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

03.14.10

The Microsoft Elephant in the Open Source Room

Posted in Apple, Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Patents, Ubuntu, Windows at 3:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Clowning around

Summary: Assorted new reports about how Microsoft abuses “open source” to gain control of it, change its direction and goals, or even to misuse the label to promote proprietary software that harms standards and promotes patenting of software

The following new post caught our attention because it attempts to portray Microsoft as one that’s engaging with the Free/open source software community; it plays right into the hands of Microsoft’s PR campaign, which strives for a fusion whereby Microsoft controls both sides of the competition and then derails the side which is less favourable to Microsoft. Microsoft has done that over and over again for many years and victims include giants like IBM and Apple.

Here is just part of this post which we disagree with:

However, it looks like Microsoft is slowly accepting that Linux and open source in general is both here to stay and a force to be reckoned with. Since 2006, Microsoft has been focusing its efforts toward interoperability rather than confrontation, for example via its collaboration with Novell.

No, it was a software patents deal; it’s an attack on GNU/Linux. Microsoft’s PR line used to be that Microsoft was ‘embracing’ Linux; yes, it was, like a python embraces a gazelle.

Microsoft hasn’t actually changed its tune, it’s still actively attacking Free software [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] and trying to abolish GNU/Linux while promoting Windows and other proprietary software as though they are complementary to Free software, which they are not (history teaches). It’s PR nonsense and Microsoft is good at PR.

Just as another new example, two weeks ago we wrote about Microsoft's fake “choice” campaign, reminding ourselves that Microsoft is still lying about the meaning of choice. Dana Blankenhorn has just written about it too.

Microsoft offers a Sophie’s Choice

[...]

Open source is completely orthogonal to the choice discussion, Kazun writes, pointing to Microsoft’s Open Government Data Initiative as proof.

But here’s my problem with that, and here is why open source is not orthogonal at all, but part of the same dimension.

You get one choice. You buy Microsoft and you’re locked into Microsoft. You can’t go back.

In Microsoft’s world its formats and open source are the two children, and you get to make one choice. Then you have to move on.

Microsoft is only stripping choice from products that it buys, such as Photosynth and FAST, which abandoned their GNU/Linux roots after Microsoft had bought them.

To top it all off, the programming scam around Silver Lie is back. Microsoft is yet again trying to associate Silverlight with “open source” [1, 2] (Novell helps Microsoft in that regard), even though it’s a patent menace, a lock-in on several levels, and attack on web standards.

“Ubuntu too is suffering from this problem because Canonical hires from Microsoft and Novell.”Last week we wrote about SourceForge/Geeknet falling into the hands of former Microsoft employees who are using SourceForge to promote Windows. Microsoft booster Marius Oiaga makes use of that new case of entryism while others mostly choose to ignore or forget (SYS-CON warning) that Microsoft is taking over from the inside, by changing employees and thus changing the agenda, too. This is a defeat, not a victory.

It’s not just a problem that SourceForge is having by the way. Ubuntu too is suffering from this problem because Canonical hires from Microsoft and Novell. One reader showed us last night that Canonical’s David Siegel wrote: “If I could only follow one person on all of twitter, without hesitation it would be @migueldeicaza”

“I hope this isn’t a trend with canonical employees,” said our reader.

Miguel de Icaza is not just a Novell employee; he is a Microsoft MVP whose focus is promotion of Microsoft everything. We now learn that Novell will go to OSBC, which Microsoft sponsors and uses to promote itself (and redefine “open source”). Here is another new gem from a SUSE developer:

Commercial open source

…sponsored by Microsoft, tommorow at 18h. I decided to take a look, so there will be some fun ;-). [And I guess I can always run away when it gets too bad.]

Microsoft loves injecting the word "commercial" and then demand acceptance of software patents. That’s just malicious, but not as malicious as SYS-CON [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], which smears opponents of Microsoft. Speaking of SYS-CON, Novell will also speak at an event that it sponsors, even though it’s SYS-CON (Novell is paying SYS-CON, which in turn smears Groklaw). How tactless. If Free software (or “open source”) does not expel champions of proprietary software that obviously want to impose software patents and Windows upon others, then it will simply allow itself to be manipulated to death.

