The Linux Foundation now helps Windows, too
Summary: By liaising with (or hijacking) existing members of the Linux Foundation, as well as by paying the Linux Foundation, Microsoft turns the Linux Foundation into somewhat of a Windows advocacy group
After the public embarrassment at DockerCon 2015 (causing GNU/Linux software to be tilted in Windows' favour) and more Microsoft payments to the Linux Foundation we can’t help wondering if the Linux Foundation is no longer dedicated to the promotion of GNU/Linux, the operating system. Microsoft is increasingly using its presence and pawns in the Linux Foundation in order to advance Windows at the expense of GNU/Linux. Hyper-V was an early example of that. It’s a Window program and it is proprietary. Why would the Linux Foundation bother supporting that? It was the Microsoft-bribed Novell that did this at the time. Microsoft has moles. In fact, the Linux Foundation now employs some former managers from Microsoft. Can it get much worse than that? One of the worst sites on the Web, a site that mostly rips off other Web sites without any attribution whatsoever, went with the misleading headline “Microsoft joins the Linux Foundation” and some other sites which speak about the Linux Foundation’s R Consortium are emphasising Microsoft [1, 2] as if Microsoft is now the official steward of R. For Microsoft, and by extension for Windows, this is clearly an attempt at buying out a language along with developers. As Linux Veda put it: “The creation of this consortium comes on the heels of Microsoft’s acquisition of Revolution Analytics at the end of January this year. Revolution Analytics are the leading commercial provider of software and services for R. It has been suggested by commentators that Microsoft’s competitors had joined this consortium in an attempt to keep R open.”
“Last month we showed how the Linux Foundation actually promoted Vista 10 because of AllSeen.”Here is the press release from the Linux Foundation and some resultant coverage [1, 2, 3]. Mac Asay, who had tried to work for Microsoft, suggested this “embrace” by Microsoft. In his own words:
Given R’s non-corporate nature, I shouldn’t have been surprised by the community’s response to my recent suggestion that Microsoft owned the R code and should consider contributing it to a foundation.
To paraphrase the response: “There already is a foundation — and the foundation, not some corporation, owns the code!!”
I’ll admit that I was taken aback. After all, my primary contention was that re-implementing R to get around its underlying GPL license would sacrifice R’s great community. I hadn’t bothered to take the time to dig into the provenance of the R code, as it wasn’t material to the bulk of my article. Why wasn’t that community grateful for the compliment, and indifferent to my eensie weensie faux pas?
Because the essence of R is important to its community, and that essence can’t be purchased by any corporation.
A reader who linked to the above article told us that Microsoft is “infecting a GNU project” here. It’s easier to see now why Microsoft bought an R company. It’s all about “developers developers developers developers” (Ballmer’s words) and it’s about them using Windows. Why is the Linux Foundation going along with this? Probably the same reason it goes along with horrible UEFI, Intel being a key financeer of the Foundation, even going back to the OSDL days. It’s all about who is paying. The Linux Foundation, and prior to it OSDL, is supposed to exist so that companies cannot snatch Torvalds with a huge salary but instead they will pool together money to pay Torvalds et al. This pooling mechanism is now being exploited or even compromised by Microsoft, which cleverly knows it can bribe or infiltrate the foundation (Nokia, Novell, and so forth) while the Foundation itself is defenseless as it’s not built to decline funds or repel (even ostracise) members. We wrote about this many years ago because Microsoft destroyed some consortia in this way exactly — by paying off to discredit/dilute/distract/alienate collective efforts, e.g. OSA. Zemlin’s Foundation should learn from other foundations which were cleverly destroyed by Microsoft (Android too is 'work in progress').
Watch this new article promoting proprietary Windows and framing it as “contribution” to “open source”, the context being the eerily-named AllSeen Alliance of the Linux Foundation:
Microsoft has contributed open source code called the AllJoyn Device System Bridge to the AllSeen Alliance in order to help connect legacy and purpose-built devices to the Internet of Things.
Last month we showed how the Linux Foundation actually promoted Vista 10 because of AllSeen. This is the same operating system which, according to the news a couple of days ago , “will share your Wi-Fi key with your friends’ friends”. Yes, AllSeen indeed. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
Those contacts include their Outlook.com (nee Hotmail) contacts, Skype contacts and, with an opt-in, their Facebook friends. There is method in the Microsoft madness – it saves having to shout across the office or house “what’s the Wi-Fi password?” – but ease of use has to be teamed with security. If you wander close to a wireless network, and your friend knows the password, and you both have Wi-Fi Sense, you can now log into that network.
