via Wikipedia but with the GIMP treatment
Summary: The de facto Microsoft satellite known as Xamarin reveals that it is still little more than a Microsoft mobile division
LAST MONTH we wrote about Xamarin‘s absorption of a FOSS Android tool, which quickly turned proprietary (almost instantaneously while takeover negotiations took place). Xamarin Studio, like a lot of Xamarin’s proprietary software, does nor even run on GNU/Linux. There is hardly any pretence anymore that Miguel de Icaza and his Microsoft-connected ilk even care about FOSS. These traitors show their true colours and disdain for anything FOSS.
“There is hardly any pretence anymore that Miguel de Icaza and his Microsoft-connected ilk even care about FOSS.”According to Microsoft's booster at El Reg (Anderson), the latest release from Xamarin still has no Java, just Microsoft lock-in like .NET, XAML, etc. To quote his piece:
Xamarin releases version 4.0 of its cross-platform mobile developer suite
The company has grown rapidly, since it solves a problem for Microsoft-platform developers who now need to target mobile, especially following the failure of Windows Phone to achieve significant market share. “We have over 10,000 customers, 350 consulting partners and 2,000 integration partners,” Friedman told the Reg.
When will everyone recognise that the real motivation at Xamarin is serving as some kind of Microsoft satellite or proxy? Nothing good has come of Xamarin since Novell dumped (laid off all the employees of) Mono and a firm/VC connected to Microsoft became its sugar daddy. █
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Forking (to turn Android into a Microsoft common carrier), patent litigation (to threaten zero-cost advantage), and takeovers (to annihilate software freedom)
Summary: A glance at the current situation in the mobile market, where Microsoft has virtually no presence, with focus on how Microsoft is trying to intervene and wrestle with the market leader, Android
THE MOBILE market is a very lucrative one. Not only has it outgrown the desktop (and laptop) market but it also thrives — from a business point of view — because of a huge number of applications which many people pay for. There is a lot of money to be made in mobility, both on the software side and hardware side. Microsoft makes money from neither.
Microsoft tried hard to enter the mobile market but since the Windows Mobile days it barely ever succeeded. Nowadays, Microsoft’s mobile platforms continue to be called off and Microsoft tries to rebrand, most latterly with the Vista 10 label.
“There is a lot of money to be made in mobility, both on the software side and hardware side. Microsoft makes money from neither.”As many of the spendings are gradually moving away from the desktops, the revenues reported by Microsoft decline a great deal and Microsoft even reports losses. Then, financial games (or accounting tricks) are used to make up for it. According to Wall Street media, Microsoft now “raises money to repurchase stock and repay existing debt. It sold its longest portion, a 40-year bond, at a yield that was 1.8 percentage points more than comparable government debt, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. also sold bonds today.”
This is not a sign of health; it’s rather the very opposite. Its due to a rapidly-slipping Windows dominance. Rest assured that Microsoft's force-feeding of Windows will only get worse, as the British media serves to reaffirm, as does the pseudo-British media (US company with co.uk domain and some writers who happen to be British but living abroad). Microsoft’s force-feeding of Vista 10 is painted as quite benign by Microsoft Peter, but most people find it infuriating.
“Microsoft’s force-feeding of Vista 10 is painted as quite benign by Microsoft Peter, but most people find it infuriating.”Going back to the situation in the mobile market, it could, in principle, help Microsoft find reprieve. Apple, for example, isn’t doing so badly, and that’s largely owing to its presence in the mobile market (especially where people have a lot money that they are willing to spend). Microsoft cannot sell mobile devices, hence it is unable to impose its APIs, patents, lock-in etc. on this market. This, in turn, harms Microsoft’s desktop monopoly. Based on new articles such as “Microsoft’s smartphone sales collapse and even Surface feels the pinch” or “Microsoft reports falling revenues, slowing Surface sales in latest quarter”, things won’t change for the better any time soon. To quote one report: “‘Mobile first, cloud first’ is Microsoft’s new mantra, but its fiscal first quarter financial results showed growth in only one of them. Indeed, the mobile hardware business saw its revenues fall by a huge 54% year-on-year, to $1.1bn at constant currency, a sad comedown from the glory days of Nokia, and with gross operating profit of just $100m.”
As readers of ours know by now, Microsoft is now attempting E.E.E. (embrace, extend, extinguish) of the leading mobile platform, Android, which is based on Linux. Microsoft tries to turn an open platform into its own proprietary back yard.
The Microsoft booster Tim Anderson now bashes Free software using a case of a company bought by a Microsoft proxy, Xamarin. To be fair to Anderson, maybe it was the editor’s own bait headline, “RoboVM: Open source? Sorry, it’s not working for us” (well, surely it worked well enough until Xamarin decided to take over because the project thrived and then got acquired).
Microsoft and Xamarin appear to be crushing the freedom of Android, one piece at a time, after Xamarin formally took over RoboVM [1, 2]. To quote from Anderson’s article:
The company, which was recently acquired by Xamarin, used to publish its core compiler under the GPL licence. However, users noticed that the latest published version on GitHub was 1.6, while the product itself is at 1.9.
So they turned from copyleft to proprietary. Xamarin sure is a kiss of death to software freedom. As The VAR Guy put it, “RoboVM has made its mobile app development platform closed-source. Previously, the platform was an open source product licensed under the GNU GPL.”
“Xamarin sure is a kiss of death to software freedom.”Quoting further: “So far, the company has not offered details about exactly what went wrong with its open source model. It has only made general statements about how its open code failed to attract many contributions and apparently made life easier for the company’s competitors.
“It’s also unclear to what extent RoboVM’s recent acquisition by Xamarin may have played a role in the decision to close-source the compiler. But we’re betting the timing was more than a coincidence.”
There was also a report from the Microsoft-connected ‘news’ network, 1105 Media, which contains a lot of details. Given this chronology, which probably serves to indicate time overlap between takeover negotiations and the transition to proprietary, there must have been a correlation. To quote: “The six-employee RoboVM last month announced iOS 9 support in a new release, version 1.8, the final release issued under the open source GPL license. Earlier this month, the company announced updated pricing, and shortly after came news of the Xamarin buyout. One disgruntled developer attributed these events to the company’s decision to revert to a proprietary source code model.”
Here are some other interesting parts:
“Cool,” wrote a poster identified as Carsten in reply to Müller’s message. “Now we understand. You were in talks with Xamarin for a while and one of the requirements was an updated price model (no more free stuff!) and closing down the source. Thanks for translating this process into corporate bs-bingo. Attract people for years with an open source model until you attract enough users and are acquired by the next bigger fish. Then we immediately go from open source feel good to updated pricing, closed source. Genius!”
“Complaints also abounded on a Reddit thread, and a couple Google Group discussions have sprung up to investigate interest in forking the project to keep it open source…”
Miguel de Icaza and his mates appear to love money a lot more than they love software freedom, so they squeeze this goose, RoboVM, for some golden eggs. In due course this can kill the project’s popularity. Cui bono?
“In due course this can kill the project’s popularity.”To quote someone who commented in LXer, “I have to admit, I’m a little confused. On one hand, Microsoft open-sources some components of the .NET framework, and on the other hand they closed-source a vital tool for some Android developers. I’m still convinced that Microsoft doesn’t care about FOSS or GNU/Linux, or their communities. They’re simply trying to nip a market trend in the bud… they’re competing in a manner that appears collaborative at first glance.
“I think it’s time we took a moment to re-evaluate how we look at corporate entities that offer open-source software, and if they are susceptible to buyouts, whether their projects are viable for the community to invest precious time and effort into. RoboVM would never have been such a huge loss if it had forked from the very beginning and managed by a non-corporate entity. We’ve already decided not to trust MySQL any more because of what Oracle has done to it. Why should we not apply this same decision to several other company-offered projects?”
Here is another comment:
In order to put this into perspective, it is important to keep in the forefront of our minds that we are not talking about some small company out there trying in earnest to make a go of it with a free-software project. We are talking about MICROSOFT.
Of course, we have seen this pattern repeated time and time again:
Oh my, a small company was taken advantage of by those evil free-software developers.
Well, is this really Microsoft in action or is it Xamarin or is it RoboVM?
We are all supposed to wonder now if a business model involving free-software is really a good idea… Doubt, please doubt, everyone.
blah, blah, blah… I am so bored by all these pattern repetitions.
Judging this based on the article from the Microsoft booster at The Register (especially the headline), there is indeed a lot of FUD right now, leading people to questioning of the Free software business models. Again, cui bono? █
“Gates is trying to make sure that he has a proprietary position in controlling the tools that allow you and me to access information. And that’s profitable by definition. How would you like to own the printing press?”
–PaineWebber Media Analyst Christopher Dixon
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It sure looks like E.E.E.
Miguel de Icaza with his friends from Microsoft
Summary: Further analysis of the news about RoboVM, which got taken over by a Microsoft-connected company (one might say offshoot or proxy), funded in part by Microsoft money
MICROSOFT’S WAR against the Linux-powered Android platform is well under way, currently descending into the 'extend' phase in E.E.E. against Free/libre software and against GNU/Linux. Readers of Microsoft puff pieces don’t agree with what Microsoft is saying and people at LXer recognise this strategy even from a great distance (see for example “Microsoft’s Death Embrace”). Recall what Microsoft did to Nokia and do not assume that a top contributor to Linux (which Nokia once was) will stay this way after Microsoft moles somehow manage to enter. Elop had destroyed companies before he entered Nokia and Miguel de Icaza had derailed Novell before he became a lot more closely connected to Microsoft, even working for Microsoft.
Yesterday we wrote about Xamarin‘s takeover of RoboVM (with money that came in part from Microsoft veterans). Tim Anderson oddly enough suggests that:
It may not be so welcome to Microsoft, if in the long term it dilutes the focus on C#, which has made Xamarin a key partner.
That’s assuming that the RoboVM-derived/produced work (including users of RoboVM’s products) won’t be diverted away to .NET, rather than be preserved in its current (and formerly independent) form. Perhaps it remains to be seen what Xamarin makes of RoboVM, but judging by the track record of de Icaza, the folks at RoboVM, living across the border from Nokia, may have just let in an ‘Elop’.
“It has happened before, so it can happen again; Microsoft takes great in the strategy of befriending the competition in an effort to betray and eventually kill it.”The news of the buyout (copies of the press release aside [1, 2, 3]) was covered mostly by Microsoft boosters, Microsoft-connected ‘news’ sites (multiple copies even), Microsoft apologists, and RoboVM itself. It’s almost as though the only parties interested in this are Microsoft, the acquiring party (with some funds from Microsoft veterans), and the acquired party. These are all the articles I was able to find when searching the Web. The interested parties are clear to see here. Google has absolutely nothing to gain from this.
In Xamarin’s forums Joseph Hill has said in relation to this takeover that “C# is a beautiful, advanced language with an incredibly large and passionate developer base that is continuing to adopt Xamarin in large and growing numbers.” My instinct tells me that this is part of Microsoft’s E.E.E. against Android and other mobile platforms. It has happened before, so it can happen again; Microsoft takes great in the strategy of befriending the competition in an effort to betray and eventually kill it. █
“We need to slaughter Novell before they get stronger….If you’re going to kill someone, there isn’t much reason to get all worked up about it and angry. You just pull the trigger. Any discussions beforehand are a waste of time. We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger.”
–Jim Allchin, Microsoft’s Platform Group Vice President
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Image from Android Beat
Summary: Our interpretation of the Xamarin-RoboVM news, especially in light of reports that Microsoft is trying to fork (wrest control of) Android
SOMETHING disappointing but nonetheless expected is happening these days. More and more media reports about Microsoft's intrusive and subversive strategy against Android (see  below for the latest on it) serve to suggest that our concerns are becoming ever more justified. There are many articles alluding to “forking” of Android by Microsoft (for example, “Is Microsoft Creating Its Own Android Fork?”). This is a subject that we wrote nearly a dozen articles about (especially during summer when Microsoft partnered with Cyanogen), but what about Xamarin? Half a decade ago we used to write many articles about Mono’s assault on Android (trying to shove .NET down this bot’s throat). With its strong Java roots (Oracle’s fury notwithstanding), hence the popularisation of Microsoft’s and .NET’s archenemy, Java (or Google’s derived APIs that upset Oracle so much), Android must be a real pain and an existential danger to the Microsoft monoculture.
“…Java, which sort of runs on Android in the form of Dalvik (on top of Linux), will be more tightly controlled by a company connected to Microsoft.”Miguel de Icaza‘s Xamarin, which is partly funded by Microsoft veterans and now strives to spread .NET in the form of Mono to Android (the world’s most dominant operating system at the moment), has reportedly bought RoboVM. As Phoronix put it the other day:
RoboVM specializes in creating native iOS apps within Java as a way to share apps/projects between iOS and Android while having a native user experience and performance. Xamarin has bought out RoboVM to better position themselves as a cross-platform mobile development company for C# and Java, per today’s press release. RoboVM is basically to Java for mobile as Xamarin is to C# with Mono.
In other words, Java, which sort of runs on Android in the form of Dalvik (on top of Linux), will be more tightly controlled by a company connected to Microsoft. “Embrace, Extend, Extinguish” springs to mind. How will the frameworks be bridged? Either way, this gives Microsoft a lot more leverage over Android. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
Microsoft chief experience officer Julie Larson Green recently made a statement that got some people thinking that the company, once known as a hulking titan that likes to crush out the competition instead of working with them as partners, is looking to develop its own version of Android. Although Green did not exactly share details of Microsoft’s plans, she did not categorically deny it either.
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“What we are trying to do is use our server control to do new protocols and lock out Sun and Oracle specifically”
Summary: Microsoft’s war against POSIX/UNIX/Linux APIs culminates with the .NET push and the ‘bastardisation’ of OpenSSH, a Swiss army knife in BSD/UNIX and GNU/Linux secure channels
MICROSOFT will not rest until it regains its once dominant position in computing. It’s not just because of pressure from shareholders but also because of clevery-marketed sociopaths, such as Bill Gates, who are back at the helm and are very thirsty for power.
Microsoft is now pushing .NET into GNU/Linux, having failed to do so with Mono and Xamarin because regular people (end users) and sometimes developers pushed back. How can Microsoft still convince people to embrace the Microsoft APIs (which are heavily patented and not secure)? Openwashing and propaganda.
Jordan Novet, who writes a lot of pro-Microsoft or marketing pieces for Microsoft (for many months now), is formerly a writer of Gigaom, which had received money from Microsoft to embed Microsoft marketing inside articles (without disclosure, i.e. corrupted journalism). Now he acts as a courier of Microsoft marketing, repeating a delusion which we spent a lot of time debunking here (.NET is NOT “Open Source” [1, 2, 3]). To quote Novet:
Microsoft today announced the beginning of a new bug bounty to pay researchers to find security holes in some of the tech giant’s recently open-sourced web development tools.
“How can Microsoft still convince people to embrace the Microsoft APIs (which are heavily patented and not secure)? Openwashing and propaganda.”When Microsoft alludedwto “Open Source” in relation to .NET it sometimes merely piggybacks the reputation of projects it exploits. See the article “Microsoft’s .NET Team Continues Making Progress On An LLVM Compiler” (not GPL). To quote Phoronix: “Earlier this year Microsoft announced an LLVM-based .NET compiler was entering development, LLILC. Six months later, LLILC continues making progress.
“The .NET team has published a six month retrospective of LLILC. It’s a very lengthy read for those interested in low-level compiler details.”
“Microsoft is still working on implementing support for Windows’ crypto APIs rather than OpenSSL/LibreSSL and to address POSIX compatibility concerns along with other issues.”
–Michael Larabel, PhoronixThis is a potential example of the infamous “embrace, extend, extinguish” approach. As we have shown here before, platform discrimination remains and it is even being extended to existing Free software projects, such as OpenSSH, as we explained yesterday (expect Windows-only ‘features’ and antifeatures). Microsoft APIs are already being phased in — the “extend” phase in E.E.E. (embrace, extend, extinguish). We warned about this months ago [1, 2] and we are now proven right. Even Michael Larabel noticed this and wrote: “Microsoft is still working on implementing support for Windows’ crypto APIs rather than OpenSSL/LibreSSL and to address POSIX compatibility concerns along with other issues.”
So now we have Windows- and Microsoft-specific code right there inside OpenSSH, in spite of Microsoft support of back doors for the NSA et al. Does this inspire much confidence? Repelling Microsoft isn’t about intolerance but about self defence. █
“I once preached peaceful coexistence with Windows. You may laugh at my expense — I deserve it.”
–Be’s CEO Jean-Louis Gassée
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Summary: The efforts to empower Microsoft’s APIs, even if by lies and strongarming
THE MEDIA, including Microsoft-connected sites, is openwashing Visual Studio right now [1, 2]. A mixture of misleading headlines and half-truths are the means. We recently showed a lot of Visual Studio openwashing [1, 2, 3]. This in itself is disturbing and it is part of a trend to watch out for.
Will Hill points out that “Something odd is happening between Oracle and Xamarin. Oracle is strong arming customers into “the cloud” with license audit threats. What’s really weird is psycho babble about Xamarin being some sort of force in mobile and that silly cloud stuff with millions of developers. As far as I remembered Xamarin was a nasty little Microsoft shell designed to keep Mono around after Novell collapsed (2).
“I’ve asked Christine Hall on G+ what she knows about Xamarin and Oracle. Oracle pushing their customers onto Mono sounds like a suicide pact to me.
“Maybe they were dumb enough to push C# tools onto their database used [sic].”
–Will HillRemember that Xamarin has been one of Microsoft’s tools for openwashing both .NET and Visual Studio.
“No response from Christine Hall yet,” Hill added today. “The name Xamarin left an unpleasant buzz in my head, so I did a Techrights search and remembered who they were. I thought, “that can’t be those Mono monkeys, they don’t do that.” Then I dug to the stock fraud site and, yep, that’s who they are talking about. There’s still room for it to be a typo, but I’d laugh and laugh if Oracle were to saddle their “cloud” with C# or Mono via Xamarin.
“Maybe they were dumb enough to push C# tools onto their database used [sic]. I’ve seen it in medical software because one of the vendors is a terminal Microsoft used.” [sic]
We shall update this post with any additional information or clarification. █
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Some people never learn…
Summary: Despite a long history of Microsoft formats being proven guarantee of digital obsolescence, Moodle allows itself to become Microsoft prey and a Trojan horse for OOXML in classrooms (for children)
MICROSOFT is ever so desperate to paint .NET/Windows “open”, basically characterising its core proprietary lock-in as anything but “closed” so that enough fools (bamboozled by effective, relentless and ubiquitous PR machinery) will consciously become prisoners of Microsoft. Here is some .NET/Windows application being painted “open” by Microsoft, probably serving to mislead only low-hanging fruit who cannot distinguish between cross-platform and Microsoft lock-in being openwashed. We are talking about fools who drank the Kool-Aid (notably Miguel de Icaza, a notorious OOXML proponent), like those who developed Moonlight, which requires Mono, to help Silverlight gain traction and be described as “open” plus “cross-platform” (it’s neither).
According to Microsoft boosters, even Microsoft is abandoning Silverlight right now (“Microsoft confirms its new Edge browser won’t support Silverlight”). It is even asking others to do the same (“Microsoft: Stop using Microsoft Silverlight. (Everyone else has)”). This is a great example of the high long-term cost of using Microsoft formats (lock-in) to keep one’s data. Why would OOXML be any different given that it basically corresponds to just one office suite from one company in rapid decline?
We are disappointed to learn that Moodle is too passive in the face of huge risks to a lot of children. The schools impose software on them (management of courses, grades, etc.) and Microsoft is trying to infiltrate this widely-used software, Moodle. We previously wrote about the Microsoft-connected Blackboard devouring Moodle and Microsoft trying to do the same. Microsoft is trying hard to get children “addicted” (Bill Gates’ word) to lock-in with back doors by injecting it into Moodle under the vain pretense of “open source” (there is nothing Open Source about Office or even OOXML). As one Microsoft boosting site put it the other day:
Among the new integrations were Open edX and Office 365, and an update to the open source Moodle integration with Office 365.
For Moodle to allow this to happen is just about as dumb as letting the interface of Moodle be put together by Silverlight. Office 365, notorious for downtimes even when politicians depend on it (which is why we often call it Office 360), is a Trojan horse for OOXML and potentially surveillance too. That would just serve to discredit Moodle in classrooms, making scandals in the media. Moodle’s founder read and liked our previous analysis of Microsoft’s E.E.E. against Moodle ("Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" is still very much alive as a Microsoft strategy); hopefully he can do something to stop it. School graduates don’t deserve to have their private data locked inside Microsoft’s vault with format barriers and surveillance which they never consented to (schools make obligatory/finding decisions about these systems). █
“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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The risk of Microsoft’s interjection into Free/Open Source software (FOSS) persists
Summary: Attempts to put Mono in GNOME still exist (Xamarin behind it) and the openwashing of .NET continues months after the Big Lie
MONO has been a thorn in the side of Free software for nearly a decade, shortly after it had been conceived by a Microsoft fan who used it to promote Microsoft APIs with associated patent risk and lock-in. It wasn’t too shocking to see the Microsoft-tied Novell joining in the ‘fun’. We have spent many years fighting back against Mono, which was an embodiment of Microsoft’s interests and an attempt to assimilate FOSS to Microsoft. The Microsoft proxy now known as Xamarin is still threatening to bring Microsoft APIs to GNOME. We thought GNOME had already salvaged itself from this risk, but the risk persists and it needs to be stopped. It was already defeated before (GNOME was close to becoming Mono-dependent whereupon we wrote many articles to create protests).
The unfortunate thing is that Microsoft bamboozled many journalists into stating that .NET is "open source" (it is not) and a Dice site is trolling again using that same old .NET spin. Do not let the lie be spread so easily. Microsoft’s .NET is proprietary and it still is a patent threat that favours Windows and Microsoft, i.e. proprietary software with back doors.
“It is a propaganda campaign just like “Scroogled” and the goal is to crush software freedom, not just companies like Google.”IDG recently hired a longtime Microsoft booster, Mary Branscombe, letting her spread these lies every week or so. She was openwashing Microsoft the other day as well as several times last month. She used to write in the CBS-owned ZDNet (very poor-quality Microsoft ads disguised as ‘articles’), but now she escapes the boundaries of tabloids and is really doing a lot of damage not only to Free software but to truth itself.
This whole ‘movement’ which tries to ‘sell’ Mono to GNU/Linux, promote the notion that .NET is ‘open’ and Microsoft is wonderfully ethical needs to be crushed. It is a propaganda campaign just like “Scroogled” and the goal is to crush software freedom, not just companies like Google. █
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