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08.25.08

Eye on Microsoft: Portugal Visit, Regrets, and Vista Lies

Posted in Deception, Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista, Windows at 6:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A Bully Comes to Town

Microsoft has been playing some wicked games in Portugal recently. Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer, will soon pay a visit (English translation). It might be better than that trip to Hungary, but the agenda is not exactly known. Notice in the article that they attach a photo of Ballmer with Novell logos in the background. Is that prophetic or what?

Bad Take

Amid greater financial stress, Microsoft seems to regret some spendings.

It seems that Microsoft has been struck with a slight case of buyer’s remorse. The Redmond-based corporation took control of Avenue A/Razorfish about one year ago as part of the aQuantive acquisition, and reports indicate it’s now trying to trade the ad agency to WPP.

This company which Microsoft bought is actually based on GNU/Linux and Free software. There is some more information here.

Almost six months after the companies started talking, WPP and Microsoft have reopened talks that could have the software company unloading Avenue A/Razorfish. But the question is whether Microsoft could ever get anyone to buy the digital ad agency for the price at which it needs to sell it.

Vista

The failure of Windows Vista is evident and even Microsoft’s Windows chief had lost hope in Windows [PDF] and later retired. The following new article seems to call it a “Comedy of Errors.” Blame the latest publicity stunt which symbolises desperation.

Microsoft’s hiring of Jerry Seinfeld as a Windows Vista pitchman had the Linux community in stitches last week.

This could be even less effective than the Mojave/Vista lies, which according to Jim Zemlin, could soon open a Pandora’s box.

Swedish Television Rumored to Expose Microsoft’s Mojave Campaign.

[...]

There is a dark side to this type of advertising and it took a bold Swedish television station to expose this genre of ads for what they really are; a series of carefully edited clips that only show the most positive reactions. This video reveals the truth around this form promotion.

Perhaps Microsoft should cancel their contract with Jerry Seinfeld and instead bring back “Madge.” I think lot users who are exposed to Vista would be not be surprised to hear the words, “you are soaking in it.”

When all else fails, there’s always manipulation and FUD at hand. Here’s a timely reminder:

Expect Microsoft to ally even more closely with the RIAA and MPAA in making yet another try at hardware-based DRM restrictions — and legislation making them mandatory. The rationale will be to stop piracy and spam, but the real goal will be customer control and a lockout of all unauthorized software. Two previous attempts at this have failed, but the logic of Microsoft’s situation is such that they must keep trying.

I also expect a serious effort, backed by several billion dollars in bribe money (oops, excuse me, campaign contributions), to get open-source software outlawed on some kind of theory that it aids terrorists. We can only defeat that by making sure that national governments become so attached to open-source code that their military men and bureaucrats will short-stop the bribed legislators, rather than let their vital infrastructure be outlawed.

For those who are wondering, “Microsoft-critical” posts such as this one are simply a response to requests from readers.

Watch Out, OASIS

Posted in IBM, ISO, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 6:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The disparity of rules for PAS, Fast-Track and ISO committee generated standards is fast making ISO a laughing stock in IT circles.”

Martin Bryan, Former Convenor of OOXML WG1

It might seem as though Microsoft could ruin soon OASIS just as it ruined ISO with ECMA. Even the IEEE and a certain situation irked some observers after it had gotten closer to ISO. OASIS, being one that thrives in openness and transparency, needs none of Microsoft, yet according to this, Microsoft might want to treat it like it already (mis)treats ODF. It gives away money. Has the world forgotten how viciously Microsoft attacked ODF [1, 2] and at a later stage slammed OASIS as well, especially through its ‘talking heads’?

GNOME trashRegarding this latest development, Pamela Jones at Groklaw wrote: “I gather OASIS has no sense of irony. It’s a Security Challenges for the Information Society conference, September 30 through October 3 in New London: “The Forum will provide a unique opportunity for the security standards community (public sector, private sector and standards developing organizations) to come together to discuss current issues and challenges, strategic approaches, recent successes, and future outlooks.” Microsoft is a Gold sponsor, and DTrace is Platinum, which is a higher category, but the OASIS newsletter titles the item, “Microsoft sponsors upcoming OASIS Security Forum near London”. And so it begins, I fear.”