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Summary: The problem with having Microsoft in a Linux Foundation initiative, the R Consortium
THE corrupting influence of money must never be downplayed. Over the past couple of years we have written about many examples where Microsoft injected its influence into the Linux Foundation, both in terms of staff and in terms of money. It had done so for much longer than a couple of years, sometimes through Novell, Nokia, and others. There are famous historical lessons about liaising with ruthless aggressors that want you killed, but the Linux Foundation is willing to ignore these lessons.
Another reason why the Linux Foundation cannot criticise Microsoft is money flow associated with this latest transaction (article promoted by the Linux Foundation’s own Web site). To quote: “The nonprofit Linux Foundation today announced a new initiative called the R Consortium, a new group to unite the users of the open-source R programming language, which is widely used among data scientists and statisticians.
“Microsoft, Oracle, HP, Tibco, Rstudio, and Alteryx, among others, are all sponsoring the new industry consortium. The R Foundation, a separate nonprofit dedicated to maintaining R, is a founding organization for the new consortium, which will in turn provide support to the R Foundation.”
IDG has this new R primer, composed a short while ago by a Microsoft booster. Microsoft sought to openwash itself last year by essentially buying an R company. It is beginning to look more like “Embrace, Extend, Extinguish” — a tactic which Microsoft is still very much into. █
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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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Microsoft is hiding the price tag
Summary: More proof that Microsoft charges quite a lot for Vista 10 (at OEM level), despite the perpetual deception about costs
“NOT FREE” is the only way to describe Vista 10, despite repeated lies from Microsoft and its boosters [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Vista 10 not just nonfree (proprietary) but also not free (non-gratis) and exceedingly expensive. There is no other way to put it.
We gradually see (or start seeing) Vista 10 puff pieces that promise us everything and make this yet-unreleased piece of software sound like the best thing to ever reach planet Earth. We caution our readers and ask them to remember that Microsoft bribes bloggers, journalists, etc. who review the latest Windows before anyone else gains access to it. In addition, we saw Microsoft shamefully blacklist ‘unwanted’ voices, then ask the media to claim that reviews (bribed for at approximately $1000 a pop) are largely positive. It’s intended to shape consensus before the release. It’s trend-setting by gross manipulation.
Regarding the cost of Vista 10 (hidden in OEM contracts, under NDA), now we have a clue. According to the media in Taiwan, “Microsoft has been talking to notebook brand vendors about the licensing of Windows 10 recently and is planning to charge extra fees for notebook models with high-end hardware such as Core i7 processors or Full HD display.”
So Microsoft is quietly raising the price of Windows. There’s nothing “free” about it. “Expect GNU/Linux to have a really great year,” writes Robert Pogson. Microsoft hopes to bamboozle people into the false belief that Windows and GNU/Linux are the same price. It’s all about perception, even if by repeatedly lying. █
“There’s no company called Linux, there’s barely a Linux road map. Yet Linux sort of springs organically from the earth. And it had, you know, the characteristics of communism that people love so very, very much about it. That is, it’s free.”
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“The email details how, surprise surprise, Microsoft has arranged virtually all of SCO’s financing, hiding behind intermediaries like Baystar Capital.”
Summary: The Microsoft plot to paint its proprietary software ‘open’ is largely successful, as even the Linux Foundation relents on defensive antagonism and gives up on software freedom
SEVERAL weeks ago we wrote about the openwashing of “Edge” (not to be confused with Ubuntu Edge), which is a Microsoft rebrand essentially, pretending that Microsoft embraces “Open Source” on the Web. Microsoft is still openwashing proprietary software by virtually googlebombing [1, 2, 3] “open source edge” etc. When searching for “open source windows” you might expect ReactOS, but that’s no longer the case, surely not after a misleading media blitz. Here is an example from a Microsoft propaganda site. It says: “Microsoft now makes all these feature demos available as open-course on GitHub, so that the developers can get them hands-on to learn more about it. The sole aim of presenting the Test Drive Site is to help developers play around with the new interface and its features and to get hands-on review and endways experience before the official launch of Windows 10 in July 29.”
“Are all these recent hires from Microsoft making the Linux Foundation unable to say “no” to Microsoft?”The kind of openwashing extends from Edge (proprietary) to Vista 10 (also proprietary and definitely not free, no matter how many times Microsoft lies about the cost [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]). How can Microsoft get away with this? If people are passive enough, it might actually pass muster.
