Microsoft is Pretending to be a FOSS Company in Order to Secure Government Contracts With Proprietary Software in ‘Open’ Clothing
Microsoft is now pretending that proprietary SQL Server on GNU/Linux is “open” and reportedly sells it to governments as such
Summary: Microsoft is pulling off a chameleon’s strategy by pretending that its proprietary software stacks are “open” and therefore eligible for integration in public services
PUTTING aside EPO affairs and patents for a moment, we wish to point out some of the latest subversive moves from Microsoft. We cannot just ignore Microsoft when Microsoft isn’t ignoring us, and is constantly attacking us (FOSS) with patents.
“It’s a good way to distract the public and suppress criticism with some corny images of red hearts.”For those who missed it, Microsoft is trying to EEE GNU/Linux servers amid Microsoft layoffs; selfish interests of profit, as noted by some writers [1,2] this morning, nothing whatsoever to do with FOSS (there’s no FOSS aspect to it at all!) are driving these moves. It’s about proprietary software lock-in that won’t be available for another year anyway. It’s a good way to distract the public and suppress criticism with some corny images of red hearts.
Mary Branscombe, a longtime Microsoft booster who occasionally attacks FOSS (see her "free puppy" insults for instance), has just published an article with a loaded headline, “The reasons behind Microsoft’s drive for open source”  (there is no such drive, so why explore the “reasons”?). It’s a full load of nonsense, starting with the summary: “Striking the balance between open source and commercial business” (Branscombe again shows us a false dichotomy, where FOSS is antithetical to “commercial business” — whatever that is — probably just proprietary software)
“The problem with Wallen’s article is that it’s based on a false supposition that Microsoft cares about FOSS.”The latest Red Hat profits [4,5,6,7] help disprove the nonsense from Branscombe, but it’s not just Branscombe that’s doing that. Days ago we found literally dozens of puff pieces that openwash Microsoft. These all came from India, where Microsoft is lobbying government against FOSS (remember the EDGI dumping about a decade ago). Microsoft is now planning an Indian FOSS event (see two daily links roundups under “Openwashing” in [1, 2]) and it’s clear that Microsoft tries to fool/lull the Indian government into the notion that Microsoft is a FOSS company, hence eligible for any government contract (lucrative procurement). We need to battle this propaganda or simply be infiltrated by the enemy, which is hurting us the EEE way, not just with patents.
“This is protectionism by deception from Microsoft and those who play along with the PR campaign (or lobbying) are hurting genuine/legitimate FOSS.”A new article from Jack Wallen  notes that Microsoft’s “consumer licensing revenue has declined by 34 percent” and goes with the headline “It’s time for Microsoft to open source Windows” (some readers sent it to us after we had found it). The problem with Wallen’s article is that it’s based on a false supposition that Microsoft cares about FOSS. Besides, it wouldn’t work. They turned Windows into spyware (see what Vista 10 became). FOSS licensing would remove all that. If it’s FOSS, people would remove these undesirable features and redistribute without them (true FOSS means they can do exactly that). Microsoft cannot afford to let this happen.
In summary, reject the idea that Microsoft is somehow “open” now. The European Union, the Indian government and even the White House now warm up to FOSS, so Microsoft is pretending to be FOSS. This is protectionism by deception from Microsoft and those who play along with the PR campaign (or lobbying) are hurting genuine/legitimate FOSS. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
Given the long wait, the SQL Server 2016 support for Linux servers seems to reflect a business tactic more than any actual love on Microsoft’s part for the open source community.
It is widely thought that SQL Server on Linux is CEO Satya Nadella’s brainchild, as the company focuses on providing top class service. Furthermore, some have even gone as far as to say that the company’s strategy regarding SQL on Linux exhibits the finest example of going where the money is, if it doesn’t come to you.
In other words, SQL Server will come to Linux, but it’s not likely to be a free, open source version.
Red Hat, which promised a few months ago to hit $2 billion in annual revenue, has done so and now claims to be the world’s first open-source company to reach that milestone. It crossed the $1 billion-a-year line four years ago.
Just think: Some people still don’t believe that you can make money from Linux and open-source software. Fools! Red Hat just became the first open-source company to make a cool 2 billion bucks.
Imagine a world in which Windows was open source. Jack Wallen believes it is now time for such a reality.