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


Sharing a Bed at OSCON with “the Next SCO Group”

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents, SCO at 5:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Microsoft has had clear competitors in the past. It’s a good thing we have museums to document that.”

Bill Gates


lot of ambitious people turn soft at the sight of money. That’s just how Microsoft manages to infiltrate so many open source events and share its own (self-serving of course) point of view. The monopoly needs to build and defend the illusion that it’s just a friendly scorpion. While many inside Microsoft might believe this, the top management at Microsoft does not. it’s a publicity stunt, as proven several times in the past.

“It’s means of pressuring them to open up their gates to Gates.”Those who organise an open source event and refuse Microsoft’s attendance will most likely be called names. It’s means of pressuring them to open up their gates to Gates. Just watch Microsoft’s persistence with the OSA. A lot of this was dealt with before, so it needn’t really be repeated or elaborated on. OSCON was already mentioned yesterday. Also see our writings about OSBC 2008 [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and the issue of personal proximity.

At OSCON, Microsoft presence could not be ignored. In panels comprising only corporate players, Microsoft apparent role was irksome to some. Need it be mentioned that Microsoft paid OSCON (O’Reilly) for this? Mind our highlight in red.

Let’s rewind a bit. My Monday afternoon at OSCON 2008 was taken up by “Participate 08″, a Microsoft-sponsored discussion panel chaired by a whole panopoly of folks — including, yes, an open source liaison from Microsoft. The whole thing was neither a “corporate apologia” (as one wag put it from the audience) nor a pile-on where Microsoft got the worst of it. Their approach was only one of a diversity of perspectives, and sometimes not even the most eyebrow-raising.

Remember that Microsoft is also behind OSBC, which is about ‘commercialising’ “open source” — whatever that actually means. In the last OSBC event, Microsoft stole the show with a talk about software patents. That was Brad Smith and his keynote. It ruined the conference, which was sponsored (and apparently initiated) by Microsoft anyway. Shades of SourceForge (hijack, then instill fear and change principles).

Here is another interesting article.

The biggest sparks flew over the question of motivation — why individual developers choose to participate in open source. Several of the panelists mentioned pragmatic motivations such as self-education, career development, and desire to be associated with what is perceived as a successful and ethical movement. Since those motives apply to corporate participation, this line of discussion prompted audience member Bradley Kuhn of the Software Freedom Law Center to ask the panel whether the session was a cheerleading session for commercial open source.


Interestingly enough, the topic Lakhani predicted would elicit the most debate — intellectual property — provided well-balanced, reasoned discussion.

All panelists agreed that IP was important in open source software. As Randall pointed out, if the framework of software licensing created to serve the proprietary software industry did not exist, then the GPL would not exist either. O’Mahony added that many nonprofit entities use IP law to accumulate, integrate, and protect information that is vital for future development.

Urlocker described MySQL’s frustration with software patents, including waffling on behalf of hybrid proprietary/open source companies, and fear on the part of pure open source organizations that lacked the resources to wage a legal fight over software patents.

Wilbanks lamented use of the blanket term “intellectual property” to conflate copyright, patent, trademark, and trade secret law — concepts that have little to do with one another. Copyright law is incredibly powerful, written to serve publishers, and hinges on one fundamental: the right to sue someone else. Under these circumstances, he said, “we’re boned.” In the future, he hoped, open source can make better use of trademark concepts like branding — where the fundamental issue is the right to associate your work with something valuable. When the desire to claim association with a brand like “open source” is of bigger concern than the desire to sue, the conditions will be right for open source to thrive.

Lastly, see this blog post from a Sun/MySQL executive. He reminds us of how irrelevant Microsoft becomes to developers (Novell, Miguel de Icaza and their followers aside).

One skeptic remarked to me after the panel session that for Microsoft this is just a “photo op.” That is, it’s more about the appearances than anything else. I’m not sure whether that’s the case or not, but it’s still a question in many people’s minds. And as Brad Kuhn of the Software Freedom Law Center pointed out, many people still remember when Microsoft was trying to kill open source.

The irony of all this is that I think Microsoft is at risk of missing out on the next generation of developers. What’s in use at the hot startups these days? Hint: it’s not about VB, C# and .Net. Even startups by ex-Microsoft folks at companies like iLike are using the LAMP stack. I think for a lot of developers, Microsoft is less and less relevant. Which is a shame.

