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09.10.08

Microsoft Executives Land Inside Microsoft Rivals

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This is a daily update to a previous post showing how Microsoft executives enter potential Microsoft competitors and then change the strategic direction of these competitors, typically in Microsoft’s favour. It’s only natural to expect this; it’s slightly more difficult to keep track though.

After the last set of examples, a reader warned us that Microsoft's Kevin Johnson occupying Juniper’s throne could be bad news to this company and those who are affected by it, especially Microsoft’s rivals.

Aruba Networks is one company that uses a lot of Linux. Even Microsoft depends on it [1, 2] (yes, Microsoft uses GNU/Linux). According to this new report from IDG, only weeks after his departure from Microsoft, Kevin Johnson might want to acquire Aruba Networks — something that Microsoft could never possibly do (similar to the XenSoruce hijack). Anyway, that’s only a possibility.

Juniper is reportedly looking to buy either Aruba Networks or Meru Networks to strengthen its presence in enterprise networks through a formidable wireless LAN offering (compare enterprise wireless LAN products).

FT.com stated this week that new Juniper CEO Kevin Johnson, who started at the company this week, is on the M&A trail and that Aruba or Meru are in his sights. The story attributed its information to “a source familiar with the matter and two analysts.”

Aruba was also mentioned before in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Its dependence on Linux could be challenged under the reign of an executive from a company to whom “Linux” is the #1 threat.

“…the exodus at Redmond might prove harmful once again.”More troublesome is this new appointment of a Windows president in NComputing, a company that deploys huge numbers of thin-clients based on GNU/Linux. There are already Windows options, so under the leadership of a former Microsoft top man will GNU/Linux be marketed in the same way? Will it stay? He became a co-chairman, so the exodus at Redmond might prove harmful once again. Toxic influence is being passed.

There are some other potential examples in yesterday’s news. Yahoo, for instance, has just added a Microsoft executive to its top ranks. What would be the impact on the deal with Google, the new commitment to Firefox, and treatment of GNU/Linux? Each such appointment may have a very minor effect, but such things accumulate. A Microsoft 'headhunter' and some friends of his are already on the company’s board.

Also based on the news, it turns out that Paul Allen is investing in former Microsoft employees and and their business ventures. Not so long ago we mentioned his investments in CNET, which typically reports in a favourable fashion (towards Microsoft).

Last but not least, we recently explained what Black Duck means to FOSS. Black Duck was created and headed by a Microsoft senior. In this latest press release it further promotes this troubling idea of hybriding (Microsoft loves it) and Dana Blankenhorn comments on this too, thereby giving such disinformation further exposure in an “open source” blog.

Black Duck is on board the new buzzword train with the latest release, Version 1.4, of its Code Center product, which was originally developed to manage open source projects.

It’s all about the hybrid code.

Code Center is proprietary software. Some would argue that it can weed out or scare people away from Free software. While the head of the company (Microsoft roots) may no longer be inside the company, the same spirit remains and it’s not helpful.

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2 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    September 10, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    Gravatar

    Here is a very serious conflict of interest and an apparent trail of failure:

    http://www.informationweek.com/news/management/personnel/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=210600663&cid=RSSfeed_IWK_News

    Say goodbye to Yahoo’s new hires having any computer skills.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 10, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Gravatar

    With Maritz in mind (he’s in the Linux Foundation) and the departure of Douglas Levin (Microsoft, then Black Duck, now gone), I can’t help but feel like the following is not good news:

    Black Duck Joins The Linux Foundation
    http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/black-duck-joins-the-linux-foundation,534577.shtml

    That’s almost like Microsoft’s spirit joining the Linux Foundation to advocate hybrids, dangers of FOSS, and GPL ‘issues’.

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