07.26.08

Microsoft Pays for a More Microsoft-Obedient Apache

Posted in Finance, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 5:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Like Steve Ballmer explicitly said a year ago, they want all open source on top of Microsoft Windows

A very mixed announcement (positive plus negative) has just left many people baffled, but a discussion about this has already begun in the comments (we saw coming half a year ago). Some observers may think that Microsoft has suddenly become charity investing in its competitors. Well, Microsoft is a business — one with a history of ruthlessness and unimaginable levels of deception, one might add.

“Microsoft had gamed Netcraft figures using an agreement with GoDaddy (for parked domains).”Why do people think that Microsoft paid Apache?

What did people write about Apache's visit to Redmond (it’s the first phase of a pattern that includes XenSource and Patrick Durusau)? It was intended to optimise the software for Windows, at GNU/Linux’ expense. They have already done the same thing with Zend, for PHP which is another important ingredient of the LAMP stack (Sun did this too with MySQL, but it’s a lot less Linux-hostile).

Here is a very superficial and shallow coverage (merely observation or parroting):

Microsoft on Friday expanded its support for the open-source community by giving money to the Apache Software Foundation, the first time it has given money to the long-standing open-source project.

What’s the condition? What are the terms?

The only insightful coverage of this came from Bruce Perens. He previously saw how Microsoft had gamed Netcraft figures using an agreement with GoDaddy (for parked domains). It was an anti-Apache move and conversations suggest that it was not an isolated incident. Here is Perens’ interpretation of this latest deal.

It all sounds good. But Apache is no threat to Microsoft, their projects run on Microsoft systems and their license doesn’t prevent “embrace and enhance”. Linux, GNU, OpenOffice, those are more of a threat. This is, obviously, a strategic move by Microsoft. I’m trying to convince myself that we didn’t “get owned”.

Groklaw has some short coverage as well.

And Sam Ramji has announced also that Microsoft has become a sponsor of the Apache Foundation. And they took the money.

There will surely be a lot more analysis of this shortly. Watch the sellouts trail: XenSource, Zend, Novell, Sourceforge, Linspire, Xandros, Samsung, Turbolinux…

Novell, for instance, was paid a lot of money by Microsoft to turn Linux into Microsoft’s slave in the datacentre (VM host versus guest). It was also paid a lot of money to support OOXML and ram it up some FOSS projects. Apache was similarly victimised [1, 2] at the 90th minute. Microsoft paid Apache for bragging rights.

The convicted monopolist tries to buy its competition, or at least buy out parts of it to fight the very core of its competitors, rinsing off the GNU GPL.

“The Internet? We are not interested in it.”

Bill Gates, 1993

“I once preached peaceful coexistence with Windows. You may laugh at my expense — I deserve it.”

Be’s CEO Jean-Louis Gassée

ASUS: “Currently, We’re Closely Tied up With Microsoft”

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OLPC, Windows at 4:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Did the Linux-based Eee PC really sell out? Or did ASUS?

Some time ago people wondered why Asus had sort of phased out its GNU/Linux version of the Eee PC, at least in some specific places and new models. Here’s a drop-in hint:

TechTree: States like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka promote the Linux operating system in its education and government sectors. Will ASUS roll out Linux alternatives for the new 904HD and 1000H models in India?

Benson Lin [for ASUS]: Currently, we’re closely tied up with Microsoft and the EEE PC with Windows XP would be available to the Indian market. However, the Linux alternative would be a possibility based on specific grounds.

Recall that Microsoft very specifically chose to fight low-cost laptops running GNU/Linux. What exactly is going on in the boardroom of ASUS these days? The Foxconn story comes to mind (last updated hours ago). What might happen to SplashTop now that ASUS is “closely tied up with Microsoft”? Remember Corel and GNU/Linux? Remember OLPC and what Intel and Microsoft did to it? It’s always cheaper to sabotage the competition than it is to compete fairly. But will the world be told the true story?

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