People deserve to know what Groklaw has to say about all of this Pamela Jones wrote: “I think it’s dangerous to let them anywhere near anything that matters until they pledge not to sue FOSS over patent infringement. All they are doing now is taking notes, I believe, and I am confident it will use what it learns against the community when it feels like it. And I wish everyone would get a bit smarter, so we at Groklaw and the legal contingent of the FOSS community don’t have to fix the mess you make. Yes. Seriously. I would suggest treating Microsoft as if they were already suing you personally. Because I believe they will.” She also believes that Microsoft is the next SCO.

At times like these, when Microsoft is quietly struggling, the worse one can do is throw Microsoft a bone. It’s prepared to bite. In order to understand the severity of the issue and of Microsoft’s fears, read this article from last night:

Top Microsoftie Jumps Ship


The loss of Johnson comes as a blow–he was widely considered to be in the running to one day succeed CEO Steve Ballmer.

In some people’s eyes, Microsoft has just lost its #2 man only weeks after Bill Gates had stepped down.

If some people out there still believe that Microsoft ‘understands’ (or groks) open source — let alone “open” — this one is a must-read for them.

Redefining Openness (with lawyers)

Ah, there we go! The surprise of the day really comes from -would you have guessed it?- Microsoft.


Now that’s an open standard of the open kind, open as in “open, but not open”; “open but actually quite closed” “open but get out of here”, open as in “open to the good old boys”, open as in “open to your money and to our profits”, open as in “open deception”. And of course, who thought OOXML could be that open? I’m sure the rest of my colleagues at the Afnor will be left in shock and awe when they learn the news. Everything they ever truly believed in , OOXML, was never thought in those terms. I can’t wait for XPS, guys, we’re going to have tons of fun, really. I am also waiting for Microsoft’s possible, albeit unlikely, explanation to this. I’m laughing so hard I’m about to roll on the floor.

Never forget what Microsoft once said about “openness”.

[More Open Than Open]: “I am constantly amazed at the flexibility of this single word.”

Jason Matusow, arrogant xenophobe from Microsoft (for some background see [1, 2])

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

What Else is New

  1. Links 12/10/2015: Linux 4.3 RC5, Parsix GNU/Linux 8.0 Reviewed

    Links for the day

  2. Microsoft Still Rigging and Gaming Statistics by Taking Over or Registering Dead/Inactive/Parked Domains by the Millions

    Microsoft continues to game Netcraft's figures and graphs by amassing effectively dead domains, making itself (and IIS/Windows) look a lot bigger when it fact Microsoft only perishes on the Web, having long ago lost the game to GNU/Linux with Free/libre software on top of it (notably a L.A.M.P. stack)

  3. Benoît Battistelli's Group of 'Loyals' Crushes Not Only the Independent Boards But Also 'Unwanted' Directorates-General

    Having 'infiltrated' most key positions at the EPO, Benoît Battistelli now ejects everything that remains potential threat to his unquestionable total domination

  4. Many New Losses for Software Patents in the US, Courtesy of Alice Case/§101

    The United States' supposed leadership in software patenting grinds to a halt as more software patents simply die in the courtrooms and patent lawyers try hard to overcome this new debacle of theirs, usually by misleading current and prospective clients

  5. Leaked: EPO Prioritises Work for Large Foreign Corporations, Discrimination Not Accidental But Centrally Planned

    Canon, Philips, Microsoft, Qualcomm, BASF, Bayer, Samsung, Huawei, Siemens, Ericsson and Fujitsu receive V.I.P. treatment from the EPO, despite most of them not even being European

  6. Links 11/10/2015: Kate/KDevelop Sprint, Blender 2.76

    Links for the day

  7. European Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda Says TPP Will Bring Software Patents to Europe and Other Continents/Countries

    The Wikileaks "TPP Leak," says Julia Reda, suggests that, based on the patentable subject matter section, signatories must add software patents

  8. Don't Look at Linux For Sexism, Look at Microsoft (Although Microsoft Hides the Newest Lawsuits)

    A look at the broader scale of discrimination against women and how widespread a phenomenon it is inside Microsoft, the arch rival of Linux

  9. Links 10/10/2015: IBM's Linux-based LC Family, KDE Frameworks 5.15

    Links for the day

  10. Benoît Battistelli's Office Accused of Institutional Harassment Against EPO Staff in New Letter to the Administrative Council, Calling for External Investigation

    A probe by an external and independent entity is sought with the aim of looking into systematic harassment against EPO employees who simply 'dare' to point out gross violations by their managers; staff protests at EPO headquarters in the Netherlands and Germany are scheduled

  11. Responses to Software Patents in India Though Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions

    India's famous skills, which revolve around software services and software development, are under attack by new laws which strive to grant foreign corporations de facto monopolies on software, even inside India

