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

11.05.09

Open Source Subsumed by Microsoft and Blackboard

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 7:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Darth Vader Microsoft
Picture by SubSonica

Summary: A not-so-alarmist post pointing to news about attempts to embrace and extend “Open Source” (mostly by Microsoft)

HARDCORE proprietary software companies like Microsoft and its educational pet Blackboard want to defend their proprietary dominance while pretending to be everything and everyone in every simple camp. This also means pretending to be players in “Open Source”, in ODF, and in social causes.

Dana Blankenhorn correctly points out what we warned about twice in recent days not because Blackboard is suing competitors using software patents [1, 2, 3] but because it is trying to embrace and extend its Free software rivals, just as Microsoft does.

Anyone seeking a case study of how a proprietary software company can “embrace and extend” itself into the open source world should stop thinking Microsoft and start thinking Blackboard.

Blankenhorn does not make the financial and strategic links between Blackboard and Microsoft visible [1, 2, 3, 4].

Here in a new press release we find out how SharePoint, which is losing some of its luster [1, 2], tries to portray itself as “open” in the form of plugins (that’s what the CodePlex joke is all about — extensions to Microsoft cash cows). The press release describes a product as “a free and open-source component for Microsoft’s SharePoint Enterprise Collaboration Platform.” The dash in “open-source” is probably deliberate and “free” would almost certainly not refer to the 4 freedoms. Only yesterday we showed an example in OpenX. It signed a deal with Microsoft — a deal which is exploited using deceiving headlines which do not reflect on the nature of this relationship at all. It only glorifies Microsoft and misrepresents where it’s possible.

“It’s akin to situations where AstroTurf/lobbying groups manage to receive “fair coverage” and interject their masters’ views into the press in order to pollute messages and misrepresent public opinion.”Speaking of spin or deception, we have just found CodePlex described as “Microsoft-backed open source group”; well, it is just a Microsoft drone funded by Microsoft alone in order to serve Microsoft. This report is being spread around various IDG Web sites, permitting Microsoft to do its PR. It’s akin to situations where AstroTurf/lobbying groups manage to receive “fair coverage” and interject their masters’ views into the press in order to pollute messages and misrepresent public opinion.

Microsoft is trying to emulate and confuse, mixing up terminology and putting out there well-groomed marketing symbols like Sam Ramji [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12] (he claims to have quit).

All of this PR is intended to help Microsoft embrace and extend “Open Source” a lot more rapidly. Here is Microsoft speaking the language of money to buy influence in Apache again. This week’s Apache payola is merely continuation of a tactic which we wrote about in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17].

Part of Microsoft’s fake affairs with “open source” is to do with Novell. Following the layoffs yesterday (Microsoft had some too), Novell does not receive sympathy from the GNU/Linux community. From the newer comments in Matt Asay’s seminal post:

As for their [Novell's] Linux business. Because of their partnership with Microsoft I wouldn’t touch them with a 10 foot pole. I’m guessing that anyone else that doesn’t want to have anything to do with Microsoft feels the same way. If not, why would they not just stick with Windows? Yes I know a few reasons by that would be the only people I know that would go with Novell. Everyone else that wants to use Linux and not Microsoft is steering clear of Novell.

CIOL wrote some more about Novell’s layoffs.

WALTHAM, USA: Novell, Inc., which delivers interoperable Linux platform and a portfolio of integrated IT management software, has recently laid off over 100 people, said a Cnet report.

Citing “several sources within the company”, the report said that Novell has offered several months of severance pay, apparently based on the number of years with the company, among other factors.

In ComputerWorld UK, Tom Callway expresses concerns that with the examples given above there is clearly an attempt to dilute, diffuse, and deform “open source”, which means that a triumph of “open source” may actually mean victory for another form of non-Free, proprietary software like Novell’s [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

The 21st century witnessed the phenomenal growth of a new movement, the free, open source software (FOSS) movement.

All of the developments described above over the last thirty years were the result of a paradigm elaborated by the twin drivers of business applying the ‘patents are profits’ model or doing things and Governments pursuing their defence and public control objectives.

