“Our products just aren’t engineered for security.”
–Brian Valentine, Microsoft executive
Summary: Following the familiar pattern of FOSS FUD, wherein we see Microsoft partners badmouthing FOSS over “security” (ignoring much worse problems in proprietary software), FOSS gets widely bashed in the British media
MICROSOFT has made many back doors available for the FBI and for the NSA. We have covered this for over half a decade and given concrete examples. Our next post will give yet another new example.
So, how does Microsoft have the audacity to tell us — usually by proxy — that Free software is not secure? Yes, Free software has some bugs (not many are critical), but Microsoft software is insecure by design. There are lots of back doors in Windows XP, for example, but the British NHS, which holds medical records (highly sensitive) of tens of millions of people (including my family), continues using it based on this new report:
Many UK NHS Trusts are at risk of missing the extended cut-off deadline for Windows XP support in April 2015, according to the results of several Freedom of Information requests by software firm Citrix.
Although the government acquired a support extension, the FOI request found that the trusts have been slow to make the transition, or are simply unsure when their transition would be complete.
Why on Earth are they not migrating to GNU/Linux yet? I have been part of British migrations to GNU/Linux, both in the private sector and government, and all I can say is that it always works. Not only does it save money but it also produces more secure and more stable systems.
“Entertaining more of that nonsense about FOSS being less secure than platforms with back doors or about Microsoft loving the competition that hurts it the most is probably a waste of time.”Trend Micro littering the British press at the moment with anti-FOSS messages that promote Microsoft, not mentioning back doors. We need not link to any examples because there are many of them this afternoon, but we have confronted Trend Micro UK and publications that gave it a platform today. So has the President of the OSI. Trend Micro has a FOSS-hostile track record, so it hasn’t been too surprising.
Speaking of poor journalism that’s actually PR in disguise, watch what IDG is doing right now. A new article by Eric Knorr of InfoWorld (editor), perhaps infatuated/in love with his sponsor (ads), repeats Microsoft's lie that it loves Linux
Entertaining more of that nonsense about FOSS being less secure than platforms with back doors or about Microsoft loving the competition that hurts it the most is probably a waste of time. The next post will show another back door that Microsoft deliberately put it its common carrier. █
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Summary: Unified Patents — not just Lex Machina — claims a sharp drop in patent lawsuits and patent boosters try to characterise this as a trend pertaining to patent trolls even though it is about software patents, irrespective of the nature of their ‘holder’
CONTRARY to claims that come from lawyers (patent profiteers), the SCOTUS determination not only affects patent trolls; it truly affects software patents, which many trolls just happen to use the most.
“Claims of decrease in litigation now come not just from one source.”Claims of decrease in litigation now come not just from one source. It was Lex Machina (headed by Mark Lemley, the famed Professor of Law) that initially claimed a sharp drop in patent lawsuits following the SCOTUS ruling that achieved so much more than the previous software patents decision (the Bilski case).
Patent maximalists portray this only as a loss for patent trolls: [via]
Further evidence of a dramatic slowdown in patent litigation activity in the United States is provided today in data published by Unified Patents, the entity whose business is based on helping SMEs fight frivolous patent suits. According to the research, which covers the third quarter of this year (June to September), there was a 23% drop in the number of suits filed compared to the second quarter, and a 27% year-on-year reduction.
Unified Patents is another, separate source of data and its findings are similar to those of Lex Machina. Still, the problem is that the patent maximalists paint is as a matter regarding patent trolls, even though it is about litigation in general (including from giant troll-like entities, e.g. Microsoft).
One might make a guess here and assert that patent lawyers are very, very worried that they might be losing business. █
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Summary: Microsoft’s outrageous claim that it really “loves” that which it is constantly attacking gets rejected by Free/Open Source software (FOSS) luminaries; the Microsoft-friendly media continues the charm offensive nonetheless
THE CONTAGIOUS NEWS HEADLINES may still repeat and endlessly tell us all about Microsoft's lies -- something along the lines of Microsoft 'loving' Linux when it is perfectly clear that Microsoft as a whole is not 'loving' Linux but hating is with a great passion.
Here in Techrights we are not gullible enough to repeat these lies, unlike Microsoft propaganda sites, e.g. this nonsense from Microsoft MVP Rob Trent, pretending that Microsoft supports Linux. Simon Phipps, the OSI’s President, is not gullible enough either. After debating with him in Twitter he came up with this article titled “Microsoft ‘loves’ Linux? Then stop attacking open source”. It states:
According to Satya Nadella, Microsoft loves Linux. He said as much, complete with pictures — and his team backs him up. In itself, it’s a remarkable statement.
Nadella’s predecessor, Steve Ballmer, described open source in the darkest terms, characterizing it (with the GNU GPL) as a commercial cancer and never retracting the slur. In many ways, that dark prophecy has come true for Microsoft, which has seen its rent-seeking business model steadily eroded by open source. Though it still has a cash cow to milk, Microsoft’s monopolies no longer frighten anyone.
Microsoft carries a much greater burden of mistrust, arising from two decades of attacks on open source in general and Linux in particular, which makes its challenge even more formidable. Seasonally appropriate, the Halloween Documents show Microsoft’s former internal thinking. It planned both business strategies and tactical dirty tricks to destroy the reputation of open source. While their public statements made no secret of the contempt with which it held open source, the Halloween Documents disclosed a depth of treachery that few suspected prior to their publication.
Today Microsoft has a major business unit asking its new CEO to declare love for Linux. That public stance is extremely welcome. But how can we know the current internal thinking? I asked Microsoft for an interview to discuss its love for Linux, as well as the potential of joining OIN. The response: “Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate your request at this time.”
Phipps uses a similar analogy to the one I used last month (and the one he used in Twitter). He says: “The evidence suggests Microsoft “loves” Linux the same way abusive partners “love” their spouses — a deep need in one area of the relationship that changes nothing elsewhere.”
“OK,” says our reader iophk about the above, “but ESR’s home of the Halloween Documents is better than Wikipedia any day.”
Sam Dean, who typically helps the Nadella-washing and openwashing of Microsoft, correctly asks
http://ostatic.com/blog/does-microsofts-new-love-for-open-source-extend-beyond-the-cloud-team” title=”Does Microsoft’s New Love for Open Source Extend Beyond the Cloud Team?”>”Does Microsoft’s New Love for Open Source Extend Beyond the Cloud Team?” (love of extortion, profit and control over GNU/Linux)
He refers to Phipps article and says: “Simon Phipps, who is one of the world’s leading experts on all things open source, has examined Microsoft’s purported change of heart in a new column for InfoWorld. And, on a timely note, Phipps even reminds us of “The Halloween Documents”–a series of confidential Microsoft memoranda on potential strategies relating to open source and Linux that got leaked in 1998.
“It’s worth remembering The Halloween Documents and the far reaching impact that the leaking of them had. As just one example of their influence, one of the memos was reportedly sent to the attention of senior vice-president Paul Maritz, and the memo characterized Linux as a giant threat to Microsoft’s operating system dominance. Maritz, of course, went on to run VMware for several years, so Microsoft’s historical opposition to open source likely didn’t stay confined to its own walls.”
Finally he ends this post about Microsoft with a sceptical, cautious view: “But the cloud computing division doesn’t define Microsoft. The company needs to change its stance on open source from the top down, and while Satya Nadella appears to have respect for open source, his vision statement never mentions open source or Linux, which Phipps says is “slightly strange considering their centrality to his future, but a good sign in as much as nothing bad is said.”
“In a response to my recent post asking whether Microsoft’s stance has truly changed, one reader sent the following succinct response: “Yeah, no. This is the ‘embrace’ stage of Microsoft’s classic strategy.” That, too, could be true.”
Susan Linton, who works with Sam Dean, asked, “didn’t we hear all this changing of heart stuff before?”
