Rule of thumb: The more outrageous the lie, the more provocative it becomes (divisive and offensive)
Photo credit: Neil McAllister
Summary: Having spread the outrageous lie that “Microsoft loves Linux” (whilst obviously attacking it in many ways), Microsoft’s CEO (essentially Bill Gates’ right-hand man) says Microsoft is “one of the biggest contributors to Linux kernel” (because of proprietary software it tries to contaminate it with while violating the terms of the GPL)
Microsoft has a new courier. who is passing memos around — memos that appear to have been (ghost)written by PR professionals who prepared ‘damage control’. Nadella’s role is rather simple and the real bosses are above him (people like Gates, who is officially back at the company).
Nadella is a liar and a lousy one, too. Nadella tries to paint himself a peacemaker, after Bill and Steve (Gates and Ballmer) spent decades viciously attacking GNU/Linux and Free software.
Here is the latest lie from Nadella. The quote is unsourced, but this article (if not some kind of a scam because we cannot find any corroborating article) says that Nadella uttered these words: “[T]his should not come as a surprise. Microsoft has always been one of the biggest contributors to Linux kernel.”
“Nadella tries to paint himself a peacemaker, after Bill and Steve (Gates and Ballmer) spent decades viciously attacking GNU/Linux and Free software.”Tying Hyper-V to Linux, to make it a guest of a Windows host (with back doors), is not a contribution. Microsoft was even violating the GPL’s terms when it gave Novell’s henchmen some code to drop into the kernel (later Microsoft decided to comply with the teems because it got caught red-handed). How is that a contribution? Microsoft was later accused by Novell’s own henchmen of neglecting the code and not maintaining it to work with future releases of Linux, leaving Novell to deal with the mess it that had left to promote Hyper-V.
The author of the above article, Alap Naik Desai, repeats this lie: “Interestingly, Microsoft is an avid contributor to the Linux development.”
No, it is not, and to refute another lie from this article, Microsoft hates GNU/Linux, as its own actions clearly show. In one single day 3 months ago we gave the following 6 examples:
In DockerCon, Microsoft was spreading the lie using “Microsoft ♥ Linux” pins, much to the chagrin of Microsoft propaganda sites.
According to Alap Naik Desai, Microsoft might release its own distro. Microsoft is just further increasing control of what’s in Azure, which is already under surveillance by Microsoft and the NSA .
Microsoft’s booster Peter Bright, linking to Microsoft boosters from GeekWire (another Microsoft mouthpiece, like other Bill Gated-funded media that covered it with a positive spin), explains the situation with Nokia, which Microsoft practically killed (Elop's latest mission is accomplished, so he is free to go now) and turned into an anti-Android patent troll rather than Android/Linux supporter (that’s where Nokia was heading before Elop killed it, back when Nokia was a top Linux contributor — a real contributor).
Microsoft Peter wrote:
There’s a widespread feeling among industry observers that Nadella wants or plans to get rid of the phone division bought from Nokia last year. Ditching the division could well be the kind of “tough choice” that the e-mail alludes to.
Lots of puff pieces like [1, 2, 3] got published (maybe a hundred), but “Citi Still Says Sell Microsoft” amid ongoing layoffs at the company. Microsoft will continue to lose money (perhaps as much as billions lost in the phone business alone) to maintain the illusion that it is a practising company in the mobile sector and not purely a patent troll, filing lawsuits against Android and Linux. Dan Kedmey, who has become somewhat of a Microsoft booster this past year, does a Microsoft advert for Time (large readership, albeit not the only such example) because Microsoft re-announced (yet again) Office for Android in an effort to promote proprietary formats (lock-in), surveillance, and an expensive (in the long term) trap.
Are there people out there who actually fool themselves into thinking that Microsoft changed its attitude? █
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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: DockerCon gives room to Microsoft propagandists who want to divert the audience’s attention from secure GNU/Linux focus to proprietary Windows with back doors and surveillance
DOCKER rapidly grows in terms of adoption (and hype). It is Free/libre software and it is predominantly a GNU/Linux technology, like much of the whole container phenomenon. This is why Microsoft cannot just leave it alone (read: tolerate it).
Days ago we saw two misleading articles from Matt Weinberger about the Russinovich spiel, pretending that Microsoft and GNU/Linux can now sing Kumbaya. “Microsoft loves Linux” pins are now being distributed, according to a photo from this new article which says “Microsoft has doubled down on its support for Docker, further integrating the software container tech with Azure and Visual Studio Online and demoing the first-ever containerized application spanning both Windows and Linux systems.”
