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07.17.19

Red Hat’s Freedom Reduced to Just Online Partner Enablement Network (OPEN) and Microsoft as a Close Partner; Canonical’s Ubuntu Just an ‘App’ for Windows?

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat, Ubuntu at 3:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNU boiling

Summary: Free software is being snapped up by proprietary software giants and patent bullies that treat it as little more than an ‘add-on’ for their proprietary offerings

WE HAVE long been sceptical and apprehensive about IBM, not only because it lobbies for software patents at the EPO and USPTO (IBM spearheads a lobbying campaign against 35 U.S.C. § 101). IBM still did it — quite a lot in fact — since announcing its plans for Red Hat. IBM that we remember from one or more decades ago is very different from today’s IBM; the management too isn’t the same. For example, 2 decades ago IBM aggressively pushed (GNU) “Linux”, but in recent years it was mostly in bed with Apple. A decade ago IBM promoted OpenDocument Format (ODF), but IBM has since then more or less abandoned office suite-type endeavours (sold outwards, just like the ThinkPad business which had become famous for Linux friendliness).

“No connection whatsoever to Free software; also remember that the word “community” means nothing to IBM.”When I first heard about Red Hat getting bought by IBM I found solace in nothing but the fact that Red Hat did not sell to Microsoft or to Oracle. As it turned out days later, Red Hat had actually entertained a Microsoft takeover. What a betrayal that would have been (had that happened).

Last night (or around the afternoon/evening) Red Hat published this worrisome new page entitled “Microsoft and Red Hat, inspired,” which said “we’re pleased to be recognized as the 2019 Microsoft US Partner Award winner for ISV Azure Accelerator.”

Here we go again with the Azure agenda, which is all about Microsoft controlling GNU/Linux. Then came another new Red Hat page, this one entitled “Red Hat Global Services + IBM” and to quote: “Last week, we announced the IBM acquisition of Red Hat. It is a monumental deal, one that will enable us to work together to help customers deliver any app, anywhere, to realize the true value of the hybrid cloud.”

Here they go again with “cloud” (meaningless nonsense, pure marketing), but scroll down and find that under IBM “open” at Red Hat is reduced to just an acronym: “Online Partner Enablement Network (OPEN).”

No connection whatsoever to Free software; also remember that the word “community” means nothing to IBM. Nothing.

“They are promoting Microsoft Windows (Vista 10) using the “Linux” brand. “We are getting somewhat worried here. Ubuntu fans will be very pissed off if or when Microsoft decides to buy Ubuntu via Canonical (it’s now possible as it changed the way it’s registered). Canonical still refuses to delete GitHub (even after an embarrassing security incident). Microsoft is already 'eating' desktop GNU/Linux with WSL and Michael Larabel has just highlighted this post we cited a day ago. Hosted on GitHub, i.e. Microsoft, what we have is the next phase of EEE: “Ubuntu-WSL Package Offers Better Ubuntu Integration On Windows Subsystem For Linux” (to quote the headline)

Here’s another one: “Want Better Integration with Ubuntu on Windows Subsystem for Linux? Try This New Metapackage”

So this is where the efforts go?

“In related reading,” Larabel said, “Microsoft’s Tara Raj wrote a Medium post yesterday on more background information on Linux/WSL for Windows.”

They are promoting Microsoft Windows (Vista 10) using the “Linux” brand.

“WSL is about ensuring people never leave Windows; Microsoft already works to make it a lot harder to install GNU/Linux as a standalone/dual OS…”See the Phoronix comments. One person said: “MS has realized that Linux is superior for development, and developers are moving to Linux. However, why would anybody compromise security by using Windows and WSL instead of Linux? Also, I’m considering to run Qubes OS to strengthen security, not other way around,… Lowering security by moving to windows.”
​​​​​​
A further comment says: “MS has realized that Linux is superior for development, and developers are moving to Linux. However, why would anybody compromise security by using Windows and WSL instead of Linux? Also, I’m considering to run Qubes OS to strengthen security, not other way around,… Lowering security by moving to windows.
​​
“No, Microsoft isn’t acknowledging any such thing, and there’s a great many Windows developers that would disagree with you. What you’re seeing is Microsoft acknowledging it’s basically lost the server closet and data center wars. So to stop hemorrhaging server platform and administrators to MacOS and Linux who require a decent compatible terminal to do their job – much like the graybeards used to need for IBM mainframes (3270 compatible terminal software) – they are adding Linux compatible terminal software in Windows along with the ability to prototype Linux server software in Windows.

“Will it work? Probably. Most people still need Windows to do the rest of their job and WSJ is more convenient than VirtualBox et al.

“But if you think business client development and the multi billion dollar gaming industry are starting to or going to switch en mass to Linux you are sadly mistaken.”

WSL is about ensuring people never leave Windows; Microsoft already works to make it a lot harder to install GNU/Linux as a standalone/dual OS, e.g. using UEFI ‘secure boot’ restrictions — an agenda incidentally shared by IBM.

07.14.19

GitHub is Microsoft’s Proprietary Software and Centralised (Monopoly) Platform, But When Canonical’s Account There Gets Compromised Suddenly It’s Ubuntu’s Fault?

