06.13.08

If Microsoft’s Marketing Ploy Continues, “Open Source” is Passé

Posted in Asia, Deception, Europe, Free/Libre Software, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, OSI at 11:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Open Source” is no longer synonymous with Free software. Far from it.

This item explores some of the latest evidence which suggests Microsoft is hijacking and subverting “Open Source” as it was once known to people. This development was seen in advance… a very long time ago as a matter of fact.

Backstabbing of Developers, Possibly Bald-faced Lies

The Sandcastle open source hoax was mentioned here before, so its description probably needn’t be repeated. It is, however, important to emphasise a few things:

  1. Rather than tilting Sandcastle into an ‘open source’ route when it got caught with its pants down, Microsoft withdrew it. That’s the equivalent of promising you diamond, but giving you sandy and shady glass instead; once busted, they grab the glass away rather than fulfill the promise. That’s very, very low. It’s a shame that A- and B-class bloggers were too shy to vent; they were almost as apologetic as Microsoft.
  2. Herein we ought to find some more early warning signs. We find dishonesty. Microsoft itself is faking open source and probably then pretending that it was just a ‘terrible mistake’ (as opposed to a marketing ploy gone awry).
  3. The third thing, which was probably easy to miss, is that developers clearly got betrayed by Microsoft’s selfish deeds (and yes, it's a pattern, almost a cliché by now). Here. Have a look below.

The fix to Microsoft’s open source faux pas creates another problem: Developers were relying on Sandcastle to produce code documentation. Numerous responses to Ramji’s blog post indicate real frustration over having the documentation tool summarily yanked out from under their projects.

Adding insult to injury, the OSI seems to have said nothing about this. Microsoft got away with faking. How irresponsible.

Microsoft’s ‘Open Source’: Windows-only “Collaborative Development”

Watch what Glyn Moody has just had to say. We covered these issues recently.

This trope of openness being “just another business model” is a favourite of Microsoft’s, alongside “we need more than one standard for a given area, to promote choice” – when what are needed are *implementations* of a single standard. These rhetorical siblings are rather desperate, if amusingly Jesuitical, attempts to use words to gloss over the reality.

Going a little further (perhaps too far), remember what Microsoft wishes to strip off the definition it’s unable to embrace.

Microsoft is going to become an OSS company, not a FOSS company. (See what the “F” stands for here.) We are already seeing the early signs of this. They have created a couple of open source licenses and have submitted them for approval successfully with the Open Source Initiative. Microsoft has pledged to become a more open company. Although the said pledge has been received with a lot of skepticism, I think they really mean it. They have to. Microsoft is now hard at work trying to convince the world that they really have changed. Is all this going to be enough? I don’t think so.

Blasts from the Past Year

New readers may not have seen the following old stories that speak volume. We wish to repeat them in sequence.

Steve Ballmer: ‘I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows’

Steve Ballmer apparently likes open source. Well, so long as it drives Windows revenue. And doesn’t replace any. Ever. In fact, as he said at an event in Microsoft last week in London that he hopes to see all open-source innovation going to Windows, rather than Linux (more below).

Ballmer: Microsoft Will Buy Open-Source Companies

“We will do some buying of companies that are built around open-source products,” Ballmer said during an onstage interview at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.

Steve Ballmer on Open Source, Online and Other

Any plans to bring development tools to other platforms? No.

OSI approves Microsoft licenses

For now though it’s all eyes on Microsoft to see what the company will do next, and in many ways this will be more interesting than whether or not the OSI approved the licenses. For reasons that were never fully explained, Microsoft wanted open source licenses.

Now that it’s got them, will it use them to release significant code to the community?

BECTA Revisited

Earlier on we wrote about what we can only suspect is rotten; it might end up as another BECTA scam. Here you can find some valuable background information from ITPro, which is UK-based.

Becta, open source and education: Too little, too late?

[...]

Slow adoption of open source and free software in UK schools can be attributed to the same kind of inertia that afflicts SMEs in the UK. It arises from a fear of the unknown, misapprehensions of the capabilities of the software, over-reliance on trusted suppliers, and general lack of awareness of the alternatives – but the major obstacle has been a lack of coordination, direction or understanding from the relevant authorities, exacerbated by a series of agreements with Microsoft at government level that have effectively tied the education system into Microsoft-only solutions.