The FOSS models offered something quite different – development by the community, for the community. However, what seems to be happening is that FOSS is simply becoming a cheaper and easier to develop stuff than previously done by proprietary-patented products.

In other words, bit by bit FOSS is being ‘proprietarised’ as it gets incorporated into situations and devices which exist solely to keep the current paradigm going. A open source smart phone is as boring as a proprietary one. A Linux embedded Cruise missile is a destructive as one would be with a Microsoft OS (but maybe more reliable).

It’s time to remember what the goals of Free software actually are. Too big a compromise means ending up right where you started, only pretending to have won an elusive battle with forever-moving goalposts.

“That would be because we believe in Free Software and doing the right thing (a practice you appear to have given up on). Maybe it is time the term ‘open source’ also did the decent thing and died out with you.”

Alan Cox to Eric Raymond

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 20/4/2018: Atom 1.26, MySQL 8.0

    Links for the day



  2. Links 19/4/2018: Mesa 17.3.9 and 18.0.1, Trisquel 8.0 LTS Flidas, Elections for openSUSE Board

    Links for the day



  3. The Patent Microcosm, Patent Trolls and Their Pressure Groups Incite a USPTO Director Against the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Section 101/Alice

    As one might expect, the patent extremists continue their witch-hunt and constant manipulation of USPTO officials, whom they hope to compel to become patent extremists themselves (otherwise those officials are defamed, typically until they're fired or decide to resign)



  4. Microsoft's Lobbying for FRAND Pays Off as Microsoft-Connected Patent Troll Conversant (Formerly MOSAID) Goes After Android OEMs in Europe

    The FRAND (or SEP) lobby seems to have caused a lot of monopolistic patent lawsuits; this mostly affects Linux-powered platforms such as Android, Tizen and webOS and there are new legal actions from Microsoft-connected patent trolls



  5. To Understand Why People Say That Lawyers are Liars Look No Further Than Misleading Promotion of Software Patents

    Some of the latest misleading claims from the patent microcosm, which is only interested in lots and lots of patents (its bread and butter is monopolies after all) irrespective of their merit, quality, and desirability



  6. When News About the EPO is Dominated by Sponsored 'Reports' and Press Releases Because Publishers Are Afraid of (or Bribed by) the EPO

    The lack of curiosity and genuine journalism in Europe may mean that serious abuses (if not corruption) will go unreported



  7. The Boards of Appeal at the European Patent Organisation (EPO) Complain That They Are Understaffed, Not Just Lacking the Independence They Depend on

    The Boards of Appeal have released a report and once again they openly complain that they're unable to do their job properly, i.e. patent quality cannot be assured



  8. Links 18/4/2018: New Fedora 27 ISOs, Nextcloud Wins German Government Contract

    Links for the day



  9. Guest Post: Responding to Your Recent Posting “The European Patent Office Will Never Hold Its Destroyers Accountable”

    In France, where Battistelli does not enjoy diplomatic immunity, he can be held accountable like his "padrone" recently was



  10. The EPO in 2018: Partnering With Saudi Arabia and Cambodia (With Zero European Patents)

    The EPO's status in the world has declined to the point where former French colonies and countries with zero European Patents are hailed as "success stories" for Battistelli



  11. For Samsung and Apple the Biggest Threat Has Become Patent Trolls and Aggressors in China and the Eastern District of Texas, Not Each Other

    The latest stories about two of the world's largest phone OEMs, both of which find themselves subjected to a heavy barrage of patent lawsuits and even embargoes; Samsung has meanwhile obtained an antisuit injunction against Huawei



  12. The EPO Continues to Lie About Patent Quality Whilst Openly Promoting Software Patents, Even Outside Europe

    EPO patent quality continues to sink while EPO management lies about it and software patents are openly being promoted/advocatedEPO patent quality continues to sink while EPO management lies about it (the article above is new) and software patents are openly being promoted/advocated



  13. SCOTUS on WesternGeco v Ion Geophysical Almost Done; Will Oil States Decision Affirm the PTAB's Quality Assurance (IPRs) Soon?

