Summary: How Microsoft partners and former employees have reached the point of infesting and deforming “open source” as we once knew it
THE title is borrowed from a book of Christopher Hitchens, which was intended to alert using strong words. What we increasingly find in Microsoft’s “open source” endeavours is the “Embrace, Extend and Extinguish” strategy, which was explained many times before, even years ago.
Microsoft’s CodePlex Foundation, where Miguel de Icaza is working (and which is explicitly intended to help promote Mono), is making a lot of noise these days and Mono boosters, who are also former Microsoft employees (MindTouch), lend their voice to it. As we noted yesterday, they also suck up to Matt Asay and it's paying off.
MindTouch bills itself as the open source alternative to Sharepoint and recently named our own Matt Asay as the second most-influential executive in open source.
Matt Asay finally has this new post which bears an alarmist headline: “Microsoft’s embrace of MySQL could kill it”
Here are the opening words:
For those who have fret about Microsoft fighting against open source, I have news for you: Microsoft’s impact on open source may be worse as a friend than as an enemy.
Now with MySQL inside! Yes, we can.
Over the past few years, Microsoft has steadily warmed to open source, to the point that it now hosts its own open-source code repository and has seen its Microsoft Public License used more often than venerable licenses like the Mozilla Public License or the Eclipse Public License, according to new data released by Black Duck Software.
The open-source world should be worried.
We previously showed how Microsoft was lobbying to ruin MySQL [1, 2]. In emerging markets, MySQL is said to have a market share of 46% which is huge. No wonder Microsoft wants to ruin MySQL and with its big ally, SAP, Microsoft is doing a sort of Slog. To whit:
“Working behind the scenes to orchestrate “independent” praise of our technology, and damnation of the enemy’s, is a key evangelism function during the Slog.”
–Microsoft, internal document
“[O]rchestrate “independent” praise of our technology,” eh? How might that be?
We once wrote about Black Duck promoting CodePlex. What too few people are aware of is the fact that Black Duck has a Microsoft genesis [1, 2] and the firm is selling fear about Free software. Black Duck is a purely proprietary software company with proprietary methods and proprietary data. It goes back to the post from Asay, but watch what Dana Blankenhorn is now parroting uncritically.
The latest Black Duck Software figures on open source license popularity make it clear.
Microsoft is gaining.
Is it really? Is the source of the claim unbiased? What is it measuring? A wise gentleman (or several gentlemen to whom it’s attributed) once said:
“Lies, damned lies, and statistics”
One of our readers warns us that Black Duck is currently selling fear in more places, for a fee. The same reader tells us that Novell’s “Michael Meeks and ex-Sun employee [are] talking about why Mono sucks.” The source, says our reader, are “some pictures of a friend of a friend on FB.”
Is it not curious that a Novell and GNOME developer bashes Mono? Even Novell employees seem to understand that Mono is technically inferior. The main reason to use it seems to be Microsoft’s contentment and its promoters include existing and former Microsoft employees. “Open Source” is being poisoned from the inside. Doing nothing would not resolve this issue. █
“[The partnership with Microsoft is] going very well insofar as we originally agreed to co-operate on three distinct projects and now we’re working on nine projects and there’s a good list of 19 other projects that we plan to co-operate on.”