  12. Mobile Linux (e.g. Android) Still a Victim of Software Patents, No Peace in Sight

    A look at recent developments in the fight against mobile Linux (notably Android these days) and whoever is behind the patent attacks (not always as obvious as people are led to believe)

  13. Bad News for the EPO's Judicial Independence and Due Process in Next Week's Administrative Council (AC) Meeting

    A quick update about what's expected to happen next week when the Administrative Council holds a two-day meeting

  14. More Back Doors Found in Microsoft's Entrapments (Proprietary Software)

    Security flaws and even blatantly obvious loopholes for surveillance are identified in several of Microsoft's so-called 'products', which turn users (and their data) into the real product (to be sold to private companies or shared with spies)

  15. NASA Gives Back What It Took Away in the Form of Patent Monopolies for Private Gain

    Criticism of NASA's habit of clinging onto patents when it is actually the public which pays for everything

  16. The Coup D'état of Benoît Battistelli Follows an Imperialist Model, Threatens Opposition and Dissent

    SUEPO, the staff union, and boards that are independent from the EPO are both under attack and are constantly threatened by Benoît Battistelli and his goons

  17. Links 8/10/2015: Manjaro Linux Releases, Linksys WRT1900ACS, FOSS at NHS

    Links for the day

  18. Links 8/10/2015: KDE Plasma 5.4.2 Released, Linux Drama Queens

    Links for the day

  19. EPO Staff to Disrupt Administrative Council Meeting With Public Demonstration That Raises Awareness of Abuses

    The perception of collusion between the Administrative Council (AC) and the European Patent Office (EPO) leads to staff actions demanding investigation of illegal Board of Appeal (BoA) suspension/s (among many other things)

  20. OIN Turns 10, IDG Floods the Web With Puff Pieces That 'Normalise' Software Patents

    The Open Invention Network (OIN) commissions or helps produce puff pieces in the corporate media because it has an anniversary and corporate interests to push forth (including the idea that software patents can coexist with Linux)

  21. Hypocrite Forks the Linux Kernel Because of Cultural Characteristics That He Himself is Guilty of

    Forking of Linux is misleadingly reported in the media because of a couple of very loud people, who are not even quitting their jobs

  22. Željko Topić Attacks EPO Staff for 'Daring' to Legally Challenge the EPO's Management Over Its Gross Abuses in Europe

    Benoît Battistelli's right-hand man, Željko Topić, is under the false impression that yet more threats against staff of the EPO will help contain the crisis rather than further inflame it

  23. Media Reports Based on New Patents Suggest That Microsoft Continues to Attack Google and Android/Linux, Trying to Tax and Delete Android

    Reports and patent applications serve to show that Microsoft not only tries to infiltrate ("embrace") Android to put its apps there ("extend") but ultimately to delete ("extinguish") Android

  24. Commenters Provide Possible Explanations for Mr Van der Eijk Being on Unlimited Sick Leave

    Rumours are swirling around Wim Van der Eijk's absence, suggesting that he too may be a victim of Benoît Battistelli's iron fist

  25. Links 6/10/2015: Linux 4.3 RC4, HP OpenSwitch, Wind River Linux 8

    Links for the day

  26. With Software Patents in Europe (and Pushes for the Same Thing in Australia and India) Patent Trolls Now Come to Europe, Attack Android/Linux

    Worst-case scenarios are becoming a reality as Android backers officially attacked by patent trolls using standard-essential patents in London, England

  27. New Information on Limbo in the Enlarged Board, Courtesy of Illegal Actions by the EPO's Benoît Battistelli

    Battistelli's bullying of people whom he is not even allowed to bully turns out to have gone on for a lot longer than promised, and there is no sign of light at the end of this tunnel

  28. Microsoft Customers Complain About 'Inevitable' Vista 10 Because Microsoft Nearly Forces Botched 'Upgrades'

    In a desperate effort to spread Vista 10, sometimes even against people's will, Microsoft really upsets loyal customers, who are eventually eager to explore alternatives

  29. Dr. Ingve Björn Stjerna Explains Why the UPC (“Unitary Patent“ System) is an Undemocratic Sham Whilst UPC Silently Advanced by Patent Lawyers and Politicians

    European patent laws are being covertly overridden so as to allow broader scope of litigation, higher financial damages, speedy injunctions, and even software patents; the European public is intentionally kept in the dark about it, hence kept unable to express scepticism or issue truly effective objections

  30. IRC Proceedings: September 13th, 2015 – October 3rd, 2015

    Many IRC logs


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