“Microsoft corrupted many members of ISO in order to win approval for its phony ‘open’ document format, OOXML. This was so governments that keep their documents in a Microsoft-only format can pretend that they are using ‘open standards.’ The government of South Africa has filed an appeal against the decision, citing the irregularities in the process.”
–Richard Stallman, June 2008
Summary: Success for Microsoft propaganda amid FOSS spin and well-calculated PR campaigns
THE Microsoft press is not enough for PR campaigns which delude and forever deceive. Recently, Microsoft hired more PR people, whose goal is to sell the lie about Microsoft as a friend of FOSS. This PR agents ‘alliance’ needs some people (including new PR employees) to spread the lie and disseminate lots of spin so as to squash and maginalise truth-tellers [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,9, 10, 11, 12, 13]. If the lie is repeated enough, then enough people still start to believe it’s true. They are manufacturing consent, at least in the corporate press.
Here is how Simon Phipps put it:
But Microsoft’s overt hostility has given way to a more pragmatic approach, at least on the surface.
Microsoft has come to the realization that open source is an inevitable part of the marketplace and has instead tried to triage it, first at arm’s length, then increasingly through open source projects. Indeed, Microsoft is the 17th largest contributor to Linux, hosts project at its nonprofit foundation, supports the Apache Software Foundation, and regularly shows up as a sponsor of open source events.
Open source contact points are now all over the company, though no core products truly adopt an open source approach. Behind the scenes, however, Microsoft continues to subtly undermine open source, as demonstrated by this week’s FOIA-backed revelations from Glyn Moody about how Microsoft lobbied against open standards in the United Kingdom.
The new subsidiary is another evolutionary step in Microsoft’s open source pragmatism. Since, as Paoli is careful to say, this move changes nothing about existing engagements by Microsoft projects, why is the company doing it? I see little evidence that the hostility to open source has softened at the executive level, though Ballmer no longer derides open source openly. But on the ground, the market is forcing Microsoft’s hand.
Free/Open Source advocates need to spread the truth to counter Microsoft’s PR campaign. This is the company which is still suing Open Source using software patents. Only a few companies are deep-pocketed enough to be able to afford to fight back (in a way which is worth the legal expenses). Motorola/ Google is currently fighting back and here is the latest : “Motorola Mobility has won a patent ruling in its attempt to block Microsoft from importing Xbox game consoles.”
“U.S. International Trade Commission Judge David Shaw found today that Microsoft was infringing on some of Motorola’s patent rights, according to a Bloomberg report.
“The entire six-member trade commission, which has the power to block imports found to infringe on U.S. patents, is expected to review the decision and issue a statement in August.”
Motorola Mobility did not attack Microsoft. It was Microsoft which attacked, seeking to extort or ban Android. █