Microsoft clearly does not love GNU/Linux. Anyone who believes it for a second says a lot about oneself. Here, for example, is a new example from a current Microsoft employee, Mr. Perlow. Ridiculously enough, he works for the CBS-owned ZDNet at the same time that he works for Microsoft] (not the only such example that makes ZDNet an utter joke which also takes money from the backdoors provider Cisco to post a pure ad as an ‘article’). As one can see in Perlow’s latest article, there is bashing of WordPress & Drupal, using ‘security’, even though Perlow’s employer, Microsoft, releases widely-used software with perpetual back doors. That’s just one new example of hypocritical FOSS bashing from Microsoft staff, so who can possibly pretend that Microsoft has changed?
To say that Microsoft likes FOSS one would usually have to simply lie. Here is an ugly example of a lie from fedscoop.com. It is appalling openwashing by a site that claims to be ‘news’, trying to pretend that Microsoft proprietary spyware is “open source”. Complete nonsense in this article (part of a Microsoft propaganda campaign) says: “Microsoft is quickly emerging as a major leader for open source.”
Really?! What is this, a joke? The headline says “Microsoft helping government embrace open source programming”. So yes, it’s a joke. fedscoop.com is scooping up Microsoft’s propaganda and some fools may actually swallow it. This is completely disconnected from the truth; it’s when white means black and vice verse. Any complete nonsense that says Microsoft is “a major leader for open source” must be part of a propaganda campaign. Or maybe written by Microsoft partners/proxies.
The Microsoft-funded The Register has another disturbing news piece that goes along the lines of “Open XML”, trying to pretend Office is “open” and that proprietary Office formats are “open”. Richard Chirgwin from The Register is now openwashing Office 365 (surveillance plus proprietary software) using the classic APIs spin that we wrote about in 2009 and again in 2010. O’Reilly used this openwashing strategy, assisting Microsoft’s propaganda after getting paid by Microsoft.
Here is a new example which follows the openwashing strategy of Facebook. A Microsoft-friendly site ended up openwashing a surveillance platform of Microsoft, resorting to gross misuse of the brand “Open Source” as it relates to putting together hardware.
“In the City of Love, Microsoft Courts Open Source,” says one final example, but perhaps by “courts” it means “embraces” to extend and then extinguish. The article contains the famous new lie: “Last week, at a Microsoft event promoting its cloud business and future, Ballmer’s successor, Satya Nadella, came out and said it: “Microsoft loves Linux.” He followed this up with an interview in Wired magazine, where he said now is the time to put old battles behind.”
Yes, that is the same Microsoft which uses racketing, extortion and blackmail against GNU/Linux and FOSS. It is bribing its way into pretence of friendship, e.g. by paying conference organisers and media/sites. While the lies continue to saturate the media those who are not influenced by money or partnerships can fortunately still discern truth from fiction. Some actors out there are in the business of reality distortion. █
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In Microsoft’s own words:
Summary: The sheer absurdity of claims that Microsoft — which not only attacks those who distribute Linux and GNU but also blackmails them, takes them to court, or bricks their products without any liability — ‘loves’ Linux
A followup on the story about Windows Update essentially bricking Linux devices (peripheral to the PC) is proving to be rather spooky. Nobody was going to court; people can apparently just brick hardware deliberately, without due process and without facing consequences for such destructive actions.
“Nobody was going to court; people can apparently just brick hardware deliberately, without due process and without facing consequences for such destructive actions.”The curious thing here is the leeway it gives for Microsoft to brick installations of GNU and Linux, even if the ‘alien’ system is in its own partition. While some journalists are repeating Microsoft's lies about Microsoft 'loving' Linux we already know damn well that Microsoft hates GNU and Linux to the point of preventing sales of PCs with anything other than Windows, except perhaps in Italy owing to a top court’s latest ruling.
How is bricking people’s devices that are powered by Linux somehow acceptable or even legal now? It is done via Windows Update, which means that Microsoft now bricks Linux installations, whether unintentionally or intentionally (or somewhere in between). Will Microsoft also screw with the MBR/bootloader claiming that Free software infringes on its ‘IP’?
The sad thing is that some pro-FOSS people are easily fooled (maybe willfully) into saying that “Microsoft loves Linux” (it can also be found in the Linux Foundation’s Web site). “Read it all the way through,” told me one of them. “They love Linux because of $s not for its own sake.”