Recall yet again which firm BECTA finally chose and who got designated for “Open Source”. BECTA chose a Windows/Microsoft shop for so-called ‘open source’, whose site won’t work without Flash. What a farce in the making. Later on they might use such a farce to throw ‘blame’ and pull a Newham [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

BECTA seems to have deceived on “Open Source”. Many in the UK will be deeply disappointed by the choice of a proprietary software workshop (consultancy). How can it be trusted in handling what should be open source software at schools? More absurd than this it hardly ever gets and flack for it is only to be expected in days to come.

Time to paddle back to "Free Software"? Gradually maybe? Need there be an index?

The Great OOXML Scam

“Remember: it’s all just for marketing purposes.”For OOXML marketing needs, Microsoft India is still hijacking (or borrowing) “open source” and pretending to have embraced it (its own definition of it). Remember: it’s all just for marketing purposes. This article seems like another Microsoft brainwash piece, but you may wish to familiarise yourself with the mental manipulation contained in it.

Moving a little further, it’s clear that secret formats remain secret formats. Formed selfishly, put together privately (out of people’s sight) and made dependent on a single platform and non-Free application, here is where we stand. There is still no OOXML. Nobody know what it is, yet Microsoft boasts about a mythical rubber stamp it acquired from ISO.

The standard as it stands is naked. It lacks a text. Where is it? The secret 30 April document is a phantom. We don’t know yet if ISO can provide a consolidated version of the BRM results. We only know that member states adopted the non-existing text as a standard. Now the nations that filed complaints will be blamed for lack of delivery.

This one is good for a laugh as well. The level of deception has no bounds.

“You know what Microsoft’s problem really is? They’ve lost the ability to feel ashamed.”

PJ, Groklaw

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

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2008/06/13/open-source-marketing-ploy/

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

2 Comments

  1. Victor Soliz said,

    June 13, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Gravatar

    Microsoft’s definition of open source varies from “windows-only development model” to “windows-only non-commercial software”. Anyway MS’ OOXML .net SDK has been released, I guess Miguel is thrilled.

  2. Michael said,

    June 15, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Gravatar

    But ‘Open Source’ was conceived as an empty/meaningless marketing term. One designed specifically with commercial interest in mind and also specifically to distance itself from those hairy free software fellows.

    i.e. it was designed to co-opt free software for commercial interests.

    A little too clever i think. MS aren’t ‘being evil’ here, ‘open source’ IS AND ALWAYS WAS MEANINGLESS.

What Else is New


  1. Links 21/4/2021: VirtualBox 6.1.20, GCC 11.1 Release Candidate, Nginx 1.20.0

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, April 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, April 20, 2021



  3. Some People Who Asked to Be Removed From the Slanderous Hate Letter Against the FSF Are Still Being Denied Removal (But Not All)

    I am aware of some people (evidence is in the public domain for all to see) who asked to be removed from the hate list; their requests have not yet been processed, or simply denied. Maybe they should ask again. There are silent and selective changes.



  4. Overt Abuse and Mischaracterisations by Bully de Blanc

    The campaign to ruin the FSF and silence its founder, Richard M. Stallman (RMS), goes months prior to the hate letter set up by Bully de Blanc, her boss, and the Microsoft-sponsored OSI; they just attack the licence (GPL/copyleft) and they try to redefine things for the corporations which fund them



  5. According to StatCounter, This Month GNU/Linux Market Share on Desktops/Laptops Exceeded 2% (Based on Sites They Monitor)

    StatCounter does not monitor everything and not every machine connects to the Web, but in relative terms, based on the chart above, no doubt GNU/Linux continues growing relative to other operating systems (chart plotted based on the latest raw data, rendered in LibreOffice Calc)



  6. At the EPO, Lawlessness Has Become “a New Normal”

    Without as much as a real consultation with those who are impacted (by the EPO's gross infringements) the management of the EPO rushes ahead again, enjoying zero oversight, no legal review, and no accountability or scrutiny of any kind



  7. Links 20/4/2021: Tails 4.18 and Mark Surman in Mozilla's Board of Directors

    Links for the day



  8. Microsoft as a Censorship Machine Working to Undermine Free Software and Code Sharing (Also Sharing in General)

    Microsoft is, as usual, a tool of destruction rather than creation; it seems to be better at ruining things and censoring things, notably things that compete against Microsoft or pose a threat to Microsoft's business model (and close partners, such as RIAA)



  9. Phoronix Needs to Exercise Caution and Stay Vigilant/Careful of Microsoft

    Taking note or lessons from the blunder of Raspberry Pi (back in February), Phoronix should be careful of Microsoft 'freebies' as they're never free and there are strings attached, destined to alienate longtime supporters



