04.03.10

Microsoft Hijacks “Open Source” From GNU/Linux Just Like It Hijacked “Standards”

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument at 1:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The only thing necessary for the triumph [of bad] is for good men to do nothing.”

Edmund Burke

Summary: Using examples from the past week alone, we show and we explain in simple terms how Microsoft is taking over “Open Source” using former employees, existing partners, Novell staff, and naïve/careless people who allow this to happen

IN VERY RECENT days we wrote about an admission from Alex Brown that his beloved Microsoft was not serious about OOXML [1, 2]. Comments on this shocka’ range from borderline spin from former Microsoft employees to criticism from the <No>OOXML Web site, Slashdot, and Glyn Moody, who writes:

This is truly staggering – not so much that Microsoft should so publicly thumb its nose at the ISO and the entire standards-making community, but that in doing so, it confirms all the worst predictions that many made at the time. It suggests a level of arrogance that is breathtaking – that having obtained the coveted and presumably irrevocable ISO approval, having won its little game, it just doesn’t care what anyone thinks.

[...]

There’s little we can do about the fact that the ISO standard has been granted, but we can make sure that people fully understand what has happened here. In that sense, Microsoft’s actions are truly a gift to all those promoting truly open standards.

The Source claims to have struggled to find a proper headline which describes a case where one of the main people behind the OOXML fiasco turns out to be a skeptic if not a basher. Why did it take him several years?

Team Apologista is very big on “context”, so allow me to accommodate:

Dr. Alex Brown was the convenor of the OOXML Ballot Resolution Meeting back in Feb of 2008. Dr. Brown constantly poo-pooed concerns about Microsoft’s manipulation of the standardization process, often defending Microsoft directly and attacking ODF specifically along the way.

I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that without his efforts, OOXML would not have passed the standardization process.

So, when Dr. Brown says “Microsoft Fails the Standards Test“, and then goes on in detail to explain how Microsoft has either broken or failed to follow up on promises made – promises crucial at the time to getting OOXML through the standardization procees – it is truly a giant shock! No one could have seen this coming!

As The Source correctly points out, Microsoft tries the same with “Open Source”. A corresponding headline would be “Microsoft Fails the Open Source Test“. We’ll explain just why in a few moments, using new evidence.

“I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

As neophiles may be aware, Vancouver produced many headlines when it made it a policy to move to Free software (it used the term “Open Source”, which is broader and more blurred). Well, guess what? Vancouver is moving to “Open Source”, so Microsoft masquerades as “Open Source” and changes what it means to Vancouver, just like it changed what “open standards” mean to governments, in order block migrations to ODF/Free software

Microsoft Corp. courts open-source community with Vancouver project

Microsoft Corp.’s Richmond development centre is helping mend fences between the international software giant and the open-source software (OSS) development community.

[...]

Within Microsoft’s new “open-source strategy” is work that the company’s Richmond development centre has done using City of Vancouver data to expand the catalogue of OSS applications.

That’s not Open Source. This whole “open-source strategy” thing is a crock and with headlines like “Microsoft Corp. courts open-source community” it is implied that Microsoft almost owns these developers.

More of the same from Microsoft Canada was seen last month. Microsoft sent unsolicited mail to arbitrary Free software developers whom it asked to to create/increase the Canadian government’s Windows lock-in. Just shameful. In addition, we previously covered what Microsoft was doing in Indiana [1, 2, 3, 4], including Indiana University. Under a deceiving disguise of “academic” press, the Microsoft-affiliated/motivated media company is now cheapening “Open Source”, along with other publications.

Indiana U and U Hawaii Pursue Open Source Help Desk System

Indiana University and the University of Hawaii are wooing partners to help build an open source IT support solution specifically for higher education.

This has nothing to do with “Open Source”. Neither is this new promotion from Mary Jo Foley:

Microsoft is continuing its efforts to attract more open-source developers to make their wares available on Windows. The latest component of that strategy is CoApp, a new open-source package-management platform that one of the company’s developers is starting to assemble.

CoApp is about co-opting developers and it’s not about “open-source” (notice the dash or the minus that is used there). It’s all about pretending that Windows is friendly to “Open Source”. If the definition of the term continues to be bent, then it would mean just about anything.

As we saw some months ago, Microsoft and its lobbyists change what “Open Source” or “standards” actually mean in Europe so as to inject software patents and proprietary software into the continent while complying with once-strict policies. See the following posts about EIF:

  1. Former Member of European Parliament Describes Microsoft “Coup in Process” in the European Commission
  2. Europeans Asked to Stop Microsoft’s Subversion of EIFv2 (European Interoperability Framework Version 2)
  3. Patents Roundup: Microsoft Patents “Guardian Angel”, Subverts EIF; 20 Years Wasted on One Patent
  4. European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Corrupted by Microsoft et al, Its Lobbyists
  5. Orwellian EIF, Fake Open Source, and Security Implications
  6. No Sense of Shame Left at Microsoft
  7. Lobbying Leads to Protest — the FFII and the FSFE Rise in Opposition to Subverted EIF
  8. IBM and Open Forum Europe Address European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Fiasco
  9. EIF Scrutinised, ODF Evolves, and Microsoft’s OOXML “Lies” Lead to Backlash from Danish Standards Committee
  10. Complaints About Perverted EIF Continue to Pile Up
  11. More Complaints About EIFv2 Abuse and Free Software FUD from General Electric (GE)
  12. Patents Roundup: Copyrighted SQL Queries, Microsoft Alliance with Company That Attacks F/OSS with Software Patents, Peer-to-Patent in Australia
  13. Microsoft Under Fire: Open Source Software Thematic Group Complains About EIFv2 Subversion, NHS Software Supplier Under Criminal Investigation
  14. British MEP Responds to Microsoft Lobby Against EIFv2; Microsoft’s Visible Technologies Infiltrates/Derails Forums Too
  15. Patents Roundup: Escalations in Europe, SAP Pretense, CCIA Goes Wrong, and IETF Opens Up

BoingBoing has published an appeal to readers which it titled: “Microsoft trying to gut EU IT policy, replacing open standards with proprietary junk – your letters needed!”

Microsoft’s booster Gavin Clarke takes advantage of a special day and spins for Microsoft as though it’s a friend of “Open Source”. Microsoft uses its own licences and one proprietary platform to embrace and extend the Ruby community for example.

IronRuby offers options for .NET developers, brings open source to Microsoft

[...]

“It’s a big step for Microsoft’s participation in the open source community.”

See what we wrote about IronRuby in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12].

Last week we wrote about a misleading PR campaign from Microsoft about “Open Source”. It comes from the press, courtesy of Microsoft partners like Ziff Davis [1, 2, 3] and IDG [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], whose new “Open Source” team is not one that we can trust. For writers, the editors are choosing people who do not actually do “Open Source”, just people who exploit it or want to write about it.

Network World [part of IDG] has launched a new Subnet community, the Open Source Subnet. Open Source Subnet will showcase news and blogger opinions for enterprise users of open source software. As you may have noticed, with this addition, we have added three great new bloggers to the roster: Phil Odence, from Black Duck Software, a company that helps enterprises manage and secure their open source tools, is writing the Look to the Source blog. Alan Shimel, a serial entrepreneur who has founded several security software companies (such as StillSecure), is writing the Open Source Fact and Fiction blog, and Amy Vernon, a journalist and social media personality, is writing the Pragmatic Open Source blog.

Let’s remember that Black Duck, for example, was started by a Microsoft employee and it produces only proprietary software [1, 2, 3, 4] and software patents, using these to monetise other people’s Free software (which it labels “Open Source”). Here is IDG promoting the Novell/Microsoft relationship, as seen in this new video. They even speak about Mono and Moonlight, which are only helping Microsoft. But to quote from ComputerWorld UK (IDG, only days ago):

MS Office started it all, Open Office has followed suit but really a Word Processor, a Spreadsheet and a Presentation package have little in common. Supposedly they are an ‘integrated’ suite but what sense of this word impacts on real life…a live spreadsheet in a word processing document?

Bundle-itis really got going with .NET which provides a glue-like layer to stitch together programs with disparate code heritages. In the Open Source world MONO seeks to extend the idea.

Yes, “MONO seeks to extend the idea” not just of bundling software within a platform but also enveloping GNU/Linux and Free software inside Windows, using hypervisors and .NET integration. Who is still promoting this type of vision? Novell employees of course, those who are paid to make the media player in GNU/Linux tied to Mono and to Moonlight (and dependent on parts of Mono which Microsoft explicitly excludes from the Community Promise). They can brag about committers as much as they want, but all those who help a project like Novell’s Banshee are helping Microsoft hijack GNU/Linux. And that’s just sad. Truth hurts sometimes. Anyway, enjoy Easter.

Bunny for Techrights

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. Linux Foundation (Men for Monopolies) Once Again Hijacking Women's (and Minorities') Voices for Public Relations

    Diversity and tolerance are absolutely essential, but those who preach or lecture us about it most loudly (their financial means or privilege enable media reach) set a bad example and are mostly opportunistic hypocrites who perpetuate the status quo



  2. In a State of Flux Due to Maintenance and Improvements

    For the first time since summer of 2019 we're investing time and effort improving the site in a number of ways



  3. Links 28/10/2020: Torvalds on Succession, PyTorch 1.7.0

    Links for the day



  4. [Meme] Stealing the Competition

    After the fall (and fail) of CodePlex Microsoft decided to grab the Linux Foundation and most Git-based projects (through GitHub) — a strategy even Microsoft can learn to love



  5. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 27, 2020



  6. Links 28/10/2020: FreeBSD 12.2, NixOS 20.09 and WordPress 5.6 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  7. Taking Our Efforts to the Next Level in an Increasingly Proprietary and Hostile Web

    Web users are being repressed by mechanisms of mass manipulation, control and restrictions; the Web may not be going away any time soon, but architectural and topological issues need to be overcome (the sooner, the better)



  8. Read Techrights Without a Web Browser

    Any text editor can now be used to read Techrights, owing to a daily bulletin we've set up and will maintain every day



  9. [Meme] Torvalds Assimilated

    People belatedly realise that Microsoft’s plan for Git (and for Linux) isn't for the betterment of those projects but for Microsoft monopoly



  10. Links 27/10/2020: FuguIta 6.8, Fedora 33, Red Hat Satellite 6.8, KDE Plasma 5.20.2 and GStreamer 1.18.1

    Links for the day



  11. Site Changes Ahead of Anniversary

    We’re making some changes to the presentation and function of the site — changes that will become more prominent over the coming days



  12. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, October 26, 2020



  13. Links 26/10/2020: rpminspect 1.2, Open Source Hardware Certification and LibreOffice Conference

    Links for the day



  14. Links 26/10/2020: Debian "Bullseye" Artwork, Fwupd 1.5 Released

    Links for the day



  15. [Meme] Satya Na-DL

    Microsoft has shown its real priorities (just before the weekend when many people might not notice)



  16. Jonathan Wiltshire and Debian, Falsified Harassment Claims, Tiger Computing and GCHQ

    Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News



  17. Links 26/10/2020: Linux 5.10 RC1 and Loongsoon Laptops

    Links for the day



  18. The Downfall of Free Software Leaders (and Their Projects or Missions)

    "Cancel George Orwell, and happy hacking."



  19. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 25, 2020



  20. Links 25/10/2020: Kodi 18.9, ScummVM Android Love, Cutelyst 2.13

    Links for the day



  21. [Meme] Captain Zemlin and Neil McGovern's Ugly Legacy in GNOME (His Predecessors Work for Microsoft Directly Now)

    The Linux Foundation is already ‘sold’ and Microsoft Tim‘s interview with Neil McGovern, published a few days ago, was rather revealing (comments on the article/interview were also harsh)



  22. How Microsoft is Still Worse Than Google

    "I have decided that we should not publish these extensions. We should wait until we have a way to do a high level of integration that will be harder for the likes of Notes, Wordperfect to achieve, and which will give Office a real advantage."



  23. 'President Bill Gates' Wants to Punish Not Only Google After Using “Extensions” to the Web to Reinforce Microsoft's Monopoly (Antitrust Violations Are a Microsoft Thing)

    In gross distortion of facts and of history and in a rather incredible fashion (very shameless and insulting) the corporate media tries to paint Bill Gates as an antitrust hero that will save the world from monopolies



  24. Donald Trump Helped Bill Gates Increase His Wealth by More Than 50%, Especially During the Pandemic

    Contrary to ridiculous narratives disseminated by nutty accounts all around the Web, Gates and Trump are no foes but 'partners in crime'



  25. Our 14th Birthday is Coming

    We're turning 14 shortly and we need ideas from readers (things that can be done to mark the event and celebrate 'on-line')



  26. In Spite of IBM's Difficult Past and Particularly Dark History, Under Arvind Krishna’s Leadership It Has Only Shown Signs of Improving

    This winter, 6 months after Arvind Krishna’s tenure as CEO began, we can generally say that things seem to have improved and we look forward to further improvements



  27. Links 25/10/2020: GNU Taler's IETF Milestone, RISC OS 5.28 and New Ubuntu Community Council

    Links for the day



  28. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 24, 2020



  29. Links 24/10/2020: GDB 10.1, Kodachi 7.4, Wine 5.20

    Links for the day



  30. Celebrating Code of Conduct Violations

    Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock


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