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09.06.19

Microsoft’s Plan for Linux is to Make it Proprietary Software With ‘Surveillance Capitalism’

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 12:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Embrace, extend, and extinguish
Reference: Embrace, extend, and extinguish

Summary: Microsoft’s strategy seems to be working; it’s hoping to devour Linux and buy off most Free software repositories without actually becoming a different company (just more of the same and worse)

THIS site spent 2019 writing a great deal about Microsoft entryism inside Linux. It’s all about control. This was the plan all along. It’s about controlling one’s opposition — not a novel strategy at Microsoft (look what they did to Novell 13 years ago).

Having just called on people to “boycott Azure,” Benjamin Henrion (best known for his activism against software patents) wrote: “Microsoft “open source” strategy is only targeted at selling more Azure cloud minutes (hyperv/docker/linux/azure/kubernetes/etc…).”

“Fedora hasn’t been particularly active lately and we’re sceptical of IBM’s plan for it.”Obviously. Is it working? To some degree, yes…

Red Hat is again publishing articles about Windows as if it’s abandoning GNU/Linux, at least as a desktop/laptop platform (or longterm goal). Fedora hasn’t been particularly active lately and we’re sceptical of IBM’s plan for it.

The people who control Linux.com, a site that promotes a lot of Microsoft and Windows after everyone associated with the site got laid off (back in April), take note of the fact that the Linux Foundation has just outsourced to Microsoft (GitHub) yet another one of its projects. Linux.com itself has just bumped up this article after Google outsourced to Microsoft (GitHub, NSA PRISM) one of its privacy-washing projects. Sober people certainly know it’s not really about privacy but more of an openwashing publicity stunt from Google (like the Foundation calling surveillance companies “Confidential”). Google treats privacy as a business risk. Google profits from lack of privacy. Android, for instance, is more about data harvesting than about Linux or AOSP.

“Google treats privacy as a business risk. Google profits from lack of privacy.”Looking elsewhere, Electronic Design wrote just over a week ago about “A Linux-to-Cloud IoT Solution the Microsoft Way” and Linux Gizmos has just posted this article (from former Linux Foundation/Linux.com staff) that says: “Microsoft announced a $249 “Vision AI Developer Kit” with an 8MP, 4K camera that runs Linux on Qualcomm’s 10nm, AI-enabled QCS603 SoC.”

Using Linux to feed Microsoft surveillance and back doors would not be unprecedented. Linux.com, which is all about Microsoft, obviously promoted this some hours ago, adding links to Microsoft.com.

Is Linux.com a feeder of Microsoft.com and, if so, what does that make Linux?

Sayak Boral also wrote some hours ago “An Introduction to IoT Plug and Play by Microsoft” (in a site focused on devices).

“This is ‘Surveillance Capitalism’ at work.”Microsoft wants not only to ‘swallow’ Linux (with its APIs and ‘cloud’) but also to swallow lots of data, i.e. conduct surveillance , through Linux…

In this article’s own words: “Microsoft has recently launched a new offering called IoT Plug and Play for its Azure ecosystem. IoT Plug and Play is a first-of-its-kind device integration model which allows you to use off-the-shelf, smart devices that have been preapproved by Microsoft.”

This is ‘Surveillance Capitalism’ at work. This data collection is Microsoft’s new ‘business’…

There’s meanwhile an extremely misleading story/narrative Microsoft is trying very hard to construct in order to sell the lie that it’s “open” while it’s pushing loads of proprietary software, surveillance, and making billions of dollars (crates of money) — using software patents it lobbies for — with back room OEM ‘deals’. Microsoft is throwing seemingly endless budget at telling us it “loves” what it’s attacking; this is the biggest ploy since telling us that a famous, sociopathic criminal is a hero saving the world. Money does not buy truth, but it does, however, buy the media.

“There’s meanwhile an extremely misleading story/narrative Microsoft is trying very hard to construct in order to sell the lie that it’s “open” while it’s pushing loads of proprietary software, surveillance, and making billions of dollars (crates of money) — using software patents it lobbies for — with back room OEM ‘deals’.”About a year ago Microsoft invited Zemlin to its own event in Israel, compelling him to say 'back' that “Open Source loves Microsoft” (a Microsoft executive filmed it, seemingly took it out of context by removing the context, then uploaded it to YouTube from his account). Almost exactly one year before Microsoft invited Richard Stallman (RMS) to its campus.

“Hell reputed to have freezed over,” one Microsoft apologist wrote, citing a Microsoft booster. “Only if RMS had said something pro-Microsoft,” I replied, “which isn’t the case…”

Microsoft is playing a game here, and it might even pull that stunt off.

Simon Phipps‏ (OSI) wrote last night: “I bet @schestowitz will have an interesting take on the latest FLOSS luminary to go to Redmond.”

We wrote about it yesterday after we had seen Microsoft apologists twisting it.

“Stallman’s visit was a sign of weakness, in my humble opinion, not of strength.”Henrion responded to Phipps‏: “‘Permissists’ were only interested in ‘making software proprietary again’ :-)”

Do note tha Mary Jo Foley wasn’t at the RMS talk. Someone from Microsoft — likely the PR department — gave her a ‘prepared’ piece after they had invited RMS. Only she covered it, so they control the narrative (e.g. we “listen to Freedom…” or “RMS is OK with Microsoft”).

Here’s what The Register wrote a few hours ago:

When a frantic group of paranormal researchers were trying to convince the Mayor of New York of the impending apocalypse depicted in the 1984 flick Ghostbusters, they described the situation as a disaster of Biblical proportions.

[...]

They might also have warned of the dire possibility of Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman speaking at Microsoft.

It was a historical possibility at least, if not a likely one: Stallman launched the GNU Project, which led to the free software movement, in 1983, around the time Ghostbusters was being made, though his work at the time was not appreciated widely enough for the reference to make sense.

Microsoft apologists leap at this to justify their views — as if to say “Microsoft is OK now…”

Stallman’s visit was a sign of weakness, in my humble opinion, not of strength.

“At the same time Microsoft tries to control most of Free software by buying the proprietary GitHub, then playing ‘FOSS police’.”Watch out. Microsoft has not changed. It’s a spying operation whose emerging/emergent business model is spying for governments, military work, and imperial censorship. Moreover, all the core products are proprietary software. They just want a bunch of “Linux” and “GNU” people to give the impression they’re ‘cool’ with all that. At the same time Microsoft tries to control most of Free software by buying the proprietary GitHub, then playing 'FOSS police'.

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