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03.22.16

The European Parliament Warmed up to Free/Open Source Software and the Media Missed the Story

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Patents, RAND at 2:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Article by a reader of ours, who prefers to remain anonymous

Summary: The European Union Parliament has recommended Free and Open Source Software for several goals

A January 2016 resolution by the European Union Parliament, “European Parliament resolution of 19 January 2016 on Towards a Digital Single Market Act (2015/2147(INI))“, has points relevant to the adoption and promotion of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Specifically, points #89, #110, and #125 mention FOSS by name. The first two mention it in the context of security and interoperability, respectively. The third, #125, calls for a general increase in its use. Here they are quoted below with emphasis in yellow added.

89. Considers that software providers should better promote the security advantages of open source software and security-related software upgrades to users; calls on the Commission to explore an EU-wide coordinated vulnerability disclosure programme, including the repair of known software vulnerabilities, as a remedy against the abuse of software vulnerabilities and security and personal data breaches;

110. Urges the Commission and the Council to increase the share of free and open source software and its reuse in and between public administrations as a solution to increase interoperability;

125. Calls on the Commission and Member States to renew their commitment to the EU 2020 strategy’s research and innovation targets as building blocks of a competitive Digital Single Market, economic growth and job creation, with a comprehensive approach to Open Science, Open innovation, Open data and knowledge transfer; considers that this should include a revised legal framework for text and data mining for scientific research purposes, the increased use of free and open source software, particularly in educational establishments and public administrations, and easier access for SMEs and start-ups to Horizon 2020 funding adapted to the short innovation cycles of the ICT sector; stresses in this respect the importance of all relevant initiatives, from public-private partnerships and innovation clusters to European technology and science parks, notably in less industrialised European regions, and accelerator programmes for start-ups and joint technology platforms, as well as the ability to license standard-essential patents effectively, within the restraints of EU competition law, under FRAND licensing terms, in order to preserve R&D and standardisation incentives and foster innovation;

It is interesting to note that #125 calls for the increased use of Free and Open Source Software to facilitate science, innovation, and knowledge transfer. The mention of “Open data and knowledge transfer” can be interpreted to mean Open Access, related to FOSS but in publishing. In regards to FOSS itself, a stumbling block is the explicit mention of FRAND-licensing for patents as included in standards, as it has traditionally been used as a means to block use of FOSS. But given the context of promoting FOSS elsewhere in the document and, especially in the same paragraph, that would include royalty-free licensing of standards as a pre-requisite for anything to be considered even remotely reasonable.

Another resolution is from this last autumn and is entitled, “Follow-up to the European Parliament resolution of 12 March 2014 on the electronic mass surveillance of EU citizens

Item #47 states even more specifically that open source must be a mandatory criterion in procurement.

47. Welcomes the steps taken so far to strengthen Parliament’s IT security, as outlined in the action plan on EP ICT Security prepared by DG ITEC; asks for these efforts to be continued and the recommendations made in the resolution fully and swiftly carried out; calls for fresh thinking and, if necessary, legislative change in the field of procurement to enhance the IT security of the EU institutions; calls for the systematic replacement of proprietary software by auditable and verifiable open-source software in all the EU institutions, for the introduction of a mandatory ‘open-source’ selection criterion in all future ICT procurement procedures, and for efficient availability of encryption tools;

Going back even further, to 2001, there is a resolution warning of actions needed to be taken to protect e-mail privacy.

European Parliament resolution on the existence of a global system for the interception of private and commercial communications (ECHELON interception system) (2001/2098(INI))

As the Snowden revelations have shown, these measures have proven to be sound and to work in regards to protecting the content of messages. Indeed, in that resolution, it is most clearly stated that only FOSS can fulfil security requirements at all.

