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

06.23.08

Does Microsoft Start Abusing the Word “Free”?

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, GPL, Marketing, Microsoft, Steve Ballmer at 7:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft: From “People-ready” to “Free the People”

“There’s free software and then there’s open source… there is this thing called the GPL, which we disagree with.”

Bill Gates, April 2008

Some time ago we warned that Microsoft was been stealing “Open Source” [1, 2] at least in the sense that, as time goes by, it redefines and ‘dilutes’ it. Using the term out of context or out of place is a very convenient imposition that sets precedence.

The quote at the top gives you an idea of what Microsoft possibly — just possibly — has in store. More information about it you can find here:

The actual news that we approach comes from Mary Jo Foley. Remember that Microsoft is all about marketing (even AstroTrufing) and now comes this preview of things to come.

Microsoft earmarks another $200 million for Windows advertising

[...]

Fortune explains Microsoft’s image makeover plan, codenamed “FTP168 (with FTP being “Free the People”)…

Microsoft? Freeing the people? Need people be reminded of the hugely-DRM-’enabled’ Windows Vista, WGA, software lock-ins, forced upgrades and other type of menaces?

It’s too early to tell much beyond this, but there might be an obnoxious marketing push on its way — one that will further confuse those who hear about “Open Source” and “Free software”.

Some days ago we complained about the marketing-class ‘articles’ and inaccurate coverage from the BBC. It was all about Gates and Microsoft [1, 2]. Our criticism of Gates glorification is far from unique. Here is what Sam Varghese has just published:

The BBC, Gates and revisionism

[...]

What was appalling about the programme was the lack of any apparent preparation on the part of the interviewer, Fiona Bruce. Gates was able to paint a wonderful revisionist picture of the past and Ballmer actually got away with describing Microsoft as an ethical company.

It is fitting that the BBC decided to feature Gates on its Money programme and not on its Technology programme; after all, Microsoft is first and foremost a marketing company. Technology comes a distant second.

Speaking of marketing, David Kirkpatrick, who is personally close to Microsoft, seems to be doing yet another Microsoft-sympathetic piece over at Fortune.

“Steve Ballmer was sobbing. He repeatedly tried to speak and couldn’t get the words out. Minutes passed as he tried to regain his composure. But the audience of 130 of Microsoft’s senior leaders waited patiently, many of them crying too,” David Kirkpatrick reports for Fortune.

Make no mistake. Yes, they were crying because leaders of the company essentially abandon the ship (even a director left last week), but the article is a portrayal of a humane Microsoft — one you can feel bad for.

In another Wall Street-type publication, the Financial Times, Steve Ballmer has just implicitly acknowledged that Microsoft cannot compete with Free (libre) software in terms of cost and maybe even quality. Watch what he said. (highlight in red is ours)

I’ve got to tell you, in every – other than the battle with Open Source, every other competitor, I love being able to come into a room and saying we’re better and we’re cheaper. We’re going to try to say we’re better and we’re cheaper basically. I don’t think this is sort of the end of the story by any stretch of the imagination, but I think it tells you we’re going to do things a little differently.

More memorable words came from CNET back in February. They will fight GNU/Linux at all costs.

“[If I ask you who is Microsoft's biggest competitor now, who would it be?] Open…Linux. I don’t want to say open source. Linux, certainly have to go with that.”

Steve Ballmer (CNET Interview)

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

4 Comments

  1. LinuxJedi said,

    June 23, 2008 at 8:14 am

    Gravatar

    I would argue that Microsoft is primarily a marketing company, secondly a law firm and actual technology comes a distance third.

    BBC and Microsoft’s love affair doesn’t surprise me after the disaster of iPlayer. I’ve been really disappointed with the BBC’s technological ethics over the last few years considering their roots.

  2. PitaGuy said,

    June 23, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Gravatar

    If BBC sells out to MS so easily, it must also have sold out to other companies similarly. In my eyes BBC has lost all credibility.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 23, 2008 at 8:40 am

    Gravatar

    @LinuxJedi:

    I would argue that Microsoft is primarily a marketing company, secondly a law firm and actual technology comes a distance third.

    Asked about these problems, Arno Edelmann, Microsoft’s European business security product manager, told ZDNet UK on Thursday that the code itself has pieces missing. “Usually Microsoft doesn’t develop products, we buy products…”

    From http://news.zdnet.co.uk/security/0,1000000189,39286351,00.htm

    @PitaGuy:

    If BBC sells out to MS so easily, it must also have sold out to other companies similarly.

    They have a Siemens scandal as well.

    http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2007/06/29/pac_bbc_siemens/

    It does not look rosy for the BBC in general. There’s a fund cut on its way and layoffs also (massive axing last year).

  4. Anonymous Coward said,

    June 23, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Gravatar

    It’s a pile of suits at the bbc. The developers all want to kill these people. No one takes them seriously. Ashley Highfield was very good at dooming projects by taking an interest in them.

