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

02.21.08

Microsoft Introduces New Taxoperability Program

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, ISO, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, Patents, Protocol, Red Hat, Standard, Ubuntu at 10:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I want you for money

Coincidence when it comes to timing? Surely they would jest. Last week we saw some rather useless (and incomplete) binary formats being released which are potentially doing more harm than good. Microsoft was then raving about a patent ‘promise’ (semi-valid as long as you're not one of those 'ugly' GPLers). which is by no means a binding contract.

“Microsoft really wants to world to think that the company suddenly loves openness..”“It’s advertisers, advertisers, advertisers,” as Steve Ballmer once said (watch the video). It’s a question of perception rather than reality. He more recently described the solution to Windows Vista’s problems as one which is hinged on advertising. And that’s what the latest announcement is all about. Microsoft really wants to world to think that the company suddenly loves openness and some journalists are innocently falling for it, making the press coverage a total disaster.

Antitrust, Antitrust, Antitrust

Bear in mind that there are 3 ongoing antitrust investigations (happening simultaneously) at this very moment. They all involve Microsoft and these include the abuses against ISO. Microsoft’s watcher in Seattle puts the news rather well with the headline “Microsoft tries to appease EU by sharing secrets”.

Microsoft, reacting to the rejection of its antitrust appeal in Europe last year, said this morning that it’s giving outside software developers new levels of access to its biggest programs.

[...]

Antitrust regulators in Europe were emboldened by last September’s ruling against the company by the European Court of First Instance, opening two new antitrust investigations into Microsoft’s activities last month.

Kroes Doesn’t Buy It

The European Commission is not naive. It does not blindly follow the press coverage and it can read between the lines. According to Associated Press, it’s not overly impressed by Microsoft supposedly ‘opening up’ (we’ll get to the substance of this news at the end, so bear with us).

EU skeptical on Microsoft sharing plan

European Union regulators are expressing skepticism over Microsoft’s latest offer to share more information about its products and technology.

Patents, Patents, Patents and Patents

Four software patent deals have been signed with GNU/Linux distributors and it was made very clear that Microsoft intends to use GNU/Linux to its own advantage. If it cannot defeat GNU/Linux (and more broadly FOSS), then it is tipping over itself to make it possible to warp GNU/Linux such that it’s owned by Microsoft, at least in the ‘intellectual’ sense. Microsoft can then turn GNU/Linux into another Microsoft cash cow. With that context in mind, think about Mono.

The 451 Group looks at the recent events and concludes that patents are a major ingredient of this latest development, even though Microsoft did not place emphasis on this. Well, not based on announcements which it made (high note on ‘open’, quiet on the ‘tax weasel’).

It is worth noting that the new strategy will see Microsoft providing a list of the patents and patent applications that relate to the protocols and formats it uses for the named products. This should mean that open source developers are able to identify some of the 235 patents Microsoft previously claimed were infringed by free and open source software and will be able to license them (on RAND terms), attempt to develop around them, or challenge their legitimacy.

Don’t Cry for Ron Hovsepian, Argentina

Ron Hovsepian

Matt Asay, the former Novell employee who is neither there anymore (nor a fan of the company) explains why Novell ends up with an egg in its face.

Microsoft’s pledge to truly interoperate with the rest of the planet, including open-source developers (both commercial and community), leaves two clear victors in the Linux camp: Red Hat and Ubuntu. While Novell capitulated to Microsoft’s early demands for a patent stooge, Red Hat and Ubuntu stood firm.

[...]

Well, Novell gained a few quarters of “coupon cash” from the deal (though my sources at Novell say that customers aren’t renewing their subscriptions at a rate that Novell would like), but I hope it recognizes the value in standing firm for openness. What little wind it got puffed into its sails from its interoperability lock-up with Microsoft just dissipated.

There is an interesting sort of ‘leak’ there (inside information) about poor levels of subscription renewal, indicating that former Novell customers may be walking away after the deal with Microsoft.

Press Corrected

A regular reader has E-mailed to inform us of the news stating rather sarcastically that he’s “sure we’ve seen the ever-spreading news that Microsoft are, er, ‘embracing’ Open Source today…”

“Like me, I’m sure you’re not fooled for an instant,” he writes.

The reader summarises what we are seeing in the following concise way:


It’s simply the next step in their plan to enclose the commons.

They understand that Free Software is going to win.

They have accommodated themselves to that, and are working on their best chance of retaining their abusive monopolist position in the new world.

So their answer is “Fine. You can have your ‘Open Source’. So long as you pay us a royalty for every single piece of Open Source you use. In fact, as long as they get their royalty stream, the are quite happy for us ‘filthy hippies’ to develop, unpaid, for them.

  • It’s all about the patent encumberment.
  • It’s all about owning the ‘standards’ (we saw their view of ‘standards’ in what they did to ISO).
  • It’s all about enclosing (and hence owning) the software commons.

If you want to drink the Microsoft Kool-Aid, read articles in the press. They have to be 'politically correct' and follow the Microsoft press release, as well as face the wrath of prodding from Microsoft’s PR arms. If you have some different views, feel free to share them. It remains clear that Microsoft is motivated by profit, not goodwill, which it only sees as a route or a tool for making more money.