Proprietary software is the last thing Docker needs. Docker staff needs to learn to say “no”, having witnessed what happens to just about every company that liaises with Microsoft (even charities like OLPC). A lot of Microsoft proxies like ‘Open Tech’, CodePlex and others have virtually become non-existent, but the Trojan horse strategy has not completely failed yet. It just keeps evolving.
“To drive the point home,” wrote Neil McAllister, “there were plenty of free T-shirts available at the Microsoft booth on the subject of uniting Windows and Linux via Docker. There were even buttons with the catchphrase that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella coined in November, “Microsoft ♥ Linux.””
For those who actually believe that Microsoft has changed its colours, here are just some recent doings (of Nadella) which ought to remind us that Microsoft actually hates GNU/Linux:
What next after “Microsoft ♥ Linux” PR? “UEFI ♥ Linux”? “SCO ♥ Linux”? “Novell ♥ Red Hat”? The bigger the lie, the more confusing and provocative it becomes. Perhaps provocation really is the goal (see Microsoft’s quote at the top of this article). █
Photo credit: Neil McAllister
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Endowing/bribing the media not a wise policy
Summary: Poll shows that the European Patent Office (EPO) comes under fire for its media strategy which involves wasting taxpayers’ money on fake/organic media coverage that glorifies the EPO
PROTESTS are said to have just taken place in Munich. EPO abuse was the cause. Although there are no reports (yet) about the gathering, not even about the scale or number of people in attendance, it is the principle that counts. Maybe the protesters too should ape their managers and hire ‘media partners’ such as Les Echos? Probably not. Only Benoît Battistelli would be desperate enough to do that.
We are meanwhile learning that patent lawyers in Europe, who are the target audience of this blog, don’t have a positive opinion of the EPO. As a recap:
A few weeks ago, the IPKat asked whether the EPO ought to be organising and funding the European Inventor of the Year award. His concerns were twofold: the resources that are devoted to this event, and the fundamental question of whether the EPO ought to be seen to be ranking different inventions in terms of their merits.
As it turns out, “43% (296 votes) were also unsupportive of the EPO involvement: “It lies outside the powers and duties of the EPO.””
As we explained before, this is misuse of public funds. The EPO wastes public money on paid placements ('articles') and 'media partners', hoping to bury or pro-actively suppress any potentially negative publicity (even when it is very much deserved).
“The IPKat wonders whether the EPO should now review its involvement with and funding of this event,” says the above blog post, “in the light of these concerns which appear to be shared by much of the IP community (or of this blog’s readership, at least)?” █
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“The purpose of announcing early like this is to freeze the market at the OEM and ISV level. In this respect it is JUST like the original Windows announcement…
–Nathan Myhrvold, Microsoft
Summary: In a shameless effort to discourage migrations to the zero-cost BSD and GNU/Linux, Microsoft continues to flood the media with false claims about the cost of Windows and the price of Vista 10 (not even released yet) in particular
READERS have let us know that Microsoft propagandist Ed Bott is spreading the ‘free’ Vista 10 myth (it’s out there again and spreading quickly in corporate media; it’s a myth that is not dead, despite a lot of debunking [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]). It reaches a large audience in the CBS-owned ZDNet, despite being a lie and a nasty form of PR. No matter how it turns out (Microsoft Peter already admits that Microsoft just lies about ‘free’ Vista 10 this time too), a lot of the public may be left with the false impression about the cost of Vista 10. This propaganda or semi-truths (i.e. lies) would target ‘useful idiots’ or people who hardly follow the news. Many still think that Vista 10 will be made available free of charge. There is a war on the minds.
“People choose GNU/Linux not just for cost savings; some people are capable of thinking long term and factor in external transactional aspects.”Freedom, as ever before, is not free, so even if Vista 10 is somehow obtained (legally or illegally) at no cost it is not worth it; the price is people’s control over their own lives.
For those who truly pursue Free software on computers (as well underlying hardware, which assures freedom in other ways) there is now “Purism”. $1,649 will buy you a secure laptop with only Free software. As ZDNet (surprisingly enough) put it the other day:
The company hopes to expand the notebook lineup running its open-source PureOS with a smaller, $1,649 portable that will ship in September if it receives sufficient backing.
$1,649 may sound like a lot of money, but for a machine that can serve a person for many years (almost a decade) and ensure autonomy, privacy etc. in an age of increasingly-oppressive technology it might actually be worth it. People choose GNU/Linux not just for cost savings; some people are capable of thinking long term and factor in external transactional aspects. Windows lock-in is far too expensive even at $0 or negative pricing. Price can change over time and the abuses that come with proprietary software (e.g. espionage) are unforeseeable. █
“Some weeks it looks like Redmond feels entitled to capture not just part of what we save, but all of it. That just isn’t going to fly with corporate America forever. When your margins are more sensitive to Bill Gates’ pricing whims than they are the price of oil, that’s an untenable position for a large company to be in.”
–John Chapman Sr., BP Amoco Technology Executive
“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”
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Microsoft has truly hijacked Slashdot
Summary: Dice is milking Slashdot to death (just as it presently does with SourceForge) in order to sell some Microsoft lock-in and proprietary software
“I am done with Slashdot,” told us a reader. “Did you see this?”
The reader in question was not the only one pointing to the latest .NET promotion from Slashdot and Dice (second in just a couple of days, as we first noted it yesterday). Several other people have pointed out that it comes to show how shameless Dice has become, essentially deciding — without readers’ consensus — that selling Microsoft Nick’s agenda (second day in a row) is more important than the site’s credibility. It extends to Dice’s own site. It’s a suicidal move.
“Yes,” wrote to us iopkh, “but the destruction of a (the?) major FOSS site was really the original goal IMHO. Microsoft has been aiming at it for over a decade.”
“Nick Kolakowski has a long career doing this, promoting Microsoft’s agenda while pretending to be delivering news.”This is like vendor capture, just as we worried when Dice hired Microsoft Nick, a longtime booster and propagandist of Microsoft. They are really milking Slashdot to death, perhaps quite consciously for the sake of selling some Microsoft propaganda, just as they are milking to SourceForge to death (c/f GIMP fiasco).
As Dice continues to prostitute itself to Microsoft, even so shortly after the latest .NET and Mono ads, we do at least have an explanation. It is Nerval’s Lobster (Microsoft Nick) again. Nick Kolakowski has a long career doing this, promoting Microsoft’s agenda while pretending to be delivering news. SourceForge/Dice previously also bought (i.e. hired all the staff of) Ohloh. These were all people from Microsoft (later bought/hired by Black Duck) and the hiring had the expected effect, resulting in .NET/C# promotion. We wrote about this quite a lot at the time.
The latest sellout from Slashdot is Microsoft Nick linking to himself (Nick Kolakowski) and attracting a lot of comments (i.e. audience). He uses a dramatic headline to actually do .NET promotion:
Is the .NET ecosystem really headed for long-term implosion, thanks in large part to developers devoting their energies to other platforms such as iOS and Android?
He is using it to counter dissidents from Microsoft who say that .NET is on the decline. This is more like Microsoft ‘damage control’, delivered by Microsoft Nick, who is now "Senior Editor" at the site.
Slashdot (Dice) is truly disgusting. After hiring a well-known (based on his track record) propagandist of Microsoft the site became his Microsoft PR platform. Expect a lot of Vista 10 advertisements quite soon, especially when the release is imminent (the advertisements will be in the news section, embedded as articles, as usual).
It’s probably time to just boycott Dice, which has clearly turned Free software-hostile. It will be sad to see Slashdot going down the chute, but given what the site is used for (or repurposed for) these days, we might be better off this way. █
“Mind Control: To control mental output you have to control mental input. Take control of the channels by which developers receive information, then they can only think about the things you tell them. Thus, you control mindshare!”
–Microsoft, internal document
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Stephen Elop has a long track record of corporate destruction (his expertise)
Summary: Lesser-explored aspects of Microsoft’s corporate sinking, which the company disguises as ‘shakeup’ while releasing (yet again) its demolition man, Stephen Elop
THIS post tackles various issues that the corporate media overlooked. First, Elop’s exit merits more analysis and retrospection; second, Microsoft’s state is much more revealing right now, as well as Microsoft’s stance on Google and Android; finally, comments are needed about Elop’s legacy, which makes the world a much more dangerous place for Free/libre software.
