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09.14.19

Microsoft Targets GNU/Linux Advocates With Phony Charm Offensives and Fake ‘Love’

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 6:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

If you can’t get them fired, ‘charm’ them

Microsoft bullying

Summary: The ways Microsoft depresses GNU/Linux advocacy and discourages enthusiasm for Software Freedom is not hard to see; it’s worth considering and understanding some of these tactics (mostly assimilation-centric and love-themed), which can otherwise go unnoticed

Microsoft loves [to attack] Linux (usually by proxy, in ‘creative’ new ways, as internal Microsoft documents admit and have already revealed). A lot of people aren’t aware of it or in denial about it (especially those whose financial interests intersect with such a convenient denial).

This post explains three such strands of attacks, based on new articles which are only days old.

From Bought Seats to Misleading Media

“Congrats to Zemlin and the Golden Boys (money). They sell out to Microsoft so that you don’t have to (and they profit from it!).”So Microsoft bought some more seats from the Jim Zemlin-led Linux Foundation (this was announced just yesterday). Congrats to Zemlin and the Golden Boys (money). They sell out to Microsoft so that you don’t have to (and they profit from it!). As it turns out, handing over community-run projects to large corporations can be a very profitable activity. About $100,000,000 per year

Who advocates such an activity? Over the years we’ve named some of the biggest culprits, including Mac Asay, who was turning his back on Open Source to promote proprietary software openwashing. When he worked as COO at Canonical he wasn’t even using GNU/Linux! Just like Jono Bacon…

“Remember that Asay applied for a job at Microsoft and went for interviews there, by his own admission (in his personal blog).”One reader sent us a pointer to this latest article from Asay, asking us: “How did that guy worm his way into regular publication?”

“Adobe paid the publishers,” I responded. “Follow the money.”

At times his articles are published with disclosure, literally stating that they’re sponsored by his employer (at the time), Adobe. He recently moved to AWS after he had repeatedly advocated their malicious exploitation of FOSS projects — causing these projects to become proprietary. One might joke that the job offer from Amazon was a “reward” for what he did. “The US Department of Defense isn’t turning its back on open source,” he now says, “it’s just getting smarter about it.”

No, it’s becoming more proprietary and this is nothing to be celebrated! Unless you work for AWS, in which case it’s very much in tune with the whole ‘cloud’ (Clown Computing) business model. DoD is now outsourcing a lot of stuff to AWS, Asay’s employer.

“Phipps is a tough nut for Microsoft to crack (or buy). We need more like him.”Remember that Asay applied for a job at Microsoft and went for interviews there, by his own admission (in his personal blog). He later brought Microsoft to OSI (after he had gotten a seat there — a seat he no longer has).

Influence from seats in key institutions is prerequisite/prelude to entryism, which is why we were glad to see Microsoft leaving the OSI's Board some time earlier this year. This relieving news may only be temporary; judging by what Simon Phipps tweeted the other day about Stallman, he still views Microsoft as a threat. Phipps has long been resisting entryism by Microsoft, viewing that as a “submarine”…

Phipps is a tough nut for Microsoft to crack (or buy). We need more like him.

From Hate to Fake ‘Love’

If no proprietary software is tolerated by people, then openwashing with ‘fake news’ will be attempted. People who value Software Freedom will be singled out and painted as “extremists” and “zealots” (unless/until they sell out). Microsoft knows these tactics; it’s not even novel as it’s done a lot in politics. Or in religion, which is what Microsoft has become.

“If no proprietary software is tolerated by people, then openwashing with ‘fake news’ will be attempted.”Don’t get us started on Swapnil’s site (not Linux.com but his personal site, which we prefer not to link to); it is a cesspool of marketing spam and lightly-edited press releases. Linux.com is now run by these types. Thanks, “Linux” Foundation… and thank you, Microsoft, for “loving” us.

We’re not sure how many of our readers are aware of/familiar with Jason from Forbes. He’s their only writer who covers GNU/Linux. He does a pretty good job. So now Microsoft targets him…

Yes, they contacted him. Who did? Not a “Linux advocate” as Jason puts it (in his headline) but someone who helps Microsoft, i.e. Windows, Azure etc.

“Microsoft knows these tactics; it’s not even novel as it’s done a lot in politics. Or in religion, which is what Microsoft has become.”We’ve never heard his name before. He merely talks/tells a bunch of lies to Jason, e.g.: “At Microsoft, we have many statements like ‘Microsoft ❤️ Linux’ and ‘Microsoft ❤️ Open Source’, but the one that resonates with me most right now is ‘Microsoft runs on trust,’” Scott tells me.”

Scott?

Not Guthrie?

I’ve been around for a very long time (reading GNU/Linux news all day long) and not even once did I stumble upon this name. Never. He’s a faker. Like a person who climbed a mountain once and then claims to be a “mountain climber”.

What does Scott promote through Jason at Forbes? Open Source? Nope. This is proprietary software. This is Microsoft. This is surveillance. The article — to make matters even worse — comes with a lie, manufactured by Microsoft, as a feature image. The lie is embedded in pixels that are passed around like that. “Microsoft loves Linux…”

“…the way Microsoft manipulates writers into it has been documented here for years. Sometimes these writers ‘blow the whistle’ — so to speak — instead of cooperating with Microsoft.”Yeah, right!

Jason, this time you messed up! You let them manipulate you. The link (URL)? Here. In case someone wants a dose of nonsense.

Jason’s example is one of many; the way Microsoft manipulates writers into it has been documented here for years. Sometimes these writers ‘blow the whistle’ — so to speak — instead of cooperating with Microsoft.

From Openwashing to Googlebombing

What would happen if people started to associate proprietary software with “Open”? Or Windows with “Linux”? What if the vocabulary we all use ceased to have a meaningful purpose and became so ambiguous and confusing that it’s an hopeless exercise in (mis)communication? Someone has just called the above (from Jason) openwashing [1, 2]. The term “openwashing” is catching on; it helps describe what we’re talking about. It’s an attack on language itself, it’s a lexical attack vector.

Here’s an example; so there’s this thing called WSL (or WSL2). Up until recently it was just Windows calling itself “Linux”. We explained the motivation. It is a Microsoft Trojan horse strategy, using “Linux” as a Windows/Azure ‘ramp’. Watch what was published two days ago about “Windows Subsystem for Linux 2″ (it’s part of the headline, which actually entered news feeds about Linux).

“Towards the end of this past week about a quarter of the search results for “Linux” were actually Microsoft something…”The day before we learned of “Cortana and Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) improvements” (another headline) and last night “Windows 10 Preview Adds Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 on ARM64 Devices” (from Microsoft-connected media). Towards the end of this past week about a quarter of the search results for “Linux” were actually Microsoft something…

Sometimes it’s as much as a half! Like one week earlier.

Microsoft fights us with googlebombing techniques. And it may be winning. It’s working. Instead of seeing GNU/Linux wins (like the big news from Huawei) people see some Vista 10 ‘spam’. Microsoft has resorted to rather effective Trojan horse strategies. These are ‘side perks’; it’s at least partly intentional and they teach these things in marketing schools/colleges.

This is upsetting; “another spying app for Microsoft” is what my wife called this new thing (she covers Android at Tux Machines and is increasingly being presented with Microsoft proprietary surveillance stuff, which Microsoft ‘googlebombs’ Android with).

“Based on mails we’ve been receiving, there are reactionary movements in the making.”She also complained about this “Microsoft PlayReady DRM server on Linux.”

This is the type of stuff she finds when looking for “Linux” news. That’s just leveraged to promote and spread Microsoft malice and lock-in (DRM).

Understanding the game Microsoft plays is essential if we intend to tackle it. We’re merely explaining what we see. Based on mails we’ve been receiving, there are reactionary movements in the making.

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