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. The Death of Software Patents and Microsoft's Coup Against Yahoo! Made the Company Worthless

    A look at what happens to companies whose value is a house of software patents rather than code and a broad base of users/customers



  2. Munich Attack Mentioned by EPO But Not Ansbach

    The EPO does the usual right-wing thing (exploiting disaster/emergency for domestic crackdowns), but some bemoan the omission of the explosion at Ansbach (also in Germany)



  3. Kluwer Thinks People Are Clueless About the Unitary Patent System and Pretends It's Business as Usual

    Flogging the dead UPC horse at times of great uncertainty (enough to bring the UPC to a standstill)



  4. Almost Everything That the Government Accountability Office Says is Applicable to the EPO

    The Government Accountability Office in the United States produces reports which can serve as a timely warning sign to the European Patent Office, where patent quality is rapidly declining in order to meet 'production' goals



  5. Microsoft Says It Loves Linux, But Its Anti-Linux Patent Trolls Are Still Around and Active

    Highlighting just two of the many entities that Microsoft (and partners) use in order to induce additional costs on Free (as in freedom) software



  6. Links 26/7/2016: Microsoft Growing Desperate, Linux 4.8 Visions

    Links for the day



  7. Links 25/7/2016: Linux 4.7 Final, PostgreSQL 9.6 Beta 3

    Links for the day



  8. Leaked: Boards of Appeal Face 'Exile' or 'Extradition' in Haar After Standing up to Battistelli

    A look at some of the latest moves at the European Patent Office (EPO), following Battistelli's successful coup d’état which brought the EPO into a perpetual state of emergency that perpetuates Battistelli's totalitarian powers



  9. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comes Across as Against Software Patents, Relates to the EPO as Well

    Some analysis of the input from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) with focus on the EPO and software patents



  10. In the US, Patent Trolls Engage in Patent Wars and Shakedowns, Whereas in China/Korea Large Android OEMs Sue One Another

    Highlighting some of the differences between the US patent system and other patent systems



  11. Links 24/7/2016: Elive 2.7.1 Beta, New Flatpaks and Snaps

    Links for the day



  12. Links 23/7/2016: Leo Laporte on GNU/Linux, Dolphin Emulator’s Vulkan Completion

    Links for the day



  13. Links 22/7/2016: Wine 1.9.15, KaOS 2016.07 ISO

    Links for the day



  14. Haar Mentioned as Likely Site of Appeal Boards as Their Eradication or Marginalisation Envisioned by UPC Proponent Benoît Battistelli

    Not only the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) is under severe attack and possibly in mortal danger; the increasingly understaffed Boards of Appeal too are coming under attack and may (according to rumours) be sent to Haar, a good distance away from Munich and the airport (half an hour drive), not to mention lack of facilities for visitors from overseas



  15. EPO Attaché Albert Keyack Viewed as Somewhat of a Mole, Reporting From the US Embassy in Brazil Until Shortly Before the Temer Coup

    Public responses to the role played by Albert Keyack on behalf of the United States inside the European [sic] Patent Office



  16. EPO Insiders Explain Why the EPO's Examination Quality Rapidly Declines and Will Get Even Worse Because of Willy Minnoye

    Public comments from anonymous insiders serve to highlight a growing crisis inside the European Patent Office (EPO), where experienced/senior examiners are walking away and leaving an irreplaceable bunch of seats (due to high experience demands)



  17. Patents Roundup: BlackBerry, Huawei, PTAB, GAO, Aggressive Universities With Patents, and Software Patents in Europe

    Various bits and pieces of news regarding patents and their fast-changing nature in the United States nowadays



  18. Glimpse at Patent Systems Across the World: Better Quality Control at the USPTO Post-America Invents Act (2011), Unlike the EPO Post-Battistelli (2010)

    While the EPO reportedly strives to eliminate pendency and appeal windows altogether (rubberstamping being optimal performance as per the yardstick du jour), the USPTO introduces changes that would strengthen the system and shield innovation, not protect the business model of serial litigants



  19. Blockstream Has No Patents, But Pledges Not to Sue Using Patents

    Blockstream says that it comes in peace when it comes to software patents, which triggers speculations about coming Blockchain patent wars



  20. Links 21/7/2016: Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” Xfce Beta

    Links for the day



  21. Links 21/7/2016: An Honorary Degree for Alan Cox, Looks Back at DebConf16

    Links for the day



  22. EPO USA: Under Battistelli, the 'European' Patent Office Emulates All the Mistakes of the USPTO

    Conservative Benoît Battistelli is trying to impose on the European Patent Office various truly misguided policies and he viciously attacks anyone or anything that stands in his way, including his formal overseers



  23. Links 19/7/2016: ARM and Opera Buyout

    Links for the day



  24. Large Corporations' Software Patenting Pursuits Carry on in Spite of Patent Trolls That Threaten Small Companies the Most

    With unconvincing excuses such as OIN, large corporations including IBM continue to promote software patents in the United States, even when public officials and USPTO officials work towards ending those



  25. Battistelli Has Implemented De Facto EPO Coup to Remove Oversight, Give Himself Total Power, and Allegedly Give UPC Gifts (Loot) to French Officials

    Benoît Battistelli's agenda at the EPO is anything but beneficial to the EPO and suspicions that Battistelli's overall agenda is transitioning to the UPC to further his goals grow feet



  26. EPO Social [sic] Report is a Big Pile of Lies That Responsible Journalists Must Ignore

    A reminder of where the EPO stands on social issues and why the latest so-called 'social' report is nothing but paid-for propaganda for Battistelli's political ambitions



  27. Links 18/7/2016: Vista 10 a Failure, FreeType 2.7

    Links for the day



  28. Exploiting Perceived Emergencies/Disasters, Suspending the Rule of Law, and Suspending Judges: How Erdoğan is Like Battistelli, Except the Coup

    Pretexts for crackdown on law-abiding people or figureheads who are remote and independent the hallmark not only of Erdoğan but also the EPO's President, Benoit Battistelli



  29. The Impotence of Gene Quinn

    Attacking the enforcer of Alice v CLS because it's doing harm to his source of income, which makes him angry



  30. After the FTI Consulting-EPO Reputation Laundering Deal's Expansion in Germany Süddeutsche Zeitung 'Forgets' That the EPO Even Exists

    Relative apathy if not complete silence regarding the EPO at Süddeutsche Zeitung following reports of FTI Consulting's deal expansion (media positioning in Germany), with hundreds of thousands of Euros (EPO budget) thrown at the controversial task


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