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11.28.10

FOSDEM 2011 Infiltrated by Microsoft

Posted in Europe, Finance, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 1:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’ve killed at least two Mac conferences. [...] by injecting Microsoft content into the conference, the conference got shut down. The guy who ran it said, why am I doing this?”

Microsoft's chief evangelist

Summary: Microsoft is trying to “kill” yet another event of its competitors by repelling attendees and changing the agenda in exchange for money

For those who want a recent example of Microsoft poisoning a GNU/Linux event, look no further than LinuxTag 2010 [1, 2] and read the quote at the top.

Microsoft money for FOSDEM is more ‘tainted’ than FOSDEM money from Novell, which sold out to Microsoft more than once. Mono will have a room in next FOSDEM too.

Mark Antony writes that “Microsoft’s open source project website CodePlex.com sponsors FOSDEM2011“. CodePlex.com is just a Microsoft proxy and a way to pretend that it’s not really Microsoft. There is a price to pay for this so-called ‘sponsorship’ and FOSDEM organisers are repeating an old mistake.

“Microsoft essentially bought Novell, which over the past few years put Microsoft-affiliated people inside its board.”How nice of them to invite the company which is suing Linux multiple times and lobbying in Europe for laws which exclude and thus work against Free software. Such a sponsorship, argues Dr. Stallman, does not come with strings unattached to it. “The price might be, let someone from Microsoft give a speech,” Stallman wrote. “The price might be, don’t say that proprietary software is evil. The price might be, present Microsoft sponsorship in a way that inhibits you from denouncing Microsoft’s software as unethical.”

Rui Seabra, who previously wrote an open letter about FOSDEM 2009 when Novell did this sponsorship routine, is writing about the above revelation: “Well, at least now I’m no longer sad I’ll have to skip fosdem in 2011″

In other disconcerting news, “Jim Totton [is] former Microsoft executive who joined Red Hat as vice president of the platform business unit” (hello entryism).

Readers should expect a lot of Novell coverage in days to come. We have researched the matter more profoundly and are ready to report with the findings. The short story, as SJVN put it, is that Microsoft essentially bought Novell, which over the past few years put Microsoft-affiliated people inside its board.

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