Total takeover?

During his recent visit to India, Mr. Brian Behlendorf, the co-Founder of Apache explained as to what really concerns the computer-users. It is not the products of Microsoft, not even their business practices, but thier persistant attempts to control the protocols – the basic standards on which the whole cyberworld operates. Their aim is to tatally control all the functions, programs and processes that run the world over on computers so that Microsoft can rule the “Unipolar” cyberspace!

Now the bad news is that their designs are almost getting fructified!

To make the long story short, MS aims at taking control of the computer hardware which are going to be engineered and married to Windows and Windows only. This will be achieved by applying a subtle pressure through a set of changes in their super-duper Longhorn, scheduled to be released sometime in 2006. Hardware will not sell if Windows is not going to run on it. Simple.

Their target? Yes, you guessed it right! The ubiquitous USB standard!

To that end MS has started harping on USB security. Only they can ensure the security of vital data which can be milked through the tiny flash-memory USB devices like pen-stubs and key fobs. Security is the buzzword and use the paranoia of honchos to the hilt! Real business brains, what!

So, change the standards and all the players who are on the marketplace for profits are happy. Old devices built for existing USB standards would no longer work on the new MS-designed environment. Result? USB device makers will laugh since they can sell a whole lot of new devices singing Microsoft’s tunes. MS can then dictate use of only Longhorn-compatible computer since they alone will work properly – lest the OS will crash! Crash? Laugh!

Fine and dandy! Now, who are the losers? You and me ultimately! But the ingenious design is to shut out the main perceived adversary of the MS! Yes, Linux, the last of the warriors! No entry into USB if you use Linux. Open source enthusiasts can’t boast of any clout with hardware manufatures. So, the USB experiment will get escalated to motherboards which would make Linux inoperative.

Don’t yawn! No fairy tale this. Already a windows-only USB device has been co-developed with Intel.

So, the clock is ticking! The pied piper is on his mark! Heads he wins with your tails tucked in!

For more details, read Robert X Cringely’s column!

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