EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

08.23.07

Microsoft Deals That Kill

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Linspire, Microsoft, Novell, OSI, Patents, Xandros at 9:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I’d be glad to help tilt lotus into the death spiral. I could do it friday afternoon but not saturday.[More]

                                 – Silverberg, Microsoft

There are those who have principles and those that are greedy. With leadership in a company comes responsibility, but some people just never learn. They take the money and commit corporate suicide. Linspire may be one such story about corporate suicide. It seems to be the first Linux partner to have gradually fallen down to its knees just months after its deal with Microsoft.

Kevin Carmony left the helm, Microsoft cut the ‘umbilical cord’, Linspire is caught in a licensing riddle, and Eric Raymond has not uttered a single word. In the following new article, “Linspire: Doomed to failure”, some reasons for Linspire’s demise are outlined.

Linspire has an even bigger problem. The free software community has recently decided that Linspire was on their blacklist. Why? Most (if not all) of it is a backlash from the recent Linspire-Microsoft deal. Basically, Linspire agreed to help with Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.org compatibility, Pidgin and Windows Live Messenger compatibility, and Windows Media and TrueType font support in Linspire. Microsoft also promised not to sue Linspire users. But what is given in exchange? Freespire isn’t covered, major upgrades are invalidated (so you have to buy again to maintain protection against patents), and if you use free software, business software, software running on servers, or “clone” software, you could still be sued. After three years, this protection runs out. Plus, Microsoft can stop offering protection whenever they want. And to keep it, you can’t share the software, resell it, modify it, or use it for an unauthorized use. As you can guess, this didn’t go over well with the GNU/Linux community. Not only was a Linux company doing a deal with Microsoft, they were admitting that Linux was infringing on Microsoft’s patents.

We also have Novell and Xandros. They might face similar legal issues in the future. More worryingly, the OSI seems to be approaching something which is paralleled to such deals. We said this several times before [1, 2, 3, 4]. Groklaw has chimed in to send its warning signals as well.

If the OSI accepts Windows-only, Sharepoint-only “Open Source”, that’ll be the end of OSI as we know it. “Open Source” would become meaningless when it is innately incompatible and relies on proprietary stacks. There are many more issues to be concerned about and we covered many of them in the past.

In a very active new discussion, OSI’s options are being explained. The OSI can escape all of this, but the only barrier are those that have lunch with Microsoft. It is yet another case of ‘partners’ and influence playing a role.

See? It doesn’t say OSI can’t discriminate. It can if it wants to, as far as the OSD is concerned. So Microsoft’s representatives and defenders need to stop twisting the definition’s words.

Don’t let OSI become irrelevant just like Linspire. It would be sad to see it falling victim to this trap.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 30/7/2015: Apache Spark on Z System, Elive 2.6.8 Beta

    Links for the day



  2. Microsoft's Mouthpiece Mary Branscombe Tries to Shoot Down Free Software, But Fails Miserably

    At the CBS-owned ZDNet, which is Free/Open Source software-hostile, new FUD surfaces, but the FUD is so flawed that a full rebuttal is easy and almost imperative



  3. People of New Zealand Must Rise Up to Defend Sovereignty and Stop Software Patents

    The TPPA serves to override (launder) the law of New Zealand, allegedly legalising patents on software in the process



  4. Microsoft Illegally Evades Billions of Dollars in Tax, Says IRS

    The criminal enterprise known as Microsoft finds itself embarrassingly exposed in the courtroom, for the IRS belatedly (decades too late) targets the company in an effort to tackle massive tax evasions



  5. Vista 10 Very Buggy Upon Release, Just as We Have Repeatedly Warned for Weeks

    Vista 10 is prematurely pushed out the door (to meet a deadline) way ahead of it being stable, even remotely polished, and supported by hardware companies (there is a serious drivers issue)



  6. Surveillance Machine With a Keylogger: Vista 10 Will Spy on the User (Over the Internet) Even While Playing Games

    Microsoft is making it clear that even playing a simple game like Solitaire on Vista 10 will make one subjected to spying (for targeted ads); other serious violations of privacy revealed upon release



