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

09.14.10

Open Tech Exchange Explains How Microsoft Derailed GNU/Linux in Governments, Using “Corruption”

Posted in Africa, America, GNU/Linux, Ubuntu, Windows at 8:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Under NO circumstances lose against Linux before ensuring we have used this program [EDGI] actively and in a smart way.”

Orlando Ayala, Microsoft

Summary: Some very revealing details from people who are close to bad Microsoft affairs and speak about it in audio rather than dare publish it in writing (in blunt form)

Last week we learned that “Open source adoption lags” in South Africa. To quote the report:

Although SA is still lagging behind when it comes to embracing open source software, the increase in adoption has been growing at a steady pace.

This is according to Linux Warehouse, a distributor of enterprise open source software for Southern Africa

However, SA has seen an increase because companies have been facing financial pressures, says general manager of Linux Warehouse Shannon Moodley. “The open source market is quite mature; most of the large banks and telcos use open source in some way or form and many do so in mission critical environments.”

In line with this, ITWeb and The Linux Warehouse have collaborated to carry out an Open Source Software Survey to ascertain the level of use of open source and vendor-supported software, as well as identifying potential areas where marketing and education could add value back into the market on the solutions available.

As a little recap on what Microsoft was doing to free/open source software in South Africa around 2008 (loads of examples were given at the time):

There is this good show called “Open Tech Exchange” (an audiocast) from South Africa (and occasionally elsewhere) in which Microsoft's assault on Free software in South Africa was described earlier this year. A newer episode of the show helps shed light on the dirty Microsoft tactics which Microsoft used not only in South Africa but also in other countries. The episode’s summary does not mention this part, but our loyal contributor gnufreex transcribed it for future use because it’s rather revealing and another reader politely asked us for it.

In this episode Darlene and I chat about Crisis Commons, the dangers of cloud computing and the behaviour of corporates.

The part that’s relevant to us starts around 14 minutes from the start. The two hosts (a man and a woman called Mark and Darlene, whose voice/gender makes it simplest to distinguish, hence the omission of name from here onwards) first talk about South Africa moving to Free software and putting all the policies in place to develop many things locally.

The lady says that she came across an interesting Microsoft document about their plan not to let GNU/Linux win, no matter the cost. “For example,” she says “we’ve talked about Brazil several times… and how the government is committed… [but] Microsoft… went into provinces… and used provinces… where the leaders [aligned with the opposition]… signed deals… they are going province by province…

“How do you win against those tactics,” she asked. “Even in South Africa… they [Microsoft] announce they are going to build a laboratory…” (for an accurate transcription see below; the text here is messy because we try to succinctly encompass key points)

The South African guy in this show says (not accurate wording) that they “lost their moral dimensions to everything… it’s basically breaking the rules… it’s not really philanthropic or humanitarian… if you have people… sociopaths… they get put in institutions… I don’t know, especially in countries that aren’t in North America.. these things sound.. unethical… [people call it corruption... not euphemism, they] call it what it us… call it bribery rather than euphemistic names and stuff like that… the way they have been brought up… you play by the rules and that’s OK”

The lady says “they’ll take any of the royalties… they’ll take them and [send] them back to incentives funds”

Looking at the documents, she explains: “how do we change the tide?” She mentions the Gates Foundation and she is very cynical about it, philanthropy being part of it while there isn’t any of it (see transcript or listen to the show).

Some of the later parts are also interesting. There is an explanation of how Canonical managed to approach parts of Spain.

Later on they start talking about patents more generally. The lady says that “there is a company out there called Monsanto… this is just a small example [of patents]… so, [in] this company they have genetically-engineered their seeds… they made it into this terminator gene so that it cannot reproduce… here in Canada this corporation affected us… [tells a local story] went all the way to the Supreme Court…” (the Gates-Monsanto links are not mentioned here unfortunately).

She talks about farmers in India committing suicide over Monsanto-imposed debt. Then she explains how in Germany they patent the breeding of pigs (for pork) and mentions transplants for humans from pigs.

