EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

03.26.14

The Politics of Openwashing: How Microsoft Pretends That Windows Has ‘Open Source’, Generates Self-Congratulatory Coverage

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Windows at 5:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Deceiving manoeuvres from Microsoft, which is trying to put an “open” label on its common carrier, despite the fact that it is as proprietary as anything can be

MICROSOFT MUST be very desperate to appear as “open” as GNU/Linux/Android even though Windows is definitely not. Several journalists got bamboozled by Microsoft’s latest PR charade, which involved exposing source code of legacy stuff that’s of no use and nobody uses. Microsoft’s thugs are once again interjecting themselves into museums (public space), just as Bill Gates did over the past decade or so (the Gates Foundation was paying establishments like these to glorify Gates and warp computer history, omitting all the crimes).

The OSI’s president stresses that “Microsoft has NOT “open sourced” MS-DOS or Word v1. Both are under a restrictive & non-open-source license,” with reference to this licence.

As David Gerard (Wikipedia) put it to me last night, “even hacker news doesn’t think it’s safe to look at these downloads” (nothing from Microsoft is safe these days).

Dr. Donnie Berkholz, a Gentoo developer who now works as an analyst, responded to the OSI’s president by saying that Microsoft rejecting Open Source licences “is frankly just weird. Who’s going to benefit off code that old anyway. Why wouldn’t MS actually open-source it?”

I responded by saying that making it FOSS would weaken some patents and other such stuff that Microsoft may need to attack rivals with. “Because suing your customers is great business,” Berkholz replied and the OSI’s president added: “Not just rivals; also those they wish to, uh, monetise.” He alluded to patent extortion. “Or to force into Windows, e.g. Barnes and Noble,” was my followup. We already saw how Microsoft used patents to sue Barnes and Noble and when challenged in court Microsoft then bribed Barnes and Noble to embrace Windows instead of Android. That’s the modus operandi of Microsoft nowadays. Microsoft abuses patents and copyrights for blackmail purposes.

To see some poor coverage of the latest non-event (or even worse [1], with pro-Microsoft/XP propaganda [2] and misuse of the word “free”), just consider what Engadget wrote. Making useless old code seem ‘open’ is good for nothing except openwashing, but some news sites pretend it’s great news for “geeks”. They are basically printing/transmitting Microsoft talking points/PR, citing Microsoft press releases which are calling crimes that led to monopoly “open” (look, but don’t touch) and trying to pass off the PR as goodwill. Here is Will Hill’s response to the nonsense from Engadget:

It is bad and could be very bad in various ways. It is historical revisionism and copyright propaganda. It may also be a trap for free software developers.

We can be sure that the source code is washed of sabotage for competitors. That would be revisionism. The Engadget article itself is either revisionism or ignorant – Gates simply purchased/licensed/stole QDoS, the Quick and Dirty Operating System to make MS DO.

From a copyright perspective, Microsoft is pretending binary code finally enriches the public domain but that’s a farce. We can’t verify that this is the source code they worked with, nor should we trust companies to finally come clean decades later. This is very important because copyright protection is only granted in the US if it advances the state of the art and public domain. None of that happens here. This will be used as propaganda the same way the Gates Foundation is – a germ of truth will be blown out of proportion to conceal an ugly reality.

Finally, Microsoft never really gives anything away -this code is poison and should be avoided by free software developers and competitors alike. Let’s look at their “agreement”. Oh yeah, you don’t even have freedom zero because there are limits on personal use. Personal use if only for “non commercial purposes,” it appears that even consulting based on results of tests are prohibited. You may not share your copy or your modified copies. It’s like they looked at the four freedoms and negated each, and that’s just the first of eight restrictions. One of the nastier restrictions limits damage to $5 for anything, including things Microsoft should have known about – like anti-competitive sabotage.

FU Microsoft, I’ll stick with DosBox and other free software. You can keep your fake old crap and I still don’t think you have legitimate grounds for copyright monopoly.

In summary, Microsoft did nothing commendable. It’s just a PR charade which contributes nothing to computing. It distorts public museums and warps history. Again.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Microsoft open-sources MS-DOS. ’80s kids dance in the streets

    Microsoft actually bought the rights for QDOS (stands for “quick and dirty operating system) from Seattle Computer Products in 1981 for a paltry $25,000. What happened next is computer history.

  2. As WinXP death looms, Microsoft releases its operating system SOURCE CODE for free
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 25/4/2017: Kali Linux 2017.1 Released, NSA Back Doors in Windows Cause Chaos

    Links for the day



  2. Astoundingly, IP Kat Has Become a Leading Source of UPC and Battistelli Propaganda

    The pro-UPC outlets, which enjoy EPO budget (i.e. stakeholders' money), are becoming mere amplifiers of Benoît Battistelli and his right-hand UPC woman Margot Fröhlinger, irrespective of actual facts



  3. EPO Fiasco to be Discussed in German Local Authority (Bavarian Parliament) Some Time Today as the Institution Continues Its Avoidable Collapse

    Conflict between management and staff -- a result of truly destructive strategies and violations of the law by Benoît Battistelli -- continues to escalate and threatens to altogether dismantle the European Patent Office (EPO)



  4. In the US and Elsewhere, Qualcomm's Software Patents Are a Significant Tax Everyone Must Pay

    The state of the mobile market when companies such as Qualcomm, which don't really produce anything, take a large piece of the revenue pie



  5. In South Asia, Old Myths to Promote Patent Maximalism, Courtesy of the Patent Microcosm

    The latest example of software patents advocacy and patent 'parades' in India, as well as something from IPOS in Singapore



