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07.30.09

More RAND and Hostility Towards Standards, Courtesy of Microsoft

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Novell, RAND at 9:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Don't look at me

Summary: Another look at how Microsoft and its affiliates suppress Free software (a potpourri of new examples)

OVER the past week we exposed the interests of Nasscom [1, 2], based on dozens of references which we have accumulated for years. It it truly sad that a supposedly “national” body is at times just a vassal for multinationals. The conflict of interests is not only a perceived one; in fact, ZDNet has just published a long article about it.

Proponents of the open source and proprietary software sectors have clashed over a proposal to support multiple standards for the country’s e-government projects.

Last year, the Indian Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MCIT) released a draft policy, mandating the adoption of freely available standards in the deployment of the country’s e-government projects–estimated to be valued at over US$4 billion.

[...]

The trade body supports the inclusion of standards under Reasonable and Non Discriminatory (RAND) terms, and also the usage of multiple standards in the same domain.

That mention of RAND is one that we are seeing in Europe as well. Microsoft loves using RAND as a weapon against Free software and contrary to spin, Microsoft is still not playing fair. In fact, the spin machine carries on.

Microsoft has promised the European Commission a “significant change” in attitude and publishes its proposal for the marketing of Internet Explorer in Windows 7. Additionally there’s news regarding the GPL publishings.

Microsoft’s “GPL publishings” are nothing significant (neither for Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] nor for Moodle) and here comes another article about Microsoft’s GPL violations.

MICROSOFT DID VIOLATE the GNU General Public License (GPLv2) through the way it distributed its Hyper-V device drivers for Linux, the Software Freedom Law Center has claimed.

[...]

Stephen Hemminger, a lead engineer for the networking software maker Vyatta and a Linux kernel contributor, apparently discovered Microsoft’s licencing violation.

We wrote some more about it several days ago because the spin machine never rests. In fact, the Register’s Microsoft-oriented guy, Gavin Clarke, has just shown that Zend gives Microsoft and its ally Novell a preferential treatment.

Zend Technologies has announced the latest version of its open-source framework for PHP, offering improved support for Microsoft and Novell environments.

Why Novell? This has more to do with Novell’s proprietary side.

Returning to those claims from Microsoft that it was playing fair with rival Web browsers, this is totally missing the point that Microsoft deviates from Web standards, using Silverlight. In fact, now that Yahoo! is Microsoft's zombie, Glyn Moody expects more Silverlight poison around the Web.

I would also expect to see more Microsoft technologies rolled out across Yahoo sites – in particular, Silverlight. That’s definitely bad news for open source, since it is patent-encumbered and very closely tied to Microsoft’s other products.

I warned about this back in February 2008 when Microsoft made the bid for Yahoo! SIlverlight is proprietary, so what’s the point asking for a patent waiver or documentation?

“I have no idea what you’re talking about when you say ‘ask.’”

Bill Gates, in his deposition for the Microsoft antitrust trial

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A Single Comment

  1. zatoichi said,

    July 30, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Gravatar

    …here comes another article about Microsoft’s GPL violations…

    Which does nothing but repeat Bradley Kuhn’s complaints that a company got into compliance, while—like this site—overlooking other companies which have identical “violations”, like Nvidia and ATI and others, and which haven’t corrected them. All of this seems like yet another symptom of the disease of pathological Microsoft-hatred which Linus referred to. If you don’t like the term “zealot”, stop acting like one.

    Your assessment of the lack of value of these patches also flies in the face of the lack of excitement—again as Linus points out—over device-specific power management code, etc.

    If your argument is that the drivers only enable “running free software in a non-free environment”, then you’d seem to be arguing in favor of limiting a user’s freedom to “run the program for any purpose”.

    Or do only “purposes” which you enjoy count here?

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