Much of this information was contributed by Rex Ballard and Roy Schestowitz -- many thanks!
Microsoft started the war against Linux at least as far back as 1996. It has been going on for 15 years or more:
Microsoft doesn't even deny any of the tactics below. In fact, they have defended these activities in court hearings and commission hearings as "typical of the PC industry", because they control the PC industry.
MICROSOFT GAVE SCO 100 MILLION DOLLARS TO ATTACK LINUX VENDORS AND CORPORATE USERS WITH A TOTALLY FRAUDULENT LAWSUIT THAT DELAYED LINUX ADOPTION FOR SEVERAL YEARS
Microsoft financed SCO with $100,000,000 to attack Linux vendors and corporate users with a lawsuit claiming that Linux had incorporated code from Unix systems to which SCO owned the rights. However, SCO was never able to show a single line of code for which this was true. The suit was totally fraudulent -- a vicious attack by Microsoft which delayed the adoption of Linux by corporations for several years.
MICROSOFT WROTE A SECRET MANUAL FOR ITS PROPAGANDA AGENTS TELLING THEM TO LIE ABOUT COMPETING PRODUCTS AND TO CALL THEIR USERS INSANE
A Microsoft document called "Effective Evangelism" and stamped "HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL" on every page was obtained in the Comes vs. Microsoft case. It's available at these locations -- PDF, and HTML with a few comments:
Here's an excerpt from it:
[quote] [Microsoft's] Evangelism's goal is to put the final nail into the competing technology's coffin, and bury it in the burning depths of the earth. Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, "he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2." Just keep rubbing it in, via the [bribed] press, [bribed] analysts, [Usenet] newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the competition's technology part of the mythology of the computer industry. [/quote]
MICROSOFT'S SECRET WINDOWS VENDOR LICENSE FORBIDS SALE OF DUAL-BOOT COMPUTERS
Using a secret license which Microsoft forces computer manufacturers to sign in order to sell Windows on their machines, Microsoft prevents any other OS from being sold on any computer that has Windows on it. Since most people only know about Windows, and therefore want it on their computer(s), very few computers can be sold with Linux on them. Dual-booting was forbidden by Microsoft. The only way people could use Linux was to install it themselves, which most computer-naive people wouldn't do.
Microsoft claims to have ended this restriction in 2006.
Licenses for all versions of Windows 7 mandate that Windows be installed on every machine.
MICROSOFT'S USER LICENSE FORBIDS RUNNING WINDOWS WITHIN LINUX
In 2007, when Microsoft released Vista Home Edition, the EULA originally restricted the use of Windows in post-sale configurations. Home Edition users were not allowed to use Vista as a virtual mode application running on Linux. When OEMs like Dell, HP, and Lenovo continued selling most of their machines with Windows XP preinstalled because corporate customers refused the Vista terms. In January 2008, Microsoft quickly dropped those terms.
MICROSOFT FORBIDS STORES TO SHOW COMPUTERS RUNNING LINUX
AND FORBIDS MENTION OF LINUX IN ADVERTISING
"... [Bill Gates] had all of the OEMs and Retailers accept new OEM and Reseller agreements in which they would promise not to `damage the Microsoft Brand' by doing things such as (but not limited to) playing adult videos on PCs during business hours. This seemed like a minor change so the revisions were quickly accepted. Microsoft then claimed that showing PCs running ANY competitor's products, including ... Linux would be damaging to the brand. [Macs are excepted, but may be forced into areas of the store with low customer traffic.]
[QUOTE] B.Licensee may not:
(i) use the Brand Elements in a way that may cause confusion about whether Licensee's or third party products, services or activities are from Microsoft;
(ii) do or say anything that implies that Microsoft is affiliated with, sponsors, endorses or approves of Licensee or any third party, or their products, services or activities, other than as contemplated by this License;
(iii) do or say anything that may cause confusion about whether Microsoft owns the Brand Elements;
(iv) register, adopt or use any name, trademark, domain name or other designation that includes or violates Microsoft's rights in the Brand Elements or any Microsoft trademark in the Brand Elements;
(v) use the Brand Elements in a way that would damage Microsoft's reputation or goodwill in the Brand Elements;
(vi) alter, animate or distort the Brand Elements or combine them with any other symbols, words, images or designs; or
(vii) use the Brand Elements to indicate any hardware or software compatibility with Microsoft software unless explicitly authorized by Microsoft or a Microsoft affiliate under a written logo program agreement. [/QUOTE]
Simply put, if you wanted to sell a PC that ran Linux and Windows at the same time, you would have to get Microsoft's prior written permission before announcing it, before advertising it, and EACH retailer would have to get prior written permission before being allowed to display the product on the sales floor.
