Mono: Microsoft prison
Summary: Another look at the ways in which Microsoft markets itself with the help of former employees and submissive companies
Microsoft’s internal talks about evangelism [1, 2] explain very clearly that the company’s goal is to spread and reinforce Microsoft as an industry standard. Microsoft may not publicly promote Mono as much as it can, but that’s because, as a Microsoft evangelist put it, “I saw that internally inside Microsoft many times when I was told to stay away from supporting Mono in public. They reserve the right to sue.”
Microsoft’s victory with Mono is two-fold; it holds GNU/Linux legally accountable and at the same time it spreads .NET at the expense of superior competition such as Java. Sam Varghese has just published an article which elucidates all this:
Mono fits in neatly with the Microsoft vision
It fits in very neatly with the definition of evangelism at Microsoft: “Evangelism is the art and science of getting developers to ship products that support Microsoft’s platforms”. (thanks to greygeek on the linuxtoday forums).
The definition is contained in a highly confidential document titled “Effective Evangelism” which came to light during the Comes v Microsoft trial.
The author, James Plasmondon, writes in his introduction: “Every line of code that is written to our standards is a small victory; every line of code that is written to any other standard, is a small defeat.”
Novell would probably have a view on this and with this in mind, I rang Michele Bartoline, the company’s marketing manager for Australia and New Zealand, who was listed as a press contact on the media release. She wasn’t available so I left a message.
The answer would be interesting. To suggest that Novell can beat Microsoft at its own game is not only naive; it is self destructive.
“Like Mono, this group actually comprises Microsoft employees, not just a guy who wanted to become one and joined hands with another…”Regardless of this, Miguel de Icaza and his followers carry on promoting Microsoft and its software. Serving as further proof that Microsoft gains from this, worth noting is the fact that it is mostly promoted by Microsoft boosters like Gavin Clarke, even at this very moment. Miguel brags about companies that move to ASP.NET and he is preaching to his choir (which includes Microsoft employee) to reinforce his own beliefs. Who does this guy really work for? We have always reckoned that Likewise, in light of this latest news, are former Microsoft employees* putting Trojans horses in *NIX (software patents) and spreading Microsoft as a standard. Like Mono, this group actually comprises Microsoft employees, not just a guy who wanted to become one and joined hands with another (Nat Friedman, who worked for Microsoft back then; now he works at Novell)
The Microsoft press at Redmond is spreading the myth that Microsoft is all fine and dandy with open source. Here are a couple of examples from a few days ago (“Microsoft Open to Open Source?” and “Why Does Microsoft Pretend To Be Open Source-Friendly?”).
Microsoft releases ASP.NET MVC under the MS-PL License – Miguel de Icaza replying to comments explains why MS-PL incompatibility with GPL code is not an issue within C# and ASP.NET code.
Whether he actually believes in this publicity stunt or not is irrelevant because he is totally ignoring everything negative which Microsoft is doing; it’s like in Beauty and the Beast.
Blackboard, which was funded by Microsoft and finds itself under pressure from Free software as well, responds in a similar fashion by pretending right now. It hopes that some uninformed schools will simply forget its (ab)use of software patents against competitors and clear hatred of “open source”. Speaking of schools, Microsoft’s Twitter AstroTurf [1, 2] lives on with this attempt to turn more students into the company's vassals (MSPs).
And now that key Microsoft products fail to arrive, one person in the 451 Group suggests that Microsoft ought to have gotten itself some code vassals.
Would an open source approach have helped with ILM2 delay?
I can’t comment on the technical challenges involved – but the delay of close to a year in the release of Microsoft’s Identity Lifecycle Manager (ILM) 2.0 is clearly a blow to the Microsoft identity ‘ecosystem’. There are sure to be competitors who feel like they can breathe a sigh of relief, but not having a strong Microsoft set of products for provisioning and credential lifecycle management has to be seen on balance as a negative for the market as a whole and certainly technology buyers.