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FUD, Microsoft, Security, Ubuntu at 12:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

One year ago: GitHub as the Latest Example of Microsoft Entryism in Free/Libre Software

Internet

Summary: Typical media distortions and signs that Microsoft already uses GitHub for censorship of Free/Open Source software that does not fit Microsoft’s interests

CORPORATE media is toxic rubbish and its business model typically involves serving the companies covered. This is why the media keeps framing the latest GitHub censorship as a GitHub issue (it’s actually Microsoft using its control over GitHub to delete particular ‘naughty’ FOSS [1,2]) and earlier this month Ubuntu received a lot of negative press after its steward’s GitHub account had been compromised. Microsoft was not even mentioned. This is all very typical and we responded to that briefly in our daily links. This is the kind of thing one can expect when Microsoft pays so much money to the media, e.g. in the form of advertising.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. GitHub Removed Open Source Versions of DeepNude [Ed: The new company is a Microsoft censorship tool. Every image editor can be used to make fake nudes of people. Even image sequences. Will Microsoft ban image editors too? Don't even think about criticising Microsoft for its crimes in some comments, commits or code at GitHub as they might suspend the account.]
  2. Deepfake DeepNude app’s open source versions removed from GitHub [Ed: Microsoft is doing censorship of FOSS and playing/acting as morality police. Maybe banning encryption software (with no back doors) is next on the agenda because of the terror scare.]

07.13.19

Canonical is Turning Ubuntu Into a More Proprietary Deviant of GNU/Linux

Posted in GNU/Linux, Ubuntu at 11:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The command lineSummary: Ubuntu is becoming more ‘Ubinary’; binaries without their source code available are packed up and cooked up for (or baked into) the ISO; this may be good for widespread adoption, but it’s not an advancement of freedom, a capitulation rather

SEVERAL weeks ago Canonical said NVIDIA blobs would be added to future releases of Ubuntu. It later clarified that even though the ISO would be accompanied by this proprietary software (running not only in userspace), it would be disabled by default. Days ago the news resurfaced again in the following articles and blog posts:

  • Ubuntu LTS releases (and so derivatives too) to get updated NVIDIA drivers without PPAs

    Good news everyone! Canonical will now be offering NVIDIA users up to date graphics drivers without the need to resort to a PPA or anything else.

    Since this will be for the Ubuntu LTS releases, this means other Linux distributions based on Ubuntu like Linux Mint, elementary OS, Zorin OS and probably many others will also get these updated NVIDIA drivers too—hooray!

    This is really great, as PPAs are not exactly user friendly and sometimes they don’t get the testing they truly need when serving so many people. Having the Ubuntu team push out NVIDIA driver updates via an SRU (Stable Release Update), which is the same procedure they use to get you newer Firefox version, is a good way to do it.

  • Ubuntu Now Offers the Latest Nvidia Graphics Drivers to LTS Users

    Until now, anyone that has wanted to install Nvidia binary driver updates on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS has needed to make use of a separate PPA, futz around with random packages distributed online, or install the driver manually, by hand, the old-fashioned way.

    But not any more.

    Word on the street is that Ubuntu 18.04 LTS users can now install the latest releases of the proprietary Nvidia driver through the regular Ubuntu updates channel.

    The magic is made possible by the SRU (Stable Release Update) initiative. It’s this endeavour that keeps other apps, like Mozilla Firefox and Chromium, up to date on long-term support releases.

  • Ubuntu Will Make it Easier to Install Nvidia Drivers

    It’s about to get easier for Ubuntu LTS users to stay up-to-date with Nvidia’s stable graphics drivers. The Linux Experiment said via YouTube yesterday that Ubuntu plans to make these drivers part of its Stable Release Updates (SRU) program, which means users won’t have to rely on fiddly workarounds to install the latest drivers themselves.
    Ubuntu confirmed The Linux Experiment’s report on Twitter. (The company said it didn’t make an official announcement because it “decided it better to share an awesome video from a member of the wider community.”) It also said the change is “coming in an update, to your computer… [s]oon!” in response to another user.
    Ubuntu LTS typically doesn’t offer recent updates to apps, drivers and other software. The operating system is more focused on making sure everything remains as stable as possible than on providing access to the latest-and-greatest features. SRU offers a compromise by making it easy to install new versions of popular apps.

  • Excellent! Ubuntu LTS Users Will Now Get the Latest Nvidia Driver Updates [No PPA Needed Anymore]

    You might be aware of the troubles to install the latest and greatest Nvidia binary driver updates on Ubuntu.

    By default, Ubuntu provides the open source Nvidia Nouveau drivers that some time result in Ubuntu being stuck at boot screen.

    You can also install the proprietary Nvidia driver in Ubuntu easily. The problem is that the Nvidia drivers in the default Ubuntu repositories are not the latest one. To solve this problem, Ubuntu introduced a dedicated PPA a few years back.

  • Ubuntu LTS Linux Distributions Will Now Get The Latest Nvidia Drivers Installed Automatically

    The Linux Experiment dropped the news on YouTube, reporting that Ubuntu LTS installs will now automatically include the latest proprietary Nvidia graphics driver in its standard system updates. The newest stable Nvidia driver, version 430, is already in the bionic-proposed repository for testing and should land on your Ubuntu 18.04 system soon.

    [...]

    The only oddity surrounding this announcement? Well, it’s a very impactful change but was seeded through a community YouTuber (albeit an excellent one), and not via a Canonical-penned blog or press release. The company responded to this on Twitter, saying “We decided it better to share an awesome video from a member of the wider community. Ubuntu is all about community, after all.”

  • Ubuntu To Provide NVIDIA Drivers Updates To Ubuntu LTS Users

    Ubuntu has been a good choice to switch to Linux from other operating systems. The only thing that has stopped people is the hardware updates. Though there were NVIDIA drivers updates available but through third-party PPAs.

    But no more installation of third-party PPAs in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. Ubuntu is now going to provide the latest NVIDIA drivers updates to its long term release users starting from its latest LTS release Ubuntu 18.04.

    The big news was announced through Ubuntu’s twitter account posting a Youtube video describing how Ubuntu is already testing the feature and will release to the public very soon.

    Let me tell you, updating Nvidia drivers were not difficult but required the installation of third-party PPAs or run several scripts to update NVIDIA drivers.

    As explained in the video, Ubuntu will now provide the latest proprietary drivers updates from its repositories in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and also Ubuntu 16.04 in the near future.

There may be more and if I stumble upon any, I shall add them to this page (as comments).

Canonical recently enraged some circles (WINE, Valve and others) because it said Ubuntu would drop i386 support. We didn’t cover this at the time (except in daily links) as it didn’t seem like a very major deal and everyone — even corporate media — covered it on the earliest occasion. At the end Canonical made a much-needed concession, basically caving or surrendering to pressure from users and developers alike.

Canonical isn’t a perfect company. It never was. I’ve used Ubuntu since its first-ever release (at work) and I always viewed it as a ‘pet project’ of a rich tycoon looking to popularise Debian, initially on the desktop. Considering some worse scandals (like Amazon spying inside the desktop), this is hardly the biggest scandal and it’s not unprecedented. People who value freedom probably should not be using this GNU/Linux distribution in the first place.

06.17.16

Canonical’s and Red Hat’s Shameful War Against One Another… and Against the Already-Marginalised Linux Media

Posted in GNU/Linux, Red Hat, Ubuntu at 4:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Or: why I hardly cover GNU/Linux news (with original articles) anymore

The feuding cups

Summary: In an effort to trip each other up and in order to become the ‘industry standard’, Canonical and Red Hat hurt each other and alienate the media (what’s left of it)

TECHRIGHTS, with the exception of the daily links, does not cover GNU/Linux matters all that often. Not anymore. There’s a reason for this and it’s not just the growing role of software patents in the destruction/elimination of software freedom.

I wouldn’t be the first person to state that the GNU/Linux world can be harsh and brutal. People have free speech, which is absolutely fine (I’m a big opposer of censorship and self-censorship). But what happens when people cross the line of common sense and begin to personally attack writers and pundits? What happens when they do this on behalf of big and wealthy corporations? A lot of the abuse I received from the Mono crowd over the years (unimaginable abuse, comparing me even to a criminal) is ever more fascinating now that those very same people are Microsoft employees.

“A lot of the abuse I received from the Mono crowd over the years (unimaginable abuse, comparing me even to a criminal) is ever more fascinating now that those very same people are Microsoft employees.”I recently encountered or was the eyewitness of truly shameful attacks on Phoronix, both from developers and from sites like Reddit, which effectively blacklisted Phoronix, calling it “blogspam”. Reddit is full of censorship for those who don’t know it yet (our daily links have many articles about its political censorship too), but it’s rather unbelievable if not cynical when they block the whole of Phoronix (recently the subject of renewed debate over there and maybe a reversal/overturning of the ban, for the first time in a very long time).

The point I am trying to get across here is that it’s not easy to cover GNU/Linux news because there’s always someone, somewhere who isn’t happy. Thick skin is required. I hardly cover GNU/Linux matters (compared to past years), though it’s not because I’m offended or put off by personal attacks; it’s because I don’t always feel appreciated for the investigative work which I do. I generally snub any PR person or company spokesperson. I don’t trust them. I try to come up with an independent point of view; so do some journalists like Sam Varghese, who have earned nothing for that other than scorn and abuse.

I am not alone in this. Not many people are willing to speak out about it, perhaps fearing backlash. Consider Canonical with their disgusting blacklists of journalists who are not sucking up to Canonical and swallowing every ounce of Kool-Aid from Canonical, as pointed out not just by yours truly but also other bloggers/journalists (both privately and publicly, with those who do so privately fearing that these blacklists would treat them even more maliciously if they dared to rant).

“I try to come up with an independent point of view; so do some journalists like Sam Varghese, who have earned nothing for that other than scorn and abuse.”Red Hat is not much better by the way. The giant Linux firm is alienating people who often/always write out of passion, not for profit (financial gain) or for glory. Red Hat has a massive PR operation now (publicly and behind the scenes) and it’s not something which is pleasant to see because it reminds me of how Microsoft games the media, often bordering the unethical. When companies hire patent lawyers they tend to bring a lot of their (the latter’s) self-serving anti-etiquette and the same thing happens when companies hire PR people. Mass-mailing people is just one of their professional ‘skills’ and — at risk of saying something politically-incorrect — these tend to be women, preferably attractive women (this gives more impact to their work, along various different aspects beyond the scope of this post).

The other day I noticed a certain flamewar brewing between Red Hat and Canonical. They try to keep it on ‘low fire’, but it’s impossible to ignore the bigger picture.

openSUSE’s Twitter account, for example, wrote: “Of course kudos also go to http://flatpak.org . But canonical at least trying to behave and collaborate deserves respect” (that’s a polite way of saying that Fedora/Red Hat does not collaborate or does not deserve respect). Prior to that openSUSE mentioned Swapnil Bhartiya and said: “Kudos to @Canonical for working with other distributions on a new method of packaging applications #linux #respect https://twitter.com/swapnilbhartiya/status/743555291535519744″

“I soon learned of Fedora employees bashing the media wherever they could because some sites wrote about Canonical’s Snap initiative being an actual competitor to their Flatpak universal binary package.”OpenSUSE is trying not to take sides. They first retweeted Swapnil’s tweet saying “Kudos to Canonical for working with other distributions.” And then they say “Also kudos to http://flatpak.org” (as if someone from Fedora got in touch). In another tweet or a bunch of them we see what indicates that there is strong rivalry between Canonical and Red Hat. It makes us bloggers/journalists feel like collateral damage (or ‘tools’), and unlike these people who push us around, we don’t receive huge salaries for our work. For me, reporting is a purely voluntary activity with no financial gain. I decided to ask around and find out what the heck was going on, having seen how Red Hat strong-armed some distributions into embracing the “Red Hat way” — to the point where Canonical had to abandon some of their own projects.

I soon learned of Fedora employees bashing the media wherever they could because some sites wrote about Canonical’s Snap initiative being an actual competitor to their Flatpak universal binary package.

As a reminder for those who are not paying close enough attention, Flatpak is loosely connected to Systemd, probably Red Hat’s most controversial ‘lock-in’ at the moment. On the other hand, Canonical is trying to push its own ‘standards’, which it can probably do given its dominant position on the desktop (and almost on the server as well).

“Red Hat was apparently so pissed off by the whole thing that one Fedora employee (i.e. Red Hat) started chastising reporters.”One interesting fact I have learned is that several days ago Canonical basically spoon-fed some sites a so-called ‘scoop’, in order to ‘generate’ some coverage for Snaps. Not so atypical or unexpected from Canonical, but there we go…

Red Hat was apparently so pissed off by the whole thing that one Fedora employee (i.e. Red Hat) started chastising reporters. That employee was James Hogarth. He baselessly started accusing Softpedia on the fedora-devel mailing list, claiming that Softpedia said, to quote, “Canonical state that they have been working with Fedora developers…” (this was not said at all). There’s this reply from Michael Catanzaro of the GNOME Project. At that time, he took James Hogarth’s words for granted, assuming that Softpedia claimed something it didn’t. Here is a later response from him:

Just for the record… the Softpedia article doesn’t actually say “Canonical state that they have been working with Fedora developers to make this the universal packaging format.” It does say they’ve been “working for some time with developers from various major GNU/Linux distributions” and that “the Snap package format is working natively on popular GNU/Linux operating systems like [...] Fedora [...],” so it’s clear why there was confusion, but it doesn’t say that they’ve been working with Fedora specifically.

Later on Hogarth cited his colleague, Adam Williamson, with a rather offensive piece (“Canonical propaganda department”), adding “AdamW responds to the Canonical Snappy PR piece.”

“But either way, accusing publications of saying something they did not say is unfair, and it reflects badly on the community as a whole.”Michael Hall from Canonical said on Reddit that they talked with some Fedora people at some point (Michael Hall’s statement here is equally informative). But either way, accusing publications of saying something they did not say is unfair, and it reflects badly on the community as a whole.

I have a personal grudge with Canonical over how they treat media, having witnessed online friends becoming victims of theirs, but I didn’t think Red Hat would stoop down to this level as well. What we are basically witnessing here is a bunch of Red Hat (‘Fedora’) employees attacking the media over Snap/Flatpak war. They want the media to take sides and get upset that the media isn’t telling the story the way they want it to.

This isn’t some kind of epic rant from me, just an observation of something that I noticed in the past. If Softpedia folks and Phoronix (Michael Larabel) can be treated like enemies because they attempt to amicably — without controversy — cover GNU/Linux news, then what hope is there for more outspoken bloggers like myself? It’s sad as it’s not just one case; the above is symptomatic of something that has been going on for years and that’s why I don’t cover Linux issues such as Systemd. It’s almost suicidal. It’s nothing but trouble. Self-censorship ensues.

“They’ll need to learn to respect the media or earn no respect in return.”Why do journalists need to be abused for attempting to cover the news, even when they cover it correctly? There’s also this on LWN (Jimbob0i0 is James Hogarth) where, again, it’s said that Softpedia claimed something it didn’t.

Red Hat needs to respect people’s views, even when these views are not correct (in this particular case these views are correct). They’ll need to learn to respect the media or earn no respect in return. They need to work better with the media or have no media at all, except that which they pay for, e.g. their opensource.com propaganda rag (it spends much of its time just peddling a book that helps pretend Red Hat is “open”, based on the CEO’s words).

The above scenario is corrosive and harmful to the relationship between Free software developers and media. Why are they all still wondering why the GNU/Linux ecosystem is not united? Why the fragmentation? Why some many hundreds of distros? That’s why.

04.27.16

[ES] Más Rumores y Llamadas Acerca de Prospectos de Microsoft Vaya a Comprar Canonical (Ubuntu con todo y Zapatos)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Rumour, Ubuntu at 7:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

English/Original

Article as ODF

Publicado en GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Rumour, Ubuntu at 6:48 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft está coercionando a la gente a pagarle por patentes, pero no menciónan cuales. Si un tipo entra a una tienda y dice: “No es un barrio seguro, porque no me pagas 20 dólares y me aseguraré de que nada te pase,” eso es ilegal. Es chantaje.”

Mark Shuttleworth

Summary: Teniendo en cuenta los últimos movimientos de Canonical, algunos expertos piensan que es posible que Shuttleworth elija el dinero a Microsoft sobre principios sino también inste para que esto ocurra
DESPUÉS de evitar a los medios de comunicación durante semanas o incluso meses (Googlebombing “Linux” en las noticias) y chantajeando compañías de Linux utilizando patentes de software (por paquetes, no sólo los pagos), mientras que cabildea por unas patentes de software más fuertes que crecen cada vez más preocupados en la fase del “abrazo” (como en EEE) continúa hacia la siguiente “extender”. Microsoft ya está pagando a Canonical (esperen que Shuttleworth no se atreve a decir nada negativo de Microsoft) y devore Ubuntu, al igual que lo hizo con Novell con Hyper-V (encerrándo a GNU/Linux en una cárcel de propiedad de Microsoft).