The big news isn’t Elop being fired but Microsoft setting itself on fire after a misguided strategy which revolved around destruction rather than creation (giving Nokia’s patents to patent trolls, killing Nokia’s multiple Linux efforts, and so on). Many executives are leaving in droves right now and we are hardly surprised. There are certainly more layoffs on the way, but puff pieces like this new one from Microsoft sympathiser Mark Hachman (of the shameful IDG) serve to distract from that. More “restricted boot with uefi” is Microsoft’s last hope, assures us a reader, basically ensuring it is exceptionally hard to remove Vista/7/8/10 from PCs after OEMs were bribed to preinstall it.
Tackling the media’s narrative in this case, let’s look at the repetition of deceptive terminology. The media repeats Microsoft’s words, but here is the basic rule (based on history): when Microsoft says “reorg” it means layoffs and “shakeup” means key managers are fleeing/abandoning. We wrote about this for nearly a decade. Common euphemisms like “shake-ups” (with or without a dash) or “reorg” (for layoffs) are very frequent an utterance at Microsoft and it’s all damage control. Corporate journalists don’t do their job; they don’t look any further or any deeper.
What we really have here is a departure of Mark Penn, Microsoft’s anti-Google guy [1, 2, 3, 4] (and by extension anti-Android guy). He is out, so Microsoft’s strategy to incite against Google must have failed pretty badly. Quoting damage control from Microsoft’s booster, “Eric Rudder, whose Microsoft bio indecisively describes him as both Vice President of Advanced Technology and Education, and Vice President of Advanced Strategy, is also leaving.” Rudder, a longtime thug from Microsoft (see and recall his role in dirty tricks [1, 2, 3]), was probably essential to Microsoft’s abusive monopoly. They are attacking GNU/Linux behind the scenes. They are top-level executives — people who rally the troops and pressure (or bribe, or blackmail) other executives, even politicians. Their departure is probably a news bigger than Elop’s ‘departure’ (more on that later).
The Nokia angle was covered the most (as the leading story), but almost nobody mentioned that Elop got a massive bonus for destroying Nokia and passing it to Microsoft. He is a very rich man, having made a lot money from demolition.
Nokia expert Tomi Ahonen wrote:
So the Elop nonsense and destructive managment methods lasted only 15 months under Satya Nadella’s watchful eye at Microsoft. He is effectively fired from Microsoft. The company realigns handsets into one division under Windows headed by Exec VP Terry Myers. And Elop plus two other senior execs are kicked out with the press release out today.
Good riddance. Stephen Elop was the worst CEO in corporate history. He clearly was at fault on the top, when he went to Microsott, that same ex-Nokia handset unit with Lumia running on Windows Phone never did any better. Today we’ve seen new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella examine Elop’s performance of the flagship future division – you remember Nadella’s introductory remarks to his employees were all about mobile and the cloud – now Elop is gone. And look at the text of the press release. Not one word about ‘mobile’ or ‘handsets’ or ‘Lumia’ in the actual announcements (only one mention on the bottom from the description of Microsoft the company being a ‘mobiile-first’ company). What a huge shift away from the failing Lumia unit to ‘Windows and Devices’ ie Surface will do fine, Xbox is doing fine. Lumia is dead.
Now someone will be running the Lumia unit under Exec VP Myers for a while, and then when they see it is irretrievably dead, they will quietly shut down that business. This is a VERY clear sign of the writing on the wall. And sadly for any ex-Nokia employees, expect more layoffs to come in the aftermath of this announcement and the ‘consolidation’ within that new business unit. I think the ex-Nokia handset unit has no more than 24 months ahead of this point, and may be shut down far faster than that. Clearly Nadella knows how to read mathematics and the math about Elop’s business was brutal. Elop is gone! A day of somber celebrtaions in Finland and all who were fired by that clown will think – at least he also got fired.
Finally good news from Microsoft because it shows that it’s dying, much like its efforts to derail Android. As iophk put it: “none, not even Ahonen, remind us that Elop was a mole and fulfilled the sale to Microsoft as a requirement for receiving his 25m bonus.”
Nadella’s hogwash of corporate collapse (in his E-mail) is hilarious if properly dissected. To quote the British media, “Nadella said in an email to employees: “We are aligning our engineering efforts and capabilities to deliver on our strategy and, in particular, our three core ambitions.
“This change will enable us to deliver better products and services that our customers love at a more rapid pace.””