I responded by saying that Microsoft loves Linux like BP likes “green”, mostly for marketing around perceptions that help sell more petrol
There was a a discussion in Twitter among some FOSS journalists, who do not necessarily agree. The OSI’s President, for instance, tends to agree with me on that.
One of our readers wrote to say: “Unintentional disinformation regarding “contributions” to the Linux kernel. The large number of commits was simply unfucking the code. A question is does Microsoft maintain that code now that Greg fixed it, or did they just lay that egg in someone else’s nest?”
When Greg worked for Novell, which had been paid money for Microsoft to help it infiltrate several FOSS communities, Microsoft committed GPL violations (not a sole incident) and now it hopes to spin that as “contribution”. When will this revisionism end?
As a side note, layoffs at Microsoft continue to expand. The Microsoft booster wrote: “The cuts of approximately 3,000 employees today are believed to be largely support staff in human resources, finance, sales and marketing and IT. They are part of the 18,000 employees Microsoft officials said back in July that they’d be laying off over the course of a year.”
Android and other Linux-based platforms hurt Microsoft. It leads to layoffs, so Microsoft cannot claim to love Linux. Although it may take some time, Microsoft may end up a bit like Novell and Nokia, potentially absorbed by some bigger business (Microsoft is shrinking in terms of scale of influence or clout). █
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True quotes from Microsoft below, click to read in full.
Summary: Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also “loves Linux”
THE CORPORATE media is not in the business of informing the public. To the mainstream media the public is not the client; corporate partners are the clients whereas audience (the public) is the product on sale. It was just so easy to be reminded of this trivial observation because Microsoft is a good example. It was so easy to see it since Monday morning when the media decided to herald all sorts of utterly absurd claims. But let’s go a little further back than 2 days and see just how Microsoft games the media and tries to fool the whole world, or merely to aggravate/rile up the opposition, which in itself can work magic, as long as journalists are willing to play along at risk to their reputation.
Earlier this month we wrote about the latest FOSS event that Microsoft had infiltrated, essentially stealing the show. The media only spoke about Microsoft; the event was supposed to be about something else. Days ago we also learned about Microsoft infiltrating All Things Open again, as it had done in previous years (we covered that at the time). Watch an eyewitness account from FOSS Force:
Actually, I enjoyed watching Microsoft’s spokesperson squirm while trying to make the case that “Microsoft is an open source company” before an audience that was politely not buying it. I also found it somewhat enlightening to watch an open core company show its true colors, revealing itself to be a proprietary firm merely riding the open source bandwagon. As for Oracle, developer level technical discussions on Java and MySQL can only be beneficial.
Microsoft will never get tired of lying; it probably aims for/targets low-hanging fruit, i.e. people who “want to believe” or Microsoft partners who really wish to think that Microsoft is now ethical. It’s a PR charade and it is utterly shameless. It’s a disservice to everyone except Microsoft; it’s an insult to truth.
Watch how Information Week, a Microsoft-friendly media site, smears FOSS these days and helps Microsoft’s EEE (Embrace, Extent, Distinguish) of Docker. This is utterly preposterous, but if repeated often enough it may end up fooling the gullible. This is perhaps the ultimate goal.
Around the same time we noticed Maria Deutscher writing this pro-Microsoft puff piece titled “Microsoft continues open source love affair with Apache Storm endorsement”. Here is the opening part:
Colorful Sonoran Desert StormMicrosoft Corp., the poster child of proprietary software, has developed a sudden appetite for open-source technologies. Barely three days after revealing plans to make future versions of Windows Server compatible with the Docker container engine, which currently only runs on Linux, the Redmond giant is rolling out support for Apache Storm for its Azure infrastructure-as-a-service platform.
No, Microsoft is trying to close down (or “contain”, to use the terminology of Docker) what’s open inside a closed/locked-down, proprietary environment with surveillance and back doors. That’s what’s happening. Non-technical journalists are easier to fool and they just blindly print whatever Microsoft says. Deutscher later wrote another pro-Microsoft puff piece. It is titled “Microsoft expands open source reach”, but lest we forget Steve Ballmer stating: “I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”
Windows is proprietary. Microsoft just loves power and money, it does not love FOSS and it never will. It’s an anathema to Microsoft. But one can always count on Microsoft boosters to support the narrative that Microsoft now “loves” FOSS and “loves” GNU/Linux, which Microsoft merely wants contained (to contain Linux, like a farmer contains sheep for the imminent slaughter).
Several shallow reports, including some from Microsoft boosters like Microsoft Peter and Jordan Novet in Redmond, actually stated that Microsoft “loves Linux”, presumably quoting the liar in chief, Mr. Nadella (more of his lies we will cover in a separate post another day). IDG went as far as posting the click bait “Microsoft (hearts) Linux” and “Microsoft now loves Linux.” This is not journalism; it’s entertainment. Some of these entertainment-type headlines came from Microsoft-friendly news sites which were previously paid by Microsoft. The corporate media has seemingly turned to fiction, satire, clickbait etc. and much of it is known to be tied to Microsoft itself.
“Microsoft has been steadily making adjustments to its processes and preferences to become more open,” wrote one person from Redmond, “and to move more quickly to support technologies that could be of interest to its many customers, even when they’re not Microsoft-built.”
That’s done in order to bring them to Microsoft and make them locked in and spied on, by Microsoft and its special partner the NSA. Here we have the corporate media distorting reality, portraying the company that is threatening, blackmailing, suing and slinging mud at Linux as “loving” Linux. There is not even much of a potent attempt to challenge these claims. It’s like an abusive husband explaining to a court that he beats up his wife because he loves her. Any decent person would interrupt such nonsense and wouldn’t just let it go unchallenged.
Speaking of massive failure by the corporate press, see this new garbage from Kate Bevan at the British bankers’ media (Financial Times), suggesting that Microsoft should hijack Android:
Here’s a blue-sky suggestion for Mr Nadella: sit down with Jeff Bezos at Amazon to develop a good fork of Android. Microsoft has a compelling services offering but an almost non-existent platform for these services, despite the quality of the Lumia handsets. Amazon has compelling content with its Prime video but seems unable to get consumers to buy its Fire devices.
For smaller providers, a Microsoft-Amazon-style joint venture would be a great way to become part of an ecosystem out of Google’s reach. I suspect consumers would find that attractive. How about it, Satya and Jeff?
How low can the Financial Times stoop? This is not journalism, it’s Microsoft jingoism disguised as analysis. Sadly, today’s corporate media is full of such nonsense and in the next post we will show how the press likes to demonise FOSS over security matters while totally ignoring the issues with proprietary software having back doors ‘baked in’. █
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Summary: Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from
THE corporate press (or mass media) continues to disappoint in a very major way. It looks like the more one reads it, the less well-informed one becomes. Why? Because the corporate press has clients. These clients are not readers; they are companies to which the readers’ brains are being sold. The business model is selling of agenda. Although counterintuitive at first sight, this observation is not novel; many people have pointed out the same thing in areas other than technology. Today we’ll present some examples from this week alone.
Florian Müller an Expert… Lobbyist
Slashdot was once a grassroots-type Web site. It promoted FOSS. But it grew into something else. Now it’s the very opposite. It seems to be more interested in repeatedly quoting a mass-mailing Microsoft lobbyist (Florian Müller) and even Slashdot‘s front page (plus original content), which is now owned and run by the Microsoft-friendly Dice, gives him a platform. This seems like a joke, but it’s not. Slashdot now offers the platform for people whose role is spreading Microsoft propaganda and bashing FOSS. The only amazing thing is that some people still trust Slashdot just because back in the days it had some credibility (before hiring prolific Microsoft boosters).
Free Software is Pedophilia?
“Slashdot now offers the platform for people whose role is spreading Microsoft propaganda.”Speaking of propaganda, Matt Lee, Free software ideals, and even the FSF were the other day slandered by the Telegraph, which engaged in defamation by associating Free software with pedophilia (the article was corrected only after numerous complaints that I had initiated in social media after a headsup from our reader). The Telegraph was perhaps worrying that Free software people can sue for libel. What the heck is wrong with the press? How low can one stoop?
Microsoft is an Open Source ‘Cloud’ Company?
Then there is the tabloid called ZDNet (owned by CBS, known in part for the Gamergate scandal as of late). It is now offering Microsoft a marketing service, helping an Embrace, Extend, and Extinguish move against Docker (other corporate media did the same thing). Microsoft-friendly sites like these generally try to help Microsoft (the author, Matt Asay, once tried working for Microsoft) and this is clearly part of a scheme to control servers. According to this article by an Australian Microsoft booster, Salesforce, an opponent of Microsoft, has just liaised with this special NSA partner, ensuring that Salesforce offers no security or privacy at all.
Microsoft is Dominant in Servers, According to Microsoft-funded Firms
Watch the latest Forrester propaganda, trying to cast Microsoft as having “three-quarters of the mass-market servers”; complete nonsense. Here is a quote from the aforementioned article from News Corp. (aiding Microsoft’s plot): “Linux is the dominant tech underpinning at giant Web companies, but the server version of Microsoft’s Windows runs about three-quarters of the mass-market servers in use at big companies in the U.S. and Western Europe, according to Forrester Research.”
Complete nonsense. Selective reporting reveals not only bias but also a desire to lie. GNU/Linux has the lion’s share of this market. It is the job of Microsoft-bribed firms like Forrester to distort reality and the Gartner Group, according to Robert Pogson, is also doing that right now by casting GNU/Linux as “others”.
As Pogson puts it: ““Others” is a convenient category to put things in when stuff you don’t care about happens. GNU/Linux is something I care about but not Gartner. They lump GNU/Linux in with all that other stuff that’s not from M$, Apple, or Google but, hey, I can subtract.”
Nokia Dead Not Because of Microsoft or Its Mole Elop?
Finally, revisionism too can be found in the media. Here is AOL rewriting the history of Nokia. As our reader put it: “He’s got to distract from Jolla and from the Nokia board’s involvement in covering up Elop’s contract where Elop was granted tens of millions as a condition for selling Nokia to Microsoft. The paper industry is in decline due to a combination of union busting and actively closing *profitable* paper mills, in addition to competition from questionable logging in Brazil.”
Not the Exception
The above are the types of examples that we see every week, but it’s only now that we decided to gather and give to our readers some examples of these, collected in just the past few days. The problem is systemic.
The corporate press is just too damn hard to trust when it comes to technology because it operates on bribes these days; advertising deals, talking points from firms that are paid by companies, agenda for sale (press releases), and media ownership that comes with all kinds of strings attached. All in all — and not to sound too cynical — this means that one should be cautious, never blindly trusting the corporate media on such matters. Informing readers is not the goal; it may sometimes be a side effect, but only if it aligns with the goal (which is increasing revenue).
When selecting articles for circulation in sites like tuxmachines.org we give equal weighting to blogs and mailing lists because these tend to be more reliable and accurate than some printed papers, authored by people who are clueless on the subjects they cover for a publication whose goal is to serve some hidden interests. █
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Summary: Steve Ballmer’s successor, Satya Nadella, is still too tactless to lie to the audience, having been given –through subversive means — a platform at a conference that should have shunned Microsoft, a famously misogynistic company
Several days ago we warned that Microsoft was hijacking the Grace Hopper conference and thankfully enough Microsoft just continues to show its hatred towards women, not the opposite. Still, Microsoft became the news. Everything else received little or no coverage. This in itself derailed the event.
Microsoft totally stole the show last week. The show was not about Microsoft, but a publicity stunt and some bribes typically distort events in Microsoft’s favour.
“Microsoft hijacked a conference about women in tech last week and this made it the topic of the whole coverage…”Microsoft booster Stephen Withers reminds us how companies bribe journalists, for example, as he ends his article with this: “Disclosure: The writer traveled to the Progress Exchange conference as the guest of the company.”
This is how Microsoft bribes journalists, giving them flights and other perks in exchange for event coverage and Microsoft propaganda in the international media. It is fake journalism that is actually PR, not journalism. See how this abusive company where managers don’t get along (high tensions between Gates and Ballmer) is characterised in the press as one big happy family. Total lie. Unchallenged.
Now let’s get back to the point. Microsoft hijacked a conference about women in tech last week and this made it the topic of the whole coverage as seen here. “First,” says The Register, “we discovered that things had gotten so bad between former Microsoft bosses Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer that they don’t even speak to each other anymore.” Then comes lots of Microsoft woman-washing (trying to associate Microsoft with women).
“Microsoft was able to hijack media coverage of yet another conference,” told us a reader. “Microsoft participation is toxic.” Here are some more examples of how Microsoft hijacked coverage of this event. There remains a stigma that women cannot succeed in FOSS and that one cannot enter into the community unless “a white male” (this is from a Microsoft-friendly site).
Nadella — let’s face it — is not a real Microsoft CEO, for reasons that we covered before. He is a Microsoft front end. The company is still controlled and run by serial criminals. Ballmer and Gates put a Ramji in charge of that mole strategy against FOSS for similar reasons; these people are a PR facet that hides their employer’s insidious activities (bribes, racketeering, et cetera).
Nadella has not done well in his speech. He actually offended women, even though it was not his intention. Nadella is not yet a good liar like Ballmer and Gates, but he did make the headlines (unlike Grace Hopper) , ending up in the middle a PR gaffe. Now he’s in a rush to apologise.
“What Bill and Satya did not want covered,” says our reader, is the angle that is so embarrassing and Sarah Gray explained to a lot of readers at Salon (Microsoft has already tired to change her article). █
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“I’ve killed at least two Mac conferences. [...] by injecting Microsoft content into the conference, the conference got shut down. The guy who ran it said, why am I doing this?”
–Microsoft's chief evangelist
Summary: Free/Open Source software (FOSS) must be a disaster to Microsoft’s bottom line because Microsoft is sending “Microsoft Disaster Response” to infiltrate and disrupt a conference about women in FOSS
Every time there is a FOSS conference that attracts Microsoft’s worst nightmare (developers not loyal to Windows) Microsoft attacks with moles. It’s not only distracting but actually disruptive and it is annoying a lot of attendants. It serves to marginalise or eliminate this group of Microsoft resistors. It’s a way to capture and dilute events and thus communities. It is the “Killing with kindness” approach that Microsoft repeatedly used in LinuxTag [1, 2, 3]. Germany is rapidly moving to GNU and Linux, so it’s a common target for bribes and FUD, as seen repeatedly in Munich.
Conference organisers should politely decline their participation (politely because otherwise Microsoft would use it to create a stigma of rudeness), recalling that Microsoft is suing companies that distribute FOSS over their FOSS distribution, using software patents they lobbied exceptionally hard for (even in Europe).
“Sadly, the opportunist Microsoft appears to have already given money to Grace Hopper conference organisers in exchange for participation, pretending that Microsoft is FOSS and that Microsoft is kind to women (both are gross reversals of the truth).”Do not let Microsoft pretend to be friends with female developers. There is plenty of sexism at Microsoft. This needn’t be the subject of this post as (we already covered some examples and showed how Microsoft had offered cruises with female prostitutes to Microsoft distributors [1, 2])). Microsoft is trying to keep it inside/quiet, unlike in FOSS where it happens out in the open because of the development nature.
Sadly, the opportunist Microsoft appears to have already given money to Grace Hopper conference organisers in exchange for participation, pretending that Microsoft is FOSS and that Microsoft is kind to women (both are gross reversals of the truth). To quote Red Hat’s news site:
Open Source Day at the Grace Hopper Celebration this year starts today! The program is committed to helping women grow their skills and interest in using open source technologies.
“Our program philosophy is about tackling disaster response challenges in partnership with other industry and technology experts,” said Harmony Mabrey of Microsoft Disaster Response.
Why is Microsoft in there? Because it essentially bribed for it.
What a face-saving name too. “Microsoft Disaster Response”. What utter FUD and PR. Microsoft uses disasters to rob the poor. Microsoft also destroys the credibility of this female-oriented conference, using it as a Trojan horse for Microsoft sales and Microsoft AstroTurfing. It is an insult both to FOSS and to feminism. █
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