29. Urges the Commission and Member States to devise appropriate measures to promote, develop and manufacture European encryption technology and software and above all to support projects aimed at developing user-friendly open-source encryption software;

30. Calls on the Commission and Member States to promote software projects whose source text is made public (open-source software), as this is the only way of guaranteeing that no backdoors are built into programmes;

31. Calls on the Commission to lay down a standard for the level of security of e-mail software packages, placing those packages whose source code has not been made public in the “least reliable” category;

32. Calls on the European institutions and the public administrations of the Member States systematically to encrypt e-mails, so that ultimately encryption becomes the norm;

33. Calls on the Community institutions and the public administrations of the Member States to provide training for their staff and make their staff familiar with new encryption technologies and techniques by means of the necessary practical training and courses;

In summary, the European Union Parliament has recommended Free and Open Source Software for several goals. These goals are privacy, security, innovation, and interoperability.

03.21.16

Embrace, Extend, Extinguish (EEE) Alive and Well at Microsoft: Docker, Android, Nokia, and Telstra

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 8:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Worth recalling history:

“Where are we on this Jihad?”

Bill Gates

Ballmer on patents
Original cartoon

Summary: Whilst extracting money by extorting the competition, which Microsoft claims to “love”, the company is also hijacking the competition and trying to tilt it Microsoft’s way, using software patents not only as a cash cow but also means of leverage (by pressure)

THIS MONDAY morning Microsoft already googlebombs or ‘spams’/litters “Linux” news feeds with promotion of its proprietary software (there’s no news, just rehash), led by Microsoft boosters who write their headlines accordingly (links omitted, not inadvertently), mirroring what we saw last Monday (also in the morning). We don’t think that’s sheer coincidence; it looks like a media strategy. Nice to see, on the other hand, is that so many Linux sites are now speaking about Microsoft's patent war on Linux/Android — a long war with software patents as a weapon and cash cow (lawyers typically win when there is litigation, but in the case of Microsoft there is no litigation, just blackmail/extortion). There are even high-profile videos on the subject — surely something Microsoft would wish to distract from while Horacio Gutierrez walks away. We have warned about this for many years.

“Look what Microsoft is doing to Android right now (other than the patent extortion). See what Cyanogen is doing for Microsoft. Classic EEE.”Anyone who still honestly believes that Microsoft “loves Linux” must be rather gullible or poorly informed. Remember how Microsoft infiltrated Docker events in 2015 in order to spread the "love" propaganda (even pins, like there’s a voodoo doll somewhere). It’s all nonsense. Now, having infiltrated Docker sufficiently, there is an embrace, extend, extinguish (EEE) strategy with the NSA-friendly Azure (see articles such as “Microsoft continues open-source support with Docker storage plugin for Azure cloud platform”, “Microsoft continues open source push with Docker storage plugin for Azure”, or “Microsoft offers persistent Docker volumes with Azure File Storage”). Shipping people’s data to a proprietary server with NSA surveillance is not an “open source push” as IDG put it in its headline; it’s self-serving EEE. So much for Docker “security” (unless it’s “national security”). Is a proprietary software move evidence of “love” from Microsoft? The EEE strategy always goes like this. First they need to embrace (with “love”), then they’ll take over (“extend”, e.g. Azure or SQL Server), and later they can extinguish (e.g. move SQL Server/Linux setups to Windows, with lower/promotional cost/rate and more features/incentives). It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to ‘get’ it. Look what Microsoft is doing to Android right now (other than the patent extortion). See what Cyanogen is doing for Microsoft. Classic EEE.

“Mr Elop, 52, will have responsibility for leading Telstra’s strategy to become a world class technology company.”
      –Telstra
Speaking of EEE, Telstra revealed last week that “Stephen Elop joins Telstra senior leadership team”. To quote its press release: “Mr Elop, 52, will have responsibility for leading Telstra’s strategy to become a world class technology company. He will report directly to Chief Executive Officer Andrew Penn and be based jointly in the United States and Australia.”

Never forget how Microsoft’s Elop killed Nokia while it was exploring a lot of Linux, shortly after it had become one of the top contributors to Linux (the kernel and beyond). Microsoft also used moles to kill Yahoo. Notice how Nokia is being deprecated/taken out of existence, to this date. To quote this new page from HERE, “HERE apps will no longer work on devices running Windows 10 mobile” (so it’s effectively dead, even for Windows).