Nadella is talking complete nonsense. It was probably written by someone else (PR) and just signed by Nadella. Nilay Patel asks (in his headline), “What company will Stephen Elop steal for Microsoft next?”
He dubs Elop “Trojan Horse, King of Thieves” and says: “So now that Elop is free to roam the badlands once again, it’s only fair to ask what new company he might infiltrate as part of an elaborate Microsoft M&A strategy. Here’s a quick list.”
Watch how Elop destroyed companies before he even joined Microsoft. He is a very evil Trojan horse and it’s important to check where he goes next. He is a demolition man, not a manager. Therein lies the real story. █
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Slashdot just a shadow of its former self, and for good reasons
Summary: Slashdot is corrupted to the same degree as SourceForge, not too long after the hiring of Microsoft boosters; the commenters in Slashdot bully Free software proponents — a complete reversal of what the site used to be like
The SourceForge malware scandal as we’d like to call it (turning a GNU program into a Windows blob with malware) was mentioned only in our daily links for it was self-explanatory, it was crystal clear (no room for ‘damage control’), and articles about it didn’t need further comment or significant correction. It is time to highlight a different problem, which is the Slashdot bias (editorial control) and the steering of that site. Some blogs accused Slashdot of not covering the SourceForge scandal because it’s a sister site, also owned by the same company (Dice Holdings).
Dice Holdings is now taking its shameless tactics further. Having turned Free software into malware (by hijacking accounts), it now uses Slashdot to push Microsoft propaganda and promote Mono, calling it “Insight”. It should be noted that the pro-Mono/Microsoft article from Slashdot was pushed by Nerval's Lobster, i.e. Microsoft Nick, who joined two years ago as "Senior Editor". It’s like a coup. Dice is a joke. What it does here is shameless because it reads like an advertisement for Mono and Xamarin, Microsoft’s Trojan horse and close partner (almost subsidiary, funded in part by Microsoft veterans). Here is how Slashdot (apparently Microsoft Nick) put it:
In the eleven years since Mono first appeared, the Linux community has regarded it with suspicion. Because Mono is basically a free, open-source implementation of Microsoft’s .NET framework, some developers feared that Microsoft would eventually launch a patent war that could harm many in the open-source community. But there are some good reasons for using Mono, developer David Bolton argues in a new blog posting (Dice link). Chief among them is MonoDevelop, which he claims is an excellent IDE; it’s cross-platform abilities; and its utility as a game-development platform. That might not ease everybody’s concerns (and some people really don’t like how Xamarin has basically commercialized Mono as an iOS/Android development platform), but it’s maybe enough for some people to take another look at the platform.
Dice Holdings has zero credibility not just when it comes to SourceForge; people oughtn’t trust Slashdot either. One reader told us that there is now an anti-Free software mob there (in the comments) and showed us extensive evidence. We swapped dozens of E-mails about it and observed threads that we would rather not share as that might feed (and help) the trolls. So, Slashdot has become somewhat of a cesspool both in the content/story section and the comments.
Congratulations, Dice Holdings, for destroying valuable Free software resources that you’ve viewed as assets to be milked to the point of implosion. █
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Treating ‘Open Source’ like a trash can or a wastebasket
Summary: Microsoft is hoping to achieve/get some positive karma (the openwashing effect) by putting a Windows tool that has essentially been abandoned (or made obsolete) in the ‘Open Source’ domain
Using “Abandoned Software” (AS) to label Microsoft “Open Source” (OS) isn’t a novel concept. It has been done by Microsoft before, even if the “OS” part too was altogether bogus (look but do not touch).
Microsoft appears to be pulling that card again, labelling Windows Live Writer (yes, remember “Live”? And it’s a Windows-only tool!) “Open Source”. As one site put it: “It is not updated regularly; the last update we ever saw for the device was back in 2012. Microsoft has not updated it since. Although there are users you [sic] are loyal and used the app religiously. Last month the live posts to Google’s Blogger platform stopped and it was then that it became vocal.”
Here is how IDG put it:
Microsoft will breathe life into Windows Live Writer by open sourcing the eight-year-old blog-publishing tool, a company manager said earlier this week.
What next? Making “KIN” and/or “Zune” something open-ish? If that’s the best Microsoft can do, then it is clearly too stubborn to ever leave the proprietary addiction. More openwashing of Microsoft this month is part of a familiar PR recipe… █
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