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

04.07.14

Microsoft’s Manipulation of the Media Demonstrated

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 5:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Amplifying the lies

A loudspeaker

“Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Summary: Seeding a lie in the press, or confusing readers by means of semantics, still a top skill championed by Microsoft and its PR agencies

MICROSOFT places more emphasis on PR and AstroTurfing than it does on technical work. One former Microsoft marketer created a firm that manages Microsoft-friendly think tanks (Black Duck, his proprietary software firm, is speaking ‘for’ FOSS this month [1]). Microsoft has been very effective when it comes to perception distortion (they call it “perception management”), so we need to counter this.

Just as Microsoft was openwashing Azure and is still openwashing it in the Microsoft media (trying to make it synonymous with openness although it is proprietary with surveillance), the company is now openwashing .NET. We decided to research this and find out how and why the press played along with this charade of PR, so we ended up with a sort of ‘post mortem’ of how it all came about. Simon Phipps, the President of the OSI (and hence an authority when it comes to classifying real Open Source), has already chastised Microsoft numerous times in recent weeks. Not only did he rebut claims that Microsoft DOS and other abandoned Microsoft products were open-sourced (they were not) but he also wrote about Microsoft's serious abuses of privacy in Hotmail, connecting that to the latest deceiving charade from Microsoft. Phipps writes: “it emerged that Microsoft, in pursuit of a copyright misuse mediated by an employee, discovered some of the evidence was to be obtained in someone else’s Hotmail account. Since the terms of use allow the company to read whatever mail it wishes, it went in to the mailbox and took a look. But many people felt “legal” was not equivalent to “ethical,” especially from a company trying to frame a competitor for the same attitude with its “Scroogled” campaign.”

So it’s clear that the OSI (or at least its President) was not particularly impressed by any of Microsoft’s latest PR stunts. Microsoft’s software is not just proprietary software but also spyware by design (in collusion with the NSA). We can assume that .NET inherits those same issues.

Phipps, who used to work at Sun (and hence promoted Java) writes: “Open-sourcing Java gave it a new lease on life. Why, then, did Microsoft insist on keeping .Net closed? My guess is it was a matter of leadership philosophy. Plenty of staff in Microsoft understood the power of open source to harness developer passion. It had to be a senior hand holding them back.”

The more important question is, why did a lot of the press call this move open-sourcing? We did a thorough search, going back in time, attempting to pinpoint where it all started; we have reviewed dozens of reports and sorting the reports chronologically (e.g. [2-12]), it’s easier to see how it’s basically seeded by Microsoft-friendly sites with deceiving headlines. It was more like a PR campaign where gratis gets equated with libre, components and the whole get blurred (there is no clarification to that effect), and platform dependence (Windows only) is not even discussed. As Phipps put it in his personal blog: “The caution relates to the news that Windows for mobile will be free of charge. Whilst unarguably a big move, it’s not open source — the license terms still restrict how you can use the software. This is important, as whilst a “first hit is free” approach to getting people using mobile Windows might bring some results, the key to sustained innovation and therefore sustained increase in the user base comes from removing the need to ask for permission before you can innovate.”

Therein lies another source of confusion. Some exploited the simultaneous announcement of gratis and libre to bamboozle readers — a tactic championed by Microsoft boosters posing as reporters, .NET-oriented news sites (there is not even an illusion of objectivity in Gates-funded papers and sites edited/managed by longtime friends of Microsoft), and dubious people like Brian Fagioli (writing for an historically Microsoft-friendly site), who appears not to know that Android has Linux in it but has started covering FOSS some months ago (and not done so well). This is the same guy who, based on our analysis at the early stages of the controversy, started pushing the “Mozilla CEO is anti-gay” line (we had seen no such coverage before he did that, just positive coverage about Eich becoming the CEO). Later we saw Microsoft-friendly news sites amplifying the same message, discrediting the Mozilla Foundation and also rewriting history of Netscape, not just Mozilla (we omit all the links which relate to this as we don’t wish to feed them). Never mind if those who were most vocal against Eich were themselves notably (if not extremely) anti-gay rights [13]. Microsoft itself is notoriously homophobic (against lesbians and gay males, not just marriages of them) — to the point of being sued by its own staff.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Eighth Annual Future of Open Source Survey Finds OSS Powering New Technologies, Reaching New People, and Creating New Economics
  2. Build 2014: Microsoft makes .NET Compiler Platform Roslyn open source
  3. Microsoft open sources .NET compiler platform “Roslyn” and announces open source .NET Foundation initiative
  4. Microsoft Makes ‘Roslyn’ Compiler Open Source
  5. Microsoft releases Windows Library for JavaScript as open source
  6. C# Compiler Released As Open Source
  7. Windows Library for JavaScript (WinJS) now open source, released under Apache 2.0 license
  8. Microsoft releases new developer tools, makes open source .NET commitment during the second day at Build Conference
  9. Microsoft releases new developer tools, makes open source .NET commitment at Build Conference
  10. Microsoft Build 2014: Microsoft open sources a slew of software with .NET Foundation
  11. Microsoft announces open source compiler platform ‘Roslyn’ and .NET Foundation initiative
  12. Microsoft offers .NET libraries to open source
  13. The Hypocrisy Of Sam Yagan & OkCupid

    OkCupid received a clear benefit, media attention, for trashing Eich. But their co-founder and ultimate CEO has shown strong anti-gay tendencies in the past. That’s hypocrisy, and worse.

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. 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



  2. 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



  3. 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



  4. 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



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

    Links for the day



  6. 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)



  7. 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



  8. 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)



  9. 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



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

    Links for the day



  11. 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



  12. 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)



  13. 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



  14. 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



  15. 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)



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

    Links for the day



  17. 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



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

    Links for the day



  19. 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



  20. 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



  21. 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



  22. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  25. Patents Roundup: Microsoft, Embargo, Tax Evasion, Surveillance, and Censorship

    An excess of patents and their overutilisation for purposes other than innovation (or dissemination of knowledge) means that society has much to lose, sometimes more than there is to gain



  26. How I Learned that Skype is a Spy Campaign (My Personal Story) -- by Yuval Levental

    Skype is now tracking serial numbers, too



  27. Links 17/4/2017: Devil Linux 1.8.0, GNU IceCat 52.0.2

    Links for the day



  28. EPO Patent Quality and Quality of Service Have Become a Disaster, Say EPO Stakeholders

    Stakeholders of the EPO, in various sites that attract them, are complaining about the service of the EPO, the declining quality of patents (and the rushed processes), including the fact that Battistelli's blind obsession with so-called 'production' dooms the already-up-in-flames EPO and makes it uncompetitive



  29. IAM is a Think Tank for Patent Trolls, Software Patents, the EPO, Microsoft, and Whoever Else is Willing to Pay

    The site where you get what you pay for continues to promote highly damaging agenda, which threatens to disrupt operations at a lot of legitimate companies that employ technical people



  30. An Australian Patent Troll, Global Equity Management (SA) Pty Ltd (GEMSA), is a Bully Not Just in the Patent Sense, Explains the EFF

    The mischievous troll GEMSA, which doesn't seem to get enough out of bullying real companies, is now attacking a civil rights group's free speech rights


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