10.28.11

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Mozilla Foundation Harder to Trust After Microsoft Endorsement

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 11:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

John Lilly of Mozilla
Mozilla’s former CEO, who was focused on important issues, Photo by Joi Ito

Summary: Why the Firefox-Microsoft arrangement is bad news which can injure Mozilla as a whole

FIREFOX does not have much to do with this Web site. Posts are edited in Kate (KDE) and due to time constraints I write most posts while away from home on my Palm PDA (Palm OS with external keyboard) and the posts are later edited and published in Konqueror, which I use alongside Rekonq and more rarely — until yesterday — with a bit of Firefox for more stubborn Web sites.

“It’s not a credible bluff because going through with it would destroy Mozilla completely.”
      –iophk
What happened yesterday (news here for the uninitiated) changes how we view Mozilla. The “Microsoft Firefox” parody is not so amusing anymore. The financial dependence on Microsoft makes it harder to trust the Mozilla Foundation, whose new management was also tactless enough to receive money in exchange for an endorsement of a company that actively attacks FOSS and GNU/Linux. It’s not a new concern.

The subject discussed in length in the IRC channels yesterday. It is even being discussed at the time of this post. Here are some quotes from a quarter of an hour ago.

“The more I think about it,” writes Ryan, “the more I’m certain Firefox With Bing is just a bluff… their contract with Google expires next month and they probably just want to be in a position to demand more money.”

“It’s not a credible bluff because going through with it would destroy Mozilla completely,” responds iophk. This deal also fuels Microsoft propaganda not just because Microsoft will claim to be a “friend” or “partner” of FOSS but also because Bing is doctoring results to suit Microsoft’s business objectives. What are other people’s thoughts?

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6 Comments

  1. Michael said,

    October 28, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Gravatar

    Oh no! “Free” software is actually getting funded.

    Hey, Roy: there is nothing about software being “free” that says it cannot be funded. And if MS and Firefox have worked out a deal that is mutually beneficial, I say good for them.

    One does not have to be anti-Microsoft to be pro-open source.

  2. twitter said,

    October 28, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Gravatar

    Muktware claims that Bing discriminates against gnu/linux and Libre Office. They have the screenshots to prove it.

    http://www.muktware.com/news/2827

    It is funny that you should mention Palm, Roy. The Guardian says that HP will shut down WebOS but keep the “low margin” PC business.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/oct/28/hp-psg-keep-webos-kill

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Mark Hurd had big plans for WebOS, but he got shut down (or shot down).

    Michael Reply:

    Just so you know, when you say there are screenshot to “prove” something, it would be good to show screenshots that prove something and not just a screenshot that shows Google ranking something you like higher than how Bing ranks it.

    Now you know!

    twitter Reply:

    This is not the first time Microsoft’s second rate search has played games. Incompetence is most charitable reason for not returning any gnu/linux on a search for “open source OS.” Because Microsoft brags that their search is a “decision engine” designed to lure “consumers” to products rather than index knowledge, we can assume that the lack of decent results for competitors to Windows is deliberate and might be the result of hand editing. You can see where they did this back in 2009

    http://search.slashdot.org/story/09/08/06/1334225/bing-search-tainted-by-pro-microsoft-results

    Michael Reply:

    If you do a search on [open source OS] you get Linux on the first page. On Bing. Same thing with [open source office suite] – LibreOffice is there.

    Try it. Here is the proof:

    http://www.bing.com/search?q=open+source+os
    http://www.bing.com/search?q=open+source+office+suite

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