06.06.07

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When Boycotts Are Misunderstood, Due to Wrong Assumption/Information

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, SCO, Xandros at 3:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Over at ZDNet, Dana seems rather upset with the boycott efforts, of which there are at least two at the moment. I strongly disagree with Dana’s assertion that we target companies for just entering a deal (any deal) with Microsoft. It’s not the deals, but the actual terms therein. Unfortunately, lacking lesser-publicised facts, many people are determined to stick with the wrong & convenient conclusion.

Red Hat wants an interoperability deal with Microsoft, for example, but it will never accept anything which does not build upon open standards. It refuses to play by a peer’s rule when industry standards are widely available and properly implemented. Yes, we need to interact with Microsoft producs, but not be ‘bribed’ to play by their rules, which are carefully designed to make our days numbered.

Why would Linux companies need to pay Microsoft this so-called ‘interoperability tax’ rather than convince Microsoft to play along with the rest? Microsoft deliberately breaks (or ‘extends’) standards, just as the Halloween Memos suggest. It is part of the plan to defeat Free software with moving goalposts, ownership, lacking/pricey documentation, patents, and corruption of standards.

Sadly, Xandros and Novell play by Microsoft’s rules. They gleefully accept Microsoft’s attempts to disrupt a free market. It serves the role of precedence. As reported by Reuters yesterday, even the European court recognised the problem and it will soon rule on this matter; and as Laura Bentley puts it, the community needs to stay united in its goal to deny ‘interoperability tax’, among other things.

To cite a more angry response, let’s remember that Microsoft wants to earn money from the work of poor volunteers. This puts in danger non-commercial distributions as well. To repeat what we mentioned the other day, SCO attempted to do the same thing.

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