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02.08.08

In Microsoft Speak, Alliance Means Devour, Extend

Posted in Formats, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Standard at 10:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“To better serve customers, Microsoft needs to innovate above standard protocols. By innovating above the base protocol, we are able to deliver advanced functionality to users.”

Source

Novell’s ‘special’ Linux, which we sometimes refer to as “Ballnux”, creates a new dangerous breed of Linuxes with Microsoft-patented add-ons. This Linux is not free. Moreover, it compromises imitations of Microsoft technologies, which are likely to be ‘extended’ without approval from peers. Documentation of the changes is far from guaranteed, which puts Ballnux is a state of great dependency on Microsoft.

This is not just a Linux problem though.

Yesterday we mentioned the news about Microsoft virtually devouring a .NET Ruby group. The following new warning talks about the dangerous implications of this.

Development of .Net compatible Ruby outside of Microsoft is very important to continue, particularly a non-Microsoft open source project. Microsoft has this funny habit of co-opting technologies and then evolving them into something very Microsoft-ish. Can you say Internet Explorer, or (sorry to do this to you) recall back to Microsoft’s Java? Microsoft loves to diverge technologies into their own direction, leaving behind and alienating communities of users and developers.

Even though IronRuby is under Microsoft’s own -Ms-PL open source license, IronRuby is too close to Microsoft and runs this same risk. I’m concerned that again we will have Ruby as most of the world knows it, and then Microsoft’s version of Ruby, shunned by those who haven’t drunk Redmond’s Kool-aid.

Similar examples such as ECMAJavascript come to mind. Also remember that Microsoft wanted to join the Open Solutions Alliance — a rumour that later turned out to be true. In this particular case, unlike with the OSI, Microsoft was rejected.

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