To Microsoft, source code just means something to lift and to exploit. If this is true, then Microsoft may have just ‘pulled a Plurk’ [1, 2, 3, 4] again.

So what has Microsoft done this time? Are we in for a repeat of the Plurk incident? Well nearly, you see Microsoft is alleged to have been lifting code again. This time though at least the lifting of code wasn’t alleged unauthorised or unlawful.

Since its early days, Microsoft has used source code of others in order to build its products, without giving anything back.

“The best way to prepare is to write programs, and to study great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating systems.”

Bill Gates

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

3 Comments

  1. uberVU - social comments said,

    March 15, 2010 at 5:19 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Identica by schestowitz: The #Microsoft Elephant in the #OpenSource Room http://boycottnovell.com/2010/03/14/foss-label-abused/ #foss #entryism #novell #mono…

  2. apexwm said,

    March 15, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Gravatar

    Nice article and to the point. It’s obvious that Microsoft has an advantage of being able to steal ideas and code from open source projects, and give nothing back. That’s been going on for years. They lock up their code behind sealed doors. However, times are changing, and since Microsoft continues to keep their software proprietary, they are having hard times keeping up, especially with all of the security holes in Windows 7 and Internet Explorer.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Their rendering engine for HTML has become expensive to maintain. They find cheaper labour (offshoring and visas), but that tends to compromise quality.

What Else is New


  1. Links 18/9/2019: Fedora Linux 31 Beta, PCLinuxOS 2019.09 Update

    Links for the day



  2. Links 17/9/2019: CentOS 7.7 and Funtoo Linux 1.4 Released

    Links for the day



  3. EPO is Not European

    Internationalists and patent trolls are those who stand to benefit from the 'globalisation' of low-quality and law-breaking patents such as patents on algorithms, nature and life itself; the EPO isn't equipped to serve its original goals anymore



  4. The EPO's Central Staff Committee and SUEPO (Staff Union) Respond to “Fascist Bills” Supported by EPO President António Campinos

    Raw material pertaining to the latest Campinos "scandal"; what Campinos said, what the Central Staff Committee (CSC) said, and what SUEPO said



  5. Storm Brewing in the European Patent Office After a Hot Summer

    Things aren't rosy in EPOnia (to say the least); in fact, things have been getting a lot worse lately, but the public wouldn't know judging by what media tells the public (almost nothing)



  6. Why I Once Called for Richard Stallman to Step Down

    Guest post from the developer who recently authored "Getting Stallman Wrong Means Getting The 21st Century Wrong"



  7. As Richard Stallman Resigns Let's Consider Why GNU/Linux Without Stallman and Torvalds Would be a Victory to Microsoft

    Stallman has been ejected after a lot of intentionally misleading press coverage; this is a dark day for Software Freedom



  8. Links 16/9/2019: GNU Linux-libre 5.3, GNU World Order 13×38, Vista 10 Breaks Itself Again

    Links for the day



  9. Links 16/9/2019: Qt Quick on Vulkan, Metal, and Direct3D; BlackWeb 1.2 Reviewed

    Links for the day



  10. Richard Stallman's Controversial Views Are Nothing New and They Distract From Bill Gates' Vastly Worse Role

    It's easier to attack Richard Stallman (RMS) using politics (than using his views on software) and media focus on Stallman's personal views on sexuality bears some resemblance to the push against Linus Torvalds, which leans largely on the false perception that he is sexist, rude and intolerant



  11. Links 16/9/2019: Linux 5.3, EasyOS Releases, Media Backlash Against RMS

    Links for the day



  12. Openwashing Report on Open Networking Foundation (ONF): When Open Source Means Collaboration Among Giant Spying Companies

    Massive telecommunications oligopolies (telecoms) are being described as ethical and responsible by means of openwashing; they even have their own front groups for that obscene mischaracterisation and ONF is one of those



  13. 'Open Source' You Cannot Run Without Renting or 'Licensing' Windows From Microsoft

    When so-called ‘open source’ programs strictly require Vista 10 (or similar) to run, how open are they really and does that not redefine the nature of Open Source while betraying everything Free/libre software stands for?



