08.01.07

Quote of the Day: What Microsoft Tries to Achieve by Invading OSI

Posted in Quote at 5:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

You would think that of all people the OSI could see what is going on. Microsoft is never for the public good of the Open Source community. They have done the opposite. Always thumbing their noses, and calling Linux a wanna be. Putting the whole idea of Open Source as a insecure choice with no future.

The time has come for The open source community to be selective on whom they allow to join their licenses community. They have to realize that not all is roses when you have this type of business. You always have to be on guard, you always have to protect, you always have to fight for what you believe in. Let your guard up once and you let the scum in.

http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9028242&intsrc=news_ts_head

“And Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who once called Linux “a cancer,” further fanned the flames last fall by declaring that because of the alleged infringement of the software vendor’s intellectual property, “every Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability.”

Does this sound like a friend that is ready to embrace the Open Source community?

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,135255-c,opensource/article.html

http://port25.technet.com/archive/2007/07/26/intelligent-design-the-osi-and-microsoft.aspx

http://www.builderau.com.au/news/soa/Linspire-loses-in-Microsoft-Linux-pact-legal-expert/0,339028227,339280414,00.htm

http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2157208,00.asp

Microsoft is only doing one thing here. They are protecting their own products. Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies even closer. If they can influence, then they have half a chance to bait and kill. The bait is the OSI Licenses the kill is Open Source.

This one particular comment comes from Digg which, sadly enough, has recently signed Microsoft as its advertiser (starting today). I left about 10,000 comments in that Web site, primarily attached to Free software- and Linux-related articles. I can already imagine those animated anti-Linux ads getting attached to each such Web page.

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This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2007/08/01/osi-keep-your-enemies-closer/

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10 Comments

  1. kripken said,

    August 1, 2007 at 5:49 am

    Gravatar

    I know what you mean, I started avoiding digg after hearing about the Microsoft deal. Not that the deal is ‘evil’ in any way (well no more than other advertising deals), but visiting the site now puts money in Microsoft’s coffers, which I would prefer to not do.

    P.S. “(stating today)” should be “(starting today)”

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 1, 2007 at 5:57 am

    Gravatar

    Thanks, I’ve fixed this.

    Unless the Linux pages turn into ‘poison’, I don’t think I’ll be leaving Digg. I still suspect that Microsoft does the old routine where it ‘dumps’ plenty of cash for landmark deal which get it market share to start with (not to mention morale and vanity). This requires deep pocket, but it’s a long-term investment. See this recent interview with Cringely::

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Davidson: Which software company would you hate to compete against? What
    | makes you single them out?
    |
    | Cringely: Microsoft of course. They have the deepest of pockets, unlimited
    | ambition, and they are willing to lose money for years and years just to make
    | sure that you don’t make any money, either. And they are mean, REALLY mean.
    |
    | Davidson: Why do you think Microsoft is mean? Are you implying some kind of
    | malicious intent rather than just ruthlessness?
    |
    | Cringely: Maybe “mean” is the wrong word to use for Microsoft. “Ruthless” is
    | good. The company is built in the image of Bill Gates and Bill is a guy who
    | gets caught-up in the game of business and doesn’t typically see its personal
    | cost. To use what might seem to be an obscure example, just look at all the
    | various partnerships and industry consortia that Microsoft has announced
    | through the years that never produced a product or even a usable
    | specification. There have been literally dozens of these operations that are
    | intended solely to freeze the competition until Microsoft can figure what the
    | heck it actually wants to do. To Microsoft its a PR exercise that helps them
    | compete but to customers it is just a damned lie. That’s ruthless. There are
    | plenty of other examples I can give but you get the point. I represent the
    | concerns of users, not vendors, and Microsoft doesn’t really care about
    | users.
    `—-

    http://blog.businessofsoftware.org/2007/07/cringely-the-un.html

  3. kripken said,

    August 1, 2007 at 6:19 am

    Gravatar

    I saw that Cringely interview, and even bookmarked it for future quoting purposes. He says it well.

    You are probably right that this is a cash dump, in hopes of improving their hold on the internet ad market. Even so, a boycott of digg can be useful, if for example digg sees its stats go down since the deal, and it therefore dumps Microsoft. Or (more realistically) is a little less pleased with them, at least, which might percolate to other companies deciding which ad vendor to work with.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 1, 2007 at 7:07 am

    Gravatar

    Bear in mind that shortly after Google bought DoubleClick and Microsoft yelled out “antitrust”, it turned tut what had really happened and why Schmidt said that he had to buy DoubleClick.

    Related:

    News Analysis: Microsoft General Counsel on DoubleClick and Antitrust

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | This raises a very important question – why didn’t Microsoft match Google’s
    | $3.1 billion offer. Smith would not comment on this, but I can report from
    | very good sources that in fact the company did offer to match it, and was
    | willing to pay even more to insure that Google did not corner the online ad
    | market. But for whatever reasons, the private equity firm that owned the
    | majority of DoubleClick’s shares decided to go with Google.
    |
    | [...]
    |
    | I asked Smith about the irony of Microsoft asking the government to
    | support it on antitrust. His response was interesting.
    `—-

    http://battellemedia.com/archives/003561.php

    In this interview, he talks about Microsoft’s lust. IOW, Microsoft wanted to buy its market share and was willing to pay double the worth of DoubleClick. Microsoft was rejected just for being itself. Later on, Microsoft bought a different company for an obscene amount as well ($6 billion).

    Also see:

    Microsoft Befriends Google’s Foes

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | After a government- and monopoly-inspired period in which Microsoft had
    | to pretend to be a gentle force for global good, the company is being
    | forced to return to its ruthless roots. Ironically, it is doing this
    | in part by decrying the unfair practices of a competitor and
    | shamelessly sucking up to the Establishment.
    `—-

    http://www.forbes.com/2007/03/06/microsoft-google-blodget-tech-cx_hb_0306blodget.html?partner=yahootix

    Here’s what they bought — a Free software company. Anything for some market share, eh?

    Top secret: Microsoft’s $6 billion open source play

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | This month’s announcement by Microsoft to acquire digital marketing
    | services firm aQuantive has revealed little on how the companies
    | will integrate their IT, but inside information indicates the deal
    | may be Redmond’s largest commitment to free software.
    |
    | [...]
    |
    | Whether the businesses are complementary or not, Microsoft’s integration
    | work will no doubt involve a lot of open source software used by aQuantive.
    |
    | Information available from Atlas’ Web site indicates the Internet software
    | company employs extensive use of open source software including Linux,
    | Apache, MySQL, and Solaris.
    |
    | Software engineers at Atlas’ Raleigh office do client/server development in
    | C and C++, software maintenance and “scripting”, and developing and
    | maintaining custom reporting capabilities.
    `—-

    http://www.linuxworld.com.au/index.php/id;1616039231;fp;2;fpid;1

    And they say they have plans for even bigger buyouts:

    Bubble Wrap: How Will Microsoft-aQuantive Be Remembered?

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Microsoft shows no signs of fear. On a conference call today to discuss
    | the $6 billion deal, struck at a price well more than double the
    | online ad company?s stock value at the beginning of the year,
    | Microsoft executives reiterated that
    | even bigger acquisitions could be on the horizon.
    `—-

    http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2007/05/18/bubble-wrap-how-will-microsoft-aquantive-be-remembered/?mod=yahoo_hs

    So little Google wanted to buy a much smaller company and save it from Microsoft. Here’s what it got:

    ValueClick Under FTC Investigation

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Online advertising company ValueClick Inc. is under investigation
    | by the Federal Trade Commission concerning its lead-generating
    | practices, the company said in a Securities and Exchange
    | Commission filing Friday.
    `—-

    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/070518/valueclick_ftc_investigation.html?.v=1

    In the past I posted a lot of links to articles which shows Microsoft’s deep links with the US government. Google is playing catch-up in that respect and tried to establish similar relationships.

  5. akf said,

    August 1, 2007 at 7:29 am

    Gravatar

    An alternative to digg is FSDaily: http://www.fsdaily.com/

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 1, 2007 at 7:51 am

    Gravatar

    Thanks, afk. I’ve also been reading FSDaily for quite some time. It’s very high in terms of quality, but the scale of the community is different. Digg is a monster that is even bigger than Slashdot and it is a fine place to express opinions (or vent anger :-) ).

  7. kripken said,

    August 1, 2007 at 7:55 am

    Gravatar

    Yeah, Microsoft are pretty desperate in how they are throwing around money regarding the ad market. Nice to see, actually. I say, let’s boycott Digg and make it even harder for them :)

    akf: thanks for that link, I wasn’t aware of the site. Looks cool at first glance.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 1, 2007 at 8:02 am

    Gravatar

    I would find it hard to just suddenly ditch Digg. It certainly would help me focus on other things though. Decisions, decisions.

    I won’t deny the fact that I thought about quitting Digg when the Microsoft deal was announced. The quality of the stories there has been declining for over a year. I think that their staff treated me fairly well, so turning my back on them would be hard. I was actually going to make a comeback in terms of submission volume next week. That’s when my Netscape.com contract ends.