We have meanwhile found this new article titled “Install Microsoft Visual Studio Code on 32-bit Ubuntu Systems with Ubuntu Make 0.8.2″. It’s an article from a Linux site (Softpedia’s Linux section) which tactlessly helps Microsoft entrap GNU/Linux users. That’s the second time in about a month and once again, installing proprietary software from Microsoft is described as a reasonable thing to do (or worth doing, like installing Microsoft’s malware Skype on GNU/Linux). Visual Studio Code is proprietary and it may have malicious antifeatures that no audit can yet demonstrate. That’s aside from the fact that helping Microsoft is unwise. The editor promotes .NET and other Microsoft lock-in. GNU/Linux already had plenty of fantastic code editors, most of which are Free software and framework-neutral.
Speaking of helping Microsoft, watch the Linux Foundation’s Open Container Project — like others before it — getting infiltrated by Microsoft upon launch:
Microsoft and a bunch of its biggest competitors, including Google and Amazon, have joined forces for the Open Container Project, a non-profit organization housed under the Linux Foundation – the governing body of the Linux open source operating system, which Microsoft once considered its biggest competitor.
The Linux Foundation needs to watch out as it foolishly opens the lion’s mouth wide open yet again, as if just to look at what’s deep inside the lion’s throat (lots of carcasses of other prior fools like Corel, Yahoo!, Nokia, and Novell). Microsoft still wants to destroy GNU/Linux and its participation in the Open Container Project is about promoting Windows (containers greatly contribute to the obsolescence of Windows, according to a new Red Hat study). What was the Linux Foundation thinking in this case? Are all these recent hires from Microsoft making the Linux Foundation unable to say “no” to Microsoft? █
“We [Microsoft] believe every Linux customer basically has an undisclosed balance-sheet liability.”
–Steve Ballmer, Microsoft
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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 uses patent/royalty stacking strategy to abuse and game the market
Summary: Nokia is now gunning down or picking on Linux-centric (and/or Android-focused) companies, extracting patent tax from at least some of them after Microsoft left this dead company with many of its patents, scattering the rest to strategic (Microsoft-leaning) patent trolls
WE ARE truly troubled to have just found out that Nokia, which was destroyed by Microsoft’s Elop (now outside of Microsoft again), is officially extracting money from LG. LG uses only Android for its phones (WebOS for other products and this too is Linux-powered) and since Nokia is Microsoft’s proxy and LG already pays Microsoft, this is a bit like double-dipping; this is patent stacking (the official term for this practice is sometimes “royalty stacking”, as this paper from Mark Lemley explains). According to CBS, “Nokia Technologies and LG have agreed to a smartphone patent licensing agreement, the companies announced on Tuesday. Under the terms of the deal, LG will pay royalties to Nokia for use of its patents on mobile communications.”
“Microsoft is quickly becoming more and more like patent troll and its sidekick, Nokia, sure works hard to ensure that Microsoft’s rivals cannot get a breath of fresh air.”So it’s not so much of a deal. It is hardly mutual because it’s LG which is said to be paying Nokia, the company which was already warned by European officials about becoming a troll like this (after Microsoft practically took over). Microsoft is now an almost non-practising firm, just a troll, directly and by proxy, attacking Android from many directions in an effort to increase its cost. According to this one new roundup of articles (relating to Nokia and Microsoft) “Microsoft Lumia phones are DEAD”, leaving Microsoft and Nokia in more of a “patent troll” status (but big trolls, not the stigma thereof). They hardly have any market share, but they sure attack the market’s winners.
To quote IDG: “Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s reorganization of the company is causing some serious head-scratching. Commentators — including this Humble Blogwatcher — are reaching the inescapable conclusion that the ex-Nokia Lumia business is dead (or, at least, mortally wounded).
“Redmond certainly seems to be sidelining the perpetually loss-making Windows phone devices group. And the departure of two notable scapegoats seems to confirm the view: Yes, Stephen Elop is out, along with one of his trusted lieutenants, Jo Harlow. Do you hear echoes of the KIN débâcle?”
Microsoft is quickly becoming more and more like patent troll and its sidekick, Nokia, sure works hard to ensure that Microsoft’s rivals cannot get a breath of fresh air. Free and fair competition is apparently not an option because Microsoft cannot cope with real competition. If “Microsoft loves Linux”, then it’s equally reasonable to say that I love Microsoft. █
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