Archive for December 13, 2023

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

VMware Transition to Subscriptions

VMware (via Hacker News):

Broadcom’s close of the VMware acquisition has brought together two engineering-first, innovation-centric teams to help build the world's leading infrastructure technology company.


VMware has been on a journey to simplify its portfolio and transition from a perpetual to a subscription model to better serve customers with continuous innovation, faster time to value, and predictable investments.


Complete the transition of all VMware by Broadcom solutions to subscription licenses, with the end of sale of perpetual licenses, Support and Subscription (SnS) renewals for perpetual offerings, and hybrid purchase program/subscription purchase program (HPP/SPP) credits beginning today (effective dates will vary).

It says “all” solutions, but at least for now VMware Fusion is still available as a perpetual license.


Update (2023-12-19): Scharon Harding:

Broadcom is looking to grow VMware’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) from about $4.7 billion to about $8.5 billion in three years, largely through shifting the company’s business model to subscriptions, Tom Krause, president of the Broadcom Software Group, said during a December 7 earnings call, per Forbes.


Additionally, Broadcom’s layoffs of at least 2,837 VMware employees have brought uncertainty to the VMware brand. A CRN report in late November pointed to VMware partners hearing customer concern about potential price raises and a lack of support. C.R. Howdyshell, CEO of Advizex, which reportedly made $30 million in VMware-tied revenue in 2022, told the publication that partners and customers were experiencing “significant concern and chaos” around VMware sales. Another channel partner noted to CRN the layoff of a close VMware sales contact.

Via Rui Carmo:

Ah, the typical Broadcom acquisition playbook: lay off staff, drive up revenue as much as possible, and then maybe, if things hold out, not kill off all the product lines. Kind of sad to see VMware being milked like this, but virtualization has become a commodity market.

This licensing and support cutoff move is going to seriously annoy a lot of people who have built their entire IT (and hosting) landscape atop VMware, and I’m betting that many major customers (and partners) were caught completely by surprise and are now scrambling to figure out what to do.

Update (2024-02-28): Rui Carmo:

The amount of aggravation Broadcom has been causing VMware customers and parters is certain to become the stuff of legend in IT circles–Since getting wind of this I have been personally involved in at least three instances of major customers (one of them a sizable European hosting company) setting some hard dates for cutoff to another solution (either on premises or in the cloud), and smaller shops are already deploying KVM or Hyper-V in multiple shapes and forms.

Update (2024-03-17): Scharon Harding (Hacker News):

Broadcom CEO and President Hock Tan has acknowledged the discomfort VMware customers and partners have experienced after the sweeping changes that Broadcom has instituted since it acquired the virtualization company 114 days ago.

In a blog post Thursday, Tan noted that Broadcom spent 18 months evaluating and buying VMware. He said that while there’s still a lot of work to do, the company has made “substantial progress.”

Why Is Bluetooth Sound Quality Bad on My Mac?

Daniel Gonzalez Reina (via Hacker News):

On the one hand you have that Macs will use a HFP when the microphone is in use, and on the other you have that HFP use audio codecs which prioritizes low latency over audio quality. Therefore,

☠️ Using the Bluetooth headset’s microphone will make your Mac sacrifice audio quality to improve latency

Then, your headphones might have 10 year old codecs, which will need to really lower the quality of the sound to get decent latency.

ToothFairy can help you get around this problem. If you enable the Improve sound quality by disabling audio input from device option, when you connect your headphones it will automatically switch the Mac’s sound input back to the internal microphone (or whichever microphone you had been using) so that the headphones can use a high-quality codec for sound output.

Xcode 15.1

Apple (downloads):

Xcode 15.1 includes SDKs for iOS 17.2, iPadOS 17.2, tvOS 17.2, watchOS 10.2, and macOS Sonoma 14.2. The Xcode 15.1 release supports on-device debugging in iOS 12 and later, tvOS 12 and later, and watchOS 4 and later. Xcode 15.1 requires a Mac running macOS Ventura 13.5 or later.

Robin Kunde:

There’s a bug in Xcode 15 that prevents apps from running on macOS versions older than 13. There’s another bug doing the same thing for 10.13 and older. You can’t use Xcode 14 on Sonoma, so good luck getting out working builds! No urgency getting a fix out.

It looks like these are finally fixed. I have a few more things to check, but it seems I’ll now be able to update my main Mac to Sonoma.

It sounds like it also fixes this CPU use issue with the iOS Simulator (via Jon Reid).

Christian Beer:

TIL: in Xcode 15 you can press right-arrow-key in suggestions to just use select options[…]

Brad Miller:

Xcode’s autocomplete could really use an option to use line breaks if a function has more than N parameters to it.


Update (2024-01-03): ShikiSuen:

I am using Xcode 15.1 to compile my project against macOS 13.1 SDK (targeting macOS 10.9). The compiled app ridiculously asks for SwiftUI support on macOS 10.9 and macOS 10.13.6.

Epic Wins Antitrust Case With Google

Kyle Orland:

The jury unanimously answered “yes” to all 11 questions on the verdict form, indicating that Epic had proven those monopolies existed in every worldwide market except for China. Google “engaged in anticompetitive conduct” to establish or maintain the monopoly and illegally tied the Google Play store to the use of Google Play billing, according to the verdict. The jury also agreed with Epic’s arguments that programs like “Project Hug” and agreements signed with Android phone OEMs represented an “unreasonable restraint on trade,” harming Epic in the process.

With the verdict set, US District Judge James Donato will hold hearings next month to determine the best way to remedy Google’s anticompetitive monopoly power. During the trial, Epic did not ask for monetary damages but asked that it and other developers be able to introduce their own Android app stores and use their own billing systems on Android devices “without restriction.”

Sean Hollister (via Hacker News):

It’s a historic victory, particularly because Epic mostly lost its fight against Apple two years ago when Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers decided that fight had nothing to do with apps.

But Epic v. Google turned out to be a very different case. It hinged on secret revenue sharing deals between Google, smartphone makers, and big game developers, ones that Google execs internally believed were designed to keep rival app stores down. It showed that Google was running scared of Epic specifically. And it was all decided by a jury, unlike the Apple ruling.

Ben Thompson:

Lots of folks are surprised that Epic beat Google but not Apple, except for Stratechery readers.

Chance Miller:

“The big difference between Apple and Google is Apple didn’t write anything down. And because they’re a big vertically integrated monopoly, they don’t do deals with developers and carriers to shut down competition, they just simply block at the technical level,” Sweeney explained.

And have you ever tried to find anything in iMessage?

Epic Games (Hacker News):

Over the course of the trial we saw evidence that Google was willing to pay billions of dollars to stifle alternative app stores by paying developers to abandon their own store efforts and direct distribution plans, and offering highly lucrative agreements with device manufacturers in exchange for excluding competing app stores.

These deals were meant to cement Google’s dominance as the only app store in town - and it worked. More than 95% of apps are distributed through the Play Store on Android.

Google imposes a 30% tax on developers simply because they have prevented any viable competitors from emerging to offer better deals. And Google executives acknowledged in Court that their offer of a 26% rate on third party payment options is a fake choice for developers.

Tim Hardwick:

Google said it would appeal. “We will continue to defend the Android business model and remain deeply committed to our users, partners and the broader Android ecosystem,” said Wilson White, vice-president of government affairs and public policy at Google.


The Supreme Court will decide in the coming months whether it will hear either or both of Epic’s and Apple’s appeals, but if it does not take up either petition, the previous rulings will stand.

See also: Damien Petrilli.

John Gruber:

[We] have no idea what this will actually mean in practice. I’m still not quite sure what Epic even wants. Android already supports third-party app stores, and Epic already runs one. I think one thing Epic wants is to force Google to allow third-party app stores to be installed without any sort of warnings or friction, which would be a disaster for device security. […] The other thing Epic wants is to be able to use its own payment processing for apps distributed through the Play Store and Apple’s App Store.

Tim Sweeney (Hacker News):

I’d suspected a lot of the practices that Google had, you know, since 2018 or so when we first started this, to such an extent that some folks would occasionally call me a conspiracy theorist. It was really, really interesting to see that my understandings of what Google was doing behind the scenes were actually true — you’re leaking our conversations to reporters to get negative stories written about us; you’re paying other developers off to convince them not to launch their own stores; they were going around and paying carriers and OEMs secretly not to carry competing stores.

And when we tried to bundle Fortnite with other smartphone manufacturers like OnePlus and carriers of all sorts, they told us they couldn’t do a deal because Google had done a secret deal with them.

It was really disconcerting to see the extent of bad faith efforts that were going on in a company of Google’s size. You’d think a trillion-dollar company would develop to the point where they have pretty respectable processes and leadership structures that provide a check and balance against wrongdoing, but they were rampantly destroying all their chats on these topics.


The most interesting thing to me in this case is Epic refusing Google’s $150 million ‘offer’, and instead relying on the courts. Epic could have accepted that offer with zero risk, and been all the better off for it, with zero risk. Of course everybody else would be left behind. But by going all the way, and refusing the pay off, they instead make a better world for everybody.


Update (2023-12-22): Matt Stoller:

That said, Google is likely to be in trouble now, because it is facing multiple antitrust cases, and these kinds of decisions have a bandwagon effect. The precedent is set, in every case going forward the firm will now be seen as presumed guilty, since a jury found Google has violated antitrust laws. Judges are cautious, and are generally afraid of being the first to make a precedent-setting decision. Now they won’t have to. In fact, judges and juries will now have to find a reason to rule for Google.


Third, tying claims, which is a specific antitrust violation, are good law. Tying means forcing someone to buy an unrelated product in order to access the actual product they want to buy. The specific legal claim here was about how Google forced firms relying on its Google Play app store to also use its Google Play billing service, which charges an inflated price of 30% of the price of an app. Tying is pervasive throughout the economy, so you can expect more suits along these lines.

And finally, big tech is not above the law. This loss isn’t just the first antitrust failure for Google, it’s the first antitrust loss for any big tech firm. I hear a lot from skeptics that the fix is in, that the powerful will always win, that justice in our system is a mirage. But that just isn’t true. A jury of our peers just made that clear.