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09.19.09

Microsoft Uses Inside Influence to Grab Control, Redefine “Open Source”

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 7:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Writing spider
Microsoft lays patents and eggs in competitors’ territory

Summary: Microsoft uses its analysts, lobbyists, freebies, and covert “think tanks” to put “Open Source” under its own fold

THE previous post showed how viciously GNU/Linux and Free software are attacked now that they make considerable gains and put in jeopardy the status quo.

One company that benefited a lot from the status quo is the Gartner Group, to whom Microsoft pays millions of dollars (and Bill Gates invests in it also). The Gartner Group has been exceptionally busy attacking Free software recently. It’s too easy to see and here is yet another rebuttal to the latest smear.

Cloud Computing Is Not Killing Open Source Anywhere – A Response To Gartner

[...]

To conclude, open source isn’t going anywhere, whether it is in the government or the enterprises. If we see open source as a philosophical platform instead of a business model (which it isn’t) or a developmental model (an oversimplification), it is quite easy to see that open source will continue to play its role irrespective of how we consume the computing resources.

Another example of an attack on Free software we last mentioned just a few days ago, having previously dissected it in:

  1. European Open Source Software Workgroup a Total Scam: Hijacked and Subverted by Microsoft et al
  2. Microsoft’s AstroTurfing, Twitter, Waggener Edstrom, and Jonathan Zuck
  3. Does the European Commission Harbour a Destruction of Free/Open Source Software Workgroup?
  4. The Illusion of Transparency at the European Parliament/Commission (on Microsoft)
  5. 2 Months and No Disclosure from the European Parliament
  6. After 3 Months, Europe Lets Microsoft-Influenced EU Panel be Seen
  7. Formal Complaint Against European Commission for Harbouring Microsoft Lobbyists

Now that the documents are published, Glyn Moody cautions as follow:

Just over six months ago, I analysed a leaked early version of this, which was fascinating for the insight it gave into the manoeuvring going on by the different factions within that group. For alongside obvious supporters of free software, like the FSFE, there was also that well-known friend of Microsoft, the Association for Competitive Technology, and one of the biggest chums of software patents in Europe, SAP.

Moody proceeds to analysing the content of these documents.

In a gesture similar to the above, an event titled “Open Source Think Tank” is being organised. But watch the influence of the money at “Open Source Think Tank (Europe 2009)”:

The event will free of charge, thank to the core sponsorship of the event by Microsoft, Jaspersoft, Infobright, and Mindtouch.

Mindtouch are former Microsoft employees and watch the Web site of this event. Microsoft is like the father of the whole thing. Yes, Microsoft is to lead an “Open Source Think Tank”. Remember Alexis de Tocqueville? This is the trouble that the likes of Glyn Moody have warned about for years. Microsoft hijacks the voice of its competition and gets to say whatever it likes about what “Open Source” actually means.

By some people’s assessment, Matt Asay is a figure of authority in “Open Source” and watch what Microsoft is doing with him, by his own admission from a few days ago:

When I was working on my juris doctorate, I signed up to be a guinea pig for Microsoft. (It’s not as bad as it sounds.) The company would send people out to my house to observe me using my computer, and to ask me questions about changes I’d like to see in various product categories. In return, Microsoft gave me free software.

And following that familiar attempt to take the ‘L’ out of LAMP stacks [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], see what else Microsoft has just done:

GroundWork Open Source Announces Microsoft System Center Integration, Joins Microsoft System Center Alliance

GroundWork Open Source, Inc. (GWOS, www.gwos.com), the leader in commercial open source systems and network management software, today announced the availability of the GroundWork Connector for Microsoft System Center Operations Manager. GWOS is the first open source company to join Microsoft System Center Alliance as a member.

Good luck to them with Microsoft, whose vision of “open source” is Windows and software patents [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

“Open source is an intellectual-property destroyer [...] I can’t imagine something that could be worse than this for the software business and the intellectual-property business. I’m an American; I believe in the American way, I worry if the government encourages open source, and I don’t think we’ve done enough education of policymakers to understand the threat.”

Jim Allchin, President of Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft

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