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08.30.10

Microsoft is Still Attacking “Open Source” and Standards, But Has No Other Choice

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 5:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Halloween related

Summary: Microsoft is being crushed by software freedom, so in order to survive it can only invent bogus standards and a bogus definition of the very same paradigm it’s competing against and trying to coopt

MICROSOFT is kind neither to “Open Source” nor to standards. The former subject was covered here a lot recently, after dishonest remarks from “OOXML Paoli” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and OOXML itself is proof that Microsoft does not care about standards, either. Rather than go along with everybody towards ODF it just created its own bogus proprietary format and tried to call that “a standard”. It even put its proprietary VML in it, thus harming SVG, the industry standard. This is still going on, even after Mirosoft pretended to have befriended SVG [1, 2]. Penguin Pete has this new cartoon called “The eternal curse” [of Microsoft's violation of Web standards] and it’s a good summary of Microsoft’s ill effects on the Internet. Internet Explorer still lacks SVG support, for example.

Brian Proffitt has an interesting and more creative interpretation of Microsoft’s latest spin on “Open Source”. He says Microsoft has no choice but to assimilate simply because “Open Source” is the winning team.

Why Microsoft is Being Nicer to Open Source

If there was any take-away I got from LinuxCon a couple of weeks ago, it was this: open source has finally become mainstream.

I mean, there was really little doubt. Companies and independent developers have been using open source for years now, with little regard to the old FUD that said “if you use this software, little Stallman-like demons will eat your soul!”

Or somesuch.

But the thing that really drove this home was when Evan Moglen, lawyer to the Free Software stars, described the subtle shift in how developers approach open source.

When open source first started, Moglen said, it was the developers and engineers who truly understood open source, and they were the personnel that would educate and teach others about the notions of free and open source software. This is certainly true, because it goes a long way to also explaining why this training and education took a while for business to understand, since business-types and engineering-types don’t often communicate to each other very well.

That post ought to say Eben, not Evan. Either way, isn’t it fascinating to see Moglen and Stallman mentioned in the context of business? Microsoft — with the help of minions such as Microsoft Florian — has been attempting to paint Stallman as a radical and Moglen as a communist, interchangeably (they try this even in this Web site). The reality is, there is nothing more communistic than a software monopoly where control and special privileges belong to just a few. “Open Source” is free market, it’s capitalism; proprietary monopoly on the other hand is tyranny, it’s more like communism. Any real proponent of capitalism and a truly democratic society should strive to advance software freedom, which much like today’s Western systems possibly embodies few elements of socialism.

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A Single Comment

  1. twitter said,

    August 30, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Gravatar

    We are at Ghandi stage 4, “Then you win and everyone tries to say they were with you all along.” Microsoft and other non free software proponents are dead in the water with their software and are slowly being pulled under by patent trolls who exploit the tools Microsoft would have used to steal free software. Patent war is a game that companies with the most money have the most to lose.

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