Microsoft’s influence inside ZDNet was mentioned just a few days ago and so was the apparent confession from a Microsoft employee about the company urging its workers to post comments there. We have already seen examples of this for ourselves, e.g. promotion of Silverlight by a paid Microsoft "evangelist" in ZDNET.
“A restrained attitude towards Microsoft critique would be a gross misrepresentation of the blog’s target audience and population.”Considering the close new relationship between Microsoft and Novell, it’s not too surprising that ZDNet’s addition of a “community” blog will be run by a Novell employee, not — let us say — someone from Red Hat or Mandriva. They give Zonker (of Novell) a prominent blog spot despite the fact that he is already active in several other publications like Linux Magazine and OStatic, in addition to an OpenSUSE blog.
A restrained attitude towards Microsoft critique would be a gross misrepresentation of the blog’s target audience and population. Novell is not a “community” player; it’s a “community” betrayer. This was mentioned the other day, so for Novell to run a ZDNet’s “community” blog is like for a Windows user, Dana Blankenhorn, to run an “open source” blog, writing about software he does not seem to use.
Elsewhere on the Web (no direct link), The Ramji Invader [1, 2, 3, 4] is trying to pull FOSS developers over to Microsoft Windows Vista/Longhorn (WS08). It’s the same old Microsoft PR routine — pretending to be a friend of the very same projects that they plan to sue or just threaten to sue. Rather than link to the original, we might as well highlight this critical response to it.
They take our FOSS nicely ported onto their protocols and platforms and create closed versions where this is feasible: augment their integrated core with features or buy licenses from the projects.
Microsoft wants to get the FOSS world to be towards Microsoft what the prior proprietary world was. In other words, have FOSS apps get close to and depend on Windows instead of on Linux or on any other low level platform. “Where’s the place to be and to find cool apps? Why on Vista of course!”
But these companies and projects cannot win. Microsoft gets easy loueasy code to study, take, or buy rights to. We get no transparency from them. There is nothing but a Rat Race* on Windows. Microsoft needs rats to power their monopolies. They don’t have time to keep up with Linux FOSS. Rather they want you to support them so they have time to integrate and to add features not being developed for Linux.
The other comments sing a similar tune. With people like Zonker & Ramji in the press, what is the impression one might get? That “open source” is a collusion involving two proprietary software companies that engage in software patent deals? It bodes badly for the movement and it needs to be prevented. █