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

01.20.11

Dr. Glyn Moody Rebuts Microsoft-funded ‘Study’/Book Against Open Source Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 2:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Annual report by Microsoft

Summary: Many factual errors found in the Microsoft-funded book that belittles “open source” and helps Microsoft lobby governments

The unethical bunch from Redmond is back to bribing professors, as part of a business model so notorious that we thought it had been buried. We already know that the Gates Foundation keeps buying the news to make coverage more favourable towards its goals (and in order to silence the many vocal critics). Microsoft is more or less the same (but more subtle) and just like the Gates Foundation, it funds professors who will become its front men.

To repeat the points made in the previous two posts on this subject [1, 2], Microsoft had paid Josh Lerner and Mark Schankerman, who in turn produced literature which echoes Microsoft lobbyists and gives those lobbyists something academic to cite later. Microsoft’s model might go something like, pay some professors to put their names behind some particular text with particular bias, then assure buying some copies of that text for a considerable price and mail copies to CIOs or whoever needs to be persuaded by a report which only seemingly comes from independent experts. There is nothing that a corrupt monopoly abuser won’t do to secure its monopoly and the evidence of this little abuse is hard to obtain. Dr. Glyn Moody shows why it’s like hiding it behind a paywall:

Since I’ve not read the book – and I’d rather not shell out £25.95 for the dubious pleasure of discovering where the errors originate – I’ll limit myself to addressing the arguments outlined in the Economist review rather than worrying about where they originated.

Microsoft is not a charity that funds books to be more “objective”, it is obliged to serve its shareholders, i.e. to further its agenda with its money. Therefore, Moody’s detailed rebuttal (titled “There’s No FUD Like an Old FUD”) is necessary and to give just a taste of it:

But my main concern here is with the follow section:

Yet the finding that open-source advocates will like least is that free programs are not always cheaper. To be sure, the upfront cost of proprietary software is higher (although open-source programs are not always free). But companies that use such programs spend more on such things as learning to use them and making them work with other software.

Yes, it’s a variant on that old FUD that free software is not actually free (gosh, really?) that Microsoft tried about ten years ago and gave up when it realised that nobody said it was when you took into account all the factors like paying wages. But leaving aside that this, too, is hardly news to anyone, let’s just look at the central claim of the current incarnation of that FUD:

companies that use such programs spend more on such things as learning to use them and making them work with other software

So does the first part mean that learning to use a new piece of open source software is inherently harder than learning to use a new piece of proprietary software? I’ve not seen a single piece of research that suggests that. What I have seen documented is that people who are currently using Microsoft Office, say, find it harder to learn to use OpenOffice, say, than to continue using Microsoft Office. Which is, of course, a piece of wisdom that is once again firmly located at the very heart of the Land of the Bleedin’ Obvious.

So, passing swiftly on in the hope that there might be a more substantive issue here, we have the second claim: that companies spend more on making open source work with “other software”. But wait, what could that “other software” refer to? Since it’s not open source (because it’s “other”, not open source) it is clearly proprietary; so the problem comes down to making open source work with proprietary software. And why might that be?

The good news is that more and more people become aware of what Microsoft did here. “I weep for Slashdot,” wrote Gordon, “when this is considered worthy to report…”

Gordon refers to this item which shows that Slashdot caught this too and did not leave out the connection to Microsoft. As I said in my reply to Gordon, “to be fair to Slashdot, they made it very clear in the title and summary that Microsoft paid for this FUD. It harms their relationship with FOSS.”

Microsoft is trying to tell everyone (by proxy) that “open source” is bad. So why would anyone defend Microsoft’s excursions in “open source”?

“On the day of the sentencing, the gang members [Microsoft executives] maintained that they had done nothing wrong, saying that the whole case was a conspiracy by the white power structure to destroy them. I am now under no illusions that miscreants will realize that other parts of society view them that way.”

Supreme Court Justice Jackson

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

What Else is New


  1. Ruling Against 'Abstract' Software Patents is Already Derailing Patent Attacks on Linux and Free Software

    Patent litigation against Android/Linux impeded by the introduction of arguments that cite the Supreme Court



  2. Links 30/7/2014: Chris Beard as CEO of Mozilla

    Links for the day



  3. New Optimism in the Age of Doubt Over Software Patents

    As the tide turns against software patents, even in their country of origin, their opponents come out of the woodwork to celebrate



  4. Links 28/7/2014: New Linux RC, Plasma 5 Live in Kubuntu

    Links for the day



  5. Links 27/7/2014: KDE 4.14 Beta 3, KDE 4.14 Beta 3 Released

    Links for the day



  6. Apple and Microsoft Are Proprietary Software Companies and the Media Should Stop Openwashing Them

    New examples where proprietary software giants are characterised as FOSS-embracing and FOSS-friendly by gullible or dishonest 'journalists'



  7. Bloomberg's Microsoft Propaganda

    Bloomberg delivers 'damage control' and PR ahead of the layoffs announcement; Microsoft uses Nokia to hide it and Bloomberg helps Microsoft by radically modifying headlines



  8. Frequency of Browser Back Doors in Microsoft Windows is Doubling

    The vulnerabilities which Microsoft tells the NSA about (before these are patched) are significantly growing in terms of their numbers



  9. FUD Entities Entering the FOSS World

    Symantec enters the AllSeen Alliance and Sonatype is once again trying to claim great insecurity in FOSS due to software licensing



  10. Groklaw Back in the Wake of ODF in the UK?





  11. Links 26/7/2014: New Wine, Chromebooks Strong Sales

    Links for the day



  12. Links 25/7/2014: GOG With GNU/Linux, Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS

    Links for the day



  13. Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

    Links for the day



  14. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  15. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  16. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  17. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  18. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  19. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  20. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  21. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  22. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  23. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  24. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  25. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  26. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  27. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  28. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  29. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

    Links for the day



  30. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft


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