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. “Corrupt Benoît Battistelli and Željko Topić Today in Zagreb at 25th Anniversary of SIPO Croatia”

    Shortly after Željko Topić lost his court case for the third time (over allegations of corruption at SIPO), his EPO boss Benoît Battistelli joins SIPO celebrations



  2. The US Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Maintains High Pace of Patent Invalidation, in Spite of Appeals to CAFC

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), i.e. the court system, has become the last resort of serial litigators, as the PTAB gets in their way more and more often following AIA and Alice



  3. Good Luck to the US Supreme Court in Eliminating a Supremely Unjust Misuse of Patent Law

    In an important upcoming patent case, gross abuse of patent laws for the support of dubious business models can finally be tackled



  4. EPO Protest This Coming Wednesday Strives to Restore the Rule of Law and Freedom of Speech at the Office

    The level of autocracy at the European Patent Organisation, an institution which has effectively positioned itself above the law with Battistelli and his minions in charge of the Office, faces growing backlash from staff



  5. The EPO is Collapsing. Attacks on Journalists, Interns as Staff, Patents on Plants, and Bureaucratic Red Tape...

    A look at some of the latest issues surrounding the European Patent Office, whose insistence on denying the problems and instead attacking those who bring up legitimate concerns, will spell its doom



  6. Ignore the Bristows UPC Echo Chamber, the UPC is Not Happening

    Response to some of the latest UPC promotion, courtesy of some of the usual suspects, who stand to benefit financially if the UPC ever becomes a reality



  7. British Media Slams Battistelli for Attempting to Cover Up 2 Years of Juridical Abuses With Help From the Administrative Council of the EPO

    A growing voice of concern about the integrity of the European Patent Organisation, whose management appears to be in cahoots (overseers/regulators included) so as to cover up its own serious abuses



  8. Boards of Appeal Still Under Attack From Team Battistelli While the EPO Proceeds to Granting Patents on Carlsberg BEER!

    The lunacy of the EPO with its patent maximalism will likely go unchecked (and uncorrected) if Battistelli gets his way and turns the EPO into another SIPO (Croatian in the human rights sense and Chinese in the quality sense)



  9. Memo “Deliberately Leaked to Cover up the UPC” With Its Many Associated Issues Amid Brexit

    Some eye-opening updates about the awkward move from Lucy Neville-Rolfe, who made promises (expression of intent) she can neither fulfill nor justify to the British public



  10. Links 8/12/2016: Korora GNU/Linux 25, SparkyLinux 4.5.1

    Links for the day



  11. Links 7/12/2016: ROSA Desktop Fresh R8 Plasma 5, Ubuntu Touch OTA-14

    Links for the day



  12. The UPC Scam Part VII: A Fine Mess in the Making, as Nothing Can be Made of It Amid/After Brexit

    The final part in this multi-part series about UPC, which cannot be implemented in the UK as long as Brexit is on the agenda



  13. The UPC Scam Part VI: The Real Story Which People Missed Due to Puff Pieces Seeded by Battistelli-Bribed Media is That UPC Technically Cannot Come to the UK

    Another long installment in a multi-part series about UPC at times of post-truth Battistelli-led EPO, which pays the media to repeat the lies and pretend that the UPC is inevitable so as to compel politicians to welcome it regardless of desirability and practicability



  14. EPO Spiraling Down the Drain as Experienced Examiners and Judges Are Seemingly Being Replaced by Interns

    Implementing yet more of his terrible ideas and so-called 'reforms', Battistelli seems to be racing to the bottom of everything (patent quality, staff experience, labour rights, working conditions, access to justice etc.)



  15. A Lot of News From the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Today, With Some Important Decisions on Patents Coming Soon

    A roundup of today's outcomes from the US Supreme Court, which intends to review and decide on important patent cases



  16. In Historic Blow to Design Patents, Apple Loses to Samsung at the Supreme Court

    A $399 million judgment against Android devices from Samsung, with potential implications for other Android OEMs, is rejected by SCOTUS



  17. Good Riddance. Ray Niro is Dead.

    The infamous father of patent trolling is dead, so we need to remember his real legacy rather than rewrite his history to appease his rich relatives (enriched by destroying real companies)



  18. EPO Suicides Greater in Number Than is Widely Reported, Unjust System a Contributor to These

    The horrible regime of Benoît Battistelli has an enormous human toll (fatalities), far greater than the Office is willing to publicly acknowledge



  19. Lobbying Disguised as 'Reporting' by the Patent Microcosm, Which Wants More Patents and More Lawsuits (Lawyers Needed)

    A rebuttal to some new articles about patents, especially those that strive to increase patent-related activities (usually for personal gain)



  20. USPTO Echo Chamber That Lacks Actual Software Professionals Deciding on Patentability of Software

    A look at yesterday's "Roundtable on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility," which lacked involvement from those actually affected by patents rather than those who sell, trade, and exploit these



  21. More Examples of Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Taxing Linux, Even After Microsoft 'Joined' (Paid) the Linux Foundation

    A quick look at the past week's news and clues about Microsoft's (and its broad army of patent trolls) strategy for taxing Linux, or imposing bundling at zero cost (to Microsoft)



  22. Heiko Maas, the SPD “Cash for Access” Affair, and Suspicions of Unwarranted Censorship at IP Kat (Again)

    Unsayable views or just a glitch? Readers of IP Kat express concern about a culture of censorship at IP Kat



  23. Endgame for Battistelli at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Battistelli turns bad into worse by spitting on the very notion of accepting justice (from the highest court in The Hague or even the UN in this case)



  24. Les Échos Chamber: Having Corrupted the Media (With EPO Money), Battistelli Now Uses It for More UPC Propaganda

    The lies about the Unitary Patent are now being broadcast (Battistelli given the platform) by the publication that Battistelli pays



  25. Rumour: EPO in Berlin the Next Casualty of Battistelli's 'Reform' (Organisational Suicide Plan)

    Months after we learned that a former staff representative in Berlin had been dismissed we come across an anonymous claim that Berlin's 'branch' of the EPO will be folded onto Munich's



  26. Caricature: the Maas App

    The failure of Maas to even bother with regulation of Battistelli (among others) earns him this cartoon



  27. Links 5/12/2016: Linux 4.9 RC 8, DeepMind as FOSS

    Links for the day



  28. Leaked: Battistelli Acknowledges Bunk 'Justice' in About 100 Cases at the Internal Appeals Committee of the EPO

    A look at Battistelli's response to the latest from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), exceptionally delivering two decisions at the very end of last month



  29. The UPC Scam Part V: Unitary Patent Regime a Fantasy of Patent Trolls

    "Good for trolls" is a good way to sum up the Unitary Patent, which would give litigators plenty of business (defendants and plaintiffs, plus commissions on high claims of damages) if it ever became a reality



  30. EPO at a Tipping Point: Battistelli Quarrelling With French Politicians, Administrative Council Urged to Act, Staff Unrest Peaking

    The latest messages about Battistelli's regime at the EPO, which faces growing opposition from more directions than ever before


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