04.02.08

Gemini version available ♊︎

Microsoft Latest Incursions and Subversion of Open Source

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Novell, OSI, Windows at 10:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This may be an unpleasant subject to read about, yet without realising what Microsoft strives to achieve here, more companies might fall victim and become hostile just like Novell. Here is a quick roundup of stories that ought to shed light on Microsoft’s ramming of its presence and influence down the Open Source world’s throat, ISO-style

Microsoft and Lobbyists Throw a Party

This seems like the perfect recipe for some sellouts. And haven't we seen this before? Microsoft is inviting all sorts of open source figures to a extravagant party and even bothers to bring in all sorts of consultant whom it pays. Meeting of the minds of just pure brainwash? Your call.

Last week I spent two days on campus in Redmond with about 40 of my industry colleagues at the Microsoft Technology Summit, an annual invite-only event where Microsoft selects a swath of people from all over the world — key technology influencers — to learn about what the company is doing in its development labs and to preview advanced technology and new products, as well as to provide an environment for face to face dialogue and direct feedback.

[...]

With the exception of Rob Enderle and myself – who were the only two “Professional” journalists and analysts present at the event as far as I could tell — the entire guest list was stacked with Open Source community folks, such as William Hurley, BMC Software’s Chief Open Source strategist and David Recordon, the the founder of OpenID. It wasn’t all Penguinista heavyweights either – there were a bunch of people who ran OSS-heavy IT shops at major corporations and even academic types from developing countries in Africa who were using Open Source software to put technology in the hands of underprivileged kids, like the guy who was deploying Ubuntu and Linux Terminal Server thin clients to students in his home country of Namibia.

As you can clearly see, even GNU/Linux folks are brought over to Redmond. Microsoft and its affiliates are trying to buy love again.

We recently summarised the problems with OSBC 2008. Then, yesterday we came to find out that the organiser has also some questionable friends at Microsoft. We are not suggesting that there is a cabal here, but rather that Microsoft is approaching and wooing key figures in the open source world in order for them to obey and permit Microsoft’s entry. At the end, all you get is Microsoft standing there up in an supposedly open source conference where it redefines the rules, which then propagate into the press.

Smith also outlined what he said were Microsoft’s four big principles when it comes to intellectual property issues and open source software: First, a “well-functioning patent system” is a good thing. Second, there needs to be a bridge between different development, distribution and business models. Third, patents are best sorted out by “industry leaders [read: Microsoft and other big companies], so developers and customers don’t have to deal with these issues themselves.” And finally, everybody needs to make some compromises.

Microsoft doesn’t quite stop there. After repeated abuse of Web standards and criminal abuse of ISO Microsoft now enters MIT’s Kerberos Consortium.

Microsoft Corp. has joined the executive board of MIT’s Kerberos Consortium, an organization that oversees development of the widely used network authentication standard. Rivals Apple Inc., Google Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc. are also on the board.

Microsoft might ruin this one just as it ruins Web standards, JavaScript and a variety of other accepted standards or recommendations. In the past, Microsoft was already accused of doing harm to the role of Kerberos, among many more. There is no trust here because trust must be earned, by deeds. Just watch how, unlike any other company, Microsoft already needs to make promises and “vow not to hoard” in the Kerberos Consortium, as Wired Magazine puts it.

According to Cameron, the company wants to ensure interoperability between Microsoft and non-Microsoft privacy platforms, and has no intention of hoarding U-Prove. Cameron intends to integrate Brands’ algorithms into Microsoft’s existing identity-access-and-management platform by mid-2009, and plans to open the application programming interface to the world.

Moreover, Brands says Microsoft is placing the technology under its Open Specification Promise, which amounts to a pledge not to sue anyone for patent infringement unless someone tries to sue Microsoft first. The intention, he says, is “to make it possible for anyone to use this technology whether they use Windows or not.”

See that little bit about the OSP? Remember how Microsoft uses the OSP to exclude the GPL.

“Involved parties seem to be trying to ‘inject’ and force upon us the Microsoft-reliant and compliant idea of open source.”Meanwhile, also in yesterday’s news, Microsoft’s Gartner (or "Partner") Group conveniently confuses or mixes SaaS with “Open Source”. It’s adding more confusion and dilution to this pool of terminologies. Over in ZDNet, it’s said that Garner brings some “bad news” (and “good news”) about Open Source. As we asked recently, is someone paying to change perception?

