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

08.09.08

Dangerous by Association

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Windows at 6:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bad company leads to conflicts of interests and liability. This is why Novell, for instance, cannot be trusted anymore. It lives in an untrusted neighbourhood with foreign goals. People’s innate tendency is to be forgiving and let time heal the wounds, yet the business objectives of a company do not necessarily have this notion of mercy and apologism.

Some recent posts [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] have demonstrated why Microsoft must not be dealt with as though it has changed its way. The same goes for Novell. It is rather unfortunate that only a week ago, Microsoft needed to tell its investors how it really feels about Free software.Thist was revealing. It’s funny that companies like IBM and SAP do not share that sentiment. They can live alongside GNU/Linux (they even use it extensively) and it does not usually harm their cash cows.

For Microsoft to state that open source is a risk to their business is perfectly valid. Heck, as an investor, I’d be weary if Microsoft’s MD&A section didn’t say anything about open source as a risk. It’s perfectly valid for Michael to suggest that Microsoft should include a discussion on how they intend to leverage open source.

“Leverage” is the right word.

Free Software Magazine has just concurred with previous analyses of the Apache/Microsoft situation. Unlike the press, which is sometimes just a corporate tool, the writer addresses the real issues at hand.

That recognition perhaps brings us to the kernel (no pun intended) of Microsoft’s motives. It has a vested interest in improving interoperability between PHP and Windows as this would help it reduce the drift of PHP to GNU/Linux platforms. Coughing up $100,000 would be a minuscule price to pay for stopping that drift but it is also an admission than Apache has beaten Microsoft’s IIS (Internet Information Services). Or perhaps it will only be a Pyrrhic victory of sorts. Microsoft are now free to take Apache source code and proceed to amend, tweak or customise it to the point of what Bruce Perens has called “engineered incompatibility” At that point Microsoft could repeat the successful disaster of bundling Internet Explorer with Windows, only this time it would be Apache and with all the attendant broken web standards that tormented web developers—but this time on the server instead of the desktop.

Regarding this article, which opines that Microsoft may be “trying to kill Apache,” Pamela Jones wrote: “In my view, they are trying to kill Linux, so that everything runs on Windows instead, and some who are not Linux will help them.” This is true. It’s not FOSS projects that Microsoft tries to eliminate. It’s that thing at the bottom of the stack, which is incompatible — (by Microsoft’s own design and choice — with Microsoft’s crown jewels at its middle and top layers.

“Microsoft will try to use Apache to its own advantage.”The monopoly worries a lot more about feeding its cash cows by ensuring that FOSS is tightly dependent on pricey proprietary software. As the patent deal with Novell demonstrates, it has a dual effect: It makes FOSS more expensive and scale of deployment dependent on payments to Microsoft (where would Google be without GNU?). This means that proprietary counterparts then seem more affordable and can compete more easily against FOSS, which also becomes a Microsoft revenue stream.

In the case above, it’s only natural to think about Zend. Microsoft will try to use Apache to its own advantage. It wants something in return for the financial help and that something is not just positive publicity, as in a stunt. Speaking of publicity stunts , this post about CompTIA has developed into quite a long conversations. It was mentioned here yesterday and I’ve since then posted some references to back my arguments. The blog’s moderator is not showing them yet. Is he blocking them because they disagree with his assessment? It’s definitely worth seeing the comments.

Another source of influence that boggles the mind may have some effect on GMOME. There are some valid reasons for concern or at least prudence when it comes to OpenLogic (in addition to H-P/Microsoft links) and its place in GNOME [1, 2]. Carla Schroder has just shared another cause for a brow to be raised.

The Pitfalls of Open Source Litigation ran a couple of days ago. It painted a picture of Open Source software as being a minefield of grumpy litigious geeks who want to cash in with fat lawsuits, and no clear guidance for how to stay out of trouble. Oddly, this all seemed to come from a most unlikely source, the director of the Gnome Foundation, Stormy Peters. Even unlikelier, it was from her talk at LinuxWorld, which hardly seems a good venue for spreading misinformation of any kind, let alone old moldy misinformation.

Peters comes from H-P, which believes in the sound bite which is “intellectual property” (as opposed to trademarks, copyrights and patents separately). She also sells services around these things. It would be a shame if GNOME’s leadership carried such messages. It’s almost as though it’s being taken over by its detractors. It’s an issue that we covered it before and last covered yesterday. Now comes this article about Microsoft employees occupying positions at Google.

Microsoft and Google battled over a noncompete clause in 2005, when Google hired Kai-Fu Lee, an expert in speech recognition technology, even though he had signed a noncompete agreement at Microsoft. Google unsuccessfully worked to move the case from Washington to California, in hopes that the noncompete clause would be ruled invalid. The case was eventually settled outside of court.

The California law has been in existence since 1872, forbidding “noncompete clauses” that restrict management employees’ options in their next job or business

There are quite a few people out there whose membership is dangerous by association, due to affiliation. We shalll continue keeping an eye on them in order to better comprehend ‘underground activity’. it’s typically more complex than it seems in the surface.

