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

08.02.08

The Curse of Money (or “Why Microsoft is Everywhere”)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Patents, Servers, Windows at 4:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Putting principles before one’s wallet

In previous posts about Apache, we corroborated with several independent sources that the Apache/Microsoft arrangement is likely to end up an anti-GNU/Linux arrangement [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Apache’s coordinators (lead) will deny this, as they already have, but it’s not something which Apache is to blame for; it’s something Microsoft will probably achieve through maneuvering, in due time. Besides, people love to justify personal choices, so admission of regret is unlikely to ever come.

After various posts and open discussions, Bruce Perens has unleashed an article that you can find here. (warning: many Microsoft advertisements)

IE is derived from Mosaic, the original Web browser, open source with a license similar to Apache’s. So, this isn’t a new strategy. The plan, then, could be to have Microsoft servers vie for dominance with their own – Microsoft specialized – versions of Apache applications. Or it could be that Microsoft sees itself replacing Linux in the market as a hosting platform for open source….

So, this $100,000 contribution and the partial patent grant aren’t about interoperability. It’s for publicity, and to convince government regulators, not the most technical people in the world, that Microsoft has joined open source and is now a well-behaved company, no anti-trust issues at all. The bad part for open source is that Microsoft is increasingly in a position to speak to European legislators as an insider in the open source community while requesting increases in software patenting that would block open source.

Fortunately, to increase awareness, Slashdot has just put this up in its front page. Pamela Jones added: “Since Steve Ballmer has said that is what Microsoft wants, for “all Open Source innovation [to] happen on top of Windows”, subject to paying for patent licenses, I’d say that’s a safe guess as to at least one motivation [for the Apache sponsorship].”

Principles of open source developers must sooner or later defeat Microsoft’s attempt to have them ‘sell out’. It’s easy to pay for one’s soul. I personally promised to publish a review of KDE 4.1, but given that the publication (same as above) opened a flood of Microsoft advertisements a few weeks aso, I decided to halt it all. I am not willing to publish material that will just serve as substance for Microsoft to ‘decorate’ using ~1/3-page ads that attack or rival Free software. FOSS-targeted publishers too are selling out.

The Open-Source Convention in Tel Aviv has already been ruined (and reigned) by Microsoft:

Yes, you read that right: Microsoft was a major sponsor of the conference, and its logo appeared prominently on the conference program, as well as on the T-shirts that were distributed to each attendee. There was even a very well-attended session at which a Microsoft manager (Amir Shevat) tried to convince the crowd that the war is over, and that it’s worth trying to find ways in which Microsoft and the open-source community can work together.

But remember what they tell: Microsoft’s heart is in open source.

“Open source is an intellectual-property destroyer [...] I can’t imagine something that could be worse than this for the software business and the intellectual-property business. I’m an American; I believe in the American way, I worry if the government encourages open source, and I don’t think we’ve done enough education of policymakers to understand the threat.”

Jim Allchin, Microsoft

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. Agent Smith said,

    August 2, 2008 at 9:37 am

    Gravatar

    Well, as i see this matter today, M$ is only giving a rope(and not HOPE) to the foss community and making every arrangement to make sure foss community will hang themselves. Good and merciful Jesus… Watch over us… And The FOSS community as well… We now need you as never before…

  2. DOUGman said,

    August 2, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Gravatar

    Hmmmmmm… again instead of Innovating, MS again to decides to buy their way, to gain what they want…. CONTROL.

    I think in this instance, the saying “The frog dropped into boiling water has sense to leap out, but the frog dropped into cold water can be cooked to death before he realizes he is in serious trouble” may apply.

    FOSS developers should always just MS to go take a hike and get lost..PERIOD. I am sure they are more then capable of developing on top of a Windows platform as they have done in the past. I hate to see Apache be taken down.

    D.

  3. Agent Smith said,

    August 2, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Gravatar

    Well, M$ is that kind of woman who can’t keep healthy relationships (Marilyn Monroe’s name comes to my head) and the fact is: whether they(M$) betray their partners, or worse, they break them down. Let’s see how long this honeymoon between Apache and M$ will last. And, mainly, how Apache will emerge from this “marriage” …

  4. John Wilson said,

    August 3, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    Gravatar

    It’s a bit sad when we turn on each other over things like this. M$ doesn’t need to buy in as long as this keeps up all they need to do it point it out to prospective customers.

    That said. The secret has long been out about Microsoft’s MO so if Apache took the coin without taking all of that into account then they’re fools. I submit that they aren’t fools.

    It’s funny that I see various levels of angst in the FOSS world over this, and $100,000 doesn’t buy much of anything these days remember, while at the same time the more “mainstream” and usually Windows friendly blogs mutter darkly about the end of IIS.