  10. IRC Proceedings: Monday, April 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, April 19, 2021



  11. Links 20/4/2021: EasyOS Dunfell 2.7.1, Phoronix Takes Microsoft 'Freebies', Microsoft Trying to Steal Credit for Linux on Mars

    Links for the day



  12. Richard Stallman on How UPC is a Trojan Horse for Software Patents in Europe

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, offers his analysis of the Unitary Patent (or UPC) and what it means for software patents in Europe now that the EPO increases its influence over continental law



  13. Technology Can Make Life Worse, Even in the Public Sector, Not Just the Private Sector

    There are growing concerns — increasingly justified concerns as a matter of fact — that customer service is universally going away and “COVID” has become the impenetrable shield or a cover in the face of facts, laws, and basic rights



  14. Links 19/4/2021: LibreSSL 3.3.2, OpenSSH 8.6, Firefox 88

    Links for the day



  15. Time to Move to Gemini, Wherever/Whenever Possible, as the World Wide Web is a Burden on Everybody

    A 30-minute rant about what the Web has become and the promise of gemini:// (designed to simplify everything, enable self-hosting, preserve privacy, and empower communities rather than military-connected monopolies)



  16. The Number of Signatures in the Anti-FSF Petition is Decreasing, Not Increasing

    A reader has notified Techrights that belatedly, perhaps where people’s job is at risk (we’ve heard of stories and situations wherein the employer’s view and a worker’s view diverge), the GNOME Foundation/OSI did in fact remove some people from the hate letter they had set up for their monopolistic sponsors. We do, however, still see some names in there of people who asked to be removed, so it must be a very selective process. They don’t want to lose face, so they must have made it very difficult to revoke one’s name. Exceptional circumstances? We have checked to confirm, based on the available archives, and indeed that number decreased since 10 days ago, whereas 6,415 people have thus far signed the support letter (it's still growing), so we’ve just re-plotted the chart.



  17. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, April 18, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, April 18, 2021



  18. How Many People Developed GNU (Maybe Hundreds) in the 1980s

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, explains how code was managed and contributed in the early days of GNU



  19. Links 19/4/2021: Linux 5.12 RC8, GNU Poke 1.2, EndeavourOS 2021.04

    Links for the day



  20. Proprietary Software (BT Hub) Has Ruined My Whole Day

    While we did have some plans to publish long articles, those plans were curtailed or at least delayed due to the fact our sole device at home not to be controlled by us (a so-called 'Smart' Hub from BT) decided to break itself and by doing so bring productivity to a standstill (that firmware update, silently installed without notice or any form of consent, managed to screw with the local network)



  21. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, April 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, April 17, 2021



  22. Tolerating the Intolerant and Lacking Tolerance for Opposing Views

    The person who shouted...



  23. Letter of Support for Richard Stallman - Doing Better in Community

    "How do you support someone you’ve known for years who is unfairly attacked and publicly maligned?"



  24. Richard Stallman on Rejecting Workplace Bureaucracy in the 1970s

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, explains what inspired him to get involved in non-software matters



  25. Renata Avila: Trying to Understand the Lynching of Stallman

    Reproduced from the original



  26. Breaking News: EDPS Admits That It is Powerless to Investigate Claims of GDPR Non-compliance at the EPO

    Nobody is truly in charge at the EDPS (and in Europe at large); they say EPO is "company" and all one can do is kindly ask the EPO itself to obey the law and stop outsourcing European data to American military contractors



  27. Links 17/4/2021: Linux 5.13 in Sight, Holland Warming up to Free Software

    Links for the day



  28. Richard Stallman Vilified by Those Who Don't Know Him, Says Sylvia Paull

    Republished "In Support of Richard Stallman"



  29. [Meme] Linux Foundation Can't Use Linux

    Two examples from yesterday, highlighting what a bunch of hypocrites run the marketing operation now disguised as ‘research’; Jason Perlow from Microsoft signed/published this newsletter highlight from the failing “Linux” Foundation — a foundation that calls itself “Linux” while its newsletter is still hosted by Microsoft Windows+proprietary IIS and this latest report is made with proprietary software on a Mac



  30. [Meme] Haters Gonna Hate, Don't Apologise to a Libelling Mob

    As was already pointed out before, you cannot appease a mob by talking back to it, certainly not by issuing an apology (putting oneself in a position of weakness)


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