We previously wrote about Microsoft and Telstra [1, 2, 3, 4]. They’re not far apart, but Elop can mark the beginning of something even worse. There are already many Microsoft executives/influence in Telstra, but that does not mean that it needs another mole. Microsoft’s “love” has always been love for itself; there is no community spirit there, just narcissism.

“I think he [Bill Gates] has a Napoleonic concept of himself and his company, an arrogance that derives from power and unalloyed success, with no leavening hard experience, no reverses [...] They don’t act like grown-ups!”

Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson

03.20.16

Microsoft Hijacks the AIX Trademark (an Old Tradition) and Openwashes Proprietary Minecraft

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, IBM, Microsoft at 12:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft started the week (last Monday) with openwashing of the proprietary Minecraft and misuse of the AIX brand; journalists played along

ALMOST exactly one week ago (on Monday) Microsoft did something rather horrible, but were we too busy to write about that, as it wasn’t so urgent to respond to (coinciding with EPO milestones and an Administrative Council meeting).

“That’s just the same old Microsoft.”Belatedly, we now wish to respond to a pattern of misleading coverage by corporate media. A lot of it started with an article from IDG (several of its many sites, e.g. [1]). IDG apparently does not know what Open Source means and it even uses a dash in it, as in “open-source”. Microsoft money well spent on IDC ‘studies’ (IDG owns IDC)? It this just shoddy journalism or intentional deception? Well, soon thereafter the Microsoft UK-dominated BBC also issued some puff piece about it [2]. Why are journalists who don’t really know what “Open Source” is covering such things? At the direction of Microsoft perhaps? Are they simply being fooled by Microsoft? Also, why has “The Official Microsoft Blog – Microsoft” entered Google News [3] as though it is a news source? What’s next? The EPO’s own ‘news’ section already gets treated as news at Google News, even though this section — along with the Official Microsoft Blog — are not news sites; these are sources of deception and PR. It is ‘news’ about oneself. This is what the stories appear to have been based on. It is utterly disgusting to see journalists falling for it. Microsoft has many moves and strategies against GNU/Linux at the moment, but corporate media does absolutely nothing to highlight these. As can be seen in [4-11] (a partial list), some silly PR stunt about Minecraft got a lot more coverage than any of the recent attacks on Linux (combined). Only a few blogs cover the attacks, none of which in the corporate/mainstream media.

A noteworthy thing here is that Microsoft labeled its latest openwashing campaign “AIX”. This is Microsoft hijacking names/brands of competitors again. It couldn’t have done this by accident. Calling it “open source” in media even when Minecraft is proprietary?! And when AIX is quite clearly an operating system of another company? This is googlebombing and it’s bound to confuse a lot of people, probably by intention. How long before Microsoft releases some tiny component of its proprietary stuff as “open” and calls it “GNU”, then bombards the media with puff pieces about it?

With headlines such as “Microsoft to open up Minecraft world for AI developers through open-source AIX program” what will be the fate of the real AIX, which has existed for a very long time? How about the headline “Microsoft Project AIX is an open source Minecraft-based artificial intelligence solution”? Or Slashdot with “Microsoft to Open Source Minecraft-Based Project AIX”? “Microsoft Open Sources its AI Development Platform” says the headline from a Microsoft apologist. That seems like very old news, re-announced. A week ago, on Monday morning, I found no less than a dozen Microsoft openwashing pieces (see some of them at the bottom). There must have been many more since. What happened to journalism and why is this openwashing campaign not subjected to any proper fact-checking? Increasingly, over the years, we have come to the conclusion that “fixing” or correcting the corporate media is an exercise in futility. Making alternatives works better. For those who believe that Microsoft is now an “Open Source” company we can only deliver criticism and insults, but we are not trying to gag them. “Balanced” is often a byword for “conforming to widely-held beliefs”. Microsoft is trying to make it a widely-held belief that it’s ethical and “Open Source”. It’s a massive lie. An old Microsoft modus operandi should be worth noting here, as the company habitually hijacks names of the competition (many examples have been covered here over the years). AIX in this case is the latest of many and it’s not going to be the last.

MinceR jokingly wrote, “IBM sold AIX already?”

No, but Microsoft did a hostile takeover of the acronym, regardless of IBM’s need for consent. That’s just the same old Microsoft.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Microsoft to open-source AI development platform based on Minecraft
  2. Minecraft to run artificial intelligence experiments
  3. Project AIX: Using Minecraft to build more intelligent technology
  4. Microsoft is using Minecraft to train AI and soon, you can too
  5. Minecraft to allow devs to test in-game AI
  6. Microsoft to make Minecraft an advanced AI playground
  7. How Minecraft is helping to shape the future of AI
  8. The world of Minecraft is now used for artificial intelligence innovation
  9. Minecraft Is Now a Playground for AI Experiments
  10. Minecraft will be used as a place to test artificial intelligence
  11. Microsoft’s Project AIX uses Minecraft for AI research

03.13.16

Microsoft esta Convirtiendo a Eclipse En Herramienta de Software Propietario al Hincar sus Garras En La Fundación Eclipse

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 11:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

English/Original

Publicado en Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 12:01 pm por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Abraza, extiende, y extingue” (EEE) es como lo llaman…

Azure trap
Tramp de Azure: EEEclipse?

Sumario: Microsoft esta extendiendo el software proprietario y la vigilancia, EXTORSIONÁNDO a linux con patentes de software y tambiéncontaminando el marco FOSS, todo en menos de un dia.

MENOS de un dia despues del último chiste ¨amo a Linux¨ comenzamos a ver piezas de hojaldre, e.g. [1, 2, 3], que parecen propaganda de Microsoft en vez de periodismo. No pensamiento crítico, ninguna investigación, no chequeo de los hechos. NADA. Simplemente repitiendo como loros la propagandoa de Microsoft (¿Cuánto paga Microsoft por esto?)

¨Microsoft anunció hoy que se une a la Fundación Eclipse,¨ un ¨periodista¨ escribió, ¨el grupo open source más conocido por su Eclipse IDE, pero que también ofrece otro numero de herramientas para desarrolladores.¨ -SE JODIÓ ECLIPSE:w

Esto es “abraza, extiende, y extingue,” por razones que ya hemos explicano en los siguientes articulos pasados:

Eclipse es actualmente contra las patentes de software, las que Microsoft usa contra Linux incluso esta semana. ¿Qué estuvieron pensando los líderes de Eclipse aquí? ¿Qué Microsoft ha cambiado? El hay un ‘nuevo’ Microsoft? No existe, it’s all marketing/reputation laundering.

“Me gustaría ver a toda la innovación de código abierto suceda sobre Windows.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

03.08.16

Microsoft is Turning Eclipse Into Proprietary Software Tool by Sinking its Claws Into the Eclipse Foundation

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 12:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Embrace, extend, extinguish” (EEE) is what they call it…

Azure trap
EEEclipse?

Summary: Microsoft is spreading proprietary software and surveillance, extorting Linux with software patents and also contaminating FOSS frameworks, all in less than a single day

LESS than a day after the latest "loves Linux" nonsense we begin to see puff pieces, e.g. [1, 2, 3], which seem more like Microsoft advertisements than actual journalism. No critical thinking, no background/research, no fact-checking. Nothing. Just parroting Microsoft’s marketing/propaganda.

“Microsoft today announced that it is joining the Eclipse Foundation,” one ‘journalist’ wrote, “the open source group that’s probably best known for its Eclipse IDE, but which also offers a number of other developer tools.”

This is “embrace, extend, extinguish,” for reasons we already explained in the following past articles:

Eclipse is actually against software patents, which Microsoft uses against Linux even this week. What was the leadership of Eclipse thinking here? That Microsoft has changed? That there’s a ‘new’ Microsoft? No such thing, it’s all marketing/reputation laundering.

“I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

01.14.16

La Ultima disfrazada de ¨Abierto¨ de Microsoft Dá la FALSA Impresión de su Propietario Spyware/Malware es ¨Abierto¨ y Amigable a Linux

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 6:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Original/English

Publicado en Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 7:45 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Una nueva clase del caballo de Troya

Wooden idol

Sumario: Abraza, extiende y extingue (E.E.E.) tácticas que todavía siguen siendo usadas en un esfuerzo de poner el código proprietario de Microsoft (con puertas tráseras) y sus formatos propietarios (candado de Microsoft) dentro de la competencia.

Hace un año escribimos acerca de la adqusición de Revolution Analytics por parte de Microsoft. Microsoft está comprando partes de la academia (recuerdén Moodle), trayéndoles al campo proprietario. R estará MUERTO pronto. No será lo que solía ser. ABRAZA, EXTIENDE y EXTINGUE (E.E.E.) trabaja de esta manera, así que más tarde removerán los bits que no son de Microsot, incluyendo formatos/estándares neutrales.

Muchos del las redes amigables a Microsoft escribierón acerca E.E.E [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. ¿Qué bueno es ¨LIBRE y ABIERTO¨ (para citar a IDG cuando trabaja en un stack proprietari con puertas traseras? Esto es E.E.E. en acción realmente (ahora en fase uno, el ¨ABRAZA¨). Simplemente mira quien está escribiendo acerca de esto [1, 2, 3, 4]. Muchos FANS de Microsoft. El vociferoso fan de Microsoft Tim Anderson trató de añadirle un ángulo de Linux:

Microsoft a puesto al público el Sérvidor R – para análisis estadísticos usando el lenguaje R – basado en software de Revolution Analytics, una compañía comprada por el gigante en Abril de 2015

Lo que solía ser una distribucion de R ahora llamada ¨Microsoft R Abierta¨, que es destinada para Windows, SUSE Linux, y Red Hat Linux.

Lo que solía ser de FOSS y GNU/Linux ha sido efectivamente secuestrada por Microsoft. ¿Cuáles de los de arriba la gente piensa que Microsoft recomendará? Microsoft sigue ARRIMANDO SU CÓDIGO PROPRIETARIO en GNU/Linux no por que ayuda otras plataformas pero por que está TRATANDO DE DOMINAR OTRAS PLATAFORMAS, potencialmente DESTRUYÉNDOLAS a voluntad. Un artículo de Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols dice ¨Microsoft abre la JavaScript engine de su web browser Edge, planea modificarla para Linux¨, pero ¿GNU/Linux necesita esto? Esto es un esfuerzo para EXTINGUIR otras JavaScript engines que al presente son FOSS y no controladas por Microsoft. (Ese es su objetivo controlar todo en todo el mundo). Hemos escrito acerca de esto anteriormente y considerado ¨disfrazado de abierto¨ por que el todo permanece proprietario. Microsoft está jugando con nuestras percepciones. La misma jugada fué alabada por Microsoft Emil, sitios amigables to Microsoft, así como sitios que abrogan por Microsoft.

“Microsoft está jugando con nuestras percepciones.”Microfot no esta jugando amablemente aquí y el CODIGO NO ES SEGURO. Todavía otro serio hueco ha sido encontrado [1] en Vista 10, el que es promovido como ¨ABIERTO¨ (si ABIERTO a la NSA y cualquier agencia gubernamental que se los pida) usando a Chakra (no la GNU/Linux distribución, Microsft sólo está SECUESTRANDO nombres de otros projectos FOSS de nuevo, simplemente como VistA or OpenOffice). Microsoft Emil [2] y otros ahora están tratando de presionar al pueblo de adoptar el SYSTEMA OPERATIVO FAVORITO DE LA NSA (Vista 10) usando el alarmismo de ¨seguridad¨, así como Microsoft está abandonando sus propios browsers EXCEPTO el último y más HÓSTIL PARA LA PRIVACIDAD (propietario con disfraz de open por medio de ´Chakra´).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Windows 10 shattered Remote Desktop’s security defaults – so get patching

    Microsoft reckons no one is actively exploiting the security vulnerabilities addressed in this month’s patch bundle, but it’s only a matter of time before criminals reverse-engineer the updates and target them.

  2. Microsoft ends support for IE8, IE9, IE10, and Windows 8

    Microsoft today ended support for old versions of Internet Explorer, including IE8, IE9, and IE10, as well as Windows 8. For the browsers, the company has also released a final patch (KB3123303) that includes the latest cumulative security updates and an “End of Life” upgrade notification.

