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12.30.08

SDTimes Explains Why Microsoft Wants Open Source

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Law, Microsoft, Samba at 10:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I want you for money

A FEW DAYS AGO, Bradley Kuhn explained why Microsoft is unlikely to be really interested in open source. In fact, at the beginning of this month, Microsoft unleashed a press release that explicitly insulted open source for bearing higher TCO (it’s Gartner-speak by the way) than Microsoft’s proprietary technology. How can this two-faced approach stand?

Well, Microsoft appoints all sorts of people who pretend to live in an entirely different universe, from which they deceive the competition. One of these people is Sam Ramji, to whom SDTimes gave the soapbox a few days ago (SDTimes belongs to or is affiliated with IDG [1, 2], of which it is a member). In response to this deceptive article, which came across as though it was just parroting Microsoft on open source, the same publication released this rebuttal that echoes Bradley Kuhn.

The number of lines of code Microsoft has given back to the community is tiny compared to other software companies of the same size, he said. “Microsoft has made tiny contributions under BSD-style licenses and is making big noise about giving code back. They are making a mountain out of a molehill. Sam’s job is to put a clean face on Microsoft’s involvement with free and open-source software, and to make the community feel that they are giving back.”

Sam Ramji, whom we mentioned in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11], does not even have any real background in Free software. The closest he got to it was Software as a Service (SaaS). Lack of experience can be an excuse for imposed ignorance. Further, states the article:

Kuhn’s biggest point of contention is that Microsoft is still refusing to participate with the General Public License (GPL), the most widely used open-source license. “They basically have the opposite position of every other company involved with open-source software,” he noted.

Kuhn also dismissed Microsoft’s work with the Samba project as being nothing more than a consequence of court-ordered mandates.

This never prevented Microsoft from pretending that they love Samba and complied due to the goodness of their hearts. We must all remember the truth though.

“Open source is an intellectual-property destroyer [...] I can’t imagine something that could be worse than this for the software business and the intellectual-property business. I’m an American; I believe in the American way, I worry if the government encourages open source, and I don’t think we’ve done enough education of policymakers to understand the threat.”

Jim Allchin, President of Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft

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7 Comments

  1. Diamond Wakizashi said,

    December 30, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Gravatar

    Microsoft/Novell are to technology what blight is to a corn field. No good can come from Microsoft/Novell, they are evil.

  2. And said,

    December 30, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Gravatar

    The quote of Allchin means in short that they are sitting on an IP bubble ready to explode as they lack real assets and sustainable business models for the net ;-)

    “Evil” is neither a categorie of foreign policy nor business.

    The fact that Microsoft fights Open Source and falls a trap of public expectations is good as the company bets against market reality in a changing environment. The Novell deal was a cheap way to have a stake in the new world. Via Novell as its proxy Microsoft can do what they can’t do officially i.e. embrace open source. I am pretty sure that was the plan from the very beginning when Novell overtook Ximian and SuSE.

    It is like the church which is not homosexual, the pope just funds art http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Michelangelo-Ignudi.jpg

  3. twitter said,

    December 30, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Gravatar

    It is nice to see more people expressing what should be the consensus opinion about M$’s “Open Source” hype. M$ would be welcome to the free software world the same way any company is but they must first stop actively harming free software. They must lay down their mostly worthless patent portfolio, quit funding bogus “research”, abandon OOXML and other non standards, and start coding their software to work with free formats before anyone should take them seriously. After they do all of that, they are welcome to share their code with the rest of the community under the GPL and other free software licenses. If they don’t do these things, they will continue to fail in the marketplace as their products continue to fall further behind the free software world.

  4. Goblin said,

    December 30, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Gravatar

    Excellent summary and I couldnt agree more.
    Of course it wont happen, forgetting the fact that MS doesnt play nicely with others, abandoning its last bastion of salvation (a deluded belief in its patent portfolio) is the one thing I dont believe MS will do. IMO they cant swing their portfolio is full action for fear of failure and rendering it useless, yet they cant dump it and have nothing to fall back on when desperate.

    I may have misinterpretted things here, but isnt MS’s portfolio and anti-trust in conflict with each other? If MS threatens in a big way cant that be construed as unfair competition? MS has been burned by monopolies commision here in the UK already, so what will be the response should MS bring out its portfolio and force others down similar routes to Novell? or worse, out of the market completely?

    I have to admit when it comes to this level Im talking from an outsider looking in point of view, but this is how I interpret it. Am I wrong?

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 31, 2008 at 2:48 am

    Gravatar

    MS has been burned by monopolies commision here in the UK…

    Is it true that the UK lifted a finger against Microsoft? The whole ‘solidarity’ thing has always meant that the UK government was an ally of Microsoft.

  6. David Worthington said,

    January 5, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Gravatar

    Hello folks. Thanks for covering our interviews with Sam and Brad. I’d like to note that SD Times is not owned by or affiliated with IDG. We are privately held by BZ Media LLC.

    -DW

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 5, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Gravatar

    Hi David,

    Your front page states that you are “Member Site of IDG Tech Network”. My understanding of this, based on Phoronix which is on a similar boat, is that this means IDG carries advertising in SD Times?

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