“Embrace and extend” manoeuvre in action
Image credit: Linux Veda
Summary: Articles in the corporate media and some analysis from smaller media sites serve to highlight the role which Microsoft plays in Cyanogen
THIS topic was covered here before (to some degree), but the severity could not be emphasised strongly enough because Microsoft is in the “extend” phase of its infamous “embrace, extend, extinguish” (EEE) manoeuvre and this time it targets Android.
In our previous posts about Cyanogen (almost a dozen of them) we highlighted Microsoft’s offers of funding to Cyanogen and Microsoft-friendly sources of financing to Cyanogen. Rupert Murdoch aside (a friend of Bill Gates and sworn enemy of Google), Twitter reportedly helps fund the Microsoft-serving actor known as Cyanogen; it is worth noting that Twitter partnered with Microsoft on translations, ads, etc.
To avoid us having to recapitulate and repeat the broad evidence connecting Microsoft and Cyanogen, consider reading articles such as:
For those who still believe that Microsoft is trying to be ‘nice’ here, see what we wrote exactly one week ago; it’s a 6-part series:
There is a new article from Jack Germain and the article is titled “Big Money Helps Cyanogen Go for Android’s Jugular”.
ECT’s Germain foolishly (if not foolishly, then it’s malicious) quotes Microsoft mouthpiece Rob Enderle regarding this Microsoft proxy, Cyanogen. It is not surprising that he comes up with phrases like: “In some developer communities, negative reactions toward Google rival the disdain usually reserved for Microsoft.”
That’s actually not true. Many developers love Google or at least accept it much more openly than they accept Apple for example. Google not only funds many FOSS projects but also runs many of its own. This article not only relays Enderle’s Microsoft-inspired talking points but neglects to mention ECT also gave Enderle its platform for a pay in the past. Very irresponsible ‘journalism’. See part 6 of the 6-parts series above. Microsoft relies on such media distortion to distract from its crimes and abuses.
“Many developers love Google or at least accept it much more openly than they accept Apple for example.”A much better article has just come from Eric Brown, who explained Cyanogen’s connection to Microsoft. He correctly noted that Samsung’s Microsoft ‘deal’ came just one “month after Microsoft and Samsung settled a longstanding royalties lawsuit” (there is a connection there).
“An acquisition,” he explains, “also remains a possibility. Like Microsoft, most of Cyanogen’s employees are based in Seattle.” It would not be shocking if some of the staff is former Microsoft staff trying to disrupt Google.
Cyanogen and Microsoft are “close to finalizing a wide-ranging partnership,” he added, citing seemingly reliable sources.
Brown’s article, “Are Cyanogen and Microsoft Ready to Stick it to Google?”, is a good and comprehensive roundup of many things we have covered. It says: “The rumor of a Cyanogen partnership with Microsoft emerged in January in a Wall Street Journal report that Microsoft would be a minority investor in the fast growing software firm. The Forbes story reports that the rumored $80 million funding round has just been completed, but did not include Microsoft. An investment may well be part of the bundling deal expected later this year, however.”
Brown also explains that “many of CyanogenMod’s 50 million users purchase Google Apps, even if they’ve just flashed it from their Android phone in order to load CyanogenMod. The open source Android clone has gained its huge following, including some 9,000 open source developer volunteers, due to its up-to-date, open source, bloatware-free Android code. Also popular are its extensive customization opportunities, better battery life, and often faster performance. The project was launched in 2009 by hacker extraordinaire Steve Kondik, who continues on as Cyanogen’s CTO.
“Mobile device vendors who pay big money to Google to pre-install the popular Google Apps have long chafed at the relationship. Google has reportedly used the apps as leverage to ensure greater control over Android or sell other Google services. Samsung’s backing of the Linux-based Tizen platform was seen as a response to Google’s app domination, although the company now appears to have slowed its push for Tizen on phones even as it continues to deploy it elsewhere.”
“Bribes and extortion don’t make Microsoft ‘nice’; they make it more evil (and arguably more dangerous) than ever before.”Cyanogen as a Microsoft proxy does not require unsound hypotheses. It’s not far-fetched at all given all the evidence, including patent extortion against Samsung and OEM partners like Dell (now directly connected to Microsoft). “A month after Microsoft and Samsung settled a longstanding royalties lawsuit,” Brown explains, “the companies expanded a partnership this week that was announced at Mobile World Congress. In addition to pre-installing Microsoft OneNote, OneDrive, and Skype on Samsung’s new Galaxy 6 phones, Samsung says it will soon bundle those apps, along with Android-optimized Office apps (Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint), on selected Samsung Android tablets. Microsoft also announced it has signed similar deals with Dell, as well as 10 other lesser known hardware partners.”
Those other hardware partners were always — as far as we can tell — subjected to patent extortion from Microsoft. Brown concludes: “It’s unclear whether that bullet may someday ride in on a deal with Microsoft that goes beyond apps to include a version of Windows Phone based on Cyanogen OS. An acquisition also remains a possibility. Like Microsoft, most of Cyanogen’s employees are based in Seattle.”
Brown does not omit context such as Microsoft’s hatred of GNU/Linux. He additionally notes: “The ironies are thick here, considering that for many years Microsoft strong-armed PC vendors into pre-installing Office, or pressured them into loading Windows on netbooks instead of Linux. Now, after Google ruined its plans to establish Windows Phone as the rival mobile platform to Apple’s iOS, Microsoft is playing the underdog game while increasingly cozying up to open source projects, including the Raspberry Pi Foundation and perhaps Cyanogen.”
We have already chastised the Raspberry Pi Foundation over this. Its response to us was sarcastic, not factual, which does make one wonder if Microsoft is indeed paying the Raspberry Pi Foundation a lot of money to do this. Bribes and extortion don’t make Microsoft ‘nice’; they make it more evil (and arguably more dangerous) than ever before. █
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Microsoft is ‘open’ like BP is ‘green’ (openwashing follows greenwashing tactics)
Summary: Microsoft’s charm offensives against Free/libre software are proving to be rather effective, despite them involving a gross distortion of facts and exploitation of corruptible elements in the corporate media
SIX days ago we published a series of six articles which are listed in order below:
The issue discussed in part 1 receives a lot of media attention, even from corporate media (in this case, GOP-leaning media). To quote one such report: “The feature we’re concerned with is called Secure Boot, and it’s designed to protect you: The installed OS becomes locked to the hardware itself, and if any other OS attempts to interfere (like a low-level malware app for example) then the system simply won’t start up. OEMs were ordered to make Secure Boot optional with Windows 8 but it looks like they are going to be given the opportunity to make it mandatory in Windows 10.”
“Microsoft is pretending to be Open Source because of new policies that require procuring Open Source software, e.g. in India.”What the corporate media gets wrong is the part about security. It’s not “designed to protect you”. In fact, much of the recent press coverage serves to show that UEFI reduces security in many cases. Some media sites/conglomerates such as IDG already explained (last year) how it can be used for remotely bricking PCs (pretty much at hardware level). We have covered several examples over the past 3 years, so evidence continues to mount. IDG’s Microsoft booster Andy Patrizio wrote: “I suspect if you are smart enough to use Linux, you are smart enough to shut off Secure Boot in the UEFI.”
That’s not an excuse. It also perpetuate myths about GNU/Linux being “hard to use”. “Still,” he continues, “it’s a PR hit for Microsoft, a company that has been earning a lot of goodwill lately.”
That’s utter nonsense as well. As pointed out in part 6 above, Microsoft just manipulates the media (or relies on boosters like Patrizio) to make it seem as though it changed its attitude. As we’ve pointed out in 3 recent articles, there are changes in tendering processes worldwide. Microsoft is pretending to be Open Source because of new policies that require procuring Open Source software, e.g. in India. Yesterday KV Kurmanath planted a Microsoft puff piece in The Hindu Business Line, relaying the bogus narrative of Microsoft as “Open Source”. People must react and counter these lies or else Microsoft will become indistinguishable from Free/libre software, based on a reality-distorting campaign. Microsoft already pretends that Windows, its common carrier, is 'Open Source' or something along these lines. █
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Summary: Microsoft’s obscene double-standards leave Android and Linux between a rock and a hard place
IS IT true that Microsoft loves Linux? What a silly question, but some people and even GNU/Linux vendors actually entertain the possibility that Microsoft loves GNU/Linux, even in the face of heavy and overwhelming contradictory evidence (we gave plenty of evidence to the contrary on Saturday, in a 6-part “Microsoft Hates Linux” series).
As Zacks put it earlier today, “Microsoft has come up with a way for Android users to install a Windows 10-based ROM on Android devices that would take them over and offer Windows-based software offerings (Cortana, Office and Skype).”
For Microsoft, wiping Android from inside Android is "OK", but wiping Windows is not allowed or even possible in some cases. Microsoft actively works to prevent it. As this new article reminds us, “Microsoft tightens Windows 10′s Secure Boot screws” to prevent GNU/Linux from booting (let alone being installed). There are borderline apologists of this — those who try to spin that as “good news” because people can now avoid such machines or buy GNU/Linux preinstalled instead. Either way, Microsoft has made life very hard for GNU/Linux users and one comment I received earlier today said: “I want to buy the hardware I like and I want to install the software I like onto it. Why is there a company (read: a devil) who decides what my options are? Why aren’t there any independent hardware builders? So the Linux community is depending on the mood of angry corporations?”
Well, Microsoft is now relying on vendors to help it reduce options and prevent people from exercising real choice. It’s like an assault by proxy — one to which antitrust laws apply. There is patent blackmail in the mix, as Microsoft coerces vendors into betraying their customers, at legal gunpoint.
Bridget Carey from CNET (part of CBS) said that “Microsoft is getting friendly with Android.”
Apparently then, patent extortion and bribes is “friendly”. We are very much annoyed to see Microsoft-friendly media (paid by Microsoft) characterising extortion and bribes as Microsoft “getting friendly” or “playing nicer” with Android. It’s a massive lie. There is also no mention of what Microsoft is really up to in the article “Microsoft’s Android and iOS assault”. It mentions nothing about coercion using patent extortion. Microsoft decided to sue over software patents (mere claims) with their lawyers (e.g. against Samsung), that’s how they strike so-called “deals” for “select Android devices”. Tools of blackmail are not about “deals” but about abuse. Three years ago Pegatron was extorted by Microsoft, so no wonder it too got ‘co-opted’. Pegatron, Samsung and so on (even the Microsoft-connected Dell) are not surprising members of this blackmail-driven ‘pact’; Microsoft likes to target large distributors of Android using lawsuits. It’s Microsoft’s new strategy, there is no newly-found love.
Then there is the Cyanogen case, which nicely shows how Microsoft works by proxy. The Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal misleads on Google ‘antitrust’ while Murdoch himself now openly invests in this anti-Google and pro-Microsoft company called Cyanogen. We wrote about it earlier this week. There is a new article titled “Why people are wrong about the world needing an Android that Google can’t control” and what it fails to mention is that Cyanogen sells Android users to Microsoft. That’s the business model. Cyanogen is now a tool of Microsoft and this article says that “[a]ccording to sources familiar with the matter, future devices taking advantage of Cyanogen OS might actually ship out with Microsoft Bing and Office apps instead of Google Search Drive.”
eWeek has got a misleading series of articles right now. One is titled “Cyanogen Aspires to Become Open-Source Android Alternative to Google”. Well, preinstalling Microsoft’s proprietary software is not “Open-Source Android Alternative to Google” but a proprietary alternative to Android. Todd Weiss, writing another article for eWeek, is also wrong. The headline says “Android Open-Source Vendor Cyanogen Veers Off Google’s Android Path”. However, Cyanogen is not “Android Open-Source Vendor” but a Microsoft tool replacing FOSS (for the most part) with Microsoft proprietary software which sucks up data (documents, audio, etc.) to be relayed to the NSA.
In our IRC channels MinceR wrote that “Cyanogen shows its true colors as yet another front for Microsoft,” citing this article. The goal is to destroy Android and to make it another Windows. Microsoft will try to make it less visible by changing the terms of financing, keeping Cyanogen at a short distance to save face. Microsoft is now paying them handsomely but secretly, as an applications (via OEMs) partner rather than an investor. Here at Techrights we wrote about 4 articles about it in the past 1.5 weeks alone and prior to that we warned about Cyanogen for its proprietary software agenda, which is also apathetic towards privacy. Cyanogen has nothing to do with control, privacy, freedom etc.; it just tries to turn Android into Windows in exchange for cash. Bill Gates’ friend Rupert Murdoch now funds it personally and Microsoft was going to fund it too before Murdoch’s media published an exclusive article about it, drawing criticism rather than glee.
Mark said that Cyanogen is “a colorless, toxic gas,” according to Wikipedia. “Cyanogen is a highly toxic compound” “Lethal dose through inhalation typically ranges from 100 to 150 mg. [...] cyanogen is very toxic, as it readily undergoes reduction to cyanide, which poisons the cytochrome c oxidase complex, thus interrupting the mitochondrial electron transfer chain” (see Wikipedia for more).
“Why in the world,” remarked Mark, “would anyone name their software product after a deadly poison? Perhaps their subconscious mind is warning people.”
In part 6 of our "Microsoft Hates Linux" series we wrote about Microsoft’s manipulation of the press, which causes proprietary software from Microsoft to be characterised as “open”. Even Linux Magazine fell for it; it’s part of the effort to paint Visual Studio “open”, “free”, or whatever.
India’s Government, as we mentioned at the time, currently formulates policy on adoption of open source software (several more articles are appearing right now to cover this right now) and that’s why Microsoft pretends to be “Open Source”. It doesn’t want to be left excluded, so it needs to pretend to be part of the Open Source crowd. It’s achieved by means of hijack/capture/infiltration and unless the public antagonises this, Microsoft will get its way. █
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Summary: UEFI makes computers more prone to infections, according to some security experts
THE abusive Intel spreads UEFI to help the abusive Microsoft by means of lockout (there have been many articles about that as of late). It serves to protect the Windows monopoly and protect Intel’s monopoly (with UEFI patents that we highlighted previously). Our posts about UEFI contain a lot of examples of that. UEFI ‘secure’ boot is not really about security and in some ways it makes security even worse, as we showed on numerous occasions before. UEFI can enable espionage agencies (such as GCHQ, NSA and so on) to remotely brick PCs, rendering them unbootable (no matter the operating system). Remember Stuxnet.
There are several new reports which say that UEFI has got additional ways in which it makes computers less secure. To quote the British media: “The high amount of code reuse across UEFI BIOSes means that BIOS infection can be automatic and reliable.”
To quote some US media: “Though such “voodoo” hacking will likely remain a tool in the arsenal of intelligence and military agencies, it’s getting easier, Kallenberg and Kovah believe. This is in part due to the widespread adoption of UEFI, a framework that makes it easier for the vendors along the manufacturing chain to add modules and tinker with the code.”
Next time Intel or Microsoft insist that UEFI is needed for ‘security’ we should have stronger arguments with which to debunk such myths. It’s marketing of monopolies disguised as “advancement”. █
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Summary: Microsoft is still hiding behind the façade of ‘love’ whilst actively attacking GNU/Linux and Free software from many directions
THE Times of India has this borrowed article which says “Windows and Office are about to get much, much more complex, confusing, and expensive” (anyone with enough experience ought to have foreseen or known this).
Windows becoming ‘free’ is a lie (we have covered lies about the cost of Vista 10 in [1, 2, 3]) and it’s easy to see why people were led to believe this. Microsoft is trying to slow down or halt migrations to GNU/Linux, which are already happening even in large numbers (in my daytime job, for example, we’ve migrated entire companies to GNU/Linux). Confusing people about cost would be quite effective a method, even if an extremely dirty method (it’s all vapourware/promises because Vista 10 has not been released yet, hence no risk of lawsuits for false advertising).
Maria Deutscher, a relatively new Microsoft propagandist (recall the time she published "Microsoft continues open source love affair") is openwashing Microsoft again with lots of nonsense and PR wrapped up in the form of an ‘article’ (more of an advertisement), adding to the nonsense from Microsoft marketing sites masquerading as “news”. They are trying to paint purely proprietary software as “open”. This is another kind of lie. It helps stall migrations to Free software such as Apache, Java, Drupal, GNU/Linux, etc.
Speaking of Drupal, which I deploy and support in my daytime job, watch Microsoft's partner Trustwave openly badmouthing it (yesterday’s ‘news’ resurrecting news from several months ago). The ‘newsflash’ from this Microsoft mouthpiece is that some people don’t patch Drupal, hence Drupal is supposedly at risk from a flaw patched nearly six months ago (the simple patch was made available as soon as the flaw was announced!). This is beyond FUD; it’s a lie and it is very shameless. Then again, Trustwave is a FUD firm, so why not target some gullible people who don’t comprehend security issues at a technical level? Why not borrow news from half a year ago, posting it afresh?
We recently covered a series of Microsoft lies in the “Microsoft hates GNU/Linux” marathon (on Saturday), wherein, in part 6 to be specific, we spoke about the media propaganda (Microsoft pretending to embrace FOSS and love Linux) and in part 1 we spoke about Microsoft’s blocking of FOSS operating systems, including GNU/Linux (a complete contradiction of Microsoft’s claims).
Well, the word is spreading regarding the lock-out of GNU/Linux as IDG says that “PC vendors may not have to include a Secure Boot toggle with Windows 10, making it harder for users to install alternative operating systems.”
