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


Divide and Conquer: How Microsoft Fractures Free and Open Source Software, GNU/Linux

Posted in Deception, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Patents, Samba at 6:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Beware the enemy within

Behind the wallSummary: Latest examples of Microsoft’s strategy, wherein it sends out affiliates to pretend to be FOSS people and then promote software patent deals, separation between Open Source and Free software, departure from the GPL, promotion of ‘open’ core (proprietary) as “Open Source”, and demotion of free/libre platforms like GNU/Linux along with free suites/formats like ODF

MICROSOFT has a lot of nerve. But hey, it’s Microsoft!

For those who cannot recall, Microsoft was forced by the European Commission to comply with Samba’s requests (or face extremely heavy fines), but that’s not the story Microsoft wants to tell the world, so later it pretended to have done it all out of goodwill (utter lies stemming from need to spin). We covered this pattern of spin before and debunked it thoroughly; still, this FUD just won’t die. Since when is the press just a facility for Microsoft revisionism? Oh, well, keep the up count then. Mea culpa.

A few months ago Microsoft had to comply with the Commission (or face maybe billions in fines), so it very reluctantly implemented browser ballots, which are a farce (Internet Explorer is a part of all options which are selectable) and one that Microsoft could never implement properly. See the following posts:

  1. Browser Ballot Critique
  2. Microsoft’s Fake “Choice” Campaign is Back
  3. Microsoft Claimed to be Cheating in Web Browsers Ballot
  4. Microsoft Loses Impact in the Web Despite Unfair Ballot Placements
  5. Given Choice, Customers Reject Microsoft
  6. Microsoft is Still Cheating in Browser Ballot — Claim
  7. Microsoft’s Browser Ballot is Broken Again and Internet Explorer 8 is Critically Flawed
  8. The Microsoft Who Cried “Wolf!”

Now, here comes the key point; Microsoft used exactly the same spin that it used against Samba. Microsoft pretended that those ballots were an act of goodwill rather than obeying a law. Microsoft was also pretending that ballots are punishment enough, even though Internet Explorer remained obligatory.

“It seems like that old tactic which Microsoft calls or refers to as “infiltration”…”It’s amazing, isn’t it? Microsoft breaks the law, then it is punished for it (the punishment is so minor that it’s meaningless), and Microsoft then spins this punishment as a self-imposed limitation that Microsoft has chosen because it loves competition so very much.

Well done, Microsoft. You’re a master of spin.

Over in Budapest, Microsoft spent the beginning of the week bashing OpenOffice.org (in public), assuming the claims are correct. What a funny case of timing, eh? It happens to coincide with the OpenOffice.org event in Budapest. It turned out later, as IBM’s Rob Weir told me, that Microsoft’s Moritz Berger also decided to divide and conquer the OpenOffice.org event itself. It seems like that old tactic which Microsoft calls or refers to as “infiltration” (or “crashing” the event, as per this internal document [PDF]).

“You are totally wrong Both RDF and digital signatures are new to ODF 1.2″
      –Rob Weir to Microsoft infiltrator at OpenOffice.org event
Why does Oracle allow Microsoft to to this? Not surprisingly, some hours ago it turned out that Microsoft’s Berger used the OpenOffice.org event to smear OpenOffice.org or ODF. “You are totally wrong Both RDF and digital signatures are new to ODF 1.2,” hollered Weir at Berger during the event.

So let’s repeat what was happening here: Microsoft staff moving on from an anti-OpenOffice.org event in Budapest to an OpenOffice.org event in Budapest where they spread FUD, as expected. Microsoft always comes to these events under pretenses of “we come in peace” (the title of the talk in this case was about “bridges”, a mere euphemism) and anyone standing in their way will be painted an “irrational zealot” and separated from the rest, singled out as “poisonous” (that’s where the “divide and conquer” approach applies). We wrote a lot more about these techniques (so do Microsoft’s internal documents/presentations to newly-recruited AstroTurfers) when LinuxTag 2010 got the ‘Microsoft treatment’ [1, 2, 3]. It’s truly distasteful and it’s damaging.

Another thing we wish to draw attention to is IDG’s fuaxpen source blog, which delivers more and more messages from Microsoft staff (here is another one from the Microsoft employee who compares/likens Free software to communism and says that “No one is working for free”). How did Microsoft’s team end up writing in this blog? It’s simple. Bort from the Microsoft Subnet now explains who brought him in (Walli), augmenting the Microsoft ‘open source’ think tank which they broadcast to the world via IDG Web sites:

So, I got a hold of Stephen Walli (pictured), who recently joined Network World’s Open Source Subnet as a blogger. (He writes the Open Minded blog). Walli is Technical Director of the CodePlex Foundation.