Does Microsoft suddenly think that OASIS is not all that bad? Is this just presence? Does it want to make it worse, so as to make it “equally ruined” w.r.t. ISO? Speaking of ‘talking heads, Patrick Durusau can’t help unleashing some outrageous letters. A new rebuttal:

Unlike editors as Durusau Microsoft standardisation participants are loyal drones of their company’s standard they edit. SC34 won’t be able to do anything which is not approved or developed in the United States. External input would be ignored unless there is a leverage. We saw it during the process. “Vendor capture” as we call it. The whole situation makes a joke out of international standardisation institutions. ISO should be as concerned as industry veterans are.

So why surrender to perpetrators because Durusau finds it more cozy? I have to admit, that is the wrong question. The true evil ISO perpetrator is IBM, a company behind everything…

ODF is not IBM. Far from it. So, what are these letters about anyway [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]?

“That particular meeting was followed by an anonymous smear campaign against one of the TC members. A letter was faxed to the organization of the TC member in question, accusing the TC member in question of helping politicize the issue (which is, of course, untrue). I too had the dubious pleasure of hearing first hand how Microsoft attempted to remove me from the TC (they did not succeed, thanks to integrity and cojones of the organization I am affiliated with).”

“If this unethical behaviour by Microsoft was not sufficiently despicable, they did the unthinkable by involving politics in what should have been a technical evaluation of the standard by writing to the head of the Malaysian standards organization and getting its business partners to engage in a negative letter writing campaign to indicate lack of support of ODF in the Malaysian market. Every single negative letter on ODF received by the Malaysian standards organization was written either by Microsoft, or a Microsoft business partner or a Microsoft affiliated organization (Initiative for Software Choice and IASA).

A Memo to Patrick Durusau

Links 25/08/2008: Large Migrations to OpenOffice.org, ODF, and GNU/Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 5:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux/BSD

  • “23,000 Linux PCs forge education revolution in Philippines”

    when it comes to the education of kids, there is no mythical “migration” costs, and therefore Microsoft’s standard arguments of Total Cost of Ownership studies with retraining goes right out the window. In a few years, Microsoft will become even more expensive because of the “migration” costs from Linux to Windows X, and I wonder if that will be a factor in their TCO studies.

  • Concurrent Wins ZON TV Cabo
  • A tool
  • First Look: The gOS 3 Operating System
  • MIB-Live Games 2008.1

    2 DVDs based on Mandriva One 2008.1, each containing a lot of games: You can enjoy them directly from the DVD or, if you prefer, you can install it to your Hard-Disk.

  • Attack of the GNU/Linux Ultraportables, Part 2

    But just as important will be the effect on the relative attractiveness of the GNU/Linux and Windows XP models that are currently on offer.

  • Releases : Zenwalk Gnome 5.2 released!

    Based on Zenwalk current, it features the latest stable Gnome 2.22.3 Desktop, with a familiar Zenwalk Desktop layout and beautiful Zenwalk artwork. Included in this release, are Linux kernel 2.6.25.4, the latest X.Org 7.3 suite of X servers and the next generation of the Netpkg package manager.

  • First Impressions of Ubuntu 8.04
  • Review: FaunOS 0.5.4
  • 3 Things in Linux you should NOT Install
  • Interview with Kris Moore, PC-BSD lead developer

    The so-called “distribution for the average Joe” market has been expanding at a rapid pace in recent years. While the vast majority of these projects is invariably based on Linux, we have also witnessed a few attempts to create a user-friendly “distribution” based on operating systems that traditionally belonged to the hacker’s domain, notably FreeBSD and OpenSolaris. One of them is PC-BSD, a project launched in 2005. Its main goal? To hide the complexity of FreeBSD and to deliver an alternative to Linux on the desktop. Its main claim to fame? The web-based software installation infrastructure called PBI.

Kernel

F/OSS

Leftover

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Lindependence 2008 co-organizer Ken Starks discusses the project 01 (2008)

Ogg Theora

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

Links 25/08/2008: New Version of gNewSense and New Ubuntu Derivative (Freezy)

Posted in News Roundup at 9:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

Ubuntu

FSFE

Apple/Linux

  • Other smart phones are people too, says ex-Apple team

    Support for a second platform is due by the end of the year. Hoddie would not say what that platform will be, but noted: “We really like Linux – the OEMs are using Linux under the covers. It works beautifully there.”

    Linux would certainly have more to offer for Kinoma than Windows: Linux accounts for about 19 per cent of the smart-phone market versus around five per cent for Windows, according to various figures. Linux is expected to outsell Windows by 2013. Symbian, of course, remains the market leader.

  • Why does Apple Always Seem to Get a Break???

