09.10.19

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Microsoft Uses the Word “Linux” to Promote Privacy-Infringing Proprietary Software and Spread FUD

Posted in Deception, FUD, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Marketing, Microsoft at 12:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Promises to give malicious software to GNU/Linux are just a PR stunt and opportunism

Linux malware: is it so hard to get it right?
Reference: “Linux malware: is it so hard to get it right?” (article by Sam Varghese about typical and routine misinformation from Catalin Cimpanu, whom ZDNet hired to attack Linux in intellectually-dishonest ways)

Summary: The discussion about “Linux” is being saturated if not replaced by misinformation and marketing of Linux’s competition — owing largely to googlebombing tactics that the Linux Foundation participates in rather than tackle

THE word or the name “Linux” is losing its value; it gets associated with the very competition of Linux (what’s inherently antithetical to it) and with lots of negative things, such as “ransom”. This is all very much deliberate; internal Microsoft documents reveal this to be part of the company’s strategy — a fact that does not seem to bother the Linux Foundation, guardian of the trademark “Linux” (nowadays the brand is already being hijacked by a drag queen singer, but that’s another issue and we don’t want to add links*).

“Their writer whom they hired from Bleeping Computer (which was already a notorious site at the time because of intentional FUD) calls unrelated-to-Linux issues “Linux” and spreads such FUD regularly.”There might be enforcement, but we’re not seeing evidence of it.

Security FUD Every Day

On the issue of security (negative press) we wrote as recently as yesterday. ZDNet plays a considerable role in this; it’s owned by CBS, which is paid by Microsoft. Their writer whom they hired from Bleeping Computer (which was already a notorious site at the time because of intentional FUD) calls unrelated-to-Linux issues “Linux” and spreads such FUD regularly. Unskilled writers copy that troll from ZDNet (last night we saw “New ransomware strain appears to target Linux web servers” — the fourth such article that parrots ZDNet; here’s another with “Linux” in the headline). There was a similar article about Exim a few days ago. This started at the anti-FOSS propaganda site ZDNet and our latest Daily Links include this. It “repeats the FUD headline from ZDNet’s Bleeping Computer hire,” as we noted last night, but “no server is known to have been compromised by this yet. They dramatise this.”

“…ZDNet constantly bombards “Linux” with all this negative publicity and then spreads that elsewhere; even if Linux itself isn’t at fault (sometimes it’s down to weak passwords or some piece of software that can run on top of GNU/Linux, just like Photoshop can run on Windows).”Does the Foundation have no plan to rebut these things? First of all, Exim doesn’t run on GNU/Linux or “Linux” per se; it runs on lots of environments and it is not part of “Linux” (or even GNU). But ZDNet constantly bombards “Linux” with all this negative publicity and then spreads that elsewhere; even if Linux itself isn’t at fault (sometimes it’s down to weak passwords or some piece of software that can run on top of GNU/Linux, just like Photoshop can run on Windows).

Linux is Microsoft

Yesterday afternoon we saw a Microsoft propaganda (PR) site Windows Central publishing this article: “It’s official: Microsoft Teams is coming to Linux”

“Does the Foundation have no plan to rebut these things?”Well, “is coming to Linux” is not even “has come to Linux” (that will be another googlebombing opportunity, some time in the future).

As a side note, we saw almost identical reports back in summer. So it’s not even news!

This is what currently dominates news feeds about “Linux” — starting with a site called Windows Central about NSA surveillance and proprietary software from Microsoft. It’s about mere intent. That’s all. That’s also just what GNU/Linux users get away from. It’s a deterrent; it’s off-putting.

Calling oneself “open” for porting proprietary software with Microsoft surveillance to another platform is laughable.

That’s merely spreading non-open things, which makes them worse.

Phoronix wrote moments later: “Microsoft Teams Is Coming To Linux”

“Calling oneself “open” for porting proprietary software with Microsoft surveillance to another platform is laughable.”As if this is what GNU/Linux users actually wanted or needed…

Then joined Softpedia News (Marius Nestor) and Microsoft (Mary Jo Foley) at ZDNet, Microsoft’s longtime propaganda mill (there are payments involved) along with other Microsoft-connected sites.

Once again you search for “Linux” news and all you get is proprietary software with Microsoft surveillance in the results.

Linux Foundation Part of the Problem

“With Microsoft spamming about “Linux” maybe there is a matter of trademark dilution or similar risks,” one person told us. Other people do notice.

“What is the Linux Foundation good for if it won’t even bother with the most basic trademark protections?”“You’ve pointed out something similar for Open Source,” the person continued, “even though it is not a trademark. IIRC Bruce Perens tried but was denied, which can work to everyone’s advantage when making bids for government contracts.”

In the case of Open Source we call that “openwashing” and at times we’ve also spoken of “Linuxwashing” (falsely associating oneself with Linux).

“Back to Linux,” the person concluded, “could/would/should Linus drop the LF [Linux Foundation] and take his code and his trademarks elsewhere? He wouldn’t do it himself, but if someone at the top did the leg work, I expect he might consider it.”

What is the Linux Foundation good for if it won’t even bother with the most basic trademark protections? Additionally, look what it did to Linux.com (after firing all the staff back in April). It sometimes feels like it’s more about Microsoft and proprietary software than about Linux.
____
* In recent months and as recently as days ago articles showed up in the news about a singer who goes by the name “Linux” (and promotes self by “Linux”). That has nothing at all to do with Linux, the kernel, and this likely merits trademark enforcement.

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