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. Links 31/10/2014: Rubin Leaves Google, Neelie Kroes Ends EU Career

    Links for the day



  2. The EPO Is More Corrupt Under Battistelli Than Under Alison Brimelow: Part VIII

    After Brimelow, with all her flaws and her scandals, an even worse President is installed who then abolishes oversight and seemingly brings his old friends to the EPO, creating a sort of subculture that is impenetrable to outsiders



  3. Claiming That Microsoft 'Loves' Linux While Windows Update Bricks Devices With Linux

    The sheer absurdity of claims that Microsoft -- which not only attacks those who distribute Linux and GNU but also blackmails them, takes them to court, or bricks their products without any liability -- 'loves' Linux



  4. Protectionist Reign: Corporations in Complete Control of Everything With Domination Over Patent Law

    How multinational corporations, joined by the corporate press that they are funding, promote a corporations- but not people-friendly patent policy in north America



  5. Links 30/10/2014: GNOME 3.15.1, Red Hat Software Collections 1.2

    Links for the day



  6. Links 29/10/2014: Ubuntu Touch Tablet, Puppy Linux 6.0

    Links for the day



  7. Links 28/10/2014: SUSE Linux Enterprise 12, Canonical OpenStack Distro

    Links for the day



  8. Links 28/10/2014: PiFxOS, The Document Foundation in OSBA

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft is Bricking Devices With Linux (Yet Again!), So a Microsoft Booster Spins/Paints Linux Devices as 'Fakes'

    Microsoft delivers rogue drivers through Windows Update and they brick Arduino microcontrollers



  10. How Bill Gates Continues to Pass Wealth From the Public to His Own Bank Account

    Having put a universal tax on many things (not just computers) and evaded tax using the classic 'charity' trick, Gates is now buying the media, the schools, politicians etc. and earns as much as 10 billion dollars per year while the public is taught that Gates is a giver, not a hoarder of the worst kind



  11. Links 27/10/2014: Lenovo Unbundling, Linux 3.18 RC2

    Links for the day



  12. IRC Proceedings: September 14th, 2014 – October 25th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  13. Links 25/10/2014: KDE Mockups, Update on GNOME Outreach Program for Women

    Links for the day



  14. After Infecting Unity -- Successfully -- Microsoft's Partner Xamarin Wants to Infect Unreal Engine With .NET

    Xamarin continues to spread dependence on Microsoft to more gaming frameworks, not just platforms such as GNU/Linux, Android, and even permanent-state devices



  15. Taking Microsoft Windows Off the Grid for Damage to Businesses, the Internet, and Banking Systems

    Microsoft's insecure-by-design software is causing massive damages ([cref 27802 possibly trillions] of [cref 13992 dollars in damages to date]) and yet the corporate press does not ask the right questions, let alone suggest a ban on Microsoft software



  16. City of Berlin Does Not Abandon Free Software, It's Only Tax Authorities

    A Softpedia report that says the City of Berlin is moving to Microsoft Office is flawed and may be based on a poor translation



  17. Nadella a Liar in Chief at Microsoft, Pretending That His Anti-Competitive Practices Are Unfortunately Imposed on Microsoft

    The nastiness of Microsoft knows no bounds as even its assault on GNU/Linux and dirty tricks against Free software adoption are characterised as the fault of 'pirates'



  18. Reuters Writes About the Demise of Software Patents, But Focuses on 'Trolls' and Quotes Lawyers

    How the corporate media chooses to cover the invalidity of many software patents and the effect of that



  19. Links 24/10/2014: Microsoft Tax Axed in Italy, Google's Linux (ChromeOS/Android) Leader Promoted

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  24. 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



  25. 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"



  26. 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")



  27. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  30. 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


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