Involved parties seem to be trying to ‘inject’ and force upon us the Microsoft-reliant and compliant idea of open source. We are still just trying to show you that Microsoft bends Open Source, not embraces or helps it. It wants to devour other developers’ revenue, and that’s just nothing new. Just look again at antitrust cases and witness history's lessons.

Microsoft’s approach to this fighting disruptive phenomenon can be described briefly as: commercialise, redefine, then change rules and generalise. It’s a case of invading, then expanding. Here is what Gartner, which is funded by Microsoft to a large degree, had to say and scare us with. It’s not related to the widely-circulated description of SaaS as a sort of open source-like thinigie (which in itself in harmful to the recognised “open source” label).

But for open-source vendors, the SaaS trend isn’t all good news.

In next couple of years SaaS providers will also challenge open-source vendors, and become the preferred method for lowering IT costs.

Mind the dash in “open-source”. I typically pronounce it “open minus source” because it pretty much describes what it is. It’s an attempt to get around the rules of “Open Source” with something that sounds identical.

ComputerWorld welcomes Microsoft as part of the ‘open source family’ in this new interview with Sam Ramji. This further illustrates how Microsoft partly hijacks presence (limelight time) in the very same area that it perceives and describes as its main threat (“keep your enemies closer”).

Zend, which has for quite some time seemed like a Microsoft apologist (especially after their deal), is now doing some more ‘PR work’ for its partner. It helps Microsoft change people’s perceptions about its willingness to change rules. And yes, it’s about software patents.

What did you think of Microsoft’s February 21 announcement about interoperability principles, basically opening up some of its APIs and technical documentation? What was the general reaction in the open source community?

This is obviously a multi-dimensional issue. I think on the one hand there is obviously, the legislation, especially in Europe, which is kind of forcing Microsoft to do that. I do think there is another constituency within Microsoft which actually believes that opening up more and becoming more heterogeneous is obviously going to benefit Microsoft. Because the ecosystem around the Windows platform is then going to be able to emerge that is going to add value to the Windows operating system. I think overall in the open source community, people have been cautiously optimistic about it. I think in general it is a good thing. I think it is a step in the right direction but I do think that there are a lot of details which aren’t clear today.

And there you have it. Another Microsoft partner gives the nod to taxoperability and lends credibility to Microsoft’s demand. Is this manufactured consent in the making? Also in the news, the following press release seems rather benign.

IONA’s commitment to Open Source software is an integral part of its 15-year heritage. With a high degree of Open Source community involvement, IONA supports the efforts of its developers who are members and contributors to a number of ASF projects.

The only possible concern is that Microsoft has just gotten close to IONA and announced a deal/collaboration at a very similar time (almost an identical time). There is no intersection between the two, but it’s important to remember where money flows from because it sometimes leads to expectations or implicit obligations.

By all means remember that Microsoft tries to get cosy with Apache, which it’s still unable to beat. Apache’s market share has climbed for several consecutive months, according to Netcraft. As the old saying goes, “if you can’t beat them, join them.” Might Microsoft be on to something? Microsoft’s attempted ‘hijack’ of open source remains one of the least covered big stories. And that’s in addition to the software patent maneuvers, which are equally if not more concerning.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 03/07/2022: China 'Rallies Support for Kylin Linux' and SparkyLinux 4 EOL

    Links for the day



  2. Global Dynamics of the Demise of Microsoft Windows (Now Down to 27%)

    The situation of Windows' "share" (however subjective any measure would be) is grim; despite a "new" release of Windows, as recently as several months ago, "market share" decreases fast



  3. Francisca Pacheco López on Richard Stallman

    A letter from Madrid, posted a few days ago



  4. The World Wide Web is Not Growing, Gemini Does

    The Web, which is over 30 years old, peaked quite a few years ago; it's increasingly just a conduit of traffic unrelated to actual pages (articles, blogs) and just a vehicle for "apps", which are in turn centralised or closely guarded by few companies and very few governments (public communication is not their goal, manipulation and social control are the principal objectives)



  5. Links 03/07/2022: GNU/Linux Steam Surge, GitHub Breaks the Law

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, July 02, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, July 02, 2022



  7. Flooz on a Blockchain

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  8. Links 02/07/2022: Debian 9 (Stretch) EOL, FocusWriter 1.8.1, and Darktable 4.0