Microsoft ya está pagando a Canonical (esperen que Shuttleworth no se atreve a decir nada negativo de Microsoft) y devore Ubuntu, al igual que lo hizo con Novell con Hyper-V (encerrándo a GNU/Linux en una cárcel de propiedad de Microsoft).”

A partir de esta semana, sacando a luz la gran mentira (“Microsoft ama Linux”), Janakiram MSV desde el 1% ‘media/boquilla (waripolera de Bill Gates) dice que “la estrategia de código abierto de Microsoft esta incompleta sin esta adquisición” (alude a Canónical).
“Para hacer el caso más fuerte, aquí están algunas de las razones por las que Microsoft debería considerar la adquisición de Canonical”, escribió. Como Susan Linton puso esta mañana: “Cuando la Microsoft y Canonical nueva relación amistosa todavía está en la mente de muchos, Janakiram MSV aseguró que” hoy la estrategia de código abierto de Microsoft es incompleta “sin ellos. Dijo Microsoft está tratando de cambiar su imagen lejos de ser sólo para Windows, sólo tiene sentido comprar Canonical. Ubuntu tiene millones de usuarios y “. Un ejército de desarrolladores y administradores de sistemas” Aparte de la gente, Canonical viene con LXD, Snappy Ubuntu Core y Juju – todas las cosas que podrían hacer más competitivo Microsoft en el Cloud y IT. Para Janakiram, no hay inconvenientes para Microsoft.”

No es impensable que Microsoft por lo menos atente comprar a Canonical.”
Hace dos años hemos escuchado posts como “¿Por qué Microsoft debería comprar Canónical?” y el año pasado hubo rumores en ese sentido.
No es impensable que Microsoft podría al menos tratar de comprar Canonical. Ya intentó la contratar (caza furtiva) administrador de la comunidad de Canonical de Ubuntu (este, con coraje que saludamos se negó). Pero ¿el señor Shuttleworth vendería más de lo que ya lo ha hecho? Shuttleworth dejó algunos comentarios aquí en los días después de haber comprado licencias de códecs (por las patentes de software) de Microsoft. Eso fue hace 8 años.
Eso es extorsión y deberíamos llamarlo como lo es. Decir, como Ballmer dijo, que hay un no publico balance de liabilidad, eso simplemente es extorsión y deberíamos rechazar dejar arrastrárnos a ese juego.”

Mark Shuttleworth

04.26.16

More Rumours and Calls Surrounding Prospects of Microsoft Buying Canonical (Ubuntu and More)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Rumour, Ubuntu at 6:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won’t say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: “It’s an unsafe neighbourhood, why don’t you pay me 20 bucks and I’ll make sure you’re okay,” that’s illegal. It’s racketeering.”

Mark Shuttleworth

Summary: Taking some of Canonical’s recent moves into account, some pundits not only think it’s possible for Shuttleworth to choose Microsoft money over principles but also urge for this to happen

AFTER gaming the media for weeks if not months (googlebombing “Linux” in the news) and blackmailing Linux companies using software patents (for bundling, not just payments) while lobbying for a stronger software patents impact we grow increasingly concerned that the “embrace” phase (as in E.E.E.) is moving forward to “extend”. Microsoft is already paying Canonical (expect Shuttleworth to dare not say anything negative about Microsoft) and devouring Ubuntu, just like Novell with Hyper-V (enclosing GNU/Linux in a proprietary jail of Microsoft).

“Microsoft is already paying Canonical (expect Shuttleworth to dare not say anything negative about Microsoft) and devouring Ubuntu, just like Novell with Hyper-V (enclosing GNU/Linux in a proprietary jail of Microsoft).”Starting this week, sporting the big lie (“Microsoft loves Linux”), Janakiram MSV from the 1%’s media/mouthpiece (Bill Gates’ cheerleader) says that “Microsoft’s Open Source Strategy Is Incomplete Without This Acquisition” (he alludes to Canonical).

“To make the case stronger, here are a few reasons why Microsoft should consider acquiring Canonical,” he wrote. As Susan Linton put it this morning: “With Microsoft and Canonical’s new chummy relationship still on the minds of many, Janakiram MSV today said “Microsoft’s Open Source strategy is incompletely” without them. He said with Microsoft trying to change their image away from being Windows-only, it only makes sense to buy Canonical. Ubuntu has millions of users and “an army of developers and system administrators.” Besides people, Canonical comes with LXD, Snappy Ubuntu Core, and Juju – all things that could make Microsoft more competitive in the cloud and IoT. To Janakiram, there are no downsides for Microsoft.”

“It’s not unthinkable that Microsoft would at least attempt to buy Canonical.”Two years ago we heard of posts like “Why Microsoft should buy Canonical” and last year there were rumours to that effect.

It’s not unthinkable that Microsoft would at least attempt to buy Canonical. It already tried hiring (poaching) Canonical’s community manager for Ubuntu (he declined). But would Mr. Shuttleworth sell out more than he already does? Mr. Shuttleworth left some comments here back in the days after he had bought codec licences (for software patents) from Microsoft. That was 8 years ago.

“That’s extortion and we should call it what it is. To say, as Ballmer did, that there is undisclosed balance sheet liability, that’s just extortion and we should refuse to get drawn into that game.”

Mark Shuttleworth

04.03.16

Microsoft’s Charm Offensive Against GNU/Linux Uses the Same Media Strategy Donald Trump Uses

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Oracle, Patents, Ubuntu at 6:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Harm offensive or charm offensive? “A campaign of flattery, friendliness, and cajolement designed to achieve the support or agreement of others” –Oxford Dictionary

“I once preached peaceful coexistence with Windows. You may laugh at my expense — I deserve it.”

