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

07.08.10

Microsoft’s Courtois Uses the “Religious” Slur to Denounce Freedom Goals and Sell Fog Computing

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Mono at 3:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Spooky storm

Summary: Current and former employees of Microsoft belittle software freedom and instead advance Microsoft’s agenda, typically while dismissing those who do strive to achieve real autonomy and independence

Microsoft’s Jean-Philippe Courtois, the president whom we mentioned a lot in relation to his lobbying [1, 2], is using the old trick of evoking religion and describing his competitor as “religious”. In a new post titled “A Perspective on Openness” Courtois explains why people should embrace Microsoft’s Fog Computing platform:

These debates have gotten heated at times, and have even been characterized as more “religious” than technical.

We have already explained this debating strategy where one compares the opposition to religion or to terrorists. There is even a very recent example. But anyway, Courtois decided to talk about “open”, which means merely nothing when it’s bent (like “free market”, which stands for no regulation). Freedom is not mentioned there in the post, in which Courtois is instead describing Fog Computing as “openness” and there is the mentioning of “choice” too. That’s a dirty old trick which is apparently being used as an excuse/trick in Brazil just like it was used against OLPC XOs and Magalhães with GNU/Linux [1, 2].

Towards the end, Courtois notes that he is “pleasantly surprised to see a new pragmatism emerge in this debate.” (where “pragmatism” is of course a codeword for adoption of proprietary software)

In order to attack LAMP (to use the description from Red Hat’s Jan), Microsoft is retrying a failed strategy with another old name. Mary Jo Foley provides some background:

Back in 2003, Microsoft had a plan to attract Web site developers to the Microsoft platform with a skunkworks project called WebMatrix. On July 7, 2010, Microsoft brought back that discontinued effort, via the introduction of a new tool suite known as WebMatrix.

So basically, now that Microsoft suffers some more layoffs, it is miserable enough to run to old (and failed) tactics. They are losing developers.

“Microsoft is totally off the radar of the cool, hip, cutting-edge software developers.”
      –Not Tim O’Reilly
As someone other than Tim O’Reilly put it a few days ago, “Microsoft is totally off the radar of the cool, hip, cutting-edge software developers.” The young generation is walking away from Microsoft and articles like this new one from the New York Times are a public relations disaster for Microsoft. O’Reilly later begged for an update that led to this addendum: “Tim O’Reilly says that while he “[doesn't] disagree with all of his conclusions,” he’s not happy with it Ashlee Vance’s piece, writing “I was not the source for the various comments that were attributed to me,” including the bit about “totally off the radar.” (Thanks to reader gbll.)”

O’Reilly must have felt like his words were faked, taken out of context, or put in a bad context. That’s typical for Ashlee Vance, who used to write troll articles in The Register.

Anyway, in order to pretend that Microsoft is “open-source” too, the company resorts to marketing nonsense while former employees like Fulkerson (MindTouch [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]) are being attributed the disturbing trend of “Open Core”:

It should be noted up front that I may have been a bit presumptuous in assigning the origins of open core to Aaron Fulkerson, the CEO of MindTouch. In a comment on my blog, Fulkerson himself corrected the issue:

“I can’t take credit for ‘open core.’ When we began capitalizing MindTouch I employed a model that made sense to me because it seemed to strike a nice balance between the needs and wants of the community of MindTouch users and the needs (and wants) of our company. I didn’t have a name for it until Lampitt coined the term. I simply adopted it. Furthermore, I don’t think this is a new model. Indeed, we’ve been employing this model since the very dawn of software.”

The greater problem with MindTouch is that it promotes Mono. Former Microsoft employees tend to do this. Another former Microsoft employee is the CEO of OpenLogic, which issued a GPL-hostile press release some days ago. The resultant coverage mostly came from none other than OpenLogic staff whom IDG gave a blog [1, 2]. IDG also gave a blog to an executive from Black Duck, which was created by a former Microsoft employee and is now spreading similar GPL fear which helps it sell proprietary, patents-’protected’ software.

By this stage, it’s hopefully more evident that former Microsoft employees pose a risk too. Microsoft is not just another company and as this new article reminds us, it’s Microsoft’s opposition that helped derail a Free software bill in the Philippines several years ago.

Earlier that day, during the Usaping Balita Media Forum at Serye Restaurant and Cafe with Ms. Toni Torres in the panel, Bayan Muna Partylist Rep.Teodoro Casiño, reiterated that there is a need for a law directing ICT. It should remembered that, as early as 2006, the said author of Free and Open Source Software Act, had been seeking the creation of an attached agency under the CICT to oversee the agencies’ migration to open source, especially in government and education. But the bill’s biggest hurdle is the lack of awareness on open source, aside from Microsoft’s opposition. On the other hand, National Solid Waste Management executive director Emelita Aguinaldo echoed what she presented during the Asian Development Bank Urban Day 2008: “The truth is that we lack proper segregation of recyclable/recoverable waste material at source resulting to low recycling ratio and low quality of recyclable materials. Technological and financial capacity of the domestic recycling industry is limited. No outflow of recyclables to international big market such as China. We are dependent on the collecting and trading of recyclable/recoverable materials upon price fluctuation based on market mechanism and unstable domestic supply of recyclables. There is fragmented information and network for optimizing the flow of recyclable/recoverable materials from generators to the final users.”

Microsoft’s very unique hostility towards software freedom is why we treat it quite separately from the rest. Yesterday we showed how Microsoft excluded Free software in Switzerland (possibly in illegal ways) and additional coverage suggests that Microsoft continues to get away with it:

Switzerland’s Federal Administrative Court yesterday decided that a government organisation’s renewal of its proprietary software licences without a public tender does not harm the business interests of open source software service providers

With that the court dismissed the claim by a group of eighteen open source companies that the Department for Building and Logistics (BBL) should have issued a call of tender in 2009. BBL in May that year had renewed a three year contract worth 42 million Swiss frank (about 31 million Euro) with a proprietary software vendor for licences, maintenance and support. The contract involves the software on PCs for 40,000 federal employees.

This backfired in Quebec [1, 2, 3], so hopefully there will be an appeal.

To summarise, Microsoft’s existing and former staff are squarely targeting advocates of Free/open source software (especially the “free” part). To pretend that Microsoft is not the main issue as far as entities are concerned is to ignore a lot of evidence on the ground.

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

4 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    July 8, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Gravatar

    You have to love the Slashdot tag for the story, “obvious”. Serious developers have been ignoring Microsoft and other non free software for more than a decade. The choice they face is simple, pay Microsoft for limited second rate tools or start the next Google for the cost of the hardware. Microsoft would lose this choice even if they did not resort to technical sabotage and change for revenue’s sake. Windows is only something people run when some legacy application forces them. The number of these applications is as vanishingly small as the number of things you can do with free software that Windows won’t do is overwhelmingly large. The sooner Microsoft slides off into bankruptcy, the better off everyone will be.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Windows is only something people run when some legacy application forces them.

    The issue is, many of the replacement applications are Fog Computing (e.g. Facebook), not Free software.

    The sooner Microsoft slides off into bankruptcy, the better off everyone will be.

    That may take a while. Apple’s profits — not just market cap — are about to exceed Microsoft’s. If the very few cash cows cease to bring home the bacon, Microsoft is over (layoffs and visas are just an early symptom).

    twitter Reply:

    The end will come quicker than you think because network effects drove Microsoft profits and OEMs have revolted. Apple and Google show OEMs that there is money outside the hostile and shrinking Microsoft universe. Vista’s failure proved that the Windows upgrade train was out of steam and that everyone needed to look for more honest business models. Microsoft’s cash cows were driven by a false preceptions of “standards” and inability to do things without Windows. Those perceptions have been shattered by Vista’s failure and the success of everyone else. Microsoft failure will only breed more of the same and the death spiral is tightening.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Well, they can try to reinvent themselves as patent racketeers and tax men on Duracell batteries.