    Perens is correct in saying that this is a PR play to convince people like the EU that they can and do play nice. The EU’s competition folks aren’t likely to be impressed, they’ve seen too much of this before so it’s kinda wasted money that way.

    As for developing all open source on Windows does anyone seriously think a rational developer will build on Vista?!

    Then again, and most importantly we in the FOSS communities say we believe in freedom, the freedom to share and to give back. In fact the GPL mandates it. In many ways so does the GPL compatible Apache license.

    If the Four Freedoms mean anything at all they also mean that MS is welcome to play on our terms not theirs, as it IBM, Oracle and so on who already do.

    These sorts of moves seem to be more desperation on the part of M$ than much else.

    Of course it would have been a lot cheaper for MS to buy tickets to the Penguin confab in Tel-Aviv than to pay to help sponsor the event so they could get abused that way. (Which the report, Roy cites, goes on to say is exactly what happened.)

    There isn’t a tech organization this side of Neptune that trusts Microsoft anymore whether their proprietary closed source companies or FOSS projects.

    When you shake hands with M$ you always could your fingers after to make sure you still have all 10 of them.

    Of course, you do the same thing when you shake hands with a politician as well.

    ttfn

    John

What Else is New


  1. Links 19/2/2018: Linux 4.16 RC2, Nintendo Switch Now Full-fledged GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  2. PTAB Continues to Invalidate a Lot of Software Patents and to Stop Patent Examiners From Issuing Them

    Erasure of software patents by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) carries on unabated in spite of attempts to cause controversy and disdain towards PTAB



  3. The Patent 'Industry' Likes to Mention Berkheimer and Aatrix to Give the Mere Impression of Section 101/Alice Weakness

    Contrary to what patent maximalists keep saying about Berkheimer and Aatrix (two decisions of the Federal Circuit from earlier this month, both dealing with Alice-type challenges), neither actually changed anything in any substantial way



  4. Makan Delrahim is Wrong; Patents Are a Major Antitrust Problem, Sometimes Disguised Using Trolls Somewhere Like the Eastern District of Texas

    Debates and open disagreements over the stance of the lobbyist who is the current United States Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division



  5. Patent Trolls Watch: Microsoft-Connected Intellectual Ventures, Finjan, and Rumour of Technicolor-InterDigital Buyout

    Connections between various patent trolls and some patent troll statistics which have been circulated lately



  6. Software Patents Trickle in After § 101/Alice, But Courts Would Not Honour Them Anyway

    The dawn of § 101/Alice, which in principle eliminates almost every software patent, means that applicants find themselves having to utilise loopholes to fool examiners, but that's unlikely to impress judges (if they ever come to assessing these patents)



  7. In Aatrix v Green Shades the Court is Not Tolerating Software Patents But Merely Inquires/Wonders Whether the Patents at Hand Are Abstract

    Aatrix alleges patent infringement by Green Shades, but whether the patents at hand are abstract or not remains to be seen; this is not what patent maximalists claim it to be ("A Valentine for Software Patent Owners" or "valentine for patentee")



  8. An Indoctrinated Minority is Maintaining the Illusion That Patent Policy is to Blame for All or Most Problems of the United States

    The zealots who want to patent everything under the Sun and sue everyone under the Sun blame nations in the east (where the Sun rises) for all their misfortunes; this has reached somewhat ludicrous levels



  9. Berkheimer Decision is Still Being Spun by the Anti-Section 101/Alice Lobby

    12 days after Berkheimer v HP Inc. the patent maximalists continue to paint this decision as a game changer with regards to patent scope; the reality, however, is that this decision will soon be forgotten about and will have no substantial effect on either PTAB or Alice (because it's about neither of these)



  10. Academic Patent Immunity is Laughable and Academics Are Influenced by Corporate Money (for Steering Patent Agenda)

    Universities appear to have become battlegrounds in the war between practicing entities and a bunch of parasites who make a living out of litigation and patent bubbles



  11. UPC Optimism Languishes Even Among Paid UPC Propagandists Such as IAM

    Even voices which are attempting to give UPC momentum that it clearly lacks admit that things aren't looking well; the UK is not ratifying and Germany make take years to look into constitutional barriers



  12. Bejin Bieneman Props Up the Disgraced Randall Rader for Litigation Agenda

    Randall Rader keeps hanging out with the litigation 'industry' -- the very same 'industry' which he served in a closeted fashion when he was Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit (and vocal proponent of software patents, patent trolls and so on)