Be’s CEO Jean-Louis Gassée

Embrace and Extend
Credit: unknown (Twitter)

Summary: An analysis of last week’s Microsoft media frenzy, which despite Microsoft’s persistence with and insistence on proprietary software (not to mention its perpetual war on GNU/Linux using software patents) truly succeeded and it looks a great deal like the media strategy championed by Donald Trump

HAVING studied Microsoft and its extensive network of external PR agencies for well over a decade, and having studied the latest PR charm offensive for a whole week (while patiently taking notes along the way), I now feel prepared (on a Sunday when it’s all said and done) to provide my explanation of what happened. In short, it’s a PR campaign. It’s not a new PR campaign; it’s continuation of an existing PR campaign, whose banner is typically “Microsoft loves Linux” (that’s the misleading motto). Those who have followed non-disclosure agreements probably know that Microsoft is still attacking Linux. It’s a demonstration of hatred, not love. The genius of this PR campaign is that it logically reverses what’s true. It’s like BP stating that it loves wind power, the Koch Brothers stating that they love Senator Sanders, and Clinton stating that she loves self-determination.

“The genius of this PR campaign is that it logically reverses what’s true.”At the moment, judging by the reaction of people to this PR campaign, I can see roughly three groups. There are those who are still distrusting Microsoft. There are those who are increasingly confused by what Microsoft is doing, not sure what they’re really up to. The third group is either people who are in the Microsoft camp (profiting from it) or those gullible enough to believe what Microsoft is saying, sometimes even repeating the “Microsoft loves Linux” lie.

In this article we shall break down last week’s ‘news’ into roughly three categories or strands. We are going to show the reality behind all this PR, which was emitted in big quantities (with help from lousy media) and in quick succession. Little time and space were left to respond to the PR.

Microsoft Hates Linux

Dozens of articles, some of which were very long, were published here in 2015 and in 2016 and therein we responded to the “Microsoft loves Linux” lie. We gave actual examples from the news (not old stories) which demonstrate Microsoft’s ongoing campaign of hatred towards GNU/Linux. Microsoft is, as usual (as per its notorious history), using its money in an effort to undermine the competition (GNU/Linux in this case), not just with/through SCO, which it supported financially before dunking money into Novell (Microsoft used Novell to start a campaign of patent litigation and extortion, finally sweeping up Novell’s own patents as a grand finale). We wrote about this a few days ago and also one month ago when media wrongly claimed that it was all over. Here is what FOSS Force has just had to say about it. Don’t be easily fooled. There are no coincidences there. Microsoft-funded Linux kernel lawsuit: 13 years and counting (better headline for this article from Condé Nast) because Microsoft just loves Linux…

“We are going to show the reality behind all this PR, which was emitted in big quantities (with help from lousy media) and in quick succession.”Microsoft hates Linux. It just needs people to believe otherwise whilst attacks go on. Microsoft tries to conceal its real intentions (in the minds of top management, not low-level developers).

Microsoft’s Media Strategy

Last week we explained how the "Tay" story (or non-story) got used as Microsoft opportunism, PR, a distraction, and propaganda. It was the Donald Trump kind of PR strategy. Just mention “Hitler” or something like that and the press will be all over you; and if there’s no such thing as “bad publicity” (as all such publicity can be spun positively given the skilled personnel), then you inevitably win hearts and minds.

“Tay” was not news at all… it was more of a PR stunt. Like the “Microsoft loves Linux” stunt, among other things, as we shall show in a moment. The more shocking the statement, the more press you are guaranteed to receive. Provocation or “rhetoric” is what some call this strategy (in relation to Trump in politics).

“It was the Donald Trump kind of PR strategy.”In a nutshell, all that happened last week was, the media got invited to play a role in a provocative media strategy that baits the reader (including misleading images with hearts in them), someone called Wim ended up being hired by Microsoft because he got offered a higher salary (so he moved from one evil proprietary software giant to another), and finally, as expected, Miguel de Icaza and his colleagues at Microsoft once again openwash .NET. That’s pretty much all that it boils down to. Not much to see here, so why not just move along?

No, Linux (or Ubuntu) Isn’t on Windows

There’s no news here ((2-19] below are headlines we didn’t include in our daily links because they added nothing new), except maybe Vista 10 promotion. It now rides the wave or enjoys the positive publicity of the Linux brand. Some people ‘reviewed’ this supposedly ‘new’ thing [20-24] and some rightly criticised it [25-26].

I personally used Cygwin when I started university more than 15 years ago (one partition of mine ran Windows 98, the last version I ever had). At work and at university I was using GNU/Linux exclusively, so sometimes I needed somewhat of a ‘bridge’.

“The more shocking the statement, the more press you are guaranteed to receive.”Microsoft now claims credit for Cygwin, or sort of claims to have innovated/invented it. What a shame. Did the media not research this properly? Early coverage regarding this came from 3 Microsoft boosters (the night before the actual announcement) and it was highly misleading, probably by design. As we wrote at the time, they’re probably being gamed or fed by Microsoft’s PR agents (if not directly). They published highly misleading ‘teasers’ that set the tone to many misleading articles the following day.

“WSL doesn’t really let you do very much that you couldn’t already do for many years via Cygwin,” one person explained [1] (a reasonably good journalist), so it was all hype and lies. Some comments said the same: “Does anyone understand how this works? I thought Cygwin worked the same way.”

Microsoft is not really offering anything new, just putting Microsoft’s name on old stuff. This quickly raised questions about GPL compatibility.