Steve Ballmer license

Image from Wikimedia

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 13/11/2019: Docker Enterprise Bought, WordPress 5.3, Qt 5.12.6 Released

    Links for the day



  2. Rebranding Malware and Spyware as 'Linux' to Dilute the Brand (and the News)

    Signal-to-noise ratio continues to be reduced, as a lot of "Linux" news has nothing to do with GNU/Linux or even with Free software



  3. Understanding Thierry Breton: In the Beginning...

    Career roundup of Thierry Breton, possibly the next EU Commissioner



  4. Startpage Has Been Delisted, But it Ought to be Blacklisted

    Startpage has just warned its fans (I am a former fan) of what Startpage itself covertly became months back



  5. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 12, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 12, 2019



  6. Links 12/11/2019: Plasma 5.17.3, More Intel Defects, Bytecode Alliance

    Links for the day



  7. You've Gotta Go When You've Gotta Go

    How most staff of the European Patent Office (EPO) feels these days



  8. Teaser: Thierry Breton and His Disquieting Past

    "The company attracted notoriety and loathing in the UK for its role in assessing disability benefit eligibility."



  9. EPO and EU: People Behind the Faces

    It’s no secret that the EPO breaks the law and European officials have taken no concrete steps to intervene; to make matters worse, potentially new EPO allies may soon be put in charge of the EU Commission



  10. Maintaining the 'Delete Github' page

    "This list really is a starting point, which can hopefully increase awareness about the issue of concern."



  11. Linux Foundation Picking Money

    The dating standards of the Linux Foundation



  12. Microsoft 'Borrows' the Linux Brand

    With help from the likes of the Linux Foundation Microsoft continues to misuse and ‘dilute’ the Linux brand (and registered trademark)



  13. EPO Corruption Compared to Cocaine Scandals in Antwerp

    Days after the Dutch protest discussion is sort of 'uncorked' regarding EPO corruption (published, as usual, in the form of anonymous comments)



  14. SUEPO Showed That the Media Won't Cover EPO Corruption Until Half the Workers March in the Streets

    What ought to have been a central (if not 'the' central) issue of debate in Europe is still being treated as borderline irrelevant or marginal



  15. Meanwhile in California

    News from California is being spun by Microsoft this week, owing to weak journalism that's more like PR than journalism



  16. Privacy-Centric Services and Even Drupal/Acquia Defect to the Camp of Mass Surveillance

    In search of money [pun intended] companies and services that are supposed to respect their customers and users turn out to be doing the opposite; this merits research and public discussions



  17. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 11, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, November 11, 2019



  18. Links 12/11/2019: Sparky 2019.11 Special Editions and Twisted 19.10.0 Released

    Links for the day



  19. Microsoft's Abduction of the Voice of Its Opposition Highlights the Urgency of the Movement/Campaign to Delete GitHub

    Microsoft understands that by entrapping FOSS and GNU/Linux inside proprietary software platforms like GitHub and Azure it can utilise the false perception that it somehow speaks on behalf of both (whilst attacking both)



  20. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 10, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 10, 2019



  21. SUEPO Protests Against Management of the European Patent Office Brought Back Discussions About Corruption

    The atmosphere at the second-largest institution in Europe has long been toxic; now it is becoming a lot more visible again and comments highlight the reasons for the cover-up (gross misuse of billions of euros)



  22. Links 11/11/2019: Linux 5.4 RC7, HandBrake 1.3.0 and Analysis of XFCE

    Links for the day



  23. Links 10/11/2019: digiKam 6.4.0, OpenMandriva Lx 4.1 Alpha and OpenZFS Plans

    Links for the day



  24. Video: Dutch Media on EPO Protest

    The new video added by SUEPO on Saturday in order to show Dutch media coverage of last week's protest in The Hague



  25. Politics in the Workplace Are Not Paradoxical and Outside the Workplace They Are Free Speech

    The safest space is one in which no other human (or creature) exists, but in reality we must make compromises and accept that not everyone will agree with us 100% of the time (so we must learn to live with that)



  26. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 09, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 09, 2019



  27. Thick Skin Makes Strong Communities

    Learning to coexist with people who don't agree on everything is a strength and successful societies encourage that (the alternative is blind conformity on all matters)



  28. Training (Proprietary Software) Versus Teaching (Free Software)

    Education necessitates software freedom — a fact that companies like Adobe, Apple and Microsoft try hard to distract from



  29. The Linux Foundation Brought as Keynote Speakers People Vastly Worse Than Those Whom It Now 'Cancels' for Purely Political Reasons

    A lot of people are very upset about the Linux Foundation's alleged 'witch-hunt' and even press coverage has caught up with the outrage; but our position is that it distracts from vastly bigger Linux Foundation scandals



  30. An Open Letter to Richard Stallman

    "It's past the time for the official cornerstones of the Free software movement to return to their full operational capacity, and to take the gear out of neutral."


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

Recent Posts