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

01.30.16

Guest Article: Introduction to Microsoft’s Growing Role in the R Project Through the Linux Foundation and E.E.E.

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Can Microsoft bury R like it so often does after E.E.E.?

R Project

Summary: Concerns about E.E.E. (embrace, extend, extinguish) by Microsoft, which this time targets science and a lot of schools (many young people)

THIS article deals with an important topic that we recently mentioned but have not had time to delve deeper into. Over the past fortnight we corresponded with people and debated in the IRC channels all sorts of possibilities. There are different speculations from various people about Microsoft’s latest E.E.E. (embrace, extend, extinguish) moves. One of our contributors, iophk, sent us the following executive summary regarding the R project.


I’ve looked and this is what I’ve found about R:

The R Project is protected by the GPL in parts and the LGPL for the rest. It is owned by the R Foundation. Further, it is an official GNU project: “R is an official part of the Free Software Foundation’s GNU project, and the R Foundation has similar goals to other open source software foundations like the Apache Foundation or the GNOME Foundation.”

It is developed by the R Development Core Team, which lists its individual members but not their organizational affiliation.

That base seems strong.

In contrast, the R Consortium is arranged by the Linux Foundation and has Microsoft as a founding member with representation on the board. It also contains TIBCO which is a past Microsoft partner but not currently.

TIBCO is reimplementing R as proprietary software.

But it appears, if I read correctly, that R Foundation members are members in the R Consortium as well, if they are not over burdened by the extra work.

The R Consortium lists support of the R Foundation as a goal, but there is a lot of wiggle room in the other goals.

The Linux Foundation can be considered an opponent of desktop Linux, as can Microsoft, which is also antagonistic to the GPL. Perhaps both are. The Linux Foundation’s recent move to eliminate community representation from the board can be interpreted by some as a move against the GPL. Being a Platinum Member, Microsoft is on the technical Infrastructure Steering Committee (ISC) of the R Consortium, which among other things determines APIs.

The R Consortium focuses exclusively on the useR! conference. The R Project itself supports two conferences, useR! and DSC. The former is the main one.

The media has been writing up Microsoft Revolution Analytics, but Mango-Solutions* is out there, too.

R itself might be safe, but it could get covered over in the media. I guess the main vectors might be E.E.E. via Revolution Analytics** products and entryism (E.E.E. with staff) for useR! and the R Consortium.
________
* Mango-Solutions seems OK. I can’t find financial data for either it or Revolution Analytics.
** As of 2012, Revolution Analytics was still declining to report its revenue, could be quite small then. whois information for the domain “revolutionanalytics.com” is cloaked; other domains like “inside-r.org” show a Mountainview, CA address. FWIW, Microsoft historically buys weak/weakest companies e.g. where FrontPage came from.


Time will tell if Microsoft can make R a Windows/OOXML/.NET ‘thing’ and if so, to what degree…

As will be made evident from IRC logs (when they are published), there are other FOSS project being subjected to E.E.E. by Microsoft right now.

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

A Single Comment

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    January 30, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    Gravatar

    R will probably do ok if the users and the R Foundation can take a warning from what M$ tried with “extending” Java and work to prevent a recurrence. Steer clear of “Microsoft R Open” and follow GNU R to future-proof statistical work.

    For background on what they tried against Java, skim down to the part about “result is or the impact is that what was once sort of community development property, the work of the industry and industry participants is appropriated essentially, is taken over by Microsoft.” in United States v Microsoft. “Plaintiffs’ Joint Proposed Finding of Fact.” Redacted Public Version. Civil Action No. 98-1233 (TPJ) United States Department of Justice:
    http://www.justice.gov/atr/us-v-microsoft-proposed-findings-fact

    and here about “extending”
    http://groklaw.net/staticpages/index.php?page=ComesExhN05#E2403

    If they follow the usual pattern, M$ will try to saturate, diffuse, and confuse the issues.

What Else is New


  1. The Death of Software Patents and Microsoft's Coup Against Yahoo! Made the Company Worthless

    A look at what happens to companies whose value is a house of software patents rather than code and a broad base of users/customers



  2. Munich Attack Mentioned by EPO But Not Ansbach

    The EPO does the usual right-wing thing (exploiting disaster/emergency for domestic crackdowns), but some bemoan the omission of the explosion at Ansbach (also in Germany)



  3. Kluwer Thinks People Are Clueless About the Unitary Patent System and Pretends It's Business as Usual

    Flogging the dead UPC horse at times of great uncertainty (enough to bring the UPC to a standstill)



  4. Almost Everything That the Government Accountability Office Says is Applicable to the EPO

    The Government Accountability Office in the United States produces reports which can serve as a timely warning sign to the European Patent Office, where patent quality is rapidly declining in order to meet 'production' goals



  5. Microsoft Says It Loves Linux, But Its Anti-Linux Patent Trolls Are Still Around and Active

    Highlighting just two of the many entities that Microsoft (and partners) use in order to induce additional costs on Free (as in freedom) software



  6. Links 26/7/2016: Microsoft Growing Desperate, Linux 4.8 Visions

    Links for the day



  7. Links 25/7/2016: Linux 4.7 Final, PostgreSQL 9.6 Beta 3

    Links for the day



  8. Leaked: Boards of Appeal Face 'Exile' or 'Extradition' in Haar After Standing up to Battistelli

    A look at some of the latest moves at the European Patent Office (EPO), following Battistelli's successful coup d’état which brought the EPO into a perpetual state of emergency that perpetuates Battistelli's totalitarian powers



  9. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comes Across as Against Software Patents, Relates to the EPO as Well

    Some analysis of the input from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) with focus on the EPO and software patents



  10. In the US, Patent Trolls Engage in Patent Wars and Shakedowns, Whereas in China/Korea Large Android OEMs Sue One Another

    Highlighting some of the differences between the US patent system and other patent systems



  11. Links 24/7/2016: Elive 2.7.1 Beta, New Flatpaks and Snaps

    Links for the day



  12. Links 23/7/2016: Leo Laporte on GNU/Linux, Dolphin Emulator’s Vulkan Completion

    Links for the day



  13. Links 22/7/2016: Wine 1.9.15, KaOS 2016.07 ISO

    Links for the day



  14. Haar Mentioned as Likely Site of Appeal Boards as Their Eradication or Marginalisation Envisioned by UPC Proponent Benoît Battistelli

    Not only the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) is under severe attack and possibly in mortal danger; the increasingly understaffed Boards of Appeal too are coming under attack and may (according to rumours) be sent to Haar, a good distance away from Munich and the airport (half an hour drive), not to mention lack of facilities for visitors from overseas



  15. EPO Attaché Albert Keyack Viewed as Somewhat of a Mole, Reporting From the US Embassy in Brazil Until Shortly Before the Temer Coup

    Public responses to the role played by Albert Keyack on behalf of the United States inside the European [sic] Patent Office



  16. EPO Insiders Explain Why the EPO's Examination Quality Rapidly Declines and Will Get Even Worse Because of Willy Minnoye

    Public comments from anonymous insiders serve to highlight a growing crisis inside the European Patent Office (EPO), where experienced/senior examiners are walking away and leaving an irreplaceable bunch of seats (due to high experience demands)



  17. Patents Roundup: BlackBerry, Huawei, PTAB, GAO, Aggressive Universities With Patents, and Software Patents in Europe

    Various bits and pieces of news regarding patents and their fast-changing nature in the United States nowadays



  18. Glimpse at Patent Systems Across the World: Better Quality Control at the USPTO Post-America Invents Act (2011), Unlike the EPO Post-Battistelli (2010)

    While the EPO reportedly strives to eliminate pendency and appeal windows altogether (rubberstamping being optimal performance as per the yardstick du jour), the USPTO introduces changes that would strengthen the system and shield innovation, not protect the business model of serial litigants



  19. Blockstream Has No Patents, But Pledges Not to Sue Using Patents

    Blockstream says that it comes in peace when it comes to software patents, which triggers speculations about coming Blockchain patent wars



  20. Links 21/7/2016: Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” Xfce Beta

    Links for the day



  21. Links 21/7/2016: An Honorary Degree for Alan Cox, Looks Back at DebConf16

    Links for the day



  22. EPO USA: Under Battistelli, the 'European' Patent Office Emulates All the Mistakes of the USPTO

    Conservative Benoît Battistelli is trying to impose on the European Patent Office various truly misguided policies and he viciously attacks anyone or anything that stands in his way, including his formal overseers



  23. Links 19/7/2016: ARM and Opera Buyout

    Links for the day



  24. Large Corporations' Software Patenting Pursuits Carry on in Spite of Patent Trolls That Threaten Small Companies the Most

    With unconvincing excuses such as OIN, large corporations including IBM continue to promote software patents in the United States, even when public officials and USPTO officials work towards ending those



  25. Battistelli Has Implemented De Facto EPO Coup to Remove Oversight, Give Himself Total Power, and Allegedly Give UPC Gifts (Loot) to French Officials

    Benoît Battistelli's agenda at the EPO is anything but beneficial to the EPO and suspicions that Battistelli's overall agenda is transitioning to the UPC to further his goals grow feet



  26. EPO Social [sic] Report is a Big Pile of Lies That Responsible Journalists Must Ignore

    A reminder of where the EPO stands on social issues and why the latest so-called 'social' report is nothing but paid-for propaganda for Battistelli's political ambitions



  27. Links 18/7/2016: Vista 10 a Failure, FreeType 2.7

    Links for the day



  28. Exploiting Perceived Emergencies/Disasters, Suspending the Rule of Law, and Suspending Judges: How Erdoğan is Like Battistelli, Except the Coup

    Pretexts for crackdown on law-abiding people or figureheads who are remote and independent the hallmark not only of Erdoğan but also the EPO's President, Benoit Battistelli



  29. The Impotence of Gene Quinn

    Attacking the enforcer of Alice v CLS because it's doing harm to his source of income, which makes him angry



  30. After the FTI Consulting-EPO Reputation Laundering Deal's Expansion in Germany Süddeutsche Zeitung 'Forgets' That the EPO Even Exists

    Relative apathy if not complete silence regarding the EPO at Süddeutsche Zeitung following reports of FTI Consulting's deal expansion (media positioning in Germany), with hundreds of thousands of Euros (EPO budget) thrown at the controversial task


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