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

05.07.10

Microsoft Extorts GNU/Linux While Distorting the Meaning of “Open Source”

Posted in Boycott Novell, Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Novell, Windows at 5:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Extorting and Distorting

Summary: A look at how Microsoft discriminates against anything other than its own stack and also uses aggressive coercion to get its way and change people’s language/perception

IN our coverage of the Microsoft patent attack on Android we have not yet given Google’s response and the response of the Linux Foundation. Well, here they are:

Google at this time simply said “no comment” on Microsoft’s efforts to profit from their Android spin on Linux. But then Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation, explained about this Microsoft action, “This is a classic from the Microsoft FUD playbook. A confidential agreement where few terms are disclosed, vaguely referring to an operating system that is beating Microsoft in the market. Microsoft is once again demonstrating that it will attempt to use patents to muddy the waters about the viability of any competitive platform in order to maintain its Windows franchise. Unfortunately for Microsoft, Linux is clearly leading in the mobile space and developers will see this news for what it is and choose to innovation open platforms as opposed to developing on locked-down operating systems from patent-wielding dinosaurs.”

Microsoft is clearly not interested in co-existence. It wants to dominate both sides using racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] and ridiculous laws which it lobbies for.

Microsoft is currently pretending to have embraced “Open Source” but what it never emphasises is that all this “Open Source” is supposed to depend on and rely on Microsoft’s proprietary software. When it comes to Linux patches, Microsoft is just advancing Windows and Hyper-V, which are proprietary. Here is the latest spin from Microsoft, which gets parroted by a Microsoft MVP’s blog:

In March, Microsoft announced the beta release of the Linux Integration Services for Microsoft Hyper-V, which added support for SMP-based virtual machines, timesync, and integrated shutdown. Today we’re announcing the release candidate (RC) version of the integration services.

Integrating Microsoft into Linux? So that it is treated as just an addon to Windows? How telling.

In recent months we have given several examples such as this one where Microsoft dresses up its biology-related projects as “open”, “open source”, or “open-source” (which should be pronounced “open minus source”). Here is another new example of this deception which is important to spot and report. It’s disrupting the meaning of the term “Open Source”, which only works well for Microsoft. Here is another new example:

Assimilate Technology announced today the release of the first official beta of their VersaFix open source FIX engine for the .NET platform.

What an apt name: Assimilate Technology! That’s exactly what Microsoft has been trying to do to “Open Source” ever since it realised that the “Shared-Source” label didn’t do enough to corrupt existing labels like “Open Source”. Microsoft now has Codeplex to serve as a front.

Last week we wrote about what the Joomla! deal really was about (we also found out about Eucalyptus for Windows) and The 451 Group — occasionally a Microsoft apologistwrote about this too. The headline says “Why rejecting Microsoft’s OSS contributions is counter-productive” (we do not agree with this).

The post says:

And no, Microsoft hasn’t released a major product as open source. Neither had IBM when it started supporting Apache. Holding Microsoft to a different set of expectations is being deliberately difficult – discriminatory in fact.

This may sound like a terrible, terrible comparison, but on it goes to clarify: “But doesn’t Microsoft deserve to be discriminated against? Certainly there are good reasons to mistrust Microsoft, but in this instance Microsoft has signed the Joomla! Contributor Agreement, which means it is contributing directly to the Joomla! project using the project’s chosen license (the GPL) and procedures. It didn’t have to do this. The Microsoft of old would sooner have forked the project – or more likely created a competing product based on .NET.”

No. Microsoft is exploiting Joomla! to help sell Windows and other proprietary software like IIS. It’s about fighting against GNU/Linux and using money to achieve goals at the expense of people’s spirit. The 451 Group later adds some balance by stating: “On the negative side it [Microsoft] also took a step backwards when it signed a patent agreement with HTC covering HTC’s mobile phones running Android.

“To be more specific it wasn’t necessarily the signing of the patent deal that was a negative step (we’ll leave the more general discussion of software patents to another post) but the fact that the company once again chose to highlight the fact that the patent agreement related to open source software without providing any details.

“Just as we saw in the announcement of a previous agreement with Amazon, open source software takes center stage, and yet we have no way of knowing if the focus placed on open source software in the announcement is proportionate to the focus placed on open source software in the agreement.

“This is clearly potentially damaging for open source, but it is also potentially damaging for Microsoft as it tries to encourage more open source developers and users to move to its platforms. And make no mistake, Microsoft is aware that it needs more open source developers to move to its platforms if they are to continue to be seen as platforms for innovation.

“That is why we noted in July last year that “in order to convince those FOSS advocates that it is serious about co-existence, Microsoft needs to find a way to publicly communicate details about those 200+ patents in such a way that is not seen as a threat and would enable open source developers to license, work around, or challenge them.””

“Microsoft is aware that it needs more open source developers to move to its platforms if they are to continue to be seen as platforms for innovation.”
      –451 Group blog
Microsoft, in short, is killing with kindness and back-stabbing. Jim Allchin, Microsoft’s former Platform Group Vice President, put it best when he wrote: “We need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger….If you’re going to kill someone, there isn’t much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. You just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger.”

To be fair, Microsoft is not the only company which is corrupting the term “Open Source”. We have given many other examples and this week we found several articles about “R”, which leads to wrong characterisations of “Open Source”. One reader wrote to us last night to say:

I’m seeing a great many articles assisting Microsoft in its attempt to re-define Open Source as closed source by using name calling.

The Reg went over to Microsoft years ago, but still tries now and again to pose as a tech rag. How is the Open Source Initiative and its new leadership planning to strengthen or raise the profile of the original definitions as set out by FSF and OSI?

The “Open Source” people and the “Free software” proponents (there is a lot of overlap there already) ought to unite and join forces not against one another; they ought to stop their real problem, which is companies that fake “Open Source” with all sorts of buzzwords like “Open Core”, Mixed Source” (that’s what Novell calls it), “Open Source with software patents and proprietary stack” (that’s Microsoft), and “Open Source somewhere on a server out there” (that’s Google for example).

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,

    May 7, 2010 at 6:46 am

    Gravatar

    M$ is never going to play nice, nor are any of the shysters frauds or useful idiots promoting M$. The sooner high profile people admit this the less time we’ll waste, the less money we’ll waste, and the more jobs we’ll save.

What Else is New


  1. Links 16/8/2018: MAAS 2.4.1, Mesa 18.2 RC3

    Links for the day



  2. USPTO Craziness: Changing Rules to Punish PTAB Petitioners and Reward Microsoft for Corruption at ISO

    The US patent office proposes charging/imposing on applicants that are not customers of Microsoft a penalty; there’s also an overtly and blatantly malicious move whose purpose is to discourage petitions against wrongly-granted (by the USPTO) patents



  3. The Demise of US Software Patents Continues at the Federal Circuit

    Software patents are rotting away in the United States; it remains to be seen when the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will truly/fully honour 35 U.S.C. § 101 and stop granting such patents



  4. Almost Two Months After the ILO Ruling Staff Representative Brumme is Finally Back on the Job at EPO

    Ion Brumme gets his position at the EPO back, owing to the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization (ILO-AT) ruling back in July; things, however, aren't rosy for the Office as a whole



  5. Links 15/8/2018: Akademy 2018 Wrapups and More Intel Defects

    Links for the day



  6. Antiquated Patenting Trick: Adding Words Like 'Apparatus' to Make Abstract Ideas Look/Sound Like They Pertain to or Contain a 'Device'

    35 U.S.C. § 101 (Section 101) still maintains that abstract ideas are not patent-eligible; so applicants and law firms go out of their way to make their ideas seem as though they're physical



  7. Open Invention Network (OIN) Member Companies Need to Become Unanimous in Opposition to Software Patents

    Opposition to abstract software patents, which even the SCOTUS and the Federal Circuit nowadays reject, would be strategically smart for OIN; but instead it issues a statement in support of a GPL compliance initiative



  8. President Battistelli 'Killed' the EPO; António Campinos Will 'Finish the Job'

    The EPO is shrinking, but this is being shrewdly disguised using terms like "efficiency" and a low-profile President who keeps himself in the dark



  9. Links 14/8/2018: Virtlyst 1.2.0, Blender 2.8 Planning Update, Zorin OS 12.4, FreeBSD 12.0 Alpha

    Links for the day



  10. Berkheimer Changed Nothing and Invalidation Rates of Abstract Software Patents Remain Very High

    Contrary to repetitive misinformation from firms that 'sell' services around patents, there is no turnaround or comeback for software patents; the latest numbers suggest a marginal difference at best — one that may be negligible considering the correlation between expected outcomes and actions (the nature of risk analysis)



  11. Lockton Insurance Brokers Exploiting Patent Trolls to Sell Insurance to the Gullible

    Demonstrating what some people have dubbed (and popularised) "disaster capitalism", Lockton now looks for opportunities to profit from patent trolls, in the form of "insurance" (the same thing Microsoft does)



  12. Patent Lawyers Writing Patent Law for Their Own Enrichment Rather Than for Innovation

    We have become detached from the original goals and come to the point where patent offices aren't necessarily run by people qualified for the job of advancing science and technology; they, unlike judges, only seem to care about how many patents get granted, irrespective of their quality/merit



  13. Links 13/8/2018: Linux 4.18 and GNU Linux-libre 4.18 Arrive

    Links for the day



  14. PTAB is Loathed by Patent Maximalists Because It Can Potentially Invalidate Thousands of Software Patents (More Than Courts Can Handle)

    The US patent system has become more resistant to software patents; courts, however, are still needed to invalidate such patents (a potentially expensive process) because the USPTO continues to grant these provided some fashionable buzzwords/hype waves are utilised (e.g. "facial recognition", "blockchain", "autonomous vehicles")



  15. Gene Quinn and 'Dallas Innovates' as Couriers of Agenda for Patent Trolls Like iPEL

    Failing to hide their real purpose and malicious agenda, sites whose real purpose is to promote a lot of patent litigation produce puff pieces, even for patently unethical trolls such as iPEL



  16. Software Patents, Secured by 'Smart' and 'Intelligent' Tricks, Help Microsoft and Others Bypass Alice/Section 101

    A look at the use of fashionable trends and buzzwords to acquire and pass around dubious software patents, then attempting to guard these from much-needed post-Alice scrutiny



  17. Keep Boston (and Massachusetts in General) From Becoming an Infestation Zone for Patent Litigation

    Boston, renowned for research and innovation, has become somewhat of a litigation hotbed; this jeopardises the state's attractiveness (except perhaps to lawyers)



  18. Links 12/8/2018: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Mesa 18.1.6 Release Notice, New Linux Imminent

    Links for the day



  19. Thomas Massie's “Restoring America’s Leadership in Innovation Act of 2018” (RALIA) Would Put the US Patent System in the Lions' (or Trolls') Mouth Again

    An anti-§ 101 and anti-PTAB bill from Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) strives to remove quality control; but by handing the system back to patent trolls he and his proponents simply strive to create more business of litigation, at the expense of innovation



  20. EPO-Style Problem-Solution: Tackling Backlog by Granting Lots of Low-Quality (Bogus) European Patents, Causing a Surge in Troll/Frivolous Litigation

    The EPO's lack of interest in genuine patent quality (measuring "quality" in terms of speed, not actual quality) may mean nothing but a litigation epidemic; many of these lawsuits would be abusive, baseless; those harmed the most would be small businesses that cannot afford a legal defense and would rather settle with those who exploit questionable patents, notably patent trolls



  21. Links 11/8/2018: PGP Clean Room 1.0, Ring-KDE 3.0.0, Julia 1.0

    Links for the day



  22. Propaganda Sites of Patent Trolls and Litigators Have Quit Trying to Appear Impartial or Having Integrity

    The lobbying groups of patent trolls (which receive money from such trolls) carry on meddling in policy and altering perception that drives policy; we present some new examples



  23. Months After Oil States the Patent Maximalists Still Try to Undermine Inter Partes Reviews (“IPRs”), Refusing to Accept Patent Quality

    The patent maximalists in the United States, seeing that the USPTO is moving away from patent maximalism, is desperate for a turnaround; prominent patent maximalists take it all out on PTAB



  24. The Unified Patent Court (UPC) Agreement is Paralysed, So Team UPC is Twisting Old News

    Paralysis of the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) means that people are completely forgetting about its very existence; those standing to benefit from it (patent litigation firms) are therefore recycling and distorting old news



  25. Patents as Profiteering Opportunities for Law Firms Rather Than Drivers of Innovation for Productive Companies

    A sample of news from yesterday; the patent microcosm is still arguing about who pays attorneys’ fees (not whether these fees are justified) and is constantly complaining about the decline in patent litigation, which means fewer and lower attorneys’ fees (less work for them)



  26. Links 9/8/2018: Mesa 18.2 RC2, Cockpit 175, WPA-2 Hash Cracking

    Links for the day



  27. Patent Maximalists -- Not Reformers -- Are the Biggest Threat to the Viability of the Patent System and Innovation

    Those who strive to infinitely expand patent scope are rendering the patent system obsolete and completely losing sight of the very purpose of the patent system, whose sanity US courts and lawmakers gradually restore (one ruling and one bill at a time)



  28. WeMove.EU Tackles Low Patent Quality at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    The breadth of European Patents, which now cover even nature itself, worries public interest groups; Team UPC, however, wants patent scope to expand further and António Campinos has expressed his intention to further increase the number of grants



  29. Links 8/8/2018: KDE Neon for Testing, New LibreOffice Release, Dart 2.0

    Links for the day



  30. Links 7/8/2018: TCP Vulnerability in Linux, Speck Crypto Code Candidate for Removal

    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