    Ahead of WesternGeco and Oil States, following oral proceedings, it's expected that the highest court in the United States will deliver more blows to patent maximalism



  14. Links 17/4/2018: Linux 5.x Plans and Microsoft's 'Embrace'

    Links for the day



  15. The European Patent Office (EPO) Grants Patents in Error, Insiders Are Complaining That It's the Management's Fault

    The EPO has languished to the point where patents are granted in error, examiners aren't happy, and the resultant chaos benefits no-one but lawyers and patent trolls



  16. The European Patent Office Will Never Hold Its Destroyers Accountable

    With only one in seven EPO stakeholders believing that Battistelli's pick (António Campinos) will turn things around for the better, it certainly does not seem like people are happy and there's no real hope that Battistelli will ever be held accountable for his abuses after his immunity expires



  17. With Liars Like These...

    The European Patent Office continues to lie about the Unified Patent Court (UPC) amongst other things, still revealing its reluctance to say anything which is truthful or work to repair the damage caused by Benoît Battistelli



  18. Links 16/4/2018: Linux 4.17 RC 1, Mesa 18.0.1 RC, GNOME 3.28.1

    Links for the day



  19. IAM, Patently-O and Watchtroll (the Patent Trolls' Lobby) Try to Stop Patent Oppositions/Petitions (PTAB)

    In spite of fee hikes, introduced by Iancu's interim predecessor, petitions (IPRs) at the PTAB continue to grow in number and the patent maximalists are losing their minds over it



  20. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is Ending Software Patents One Patent at a Time

    At an accelerating pace and with growing determination, PTAB (part of AIA) crushes patent trolls and software patents; the statistics and latest stories speak for themselves



  21. Academics and Think Tanks for Patent Maximalism

    Right-wing think tanks and impressionable academics continue to lobby for patent maximalism, rarely revealing the funding sources and motivations; in reality, however, such maximalism mainly helps large (already-wealthy) corporations, monopolists, and law firms



  22. Killing Patent Quality and Encouraging 'Covert' Software Patents Using the Buzzwords Du Jour

    The epidemic of buzzwords and/or hype waves that are being exploited to dodge or bypass patent scope/limitations, as seen in Europe and the US these days



  23. Crisis of Quality at the EPO Extends to Staff (Notably Examiners) and Management as Institutional Integrity is Severely Compromised

    A rather pessimistic but likely realistic outlook for the European Patent Office (EPO), which seems unable to attract the sort of staff it attracted for a number of decades



  24. The 'Blockchaining' of Software Patents (to Dodge the Rules/Guidelines) Now Coming to Europe

    A lot of software patents are being declared invalid (or not granted in the first place); having said that, using all sorts of hype waves (like calling databases “blockchains”) firms and individuals manage to still be granted software patents and sometimes patent trolls hoard these



  25. Links 14/4/2018: Wine 3.6, KDE Elisa 0.1

    Links for the day



  26. East Asia Should Have Adopted the Patent Strategy of South Asia, Notably India

    China seems to be so interested in patent maximalism that it has lost sight of the effect on foreign investment, e.g. US/European/Taiwanese/Japanese/Korean firms operating/manufacturing in mainland China



  27. Samsung is the 'New IBM', Sans the Trolling With Patents

    The 'relic' company, IBM, loses its patent leadership (as measured using some yardstick) to Samsung, a company which is relatively calm when it comes to patent activity (unless/only when sued, as happens a lot nowadays)



  28. David Barcelou May or May Not be a Patent Troll, But He is Certainly a SLAPPing Bully and Watchtroll is Fine With It

    Like a thin-skinned person/entity (which many in the patent microcosm are), David Barcelou and Automated Transactions (“ATL”) SLAPP their critics and surprisingly enough it's Watchtroll, who has been threatened by WIPO, coming to the bully's rescue (double standards)



  29. Links 12/4/2018: Stable New Kernels, Neptune 5.1

    Links for the day



  30. The USPTO Has a Nepotism and Lobbying Problem That Jeopardises the Rationality of US Patent Law

    The influence games of Washington are spilling over to the US patent office and poisoning/harming its ability to conduct professional operations without corporate influence (from either side, both corporations and law firms)


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts