10.29.09

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Microsoft Tries to Use Eclipse for Microsoft Lock-in

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

Eclipse

Summary: Microsoft uses Free software to serve the very opposite goal, which is to block Free software users from accessing Web sites

OVER the past year or two we have shown how inter-personal relationships (including staff moves) have enabled Microsoft to gain more influence inside Eclipse — influence that they mostly used to spread Microsoft lock-in such as Silver Lie, excluding GNU/Linux users in the process. To name a few posts on the subject:

Microsoft’s latest Eclipse move is of course covered by Microsoft’s friends, such as Gavin. Heise makes it clear that Microsoft is using Eclipse to spread more of Silver Lie, which has nothing to do with Free software, except for the fact that it excludes and punishes Free software, along with Web standards. From the new article:

Soyatec, who have been working with with Microsoft to develop the Eclipse Tools for Silverlight, helped with implementing the support of Azure and Silverlight. This has lead to the Windows Azure Tools for Eclipse, an open source plug-in that enables PHP developers working with the Eclipse development environment to develop web applications for Azure.

In a timely fashion, someone mailed us yesterday to say: “I came across this blog post by Sam Ramji. It’s an OK blog I think, but the response he makes to a comment is surprising, he says, ‘We’ll have to wait and see what projects are offered to the CodePlex Foundation to determine what the primary focus will be. I hope to see support for Linux as well as Windows. In my experience, open source developers are committed to advancing their own projects as well as those projects that are closely related to them. Free software developers on the other hand are consistently committed to advancing the Linux platform.’”

“Microsoft is trying to hijack “open source” and paint “free software” as negative, as usual.”The question which was then asked is: “Do you think this difference between open source and free software is correct? Maybe this explains Microsoft thinking in starting to promote open source – that developers don’t care about Linux and will gladly help Microsoft maintain Windows.”

Well, Sam Ramji is being dishonest, but maybe not deliberately. Microsoft is trying to hijack “open source” and paint “free software” as negative, as usual. “Free software” and “open source” are inherently the same in many technical ways and another pattern of Microsoft FUD — the one Ramji disagrees with — is that Free software cannot be “commercial”. Bill Gates is among those who spread this lie, so the problem resides deep inside the company. It’s probably a good thing that Ramji quit Microsoft last month.

Microsoft is still an enemy of Free software by its very own choice. Recently enough Microsoft got caught planning a software patent coup [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], not to mention lawsuits by proxy such as T3.

It is actually amusing to find articles like this new one from Carmi Levy, who messes up completely and ignores the OOXML corruptions, for example. By means of whitewashing and selective eyesight he tries to portray Microsoft as an ethically-reformed company. Here is the part about Novell:

Networking. While Novell rightly gets credit for defining and popularizing the modern Local Area Network, Microsoft’s Windows NT Server assumed the mantle and drove the concept into the heart of corporate IT. It certainly wasn’t always pretty, especially if you were responsible for patching and securing it, but it was a good enough, familiar enough product family for most organizations.

From the comments: “I really though[t] that we would get a balanced view in this article when I saw the heading, but no…. just some more one sided drivel.”

Are Microsoft’s PR efforts paying off? Are people unable to see that Microsoft is still breaking the law whilst attacking its competitors? And if so, this may explain how Microsoft has managed to penetrate Eclipse and other such Free software projects which it exploits.

“There’s free software [gratis, dumpware] and then there’s open source… there is this thing called the GPL, which we disagree with.”

Bill Gates, April 2008

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