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. Links 28/8/2014: Many New Games, CTO of Red Hat Steps Down

    Links for the day



  2. We Are Gradually Winning the Battle Against Software Patents

    The once-elusive war on software patents is finally leading to some breakthrough and even the Federal Circuit reinforces the trend of software patents' demise



  3. Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) Companies Versus FOSS Moles (VMware, Sonatype, Xamarin)

    A look at three entities which pretend to be pro-FOSS but are actually FOSS-hostile and very much determined to replace FOSS with proprietary software



  4. Links 27/8/2014: GNU/Linux in Space, China, LinuxCon

    Links for the day



  5. FUD Against Google and FOSS Security Amid Microsoft Windows Security Blunders

    In the age of widespread fraud due to Microsoft Windows with its back doors there is an attempt to shift focus to already-fixed flaws/deficiencies in competitors of Microsoft



  6. Microsoft Spin Watch: IDG Turns to More Microsoft Propaganda, Hires Microsoft Boosters

    Media in Microsoft's pocket is telling Microsoft's lies and deceives the public for Microsoft's bottom line



  7. Microsoft's Massive Tax Evasion Becomes Better Known

    A new report about Microsoft's admission that it plays dirty tricks with tax (sometimes using moles in government) is increasing awareness of Microsoft's criminal aspects



  8. Links 25/8/2014: China's Linux Revolution Imminent

    Links for the day



  9. Links 24/8/2014: GNU/Linux Specialisation and Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  10. Links 23/8/2014: GNU/Linux Growth

    Links for the day



  11. Microsoft-Funded Attacks on Android Security and Patent/Copyright

    A look back at examples of people who smear Android and are receiving (or received) money from Microsoft



  12. Blowback in Chile and Munich After Microsoft Intervention

    Microsoft's attacks on the digital sovereignty of countries involves lobbying, corruption, an attack on standards (e.g. ODF), an attack on FOSS policies, and even an attack on accurate reporting (truth itself)



  13. The End of Microsoft is Nigh

    A look back at a tough year for Microsoft and a not-so-promising future



  14. Links 22/8/2014: Linux Foundation LFCS, LFCE

    Links for the day



  15. UPS Burned by Microsoft Windows, Gives Away Massive Number of Credit Card Details

    UPS is the latest victim of Microsoft's shoddy back door with software on top of it (Windows); attempts to blame FOSS for data compromise actually divert attention from the real culprit, which is proprietary software



  16. Microsoft's Funding of ALEC and Other Systemic Corruption

    Microsoft role in writing of laws by proxy, via groups such as ALEC



  17. Microsoft is Still Preying on British Taxpayers, Playing Politics

    Some news from the UK showing how Microsoft uses politics to extract money out of taxpayers, irrespective of their preferences



  18. Microsoft's Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as 20% of Staff Laid Off

    More good news regarding the demise of patents as Microsoft's leading patent proxy is collapsing more rapidly than anyone ever imagined and software patents too are collectively doubted



  19. Links 21/8/2014: Conferences of Linux Foundation, Elephone Emerges

    Links for the day



  20. Links 20/8/2014: Linux Event, GNOME Milestone

    Links for the day



  21. Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile's Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  22. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  23. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  24. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  25. BlackBerry -- Like Microsoft Nokia -- Could be the Next Patent Proxy Troll

    BlackBerry is restructuring for patent assertion (i.e. trolling) in the wake of some alliances with Microsoft



  26. After Microsoft's Soft Bribe Some Non-Technical Deputy Does Not Like Free Software, Microsoft-Linked Media Responds to This Non-News by Making Bogus Claims of Munich Leaving GNU/Linux (Updated)

    The subversive forces that have secretly been attacking Munich over its migration to GNU/Linux (Microsoft press, Gartner, and even HP) are back to doing it while China and Russia follow Munich's lead



  27. Gates Foundation CFO Quits and Debate About Revolving Doors Recalled Amid Systematic and Shrewd Bribery of Public Officials

    More officials step out of the Gates Foundation and their destination is not known yet; Gates continues to corrupt the public sector with his money so as to increase personal gain at taxpayers' expense



  28. Links 19/8/2014: GNU/Linux Raves and Alternative to Proprietary Voice Chat

    Links for the day



  29. Links 18/8/2014: Linux 3.17 RC1, Escalation in Ferguson

    Links for the day



  30. Gartner Group Advocates Using Defective Software With Back Doors

    Despite strong evidence that Microsoft has been complicit in illegal surveillance, Gartner continues to recommend the use of Windows and other espionage-ready Microsoft software


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