    Linux. This is the only platform that is not a prison. You are really free with Linux. People are congregating at will, building creative new structures. Yeah – maybe it isn’t as pretty as the luxury hotel prison that is Apple, but at least we are free. In the end it isn’t prison walls that win in technology. CompuServe and AOL were beaten by the internet. Centrally controlled mainframes were killed by the PC. Over time the best technology comes from innovation in unexpected places and while we are occasionally wooed by the pretty sounds of “You’ve Got Mail” or the stunning design of a new iPhone; we have all seen this movie before and know how it ends.

F/OSS

Firefox

Leftovers

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Con Hennessy, CTO of OpenApp.biz (2004)

Ogg Theora

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

Latest Examples of Information Distortion by Microsoft on the Web

Posted in Deception, FUD, Microsoft, Virtualisation, Vista, Windows at 8:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Yesterday we published a little roundup of Microsoft-hired agencies or groups that are used to contaminate the Web and wash errand readers’ minds. It’s not a speculation, it’s a reality and it needs to be throughly investigated and documented. We are still at the stage of collecting evidence before it can be presented in a tidied-up fashion.

Today we proceed to looking at testimonies such as this one from Ubuntu Forums. As we showed last week, not everyone in Ubuntu Forums can be trusted, but do have a look.

Reading reddit today, I come across this reddit user who is apparently a Microsoft shill. I honestly can’t think of any other explanation except that Microsoft is paying him/her: this user posts lots of comments, all are pro-Microsoft, and every single one of Microsoft’s products gets praised at every opportunity. He/she also puts down all competing products, and has apparently no opinions about any other topic than areas in which Microsoft competes (it’s nice that you can see all past comments).

I’ve seen XBOX fanboys and Windows fanboys, so I don’t automatically assume anyone who likes a Microsoft product is a shill. But all of their products? Windows, IE, SQL Server, Silverlight, IIS, etc. etc.?

Has Microsoft no shame? This is, frankly, pretty disgraceful. I hope I’m wrong here, perhaps someone can explain this?

Before jumping the gun with accusations of “paranoia”, read these well-documented examples of Microsoft AstroTurfing. There are many more which are scattered around this Web site, but that’s not the point because we are after new examples rather than old ones.

“It’s a win-win situation to those who resort to such tactics.”Some people have reported being harassed by ‘gangs of modders’, who are modding down critics of Microsoft, e.g. in Slashdot. There’s evidence of this, too. It’s a way of shooting messengers along with their messages and — at best — a way of discouraging them from participating. It’s a win-win situation to those who resort to such tactics.

Speaking for myself, I guess this explains why 4 people in Digg (at least two of whom stalk, libel and harass me in USNET) still systematically mod down every single comment of mine (regardless of the content/context) and occasionally throw in some slander, too. They have done this for almost a year and some proof of this was included here.

Anyway, personal attacks are small potatoes compared to titanic manipulation that goes on in corporations and the press, as opposed to social media. Whitepapers are another story. In the following oldie, for example (“Microsoft shills on the attack again”), Microsoft is compared to Enron, which is interesting not just because of its financial secrets and woes [1, 2]

“The real wonder is that there is any users left who buy the grist that comes out of the shill mill. It would seem to me that Microsoft has been so fully discredited that their methods and minions would also be suspect.

The Microsoft Anti-Trust trial painted them fully as the Enron of the Information Industry, with Gartner playing the role of Andersen. How Gartner escapes the destructive and discrediting taint of Chairman Bill’s own special breed of Enronitis is beyond me. Enron collapsed because the investors (users) discovered the scam. Andersen kept the scam going long after the jig was up.

Will someone please explain to me how what Gartner does is any different?”"

Sadly, the original article is no more. It might be possible to pull it back from the grave, but maybe not. The source, Gary Edwards, is a bit questionable at this later stage [1, 2].

Gary complains about “the unfair treatment the OpenSource community is receiving from the hands of Gartner and the like.” Watch this new article.

By Daisuke Wakabayashi

[...]

Gartner analyst Ray Valdes said 90 percent of the top global 1,000 companies have yet to deploy any sort of RIA, while 90 percent of the top 100 consumer Web sites have already done so using the nonproprietary and more simple AJAX format.
That opportunity has Microsoft eyeing current leader Adobe for business that extends beyond Silverlight and into the sale of design tools along with server and database software to enable these new applications.

