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

06.16.08

The Open Source ‘Census’ Lost Its Credibility

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OSI, Windows at 11:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“We believe every Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability.”

Steve Ballmer

Yesterday we wrote about the Open Source Census accepting Microsoft's money. We criticised this move for being short-sighted yet typical.

You don’t really have to take our own word for it. Just take a look at the Web. Here are some early reactions:

From the CEO of MuleSource;

My guess? I think Microsoft wants access to the results both so it can understand open source but also so it can start to consider legal actions against the most popular products and the companies that develop them.

I’ll apologize in advance if the motives are completely altruistic but if the past is any evidence, we should really avoid giving this kind of information to Microsoft with no benefits attached to open source.

Pamela Jones wrote: “Um. They want to figure out who to sue over their stupid patents they allege are being infringed? You think? Learning from history and past Microsoft paid-for studies, I’d also predict that we will see a headline that Novell is winning in adoption rates, thus “proving” that it was right to sell out and sign a patent deal with Microsoft. A secondary finding could be that enterprise use of Linux otherwise is slowing, compared to a healthy Microsoft, I’ve no doubt. Thanks, Mary Jo, for letting us know Microsoft is funding this “study”, so we can ignore the results. I naturally hope no one joins the study, now that Microsoft is sponsoring it.

Unsurprisingly, OStatic takes a gentler stance.

When we first told you about the Open Source Census back in April, there were already a number of sponsors, “with more expected to sign on in the future.” Well, today, another sponsor was announced and the name may surprise you — or maybe not. Microsoft. As expected, some open source supporters are in a twist over the news, while others are waxing philosophical.

ZDNet’s Mary-Jo Foley thinks that perhaps the move is motivated by Microsoft’s desire for greater interoperability with open source systems, and also to gain a “better understanding of where/how open-source software is gaining traction in enterprises in order to better fight it.”

There are also some interesting reactions in LinuxToday, such as this one.

This permits MS to find out the truth and to suppress any “bad news”. MS will also be able to “talk to” people that are getting started with FOSS.

All we will hear is how Linux/FOSS is struggling and just not getting deployed to any real extent.

Michael Tiemann (of OSI) says:

I do not see how it is valid to call this a census, unless there is a means to compel every single member of the open source community to surrender their information for the sponsors and executors the census. Is Microsoft promising to provide such muscle for OpenLogic? Or is Microsoft unclear on what the term “census” actually means. (I have my own opinions on whether they understand what “open source” means, at least when they use the term publicly.) Either way I don’t see this producing a valid result, just more confusion.

This concurs with the opinion of Pamela Jones over at Groklaw. Only days ago we wrote about Forrester's acceptance of Microsoft money for anti-Linux 'studies'.

Last among these reactions is one from Matt Asay.

I think Microsoft just wants to be associated with any good-hearted open-source effort, so that it can appear…good hearted, without actually engaging open source in any deep, meaningful way.

Glyn Moody’s assessment, which we cited yesterday, is very similar to this.

To summarise, here is what Microsoft can gain:

  1. Knowledge of who uses which Free software products, potentially for extortion purposes (or 'tax')
  2. Ability to game — to a greater or lesser extent — statistics about open source use
  3. Production of FUD studies, which lead to misleading and misinformed press coverage
  4. Dilution of the “Open Source” value and definition
  5. Further confusion and ruining of the reputation of a census
  6. Claims of goodwill and belonging to the open source ‘movement’ (subversive and self-serving assimilation [1, 2, 3, 4])
  7. Ability to accuse companies of being intolerant towards Microsoft’s participation (daemonisation using the “Microsoft hater” label [1, 2])

Surely enough, we’ll be seeing Microsoft intrude more such initiatives and infiltrate events under the 'interoperability' guise. It does not usually work out so well at the end. In fact, the CEO of SourceForge recently quit his job, but to be fair, there’s no evidence that associates any of this with the FUD Awards controversy.

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

2 Comments

  1. DOUGman said,

    June 17, 2008 at 12:04 am

    Gravatar

    When MS shows up, how hard is it to do an about face and walk away? People’s love of money will show us how true they are to Linux.

    I don’t understand why some cannot just tell the ‘monster’ to get lost.