As this discussion about patents carries on the guy says that “Microsoft [is] becoming [like] more of a patent troll… making money from Linux”

He explains that “SCO [...] when the revenue stream dries up [...] then they’ll start to thrashing around… to continue to make a profit…”

He gives HTC as an example, explaining that Apple just wants HTC to stop making Android phones and won’t accept money, so HTC counter-sues. Microsoft goes to them not asking them to pay, or just tells them to say that “you are paying us a lot” in order to create a fake case against Linux and the perception that Linux owes Microsoft.

It’s “the same thing as having a nuclear weapons,” he argues, when you actually have no nuclear weapons at all. They won’t go to Google asking for a patent deal as “they only go to companies they know they can negotiate a deal with”

Then they both mention Microsoft pressure over Dell’s 10 seasons to go with GNU/Linux. The man calls it “strong-arming” and we covered this in [1, 2, 3].

The guy explains that Microsoft need only pretend to be doing “open source” in order to block genuine Free software from being adopted in the short term. It’s a long-term investment for Microsoft which substituted what we once knew as Free software, instead promoting Microsoft stack-only ‘open source’ (marketed by Microsoft boosters like Marius Oiaga in this case).

This helps justify our attempt to dissociate Microsoft’s embrace-and-extend moves from real Free software which annuls monopolies and lock-in, instead promoting standards, as well as a truly free/libre stack.

We found it rather amazing that Matt Asay, who almost took a job at Microsoft some years ago, defends Windows monopoly and other monopolies by just assuming they are a natural phenomenon. He did not accept the point that “monopoly for an open standard is a great thing, monopoly for a product is not.”

Apology for Microsoft’s bad behaviour is part of the problem and Asay has a history in that regard (inviting Microsoft to “Open Source” events, to OSI, and more). Yes, he almost went working for Microsoft and unlike the good guy from South Africa he doesn’t call corruption “corruption”; rather, he almost defends it because it’s more convenient for someone in his position who is business oriented and perhaps less ethics oriented. His role in Canonical is still worrisome given the opinions he expressed and continues to express.


Transcribed text of audiocast “Open Tech Exchange” – Episode 22

[15:00]

“And you know… Microsoft against open source, their plan is not to let Linux win at any cost, at any cost.”[Darlene:] I came across interesting documents… it was result of a court case, so this documents become public. And you know… Microsoft against open source, their plan is not to let Linux win at any cost, at any cost. So the projects I have been involved at large scale… and so for example I was talking about Brazil several times on our discussions on the show, and how government is committed to open source solutions for education. But now Microsoft is… they go in, and what they’ve done you see… we saw them in South Africa, but in a way… so but they go into provinces that aren’t governor, or sets are not held by governing party, so the opposition party is in control of those provinces, and they go in those provinces and approached them and got them to sign deals with Microsoft and kinda undermine what the ruling party is doing… and the rest of the country. So they go province by province and manipulating the system… man… how one wins against those tactics? How do you win against those tactics? It is discouraging sometimes. Even is South Africa when there was a commitment, and we thought we might see a change here in 2010… but Microsoft just comes in and announces they are going to build huge lab. There is benefit to it, in the end. The development lab, the training lab, they promised billion rands… what are thoughts Mark?

[17:00]