This has just been published in several different places. It seems like a subtle Microsoft/Silverlight advertisement. Rings a bell yet?

“Working behind the scenes to orchestrate “independent” praise of our technology, and damnation of the enemy’s, is a key evangelism function during the Slog. “Independent” analyst’s report should be issued, praising your technology and damning the competitors (or ignoring them). “Independent” consultants should write columns and articles, give conference presentations and moderate stacked panels, all on our behalf (and setting them up as experts in the new technology, available for just $200/hour). “Independent” academic sources should be cultivated and quoted (and research money granted). “Independent” courseware providers should start profiting from their early involvement in our technology. Every possible source of leverage should be sought and turned to our advantage.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

According to the document above, Microsoft relies on the fact that “analysts sell out” and we wrote about the relationship between Microsoft and the Gartner Group many times before [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. Microsoft and Gates partially pay the Gartner Group. As you may notice, this latest article not only echoes Gartner, which offers a self-to-be-fulfilling prophecy to its client, Microsoft. The article is composed by Daisuke Wakabayashi. Watch what journalisted.com says about Daisuke Wakabayashi.

Daisuke Wakabayashi has written…

* More about ‘microsoft’ than anything else

The likes of Gartner and other Microsoft-promoting journalists are not the only problem here. Publication are too.

One example that we gave before was the New York Times. It turns out that, independently enough, Roughly Drafted Magazine has reached the very same conclusion as ours. Here is an older post about this phenomenon.

New York Times Violates its Own Microsoft Shill Policy

[...]

Randall Stross tried to explain in the New York Times that Apple is bungling its limited window of opportunity to sell Macs as Microsoft recovers from its Windows Vista retail sales flop. In doing so, he had to rely on overly broad generalizations, ignore well known retail realities, and violate the Times’ ban on interviewing Microsoft’s weaselly shills.

Motley Fool is an example of a blatantly-pro-Microsoft press with a stance resembling constant advertisements of a stock. It’s almost chronic. They would hardly even deny it. Here is another new attempt at self-fulfilling prophecies in this Microsoft’s ‘fan press’. Unsuspecting readers. who are unaware of affiliations (MSN), might actually fall for it. Those pseudo-reporters seem to be joining the Yankee Group’s [1, 2] and Burton Group’s [1, 2] verbal fight against VMWare.

We have some more new examples to share. Here you can find “Time” (CNN) doing some more advertising for Vista/Seinfeld/Microsoft. The same on-line magazine recently published no less than three 'placements' from the husband of the former head of the Gates Foundation. Therein, he praised this foundation and strongly denied the hard reality behind it. It was an unchallenged rebuttal to critics. It’s worth stressing that it was another magazine which owned by CNN that had announced (actually broke the news) about Microsoft's patent smear against GNU/Linux. It did this in a deliberately-fear-inspiring fashion and someone wrote a whole short paper on ways in which they enhanced the drama in the text. There is clearly some proximity there in the publication.

People remain unimpressed by the buyout of a famous comedian and hopefully they’ll be reading the following rather than the glossy piece from “Time”.

To conclude this post — Shame on yourself Microsoft for paying Jerry Seinfeld $10 million when people in North America are hit by recession and foreclosures and barely surviving. We urge everybody not to buy Microsoft’s products.

Here is another new example

Microsoft should just forget about being sexy

[...]

Alternatively, and perhaps more realistically, Microsoft could give up on the cool, sexy image. It really doesn’t fit. And, honestly, I’d rather buy my software from a dork.

It’s tough countering placements when the press is used to shape and reshape the image of Microsoft, never mind the constant manipulation on the Web by PR agencies where Microsoft hires shills [1, 2].

Software Patents Riot Spreads to Four Continents

Posted in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 7:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Even 5 continents if South Africa is considered

A

s the pursuit of Microsoft et al (partners and lobbying arms) for software patents proceeds, the world responds with unrest. This tool of monopolisation fools nobody and those who collaborate with foreign maximalists [1, 2, 3, 4] are bound to get flak. Here’s just a quick roundup of the news. It demonstrates how the world has suddenly awoken to combat to the threat which is software patents.

Europe

FFII has just renewed its action against software patents in Europe. Amidst global slowdown or recession, monopolies will cling onto more control and attempt to change laws despite those previous well-judged rejections.

It is now over three years since the European Parliament threw out a controversial bill that would have brought in software patents.

