03.27.14

OSI Strikes Back Against Microsoft Deception, Which Keeps Distorting the Meaning of Open Source

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Microsoft Movement is once again polluting the Internet with disinformation, very much as intended

Truth

Summary: The President of the Open Source Initiative chastises Microsoft (and press/media) for promoting the lie that Microsoft products have been made Open Source or anything along those lines

A COUPLE of days ago we quoted some tweets which were posted by Simon Phipps, the head of the Open Source Initiative and a friend of the Free Software Foundation (he has done a fantastic job bridging the gap between those two camps). Phipps quickly rebutted appealing reports that Microsoft had manufactured to make it sound as though Windows was being open-sourced. The average, non-technical person would be susceptible to accepting the lie, especially when Microsoft-friendly magazines amplify it. What Microsoft did should hardly be treated as news at all. It’s a non-event. The code which was proprietary is still proprietary, it’s just being imposed on the public through a public museum.

A short while ago Phipps followed it up, turning the messages from his tweets into an article at IDG. “Look all you want, but don’t think about touching Microsoft’s source code for MS-DOS v1.1/v2.0 and Microsoft Word v1.1″ says the summary of the article “Microsoft didn’t really open-source MS-DOS” (the word “really” is spurious).

We have already identified some silly headlines that falsely argued Microsoft “open-sourced” the software, but we won’t link to them as that would only serve as a megaphone to falsehoods.

Well done, Microsoft. You sure managed to coordinate message injection into the media, with lots of lies posted all over the Internet (to be absorbed by lesser-technical people). This is why Microsoft can never be a friend of Free/Open Source software. All that Microsoft seems to be doing is openwashing proprietary software using plugs and hooks that may or may not be genuinely “open” (unlike the software they are tied to or depend on, e.g. Hyper-V). The confusion created by Microsoft serves Microsoft in numerous ways: 1) it weakens the label “Open Source”; 2) it makes Microsoft products seem indistinguishable from FOSS; 3) it helps careless adoption of patent-encumbered concepts such as .NET (e.g. Mono) and FAT, which in turn facilitates litigation (extortion) against companies that adopt GNU/Linux, passing Microsoft tax to customers who never chose Microsoft.

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