  14. All About Control: Microsoft is Not Open Source But an Open Source Censor/Spy and GitHub/LinkedIn/Skype Are Its Proprietary Censorship/Surveillance Tools

    All the big companies which Microsoft bought in recent years are proprietary software and all of the company’s big products remain proprietary software; all that “Open Source” is to Microsoft is “something to control and censor“



  15. The Sad State of GNU/Linux News Sites

    The ‘media coup’ of corporate giants (that claim to be 'friends') means that history of GNU/Linux is being distorted and lied about; it also explains prevalent lies such as "Microsoft loves Linux" and denial of GNU/Free software



  16. EPO President Along With Bristows, Managing IP and Other Team UPC Boosters Are Lobbying for Software Patents in Clear and Direct Violation of the EPC

    A calm interpretation of the latest wave of lobbying from litigation professionals, i.e. people who profit when there are lots of patent disputes and even expensive lawsuits which may be totally frivolous (for example, based upon fake patents that aren't EPC-compliant)



  17. Links 15/9/2019: Radeon ROCm 2.7.2, KDE Frameworks 5.62.0, PineTime and Bison 3.4.2

    Links for the day



  18. Illegal/Invalid Patents (IPs) Have Become the 'Norm' in Europe

    Normalisation of invalid patents (granted by the EPO in defiance of the EPC) is a serious problem, but patent law firms continue to exploit that while this whole 'patent bubble' lasts (apparently the number of applications will continue to decrease because the perceived value of European Patents diminishes)



  19. Patent Maximalists, Orbiting the European Patent Office, Work to 'Globalise' a System of Monopolies on Everything

    Monopolies on just about everything are being granted in defiance of the EPC and there are those looking to make this violation ‘unitary’, even worldwide if not just EU-wide



  20. Unitary Patent (UPC) Promotion by Team Battistelli 'Metastasising' in Private Law Firms

    The EPO's Albert Keyack (Team Battistelli) is now in Team UPC as Vice President of Kilburn & Strode LLP; he already fills the media with lies about the UPC, as one can expect



  21. Microsoft Targets GNU/Linux Advocates With Phony Charm Offensives and Fake 'Love'

    The ways Microsoft depresses GNU/Linux advocacy and discourages enthusiasm for Software Freedom is not hard to see; it's worth considering and understanding some of these tactics (mostly assimilation-centric and love-themed), which can otherwise go unnoticed



  22. Proprietary Software Giants Tell Open Source 'Communities' That Proprietary Software Giants Are 'Friends'

    The openwashing services of the so-called 'Linux' Foundation are working; companies that are inherently against Open Source are being called "Open" and some people are willing to swallow this bait (so-called 'compromise' which is actually surrender to proprietary software regimes)



  23. Microsoft Pays the Linux Foundation for Academy Software Foundation, Which the Linux Foundation is Outsourcing to Microsoft

    Microsoft has just bought some more seats and more control over Free/Open Source software; all it had to do was shell out some 'slush funds'



  24. Links 14/9/2019: SUSE CaaS Platform, Huawei Laptops With GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  25. Links 13/9/2019: Catfish 1.4.10, GNOME Firmware 3.34.0 Release

    Links for the day



  26. Links 12/9/2019: GNU/Linux at Huawei, GNOME 3.34 Released

    Links for the day



  27. Links 12/9/2019: Manjaro 18.1 and KaOS 2019.09 Releases

    Links for the day



  28. EPO: Give Us Low-Quality Patent Applications, Patent Trolls Have Use for Those

    What good is the EPC when the EPO feels free to ignore it and nobody holds the EPO accountable for it? At the moment we're living in a post-EPC Europe where the only thing that counts is co-called 'products' (i.e. quantity, not quality).



  29. Coverage for Sponsors: What the Linux Foundation Does is Indistinguishable From Marketing Agencies' Functions

    The marketing agency that controls the name "Linux" is hardly showing any interest in technology or in journalism; it's just buying media coverage for sponsors and this is what it boils down to for the most part (at great expense)



  30. Watch Out, Linus Torvalds: Microsoft Bought Tons of Git Repositories and Now It Goes After Linux

    Microsoft reminds us how E.E.E. tactics work; Microsoft is just hijacking its competition and misleading the market (claiming the competition to be its own, having "extended" it Microsoft's way with proprietary code)


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