Summary: Novell’s role in Microsoft PR revisited, along with forgotten offences
OSBC 2009 had ended a short while ago and it was probably a little harsh to focus only on Microsoft's presence over there. Nonetheless, this is part of a pattern and it’s clearly damaging to GNU/Linux and Free software. This substitutes the peaceful force with something else where "open source" is just another Windows ISV. Open source developers are probably aware of this, but some of them don’t mind because Microsoft does not tell them the truth and it’s too easy to forget one’s repeatable bad behaviour.
Microsoft will be there as a sponsor of NAC Day, featuring its Interoperability by Design concept, and educating attendees about its partnership with Novell, contributions to open source projects, open protocols to its projects and related projects.
In reality, Microsoft is far from a friend of Free software and it hardly wants to collaborate at all. A couple of days ago, Dana Blankenhorn explained why Microsoft’s talk about about “open source” simply cannot be taken seriously. It’s partly because its rhetoric doesn’t match its deeds.
It is, in fact, Microsoft’s actions, and not its words, that are the problem:
1. Microsoft claims patents covering Linux, and signs “cross-license” deals with embedded Linux firms that explicitly acknowledge those claims.
2. Microsoft sued TomTom for infringing those claimed patents.
3. Microsoft SharePoint is all about locking customers in to proprietary standards.
4. The whole Office Open XML (OOXML) mess before the ISO was about making proprietary code a standard everyone would have to follow.
Have people in the press already forgotten crimes committed to ram OOXML down ISO’s throat? It sure seems so sometimes. The reassuring news is that traditional media — Microsoft’s included — is dying peacefully and not even evolving for the Web. This leaves room for independent media to thrive.
The next day would be the last of the print Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the publisher declared. He added that “the bloodline” would live on in the form of a news website carrying the Seattle Post-Intelligencer name. Behind him were human-resources professionals flown in from other Hearst-owned papers in Houston and San Francisco.
The announcement was spun as the first paper to make the transition to an all-digital daily. Nevermind that the site left behind would be a skeleton of its former self. The new editor in charge would not respond to questions when I asked her for a story about the transition intended to run in the final print-edition. Instead, she posted her own, unfiltered thoughts online.