The Latest Openwashing by Microsoft Gives False Impression of Microsoft’s Proprietary Spyware/Malware Being ‘Open’ and Linux-friendly

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 7:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A new kind of Trojan horse

Wooden idol

Summary: Embrace, extend, extinguish (E.E.E.) tactics are still being used in an effort to put Microsoft’s proprietary code (with back doors) and proprietary formats (Microsoft lock-in) inside the competition

ONE year ago we wrote about Microsoft’s Revolution Analytics acquisition. Microsoft is buying out parts of academia (recall Moodle), bringing them into the proprietary fold. R will be dead soon. It won’t be what it used to be; not anymore. Embrace, extend, extinguish (E.E.E.) works like this, so later on they’ll remove the non-Microsoft bits, including standard/platform-neutral formats.

A lot of Microsoft-friendly networks wrote about the latest E.E.E. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. What good is “free and open” (to quote IDG) when it’s run on proprietary stacks with back doors? E.E.E. in the making is what this really is (now at phase one, the “embrace”). Just look who’s writing about it [1, 2, 3, 4]. A lot of Microsoft fans. The Microsoft booster Tim Anderson tried adding a Linux angle to it:

Microsoft has released R Server – for statistical analysis using the R language – based on software from Revolution Analytics, a company acquired by the tech giant in April 2015.

What’s used is a distribution of R now called “Microsoft R Open”, which is available for Windows, SUSE Linux, and Red Hat Linux.

What used to be a FOSS and GNU/Linux thing has been effectively hijacked by Microsoft. Which of the above do people think Microsoft will recommend? Microsoft keeps pushing its proprietary software into GNU/Linux not because it helps other platforms but because it is trying to dominate these platforms, potentially derailing them at will. An article from Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols says “​Microsoft open sources Edge web browser’s JavaScript engine, plans port to Linux“, but does GNU/Linux even need that? This is an effort to extinguish other JavaScript engines that are FOSS and not controlled by Microsoft. We wrote about this move before and deemed/considered it openwashing because the whole remains proprietary. Microsoft is just messing with perceptions. This same move was hailed by Microsoft Emil, Microsoft-friendly sites, and Microsoft advocacy sites.

“Microsoft is just messing with perceptions.”Make no mistakes about it. Microsoft isn’t playing nice here and the code isn’t safe to use. Yet another serious hole has just been found [1] in Vista 10, which is being promoted as ‘open’ using Chakra (not the GNU/Linux distribution, Microsoft is just hijacking names of other FOSS projects again, just like with VistA or OpenOffice). Microsoft Emil [2] and others now try to pressure people to adopt the NSA’s favourite operating system (Vista 10) using ‘security’ alarmism, as Microsoft is abandoning its own browsers except the latest and most privacy-hostile one (proprietary with openwashing by means of ‘Chakra’).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Windows 10 shattered Remote Desktop’s security defaults – so get patching

    Microsoft reckons no one is actively exploiting the security vulnerabilities addressed in this month’s patch bundle, but it’s only a matter of time before criminals reverse-engineer the updates and target them.

  2. Microsoft ends support for IE8, IE9, IE10, and Windows 8

    Microsoft today ended support for old versions of Internet Explorer, including IE8, IE9, and IE10, as well as Windows 8. For the browsers, the company has also released a final patch (KB3123303) that includes the latest cumulative security updates and an “End of Life” upgrade notification.

01.04.16

Microsoft Tries to Conquer Asia’s Largest Populations (India, China) But Still Fails and Should be Stubbornly Rejected

Posted in Asia, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 7:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Bill Gates about China

Summary: As India and China, whose combined population is now approaching 3 billion people, turn to Free/libre software there are efforts by Microsoft to put an end to all that and interject Microsoft (with very strong NSA links) into their national infrastructure and ICT systems

TECHRIGHTS does not write much about Microsoft anymore because Microsoft is frail compared to one decade ago. Nadella is now hinting at the possibility of ending Windows on phones altogether because of the massive losses. Android (and by generalisation Linux) won the war — a point made by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols earlier today.