  9. SubSonica said,

    August 1, 2007 at 8:23 am

    Gravatar

    Roy: Your comment
    “In the past I posted a lot of links to articles which shows Microsoft’s deep links with the US government. Google is playing catch-up in that respect and tried to establish similar relationships.”

    reminded me of something disturbing I just fund at “the register”:

    Microsoft tentacles are expanding dangerously deep into government and public institutions, not only Chile and China; how does this looks to you?:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/01/microsoft_xbrl_sec/

    “Microsoft has joined a handful of US companies on a government program looking to overhaul financial reporting in the wake of the stock options scandal.

    The software giant’s chief financial officer, Chris Liddell, was today named as a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Advisory Committee to Financial Reporting, due to convene this Thursday.”

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 1, 2007 at 8:46 am

    Gravatar

    Yes, they are all over the place (Microsoft, I mean). Here an article excerpts dump.I’m a bit of Microsoft watcher, so I have these hand.

    :McCain comes out against Net Neutrality; Says would hire Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | In another move that was sure to infuriate many geeks, the 70 year
    | old presidential hopeful also said that he would ask Microsoft CEO
    | Steve Ballmer to serve on his cabinet to deal with technology issues
    | if elected. He did not however say what position Ballmer might be
    | hired in, but did joke that he might consider him for a diplomatic
    | position, such as ambassador to China.
    `—-

    http://www.thedailybackground.com/2007/05/30/mccain-comes-out-against-net-neutrality-says-would-hire-microsoft-ceo-steve-ballmer/

    Treachery In The Trenches

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | I believe that most people do not grasp the immense entity of Microsoft.
    | This is an organization and a man who commands the attention and bidding
    | of world leaders. On a recent trip to America, the President of China
    | spent his first evening in the United States, not with our President,
    | but Bill Gates. He was the guest of the Gates mansion that first
    | evening and the guest of honor for a dinner attended by over one
    | hundred people. Why? To ask him to crack down on Software piracy
    | and to insure that his computer manufacturers put Microsoft Windows
    | on thier newly made machines instead of shipping them with no OS. He
    | didn’t see the President of the United States for over 36 hours…he
    | spent that time with Bill Gates at his home and at the Redmond
    | Campus.
    `—-

    http://blog.lobby4linux.com/index.php?/archives/88-Treachery-In-The-Trenches.html

    Microsoft Finds Legal Defender in Justice Dept.

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Nearly a decade after the government began its landmark effort to break
    | up Microsoft, the Bush administration has sharply changed course by
    | repeatedly defending the company both in the United States and abroad
    | against accusations of anticompetitive conduct, including the recent
    | rejection of a complaint by Google.
    |
    | [...]
    |
    | In the most striking recent example of the policy shift, the top
    | antitrust official at the Justice Department last month urged state
    | prosecutors to reject a confidential antitrust complaint filed by
    | Google that is tied to a consent decree that monitors Microsoft’s
    | behavior. Google has accused Microsoft of designing its latest
    | operating system, Vista, to discourage the use of Google’s desktop
    | search program, lawyers involved in the case said.
    `—-

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/10/business/10microsoft.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

    US politicians go to bat for Microsoft

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/09/26/microsoft_eu_political_lobbying/

    Report Says Nonprofits Sold Influence to Abramoff

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | E-mails released by the committee show that Abramoff, often
    | with the knowledge of the groups’ leaders, exploited the tax-exempt
    | status and leveraged the stature of the organizations to build
    | support among conservatives for legislation or government action
    | sought by clients including Microsoft Corp., mutual fund company
    | DH2 Inc., Primedia Inc.’s Channel One Network, and Brown-Forman,
    | maker of Jack Daniel’s whiskey.
    `—-

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/12/AR2006101200889.html

    Politicians in Microsoft’s Pocket

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Continuing on the theme of which politicians are receiving money from
    | who. Here is a list of candidates who took money from MSFT.
    `—-

    http://www.fonz.net/blog/archives/2007/06/04/politicians-in-microsofts-pocket/

    Politics and tech companies: follow the money

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Microsoft took first place with $651,100 given out, while
    | Hewlett-Packard gave only $185,550, and Gateway gave a paltry
    | $2,000. Microsoft’s donations certainly illustrate well the true
    | size of the company and the extent of its political concerns.
    `—-

    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061110-8194.html

    Feds seek formal extension of Microsoft antitrust deal

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | The U.S. Department of Justice and Microsoft on Wednesday filed a
    | formal application for a two-year extension of portions of their
    | landmark antitrust settlement, with the possibility of stretching it
    | until 2012.
    `—-

    http://news.zdnet.com/2100-3513_22-6111240.html

    This is just a fraction of the evidence I have, but what’s more sickening are the smear campaigns against Neelie Kroes. Anyone who dares to put Microsoft at risk is getting some ad hominem treatment if you know what I mean… PJ included. Think of it as bully mentality.

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