“At least… in South Africa there is corruption but people still know it is corruption and call it corruption [...] While [in the west] they try to call it something, give it euphemistic name, like lobbying… they don’t call it what it is.”[Mark:] I think part of the problem we have with they way companies run today… is generally why we end where we are. It is all about profits. And what is bizarre, lost all moral dimension of everything. Everything is okay as long it’s within rules you’re not technically breaking the rules. But they set aside all moral aspect of what you are doing. So with the [case of Microsoft] “we are giving people free software [as in piracy] just they can make sure we don’t lose market-share so we can sell more software later”. There are no any philanthropic, humanitarian principle. So the whole humanism side of things is gone. That is problem with corporate this days, they are simply legal entities. If you have person without any social conscience, no empathy and no sympathy, act purely in self interest… we have word for that kind of people, they are called sociopaths. And they get put away in institutions. And yet companies can behave like sociopaths, it seen as good thing and encouraged. Legally they have better odds than a person: If something goes wrong, they just close company and start new one. Whereas if you commit a crime you got to jail, you don’t get to start a new life. Especially for people that aren’t in North America and developed world, those things just sound so bizarre and underhanded and unethical. I don’t know how people get away with it. But it seems to be normal part of life [in developed world]. At least… in South Africa there is corruption but people still know it is corruption and call it corruption. We try and fight it, if you talk with average person on the street they will be against corruption. While [in the west] they try to call it something, give it euphemistic name, like lobbying… they don’t call it what it is. People might say: in Africa corruption is endemic and it is hard to function without having to bribe somebody. That’s true, but at least people know it is bribery and call it what it is, instead of making euphemistic names and stuff like that.

[20:00]

“That’s true, but at least people know it is bribery and call it what it is, instead of making euphemistic names and stuff like that.”Darlene: So Microsoft does things like: They won’t take any of royalties from their sales as long it doesn’t affect OEMs, like the cost OEMs have to pay to put license on a machines. But then they take all of the royalties and revert them in incentive funds for all those countries. I guess after reading those document I thought “How do we change the tide”. But we are doing good. I think about my friend in Montreal, who recently left from canonical. How he worked the deal in Spain to get those large deployments of Ubuntu out there.

[25:30]

[Mark:] Microsoft is more and more becoming basically a patent troll. […]

HTC Desire, every time when you buy android phone, money goes to Microsoft. […]

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

2 Comments

  1. satipera said,

    September 15, 2010 at 5:32 am

    Gravatar

    That Matt Assay piece you linked to is an interesting read within an interesting article. He seems to see it as a choice between a fractured market and the order imposed by a monopolist. This does seem to ignore the obvious and ever more successful model so many of us support where companies compete around open and free standards despite the best efforts of some others. How his opinion in that piece can be reconciled with his current job is a mystery to me.

    dyfet Reply:

    Ultimately this is because the sociopath prefer to make markets closed in a fixed and finite game where anyone else’s advantage must then come at another’s expense as there are many tools to control and exploit these. Diversity is not fragmentation, it is an open market where any and all things may become possible based on real needs rather than artificial demand and artificial scarcity, offering growth to all rather than to some, and one where success is not predicated on another’s failure. Such markets of true abundance however offer no control points, and that’s why they both hate and fear freedom.

What Else is New


  1. Links 28/11/2014: Debian Fork, Fedora 21 RC, Git 2.2.0

    Links for the day



  2. Mozilla Will Relay Firefox User Input (Even Keystrokes) to Microsoft and the NSA Through Yahoo in the US

    Mozilla is letting Microsoft manage users' data in Firefox, including keystrokes in the address bar



  3. Microsoft Found to Have Broken the Law in China (Tax Evasion), Just Like Practically Everywhere

    China is reportedly taking action against Microsoft's notorious habit of tax evasion and fining the company well over $100 million



  4. Links 26/11/2014: Docker Patched, New DragonFlyBSD

    Links for the day



  5. Message to the Corporate Media: Bill Gates is Not an Ebola Expert

    Brainwash in the corporate media, including media that the Gates Foundation bribes in exchange for sheer bias, paints the super-rich as the solution rather than the problem



  6. US Government Finally Probes Microsoft Over Financial Fraud, Microsoft Then Bullies the Government With a Lawsuit

    Microsoft is finally being investigated -- perhaps properly too -- for its well-known tax abuses that have so far proved that Microsoft is "too big to jail"; Microsoft is suing the investigator, exerting its abusive power to discourage further investigation



  7. Gagging Critics: Micro Focus-Run SUSE Bribes Journalists in Exchange for Positive Coverage

    Amid the takeover by Micro Focus, SUSE pays journahayess (especially critics) who in turn become some kind of advertisements feed of Novell



