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Re: Linux Became Very Easy, Microsoft Terrified of Desktop GNU/Linux

On Feb 7, 12:12 am, Terry Porter <linu...@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Rex Ballard wrote:
> > Microsoft's greatest terror has been that people would actually find
> > out how easy Linux has been to use.

> So true Rex, otherwise why would Microsoft prevent Dell showing the Linux
> GUI in the recent adverts ?

Microsoft licenses the use of all trademarks, in addition to all of
the copyrighted material.

Microsoft began a campaign to "Rigorously defend the brand" from
"damage to the brand" back in 1993-4 when OS/2 Warp 3.0 was competing
against Windows 3.1 and Windows NT 3.1.

The licensing terms seem pretty benign.  You agree not to do anything
that would damage the brand.  Microsoft gets to decide what "Damage to
Brand" means.

This premise was established by the legal precident of Disney suing a
T-Shirt maker for making a T-Shirt depicting Micky Mouse, Minnie,
Goofy, Donald Duck, and possibly others, smoking pot or opium and
obviously stoned out of their minds.  There was also a cute little
caption.  The court ruled that since the cartoon characters were
trademarks, that Disney had the right to protect those trademarks from
uses that might "damage the brand".  The court did not try to
establish any limits or frameworks for defining what constitutes
"Damage to Brand".

Microsoft has decided that any use of the Microsoft trademarks in ANY
"benchmark" or direct comparison between Linux and Windows is damaging
to their brand.

Based on this logic, Microsoft has used this to stop:

   Benchmarks or comparisons in which Linux beats Windows.

   Advertising or promotional literature which depicts Linux and
     on the same document or advertisement.

   Retail displays of competitor products
       (OS/2, Warp, Windows, or Mac)
       in such a way as to permit direct comparison
      Stores that show both Mac and Windows usually
       put the Macs on a separate shelf, or even a different
       corner of the store.

Any configuration of software which shows Windows and another system.

With Apple, Microsoft tends to be more lenient, because Apple is
ready, willing, and able to sell users OS/X machines and let the user
pay retail for Windows if Microsoft really wants to push it.

> Otherwise why would Microsoft prevent Linux netbooks appearing alongside
> Windows one in retail shops, and even work hard to prevent the Linux
> versions being available in retail shops at all ?

> Dear casual reader, are you wondering why Microsoft don't want you to even
> SEE Linux ?

> Why is that do you think ?

Public statements explaining Microsoft's legal basis for doing this
date back to 1994 (older than even the Google usenet news archives).

In some countries, courts or governments have decided that certain of
Microsoft's interpretations constitute fraud.  If you speak and read
German, you can find several benchmarks touting Linux as superior in
various ways.  There is no requirement in the German law to provide
translations of adverse articles in other languages.

This control of bands and trademarks also has also been used by
Microsoft to have ads using the Microsoft trademarks placed by OEMs,
software producers, and services vendors pull their ads from
publications Microsoft considers damaging to the brand.  Supposedly
this is to keep Microsoft's trademarks from showing up in Hustler or
some other offensive porn, but Microsoft considers pro-Linux and other
pro-competition publication to be even more offensive.

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