What Else is New


  1. Make Nothing, Sue Everybody: The Reality of Patent Trolls Increasingly Understood by the 'Mainstream'

    New patent stories and even extensive coverage at PBS, which dedicated a whole program to these matters but failed to address the core issue, which is software patenting



  2. [ES] Advertencia: La Vigilancia de la EPO Surveillance Puede Haberse Convertido en Más Intrusiva

    BlueCoat, que la EPO usa para oprimir a sus empleados en sus premisas Europeas, acaba de ajustar más y hacerse más intrusiva y los empleados pueden estar en riesgo



  3. [ES] Tarjeta de Victima Termina en Otra Torpeza para Battistelli Seis de su Guardia Pretoriana

    Battistelli esta destruyéndo lo que queda de la reputación de la EPO (después de las décadas que le costó a ella construírla) mientras los medios continúan escrutinando su desastroso régimen



  4. [ES] La EPO esta Excelente, Dice Sitio de ‘Noticias’ Conectado a Ella

    Los caraduras de la ‘revista’ IAM, viejo aliado de la EPO, da la impresión a la gente de que en la EPO todo esta bien y dandy aunque claramente ese no es el caso



  5. New EPO Caricature: Nouveaux Garde-Vélo (New Bicycle Guards)

    A new cartoon poking fun at Battistelli's bicycles and the perceived threat these are under



  6. Battistelli's 'Special Relationship' With Portugal and the 'Inventor of the Year' Charade

    What makes Portugal rather unique when it comes to Mr. Battistelli, who is allegedly desperate for support from smaller countries whose vote is easier to 'win'



  7. Patent Lawyers' Marketing Dominates and Marginalises Meaningful Analyses of Software Patenting in the US

    In an effort to create demand for software patents again, patent lawyers produce a huge heap of so-called 'analyses' which piggyback just one single decision (the exception, not the norm)



  8. A Mix of Patent Aggression and Sanctions/Raids (Using Controversial Patents) Against East Asian Companies

    New stories that demonstrate patent protectionism and show how Western industry, which barely makes anything anymore, relies on patents (software and design patents included) and this self-serving patent regime perpetuates itself even in Asia, where almost everything is actually being manufactured (and often/increasingly designed/developed too)



  9. Rumour: Battistelli Wants to Extend the Term of Topić's EPO Appointment in Spite of Criminal Charges Against Him

    The EPO's 'ringleader', Mr. Battistelli, is trying to keep his confidants (like Mr. Minnoye and Željko Topić) together for several more years to come, even defying rules regarding retirement age



  10. Links 29/5/2016: NetBSD 7.0.1, Genode OS 16.05

    Links for the day



  11. [ES] La Gerencia de la EPO Bajo Creciénte Estres por las Autoridades Legales Croatas, Políticas Alemanas, y los Medios Italianos

    Las cosas no son color rosa como la calma relativa sugiere, y esperamos en las próximas semanas mayores eventos otros que la protesta en todas las sedes de la EPO a través de Europa



  12. [ES] Los Medios de Comunicación Comienzan a Informar al Público Europeo Acercas de las Desventájas de la UPC Mientras que la EPO Acelera su Cabildeo por Ratificación

    La vergonzósa promoción de la UPC por parte de la EPO da otro paso adelánte mientras que venues de la prensa Europea (incluso canales de televisión) comienzan a explorar el arreglo secreto que es negociado por los abogados de patentes (con clientes corpórativos) y las oficinas de patentes, no el público o cualquier grupo que represente los intereses del público en general



  13. [ES] Algunos Detalles Acerca de ¿Cómo el Presidente de la EPO Es Rumoreado Estar Comprando Votos, y el Porqué es Suficientemente Base Para un Despido Inmediato?