    D.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 17, 2008 at 1:31 am

    Gravatar

    More about ” title=”Open Source ‘Census’ is a joke. Isn’t it?”>this downturn:

    Open Source ‘Census’ is a joke. Isn’t it?

    From the ‘just cause you say it’s true doesn’t make it true’ files:

    I see a lot of so called ‘journalists’ that write about Open Source with stories up today about The Open Source Census and Microsoft now becoming a sponsor. No joke – but I laughed out loud reading most of them.

    A press release from OpenLogic confirms this.

What Else is New


  1. The EPO Is More Corrupt Under Battistelli Than Under Alison Brimelow: Part IIX

    After Brimelow, with all her flaws and her scandals, an even worse President is installed who then abolishes oversight and seemingly brings his old friends to the EPO, creating a sort of subculture that is impenetrable to outsiders



  2. Claiming That Microsoft 'Loves' Linux While Windows Update Bricks Devices With Linux

    The sheer absurdity of claims that Microsoft -- which not only attacks those who distribute Linux and GNU but also blackmails them, takes them to court, or bricks their products without any liability -- 'loves' Linux



  3. Protectionist Reign: Corporations in Complete Control of Everything With Domination Over Patent Law

    How multinational corporations, joined by the corporate press that they are funding, promote a corporations- but not people-friendly patent policy in north America



  4. Links 30/10/2014: GNOME 3.15.1, Red Hat Software Collections 1.2

    Links for the day



  5. Links 29/10/2014: Ubuntu Touch Tablet, Puppy Linux 6.0

    Links for the day



  6. Links 28/10/2014: SUSE Linux Enterprise 12, Canonical OpenStack Distro

    Links for the day



  7. Links 28/10/2014: PiFxOS, The Document Foundation in OSBA

    Links for the day



  8. Microsoft is Bricking Devices With Linux (Yet Again!), So a Microsoft Booster Spins/Paints Linux Devices as 'Fakes'

    Microsoft delivers rogue drivers through Windows Update and they brick Arduino microcontrollers



  9. How Bill Gates Continues to Pass Wealth From the Public to His Own Bank Account

    Having put a universal tax on many things (not just computers) and evaded tax using the classic 'charity' trick, Gates is now buying the media, the schools, politicians etc. and earns as much as 10 billion dollars per year while the public is taught that Gates is a giver, not a hoarder of the worst kind



  10. Links 27/10/2014: Lenovo Unbundling, Linux 3.18 RC2

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: September 14th, 2014 – October 25th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  12. Links 25/10/2014: KDE Mockups, Update on GNOME Outreach Program for Women

    Links for the day



  13. After Infecting Unity -- Successfully -- Microsoft's Partner Xamarin Wants to Infect Unreal Engine With .NET

    Xamarin continues to spread dependence on Microsoft to more gaming frameworks, not just platforms such as GNU/Linux, Android, and even permanent-state devices



  14. Taking Microsoft Windows Off the Grid for Damage to Businesses, the Internet, and Banking Systems

    Microsoft's insecure-by-design software is causing massive damages ([cref 27802 possibly trillions] of [cref 13992 dollars in damages to date]) and yet the corporate press does not ask the right questions, let alone suggest a ban on Microsoft software



  15. City of Berlin Does Not Abandon Free Software, It's Only Tax Authorities

    A Softpedia report that says the City of Berlin is moving to Microsoft Office is flawed and may be based on a poor translation



  16. Nadella a Liar in Chief at Microsoft, Pretending That His Anti-Competitive Practices Are Unfortunately Imposed on Microsoft

    The nastiness of Microsoft knows no bounds as even its assault on GNU/Linux and dirty tricks against Free software adoption are characterised as the fault of 'pirates'



  17. Reuters Writes About the Demise of Software Patents, But Focuses on 'Trolls' and Quotes Lawyers

    How the corporate media chooses to cover the invalidity of many software patents and the effect of that



  18. Links 24/10/2014: Microsoft Tax Axed in Italy, Google's Linux (ChromeOS/Android) Leader Promoted

    Links for the day



  19. Links 24/10/2014: GNU/Linux History, Fedora Delay

    Links for the day



  20. Links 23/10/2014: New *buntu, Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  21. Links 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



  22. Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

    Links for the day



  23. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  24. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  25. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  26. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  27. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  28. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  29. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  30. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts