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05.12.19

Microsoft Would Kill the Goose for Money

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 10:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Squeezing the Goose”: New York Times article (from 1972) on how “to squeeze the golden goose without killing it.”

Canada goose

Summary: Microsoft is just ‘monetising’ Open Source by using it as ‘bait’ for Microsoft’s proprietary software; those who we might expect to antagonise this have effectively been bribed by Microsoft

YESTERDAY (about half a day ago to be precise) I saw a dead Canada goose. It’s the species shown above. I was on my way back home.

My wife and I love the geese and occasionally feed them. The goose looked like it may be been hurt by a car or a human. This would not be unprecedented. People are sometimes wrongly led to assume/presume goodwill and innocence; in reality, however, malicious people do exist. They’re a fact of life (and death). Survival instincts and thus needed. Call out the “spades”.

In recent years we’ve seen pundits in Microsoft-funded ‘news’ sites saying all sorts of nonsense, which we chose not to repeat or even rebut as that would merely amplify them. These people would have us believe that “Open Source” is “winning” only if or when Microsoft is the one winning (dominating and controlling everything). WSL (pronounced WeaSeL) is one example of this.

When Microsoft began all this nonsense a week ago we wrote about its true intentions and strategy. Days later we saw James Gatto (Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP) writing something to the same effect in a couple of sites (copy here), reminding us that Microsoft-connected patent trolls are still attacking Free software. To quote “Popular Open Source Software under Patent Attack”:

Sound View Innovations is launching patent attacks against commonly used open source software including jQuery and Apache Hadoop. Sound View is targeting end users of these software components. This is a typical tactic of non-practicing patent assertion entities. Unlike some commercial software, most open source software is licensed with a disclaimer of any warranties regarding patent infringement. This makes it harder for end users to look to software publishers for indemnity. The interplay between patents and open source is often misunderstood. For clarification on some of these issues see our paper on Patent Issues with Open Source Software.

We previously wrote about how Microsoft would exploit patent trolls and “Azure IP Advantage” to convince some people to pay Microsoft “rents” or “protection money” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19]. Is this what we’re seeing right now? The person who used to speak against this, Simon Phipps, has since then declared a “truce” (in Twitter), not too long after Microsoft put a bucket of money on his group's desk (Microsoft has since then entered the Board, too). We saw the same at the Linux Foundation. We don’t view them as allies on these particular issues. They don’t compete against Microsoft; they’re with Microsoft. If they saw a dead goose somewhere (or abused/sabotaged FOSS project), they would blame anything but Microsoft. Money talks.

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