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

09.28.17

Microsoft is Doing to ‘Open Source’ (OSI) What it Did to W3C

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 11:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”

Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

Summary: The corporate/mainstream media keeps telling us that Microsoft has changed and can now be trusted within its competition, but this media merely plays along with an expensive PR campaign which is intended to shift attention and systematically launder Microsoft’s reputation

THE OSI is responsible for the term “Open Source” and thus the FSD. Jargon and history aside, even though OSI has become pretty irrelevant (it does not do much enforcement of the brand anymore), it still represents something pretty important. It was only a matter of time before Microsoft managed to sneak in (the requirement is basically little more than a payment).

“It was only a matter of time before Microsoft managed to sneak in (the requirement is basically little more than a payment).”We are not interested in writing about Microsoft. We would rather focus on the EPO and patents in general. But seeing what happened to the mainstream media, we cannot keep silent. It not only promoted proprietary Microsoft software in “Linux” (or “open”) clothing but also engaged in rather gross revisionism and misrepresentation of the Free/Open Source software community. It’s almost as though the mainstream media now actively and consciously participates in a PR campaign.

Earlier today the head of the FSFE wrote a couple of tweets. The first one said: “Microsoft is doing a mini-”survey” @OpenSourceLx on their “relationship” with Linux.”

Notice the tongue in cheek-like tone. “Send me your answers,” he wrote, “I’ll use the best ones.”

“Watch what Microsoft does with patents and see what it is doing in Munich, too. There’s no doubt about it; Microsoft attacks GNU/Linux.”“Finally got round to filling in the Microsoft survey,” he wrote later (there are photos with these tweets).

As one can tell, FSFE does not like Microsoft and people out there don’t like Microsoft either. But based on what the mainstream media tells us, we’re supposed to think or believe otherwise. Hence the necessity of this post. Watch what Microsoft does with patents and see what it is doing in Munich, too. There’s no doubt about it; Microsoft attacks GNU/Linux.

The mainstream media, conveniently enough, rarely writes about these attacks. It certainly looks the other way every time Microsoft sends some patent trolls to attack rivals. What happened to investigative, independent journalism? No money in it?

The mainstream media was certainly right on the scene to mention Microsoft joining (i.e. paying) the OSI. We posted links to many articles about it; it’s in our daily links (with some accompanying commentary). It went further with all these ridiculous characterisations of Microsoft as an “Open Source company” which now “loves Linux”. Obviously a lot of people out there raised their eyebrows and shrugged. “This isn’t true,” they said to themselves. The media, moreover, tried to get across the message that FOSS geeks are now “OK” with Microsoft. Even Tim Bray wrote a post to that effect the other day (we argued about it and he eventually accepted my point).

“As these lies keep spreading around the Web people might be misled and therefore a rebuttal may be needed, not just in commenting sections/replies (almost all the comments we have seen are against Microsoft as readers are rejecting the assertions made by the articles’ authors).”Geeks are not “OK” with Microsoft, but a lot of marketing is supposed to give us the impressions that things have changed and only “radicals” still “hate” (they use that word to describe reactionary distrust) Microsoft. Today we even saw LWN writing about it, linking to the party which Microsoft has just paid (obviously it can only say positive things; it’s being paid to do that).

As these lies keep spreading around the Web people might be misled and therefore a rebuttal may be needed, not just in commenting sections/replies (almost all the comments we have seen are against Microsoft as readers are rejecting the assertions made by the articles’ authors). The media keeps writing about it, even today [1, 2], so it’s hard to keep track of all the nonsense and rebut it all in one place. It’s now scattered everywhere. In one example from today Microsoft and/or gullible reporters are trying to reframe “Linux” as just a “feature” of Windows. How about this for a headline today?

On Windows, PowerShell vs. Bash comparison gets interesting

We are saddened to see this. So is Richard Stallman, who is reading Techrights and recently had the opportunity to comment (in the mainstream media) on things like the above.

Microsoft PR money (or covert ‘bribes’) to supposedly FOSS-centric organisations can show that we’re not any more immune/robust to subversion than W3C was (the DRM crisis). “Microsoft loves Linux” is nothing but an expensive PR campaign designed to disguise/distract from a patent attacks (like the Novell deal of 2006). I spent many years of my life refuting their lies about that.

“Microsoft PR money (or covert ‘bribes’) to supposedly FOSS-centric organisations can show that we’re not any more immune/robust to subversion than W3C was (the DRM crisis).”As I put it yesterday, I had stopped writing articles about Microsoft a few years back. But I find it hard when they (1) attack GNU/Linux secretly and (2) bribe media for PR. Meanwhile, Microsoft is blackmailing GNU/Linux for billions of dollars; what does the media say? Hey, let’s focus on millions of dollars it invests in W3C-type entryism and frame it as “altruistic”.

This morning we saw Mike Milinkovich‏ (Eclipse Foundation chief) linking to this article. Responses to apologists of this move are more revealing than the apologists. Just see the comments; “since Microsoft is now paying your foundation,” I told him, “you would rather think it won’t stab you in the back like it did W3C” (the DRM thing).

“Now they have effectively kill[ed] the web, they move on to OSS,” one comment said.

“No amount of sponsorship will make the Halloween documents from Microsoft disappear down the memory hole,” said another comment. “This is just another EEE play” (Embrace, Extend, Extinguish).

“Meanwhile, Microsoft is blackmailing GNU/Linux for billions of dollars; what does the media say? Hey, let’s focus on millions of dollars it invests in W3C-type entryism and frame it as “altruistic”.”I added: “How can we ignore Microsoft blackmailing Free software and GNU/Linux using software patents in 2017?”

Citing a famous video that we used before, another person wrote [1, 2]: “Sir Humphrey Appleby explains why Microsoft is joining the Open Source Initiative: You have to get behind someone in order to stab them in the back. Windows and Office are proprietary. Microsoft doesn’t respect user freedom” (or even openness).

In 2017 Microsoft’s strategy is:

  1. Pass patents to trolls.
  2. Blackmail/’monetise’ GNU/Linux
  3. Bring money to LF/OSI/Linux OEMs
  4. “That’ll keep em quiet!” (3)

Microsoft is now behaving like Monsanto or Saudi Arabia. It now gives money to those who criticised it and pays the media to commission ‘articles’ (PR) while gagging itself when it comes to criticism (biting the hand that feeds). Quite a few writers who cover GNU/Linux now need to wear a badge (or add a disclosure) to the effect of (partly) “Microsoft-funded” because those who pay them to write articles are receiving a lot of money from Microsoft. That includes the Linux Foundation, which sometimes ‘forgets’ to add disclosures.

Based on comments that I have seen online (not so-called ‘journalists’ paid/commissioned by Microsoft-funded organisations), people aren’t falling for the PR campaign. Not many people bother reading comments, however, so the PR might still be effective.

“Paying the media to relay messages (and sometimes graphics/banners) like “Microsoft loves Linux” may be a waste of money.”Microsoft will learn the hard way that GNU/Linux users aren’t stupid enough (or stupid as Microsoft needs them to be). Maybe MBAs who make technology choices are sometimes gullible enough, but not technical people. Paying the media to relay messages (and sometimes graphics/banners) like “Microsoft loves Linux” may be a waste of money. It sometimes only angers if not enrages those who truly care about — not merely exploit — GNU/Linux.

Here is one comment from Phoronix:

Microsoft is charging Android manufacturers $1B/yr for Linux patents, and giving a couple million back in PR (and to keep that revenue stream going). And if you don’t think that Microsoft’s lawyers are working on figuring out how its contributions in software and dollars can be used to claim ownership, then you’re probably too young to remember the thousands of companies that Microsoft consumed to get where it is. Remember, patent law allowed a company to take away the lawn string trimmer (“Weed Eater”) from the man that invented it. It’s not about logic or what’s right, it’s what lawyers do.

Whatever you read about Microsoft these days, be careful. They’re pouring a lot of money into PR and a charm offensive. They are literally paying to relay lies about themselves. There’s a whole industry which does just that and in the US alone it’s valued at over a trillion dollars.

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

What Else is New


  1. The European Patent Office Remains a Crooked Patent Office That Harms Staff and Abolishes the Rule of Law

    The EPO remains a sordid mess, but those who follow mainstream media might not know anything about it because it's not covered anywhere in 2019



  2. USPTO and EPO Faking Growth by Granting Patents on Everything in Nature, But Campaigners Strike Back

    The patent microcosm is eating the world; everything under the Sun must be patented, they insist, even life itself (so they can 'pirate' the Commons and then charge us a tax for 'access' or 'license' to it)



  3. IBM Happy That Patent Quality at EPO Collapsed and It's Easy to Get Software Patents

    The EPO keeps granting illegal European Patents and the media almost never mentions this illegality because it's in too amicable a relationship (typically financial) with the EPO



  4. The Linux Foundation's Staff Uses Windows and Microsoft. Now the Foundation Outsources the Coding and Hosting, Too (to Microsoft of Course).

    The disturbing turns of the self-described "Linux" Foundation, which seems to be promoting proprietary software and even Microsoft rather than Linux and Free/Open Source software while the role or capacity of Torvalds is being gradually diminished



  5. Links 25/6/2019: Raspberry Pi 4, Ubuntu's Change of Mind, Wayland’s Weston 6.0.1

    Links for the day



  6. Patent Extremism: Stacking the Panels, the Surveys, the Hearings, the Debates

    Projection tactics would have the public believe that those who oppose corruption are simply radicals; patent polarity has come to the point where if one isn't a "true believer" in blackmail (patent trolls) or opposes bribery, then one is simply a "fringe" and akin to terrorists



  7. Links 24/6/2019: Linux 5.2 RC6, Skrooge 2.20.0, ZFS vs. OpenZFS

    Links for the day



  8. The EPO Needs a President Who Obeys the Law, Not One Who Obeys Battistelli

    Succession based on nepotism at Europe's second-largest institution served to shown how inherently broken things had become and why cover-up of injustices is nowadays paramount (not fixing the flaws/ills but merely perpetuating them)



  9. With Water (Treatment) Already Patented It Won't Take Long for Patents (and Patent Royalties) on Air

    A 'paper economy' is what Europe turns into if the current trajectory is followed (led by lawyers, not producers)



  10. Bill Gates Said He Was on a “Jihad” Against GNU/Linux, But GNU/Linux Users/Developers Engaged in Self-Defense Are Foul-Mouthed 'Microsoft Haters'?

    Microsoft, which routinely commits very serious crimes, tries to come across as some sort of philanthropy whereas those who share their work with the public (for greater good) are described as erratic, rude and unworthy of respect from corporations (outcasts basically, deprived of income source)



  11. What Patents the EPO Has Just Awarded (With a Special Reward), Not Just Granted

    The EPO's practice of elevating some patents over the other patents (European Patents) is perhaps more of a societal liability than the EPO cares to realise



  12. Required Reading: Mental State of Team Battistelli/Campinos

    On the heels of yesterday's article about Team Battistelli/Campinos, here are some recommended/required papers on the problem which likely plagues the Office



  13. Links 23/6/2019: Wine 4.11, FreeBSD 11.3 RC2

    Links for the day



  14. Microsoft Apparently Did a Patrick Durusau on Wim Coekaerts to Broaden Its Control Over GNU/Linux

    Microsoft tactics for defection and takeover of the competition (without coming across as hostile) aren't new tactics; internal documents from Microsoft explain how to achieve this



  15. EPO Directors Would be Wise to Rebel Against Team Campinos While They Still Have the Job

    As the EPO continues its bold journey towards dictatorship (where presidencies are passed between friends and ‘circles’ are former colleagues or close confidants) Techrights urges those who have power to speak out — e.g. EPO judges and Directors — to do something before it’s too late



  16. American Front Group Open Invention Network (Riding the Linux Brand) is a Proponent of Software Patents in Europe

    The impact of American multinationals in Europe is difficult to deny; in fact, we're observing the same old lobbying/lobbies still working hard albeit more covertly (typically using front groups)



  17. Say 'Hey Hi' to Software Patents

    Using the “AI” (“HEY HI”) hype the ‘community’ of patent maximalists hopes that every little (and possibly very old) algorithm will suddenly sound amazing and innovative — to the point where it becomes unthinkable to deny a patent monopoly on it



  18. A Personal Note From Ted MacReilly (How Microsoft Works Against GNU/Linux)

    A tongue-in-cheek write-up highlighting the ways Microsoft insiders think and how they strategise against GNU/Linux and Free/libre software



  19. The Linux Foundation's New Vice Chair, Wim Coekaerts, Worked for Microsoft

    The Linux Foundation is boosting the Microsoft boosters and calls that "community"



  20. Links 21/6/2019: GNOME 3.33.3, 32-Bit Support Further Neglected, DragonFlyBSD 5.6.1 Released

    Links for the day



  21. Leaked: Harassment of EPO Directors by Team Campinos

    “New BIT organisation and staff changes,” a novel kind of newspeak, means that Directors are being severely punished without due process at all (“hidden disciplinary measure without disciplinary proceedings”)



  22. Patent Professionals in Europe Have Devolved Into a Marketing Industry

    Lies, buzzwords and hype waves is all that the patent bubble in Europe boils down to these days; loads of bogus patents get granted only for European judges to smack these down (if one can afford the court battle)



  23. Almost Six Months After Iancu Said He Would Make Software Patents Great Again Nothing Has Actually Changed

    We're just a fortnight away from the ludicrous plan of Iancu celebrating 6 months (without accomplishing anything)



  24. Links 20/6/2019: Kubernetes 1.15, Alpine 3.10.0 and Librem 5 June Software Update

    Links for the day



  25. Ignore the EPO's Dumb Festival and Focus on the Abuses Against the Workforce and Its Quality of Work

    Don’t lose sight of the appalling behaviour of the management of the EPO; the last thing it wants is press coverage about its gross abuses and corruption — an aspect it spent literally millions of euros to bury (gaming the news cycle)



  26. Microsoft Attempting to Destroy the Careers of Its Critics, Including Free Software Proponents

    Microsoft isn't changing and has not changed; the tactics described above are still being used, even by its "Open Source" (or "Open at Microsoft") people, who did this to me



  27. Links 19/6/2019: Linux Mint Vs Vista 10, Qt 5.13 Released

    Links for the day



  28. The Linux Foundation's Business Model

    The Linux Foundation's plan, illustrated



  29. Links 18/6/2019: i386 Abandoned by Canonical and a New osquery 'Community'

    Links for the day



  30. Indifference or Even Hostility Towards Patent Quality Results in Grave Injustice

    The patent extravaganza in Europe harms small businesses the most (they complain about it), but administrative staff at patent offices only cares about the views of prolific applicants rather than the interests of citizens in respective countries


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

Recent Posts