    Links for the day



  9. After Freenode's Demise It's OFTC That's Gaining in IRC, Not Libera.Chat

    IRC 12 months after the dust 'settled'



  10. Finland Turns 18

    This summer in Finland there seem to be changes



  11. Copyleft is Still Better and More Suitable for Business

    Copyleft does not mean one cannot make money; it just means proprietary software companies such as Microsoft stand to lose their dying empires, only to be replaced by new businesses that market and support GPL-licensed systems



  12. With New Data Just in (a Couple of Hours Ago), It Seems Clear Microsoft Windows Continues to Lose Market Share in July

    As shown above, Windows continues its demise; there’s also rapid erosion of Windows "market share" in Russia this year (“Russians [are] switching to Linux”) and sooner or later Windows will be just a quarter of the market (maybe by year’s end). Windows is at 10% in Turkey (down by a huge amount this year) and in Russia it’s down by about 5% since the war. In India GNU/Linux (“proper”, not ChromeOS) is up to nearly 5% of desktops/laptops.



  13. Links 02/07/2022: PSPP 1.6.2 Released, Linux Mint Rejects Parts of Systemd, Lots of Politics

    Links for the day



  14. Walking Like the Talking, Acting Like One's Preaching

    It has now been about 2 years since lock-downs in the world's Western nations were first loosened or lifted; we've thankfully taken advantage of all that commotion (persistent flux; we've not solved the underlying issues) to expand beyond and Web and become self-hosted wherever possible



  15. IRC Proceedings: Friday, July 01, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, July 01, 2022



  16. EPO Steering Off the Road, Just Like the Drunken Son of António Campinos, Who Crashed the Car and Begged for Impunity

    With the EPO rapidly turning into a corrupt dynasty of rogue politicians, lawyers and bankers (not scientists) we must turn to constitutions and treaties that they knowingly violate with impunity



  17. Koch Operatives Working to Shape Patent Law in Favour of Monopolies and Oligarchs

    Patent systems are being hijacked by monopolists and plutocrats for their financial gain and protectionism; it's a longstanding issue because it begets constitutional violations (glossed over by bought or installed "Justices", which is another creeping threat, especially in light of recent developments in the US Supreme Court and patently, manifestly illegal actions by Team UPC)



  18. At the EPO, “Online” Means Microsoft Windows Only (“Unitary Patent” Also Limited to Microsoft Customers!)

    The EPO's "special" (corrupt) relationship with Microsoft is a major liability for Europe; does one need to adopt back doors and US surveillance to interact with the EPO?



  19. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XXII — 'Mr. GitHub Copilot' Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley Pleads Guilty After Assaulting Women

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley from Microsoft GitHub (the man behind the GPL violation machine called “Copilot”) has “pled guilty to get deferred sentence”



  20. Links 01/07/2022: Russians Switching to GNU/Linux, New WINE Release

    Links for the day



  21. Links 01/07/2022: More Widespread Calls to Delete GitHub

    Links for the day



  22. [Meme] President Crybaby

    EPO President António Campinos, who constantly assaults the EPO’s staff, has portrayed himself as a poor victim of “hostile” staff (reversal of narratives)



  23. People Are Very Angry That Campinos Was Left in Positions of Power Without Any Competition and in Spite of Failing to Fulfill Essential Goals

    As predicted, people are infuriated by the decision of the Administrative Council to give Campinos several more years to destroy the EPO and its reputation (while moreover pushing a totally illegal and unconstitutional patent court system, which severely harms the image of the European Union)



  24. Microsoft Windows is a 'Burning Platform' (Both on the Server Side and the Client Side)

    'Burning platform' is a derogatory term from Microsoft's Elop; ironically, today's 'burning platform' is actually Windows, even if the corporate media isn't talking about that



  25. Links 01/07/2022: Nitrux 2.2.1 and Raspberry Pi Pico W Chatter

    Links for the day



  26. Links 01/07/2022: Wayland 1.21.0 and SteamOS 3.3 Beta

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 30, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 30, 2022



  28. [Meme] EPO Election (Auction)

    The corruption at the EPO did not end with Benoît Battistelli‘s departure; it’s still deepening



  29. Links 01/07/2022: Condres OS 1.0 and Microsoft Losing More Share in Web Servers

    Links for the day



  30. Published 10 Minutes Ago: IRCNow by Aaron Lin

    This talk was uploaded moments ago. “Of the users, by the users, for the users…”


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