Harder? How about impossible?
Here is another take on it which says: “The Secure Boot feature in Microsoft Windows 10 could make life difficult for users of Linux and other open source operating systems.”
No, it can make it impossible on particular machines. This is an antitrust matter and it should be raised as such as soon as possible.
This subject was already floated in Techrights’ IRC channel several times, with additional links on the subject. Addressing an optimistic response from Phoronix (quoted here the other day), Mark said that “this is a “boil the frog” thing… Microsoft is turning up the heat… they don’t have to make it impossible to boot Linux, that would attract attention from the DOJ… they’ll just keep making it more and more difficult.”
Balrog responded by saying, “expect low end stuff to be locked out, like the 7″ Zcer tablets…it’s stuff for which they don’t even bother to make a stable UEFI firmware.”
Mark then responded by quoting Michael Larabel as saying that “it’s not a nightmare scenario quite yet”, then adding, “that’s not very reassuring” (it’s actually a very bad scenario).
Responding to Larabel’s assumption that Microsoft might not revoke the Linux key he wrote: “Wow, that’s not something I can really count on” (not based on history anyway).
XFaCE told me some hours ago: “your recent Microsoft articles are excellent. I didn’t know Win 10 had no off secure boot requirement for OEMs, but we knew that would eventually happen. Even Nathan Lineback knew. Doesn’t take a genius.”
Jamie Watson, who recently complained about UEFI and Microsoft’s sabotage of multi/dual-boot setups (we covered it earlier this week), is right now complaining about it yet again and he provides details of what Microsoft is doing to his computer. To quote his summary: “As if wiping one of my disks weren’t enough, Windows Update has decided to go into a ‘reboot loop’ on my desktop Windows 7 system.” To quote him from the body of the article: “I know that I just posted a fairly long rant about Windows Update last week, and I don’t want this to turn into a blog called “Jamie’s Mostly ‘I Hate Windows’ Stuff”, so I am going to make this quite short and to the point. But I think it is important to post it, because it looks like I have experienced a problem that might specifically target people who are likely to read a blog such as mine.
“First, this problem affects my Lenovo T400 laptop, which I use with a docking station on my desk at home, and which is loaded with Windows 7 Professional 64-bit and a variety of Linux distributions. It is not Windows 8, it is not UEFI boot, and it is not a GPT partitioned disk – it is a ‘plain vanilla’ (bog standard? could be appropriate for Windows…) Windows 7 MBR system.”
So Microsoft continues not only to hate GNU/Linux but also to sabotage it, leaving Mr. Watson having to do very complicated things merely to run GNU/Linux on hardware he bought. The vast majority of people can never do this, not even with detailed instructions.
If Microsoft really loves Linux, then it must be next Tuesday already (April 1st). █
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Summary: Microsoft’s Android coup d’état is succeeding owing to public apathy and poor comprehension of what Microsoft really is up to, partly due to media misdirection
Promoters of Microsoft try to tell us that Android backers are now turning to Microsoft, but what they don't talk about are the extortion, bribes and back room deals. This new article from Neil McAllister is belittling (by not even mentioning) the role of blackmail in the case of Samsung, the clear leader in the Android world (based on market share). McAllister says that “Microsoft, still struggling to gain a foothold in the smartphone market, is pressing ahead with efforts to have its software bundled on Android devices from major manufacturers, with Samsung as its first partner.” This is a classic lie by omission and we have seen it almost everywhere we looked on the Internet (presumably it’s the same in the press).
What’s rather troubling is that with more patent lawsuits (Microsoft is still suing Android/Linux using software patents) Microsoft might have more such 'partners' (extorted parties) on the way, not to mention bribed ‘partners’ [1, 2]. Cyanogen got caught opening up to money from Microsoft because they got coverage from Rupert Murdoch-owned media (Wall Street Journal) and interestingly enough it is now Rupert Murdoch who provides funds to this company which turns Android into ‘Microsoft Android’ (Microsoft software pre-loaded). It isn’t too shocking given Rupert Murdoch’s close relations with Microsoft and with Bill Gates, let aside his hatred of Google.
According to this report, Cyanogen “has secured $80m (£54m) in funding from the likes of Twitter, Telefonica and the media mogul Rupert Murdoch.” CBS says “Cyanogen raised $80 million in a series C round of funding led by venture-capital firm Premji Invest, the company announced on Monday. Twitter’s private-investment arm, Twitter Ventures, as well as Qualcomm, and even media bigwig Rupert Murdoch participated in the funding round. In total, Cyanogen has raised $110 million since 2009.”
As we pointed out even years ago, Cyanogen is neither about freedom nor privacy. At the moment it’s about pre-loading Microsoft software (surveillance-centric) from Microsoft. It’s not hard to see whose interests are being served by Cyanogen. █
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Microsoft loves [to hijack and repurpose] Linux
Defections at gunpoint
Summary: A strategy involving harassment and bribes drives large Android players into Microsoft’s arms (PRISM and lock-in), much to Google’s (and users’) detriment and beyond regulators’ range of visibility
LAST month we said that Microsoft was reportedly using patent blackmail to pressure Samsung into becoming a Microsoft peon. We were later proven right and Microsoft’s booster (one of very many who now work for CBS) Mary Jo Foley put a positive spin on it, as if it was all kisses and roses. She continues doing that in her latest puff piece (framing that as nothing nefarious) where she says that “Samsung announced last month it would preinstall OneNote, OneDrive and Skype on the Glaxy S6 and S6 Edge. In the coming months — some time in the first half of calendar 2015, Samsung also will preinstall Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype on “select” Samsung Android tablets, Samsung announced today.”
Mary Jo Foley does not mention the patent case and settlement, does she? That would upset Microsoft, which is too busy portraying itself as a friend of Linux while it is suing Linux (using software patents).
Following Microsoft’s support for Cyanogen (again, do not be misled by retractions after getting caught) Microsoft’s booster writes that “[i]f the rumor mill is right, Android distribution startup Cyanogen might be next up to forge a similar bundling relationship with Microsoft. A recent Forbes report claims Cyanogen is “close to finalizing a wide-ranging partnership to incorporate several of Microsoft’s mobile services, including Bing, the voice-powered Cortana digital assistant, the OneDrive cloud-storage system, Skype and Outlook, into Cyanogen’s devices.”
Microsoft’s booster also mentions Dell. How convenient. Our Dell wiki pages would help remind readers what Microsoft has done to Dell not only on the Android front but on other fronts too. Dell is nothing but a vassal of Microsoft right now.
We expect the next step to be use of patent extortion to force more Android backers into Microsoft's bed. Don’t expect Mary Jo Foley and fellow Microsoft spinners to tell the whole story. Lies by omission may be the strategy.
Microsoft loves Linux like a shark loves fish. █
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Summary: Black Duck “was founded [on] the idea … to keep GPL-licensed code out of corporate codebases entirely,” according to a new report
TECHRIGHTS has spent nearly a decade battling Black Duck. This schizophrenic-looking firm (trying to come across as pro-FOSS), Black Duck, is the very prominent (and well-funded) entity which has been a source of endless GPL FUD, claiming that the GPL is declining, that it is dangerous, and that it oughtn’t be embraced by businesses.
This new article from Jon Gold of the FOSS-hostile NetworkWorld happens to provide us with wonderful evidence of the roots and the original goals/raison d’être of “Black Duck” (black agent would be a more suitable name). The article is titled “Open-source’s former ‘police’ now helping businesses adopt” (the latter is pure marketing and acceptance of Black Duck’s claims at face value).
Black Duck, founded by a marketing guy from Microsoft (see the image above for highlights from LinkedIn), is mostly a marketing company. It was never ‘police’ and it was never an authority; it was a parasite pretending to be about FOSS while harvesting software patents, badmouthing Free software, and even ripping off companies like Palamida, which had done work — very time-consuming work — collecting usage figures regarding GPLv3.
Gold’s article is useful to us because of the very revealing part which says: “Executive Vice President and CTO Bill Ledingham said that when the company was founded the idea was to keep GPL-licensed code out of corporate codebases entirely.”
So Black Duck, which was founded by a guy from Microsoft, was acting more like a mole, nothing else. It was fighting copyleft adoption. No need for speculations or hypotheses anymore.
In a similar vein, Microsoft’s support for Cyanogen (do not be misled by retractions after getting caught) serves to show another mole-like strategy. This new article by Miguel Helft (to appear next month in Forbes magazine) reminds us of the real goal of Cyanogen. To quote the headline: “Meet Cyanogen, The Startup That Wants To Steal Android From Google”
This sounds exactly like what Microsoft itself has been trying to do to Android (often via or with help from proxies like Facebook, Nokia, or Amazon). Do not think for a moment that Microsoft never tried to derail and topple Free software from the inside. There is a long history to that effect and we covered many examples over the years. █
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