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04.12.15

Microsoft is Still Googlebombing ‘Open Source’

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 2:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cade Metz started it all

Cade Metz

Summary: Microsoft’s massive campaign of deception, obfuscation and misuse of the “Open Source” brand is still on, even a week after it was cleverly started by Condé Nast

THE PAST week continued to be quite a spectacle in “Open Source” news. An unaware and incautious reader may easily be lured into believing that Microsoft is an "Open Source" company and that Windows is "Open Source".

IDG’s Chris Hoffman wrote a good rebuttal to Microsoft’s PR efforts; having seen a lot of misinformation in the media he published “Don’t hold your breath: Why Windows won’t be open-source any time soon”. Claiming that Windows will be “Open Source” has been just openwashing propaganda. It doesn’t matter if it ever does become “Open Source”; what matters is what people think or feel. Windows will be open source say the sorts of people who told us over a decade ago that Microsoft Windows would be ported to GNU/Linux and those who insisted that Microsoft was changing.

Even a Microsoft-connected site published a piece titled “An Open-Source Microsoft Windows? I Don’t Think So.” “In my opinion,” said the author, “Microsoft’s recent strategies are about expanding its control over the PC market, not a true concession toward open-source operating systems. A top Microsoft exec might have suggested that it would be “possible,” but investors should take that claim with a grain of salt.”

Either way, it’s a façade. Microsoft just says “Open Source” because it tries to misuse labels, exploiting what they’re worth for distinguishing a piece of software, nothing more.

We have waited patiently until this whole deception campaign stopped. The last example we found was dated April 8th (titled “Microsoft Open Source? Rumors Emerge of Surprising Development”), showing that even a whole week later openwashing of Windows is not over. It lasted until April 8th and the day before (April 7th).

“I believe one of the goals is to googlebomb the searches so that Windows turns up at the top of the list when searching the phrase “open source”,” iophk explained to us, concurring with what we too suspected and said the other day. Even FOSS people got bamboozled by this PR charade and at times repeated it, with stuff titled “Open Source Windows” acting as misleading PR in Matt Mullenweg’s Twitter stream (widely followed) and his blog. It’s one thing when Microsoft boosters promote the myth and another when FOSS people end up joining the ‘useful idiots’. Mac Asay was among those openwashing Windows (of course!).

This gross propaganda campaign for Windows was not the only of its kind; for instance, Scott M. Fulton III not only wrote more of his Microsoft promotion (decades old) but added tags to headlines for Windows PR (an IDG ad for the same item from Microsoft took an ‘article’ form, composed by the chief editor).

“Microsoft just says “Open Source” because it tries to misuse labels, exploiting what they’re worth for distinguishing a piece of software, nothing more.”Then there’s the openwashing of .NET which is based on false assumptions, yet Microsoft propaganda sites are happy to revive and perpetuate it. Recently, a Microsoft subsidiary (sort of) released a new Trojan horse (version of Mono, see Wiki for background), contributing to the false perception that developing in .NET is something “open”.

Darryl K. Taft’s openwashing of .NET has been a disgrace, including in this article titled “.NET Foundation Names New Executive Director” (.NET Foundation is a Microsoft proxy, like many others of its kind, which take misleading names such as “Microsoft Open” something, “Microsoft Licensing”, “Microsoft Payments” and so on).

“The .NET Foundation,” wrote Taft, “which is tasked with overseeing the open-sourcing of .NET, has named a new executive director.”

There is no sincere “open-sourcing of .NET”, there are still software patents and some components are proprietary. Microsoft only pretends that it’s Open Source and googlebombs to change perceptions. “The .NET Foundation,” wrote Taft, “has named Martin Woodward executive director of the organization overseeing the open-sourcing of the .NET Framework.”

Who is Martin Woodward? A Microsoft employee (for many years), of course.

Microsoft it taking us for fools.

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