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Microsoft Tries to Lure Linux Luminaries Away From Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 4:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Eric Raymond's mug

Summary: Microsoft continues to try buying out its rivals from the GNU/Linux world

TECHRIGHTS has a small repository of information about what Microsoft did to Borland. This predates this site . The short story is, Microsoft abused its monopoly power to crush a smaller competitor, taking away from Borland some of the key people. It’s a form of monopoly abuse that reduces competition and enables Microsoft to boost prices, reduce quality, and lock everyone into Microsoft products (not just development products).

“People who are feeble joined Microsoft and they know who they are.”Microsoft has been trying a similar strategy against Free software and GNU/Linux. We’ve covered some examples before, including Eric Raymond (shown above). People who are feeble joined Microsoft and they know who they are. They sold out. Gianugo Rabellino is one of the latest (now promoting “open surface” nonsense for Microsoft) and Simon Phipps seemed to suggest some months ago that Microsoft was trying to recruit similar people to buy the perception that it is part of its competition and is therefore not worthy of antitrust scrutiny or scepticism. This also disrupts the competition’s operations. Moments ago in IRC we also found out that twice in the past Microsoft tried to recruit the community manager of a GNU/Linux distribution (it’s in our IRC logs). This reminds us of the tactics Microsoft used against Borland, namely destroy the competition by buying it away or removing the key people using money. To quote the confession, “about 4 months into working at [Linux company]I had the second offer” from Microsoft. Quite rightly he refused and we respect this declination which shows the putting of one’s values before money. It helps show the strength of the GNU/Linux community and the sneakiness of Microsoft, which is trying to buy out its competitors and critics (long history there and definitely a subject for another future post).

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  1. Michael Glasser said,

    August 31, 2011 at 4:51 pm


    It is not selling out for someone to work for a company you, Roy, do not like. Now if these people claim to share your biases and hatred and then later work for Microsoft you might have a point. You never show they share these things with you though.

    You pretend it is wrong for companies to hire talented people, or people they see as being talented. Why?

    twitter Reply:

    As it is with prostitution, the greater crime is the demand. It is foolish to take an offer from Microsoft but not criminal. Given Microsoft’s coercive monopoly conviction, the offers may be criminal. As Roy clearly pointed out, these hires are designed more to weaken competition than they are to develop anything Microsoft might use. Once the project is disrupted, Microsoft fires their sucker. We can only hope that an outraged public will wake a sleeping US Department of Justice.

    Thanks, Michael Glasser, for twisting Roy’s article around into an attack on developers. I’ve got an article coming about persistent hecklers like you.

    Michael Glasser Reply:

    There are times when going after a person to employ them is wrong – but Roy does nothing to show this is the case here. As far as your claim of the person being fired, there is nothing said about that, either.

    I did nothing to twist his article. The question is a legitimate one: why is it wrong for a company to seek to hire people?

    twitter Reply:

    The answer to your question is in the article and you seem to understand it well enough.

    The person who was fired is another programmer I read about a couple of years ago. He was hired at a supposedly chance meeting and let go a couple of years later.

    Michael Glasser Reply:

    The answer to my question is in the article – but you cannot find it to quote it. Interesting.

    As far as this “other programmer”… maybe…maybe not. And nothing in the article shows it is related to this current situation.

    There is *nothing* wrong with a company asking someone to work for them. And there is *nothing* wrong with that person deciding they should or should not. People have no obligation to limit their choices based on Roy’s biases.

    Would you be against a Linux distro manager asking someone to help them or come work for them?

    twitter Reply:

    twice in the past Microsoft tried to recruit the community manager of a GNU/Linux distribution (it’s in our IRC logs). This reminds us of the tactics Microsoft used against Borland, namely destroy the competition by buying it away or removing the key people

    You knew that but are trying to twist the article into something it’s not.

    Michael Reply:

    See how you make accusations you cannot support.

    I am twisting nothing. Roy is whining about something that is *not* a problem: companies looking to hire people and people accepting jobs from companies.

    The idea that *someone* on his IRC channel made some vague accusation is irrelevant. Curious, “twitter” if you are really Roy. After all, he said he would gladly respond to my posts – and then you started doing so.

    Not saying that is proof… just an odd coincidence.

  2. Michael Glasser said,

    August 31, 2011 at 5:28 pm


    A company actually had the audacity to offer a job to a person who they admire.

    Why is that wrong? And unless the person shares your hatred of the company, why shouldn’t they consider the offer? It is not selling out simply to work for a company you (and not they) loath.

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> A company actually had the audacity to offer a job to a person who they admire.

    Do you have evidence the company admires the person?

    I know that is a silly question (since you can simply assume they do or don’t based on your view of the company and be done with it), but if you are going to criticize Roy’s interpretation as that not being evidence, then perhaps you should be more careful as well about what statements you make.

    IMO, Microsoft is the antithesis of fair competition and open collaboration.

    Jose_X Reply:

    Roy, when you say “they sold out”, is that your way of saying that the person appears to have made a switch from helping to promote and support fair competition to fighting that in favor of very lopsided playing fields?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, for self benefit (usually money).

    Michael Reply:

    So taking a job with having *a* goal of making money is what you mean by “selling out”.

    That is kinda funny. That means almost everyone who takes a job is “selling out”.

    Michael Reply:

    Jose_X: Unless there is reason to *doubt*, when a company offers a person a job it makes sense to assume they think they will benefit from that person’s work.

    Roy, however, does not think companies should seek people to employ and that if they do it is “selling out” for the person to accept a job. Well, he does when it comes to companies he loathes.

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