Furthermore, mentioning any other operating system in ads that used the Microsoft trademarks would be damaging to the brand. Microsoft insisted that all advertising that mentioned ANY competitor products be reviewed and approved by Microsoft.
MICROSOFT FORBIDS PUBLICATION OF WINDOWS vs. LINUX BENCHMARK COMPARISONS
Microsoft also decided that any `Benchmarks' which included any formal comparison between products would be damaging to the brand. As a result, all benchmarks had to be approved by Microsoft before they were published." Of course, any ads or benchmarks mentioning Linux are never approved by Microsoft. Thanks to Rex Ballard for posting about this set of Microsoft dirty tricks in restraint of trade.
[QUOTE] Microsoft Product Use Rights - Microsoft Servers
(EMEA)(English) (January 2003) [...]
C. Benchmark Testing.
You may not without Microsoft's prior written approval disclose to any third party the results of any benchmark test of Application Center, BizTalk, BizTalk Adapter for MQSeries, BizTalk Accelerator for Financial Services, BizTalk Accelerator for HIPAA, BizTalk Accelerator for Suppliers, BizTalk Accelerator for RosettaNet, BizTalk Adapter for SAP, Content Management Server, Commerce Server, HIS, IIS, ISA, Message Queue Server, Mobile Information Server, Project Server, SQL Server, or Transaction Server, or any related client software. [...]
D. Other Rights and Limitations for Certain Software.
a. Benchmarking Performance or Benchmark Testing.
You may not disclose the results of any benchmark testing regarding the Microsoft Server Software, Device Software, or the .NET Framework to any third party without Microsoft's prior written approval. [/QUOTE]
In other words, if you want to publish ANY benchmark related to Microsoft Software, you must let Microsoft review that benchmark. Microsoft could require that you run a new benchmark such as comparing ISAPI on IIS to CGI on Apache rather than doing Apache plug-ins on both Windows and Linux.
And here we have DEFENSE of this practice
GOVERNMENT PROBES MICROSOFT MONOPOLY PRACTICES
[quote] In 1992, Ballmer surprised many in the software industry by publicly voicing his support for the Clinton-Gore campaign. Other industry players, including Microsoft, had traditionally steered clear of taking political stances. Ballmer insisted that his support, which included a $2000 personal check, had nothing to do with the views of the company and were based on his respect for Al Gore. However, Microsoft at that time had been undergoing an 18 month investigation by the Federal Trade Commission, who questioned whether the company was complying with fair competition laws. Ballmer denied any connection between the investigation and his personal support of Clinton and Gore in that year's presidential campaigns. [/quote]
MICROSOFT FRAUDULENTLY ANNOUNCES VAPORWARE TO SUPPRESS SALES OF COMPETITORS
MICROSOFT DISTRIBUTES LYING ANTI-LINUX PROPAGANDA TO RETAIL STORES
Microsoft distributes literature to retail stores, and trains store personnel in classes, which make utterly fraudulent statements that Linux cannot satisfy the needs of typical users.
MICROSOFT WITHDRAWS ITS ADVERTISING MONEY AND FORBIDS VENDOR ADS USING ITS TRADEMARKS FROM PUBLICATIONS THAT CARRY ARTICLES FAVORABLE TO LINUX.
Rex Ballard and others observed this first-hand:
"... the press first started giving [Linux] favorable coverage in 1994, but Microsoft used advertising revenue to punish generous editors. When a Byte Magazine article gave unabashed praise to Linux, Microsoft pulled multiple full-page ads. The revenue lost was several times the writer's salary."
"...I noticed Microsoft stopped advertising in Wired when that magazine started criticising some of the company's activities. If this wasn't using advertising expenditure in an (unsuccessful) attempt to influence editorial policy, then what was it?"
"I'm not a writer, but I have worked for both Dow Jones (Wall Street Journal...) and for McGraw-Hill. We were always kept VERY aware of our dependence on Microsoft even when our particular units (DowVision, MarketScope) did NOT depend directly on Microsoft revenue. DowVision earned 10% of what Microsoft spent in full-page Journal ads promoting NT. MarketScope was a drop in the bucket compared to what Microsoft spent on Windows-95 promotions. To publicly criticize Microsoft products (like call it MicroSlop when it crashed with GPF faults for the third time as you were completing 3 hours of work in Project) was corporate suicide. One unit actually "terminated" (without cause) 40% of it's staff, because they preferred Unix over Windows 3.1 (they weren't given the OPTION of NT)."
Rex: "This [type of attack] was less public. Dow Jones and McGraw-Hill were both hit.
Byte Magazine was driven off the news stands because Microsoft refused to allow ads featuring the Microsoft trademark in Byte. This meant OEMs like Dell, HP, Compaq, and others could not place ads for PCs that ran Windows 3.1.
Byte has been resurrected as a division of InformationWeek
Someone has also created PDF versions of Byte.
MICROSOFT BRIBES CORRUPT COLUMNISTS AND ANALYSTS TO WRITE ANTI-LINUX PRO-MICROSOFT ARTICLES
Microsoft bribes corrupt columnists like Rob Enderle and many others to write anti-Linux pro-Microsoft articles and reports.
MICROSOFT PAYS PEOPLE TO INUNDATE PUBLIC FORUMS LIKE COLA WITH LYING ANTI-LINUX PRO-MICROSOFT PROPAGANDA.
Microsoft pays corrupt people to inundate public forums like COLA with huge floods of anti-Linux pro-Microsoft lying astroturf propaganda.
[quote] They sent fake letters to computer magazines demoting (defending and promoting, ahem) Microsoft, spammed USENET with MS-biased ravings and created a band of fake grassroots supporters who travelled the country.
Remember when I said that many of these non-MS supporters were cynical?
Ever noticed how very few people praise MS overtly on the Internet?
When taking those two things into account, it was obvious that this would not just backfire, this would immediately detonate a nuclear device of severe megatonnage under Bill's feet and then burn the ashes. When USENET logs were checked, it was found that all of the people who praised MS were (not coincidentally) within the microsoft.com domain and were being paid. Nowadays, this is called "astroturfing", due to it involving artificial grassroots, geddit? [/quote]
[quote] In 2001, the Los Angeles Times accused Microsoft of astroturfing when hundreds of similar letters were sent to newspapers voicing disagreement with the United States Department of Justice and its antitrust suit against Microsoft. The letters, prepared by Americans for Technology Leadership, had in some cases been delivered via a mailing list to deceased people or incorrect addresses, where the recipients forwarded them without correction. [/quote]
MICROSOFT PAYS $MILLIONS TO PR COMPANIES TO SEND FRAUDULENT ASTROTURF LETTERS
Microsoft pays corrupt public relations companies millions of dollars to send propaganda letters, appearing to come from average citizens, to editors of newspapers and magazines, and to government agencies.
MICROSOFT EXTORTS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM LINUX COMPANIES WITH SECRET BOGUS SOFTWARE PATENTS AND CORRUPT LAWYERS
For an invention to be patentable it has to be both original and not obvious. Since there's no way to gain access to and inspect the enormous amount of software that's been created, it's impossible to know if a software "invention" is novel or if there is prior art. Furthermore, most software "inventions" are simply combinations of standard software procedures -- sorting, searching, copying, comparing, etc. -- and are thus obvious to a skilled practitioner of the art, i.e., a good programmer, and therefore should not be granted patents. However, patent examiners often have little knowledge of software and grant bogus patents for software procedures that have been in use for years, and/or are obvious to any good programmer.
Microsoft (and other dishonest companies) combine a collection of such bogus patents with a highly paid department of corrupt lawyers and use them to extort millions of dollars from companies that can't afford to fight the patents in court.
"The practice of acquiring patents merely to license them is controversial in the software industry. Companies that have this business model are pejoratively referred to as patent trolls. It is an integral part of the business model that patent licensing companies sue infringers that do not take a license. Furthermore, they may take advantage of the fact that many companies will pay a modest license fee (e.g.$100,000 to $1,000,000) for rights to a patent of questionable validity, rather than pay the high legal fees ($2,000,000 on up) to demonstrate in court that the patent is invalid."
Microsoft is now using a secret collection of software patents to attack Linux by extorting millions of dollars in this manner from companies who sell products that incorporate Linux, in particular the Android variant of Linux used in mobile phones and tablet computers.
Why does Microsoft keep its collection of patents secret? Because if they were made public, programmers all over the world would present prior art and would show that the "inventions" are obvious to any skilled programmer. This would prevent Microsoft from practicing its vicious extortion racket.
MICROSOFT CONSTANTLY ATTACKS LINUX CREATORS AND DEFENDERS
Microsoft, through its propaganda agents, constantly attacks people who defend Linux from Microsoft's efforts to destroy it, in particular Richard M Stallman and Roy Schestowitz. Stallman created the GNU programs which, along with Linus Torvald's kernel, form the heart of the Linux OS. He also created the General Public License, which keeps Linux free and prevents Microsoft from killing it. Roy Schestowitz runs a news service that reports on developments in free software and on the attacks against it by Microsoft and other corporations.
There are so many of these stories that it's really hard to provide a comprehensive list. Microsoft works very hard to plug these leaks, but more and more publishers are now treating their archives as valuable records of history to be protected in their pristine state - with no "sanitation" by removing content that was unfavorable to advertisers.
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