EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

09.28.09

With Friends Like These, Who Needs Microsoft?

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, GPL, Java, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 6:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ballmer with Ximian hat

Summary: Another quick analysis of how Microsoft ‘bear-hugs’ the “Open Source” community to advance technical and political goals

THERE IS quite clearly an attack on Free software. Some people really want the movement and its philosophy out of the way so that corporations can “do their thing” and leave that whole “freedom thing” behind. Assimilation is a rather scary strategy because not only is it Microsoft’s favourite technique for embracing and extending (or dividing and devouring) but it also makes peers seem like foes, and vice versa.

GNU/Linux is Novell is Microsoft

The vision some people have of GNU/Linux does not have much freedom in mind. Over the weekend, Miguel de Icaza shared nostalgic Microsoft photos and declared that he deletes comments (here in Boycott Novell we never deleted any comments).

If you feel the need to be rude, offensive, lie or you are intentionaly trying to start a fight, I encourage to do that in your blog.

Fellow Novell employee (he came from Ximian) sings praises of Mono, which is almost like gratis promotion of .NET and C#. He addresses the truth about Mono helping Microsoft and never quite catching up:

Unsurprisingly someone attacked Miguel and Mono for “always chasing tail lights” which is a common logical fallacy that the anti-Mono folks love to argue…

A seemingly-reasonable point is then being made: “We’re not interested in childish popularity contests, we’re interested in making great cross-platform development tools and making the Linux Desktop more inviting to a wider audience of both users and developers.”

It can be done with Java, which is equal on more platforms and is also Free software. Quite importantly, it does not suffer from Microsoft's patent cage, it inhibits it.

Open Corers

The most recent attacks on Free software and on Richard Stallman are an issue we addressed in the afternoon, but so did Glyn Moody, who argued that “Without Free Software, Open Source Would Lose its Meaning.” It’s about blurring, which he warned about 2 years ago when Microsoft was entering the OSI (partly owing to Matt Asay’s insistence, being part of the board at the time).

Moreover, if the term “open source” becomes devalued, coders and users will become disillusioned, and start to desert it. The former will find the sharing increasingly asymmetric, as their contributions are taken with little given in return (something that may well happen even to open source companies using the GNU GPL if they demand that contributors cede their copyright, as most currently do). Users will similarly discover that some of these new-style “blurred” open source applications fail to deliver the promised benefits of control, customisation and cost-savings.

But, of course, the point is not “to go mainstream”: as Stallman said, it’s about having “freedom as a principle.” Spreading free software is about spreading *free* software, not free *software*: software is simply the means, not the end.

Mr. Greve (of FSFE fame) argues that it “Seems @mjasay [Matt Asay] should read this again.” The cited article from Greve says:

Another approach by which companies such as SAP and Microsoft seek to steer the brand is by escalating, aggravating and encouraging conflict between false enemies, and by seeking to harmonize the wider community with false friends.

This brings us to the last point.

Microsoft and SAP as Part of “Open Source”

Here is the latest episode of this never-ending saga which we wrote about 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
  8. ‘European’ Software Strategy Published, Written by Lobbyists and Multinationals
  9. Microsoft Uses Inside Influence to Grab Control, Redefine “Open Source”

Below is the latest correspondence (up to this morning). My words are marked in red to distinguish from those of the person at the Commission. They shelter moles.

OpenPGP: *Parts of the message have NOT been signed or encrypted*

Dear Mr Schestowitz,

Thank you for your e-mail dated 21/09/2009 registered on 21/09/2009. I hereby acknowledge receipt.

Yours sincerely,

[Anonymised]

[...]

Dear Mr. Schestowitz,

Thank you for your email of 20th March, registered on 23rd March, applying for a copy of documents in accordance with Regulation (EC) N° 1049/2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.

In this message you requested access to the following documents:

“I hereby request electronic access to all documents related to the Towards the European Software Strategy process in the posession of the EU-Commission, in particular access to the following documents:
* the list of participants in the industry expert group
* the list of WGs, WGs sleaders and observing Commission officials
* draft contributions of all industry Working groups on a the European Software Strategy
* draft input to all WG prepared by the Commission
* the participant list of the related meeting on January 20th in Brussels
* all submissions from industry to the ESS consultation under the applicable provisions of regulation 1049/2001 which grant me a right of access to all documents mentioned above.”

We were, and still are, unable to identify the documents referred to in the 6th item “all submissions from industry to the ESS consultation”, as notified to you in our emails dated 15th April 2009, 8th May 2009, 27th May 2009 and 5th June 2009.

We sent you the documents corresponding to the first five items in your request in our email of 5th June 2009. I would draw your attention to the fact that they can, in no way, be reproduced or disseminated for commercial purposes unless we have first been consulted.

The documents that were sent were:
* the list of participants in the industry expert group: “list of participants in the industry expert group.pdf”
* the list of WGs, WGs sleaders and observing Commission officials: “Working Groups.pdf”
* the participant list of the related meeting on January 20th in Brussels: “Participants list 20th of January.pdf”
* draft input to all WG prepared by the Commission: “Moderator for the European Software Strategy Working Group SMEs Reduction of Fragmentation – D104400.tif” Please note that the email is a model for all the emails sent to the moderators

Please note that the following documents have been drawn up by independent experts and do not necessarily represent the European Commission’s views and can in no way be reproduced or disseminated for commercial purposes unless we have first been consulted.
* draft contributions of all industry Working groups on a the European Software Strategy:
“WG1_Future_Internet.pdf”
“WG2_Technology and Business Trends in the Software Industry.pdf”
“WG 3 – IPR, Standards, and Interoperability.zip”
“WG4_Public Procurement – Financing Software Innovation.pdf”
“WG5_SMEs-Reduction of Fragmentation.pdf”
“WG6_Skills.pdf”
“WG7_OSS.pdf”

* draft input to all WG prepared by the Commission: “Software_Strategy_Issues_Paper.pdf”

In our email dated 5th June 2009 we sent you the documents that we had identified from your original email dated 20th March 2009. In your reply, dated 7th June 2009, you subsequently informed us that “I shall ask again for more documents”. To date, no request has been received by our services.

Yours sincerely,

[Anonymised]

Thank you for the reply. When I wrote “I shall ask again for more documents” I meant to say “I hereby ask again for the documents”. In particular, I wish to see the contributions of Mr. Zuck (he confirmed to me that he was in the panel) and SAP. ACT and SAP have a well documented track record of systematically stomping on Open Source software. Mr. Zuck has been a lobbyist for Microsoft for about a decade, so his role in this paper only help in substantiating allegations that the eventual outcome is manipulated by hostile edits. I adamantly believe that the process — not just the output — should be transparent.

This scandal has gone on for several months (almost half a year) and I have still not received what I requested. Even the active involvement of the ombudsman did not help much, except for the fact that the Commission was pressured/forced to carry on with correspondence comprising mostly excuses. In the mean time, Microsoft, SAP and their lobbyists get their way in Europe.

“The closing years of life are like a masquerade party, when the masks are dropped”

Arthur Schopenhauer quotes (German Philosopher, 1788-1860)

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. twitter said,

    September 28, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Gravatar

    There’s nothing wrong with deleting rude comments. It is probably better to hold on to them to keep a record of abuse, but it’s perfectly within the rights of a person running a blog to decide what they will publish. PJ does this and is better off for it. We can be sure that the people at WE spend about as much time trolling Miguel as they do anyone else they wish to manipulate. M$ palls might be nice to his face but you know they think he’s a tool.

What Else is New


  1. [Humour] European Patents Only Useful Outside the Legal Framework?

    Patents that aren't valid in the eyes of courts would best serve patent trolls that settle out of courts, en masse



  2. Microsoft's Share in Web Servers Rapidly Falls to Just 4.5% (Falling More Than 5% in a Single Month)

    Microsoft's share as measured at Netcraft (de facto authority in this area) is rapidly declining; expect IIS to go the way of the dodo some time in the coming years



  3. The Lock-downs Are Over and Still Zero Media Coverage About EPO Scandals and Corruption

    The appalling state of journalism in Europe (and to some extent in the world at large) means that the EPO's management can get away with all sorts of horrible crimes and fraud; the silencing of the media is, in its own right, quite scandalous



  4. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, July 02, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, July 02, 2020



  5. “Microsoft's Deadly Love” by Alessandro Ebersol (Agent Smith)

    Full credit goes to PCLOS Magazine for publishing this good piece, which we’re reproducing



  6. Links 2/7/2020: Microsoft Partner Says GNU/Linux Share in Desktops/Laptops at 4% Even After Lock-downs, OpenSUSE Leap 15.2 and Mageia 8 Alpha 1 Released

    Links for the day



  7. Why People Should Never Ever Use DuckDuckGo

    DuckDuckGo is another privacy abuser in disguise; the above forum thread enumerates key reasons



  8. After 2 Years and 2 Days António Campinos is a Perfect Leader, Fostering EPO Abuses While Smiling

    EPO corruption persists, but this time the corruption enjoys better marketing/PR and complicit (or at best silent) media



  9. [Humour] As If Monopolies for Life Will Save People's Lives...