It was a victory of sorts for those trying to preserve some sanity in the world of computing, but only a partial and temporary one. Those in favour of intellectual monopolies are hardly going to give up, and already have a number of irons in the fire that they will doubtless deploy in due course.

In preparation for that day, people on the other side are beginning to mobilise their forces…

Australia/New Zealand

This combative reaction has also come to the lower parts of the southern hemisphere. While Australia has already been occupied by the Hollywood/Redmond Forces with DMCA and software patents, New Zealand seem to be fighting. It was only a while ago that Richard Stallman visited them, so it could be related.

Greens urge end to software patents

[...]

Ms Turei, who called for greater use of open source and locally developed software, says excluding software from patents would ensure others could develop ideas. Software would still be protected against piracy by copyright law.

The party has promised to investigate “the setup of free municipally owned wireless networks”. Ms Turei says the cost needs to be researched, but the Government would “almost certainly” need to supply funding.

Ms Turei says wider adoption of open source software would reduce costs and lead to investment in local IT businesses, which tend to lose out to dominant software companies such as Microsoft.

“Monopolies have been allowed to form, stifling competition, consumer choice, and indigenous growth of the software industry in Aotearoa/New Zealand.”

The following article appeared just days ago:

The Green Party released its Information Technology (IT) Policy today ahead of a lecture tonight by free software legend Richard Stallman, jointly hosted by Otago University’s Campus Greens branch and the computer science department.

“IT must work for people not the profits of the few. People on both sides of the digital divide should benefit from information technology – IT should not create new mechanisms of inequality. And of course our policy assists people to utilise IT to reduce their impact on the planet,” Greens IT Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

Richard Stallman also appears to have made and left his impact on the national radio after he had preached about Free software, patents, and even copyrights.

Related to this but older:

Green Party slams Microsoft OLPC involvement

[...]

“Microsoft wants to restrict the greatest profits in the knowledge economy to already established software corporations like itself.

“By installing its programs on these laptops Microsoft hopes to create market domination and vendor lock in. That is unacceptable bribery.

United States

The USPTO seems dead, or at least brain dead. Microsoft’s Page Up/Down patent still leads to a stir around the Web. It has already been mentioned in [1, 2].

With insane patents like these, no wonder the courts are getting overwhelmed and overburdened. Watch what happens in Texas at the moment [via Digital Majority]

Crucial reading for those interested in the notable docket of rocket, the Eastern District of Texas, in this week’s Texas Lawyer. With 232 patent cases filed in Marshall in the past year, trial dates for filing there are now running to 2012. Judge T. John Ward’s patent litigation mill is slowing, but faring.

India

Our recent coverage of the situation in India can be found under [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8].

The protest [1, 2] has just reached The Hindu, part of India’s mainstream press.

Bangalore: While many people take the slogan “Saying no to software patents” to mean the right to usage of free Internet software, the issue of patenting is rooted in a larger milieu, affecting not only users of software, but also those who develop software and service it.

A candle-light vigil at Puttanna Chetty Town Hall organised by members of the Free Software Users Group, originally founded by Richard Stallman more than two decades ago, here on Saturday brought these issues to the fore.

The paper also published this good photo, which may seem familiar.

Software patents protest in India

Here they are (Wipro and Microsoft, friends of the multi-national monopolist [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]) publicly making love again with a press release over the weekend. This clannish activity of Microsoft overseas needs to be stopped. They ruin the systems with their suiters in oder to share the loot.

The Latest Things Microsoft Does to Novell, with Novell

Posted in GNU/Linux, Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, Security, SLES/SLED, Windows at 6:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The previous post showed just how Novell harms open standards, striving to replace them with something else which it calls “interoperability”. In a similar vein, Microsoft tries to rename SasS “Software + Services” and Intel, which viciously attacked a laptops charity, came up with the word “Netbook” and the acronym MID. They claim credit for ‘inventions’ and advancements they have nothing to do with, unless FUD and sabotage count as a contribution. Microsoft and "open source" is another good example as such abuse.

“They claim credit for ‘inventions’ and advancements they have nothing to do with, unless FUD and sabotage count as a contribution.”Furthermore, in order to show just how hard Novell pushed the term “interoperability”, watch this whitepaper which incidentally showed up in the news feeds over the weekend. The title is “SUSE Linux Enterprise: Differentiation Through Interoperability.”

It won’t be long before people stop talking about open standards like ODF and start talking about expensive (and potentially very dangerous) binary bridges, which Novell markets under its “interoperability” guise. Microsoft helps in marketing this term.