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 22/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1, Ubuntu MATE

    Links for the day



  2. Links 21/11/2014: Problems at Debian, Jolla Tablet

    Links for the day



  3. Links 18/11/2014: Linux 3.18 RC 5, New DigiKam

    Links for the day



  4. Special Report: Many Criminal Charges Against EPO Vice-President Željko Topić

    The abuses of Željko Topić, who has gained notoriety in his home country, are rapidly becoming public knowledge across all of Europe



  5. Links 16/11/2014: Xfdesktop 4.10.3, GNU Hello 2.10

    Links for the day



  6. Microsoft is Going Into the Anti-Whistleblowing Business, Dodges Criticism Over 19-Year Bug Door in Windows

    With Aorato acquisition Microsoft helps protect the criminals (from whistleblowers) and with lies about .NET Microsoft distracts from a bug that has facilitated remote access into Windows (by those in the know) for nearly two decades



  7. Reaffirming Microsoft's Long-Known Hostility Towards Net Neutrality, Microsoft Crashed Juniper

    Steve Ballmer is ranting against net neutrality and Juniper's business is in trouble after a lot of executives from Microsoft took over most top positions there



  8. Another Massive Step Towards Elimination of Software Patents as Even CAFC Rules Against Them

    After SCOTUS gets involved in the Ultramercial case, the CAFC finally decides to actually serve justice rather than dogma



  9. The GOP's Patent Reform Plan Not Effective Enough to Stop Massive Patent Trolls Like Microsoft/Nokia

    The corporations-serving GOP says that it wants a patent reform, but another reminder is needed of the futility of the suggested changes



  10. How the EPO's Executive Branch (Battistelli and Topić) Banned Scrutiny and Created Authoritarian Model of Control: Part X

    A look at highly dubious moves by EPO President Battistelli and his right-hand man Topić, whose abuses are becoming hard to oversee or even report



  11. Links 15/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1 Release Candidate, Popcorn Time 0.3.5

    Links for the day



  12. IRC Proceedings: October 26th, 2014 – November 8th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  13. The Terrible Joke Which is Microsoft 'Loving' Linux: Nightmares With UEFI 'Secure' Boot (i.e. Windows Monopoly Imposed) Continue to Affect GNU/Linux Users

    A reminder of Microsoft's sheer hostility towards GNU/Linux and long-reaching sabotage of GNU/Linux installations



  14. Patent Lawyers Worry About Section 101 in 'Alice' (and Other Patent News)

    A quick roundup of news of interest regarding software patents



  15. Will Write for FUD (Against FOSS)

    Black Duck rears its ugly head again, serving to show that it is in the business of changing perceptions and not in the information or analysis business



  16. Debunking Several Days of Never-Ending Lies About Microsoft and .NET

    .NET is not "Open Source", it cannot be forked (there remains patent threat), Visual Studio is still completely proprietary and it is expected to come to other platforms only because Windows has lost its dominance and Microsoft wants to perpetually control APIs (with software patents) and hence reign over developers



  17. Links 14/11/2014: LibreOffice 4.3.4, Ads Now in Firefox

    Links for the day



  18. Links 14/11/2014: GNOME 3.14.2, PulseAudio 6.0

    Links for the day



  19. Microsoft Windows is Still Designed as a Paradise of Back Doors, Intrusion, Wiretaps, and Interception

    At many levels -- from communication to storage and encryption -- Windows is designed for the very opposite of security



  20. Forget the FUD About Bash and OpenSSL, Microsoft Windows Blamed for Massive Credit Cards Heist

    Home Depot learns its lesson from a Microsoft Windows disaster, but it stays with proprietary software rather than move to software that is actively audited by many people and is inherently better maintained (Free/libre software)



  21. Windows 'Update' and NSA Back Doors, Including a 19-Year Bug Door in Microsoft Windows

    The back doors-enabled Microsoft Windows is being revealed and portrayed as the Swiss cheese that it really is after massive holes are discovered (mostly to be buried by a .NET propaganda blitz)



  22. Revealed: Microsoft is Trying to Corrupt the UK in Order to Eliminate Its OpenDocument Format-Oriented Standards Policy

    Microsoft interference with Britain's preference for ODF is now confirmed, thanks to a valuable news report from Computer Weekly; OOXML lock-in is being unleashed by Microsoft on Android users



  23. Links 13/11/2014: Ubuntu MATE 14.04.1 LTS, New KDE Plasma

    Links for the day



  24. .NET is NOT "Open Source", But Microsoft's Minions Shamelessly Openwash It Right Now

    The openwashing of .NET continues with yet another publicity stunt that is intended to lock in developers



  25. Links 11/11/2014: GNOME Trademark Dispute Settled, Mozilla Embraces Tor

    Links for the day



  26. Patent Reform Subversion After Republican (GOP) 'Win' in US Senate

    The Grand Corporations Party, or the political party which serves large businesses that are funding it, continues to just focus on a mirage of a 'reform' rather than tackle the real issues where culprits include very large businesses such as Microsoft and Apple



  27. Microsoft-Armed Patent Troll MOSAID (Now Conversant) Wants to Sweep up More Patents for Litigation

    Reports about patent trolls and scope of patents serve to show what the foes of Free software are up to right now



  28. When Courts in the US Attack the Right to Reuse APIs

    Challenging the clueless ruling from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the United States (very pro-software patents and anti-computer science), notable programmers write to the highest court



  29. Links 10/11/2014: 2015 GNU/Linux Forecasts, Debian Shakeup

    Links for the day



  30. Links 7/11/2014: War Thunder on GNU/Linux, KaOS ISO 2014.11

    Links for the day


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