    The mentality of monopoly or the mindset of patent maximalism has been quick to exploit the deaths of half a million



  10. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, July 01, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, July 01, 2020



  11. IBM-Funded FSF Censors Itself on Software Patents

    Donald Robertson’s article bemoaning and openly condemning the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) over software patents, which it illegally grants in some cases, was modified a week later; and why? One can only guess… (but remember that the FSF’s foremost sponsor is lobbying against 35 U.S.C. § 101 and for software patents)



  12. [Humour/Meme] Remember That As Recently as Last Year Microsoft Was Still Shaking Down and Even Suing Companies Over 'Linux Patent Infringement'

    There's no 'new Microsoft' except a (better at) lying Microsoft; its covert actions tell us a lot about its ongoing hatred of GNU/Linux, which it is assaulting in new and more sophisticated ways



  13. Contrary to Common Misconceptions, Free Software is More 'Corporate' or More 'Enterprise-Grade' Than Proprietary Abandonware (All Proprietary Software Will Die)

    Free software can leverage the superficial and bland boardroom lingo/slang to promote itself; it would definitely harm or dilute/weaken the terms which proprietary software giants like to leverage against us



  14. Social Control Media Will Not Exist One Day

    Digital obsolescence and Internet bitrot — that’s what Social Control Media is really good for; as many Google+ ‘users’ (useds) found out, they’re just being ‘farmed’ for their ‘content’, which is neither valuable nor resilient (definitely of no value to Google)



  15. What Freedom of Software Actually Means to Us

    Liberty or libre (freedom) is about more than brands or personalities, as names or institutions or individuals can change or completely perish; but concepts outlast superficialities



  16. [Humour] Thinking Beyond Just the Linux Brand

    We're supposed to believe that because "Linux" is dominant we finally have freedom; but almost all the very big companies that are using GNU/Linux leverage it for freedom-hostile purposes and keep about 99% of their code secret from us, so the fight for software freedom must go on



  17. Corporate Media Blames 'China' and 'Open Source' for Back Doors in Microsoft's Intentionally Flawed Proprietary Software That's Causing Chaos

    'Red Scare' tactics are being used to divert attention away from Microsoft's incompetence and conspiracy with the NSA (to put back doors in everything, essentially making all software inherently vulnerable, by design)



  18. Microsoft Has Infiltrated Authorities and/or Their Consultation Processes

    In the European Union, the United States and just about everywhere else in the world one can find Microsoft officials replacing public officials, as if the decision-making too has been outsourced to the "Good Folks" from Microsoft



  19. Links 1/7/2020: Tails 4.8, Serpent OS

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, June 30, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, June 30, 2020



  21. EPO Management Celebrates the Lowering of Patent Quality While Granting Invalid Patents (IPs) Instead of European Patents (EPs)

    Europe's most autocratic institution continues to cheat and lie to everybody; even twice in one day, together with... the Communist Party of China (through CNIPA)



  22. Links 30/6/2020: OpenSUSE Leap 15.2, 4MLinux 34.0 Beta and IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 146

    Links for the day



  23. [Humour] There's Always a Way... (to Grant Patents on Almost Anything)

    The referral from European Patent Office (EPO) President António Campinos leaves the door open to patents on life, provided one paints those as uniquely clever, e.g. GMO (same tricks for software patents in Europe with “Hey Hi” — an overblown buzz wave)



  24. Crocodiles Can Only Ever Fake Empathy

    Greenwashing, pinkwashing, openwashing and abduction of various authentic civil rights movements (centered around gender, race, and sometimes economic issues) is very easy and cheap relative to the depths of corporate pockets; the problem is, those things help distract the 'masses' from objectively immoral and universally unacceptable acts



  25. [Humour/Meme] History in the Making or History Being Rewritten?

    he idea that history can just totally eliminate particular people and particular views overlooks the very nature of historical studies; banning words impedes the telling of history itself and society cannot tackle the underlying issues without talking about them



  26. A Lot of Things Are Offensive to Someone and Appeasing the Easily Offended is an Endless Adventure That Can Offend Free Speech Ideals

    Free speech may be the main casualty of the recent flamewars, which were initially rationalised as ethics-driven and nowadays boil down to speech police



  27. Feeling Vindicated About the Harms of Social Control Media Being Widely Recognised

    The cleansing of social control media sites reinforces our long-held views about social control media in general



  28. [Humour/Meme] ZDNet Promoting LOT/OIN as a Force for Good. Says a Lot About ZDNet...

    ZDNet has long been a mouthpiece or a parrot for LOT and OIN (overlaps exist); that says so much about the software patents agenda of ZDNet and its parent company, which became defunct 6 months ago, then passed to friends of Bill Gates (privately-owned)



  29. Linus Torvalds Explains Why GNU/Linux Development Speeds Up (Likely Owing to Coronavirus Lock-downs)

    The COVID-19 pandemic has so far boosted not only GNU/Linux market share; it's also speeding up development, leaving proprietary software players in the ashes (it's harder for them to make sales and to pay their developers)



  30. IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 29, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, June 29, 2020


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts