06.22.19

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

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 11:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patrick Durusau
Patrick Durusau. Source: Twitter (personal profile).

“This public orientation changed recently. As best I can figure it, on returning from a conference in Seattle in late January, Patrick was a changed man. Patrick is now an enthusiastic OOXML supporter and is eager to inform the world of his delight in OOXML at every opportunity. He posts his “open letters” on his web site, which are linked to, often within minutes, by the various Microsoft bloggers, and then sent around by Microsoft employees to the press and the various JTC1 NB’s. [...] Microsoft will not be so careful to distinguish Patrick’s personal opinions from his professional affiliations. So a post from Patrick’s personal web site is retold on a Microsoft blog as “The ODF Editor says….”, and then the next day is sent in an email to NB’s with a larger set of “endorsements”…”Rob Weir, 2008 (covered here at the time)

Summary: 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

It is difficult to forget what happened more than a decade ago, namely Patrick Durusau promoting the competition after he had met Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4] (similar to the ‘Linux’ Foundation promoting Microsoft Azure and sometimes Vista 10/WeaSeL). What would motivate something called “Linux Foundation” to help longtime opponents of GNU/Linux (who still try to sabotage GNU/Linux, e.g. by bribing officials)? Are people in key positions being bribed? Are promises made (e.g. post hoc favours)? We’ve long seen incidents like these in the European Patent Office (EPO) and it’s likely how António Campinos, for example, is being controlled (to perpetuate Battistelli’s policies, promoting software patents in Europe and so on).

“Then came a big money offer…”The other day we noted that "The Linux Foundation’s New Vice Chair, Wim Coekaerts, Worked for Microsoft" (that’s a fact); he had already served in a key position inside the Foundation, so why did Microsoft award him with a top position (Vice President)? Why did he join? We’ve asked around (people who might know because they know Coekaerts in person) and got this reply from the editor of FOSS Force. “I can’t remember all of the details,” she said, “but he was wined, dined, and seduced in a series of secret meetings in the Redmond area by two Microsofties. I wrote something about it at the time but can’t remember the details. Can’t find the article, but it’s on FOSS Force.”

She later recalled it was something she had written elsewhere and added this article from a dedicated Microsoft booster, Matt Weinberger.

“Earlier this year, Coekaerts met with Microsoft executives Scott Guthrie and Mike Neil in a Seattle-area Starbucks,” he wrote. Scott Guthrie is the man shown at the bottom with the Linux Foundation’s chief. On it goes: “So when Coekaerts, Guthrie, and Neil talked over coffee, Coekaerts was surprised to find that they actually had a lot in common, including their love of open source. Combined with the realization that he’d never really worked anywhere other than Oracle, he found himself receptive to what Microsoft was saying.”

“These tactics are described in leaked Microsoft presentations/manuals.”Then came a big money offer: “It resulted in a job offer: As of April 2016, Coekaerts, is officially Corporate VP of Enterprise Open Source at Microsoft, what he calls his “second career” after more than two decades at Oracle. And later in August, Coekaerts will be keynoting the LinuxCon mega-gathering of Linux fans worldwide, representing his new employer.”

It was then that I recalled what had happened with Durusau a very long time ago.

These tactics are described in leaked Microsoft presentations/manuals. Microsoft’s internal document [PDF] said it rather clearly. “Schmooze” is what they call it (to this date, even under Nadella!).

In their own words (as HTML):

“Any time you can make somebody feel cool, that’s good. The sig leaders are very important people. They are people who choose. They choose who speaks and who doesn’t speak at these sig conferences. They set up the agenda. They have influence over twenty, thirty, a hundred, however many people come to this sig. And however many people are on the mailing list, which is also a valuable commodity. So those sig leaders are like consultants. They are very valuable people that you want to schmooze with.”

“I don’t know if everybody recognizes that word “schmooze” there at the bottom. Schmooze is, I think, a Yiddish word. Basically it means suck up to, socialize with, take care of; love and so forth, go to dinner with, get drunk together, talk about your girlfriends and boyfriends and whatever. I mean, just socialize like crazy, and pump for information, and leak little bits of tidbits of information that think…make them feel special that they’re hearing it and work the crowd and so on. Schmoozing is a very important part of an evangelist’s job, and the better you are at it. the better, because everybody who meets you should think—you know. OK, I hate Microsoft like everybody else, I’m a good member of the Computing Society, I hate Microsoft, that’s what you have to do to get in. But, you know, I like the individual people I’ve met from Microsoft. You know, you’re all ambassadors of Microsoft, and they should…if we can’t help them hating Microsoft, at least we can have them like the individuals, and that’s a big step in the right direction.”

This hopefully helps explain scenarios like the one shown below.

Jim Zemlin, Microsoft and GitHub
Jim Schmoozemlin?

LF, Microsoft and Github
LF, Microsoft and GitHub years before the takeover (Source: Microsoft, via)

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

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. Guarding Your Privacy With E2EE: Primer

    "As with all security, there is assumed risk no matter how careful you are. There are no security guarantees but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try."



  2. Links 27/11/2020: Systemd 247 and Cockpit 233

    Links for the day



  3. A Free Speech Deficit Harms Software Freedom

    Free software and Software Freedom cannot possibly succeed if we keep accepting or even just tolerating systematic censorship of opinionated people in our community; failing to speak out on this matter (for fear of supposedly offending someone, risking expulsion) is part of the problem — complicity by passivity



  4. Perception of Difficulty

    New poem by figosdev



  5. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 26, 2020



  6. Cartoon: After Gambling With Workers' Savings the EPO Can Do Real Estate

    New EPO cartoon from EPO insiders (the one on the right certainly looks a lot like António Campinos and the one on the left can be his EUIPO ‘import’ or Benoît Battistelli‘s INPI ‘import’)



  7. Free as in Freedom Should Not be Associated With Cost

    It's important to remind people that so-called 'free' services (Clown Computing, centralised spaces that 'farm' their so-called 'users') aren't really free; we need to advocate freedom or free-as-in-freedom alternatives



  8. [Meme] UPC's Pyrrhic Victory

    Contrary to what Team UPC says, what happened earlier today is hardly a breakthrough



  9. Many Thanks to Free Software, the Demise of Software Patents (in Europe and the US), and So Much More

    On a positive note we're heading into the end of November, one month before Boxing Day; we take stock of patent affairs that impact software developers



  10. Links 26/11/2020: PHP 8.0, Proxmox VE 6.3, UNIGINE 2.13

    Links for the day



  11. 29,000 Blog Posts and Recent Site Improvements

    Over 29,000 blog posts have been posted here, but more importantly we've made the site a lot more robust and resilient, accessible in more formats and protocols (while improving transparency, too)



  12. [Meme] Trump is Out. Now It's Time to Pressure the Biden Administration/Transition Team on Software Freedom Issues.

    The Biden transition is in motion and tentative appointments are underway, based on news reports (see our Daily Links); now is the time to put pressure, e.g. in the form of public backlash, to ensure it's not just another corporate presidency



  13. Boycott ZDNet Unless You Fancy Being Lied to

    ZDNet's Catalin Cimpanu continues to lead the way with misinformation and lies, basically doing whatever he was doing to land that job at ZDNet (after he had done the same elsewhere)



  14. The UPC and Unitary Patent Song

    On goes the UPC symphony, as the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is almost here, always coming "real soon!"



  15. Open Letter to the German Greens on UPC and Software Patents: Don’t Betray Your Voters and Your Promises, or You Will Regret it

    Dear Members of the German Greens in the Bundestag. By Benjamin HENRION.



  16. [Meme] One Step Away From Replacing Patent Examiners With 'Hey Hi' (AI)

    If it's not legal for 'Hey Hi' (AI) to get a patent, why should it be legal for patents to be granted by those who are invisible (and sometimes in de facto house arrest)?



  17. European Patent Office (EPO) Reduced to 'Justice Over the Telephone' and Decree by E-mail

    The EPO is trashing the EPC and everything that the Office was supposed to stand for, as it wrongly assumes demand for monopolies (typically from foreign corporations) comes before the rule of law and Europe's public interest



  18. Making Free Software Work for Users

    The latest reply to a non-developer concerned about software freedom; guest post by figosdev



  19. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 25, 2020



  20. Links 26/11/2020: AV Linux 2020.11.23 and Blender 2.91 Release

    Links for the day



  21. Links 25/11/2020: GamerOS and Biden Transition in Motion

    Links for the day



  22. An Orwellian December

    With December around the corner and states tightening the screws on the population (or employers on employees) at least we can look forward to spring



  23. The Non-Technical (or Lesser Technical) Software User That Wants Software Freedom

    Assuming that Free software should care about what users — not only developers — really want (and need) it’s important to understand how they view the current situation (with growing waves of corporate takeover and compromises, even expulsions)



  24. The European Patent Office Should be Run by Patent Examiners (Scientists), Not Politicians

    Europe would be better off (and patent quality much improved) had people with an actual grasp of science and reality were in charge of the EPO, not a money-chasing kakistocracy (which is what we have now)



  25. Member of the EPO's Boards of Appeal Explains Why VICOs (or ViCo/Video Conferences/Virtual 'Hearings') Are Not Suitable for Justice

    It's interesting to hear (or see/read) what people inside the EPO have to say about the "new normal" when they enjoy a certain level of anonymity (to avert retribution)



  26. Open Source Initiative (OSI) Co-founder Bruce Perens: Open Invention Network (OIN) is Protecting the Software Patent System From Reform and OSI Approves Faux 'Open' Licences (Openwashing)

    Richard Stallman was right about the OSI and the fake 'movement' that claims to have 'coined' the term "Open Source" (it wasn't a new term at all; it had been used in another context and the Free software community spoke of things like "Open Hardware" years earlier)



  27. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 24, 2020



  28. Making JavaScript Suck Less

    "Other than that, the first rule of JavaScript is: Do not use JavaScript. But this article is for people who break the first rule."



  29. Microsoft 'Moles' Inside WINE Project? WINE Should Bring Windows Users to GNU/Linux, Not the Other Way Around.

    The press release above (link omitted, it was pinned in several sites) is a cause for concern; after Microsoft infiltrated OSI and the Linux Foundation (both are now GitHub boosters, in effect diverting projects to Microsoft’s proprietary monopoly) it’ll be important to watch this space



  30. Links 25/11/2020: Raspberry Pi 400 With Touchscreens, Animation Framework in GTK/GNOME

    Links for the day


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