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Miguel de Icaza is at Microsoft, Attacking Ubuntu GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Ubuntu at 3:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Miguel de Icaza
Wikipedia image modified for humourous purposes (this Wikipedia article about Miguel de Icaza says that “[i]“n summer of 1997, he was interviewed by Microsoft for a job in the Internet Explorer Unix team”)

Summary: Miguel de Icaza, who is at Microsoft right now (Microsoft MVP Summit), is attacking Ubuntu/Canonical along with his Microsoft-funded colleagues

Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza keeps focusing only on Mono. It is hard to argue that the person splits his time between Microsoft and non-Microsoft projects because the other project he is associated with right now is Moonlight, not GNOME. The Microsoft/Novell crossover can also be seen in his very recent post which says:

Next week I will be in Bellevue, WA from Sunday to Wednesday to participate in the 2011 Microsoft MVP Summit.

That’s why we said he should be ostracised. He is no better than a Microsoft employee steering for certain directions to be taken in the FOSS world. A fellow Microsoft MVP (in the site of another Microsoft MVP, Chris Pirillo) says that Vista 7 SP1 will harm dual-boot Linux, as always [1, 2]. And this is the sort of company de Icaza wants us to trust and collaborate with? This morning’s post about Micromoles ought to serve as a warning because de Icaza went to Microsoft for a job interview. He works for de Icaza, not for software freedom; Microsoft is where he finds dividends (while publicly saying/implying in Microsoft-organised events that there is no money in FOSS).

“Novell’s interest is in spreading Mono, the product it co-develops with Microsoft and has exclusive protection for use (until next year).”At Novell, de Icaza is more than just this one man. He manages a team of like-minded people to whom Microsoft is a partner and also a source of revenue/paychecks (Microsoft funnels a lot of money into Novell for the company to behave the way Microsoft wants it to). There are many articles regarding the Ubuntu/Banshee argument which we covered at its earliest stages. Almost none of the articles dares to say that the Banshee developers are Novell employees (possibly bossed by de Icaza). “I’d refine that good advice in one respect,” wrote Groklaw about this Banshee controversy. “Canonical has lawyers, after all. It’s the community that needs to realize they need lawyers too. Lawyers of their own. Not lawyers they share with a company whose interests are not identical with their own.”

Novell’s interest is in spreading Mono, the product it co-develops with Microsoft and has exclusive protection for use (until next year). Novell is paid by Microsoft to be this sort of parasite and Canonical is now allowing a Microsoft patent liability to enter millions of GNU/Linux desktops. That’s a very foolish decision and it works in Microsoft’s (and Novell’s) favour.

“Canonical has lawyers [...] Not lawyers they share with a company whose interests are not identical with their own.”
      –Pamela Jones, Groklaw
Miguel de Icaza is already exploiting the controversy by making Ubuntu look bad (in Twitter). He links to derogatory Mark Shuttleworth cartoons that make Shuttleworth look greedy, whereas de Icaza will never say a word about the bad behaviour of Bill Gates. Welcome again to the world of spin, where “Linux people” are greedy, zealous, and evil, whereas Microsoft is all fair, professional, and pro-choice (that’s what they would have us believe).

This whole maneuver from Novell’s Micromoles has harmed Ubuntu’s reputation and led to articles such as this one. Canonical is now victimised by Novell/Microsoft Micromoles like de Icaza who conveniently mock it; Canonical is not the problem, it is the victim. The problem is those who want to harm Ubuntu, e.g. by pushing Microsoft patents into it. Edward Wyatt says that a Patent Bill was debated yesterday. To quote: “The Senate on Monday will begin debating a bill that critics say will undermine American strength abroad, plunder the United States economy and exceed the government’s constitutional authority.” Patrick Leahy, Orrin Hatch, and Chuck Grassley pushed for the Patent Reform Act of 2011, as we have been noting recently.

As long as software patents are valid in the United States, the likes of de Icaza are knowingly polluting GNU/Linux, priming it for lawsuits and extortion from their beloved Microsoft. Why is this allowed to carry on?

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  1. twitter said,

    March 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm


    The Banshee noise reminds me of RIAA propaganda or a Microsoft Florian set up. As we noticed in IRC the other day, 90% of money given to Amazon for music stays with Amazon and RIAA publishers and critical details are missing from all the mono mud slinging. Banshee developer’s assertion that the money goes to the Gnome Foundation is not something I’ve seen in writing. Until we know that none that money is kicked back to Novell, we don’t know if the Banshee people are pulling the old RIAA trick of claiming to benefit others who they actually exploit. Canonical’s music store deal might be a better deal than a cheesy Amazon affiliate program. We can be sure that any money given to Amazon will be used to fight software and network freedom. I expect more details to emerge as they did in the Turbo Hercules case that totally discredits the Microsoft press reports. Jono could be doing a better job of getting details and facts across. It may be that both Canonical and Gnome have been victimized by this FUD. As the HBGary astroturfers said, “Feed the fuel between feuding groups.” Microsoft, through mono boosters, have injected themselves and created a fight between their perceived competitors.

    Microsoft people destroyed Novell, now some of their dependents need a new host but I doubt they will find a home in Canonical. The more Canonical has to do with Mono, Microsoft and the RIAA, the more of this kind of nonsense they will face, smears, extortion and lawsuits. That the Banshee people have already cranked up the FUD machine is a good indication that Microsoft does not expect to get much more and is willing to burn their bridges. Recent shifts in management indicate Canonical is not going to be the next Novell.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I have just published a more detailed post on the subject.

    To address your last point, Canonical is not going to be the next Novell, I agree. I’ve always defended their position on the subject of patents. Mark Shuttleworth is no Carmony.

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