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09.20.10

Job Openings at Microsoft: More GNU/Linux and FOSS Attackers

Posted in Deception, Europe, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 8:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Leopard Seal
Leopard Seal

Summary: Microsoft is hiring more people to stifle the adoption of its #1 competition rather than create better products that can practically compete; updates about Microsoft’s latest open attack on “Open Source” and from Switzerland too

“PJ [Groklaw] and Linux Today have spotted a Microsoft anti-Linux hiring spree,” told us a reader some moments ago.

He linked to this page from Microsoft and the summary from Linux Today, which says:

Is Microsoft hiring more anti-Linux Gurus? There’s evidence that yes, they are. All over the world!!!

In one of their recent marketing job ads, the words “Linux” and “FOSS”, appears more than 20 times !!!

http://www.microsoft-careers.com/job/San-Salvador-Initiative-Marketing-Manager(717317-External)-Job-SV/864893/

“Develop and manage an end-to-end view of the local Linux Server competitive environment (Paid and Nonpaid) and the local FOSS compete environment (Paid and Nonpaid): Be the local expert on Linux Server and FOSS issues for the GM, BG and Segment leads. Build a solid 360 view of the Linux Server and the FOSS environments through market intelligence at the local level that can be used to ensure the region/sub maintains a healthy, balanced and sustained share growth projection. This view should also be used to create awareness, take action, and drive programs to win share with appropriate segments and BGs including paid and nonpaid Linux Server and FOSS environments..”

“Embrace Open Source Web Companies and Community Projects: Develop a OSS ISV program in local market to establish partnerships with key OSS companies and community projects. Help educate Open Source Web companies on how they can expand their business opportunities and make money on the Microsoft platform (Windows, SQL, etc). Escalate companies to corporate CSI team where there is opportunity to run Linux Web applications on Windows, such as PHP on Windows.”

“They did not have the nerve to say “subvert” or “co-opt” in public the way they do in their private communications, but that is clearly the intent,” said our reader.

“They did not have the nerve to say “subvert” or “co-opt” in public the way they do in their private communications, but that is clearly the intent.”
      –Anonymous
We gave many examples like this before, especially when we discussed Munich’s migration to GNU/Linux less than a year ago [1, 2, 3]. Microsoft keeps pretending to be a friend of FOSS, but its senior haters let it be known that this is not the case. Consider prior examples which we covered last week after Mirosoft had made distasteful remarks about “Open Source” [1, 2, 3]. Even in 2010 Microsoft is fighting against “Open Source”, but unlike in previous years, Microsoft is better at hiding it.

“Microsoft’s Hernán Rincón Launches Anti-FOSS Missile In Brazil” says this new headline and another one says: “Microsoft’s Latin America chief: Open-source equals ‘imcompetence’” (via Rob Weir we learn that “A Microsoft President Equates Open Standards with Incompetence”).

This is a small PR disaster for Microsoft, due to the level of exposure (there is more than the above, in languages other than English). Dana Blankenhorn calls it “Microsoft tea party against open source”:

Anyway, back to Microsoft. Windows Mobile is being crushed by Google Android. Governments are rejecting Microsoft in favor of open source. Microsoft Azure is nothing next to Amazon’s EC2 cloud. Bing!

If you have made your career drinking the corporate Kool-Aid (and Redmond can be pretty isolated from the rest of the computing universe) what’s going on in the market these days can seem absolutely maddening.

Hence the crazy.

* Tivanka Ellawala insisted that Android is not free. It’s the usual FUD about patents, built around Oracle’s suit against Google and Apple’s suit against HTC. Only in this case it is taken to extremes, implying that anyone with an Android phone might be forced to pony up extra money to use it sometime. Patent suits don’t end that way.
* Hernan Rincon, asked about Brazil’s support of open source, called open source incompetent. Judging from Rincon’s Twitter feed, this is the usual nonsense about innovation. He was trying to say that open source requires continual investment by government, as opposed to outsourcing, but something was lost in translation.

Notice that both these people are Microsoft careerists. Ellawala, a Stanford grad, has been with Microsoft for 11 years and it’s her second employer. Rincon, a Harvard man, started at Unisys. Both joined Microsoft when it was on top. Neither is responsible for what has happened since.

Going back to Microsoft’s anti-GNU/Linux ‘fighters’ that it recruits, recall the latest happenings in Switzerland. The article from Heise not has a translation to English:

Agreed in December 2001, the migration to Linux was supposed to be completed in 2007. This was an unobtainable goal because, for example, some of the project’s calls for submissions were only launched in 2006. Nominating the Scalix web interface as a replacement for Outlook proved to be an ill-advised choice: Even last June, the Scalix web mail client still lacked a task manager and various convenience features found in native mail clients.

[...]

When there was no bad news to report, the papers simply made some up: The headline “Wieder Ärger mit dem Pinguin” (More trouble with the penguin) promised a big screen production but delivered no more than amateur dramatics. In May 2009, the Solothurn public prosecutor’s office hosted a lawyers’ convention for 400 participants from all over Switzerland, but failed to prepare a Windows system for rendering PowerPoint presentations. The Cantonal Police, who, according to Berner Zeitung, had “successfully warded off Linux”, were able to help out with a Windows system and saved the Solothurn prosecution from embarrassment. Linux can be blamed for many things, but the convention hosts’ lack of organisational skills isn’t one of them.