“Microsoft is not really offering anything new, just putting Microsoft’s name on old stuff.”As FOSS Force put it: “Then there was the twelve hour scare, when news was leaked that Canonical and its newfound buddy Microsoft were bringing Ubuntu to Windows. At first look, that turned out to be something of a non-story, as the Windows version of the Linux-distro-that-would-be-Windows comes without just about everything you might expect to find in a GNU/Linux distribution. What you get, basically, is access to Ubuntu’s implementation of the Bash shell, which we now might call MS-Linux-DOS.”

Many journalists ended up mischaracterising it as “Ubuntu on Windows 10″ (that’s from today!). It’s not Ubuntu on Windows 10. That’s just a gross oversimplification.

“Mister Linux” Nonsense

“Mister Linux” is Mr. Torvalds. Everyone knows Torvalds, more so than people know or recognise Mr. Stallman. How many people even heard the name Wim Coekaerts? Surely not many. Yet Microsoft propaganda sites now make Wim sound like some kind of a huge celebrity; “Mister Linux” is what some of them dub/call him. Yes, someone who worked for a proprietary software firm that attacks Linux/Android using patents is apparently “Mister Linux”. Poppycock! Judge the total of 7 articles about it [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] and notice how many of them came from Microsoft boosters and/or apologists. Why is it “news” when a company the size of Microsoft hires someone? He’s not even that famous. They make it seem like he is. How convenient. They try to bolster that “Microsoft loves Linux” narrative rather desperately now. They give feet to a myth. What really happened here? Most likely Microsoft offered this man a lot of money. As we noted here over the years, Microsoft offered huge lumps of money to FOSS luminaries, in order for them to join Microsoft. Simon Phipps openly complained about it. Jono Bacon, who managed the Ubuntu community, was among those whom Microsoft offered a lot of money in an effort to poach him. He declined.

Shame on Canonical? No, on Greed and Self Interest.

Canonical is now doing Microsoft’s E.E.E. (embrace, extend, extinguish) for Microsoft. It actively helped the E.E.E. The Canonical employee who did this said in his blog that Microsoft had even sponsored him. What does that tell us in light of the situation Bacon was in? OMG Ubuntu was dumb enough to call E.E.E. (not FOSS) “lovefest” (this reminds us of its Mono enthusiasm). A loaded headline, “Nothing To Worry About Microsoft Newly Found Love For Linux”, misleads the reader by reinforcing Microsoft lies amid E.E.E. There’s no love there. Microsoft has accelerated not only E.E.E. tactics. It also accelerated patent strikes against Linux and Android, but one (the former charm offensive) helps distract from the latter.

Microsoft’s Most Notorious Propagandists Come Out as ‘Experts’

“Speed and competition mean that a lot of so-called ‘journalists’ rush to write things based on hearsay and press releases, which typically means Microsoft and its confidants inside the media.”Mary Branscombe, whom we mentioned here recently , has spent many years acting like a Microsoft PR agent in ‘reporter’ clothing, habitually attacking FOSS and openwashing Microsoft. “New Microsoft, new attitude” says her latest puff piece and she is not alone. Well, it’s clear what the strategy (as in media strategy) is because we quickly saw several of Microsoft’s other anti-Linux actors coming out from the shadow, along with Mary. They’re really attacking by pressing on with E.E.E. agenda. Suddenly, for the first time in months if not years, Rob Enderle rears his head regarding FOSS (he is also femmewashing Microsoft, not just openwashing it this/last week) and so does Al Hilwa. For those who don’t know who he is, it’s a Microsoft mouthpiece, previously salaried by Microsoft [1, 2, 3]. Adrian Bridgwater cites and extensively quotes Hilwa without noting that he’s a person from Microsoft pretending to be an “analyst” now (Linux-hostile). Very disappointing level of journalism, that’s for sure. There’s even worse journalism out there, for example this article which is openwashing proprietary software from Microsoft. There’s no new FOSS, just E.E.E. of other people’s work. Some people may occasionally say, give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt. How can one do this while Microsoft is attacking (covertly) Linux behind the scenes every week? Selective vision works only because of media omission (e.g. of patent deals). Microsoft has managed to blur the gap between journalism and PR by paying large network to have writers who are de facto Microsoft PR people (we named some of them before) and they game the media by quoting people who are close to Microsoft, shifting the focus of news before it’s even announced, and so on and so forth. This post/article about Microsoft E.E.E. thus focuses not on technical issues but on how Microsoft manipulated the media. Speed and competition mean that a lot of so-called ‘journalists’ rush to write things based on hearsay and press releases, which typically means Microsoft and its confidants inside the media. Those who don’t research are bound to repeat their propaganda. We see a lot of the same stuff as it involves EPO PR people, who bombard journalists with their spin (or ‘prepared’ statements).

Developers, Developers, Developers, Use Our Proprietary Software!

Microsoft wants C++ developers (even those developing for GNU/Linux) to use proprietary software that does not run on GNU/Linux (Microsoft Visual Studio). Here is what Microsoft Gavin wrote about Microsoft’s latest proprietary software ‘gift’ (lock-in, E.E.E., and media manipulation). Watch this article and responses to it, e.g. in Reddit. Watch how Microsoft-friendly sites repeated Microsoft’s own words. It’s all proprietary as pointed out here, but now comes Miguel de Icaza with his misleading/distracting blog post. “Microsoft Mono seems to have chosen a license that allows the ongoing threat of software patents,” iophk told us, linking to this older page about licence choices.

