02.28.09

Has Microsoft Unleashed Its Trolls at the UK Authorities?

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, FUD, Microsoft, Novell at 9:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Trolls sign
Trolls ahead

Summary: First it was Fortify and now Richard Steel. Coordinated response or just an act of self defence?

THE “Everything Microsoft” CIO, Richard Steel [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], is said to be behind the “Get the Facts” roadshow in the United Kingdom (internally, Microsoft uses the word "roadshow" to describe FUD campaigns). He also adopted the potentially-illegal MOU scam (known as Project Marshall inside Microsoft) while justifying this using a ‘study’ from another buddy of his, with which he is affiliated. This smacks of “corruption” — but hey! — it’s Microsoft. Look no further back than the OOXML corruptions for example.

Anyway, now that the UK is finally embracing a portion of freedom and fair competition, Mr. Steel decides to jump in with tired myths and lies. Glyn Moody rebuts:

The piece is entitle “Open Sauce”, but it ought really be called “”Open Source””, since its author, Richard Steel, the CIO of Newham, seems to have such distaste for the concept that he can’t bring himself even to write the words without sanitising them between the quotation marks.

He is reacting to the UK Government’s Action Plan on open source, and I’d like to react to those reactions.

Mr Steel writes:

I don’t like the term “Open Source”. It’s misleading; what many people mean is “anything but Microsoft”; few businesses actually use open source directly – they buy software derived from open source that has been commercially packaged and sold with support, which, in practice, is little different to licensed software.

Well, no: there’s nothing misleading in the term. It’s tightly defined by the rigorous and well-understood Open Source Definition, which has nothing whatsoever to do with “anything but Microsoft”; indeed, Microsoft actually has some OSD-approved licences – the Microsoft Public License and Microsoft Reciprocal License: so does this mean that Microsoft is pushing “anything but Microsoft” too?

Steel is stuck in a very antiquated mindset of Redmond Kool-Aid (article is from the FOSS-hostile Cliff Saran by the way). Steel didn’t even know about the Novell/Microsoft deal until about a year ago, which shows that he must have been living totally isolated from the world (and choice) around him. Is this a supposedly top CIO? Someone who does not even read front page technology news?

It’s interesting that Microsoft allies come out from the woodwork whenever a party in the United Kingdom is pushing the idea of Free(dom) software, which should only be a natural choice. When the Conservatives proposed the idea of Free/open source software, Microsoft’s mates at Fortify (Microsoft ally) pounced on the opportunity to spill the latest spiel against Free software [1, 2], using “security” as an argument, not cost (the outdated, heavily-debunked pattern of FUD).

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