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. Links 24/2/2017: Ubuntu 17.04 Beta, OpenBSD Foundation Nets $573,000 in Donations

    Links for the day



  2. IAM, Greased up by the EPO, Continues Lobbying by Shaming Tactics for the UPC, Under the Guise of 'News'

    The shrill and well-paid writers of IAM are still at it, promoting the Unitary Patent (UPC) at every opportunity and every turn



  3. Patent Scope Gone Awry: European Vegetable Patents Office?

    In its misguided race to raise so-called 'production', the EPO lost sight of its original goals and now facilitates patent royalty payments/taxation for naturally-recurring items of nature



  4. Yes, There is Definitely Brain Drain (Experience Deficit) at the European Patent Office and Stakeholders Feel It

    The direction that the European Patent Office has taken under Battistelli undoes many decades (almost half a century) of reputation-building and progress and naturally this repels existing staff, not to mention hampers recruitment efforts



  5. The Sickness of the EPO – Part IV: Cruel Management That Deliberately Attacks the Sick and the Weak

    The dysphoric reality at the European Patent Office, which is becoming like a large cell (with bolted-down windows) where people are controlled by fear and scapegoats are selected to perpetuate this atmosphere of terror and maintain demand (or workload) for the Investigative Stasi



  6. Links 23/2/2017: Qt 5.9 Alpha, First SHA1 Collision

    Links for the day



  7. UPC Roundup: War on the Appeal Boards, British Motion Against the UPC, Fröhlinger Recalled, and Fake News About Spain

    Taking stock of some of the latest attempts to shove the Unitary Patent (UPC) down Europe's throat, courtesy of Team Battistelli and Team UPC



  8. The Sickness of the EPO – Part III: Invalidity and Suicides

    An explanation of what drives a lot of EPO veterans to depression and sometimes even suicide



  9. The Appeal Board (PTAB) and Federal Circuit (CAFC) Maintain Good Pace of Patent Elimination Where Scope Was Exceeded

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) continues to accept about 4 out of 5 decisions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) refuses to intervene



  10. Software Patents Are Ebbing Away, But the “Swamp” Fights Back and Hijacks the Word “Fix”

    The club of patent maximalists, or those who profit from excess prosecution and legal chaos, isn't liking what has happened in the United States and it wants everything reversed



  11. Report From Yesterday's Debate About the European Patent Office (EPO) at the Bavarian Landtag

    A report of the EPO debate which took place at the Bavarian Landtag yesterday (21/2/2017)



  12. Links 22/2/2017: Wine-Staging 2.2, Nautilus 3.24

    Links for the day



  13. French Politician Richard Yung Tells the Government About Abuses at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    The subject of EPO scandals has once again landed in French politics, just a couple of months since it last happened



  14. The Sickness of the EPO – Part II: Background Information and Insights

    With a privatised, in-house (sometimes outsourced and for-profit) force for surveillance, policing, justice, public relations and now medical assessment (mere vassals or marionettes of the management) the EPO serves to show that it has become indistinguishable from North Korea, where the Supreme Leader gets to control every single aspect (absolutely no separation of powers)



  15. EPO Cartoon/Caricature by KrewinkelKrijst

    A new rendition by Dutch cartoonist and illustrator KrewinkelKrijst



  16. Inverting Narratives: IAM 'Magazine' Paints Massive Patent Bully Microsoft (Preying on the Weak) as a Defender of the Powerless

    Selective coverage and deliberate misinterpretation of Microsoft's tactics (patent settlement under threat, disguised as "pre-installation of some of the US company’s software products") as seen in IAM almost every week these days



  17. The Sickness of the EPO – Part I: Motivation for New Series of Articles

    An introduction or prelude to a long series of upcoming posts, whose purpose is to show governance by coercion, pressure, retribution and tribalism rather than professional relationship between human beings at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  18. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part VII: EPO Hypocrisy on Cancer and Lack of Feedback to and From ECPC

    The European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC), which calls itself "the largest European cancer patients' umbrella organisation," fails to fulfill its duties, says a source of ours, and the EPO makes things even worse



  19. Links 21/2/2017: KDE Plasma 5.9.2 in Chakra GNU/Linux, pfSense 2.3.3

    Links for the day



  20. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's Wall

    Battistelli's solution to everything at the EPO is exclusion and barriers



  21. The 'New' Microsoft is Still Acting Like a Dangerous Cult in an Effort to Hijack and/or Undermine All Free/Open Source Software

    In an effort to combat any large deployment of non-Microsoft software, the company goes personal and attempts to overthrow even management that is not receptive to Microsoft's agenda



  22. PTAB Petitioned to Help Against Patent Troll InfoGation Corp., Which Goes After Linux/Android OEMs in China

    A new example of software patents against Free software, or trolls against companies that are distributing freedom-respecting software from a country where these patents are not even potent (they don't exist there)



  23. Links 20/2/2017: Linux 4.10, LineageOS Milestone

    Links for the day



  24. No, Doing Mathematical Operations on a Processor Does Not Make Algorithms Patent-Eligible

    Old and familiar tricks -- a method for tricking examiners into the idea that algorithms are actual machines -- are being peddled by Watchtroll again



  25. Paid-for UPC Proponent, IAM 'Magazine', Debunked on UPC Again

    The impact of the corrupted (by EPO money) media goes further than one might expect and even 'borrows' out-of-date news in order to promote the UPC



  26. Lack of Justice in and Around the EPO Drawing Scrutiny

    The status of the EPO as an entity above the law (in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and so on) is becoming the subject of press reports and staff is leaving in large numbers



  27. Links 19/2/2017: GParted 0.28.1, LibreOffice Donations Record

    Links for the day



  28. The EPO is Becoming an Embarrassment to Europe and a Growing Threat to the European Union

    The increasingly pathetic moves by Battistelli and the ever-declining image/status of the EPO (only 0% of polled stakeholders approve Battistelli's management) is causing damage to the reputation of the European Union, even if the EPO is not a European Union organ but an international one



  29. Patent Misconceptions Promoted by the Patent Meta-Industry

    Cherry-picking one's way into the perception of patent eligibility for software and the misguided belief that without patents there will be no innovation



  30. As the United States Shuts Its Door on Low-Quality Patents the Patent Trolls Move to Asia

    Disintegration of Intellectual Ventures (further shrinkage after losing software patents at CAFC), China's massive patent bubble, and Singapore's implicit invitation/facilitation of patent trolls (bubble economy)


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