Bort’s colleague/co-writer, who works for a Microsoft partner, is currently trying to separate “Linux” from the rest (another common Microsoft tactic commonly seen in this Microsoft auditorium). When someone’s colleagues work for a company that spreads proprietary software (there are more of them), it’s likely that more will follow, gradually separating the platform from the notion of Freedom — including the GPL — which otherwise belonged under the “Open Source” badge/brand. Likewise, they are separating it from GNU/Linux.

Watch out for those who take Microsoft and “Open Source” and combine the two. IDG is marrying them quite a lot these days, occasionally taking input from Microsoft Florian (when it comes to patents). Another person who takes input from Microsoft Florian is ZDNet’s Blankenhorn and he got some flak for it from Groklaw, which he once gave an award to.

“Entryism (or entrism or enterism) is a political tactic by which an organisation or state encourages its members or agents to infiltrate another organisation in an attempt to gain recruits, or take over entirely. In situations where the organisation being “entered” is hostile to entryism, the entryists may engage in a degree of subterfuge to hide the fact that they are, in fact, an organisation in their own right.”Wikipedia

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


  1. Agent_Smith said,

    September 3, 2010 at 1:08 pm


    Regarding http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/linux-double-edged-sword-open-source :

    What a stupid article. The writer makes statements that are full of FUD and disinformation. Stupid, stupid, stupid. He names Linux the most successful Open Source project. Hellloooo: What about Firefox ??? Or Apache ??? And then, he crowns that pile of garbage of an article with this pearl: What works for Linux may not work for the rest of the open source projects, watch for revenue. What a MORON.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    He’s a treasure trove of such writings. That blog as a whole is flooding “open source” news in Google News. It’s warping what Open Source means.

What Else is New

  1. Leaked: Budget and Finance Committee Outcomes That Jeopardise What's Left of the EPO's Future

    A look at the latest reckless step from the Budget and Finance Committee of the Administrative Council (chaired by Battistelli's pet chinchilla), which marginalises yet more oversight or a branch which facilitates patent quality control (thereby concealing the effect of Battistelli's ruinous sausage factory mentality)

  2. Links 27/10/2016: Major Changes in Unity 8, Nextcloud Targets Phones

    Links for the day

  3. 'Balkan Express' Teaser: EPO's Željko Topić, Kuterovac, Campinos, Gurry, Battistelli and the DKPTO (Kongstad)

    Various photos of Topić and Kuterovac. Some more photos with other IP "luminaries" such as Campinos of the EUIPO and Gurry of the WIPO.

  4. The United States Pressures India to Broaden Patent Scope and Other Monopolies

    The envoy of the US is trying to tell India how to run the country (stricter laws regarding copyrights, trademarks, and patents), as a condition for foreign investment by multinational corporations

  5. Budget and Finance Committee of the Administrative Council (EPO) Confirms Exile of the Boards of Appeal

    Crushing of highly-skilled staff, propaganda in the form of new press releases, and recruitment attempts that won't succeed because the world now knows what goes on inside the European Patent Office

  6. Links 26/10/2016: “softWaves” in Debian 9, Rust in GNOME

    Links for the day

  7. Leaked: EPO's Vice-President Willie Minnoye Saying the Unsayable, Then Threatening Anyone Who Keeps Record (Evidence) of It

    E-mail that would leave Vice-President Willie Minnoye bashful, as it helps show not only bad policy but also attempts at suppression of discussion about it

  8. Puff Pieces of the EPO-IPO (EPO+EUIPO) Have Begun to Appear Amid New Evidence of Brain Drain, Lowered Standards

    The grim vision of the EPO which is losing all its talent (over time), becomes more like a production line (quality does not matter), and produces propaganda for "media positioning" (or "placements") -- all under the guise of 'studies'

  9. Leaked: Minutes From the Administrative Council of the EPO Regarding the 'Reform' (Exile) of the Boards of Appeal

    Details of the relatively secret proceedings back in June (belatedly released only a short while ago), carefully abbreviated to demonstrate which delegations helped Battistelli crush the Boards of Appeal and which ones insisted on maintaining the status quo, as per the EPC