  13. With Stambler v Mastercard, Patent Maximalists Are Hoping to Prop Up Software Patents and Damage PTAB

    The patent 'industry' is hoping to persuade the highest US court to weaken the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), for PTAB is making patent lawsuits a lot harder and raises the threshold for patent eligibility



  14. Apple Discovers That Its Patent Disputes Are a Losing Battle Which Only Lawyers Win (Profit From)

    By pouring a lot of money and energy into the 'litigation card' Apple lost focus and it's also losing some key cases, as its patents are simply not strong enough



  15. The Patent Microcosm Takes Berkheimer v HP Out of Context to Pretend PTAB Disregards Fact-Finding Process

    In view or in light of a recent decision (excerpt above), patent maximalists who are afraid of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) try to paint it as inherently unjust and uncaring for facts



  16. Microsoft Has Left RPX, But RPX Now Pays a Microsoft Patent Troll, Intellectual Ventures

    The patent/litigation arms race keeps getting a little more complicated, as the 'arms' are being passed around to new and old entities that do nothing but shake-downs



  17. UPC Has Done Nothing for Europe Except Destruction of the EPO and Imminent Layoffs Due to Lack of Applications and Lowered Value of European Patents

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is merely a distant dream or a fantasy for litigators; to everyone else the UPC lobby has done nothing but damage, including potentially irreparable damage to the European Patent Office, which is declining very sharply



  18. Links 17/2/2018: Mesa 17.3.4, Wine 3.2, Go 1.10

    Links for the day



  19. Patent Trolls Are Thwarted by Judges, But Patent Lawyers View Them as a 'Business' Opportunity

    Patent lawyers are salivating over the idea that trolls may be coming to their state/s; owing to courts and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) other trolls' software patents get invalidated



  20. Microsoft's Patent Moves: Dominion Harbor, Intellectual Ventures, Intellectual Discovery, NEC and Uber

    A look at some of the latest moves and twists, as patents change hands and there are still signs of Microsoft's 'hidden hand'



  21. Links 15/2/2018: GNOME 3.28 Beta, Rust 1.24

    Links for the day



  22. Bavarian State Parliament Has Upcoming Debate About Issues Which Can Thwart UPC for Good

    An upcoming debate about Battistelli's attacks on the EPO Boards of Appeal will open an old can of worms, which serves to show why UPC is a non-starter



  23. The EPO is Being Destroyed and There's Nothing Left to Replace It Except National Patent Offices

    It looks like Battistelli is setting up the European Patent Office (EPO) for mass layoffs; in fact, it looks as though he is so certain that the UPC will materialise that he obsesses over "validation" for mass litigation worldwide, departing from a "model office" that used to lead the world in terms of patent quality and workers' welfare/conditions



  24. IBM is Getting Desperate and Now Suing Microsoft Over Lost Staff, Not Just Suing Everyone Using Patents

    IBM's policy when it comes to patents, not to mention its alignment with patent extremists, gives room for thought if not deep concern; the company rapidly becomes more and more like a troll



  25. In Microsoft's Lawsuit Against Corel the Only Winner is the Lawyers

    The outcome of the old Microsoft v Corel lawsuit reaffirms a trend; companies with deep pockets harass their competitors, knowing that the legal bills are more cumbersome to the defendants; there's a similar example today in Cisco v Arista Networks



  26. The Latest Lies About Unitary Patent (UPC) and the EPO

    Lobbying defies facts; we are once again seeing some easily-debunked talking points from those who stand to benefit from the UPC and mass litigation



  27. Speech Deficit and No Freedom of Association at the EPO

    True information cannot be disseminated at the EPO and justice too is beyond elusive; this poses a threat to the EPO's future, not only to its already-damaged reputation



  28. No, Britain is Not Ratifying 'Unitary' Anything, But Team UPC Insinuates It Will (Desperate Effort to Affect Tomorrow's Outcome)

    Contrary to several misleading headlines from Bristows (in its blog and others'), the UPC isn't happening and isn't coming to the UK; it all amounts to lobbying (by setting false expectations)



  29. The EPO's Paid Promotion of Software Patents Gets Patent Maximalists All Excited and Emboldened

    The software patents advocacy from Battistelli (and his cohorts) isn't just a spit in the face of European Parliament but also the EPC; but patent scope seems to no longer exist or matter under his watch, as all he cares about is granting as many patents as possible, irrespective of real quality/legitimacy/merit



  30. Andrei Iancu Begins His USPTO Career While Former USPTO Director (and Now Paid Lobbyist) Keeps Meddling in Office Affairs

    The USPTO, which is supposed to be a government branch (loosely speaking) is being lobbied by former officials, who are now being paid by private corporations to help influence and shape policies; this damages the image of the Office and harms its independence from corporate influence


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