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 24/4/2018: Preview of Crostini, Introducing Heptio Gimbal, OPNsense 18.1.6

    Links for the day



  2. Patent Maximalists Step Things Up With Director Andrei Iancu and It's Time for Scientists to Fight Back

    Science and technology don't seem to matter as much as the whims of the patent (litigation) 'industry', at least judging by recent actions taken by Andrei Iancu (following a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee)



  3. Mythology About Patents in the East

    Misconceptions (or deliberate propaganda) about patent policy in the east poison the debate and derail a serious, facts-based discussion about it



  4. Patent Trolls Watch: Red River Innovations, Bradium Technologies/General Patent, and Wordlogic

    A quick look at some patent trolls that made the news this Monday; we are still seeing a powerful response to such trolls, whose momentum is slipping owing to the good work of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)



  5. Holding Benoît Battistelli Accountable After the EPO

    The many abuses and offenses committed by Mr. Battistelli whilst he enjoyed diplomatic immunity can and should be brought up as that immunity expires in two months; a good start would be contacting his colleagues, who might not be aware of the full spectrum of his abuses



  6. Links 23/4/2018: Second RC of Linux 4.17 and First RC of Mesa 18.1

    Links for the day



  7. The Good Work of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Latest Attempts to Undermine It

    A week's roundup of news about PTAB, which is eliminating many bad (wrongly-granted) patents and is therefore becoming "enemy number one" to those who got accustomed to blackmailing real (productive) firms with their questionable patents



  8. District Courts' Patent Cases, Including the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX/TXED), in a Nutshell

    A roundup of patent cases in 'low courts' of the United States, where patents are being reasoned about or objected to while patent law firms make a lot of money



  9. The Federal Circuit's (CAFC) Decisions Are Being Twisted by Patent Propaganda Sites Which Merely Cherry-Pick Cases With Outcomes That Suit Them

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) continues to reject the vast majority of software patents, citing Section 101 in many such cases, but the likes of Managing IP, Patently-O, IAM and Watchtroll only selectively cover such cases (instead they’re ‘pulling a Berkheimer’ or some similar name-dropping)



  10. Patents Roundup: Metaswitch, GENBAND, Susman, Cisco, Konami, High 5 Games, HTC, and Nintendo

    A look at existing legal actions, the application of 35 U.S.C. § 101, and questionable patents that are being pursued on software (algorithms or "software infrastructure")



  11. In Maxon v Funai the High 'Patent Court' (CAFC) Reaffirms Disdain for Software Patents, Which Are Nowadays Harder to Get and Then Defend

    With the wealth of decisions from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) wherein software patents get discarded (Funai being the latest example), the public needs to ask itself whether patent law firms are honest when they make claims about resurgence of software patents by 'pulling a Berkheimer' or coming up with terms like “Berkheimer Effect”



  12. Today's European Patent Office Works for Patent Extremists and for Team UPC Rather Than for Europe or for Innovation

    The International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) and other patent maximalists who have nothing to do with Europe, helped by a malicious and rather clueless politician called Benoît Battistelli, are turning the EPO into a patent-printing machine rather than an examination office as envisioned by the EPC (founders) and member states



  13. The EPO is Dying and Those Who Have Killed It Are Becoming Very Rich in the Process

    Following the footsteps of Ron Hovsepian at Novell, Battistelli at the EPO (along with Team Battistelli) may mean the end of the EPO as we know it (or the end altogether); one manager and a cabal of confidants make themselves obscenely rich by basically sacrificing the very organisation they were entrusted to serve



  14. Short: Just Keep Repeating the Lie (“Quality”) Until People Might Believe It

    Battistelli’s patent-printing bureau (EPO without quality control) keeps lying about the quality of patents by repeating the word “quality” a lot of times, including no less than twice in the summary alone



  15. Shelston IP Keeps Pressuring IP Australia to Allow Software Patents and Harm Software Development

    Shelston IP wants exactly the opposite of what's good for Australia; it just wants what's good for itself, yet it habitually pretends to speak for a productive industry (nothing could be further from the truth)



