the IT
manager. I received a box of cereal from M$ bashing Novell and stating that
Novell is not in the OS business and now is reduced to a consultant enterprise.

I immediately went out and purchased Novell's 5.0 and yanked all the M$ servers.
Novell never crashed by-the-way and no viruses.

M$ did send out a one page retraction letter.............

I now work at a health care facility with seven sites, and again i am yanking M$
products as I speak. I will not do business with anyone who does business like

You know, I really am beginning to feel sorry for MicroSponge's corporation and
employees: could you imagin working at such a place? Please don't throw that
chair at me....... I will kill............ I will bury....... (yahoo

Such despiration is indicative of a truly a-moral and very sick enterprise.


(Sure glad i don't work or do business there.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Last Chance to Harvest Organs?
Authored by: darkonc on Tuesday, January 24 2006 @ 05:29 PM EST
Microsoft seems to have (indirectly) invested millions in this lawsuit, and it's about to die a horrible death. This may be near their last chance to harvest some fud from the lawsuit before it effectively implodes via any of the numerous motions currently (or soon to be) in play -- or, perhaps, before SCO declares bankruptcy.

I think that either event is a very real possibility, at the rate things are going right now.

Powerful, committed communication. Touching the jewel within each person and bringing it to life..

[ Reply to This | # ]

We already know
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 24 2006 @ 05:54 PM EST
What Microsoft plans are, what they are aiming to do, and how they are aiming to
do it.

It all hinges on the combination of Vista and Hailstorm running on DRM enabled
hardware. The information, the pieces and pawns have been known and in place for
a number of years now, and more pieces are positioned monthly.

Microsoft aims to split the software/hardware world into two - their way, and
anyone else. By forcing and maintaining predominance in the market place, using
every lock-in and strong arm measure they can, MS hopes to secure perpetual
control of the computers and information technology infrastructure of
governments, major companies, minor companies and home users alike.

MS wants everyone on Hailstorm - their DRM enabled, subscription oriented
service, locked in by their own hardware and the Vista operating system. A user
in such a position faces an impossible choice - particular businesses - loose
access to every document not saved in an open standard, or stay with MS and
continue to pay for eternity.

The last moves before the power play are happening now - Intel is building DRM
enabled hardward (all new motherboards will contain DRM control chipsets, and
the DMCA makes it illegal to bypass them), Vista is building towards completion,
the .NET rollout and uptake has been a fair success, MS just has to keep
businesses tied down on Windows a little longer, thus ODF and Office suites that
read and write it provides a incredibly dangerous element to Microsoft, they
need those documents in proprietary formats. Likewise, they need to keep
businesses migrating from Windows until their power play is complete.

If you want to know "Why Now?" it's because momentum away from MS
products is starting to build, and they have to 'cut it off at the pass' before
that momentum becomes an unstoppable juggernaught.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Limits of indemnification
Authored by: scarbrowed on Tuesday, January 24 2006 @ 06:04 PM EST
Someone needs to write a good article about the limits of indemnification with
closed source products. The Blackberry case is a perfect example. No currently
proposed protection can prevent a company from a court enforced outage of a
service. I know there have been other smaller examples where a court order could
have shutdown a product or service, but none come to mind sitting here at work.

The only theoretical advantage to open source in this case would be patent
violations might be easier to find and fix in open source products. But there
would be the practical advantage that there is generally no central company for
a single court order. The nature of open source would likely mean each user
would have to be sued individually. Each user would likely have them more time
to plan and work around the problem.

I'd write the article if I thought I could do a good job and someone would read
it. But if someone does the research and beats me to it, I'd be happy, too.

[ Reply to This | # ]

More interesting FUD from MS
Authored by: Pop69 on Tuesday, January 24 2006 @ 06:50 PM EST
This gem is linked on the latest mailing from Microsoft to their registered members of their partner programme under the heading "Go Head to Head with Linux and Win"

Myths of Linux PDF

Haven't actually gotten round to reading it yet as I'm just in from a long shift in the server room, thought it might be interesting to post it here in a thread that it's most likely relevant in.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Pot, meet Kettle
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 25 2006 @ 10:05 AM EST
Re: It purports to describe the SCO legal saga, but it gets quite a few facts
wrong, aside from being incomplete, not mentioning any SCO negatives.

Not unlike the way this article doesn't mention any positives about Microsoft,

[ Reply to This | # ]

Apparently contravenes ASA CAP
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 25 2006 @ 03:47 PM EST
Specifically :

No marketing communication should
mislead, or be likely to mislead, by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration,
omission or otherwise.
Link to the ASA page.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Vista - 64 Bit
Authored by: The Mad Hatter r on Friday, January 27 2006 @ 08:33 PM EST

For those who were skeptical, here's the page at which lists available processors.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw © Copyright 2003-2013 Pamela Jones.
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.
Comments are owned by the individual posters.

PJ's articles are licensed under a Creative Commons License. ( Details )