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

03.29.10

Misleading PR Campaign From Microsoft About “Open Source”

Posted in Asia, DRM, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OpenOffice, Patents, Search, Servers, Virtualisation, Windows, Xandros at 9:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft still tries imposing itself upon its #1 competition

Beginning

Summary: Debunking the increasingly-widespread myth that Microsoft has changed and that it has an interest in Free/Open Source software

THERE seems to be some kind of “Open Source” PR effort from Microsoft. Usually, reporters are not gullible enough to fall for it, but Microsoft partners like like Ziff Davis [1, 2, 3] and IDG [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] have accommodated Microsoft-sympathetic people who run their “open source” sections and comply with Microsoft’s publicity stunts, even linking to Windows- and Microsoft-only fluff. They probably do this out of ignorance, not deliberate deception. Another Microsoft apologist from Ziff Davis, Darryl Taft (they got rid of people who tell the true nature of Microsoft, such as SJVN), is parroting PR messages and not paying attention at all to deeds. Then again, eWEEK coverage is rarely accurate and when it covers “open source” is seems to be focused even on Mono promotion (for Windows). To be fair, eWEEK did not have this obvious bias in the past. It had different writers and we rarely found it striking deals with Microsoft, such as those deals that promote Windows Vista in exchange for payments from Microsoft and Dell. What’s really sad is that such publications are deceiving the public through repetition and those who appeal to authority are then able to cite such Web sites and justify Microsoft sympathy or a decision to help Microsoft at the expense of peers’ liberty.

“What makes Microsoft exceptionally hostile towards Free software is also what puts it in a rather unique position.”It was disheartening to see Borys Musielak (of PolishLinux), for example, neglecting to account for Microsoft’s corruption of ISO, instead stating that Microsoft “started to work with standarization bodies like ISO”. It sounds like comedy, but he probably meant it. What makes Microsoft exceptionally hostile towards Free software is also what puts it in a rather unique position. Most proprietary software companies are not in this position because they don’t rely on proprietary operating systems for their revenue (Office, for example, still relies on Windows). Microsoft wants to hurt GNU/Linux after a series of illegal activities (with convictions) against other rivals.

Additionally, Microsoft is obsessed with software patents because of the increasing abundance of source code out there. We’ll expand on that point in the next post about Microsoft’s lobby for software patents in India, South Africa, and of course Europe. Microsoft is also a DRM proponent and one of the least ethical companies out there, based on present deeds. Musielak’s post did receive some responses, such as “Microsoft has made noises and PR about it being OSS friendly, but it’s all show.” Oiaohm says that it “reads very much like a MS supporting PR guy,” but it’s far from it. All it shows is that Microsoft’s PR campaign is deceiving some people whose judgment is usually sound.

“All it shows is that Microsoft’s PR campaign is deceiving some people whose judgment is usually sound.”Matt Asay, for instance, was going to go to work at Microsoft (true story) but instead he ended up working for Canonical and we continue to worry as we repeatedly find that he indeed had something to do with a Microsoft and software patents booster [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] attending OSBC with him [1, 2] (he once invited Microsoft too [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]). They are trying to emulate proprietary software and still call it “open source” (or “open core”, which is far from Free software but sometimes defended by Mac users and others who believe in “open source” as just a component of proprietary systems). Microsoft too has this type of vision where Windows, Office, SQL Server and other proprietary software become the services on which “open source” relies. This is not software freedom because the developers are locked into a platform which is controlled by a vendor (no less than an evident bully, too).

On a separate note, Canonical makes the mistake of still tying (via Yahoo!) [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] its GNU/Linux distribution with Microsoft’s lie machine, also known as “Bing”. It’s not a search engine and it wasn’t intended to be one. It’s heavily censored in a way that favours Windows and demotes GNU/Linux, even Free software. It’s probably not a violation of any particular law, but it is a reason to drop this service like a hot potato. At the New York Times, calls were even made for a boycott of Bing.

Here is a new post that’s titled “Is Microsoft Bing Trying To Kill Open Office?”

Microsoft Bing has many flaws, but this one seems to be the most outrageous one. If you try to search for OpenOffice on Bing, it will not show you the actual OpenOffice.org website but will show pages from random websites like OpenOffice.com or other non-OpenOffice.org websites.

On the other hand Google search shows OpenOffice.org as the first search result. Bing has gone to an extent that in fact you will not find the OpenOffice website even in the 5th page. So, a Bing surfer will never land on OpenOffice.org website.