  8. Links 25/11/2014: Tizen News, Jolla Tablet Past Million

    Links for the day



  9. Links 24/11/2014: Linux 3.18-rc6, Qualcomm Eyes GNU/Linux Servers

    Links for the day



  10. Boycotting Micro Focus International

    Microsoft's "Partner of the Year" is taking over the patron of SUSE and all of Novell's remains, except the patents (Microsoft has already grabbed those)



  11. Vesna Stilin's Remarks on Željko Topić: Part XI

    Vesna Stilin speaks about her confrontation with EPO Vice-President Željko Topić, who has criminal lawsuits against him in Croatia



  12. Links 22/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1, Ubuntu MATE

    Links for the day



  13. Links 21/11/2014: Problems at Debian, Jolla Tablet

    Links for the day



  14. Links 18/11/2014: Linux 3.18 RC 5, New DigiKam

    Links for the day



  15. Special Report: Many Criminal Charges Against EPO Vice-President Željko Topić

    The abuses of Željko Topić, who has gained notoriety in his home country, are rapidly becoming public knowledge across all of Europe



  16. Links 16/11/2014: Xfdesktop 4.10.3, GNU Hello 2.10

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft is Going Into the Anti-Whistleblowing Business, Dodges Criticism Over 19-Year Bug Door in Windows

    With Aorato acquisition Microsoft helps protect the criminals (from whistleblowers) and with lies about .NET Microsoft distracts from a bug that has facilitated remote access into Windows (by those in the know) for nearly two decades



  18. Reaffirming Microsoft's Long-Known Hostility Towards Net Neutrality, Microsoft Crashed Juniper

    Steve Ballmer is ranting against net neutrality and Juniper's business is in trouble after a lot of executives from Microsoft took over most top positions there



  19. Another Massive Step Towards Elimination of Software Patents as Even CAFC Rules Against Them

    After SCOTUS gets involved in the Ultramercial case, the CAFC finally decides to actually serve justice rather than dogma



  20. The GOP's Patent Reform Plan Not Effective Enough to Stop Massive Patent Trolls Like Microsoft/Nokia

    The corporations-serving GOP says that it wants a patent reform, but another reminder is needed of the futility of the suggested changes



  21. How the EPO's Executive Branch (Battistelli and Topić) Banned Scrutiny and Created Authoritarian Model of Control: Part X

    A look at highly dubious moves by EPO President Battistelli and his right-hand man Topić, whose abuses are becoming hard to oversee or even report



  22. Links 15/11/2014: Linux Mint 17.1 Release Candidate, Popcorn Time 0.3.5

    Links for the day



  23. IRC Proceedings: October 26th, 2014 – November 8th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  24. The Terrible Joke Which is Microsoft 'Loving' Linux: Nightmares With UEFI 'Secure' Boot (i.e. Windows Monopoly Imposed) Continue to Affect GNU/Linux Users

    A reminder of Microsoft's sheer hostility towards GNU/Linux and long-reaching sabotage of GNU/Linux installations



  25. Patent Lawyers Worry About Section 101 in 'Alice' (and Other Patent News)

    A quick roundup of news of interest regarding software patents



  26. Will Write for FUD (Against FOSS)

    Black Duck rears its ugly head again, serving to show that it is in the business of changing perceptions and not in the information or analysis business



  27. Debunking Several Days of Never-Ending Lies About Microsoft and .NET

    .NET is not "Open Source", it cannot be forked (there remains patent threat), Visual Studio is still completely proprietary and it is expected to come to other platforms only because Windows has lost its dominance and Microsoft wants to perpetually control APIs (with software patents) and hence reign over developers



  28. Links 14/11/2014: LibreOffice 4.3.4, Ads Now in Firefox

    Links for the day



  29. Links 14/11/2014: GNOME 3.14.2, PulseAudio 6.0

    Links for the day



  30. Microsoft Windows is Still Designed as a Paradise of Back Doors, Intrusion, Wiretaps, and Interception

    At many levels -- from communication to storage and encryption -- Windows is designed for the very opposite of security


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