  16. Is Andy Ramer's Departure the End of Cantor Fitzgerald's Patent Trolls-Feeding Operations and Ambitions?

    The managing director of the 'IP' group at Cantor Fitzgerald is leaving, but it does not yet mean that patent trolls will be starved/deprived access to patents



  17. EPO Hoards Billions of Euros (Taken From the Public), Decreases Quality to Get More Money, Reduces Payments to Staff

    The EPO continues to collect money from everyone, distributes bogus/dubious patents that usher patent trolls into Europe (to cost European businesses billions in the long run), and staff of the EPO faces more cuts while EPO management swims in cash and perks



  18. Short: Calling Battistelli's Town (Where He Works) “Force for Innovation” to Justify the Funneling of EPO Funds to It

    How the EPO‘s management ‘explained’ (or sought to rationalise) to staff its opaque decision to send a multi-million, one-day ceremony to Battistelli’s own theatre only weeks before he leaves



  19. Short: EPO Bribes the Media and Then Brags About the Paid-for Outcome to Staff

    The EPO‘s systematic corruption of the media at the expense of EPO stakeholders — not to mention hiring of lawyers to bully media which exposes EPO corruption — in the EPO’s own words (amended by us)



  20. Short: EPO's “Working Party for Quality” is to Quality What the “Democratic People's Republic of Korea” is to Democracy

    To maintain the perception (illusion) that the EPO still cares about patent quality — and in order to disseminate this lie to EPO staff — a puff piece with the above heading/photograph was distributed to thousands of examiners in glossy paper form



  21. Short: This Spring's Message From the EPO's President (Corrected)

    A corrected preface from the Liar in Chief, the EPO's notoriously crooked and dishonest President



  22. Short: Highly Misleading and Unscientific Graphics From the EPO for an Illusion of Growth

    A look at the brainwash that EPO management is distributing to staff and what's wrong with it



  23. Short: EPO Explains to Examiners Why They Should and Apparently Can Grant Software Patents (in Spite of EPC)

    Whether it calls it "CII" or "ICT" or "Industry 4.0" or "4IR", the EPO's management continues to grant software patents and attempts to justify this to itself (and to staff)



  24. Links 21/4/2018: Linux 4.9.95, FFmpeg 4.0, OpenBSD Foundation 2018 Fundraising Campaign

    Links for the day



  25. As USPTO Director, Andrei Iancu Gives Three Months for Public Comments on 35 U.S.C. § 101 (Software Patenting Impacted)

    Weeks after starting his job as head of the US patent office, to our regret but not to our surprise, Iancu asks whether to limit examiners' ability to reject abstract patent applications citing 35 U.S.C. § 101 (relates to Alice and Mayo)



  26. In Keith Raniere v Microsoft Both Sides Are Evil But for Different Reasons

    Billing for patent lawyers reveals an abusive strategy from Microsoft, which responded to abusive patent litigation (something which Microsoft too has done for well over a decade)



  27. Links 20/4/2018: Atom 1.26, MySQL 8.0

    Links for the day



  28. Links 19/4/2018: Mesa 17.3.9 and 18.0.1, Trisquel 8.0 LTS Flidas, Elections for openSUSE Board

    Links for the day



  29. The Patent Microcosm, Patent Trolls and Their Pressure Groups Incite a USPTO Director Against the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Section 101/Alice

    As one might expect, the patent extremists continue their witch-hunt and constant manipulation of USPTO officials, whom they hope to compel to become patent extremists themselves (otherwise those officials are defamed, typically until they're fired or decide to resign)



  30. Microsoft's Lobbying for FRAND Pays Off as Microsoft-Connected Patent Troll Conversant (Formerly MOSAID) Goes After Android OEMs in Europe

    The FRAND (or SEP) lobby seems to have caused a lot of monopolistic patent lawsuits; this mostly affects Linux-powered platforms such as Android, Tizen and webOS and there are new legal actions from Microsoft-connected patent trolls


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