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 in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Slashdot

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 22/10/2020: LibreOffice 6.4.7, Septor 2020.5, Ubuntu 20.10 Released, FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 21, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 21, 2020



  3. Living Humbly (With Older Technology or None) is More Compatible With Privacy- and Freedom-Respecting Technological Lifestyle

    Simplicity sometimes trumps so-called 'novelty', especially when it comes to human rights and users' freedom



  4. Reasons Why You (and Everybody Else) Should Join the Fight for Software Freedom

    Society is being closely watched and controlled (more so during/after the latest pandemic) and people must carefully consider the true importance of resisting proprietary technology (controlled remotely by state actors)



  5. Ways and Means to Reduce One's Dependency on Google's Various Monopolies and Near-Monopolies

    Getting rid of Google means a lot more than embracing DumbDumbGo (DDG) or some other sites that spy just like Google; we're taking stock of some options



  6. The European Commission is Still M.I.A. Regarding EPO Corruption (and the EPO's Management Plays Dirty, as Always)

    There's no change in the EU; the EUIPO and EPO enjoy complete and total immunity/impunity, with the Commission being manned by those who are deeply complicit



  7. 10 Reasons Why All This 'Edge for Linux' Coverage is a Total Farce

    The fake hype surrounding "Edge" is an inauthentic hype/buzz campaign made to coincide with anti-Google sentiments spread by Microsoft front/pressure groups



  8. Microsoft's IIS Has Collapsed Again This Past Month (and IIS Will Not and Cannot Survive This Way)

    Netcraft shows that Microsoft's decline further accelerates in the Web servers space; IIS is becoming financially unviable



  9. Links 21/10/2020: Alpine 3.12.1, Tor Browser 10.0.2

    Links for the day



  10. [Meme] US Department of Justice Should Have Taken on Microsoft Again, Not Google

    When lobbying, connections and political sway determine the actions of the American government it's hardly surprising that Bill Gates gets the Trump administration to fight for him (to make him even richer)



  11. [Meme] Banning Words, Gaslighting Volunteers

    What happens when institutions are themselves in violation of a CoC (institutional violation) and massive corporations that fund such institutional violations are defending demonisation of the individual (squashing ‘uncomfortable’ voices, even volunteers’)



  12. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 20, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 20, 2020



  13. Links 21/10/2020: $8000 GNU/Linux Desktop, Tails 4.12, Open Infrastructure Foundation and Firefox Release

    Links for the day



  14. Never Feed the Internet Trolls, No Matter How Tempting It Becomes

    The tactics for removing critics of abuse (by framing them as "abusive") have evolved a lot in recent years; the best course of action is to never entertain provocateurs in any way whatsoever (just ignore them, give them no attention which they crave and feed on)



  15. Bill Gates: “I'm Not a Lawyer” (He Dropped Out of College, Where He Studied Law Before and After Breaking the Law Chronically)

    How Microsoft blackmailed other companies into supporting nothing but Microsoft and Windows; Bill Gates repeatedly lied to the interrogators about it, then said "I'm not a lawyer" (IANAL) even though he went to college to become one, just like his father who died last month



  16. Microsoft Has Not Changed Since Being Investigated (and Prosecuted) for Crimes at a Federal Level

    The media keeps telling us a bunch of worthless junk about Gates "saving the world" and Microsoft becoming a "nice" and "gentle" (or "soft") company, but nothing could be further from the truth



  17. Stick a Fork in the Open Source Initiative (OSI). OSI is Dead. Microsoft Bought OSI.

    OSI leadership proudly showing early signs of 'prognosis negative'; the OSI can never and will never recover from this; Microsoft killed it



  18. Links 20/10/2020: OpenZFS 2.0 RC4 and Trisquel GNU/Linux 9.0

    Links for the day



  19. People With God Complex Must Never be Allowed in Positions of Power

    The attack on Linus Torvalds — an attack which at his own expense/peril he fails to recognise/acknowledge — seeks to put both projects that he founded right in Microsoft’s palm



  20. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 19, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, October 19, 2020



  21. Corporate Media: GNU/Linux Can Only Succeed If/When Microsoft Dominates Everything Inside It

    The corporate takeover (or handover) of GNU/Linux would not have been possible without complicity of corruptible (bribed) media



  22. Bill Gates Explains How Microsoft and Apple Leverage Software Patents in Their Cross-Licensing Deals (to Perpetuate Duopoly/Shared Monopoly)

    A look back at Apple's and Microsoft's use or misuse of bogus software patents in bargaining (in effect excluding those who have not amassed tens of thousands of patents)



  23. Standards and Choices

    GNU/Linux is a very standards-based platform; having lots of choices (e.g. distros to choose from) isn’t the principal problem — or nowhere near the extent sabotage and illegal tactics by Microsoft have been



  24. IBM's “Emb(RACE)” Campaign is an Insult to History and Historians

    IBM wishes to be seen as some heroic saviour and warrior for black girls; this requires serious if not torturous revisionism to be believed



  25. There Are Too Many Types of Cars...

    "Choice is malicious," say the antagonists



  26. Reversal of Narratives by Internet Trolls (Spinning Reaction to Their Trolling as 'Abuse')

    Organisations that engage in demonisation of people (typically those who expose the abuses of such organisations) somehow evade the standards of Codes of Conduct, as if Codes of Conduct are covertly designed not to protect individuals but to empower those who already have all the powers (or front for powerful people/corporations)



  27. Ongoing (Albeit Secret) Campaign of Patent Extortion Against GNU/Linux Distributions Using Software Patents, Even Expired Ones in Europe

    GNU/Linux distros attacked by software patents, even in Europe where no such patents are supposed to exist (or have any legal bearing)



  28. Links 19/10/2020: Linux 5.9-ck1/MuQSS, Linux Kodachi 7.3

    Links for the day



  29. Java's James Gosling is Wrong. Free Software Advocates Never Suggested or Insinuated That Money-Making Was Ethically Wrong.

    The honorable James Gosling mischaracterises the stance of Free software advocacy, portraying it like it is an issue of money rather than respect for users



  30. Maybe This is What Codes of Conduct Were Made for? Or to Prevent? (Updated)

    When people bemoan the abuse they receive from a so-called 'anti-harassment' team (covering up corporate corruption in a project by ousting people) this is the kind of thing they receive from colleagues or former colleagues


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