    Algo de información tras las cortinas y una detallada explicación de la dependencia finánciera sistemática, creada por Battistelli a un costode €13 millónes o más, la cuál evita una efectiva supervisión de Battistelli



  14. Mishi Choudhary and Mike Masnick Explain Why India Should Reject Software Patents

    Both an Indian activist-lawyer and a widely-recognised author from the US explain to Indians why over-reliance on patents -- and acceptance of patents on software in particular -- is a very bad idea



  15. Microsoft Boosters Pretend Microsoft Fights for Privacy While the Company Uses Malware Tactics to Put Keyloggers on Everyone's Computers

    In spite of malware-inspired tactics that should land Microsoft in courts of law all around the world (as a defendant), Microsoft-friendly circles pretend that the company fights for people's rights like privacy -- all this when Microsoft installs keyloggers on people's PCs without their consent and obviously against their will



  16. Battistelli's Assault on EPO Staff's Right to Strike in Relation to French Politics and That 'Bicycle' Pretext for Crackdowns

    The latest bicycle 'gossip' and how it's being used, based on expectations from EPO staff, to introduce further crackdowns on human/labour rights



  17. Vice-President of the EPO Under Investigation: Treason, Abuse, Violations, Giving and Receiving Bribes

    An English translation of documents involving the Organised Crime Section of the Criminal Police Department in Zagreb, where the Vice-President of the EPO faces criminal charges



  18. EPO Management Warns People About Scams When the EPO's Management is Itself Falling for Scams

    Jesper Kongstad, the Chairman of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation, helps demonstrate that not even the EPO is intelligent enough to spot an obvious scam



  19. Links 28/5/2016: Wine 1.9.11, New Gentoo

    Links for the day



  20. Links 27/5/2016: Android for Raspberry Pi, Google Beats Oracle in Court

    Links for the day



  21. Warning: EPO Surveillance May Have Just Gotten Even More Intrusive

    BlueCoat, which the EPO uses to enable oppression inside its European premises, has just gotten even nastier and staff may be at risk



  22. Victim Card Ends up in Another Blunder for Battistelli and His Six Bodyguards

    Battistelli is wrecking what's left of the EPO's reputation (after decades it took the Office to earn it) as the media continues to scrutinise his appalling regime



  23. Italian Report About EPO Now Available in English

    An English translation of a TV program which earlier this month documented some of the glaring problems at the EPO



  24. The EPO is Doing Great, Says EPO-Connected 'News' Site

    IAM 'magazine', a longtime ally of the EPO, gives people the impression that all is fine and dandy at the EPO even though that's clearly not the case



  25. Microsoft Has Killed Nokia (and Its Own Mobile Ambitions), But Watch What it Does With Patents

    Microsoft announces many more layoffs, having already caused tremendous damage to the Finnish economy, and patents are left astray for Microsoft's favourite patent trolls to pick



  26. EPO Management Under Growing Stress From Croatian Law Enforcement Authorities, German Politicians, Italian Media

    Things are not as rosy as the relative calm may suggest, and in the coming weeks we expect some major events other than the protest at all EPO sites across Europe



  27. Microsoft, a Dead Company Walking, Resorts to Malware Tactics, Now Truly Indistinguishable From Crackers

    Microsoft is essentially taking over people's PCs and installing on them a large piece of malware, complete with keyloggers, against the will of these PCs' owners



  28. Links 26/5/2016: CentOS Linux 6.8, Ansible 2.1

    Links for the day



  29. The Latest EPO Victim Card (Played by Željko Topić) Should be Treated as Seriously as Those Bogus Claims of Violence by a Judge (Updatedx3)

    In its desperate pursuit of a narrative wherein the staff of the EPO is violent and aggressive the management of the EPO, renowned for institutional aggression, finds (or claims to have found) a little tampering with a bicycle



  30. Links 25/5/2016: Nginx 1.11, F1 2015 Coming to GNU/Linux Tomorrow

    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