  6. Links 24/4/2017: Linux 4.11 RC8, MPV 0.25

    Links for the day



  7. Why Authorities in the Netherlands Need to Strip the EPO of Immunity and Investigate Fire Safety Violations

    How intimidation and crackdown on the staff representatives at the EPO may have led to lack of awareness (and action) about lack of compliance with fire safety standards



  8. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part IX: Testament to the Fear of an Autocratic Regime

    A return to the crucial observation and a reminder of the fact that at the EPO it takes great courage to say the truth nowadays



  9. For the Fordham Echo Chamber (Patent Maximalism), Judges From the EPO Boards of Appeal Are Not Worth Entertaining

    In an event steered if not stuffed by patent radicals such as Bristows and Microsoft (abusive, serial litigators) there are no balanced panels or even reasonable discussions



  10. EPO Staff Representatives Fired Using “Disciplinary Committee That Was Improperly Composed” as Per ILO's Decision

    The Board of the Administrative Council at European Patent Organisation is being informed of the union-busting activities of Battistelli -- activities that are both illegal (as per national and international standards) and are detrimental to the Organisation



  11. Links 23/4/2017: End of arkOS, Collabora Office 5.3 Released

    Links for the day



  12. Intellectual Discovery and Microsoft Feed Patent Trolls Like Intellectual Ventures Which Then Strategically Attack Rivals

    Like a swarm of blood-sucking bats, patent trolls prey on affluent companies that derive their wealth from GNU/Linux and freedom-respecting software (Free/libre software)



  13. The European Patent Office Has Just Killed a Cat (or Skinned a 'Kat')

    The EPO’s attack on the media, including us, resulted in a stream of misinformation and puff pieces about the EPO and UPC, putting at risk not just European democracy but also corrupting the European press



  14. Yann Ménière Resorts to Buzzwords to Recklessly Promote Floods of Patents, Dooming the EPO Amid Decline in Patent Applications

    Battistelli's French Chief Economist is not much of an economist but a patent maximalist toeing the party line of Monsieur Battistelli (lots of easy grants and litigation galore, for UPC hopefuls)



  15. Even Patent Bullies Like Microsoft and Facebook Find the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Useful

    Not just companies accused of patent infringement need the PTAB but also frequent accusers with deep pockets need the PTAB, based on some new figures and new developments



  16. Links 21/4/2017: Qt Creator 4.2.2, ROSA Desktop Fresh R9

    Links for the day



  17. At the EPO, Seeding of Puff Piece in the Press/Academia Sometimes Transparent Enough to View

    The EPO‘s PR team likes to 'spam' journalists and others (for PR) and sometimes does this publicly, as the tweets below show — a desperate recruitment and reputation laundering drive



  18. Affordable and Sophisticated Mobile Devices Are Kept Away by Patent Trolls and Aggressors That Tax Everything

    The war against commoditisation of mobile computing has turned a potentially thriving market with fast innovation rates into a war zone full of patent trolls (sometimes suing at the behest of large companies that hand them patents for this purpose)



  19. In Spite of Lobbying and Endless Attempts by the Patent Microcosm, US Supreme Court Won't Consider Any Software Patent Cases Anymore (in the Foreseeable Future)

    Lobbyists of software patents, i.e. proponents of endless litigation and patent trolls, are attempting to convince the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to have another look at abstract patents and reconsider its position on cases like Alice Corp. v CLS Bank International



  20. Expect Team UPC to Remain in Deep Denial About the Unitary Patent/Unified Court (UPC) Having No Prospects

    The prevailing denial that the UPC is effectively dead, courtesy of sites and blogs whose writers stood to profit from the UPC



  21. EPO in 2017: Erroneously Grant a Lot of Patents in Bulk or Get Sacked

    Quality of patent examination is being abandoned at the EPO and those who disobey or refuse to play along are being fired (or asked to resign to avoid forced resignations which would stain their record)



  22. Links 21/4/2017: System76 Entering Phase Three, KDE Applications 17.04, Elive 2.9.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  23. Bristows-Run IP Kat Continues to Spread Lies to Promote the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Advance the EPO Management's Agenda

    An eclectic response to some of the misleading if not villainous responses to the UPC's death knell in the UK, as well as other noteworthy observations about think tanks and misinformation whose purpose is to warp the patent system so that it serves law firms, for the most part at the expense of science and technology



  24. Links 20/4/2017: Tor Browser 6.5.2, PacketFence 7.0, New Firefox and Chrome

    Links for the day



  25. Patents on Business Methods and Software Are Collapsing, But the Patent Microcosm is Working Hard to Change That

    The never-ending battle over patent law, where those who are in the business of patents push for endless patenting, is still ongoing and resistance/opposition is needed from those who actually produce things (other than litigation) or else they will be perpetually taxed by parasites



  26. IAM, the Patent Trolls' Voice, is Trying to Deny There is a Growing Trolling Problem in Europe

    IAM Media (the EPO's and trolls' mouthpiece) continues a rather disturbing pattern of propaganda dressed up as "news", promoting the agenda of parasites who drain the economy by extortion of legitimate (producing) companies



  27. The Patent Microcosm Keeps Attacking Every Patent Office/System That is Doing the Right Thing

    Patent 'radicals' and 'extremists' -- those to whom patents are needed solely for the purpose of profit from bureaucracy -- fight hard against patent quality and in the process they harm everyone, including individual customers



  28. Another Final Nail in the UPC Coffin: UK General Election

    Ratification of the UPC in the UK can drag on for several more years and never be done thereafter, throwing into uncertainty the whole UPC (EU-wide) as we know it



  29. Links 19/4/2017: DockerCon Coverage, Ubuntu Switching to Wayland

    Links for the day



  30. Links 18/4/2017: Mesa 17.0.4, FFmpeg 3.3

    Links for the day


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