“How stupid does Microsoft think the Chinese are?”Days ago we saw some disturbing articles which suggest Microsoft is trying to interfere with China’s migration to its distributions of GNU/Linux (see Microsoft influence in Asia). Microsoft — and occasionally Bill Gates personally — try to get Chinese people to put malware (most insecure ever) on their PCs. Despite the NSA “elephant in the room”, despite the cost, and so on. Vista 10 is not an operating system but malware calling itself an operating system. How stupid does Microsoft think the Chinese are? Every person with a clue knows that Vista 10 has been more or less designed to suck up data and dominate over the users. Microsoft Windows is going the way of the dodo and enters the territories of nagware, covert (forced) installs, and Microsoft boosters are at the moment trying to pretend that there is a way to opt out (that’s the themes of several articles from Microsoft’s messengers in the media). But as Empty Wheel pointed out earlier today, “Microsoft spreads FUD” to pressure people to move to Vista 10.

“If you’re an oldster IT person like me,” wrote the author at Empty Wheel, “you recall the Halloween memo scandal of 1998, documenting Microsoft’s practice of promulgating fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) about competing operating systems in order to gain and control Windows market share. For more than a decade, Microsoft relied on FUD to ensure near-ubiquity of Windows and Word software products. Now Microsoft is using FUD not to prevent customers from using other products, but to encourage migration from Windows 7 to Windows 10, to reduce possible state-sponsored attacks on Win 7 systems.

“Microsoft is now lobbying China, however, based on various articles about its efforts to derail GNU/Linux in China’s public sector — as if they’ll foolishly take the bait.”“Personally, I think Microsoft has already been ridiculously ham-handed in its push for Win 10 upgrades before this latest FUD. If you are a Win 7 or Win 8 user, you’ve already seen attempts to migrate users embedded in recent security patches (read: crapware). I’ve had enough FUD for a lifetime — I’m already running open source operating systems Linux and Android on most of my devices. I would kill for an Android desktop or laptop…”

Empty Wheel is a good Web site that usually explores issues such as mass surveillance, espionage, and covert operations. It can definitely give the Chinese government very compelling reasons to tell Microsoft to go away and leave China alone. Microsoft is now lobbying China, however, based on various articles about its efforts to derail GNU/Linux in China’s public sector — as if they’ll foolishly take the bait. Let’s see how long it takes for the Gates Foundation to flex its lobbying muscles there.

“As Modi has been visiting Microsoft executives we sure hope he has the strength and the integrity to say “No” to Nadella.”Meanwhile, further south in Asia, Microsoft shamelessly attacks India’s technology policy, for merely ‘daring’ to not be kind enough to Microsoft. Recall these recent stories (especially from 2015) about Microsoft’s attacks on Free software in India. Microsoft India hates Free software and it constantly shows it. Remember what Microsoft did in India with EDGI. Also remember that Microsoft is trying to bring to India software patents, despite Indians not wanting these. Microsoft is lobbying in so-called conferences, with its CEO present (and supposedly his Indian roots are somehow supposed to compel Indian politicians to trust such a villainous company). To quote this new article, “Pramanik said that at a recent Microsoft conference which was attended by its global chief Satya Nadella, both communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and IT secretary JS Deepak had strongly emphasized the need for a policy that leverages the use of public cloud infrastructure.”

“Cloud” is just a nonsensical term that has become almost synonymous with or a byword for mass surveillance. To let Microsoft anywhere in India’s public sector would be worse than irresponsible. It’s a serious degradation of India’s autonomy, privacy, national interests, and national security. The same goes for China, and this is why China has been moving away from Microsoft and banning Windows, Office, etc. (especially the more recent versions with “cloud” — meaning surveillance — in them).

As Modi has been visiting Microsoft executives we sure hope he has the strength and the integrity to say “No” to Nadella. He should host everything locally, by Indian companies, using Free software, and without software patents (which in themselves are a huge threat to Free software). India has all the talent and the resources that it takes to be technologically independent in the realm of software. The same goes for China, especially so in the realm of hardware.

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