01.08.09

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Microsoft Sends “Vista 7 PC Ecosystem Team” to Influence Free Software Projects

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Vista 7 at 11:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Window with vapor
“Get ready for Windows 7apourware”

MANY PEOPLE still remember the Blender blunder. Microsoft wants to turn the Free software world into Just Another™ Microsoft/Windows ISV.

Jill Brecheisen from Microsoft is trying to convince (i.e. lobby) Free software projects to prepare themselves for vapourware, such as Vista 7. Here is an E-mail that has just landed in the VLC mailing list:

I am on the Windows 7 PC Ecosystem team and would like to invite your company to participate in Windows 7 Application Readiness & Compatibility Labs. Can you please let me know who the appropriate contact would be to send an invitation to?

Thank you,
Jill Brecheisen
PC Ecosystem ISV Engagement
v-jibrec at microsoft.com

Here’s how the thinking goes at Microsoft: Why fight Free software if it cannot be killed? Instead, let’s try to make people abandon GNU/Linux. Let’s make Free software work better on Windows and have developers overworked because of their Windows ports, which address yet non-existent operating systems.

“The purpose of announcing early like this is to freeze the market at the OEM and ISV level. In this respect it is JUST like the original Windows announcement…

“One might worry that this will help Sun because we will just have vaporware, that people will stop buying 486 machines, that we will have endorsed RISC but not delivered… So, Scott, do you really think you can fight that avalanche?”

Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft

“In the face of strong competition, Evangelism’s focus may shift immediately to the next version of the same technology, however. Indeed, Phase 1 (Evangelism Starts) for version x+1 may start as soon as this Final Release of version X.”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

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9 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    January 8, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Gravatar

    It’s all about mindshare. See here:

    To control mental output you to have to control mental input.
    Take control of the channels by which developers receive information. Then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare

    Only the most popular version of Windows should have software ports and even that should be sparing. Porting free software to Windows makes Windows more comfortable when the effort could have made GNU/Linux better. Developing for Windows is even more painful than using it, so more time is wasted than you might imagine if you have never done it. The good done must be carefully balanced by the harm.

    What’s good? It is good that all of the “killer aps” on Windows are free software, Firefox, Gimp, VLC and others. This makes a compelling argument for free software use and proves that freedom is the best development method. This good should only apply to the current popular version of Windows. Even then, you risk M$ breaking your work through some kind of “update.”

  2. aeshna23 said,

    January 8, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Gravatar

    “Let’s make Free software work better on Windows and have developers overworked because of their Windows ports, which address yet non-existent operating systems.”

    I would hope no developers allows himself to be overworked by simply waiting until there is an existing OS. In fact, I almost think it serves any developer right who wastes his time working on a pre-release version of Windows.

  3. Needs Sunlight said,

    January 8, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    Gravatar

    I seriously doubt it has anything to do with *improving* the software, on or off a Windows host. MS has never worked like that. What this looks like is fishing for disrupters who can stall, delay or ruin a project or burn out staff.

    All articles about MS vaporware ought to have an obligatory link to Fedora, Ubuntu, or OS X.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 8, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Gravatar

    OS X??

  5. Yfrwlf said,

    January 8, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Gravatar

    Yes, OS X, one of the “alternatives” to Windows, just not a very good one. They were trying to say that in place of MS software hype articles the other OSes should be listed and linked to. Apple IMO is more appalling than Microsoft though and of course not open.

    What I actually wanted to say though was this is great news in that it shows competition is growing. This competition will be good for everyone. The “unfair” and backstabbing tactics and such are definitely NOT cool, don’t get me wrong, but the fact that it shows Free Software has created a good OS which is adding pressure to them is good.

  6. Dante said,

    January 10, 2009 at 6:23 am

    Gravatar

    I’d love to see Microsoft pull another “Linux is a toy” stunt, if they are attempting to subvert it from within, then surely it IS a threat to them?

    I agree with Twitter, developing software on Windows is far, far more painful. Shame my co-developer believes .NET to be the greatest thing since sliced bread :(

  7. Yfrwlf said,

    January 11, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Gravatar

    That sucks, but yes of course they will do everything they can to attract development to their platforms, even on their console. The response should be of course to make programming for Linux easier in every way possible, where there is room to do so. This is already being done in several ways but everyone should always be on the lookout for ways to improve things of course.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 11, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Gravatar

    Preferably, it ought to start in education.

  9. Yfrwlf said,

    January 12, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Gravatar

    Very interested to see what the Obama cabinet will bring to education and everything else, but so far from what I’ve read, so far no one really knows or can guess. I’d like to think that sometimes governments can hold citizens first above the will of the industries, but I guess I’ll find out.

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