Microsoft really loves “Open Source”, eh? It loved OpenOffice.org so much that it decided to extort its users behind the scenes. Microsoft’s illusion of search does the same thing to “Ubuntu”, according to readers of ours (we have not checked to verify this because it would only feed Microsoft).

Ultimately, Microsoft is trying to demote GNU/Linux, sometimes with Novell’s help and some help from Xandros. This new Microsoft whitepaper shows that Microsoft is still trying to manage GNU/Linux from the Windows side, using “System Center”.

It was approximately two years ago that Microsoft announced that customers running System Center would be able to leverage automated management across mixed source environments. It was at the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) 2008 that Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft, revealed UNIX and Linux support in System Center. Fast-forward a couple of years, and it appears that customers are asking about the Redmond company’s plans to support future releases of UNIX and Linux as they will be released, according to Robert Hearn, Sr. program manager Customer & Partner Community System Center Cross Platform & Interoperability.

The headline and article above come from a known Microsoft booster, who also publishes “PHP on Windows Training Kit Gets Updated”. Let’s not forget Microsoft’s vision. It’s described by Steve Ballmer as follows: “I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”

They are already trying to use software patents to suppress uptake of GNU/Linux. Fortunately, it’s not working for them, not just because people distrust Microsoft and Windows is expensive. Microsoft products are generally very flaky, so PHP applications, for example, are deployed on GNU/Linux almost all the time. Nearly 4 years of a relationship with Zend have brought Microsoft next to nothing and here is new food for thought:

In 1991, during the Gulf war, American Patriot missile was deployed to combat Iraqi scud missile. In one of the incident, Patriot missile missed the Scud and that resulted the death of 28 American soldiers and 100 others got injured. There was an arithmetic error during calculation which resulted inaccurate calculation since Boot.

[...]

Microsoft’s Zune player stopped working on December 31, 2008 because of a simple software bug. The software was written in such a way that it would never terminate if the year is leap year and the total number of days is 366.

Had more servers run Microsoft software (the majority of Web servers run GNU/Linux, with confirmed estimates hovering at about 60% and probably more than that for Apache), where would the Internet be? The client side, i.e. Windows desktops, is where most issues occur. Should we not spread GNU/Linux on desktops then? “Open Source” or “Free software” developers should focus on technical merit, not Microsoft’s ‘religious’ beliefs about platforms that it totally controls (that would be surrender, not a liberation of developers and users).

“Microsoft allowed us to [remove Internet Explorer from Windows] but we don’t think we should have to ask permission every time we want to make some minor software modification. Windows is an operating system, not a religion.”

Gateway Computer Chairman Ted Waitt

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

A Single Comment

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    March 30, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Gravatar

    Pay attention to the role of M$ Partners in this campaign.

What Else is New


  1. Links 24/10/2014: GNU/Linux History, Fedora Delay

    Links for the day



  2. Links 23/10/2014: New *buntu, Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  3. Links 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



  4. Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

    Links for the day



  5. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  6. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  7. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  8. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  9. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  10. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  11. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  12. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  13. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  14. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  15. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  16. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  17. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  18. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  19. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  20. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  21. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  22. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  23. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?



  24. Links 14/10/2014: CAINE 6, New RHEL, Dronecode

    Links for the day



  25. Microsoft's Disdain for Women Steals the Show at a Women's Event

    Steve Ballmer's successor, Satya Nadella, is still too tactless to lie to the audience, having been given --through subversive means -- a platform at a conference that should have shunned Microsoft, a famously misogynistic company



  26. SCOTUS May Soon Put an End to the 'Copyrights on APIs' Question While Proprietary Giants Continue to Harass Android/Linux in Every Way Conceivable

    Google takes its fight over API freedom to the Supreme Court in the Unites States and it also takes that longstanding patent harassment from the Microsoft- and Apple-backed troll (Rockstar) out of East Texas



  27. Patent Lawsuits Almost Halved After SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Software Patents

    The barrier for acceptance of software patent applications is raised in the United States and patent lawsuits, many of which involve software these days, are down very sharply, based on new figures from Lex Machina



  28. Links 13/10/2014: ChromeOS and EXT, Debian Resists Systemd Domination

    Links for the day



  29. Links 12/10/2014: Blackphone Tablet, Sony's Firefox OS Port

    Links for the day



  30. Links 9/10/2014: Free Software in Germany, Lenovo Tablets With Android

    Links for the day


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