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05.06.08

HOWTO: Doing the Crimes But Not Paying the Fines

Posted in Antitrust, Database, Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, SUN at 11:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“We’ve got to put a lot of money into changing behavior.”

Bill Gates

With Novell’s help, alongside those other self-serving initiatives, Microsoft seems to have found a splendid formula for deception and manipulation. The company is perhaps convinced that it can afford to bribe, steal, bully and lie (just watch the OOXML scandals) in order to paint something Windows-specific and patents-riddled like OOXML with the ‘open’ brush.

Microsoft adamantly believes that all its crimes will later be forgotten, fueled by big lies, and Microsoft then be seen as cooperative by regulators when in fact it maintains all the predatory lock-ins and discriminates against — if not altogether excludes — its number one competitor which is Free software,

This whole presence from Microsoft is believed to be related to heavy fines that became a real threat to the company. As Matt Asay put it yesterday:

Microsoft’s open-source charade is not about customers. It’s about regulators. Until Microsoft can convince U.S. and European regulators that its market power is not as bad as it once was, the company will need to hide behind expressions of openness.

Hence, Microsoft “opens” up its protocols (i.e., lets everyone read but not touch…without forking over cash). It inks “open” interoperability agreements with Novell and others, which actually do nothing more than bind otherwise open-source success to Microsoft’s proprietary technology.

This post was mainly about Microsoft’s desire to cling onto its proprietary software forever while only pretending to have ‘opened up’. Compare this to the latest news from Sun Microsystems where there is more adherence to the GPL and there is also a common threat which is proprietary software, according to Ian Murdock.

Mickos, former CEO of MySQL, also pledged to keep the database open source. Murdock, the founder of the Debian GNU Linux distro, urged projects outside Sun to refrain from attacking Sun’s Solaris or NetBeans, insisting they should instead focus on the common enemy – closed-source software.

At the end of the day, MySQL/Sun backtracked on its decision to close some parts of MySQL and I can’t help but wonder if my correspondence with Marten Mickos had some impact. In any event, Groklaw asks itself some similar questions about Sun’s attitude towards Free software and compares to that to Microsoft’s.

…the real question I was asking was, has Sun changed? After all, Microsoft talks a lot about openness and such, but they fail to convince me that they wouldn’t kill and eat my cat if they thought there was money in it. Ethics is the real value add to FOSS, you know. It’s the one thing Microsoft can’t embrace, extend and extinguish.

Doesn’t last year’s "patent terrorism" really give it away? It was actually a Sun executive who called it “patent terrorism” at the time. He slammed Microsoft’s behaviour.

You can put a bully (or bulldog) on a leash and take it out for a walk, but it’s still just a bully on leash, not a Labrador.

I'm Linux
Microsoft is finally open… for ‘negotiations’

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