  7. Links 29/7/2015: Akademy 2015 Ends, NetBSD 7.0 RC

    Links for the day



  8. MPEG-LA is Preparing New Patent Obstruction (Called DASH) Against Free Software, OIN Grows

    A new conspiracy against free multimedia software, set up by the MPEG cartel, is called DASH



  9. New Zealand's Media Gets History Wrong on Software Patents

    Setting the record straight on the fight against software patents in New Zealand



  10. Not Only Vista 10 Crashes a Lot, Any .NET Application Does Too (Updated)

    Microsoft software is quickly becoming synonymous with crashes as any piece of software developed with Microsoft's tools, not just the underlying platform, crashes chronically



  11. The Government of Bulgaria Sells Out to Microsoft, Again

    Despite some promises and reassurances that Bulgaria will consider Free/libre software, the Bulgarian government hands out a lot more of taxpayers' money to the Mafia



  12. Corporate Media Finally Finds Out That Vista 10 Crashes a Lot

    Stability issues of Vista 10 are belatedly reported to be a major catastrophe, leaving it unusable for many early adopters



  13. Links 28/7/2015: Linux 4.2 RC4, New Logos and Bug 'Branding' for FUD

    Links for the day



  14. Patents Roundup: Technicolor, Alice, Voip-Pal, Fitbit, Marijuana Patents, and JDate

    A look at some of last week's patent news, with imperative responses that criticise corporate exploitation of patents for protectionism (excluding and/or driving away the competition using legal threats)



  15. Corporate Lobbyists Including Koch-Connected Front Groups Attack Real and Perceived Patent Reform in the United States

    Looking at some of the latest propaganda for and against a bill which is already too watered-down to actually fix the US patent system



  16. Patents in the Android World Further Complicate Freedom in This Linux-Powered Platform

    A survey of last week's news with special focus on Google and Android, which are trying to coexist and thrive in a world full of patent maximalists



  17. The 'Unitary' Patent Trojan Horse Rammed Down the Throat of Europe

    Under the guise of 'unification' or 'unity', existing patent systems are being abandoned and more power gets passed to corrupt EPO officials



  18. HEVC Cartel is Not News, Only the Names of Backers and the Costs Are New

    A few remarks on and a roundup of recent articles about HEVC, which we first wrote about in spring



  19. IRC Proceedings: July 12th, 2015 – July 25th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  20. Links 26/7/2015: Purism Librem and Freedom, Akademy Updates

    Links for the day



  21. Vista 10 (Windows 10) Has NSA Back Doors and Front Doors

    Vista 10 to bring new ways for spies (and other crackers) to remotely access people's computers and remotely modify the binary files on them (via Windows Update, which for most people cannot be disabled)



  22. Vista 10 Not Ready, But Released Anyway

    Despite severe technical issues in the rushed-out-the-door Vista 10, Microsoft decides to stick with the deadline, only days after reporting billions of dollars in losses



  23. Links 25/7/2015: Plasma Mobile, Linux Mint 17.2 OEM

    Links for the day



  24. Links 24/7/2015: openSUSE Leap 42.1, Intel With Rackspace for OpenStack

    Links for the day



  25. Links 24/7/2015: GNOME 3.17.4, Mozilla Developer Network Turns 10

    Links for the day



  26. Microsoft Has Run Out of Attempts and Vista 10 Will Definitely Fail

    As Microsoft admits billions of dollars in losses just days before Vista 10 is pushed as a 'free' upgrade, there is no concrete sign that financial recovery is imminent, for the bigger cash cow (Office) suffers a similar fate



  27. GNU/Linux Circles Ought to Stop Promoting Visual Studio, Which is Neither Cross-Platform Nor Free Software

    Media carries on openwashing Visual Studio and perpetuating the illusion that it is not tied to Microsoft Windows



  28. Spinning Proprietary Software Dangers as Dangers of Free/Libre Software

    News sites mislead their readers, teaching them that the biggest dangers associated with proprietary software are in fact problems exclusive to Free/libre Open Source software



  29. Links 23/7/2015: New RHEL Release, Capital One Releases Code

    Links for the day



  30. Terminology of Patent Lawyers and Pro-Patents Media Serves to Mislead the Public

    An outline of stories where the language used to describe patents is grossly distorted so as to bias the reality and mislead the audience/readers


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts