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09.23.15

Media Filled With Spin and Lies Amid Microsoft’s Admission of Internal Usage (and Modification) of GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft at 5:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The “Microsoft loves Linux” lie… on steroids

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Summary: Further analysis of Microsoft’s admission that it uses Linux internally and the media’s poorly-researched response to that

EARLIER this week we mentioned GPL-related issues pertaining to Microsoft's so-called 'embrace' of Linux, to put it crudely. Some people in various Web sites have pointed out that since Linux is not AGPLv{X}, this oughtn’t be a problem. “Dirty trick from Microsoft for ACS GNU/Linux distro,” Bob Summerwill called it, because “they stick with GPLv2 so they don’t have to share code.” These are actually legitimate points. Our headline was an open inquiry that said “But Where is the Source Code (GPL)?” This question mark at the end indicated that we were still looking for some answers. It has all been rather vague and widely misreported.

Amid the latest Microsoft openwashing by a Microsoft-associated network of propaganda sites (yes, they still want us to believe that Microsoft is an open source company!) we are looking for clarifications as to what Microsoft is really doing internally, hence secretly. It created some kind of proprietary version of “Linux”, or a derivative thereof. They built things on top of it, modifying GPL-licensed code (it won’t disclose what exactly was changed, when, why, and how).

Here is the ‘damage control’ from Microsoft, courtesy of Microsoft Peter, who previously helped Microsoft amid clear GPL violations that we covered in length [1, 2]. Peter is trying to frame this as something that it probably isn’t, shedding off obligations to release code changes. Given Peter’s history amid GPL violations from Microsoft (we covered this extensively at the time), we cannot take his arguments/claims at face value. A lot of the corporate media continues to refute Peter by saying that “Microsoft Launches Linux Operating System”, that “​Microsoft’s love affair with Linux deepens”, or that “Microsoft’s Linux-based cloud OS scores a win for SDN”. They’re obviously paying no attention to Peter, whose employer (an sworn apologist of Microsoft) has spread the ‘damage control’ to two Web sites (identical text, different headlines), one of which pretends to be British.

We continue to be disappointed to find very poor press coverage of this. One financial site was calling this exploitation of Linux code “Microsoft goes open source”. Well, they don’t even release any code, so how can that be “open source”? Lousy journalism.

Either way, since Microsoft hides what it has done and has not yet released any code, all one can do is guess. Relying on claims from Microsoft boosters and apologists is the worst one can do at this stage, especially with history in mind. Remember that Microsoft views the GPL as a “cancer” and moreover, because this so-called ‘cancer’ is so good, Microsoft has violated the GPL until it got caught (repeatedly).

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