Two days ago at ServerWatch (JupiterMedia), Paul Rubens claimed that “Novell continued its strategy of dancing with the devil by agreeing to take up to $100 million of Microsoft’s closed-source-derived money in exchange for support coupons to give away or sell to its customers.”
With typical exceptions, the media openly states what Novell has done and why this is harmful to Free software. Yesterday, in response to the following comment (there are more) on this article, Slated wrote that “[this is] an excellent, if incomplete, comment:”
By using a distribution which shares (much more than just) the name with
the one Novell sells, you are supporting them, to argue otherwise is
somewhat bizarre. Just as you are supporting debian if you use ubuntu,
or redhat if you use centos or fedora (or Sun if you use gcj or any
other Java, or MS if you use mono). Not only in terms of using the
product and becoming a statistic, but also learning how it works and all
of its little differences with competitors products. This ‘invested
knowledge’ will always influence your decisions in the future.
“The bit that’s missing is where this ‘invested knowledge’ spreads like a
disease to others one influences, resulting in viral mindshare that
propagates Microsoft’s twisted ideologies; politics; development
paradigms; propaganda; and agenda, thus ultimately benefiting them (the
enemy of Free Software and Open Standards) as they ultimately harvest
that mindshare “investment”. This in turn makes them even more powerful
and thus more invincible in their quest to supplant Freedom with their
own brand of slavery, as they assume the role of Corporate Dictator in
the IT industry (and anywhere else they can dominate).
“And if you think the concept of “mindshare investment” is ridiculous,
consider that Microsoft actually went as far as sabotaging a charity
just to be able to give away Windows to the third-world (somewhere
that neither they nor Intel, their partners-in-crime, ever even
considered to be a “market” at all before the emergence of the OLPC),
rather than allow Free Software to win that mindshare.
“As Bob Cringely put it: “[Microsoft] are willing to lose money for years
and years just to make sure that you don’t make any money, either.”
“That’s not competing, it’s dumping, or IOW suppressing the competition
by saturating the market, to the point where that market no longer
exists for anyone but Microsoft (through vendor lock-in and the upgrade
treadmill). It’s just one element (along with OEM bribes) that defines
Microsoft’s “business” as racketeering. And it really is racketeering;
I’m not just using that word to be sensationalist. How else would one
describe such a viciously and unethically enforced monopoly?
“This is also the reason it’s so important to Microsoft that they “own”
all the standards as well. They used to do this by perverting industry
standards to their own proprietary specifications (e.g. Java and HTML),
but, as a result of various lawsuits and anti-trust measures, they can
no longer do that with impunity, so now they’ve adopted the devious
tactic of creating ostensibly “open” standards that are actually
encumbered with their Intellectual Monopoly, and certain gullible Free
Software developers are falling into the trap (or willingly and
malevolently hurling themselves into it).
“This is one of the most important points that I’m trying to convey WRT
Mono … it’s a subtle but effective way of recruiting converts to the
“Microsoft Way®”, both in terms of (erstwhile) Free Software developers’
views of Intellectual Monopolies, and their development paradigms.
Microsoft is not only poisoning the Well, but they’re recruiting an army
of FOSS traitors to help them do so, who in turn recruit more traitors
to poison the Well, exponentially.
“Microsoft are destroying their enemy (the Free Software community) from
within, and Mono developers and users are helping, unwittingly or
otherwise, and irrespective of whether or not they acknowledge that fact
- they are further strengthening Microsoft’s base of power, and it’s not
power they intend to use for good, as they’ve adequately demonstrated in
“Of course apathy or malevolence tends to make certain people “forget”
the past; as they systematically shred the truth from their own minds,
and replace it with rose-tinted platitudes, just as Microsoft themselves
do with Emails and other damning evidence of their crimes, that would
otherwise become court documents.
“Take Miguel de Icaza, for example, who seems to think that Windows
hasn’t crashed since the days of version 3.1; that the issues people
have with Microsoft are based purely in irrational and unjustifiable
“demonisation” (or to use that common Americanism – they’re just
“Haters”); and has nothing to do with with the technical integrity of
Microsoft’s software. No, I’m not making this up – see for yourself:
“(Fast-forward 24 minutes into the video).
“How apt that this video is only available in Microsoft’s proprietary
format. Presumably the Free Software community were never meant to see
it (without “violating” Microsoft’s “IP”).
“If this level of brainwashing is any indication of the typical state of
mind amongst Mono developers and (willing) users, then clearly they are
an utterly lost cause. They’re not just sleeping with the enemy; they’re
revising (or ignoring) history to delude themselves that this is
perfectly acceptable, and that those who decry their support of
Microsoft are “zealots” who “demonise” them.
“No doubt SUSE users and developers perceive dissenters like me in the
same light. Anything I say against Microsoft and those who support them,
must be some kind of personal attack on innocent people. Of course they
say that, then turn to smile at their new-found friend, the Devil.” █