04.27.15

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Microsoft is Interjecting Itself Into GNU/Linux and Free Software News, Even Events and Foundations

Posted in Debian, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 4:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’ve killed at least two Mac conferences. [...] by injecting Microsoft content into the conference, the conference got shut down. The guy who ran it said, why am I doing this?”

Microsoft's chief evangelist

Summary: Microsoft’s entryism strategy is proving effective as Microsoft successfully embeds itself inside the idealogical competition, subverting the competition’s overall message and diluting the competition’s focus on Free software

Debian is out and “PCWorld manages to make the event about Microsoft,” iopkh says. IDG’s aggravation in this case is due to Microsoft spin and PR. The headline says “Debian 8.0 ‘Jessie’ is out and even Microsoft is celebrating”; it was preceded by a number of days by Softpedia, which wrote “Microsoft’s Open Source Team Invites You to Celebrate the Release of Debian 8 Jessie”. It turns out that Microsoft is now trying to aggravate the Debian community from within. Articles with concerns about it were too few, let alone anyone who resorted to rebutting Microsoft’s shameless charm offensive. Our interpretation of this is that by interjecting itself into the Debian announcement Microsoft itself became the ‘news’, even though Debian, which runs on many millions of machines (mostly servers), should be huge news in its own right. The only press coverage about this Debian release (a rare occasion) in corporate media is very limited (embarrassingly so). Given just how many servers out there are running Debian and this scarce (very low amount) of press it received, it is clear that corporate media remains disproportionately brand-oriented and unless there’s profit in coverage of some brand, it simply won’t do it. The most ‘mainstream’ article is now simply titled “Debian 8.0 ‘Jessie’ is out and even Microsoft is celebrating”. Well, of course “Microsoft is celebrating” because “Microsoft loves Linux”, according to Microsoft, which is attacking GNU/Linux all the time. Non-’mainstream’ news sites published decent articles, but who is going to notice them? This is a great example of IDG works; it can claim to have covered important GNU/Linux news, but it has spun it as Microsoft news.

“That’s like the US celebrating Russia’s Victory Day,” Cronos wrote.

“I thought they just fired their “open source” team,” Will Hill responded. Microsoft recently shut down its "open" proxy, but the abusive entyrism is not necessarily over.

In our assessment, this is designed to annoy the developers and further alienate critics of Microsoft. It’s a provocative strategy. It’s effective.

Seeing that Microsoft’s previous mole in FOSS, Mr. Sam Ramji, is now appearing in the Linux Foundation site (a bit like is like seeing Ballmer performance or interview in gnu.org) is equally disgusting and it serves nobody except Microsoft. It sells the impression of acceptance by the GNU/Linux community. Ramji is pro-Linux like that Microsoft mole Elop was pro-Linux. Elop received a $20m reward for destroying Nokia and then returned to Microsoft. Ramji too might one day return to Microsoft. We have mentioned him before along with other Microsoft people who entered the Linux Foundation.

“I got a call from Jim Zemlin,” says Ramji. If he got a phonecall from Zemlin, then it means that Zemlin himself is now wilfully allowing people from Microsoft to lead his foundation — an error which we wrote about before.

Zemlin uses the term “right side of history”, as if working for Microsoft and annoying FOSS communities is nothing to be learned about from history.

Let’s face it; Ramji is no stranger. In fact, everyone in FOSS knows him, but not for the reasons he would hope. People who remember what he did would hate him with a true passion, not baselessly. He did a lot of damage and he has a lot of making up to do, more so than Neela (another former Microsoft guy who now leads a group at the Linux Foundation). Neela also worked for VMware, the GPL violator, which is currently openwashing nasty lock-in to seduce developers into proprietary software with back doors. Ramji will help VMware. Unsurprisingly enough, VMware pays the Linux Foundation, which helps it acquire influence. The Linux Foundation used to promote Free software; now it just promotes proprietary software and given the sources of funding, nobody should be so shocked. The focus of the Linux Foundation is long gone, probably ruined from the inside through staff transitions.

Microsoft’s infiltration into its competition shows that no lessons have been learned from the likes of Nokia or Yahoo! If the “right side of history” is Microsoft demolishing rivals from the inside, then Zemlin is correct.

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