What Else is New


  1. Links 24/1/2015: Zenwalk Linux Reviewed, Netrunner 14.1 Released

    Links for the day



  2. The Latest 'Microsoft is Open Source' Propaganda a Parade of Lies

    Microsoft myth makers continue their assault on what is objectively true and try to tell the public that Microsoft is a friend of "Open Source"



  3. Apple -- Like Microsoft -- Not Interested in the Security of Its Operating Systems

    Apple neglected to patch known security flaws in Mac OS X for no less than three months and only did something about that vector of intrusion when the public found out about it



  4. As Battistelli Breaks the Rules and Topić Silences Staff, New European Parliament Petition for Tackling the EPO's Abuses is Needed

    The neglected (by EPO) Article 4a of the European Patent Convention (EPC) and the European Parliament petition/complaint against the EPO's crooked management



  5. Links 23/1/2015: Red Hat on IBM Power, Meizu Leaks With Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  6. Links 23/1/2015: Plasma 5.2, Manjaro 0.9-pre1

    Links for the day



  7. Microsoft is Dying Due to Free Software, Tries to Infect GNU/Linux With .NET and to Infect Moodle in Schools With Microsoft Office and OOXML Lock-in

    'Free' drugs (a proprietary software analogy) the new strategy of Microsoft in its latest battle against Free software, especially in schools where choice is a rarity (if not an impossibility), with the premeditated intention of forming dependency/addiction among young people



  8. Microsoft Symptoms of a Dying Company: More Boosters Depart, Back Doors Revealed, Microsoft's Outlook Cracked

    Bad news for Microsoft shortly before the marketing extravaganza served to cover much of it up



  9. The Collapse of European Patent Office Management Culminates With Resignations

    No blood is spilled, but even the management of the EPO is falling apart as the Director of Internal Communication is said to have just resigned



  10. New LCA Talk: Open Invention Network's Deb Nicholson on Software Patents and Patent Trolls

    Deb Nicholson's LCA talk is now publicly accessible



  11. Links 22/1/2015: GNU/Linux Sysadmin Opportunities, TraceFS Introduced

    Links for the day



  12. Links 21/1/2015: Andrew Tridgell, Torvalds Being Baited

    Links for the day



  13. Vesna Stilin Renews Her Fight for Justice in Željko Topić Case (EPO VP)

    Željko Topić's abuses continue to cloud the legitimacy of the European Patent Office, in which he is a Vice-President



  14. Failure of the EPO Can Derail the Trojan Horse of Software Patents and Patent Trolls

    Dazzled by his endless pursuit of infinite money and power, Battistelli pushes for expansion of patent scope (geographically too), but he won't have it without a challenge



  15. Links 20/1/2015: Linux 3.19 RC5, 30 Years of FSF

    Links for the day



  16. Translations of Member of the European Parliament Complaining About European Patent Office (EPO)

    French, German, Dutch, and English translations of the article from Dennis De Jong



  17. Microsoft, the Back Doors Company, is Gradually Dying and Trying to Embrace the Competition

    The world is leaving Microsoft's common carrier (Windows) behind, so Microsoft, which is shrinking, tries to conquer Free software and GNU/Linux



  18. Battistelli's Latest Propaganda War Tries to Convince EPO Staff That Željko Topić's Many Criminal Charges Don't Exist

    Battistelli's right-hand man, Željko Topić, is now facing real danger of prosecution and possibly arrest in his home country, so Battistelli rushes to defend this thug's reputation



  19. Links 18/1/2015: Sailfish OS RoadMap, ownCloud Turns 5

    Links for the day



  20. Strategy of Litigation With Patents Has Collapsed Since SCOTUS Ruling in Alice v. CLS Bank

    The latest figures from Lex Machina show a massive decrease (-18%) in patent litigation last month; lawyers look for ways to spin the data in their favour



  21. Patent Lawyers Can't Help Rewriting Alice v. CLS Bank History

    The league of patent lawyers -- people who profit at the expense of software producers -- keeps brainwashing the public about the patentability of software (both the rationale and the potential)



  22. Myths and Hype About Patents

    Distortion of history and fabricated reports about patents in the corporate media leave many people confused and ultimately unable to make rational judgment



  23. Large Corporations, Including Microsoft Allies, Call for Abolition of Software Patents

    The calls for ending all patents on software are getting louder and patents as a whole are de-emphasised as a business strategy



  24. Links 17/1/2015: Lennart Poettering in Headlines, Mageia 5 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  25. Links 16/1/2015: Chapeau 21, Tails 1.2.3

    Links for the day



  26. Links 15/1/2015: KDE Releases, Ubuntu Phone Delays

    Links for the day



  27. Links 15/1/2015: KDE Plasma 5.2 Beta, Elive 2.5.2 Beta

    Links for the day



  28. Google Has Eliminated Microsoft's Dominance in Operating Systems, Microsoft Resorts to Propaganda, Child Exploitation, and EEE

    As Linux becomes the dominant kernel at Windows' expense Microsoft pulls old tricks including media manipulation, AstroTurfing, co-opting schools (making Windows obligatory for future generations), and EEE (embrace, extend, and extinguish)



  29. Microsoft -- Like David Cameron -- Attacking the Computer Security Industry

    Microsoft's latest moves that help expose its real policy when it comes to computer security and people's privacy



  30. Working to End Oracle's and CAFC's Inane War on Interface Reuse

    The US Supreme Court may soon start dealing with a legal assault on Android and in the process hopefully end the notion of copyright on APIs


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