  10. No Promising Future For the EPO Under Battistelli (If Any Future At All)

    Pessimism becomes realism at the European Patent Office as units are being torn apart, patent quality discarded, "unified" patent courts dreamed of (more patent lawsuits, higher damages), and EUIPO (EU-associated, unlike Eponia) gets closer to the EPO

  11. Leaked Minutes From the EPO Reveal That Battistelli is Detached From Reality and Blames Everything on “Union Officials”

    Minutes of the Administrative Council's meeting reveal some truly bizarre rants from Battistelli, who simply refuses to accept that the European Patent Office is burning (without a future direction, only burnout and brain drain) under his poor and abusive leadership

  12. Tata/TCS is Still Pushing for Software Patents in India

    The obnoxious company that is promoting Microsoft and software patents in a country that needs neither makes the headlines again (Financial Express)

  13. Links 25/10/2016: Rackspace's Praise of FOSS, Chain Chooses the GPL(v3)

    Links for the day

  14. Links 24/10/2016: Linux 4.9 RC2

    Links for the day

  15. Battistelli Plans to Expand the Social [sic] 'Study' (Then 'Conference') Propaganda Until Next Month, Under the 'Workshop' Umbrella

    Milking his shameless propaganda (paid-for 'studies'), Battistelli wants to rewrite the record by all means possible, then pretend that EPO staff participates in it

  16. EPO and EUIPO Join Hands to Release Propaganda (for European Media to Parrot) Some Time Tomorrow

    EPO and EUIPO in collaboration for the promotion of the notion that they are both necessary (and reinforced speculations about growing overlap between them)

  17. UPC Preparatory Committee Puts the Brakes on UPC Amid Brexit and Growing Uncertainty

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) preparatory committee recognises that the UPC isn't going anywhere (any time soon) and false job advertisements -- or advertisements for jobs that will never exist -- are withdrawn

  18. Updates Regarding EPO and BoAC: Unrest and Injustice Carry on

    Some of the latest information which is publicly and privately available to us, in particular regarding the case of a suspended judge which represents unprecedented erosion of the appeal boards' independence (and hence lack of justice in the Organisation)

  19. EPO and the “Iberian Connection”: Patricia García-Escudero Márquez - Battistelli's Pet Chinchilla on the Boards of Appeal Committee?

    Why the Boards of Appeal Committee has begun showing prominent signs that it is anything but independent and capable of standing up to Battistelli (or his circle at the Office, which includes the “Iberian Connection")

  20. Links 23/10/2016: Alcatel's New Android Smartphones, Another Honorary Doctorate for Stallman

    Links for the day

  21. Open Letter Exposing the Farce Which Was Battistelli's 'Social Conference' Coinciding With Further (New) Attacks on EPO Staff Representatives

    A detailed letter reveals legitimate concerns expressed by staff representatives at the EPO ahead of the so-called Social Conference, in which we have highlighted severe factual flaws

  22. Translation of Latest Rant From French MP Philip Cordery About Benoît Battistelli's Abuses at the EPO

    Philip Cordery crosses horns with Benoît Battistelli, who has become a source of embarrassment for France with his autocratic tendencies and misguided policies that rapidly ruin the European Patent Office (EPO)

  23. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Leaked Document Shows PwC's Dishonesty and Misrepresentation of EPO Staff

    An in-depth analysis (but not comprehensive, just preliminary) of the so-called 'study' from PwC, which basically did what it was paid for (pay to say)

  24. Links 22/10/2016: Deus Ex for GNU/Linux, Global DDoS (DNS)

    Links for the day

  25. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Survey Comparison Shows Serious Deterioration and Efforts by PwC to Disguise the Truth

    The latest output from PwC turns out to be even worse than initially thought, indicating that not only did it find a degradation in the EPO but also attempted to hide/obscure it

  26. EPO Teaser - The "Iberian Connection" - Some Photos of García-Escudero and His Royal/Government Connections

    A look at the undeniably close connections between Mr. García-Escudero and the most powerful people in Spain

  27. Disruption to Site's Service

    A technical note about why Techrights has not been publishing many articles recently

  28. Links 21/10/2016: MPV 0.21, Mad Max for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day

  29. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's High Five

    Another cartoon about the sad state of the EPO

  30. Battistelli Ruins Not Only the EPO But Also the Whole of Europe By Ushering in Software Patents That Patent Trolls Love So Much

    Battistelli's bad leadership at the EPO threatens to bring to Europe all the ills and menaces of the patent system in the United States


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


Recent Posts