All this eventually led to IT director Bader having to step down last summer, and to a Cantonal spokesperson announcing the switch to a dual strategy which was to involve both open source software and Microsoft solutions. The definitive end to Linux in the Canton of Solothurn finally came yesterday: desktop computers will apparently be migrated to Windows 7 in 2011, and Outlook will replace the Scalix web mail client.

There is another report from Switzerland and it indicates that Micro☭oft communism (monoculture) in the country is due to habits, specialised applications, and existing Microsoft lock-in. Some comments we found indicate that Microsoft also put its own minions in seats which enabled them to derail this migration (the same was done for OOXML in Switzerland a few years ago).

They could all take a lesson from Munich about staged migration which is a long-term investment, taking into account the financial benefit of dodging lock-in for good.

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7 Comments

  1. fi cal said,

    September 21, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Gravatar

    Tip from your friend in Finland:

    http://acta.uta.fi/teos.php?id=11357

    “Lataa pdf” = download as pdf, http://acta.uta.fi/haekokoversio.php?id=11357

    Karjalainen Martti:
    Large-scale migration to an open source office suite: An innovation adoption study in Finland

    Summary is in finnish but the thesis itself mainly in english.
    Lots of fascinating details, including the usual tricks that Microsoft tried to play.

    Small mentions also in here:
    http://old.nabble.com/-Fwd%3A-Academic-dissertation-about-OpenOffice.org–td29760905.html

    > “This study investigates the largest transition in Finland to an open
    > source office suite and to an open standard for office documents. The IT
    > environment of the open source OpenOffice.org migration involves more
    > than 10 000 workstations in the Finnish Ministry of Justice and its
    > administrative sector.”

    Of news sites only tietokone (“computer” in finnish) reported it:
    http://www.tietokone.fi/uutiset/microsoft_painosti_ministeriota_openoffice_hankkeessa

    Title: Microsoft pressured ministry (of justice) in openoffice project

    Other news outlets, mainstream news, newpapers were completely silent about this.
    Maybe it gets attention after the dissertation which is on October 15th.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Can any English translations be produced, maybe by you?

    twitter Reply:

    I’m skimming the fine 234 page dissertation and it does look like the softies got in the way. It seems that the author was unaware of IBM work published in the last year that details methodology in moving to free software when he says,

    Fitzgerald (2009) notes that there is a lack of research on OSS adoption in organizations. Fitzgerald (ibid.) also notes that the widespread media coverage of open source leads to high awareness of the concept, but there is still a lack of any tried and tested approach which could guarantee successful implementation of open source adoption. In Section 1.3, the overall need to increase the awareness of OSS solutions and the demand for practical OSS implementation and evaluation experiences in the organizational context was expressed.

    It also looks like they were badgered into keeping Windows, which is a huge mistake, and there was a lot of delay. Swapping Microsoft Office for Open Office might save some money but it leaves everyone with a second rate desktop that Microsoft will continually sabotage. By 2003, free software desktops were considerably better than Windows for most home and office work. The 2006 IBM report recognizes this and has some good advice about how to get there.

    Thanks for the case study. It will be an interesting, if depressing read. I agree that management support is required, so get them on early by migrating them when Windows fails again.

    My advice to moving to free software is to do it quickly when forced by a part of the Microsoft upgrade train or hardware replacement. Hit low hanging fruit first and isolate trouble makers by ignoring them. Move services, like email and web behind the scenes. Move easy clerical workers and do pilot migrations with enthusiastic power users. Clerical workers are the bulk of any organization and moving these will have the greatest cost impact for the least investment. Ignore hostile power users and leave them with their Microsoft tools but don’t bother with Vista/Windows 7 and other new Microsoft garbage that won’t work with your free software workstations. This costs nothing as long as these systems are adequately firewalled and unable to disrupt everyone else’s work when Windows is compromised. Don’t butt heads, spend your time providing services that work. Don’t let the Microsoft people waste your time with studdies and other stuff they don’t really do themselves either. Microsoft is always moving the goal posts, so the more time you give them the higher your costs will be. When you have most of the organization moved, you can virtualize what’s left of your Windows dependencies and serve that out to the last holdouts as you eliminate the last Windows fat clients.

  2. Agent_Smith said,

    September 22, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Gravatar

    Hey, someone should have told Rincon that now, M$ loves open source and Linux. Big Fail…

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I bet they passed some memos around (like in other companies) about not bashing “Open Source” _in public_.

  3. fi cal said,

    September 23, 2010 at 3:34 am

    Gravatar

    Actually there’s only one finnish page in the thesis, a summary.
    Everything else in english. :)
    “News” article in Tietokone doesn’t bring any new information, so no translation necessary I think – google translate does good enough job if you want to skim it anyway.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Will you be willing to summarise the situation for us (for posting)? I am not sufficiently familiar with it.

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