It was rather shocking to find that even Microsoft fan Joe Wilcox is disgusted by this relationship between Microsoft and Novell.

I really wish Microsoft and Novell would stop kissing in public. It’s disgusting.

But they’re at it again, with Microsoft heaping more money into the dowry. There won’t be a divorce until Microsoft says so.

This was seen before, even with Turbolinux. These public displays of affection are a case of posing for media while begging for positive publicity [1, 2, 3].

People just don’t buy it though. Watch this post from yesterday.

Few of my friends work at Novell and are hardcore OpenSUSE fans; can’t blame them OpenSUSE is a really good and polished distribution. Some others hate Novell for their pact with MS and are Mandriva/PCLOS converts.

As time goes by, there are more of those who think that Microsoft will buy Novell and those that claim it’s a code injection of patents-tainted Mono. Some say it’s intended to make Microsoft/Novell the next SCO — an assessment that even Groklaw had subscribed to.

“As time goes by, there are more of those who think that Microsoft will buy Novell…”In the wild yards of ZDNet (blogs), which has connections with Microsoft, you can still find Novell employees commenting without disclosure (we spotted a Novell CTO commenting there a few days ago). All those praises of the Novell/Microsoft marriage usually come from Novell employees and related figures (Microsoft comments there too). Here’s one from Richard Bliss of the GroupWise folks. The comment says nothing about him and Novell. Almost every other comment (not from Novell) slams this relationship. Marc Wagner, who has a proven record of hating GNU/Linux and surely enough writes at ZDNet, joins this debate also. He denies what other commenters say about Microsoft preparing to scoop up Novell. It’s all a matter of wild speculation really. In the mean time, however, Microsoft is expanding in Novell’s home ground, Fargo. From the news:

Microsoft Corp. in Fargo hires five

Microsoft Corp., Fargo, has hired Chris Rudolph as a software development engineer, Ravi Eda as a software development engineer in test for Microsoft Visual Studio, and Jake Friedl, Tino Simon and Joanna Brown as support engineers.

Rudolph graduated from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, Rapid City, S.D.

Make of that what you will, but after the AppArmor incident [1, 2, 3], which were mentioned in the IRC channel yesterday, as well as those layoffs [1, 2, 3] that saw Microsoft hiring AppArmor’s leader, one has to wonder.

Novell & Microsoft: Go Away “Standards”, Welcome “Interoperability” Instead

Posted in Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Interoperability, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, Standard at 5:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Get your coupons ready…”

Novell, a paid supporter of Microsoft OOXML, continues to be a big threat to open standards. It helps Microsoft change the meaning and purpose of standards. As their joint-yet-exclusionary work on hypervisors proves, they believe in licensing of software patents as the means of bridging software from different companies. It is difficult to ignore the fact that these two companies are joined in their mission to make software patents the new ‘standard’, all at the expense of real open standards. Watch Novell listed among the occupants of the “Interop” conference. Novell”s CEO is even a noted speaker. From this weekend’s news:

The company said the keynote line-up includes executives from Cisco, IBM, Novell, Research in Motion and Salesforce.com.

Novell is listed there among the proprietary software vendors. It figures.

Here is the official Web site. Microsoft is among the sponsors and so is Novell. This whole event is essentially created to serve the sponsors’ purposes and business goals rather than to invite some guests and encourage unification that benefits everyone. It carries a message and glorifies this term which is “interoperability”. It is a nasty term when used in mundane speech and propagated from mouth to ear. It dilutes, escapes or even substitutes the word “standards”.

Interoperability is another word to strongly avoid. “Interoperability” is to standards is what “Intellectual property” is to software patents. Think along the lines of phasing out the term “Free software”, trying to dissolve its meaning and replace it with “open source”. Spot the catch below:

“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

“Given standards, this whole charade with weasel words like “interoperability” is not even needed.”Just as they try to redefine FOSS using opportunities like OSBC that they create and fund [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], they also try to phase out words like standards and free, promoting instead words and catchy sound bites like “interop”. I published an article about the difference about a year ago.

It’s likely intentional. Open standards permit fair competition to all. Interoperability, on the other hand, can be exclusive, so it inhibits and obstructs. it promotes duopolist and shared control (not the same as sharing) of information technology.

Given standards, this whole charade with weasel words like “interoperability” is not even needed. But events like “Interop” are intended (though not necessarily purposely) to change people’s vocabularies and along with these perceptions and expectations.

Novellsoft

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