“Going back to Xamarin, it’s mostly openwashing (that’s what Mono did) because Visual Studio remains proprietary and .NET is all promises but still no complete code one can compile from the ground up.”XFaCE, linking to an article about this topic from Wired mocks the use of words like “Delights” and “Freeing” (right there in the headline). “WIRED removed comments I’ve seen,” says XFaCE, so we know that comments that are hostile towards this spin got censored out of existence (standard routine at Condé Nast, which now owns Wired). MinceR was “guessing the koolaid must flow uninhibited,” based on what he wrote in IRC. Condé Nast already has an epidemic of comment censorship in Reddit, Ars Technica and apparently that extends to Wired. What you see there is thus HEAVILY sanitised. And in whose favour? So now we know that Condé Nast not only spreads Microsoft propaganda to aid E.E.E. against Linux but also deletes messages of resistors. Back in the days, before Condé Nast bought Wired magazine, this magazine had actually stood up to Microsoft. Now it has a DEDICATED Microsoft section (PR) and it helps Microsoft silence voices of opposition. Now, that is a media strategy, is it not? Some of Condé Nast’s Web sites, based on what we got told by their managers, were actually launched with Microsoft’s funding (Ars Technica UK for sure).

To give another example of poor reporting/journalism, AOL chose the headline “Xamarin CEO Nat Friedman on getting acquired by Microsoft” (don’t laugh, see our page about Xamarin).

Friedman actually CAME from Microsoft, so that’s like Microsoft buying Elop or an Elop-led Nokia). Speaking of Nokia, today we finally found news about Nokia launching an Android phone (5 years too late). How does Nokia feel (especially the rational people who left after 2011) now that Microsoft basically declares Windows ‘mobile’ dead (ish)? To quote this new article from IDG:

Microsoft puts Windows Phone on hold

[...]

Well, now we know why Microsoft’s Windows Phone didn’t appear at Microsoft’s Build keynote on Wednesday: it simply isn’t on Microsoft’s radar screen at the moment.

The question, of course, is whether it will ever be again.

“We’re going to do some cool things with phones, but this year phones are an important part of our family but not the tip of the spear,” Windows chief Terry Myerson told The Verge on Wednesday.

Phones, Myerson added, “is the wrong place for us to lead.”

Going back to Xamarin, it’s mostly openwashing (that’s what Mono did) because Visual Studio remains proprietary and .NET is all promises but still no complete code one can compile from the ground up. Microsoft loves proprietary SQL Server, proprietary Windows, proprietary Visual Studio etc. It wants GNU/Linux users to buy those. That’s how far the “love” goes. For its next act, Microsoft shall probably do something to paint Microsoft Office “open” even when it’s proprietary. Like bribing people in order for ISO to ‘bless’ OOXML.

“The reason “Linux” news get flooded/dominated by Microsoft (again) isn’t that Microsoft is loved or hip. It is just a lot more greased up on the marketing side.”Looking at the media for coverage about this ‘news’, we see that a lot of Microsoft’s boosters wrote about it, with some (few) exceptions [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. It’s Microsoft news, it’s not FOSS news. What’s even more laughable is that when a longtime Mono booster and inadvertent GNU/Linux basher (see the latest in [1, 2]) “joined” the latest .NET (i.e. Microsoft lock-in) advocacy the media made it sound like .NET was widely loved. Microsoft-dominated ‘media’, 1105 Media [1, 2], went even further and labelled the whole event “Spotlight on Open Source” (as if something actually got liberated rather than “embraced”, as in E.E.E.). The same media company (highly and tightly connected to Microsoft) said that “Microsoft Adds Support for Linux Bash Shell on Windows” (nothing to do with Ubuntu or Linux and not even news, as we noted above).

In Summary

The reason “Linux” news get flooded/dominated by Microsoft (again) isn’t that Microsoft is loved or hip. It is just a lot more greased up on the marketing side. Like Donald Trump, it knows how to pull the strings of the media/press — strings which are sometimes already in place (because of financial strings).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Microsoft and Canonical Bring Ubuntu Linux Apps to Windows

    It’s also worth noting that WSL doesn’t really let you do very much that you couldn’t already do for many years via Cygwin, which allows a lot of GNU/Linux apps to run on Windows. Cygwin is not as seamless a solution as WSL, but the end result it provides is basically the same. For that reason, some GNU/Linux fans will probably be left wondering what WSL really changes.

  2. Microsoft announces preview of Azure Batch for Linux virtual machines
  3. Microsoft cozies up to Ubuntu as developers welcome cold day in hell
  4. Ubuntu brings Linux Bash Shell to Windows 10
  5. Microsoft joins hands with Canonical to bring Ubuntu to Windows 10
  6. Cross Platform: You will be able to run Ubuntu on Windows 10 ; Microsoft Bolsters Canonical
  7. Ubuntu for Windows brings ‘bash’ to Windows 10
  8. Microsoft set to integrate Linux to its platform
  9. Developers can run Bash Shell and user-mode Ubuntu Linux binaries on Windows 10
  10. Bash on Windows. Repeat, Microsoft demos Bash on Windows
  11. Ubuntu’s User-Space Ported To Run On Windows 10 By Canonical/Microsoft
  12. Why Microsoft Making Linux Apps Run on Windows Isn’t Crazy
  13. Ubuntu Goes to Microsoft’s Windows 10 Bash
  14. Bringing Ubuntu to Windows is a step in the right direction for Microsoft

    Will Windows eventually work its way into computer science courses anytime soon? Probably not, considering a copy of Ubuntu is free.

  15. The Odd Couple: Ubuntu is Coming to Windows
  16. Native Ubuntu Bash command line coming to Windows 10 (for developers)
  17. Windows 10 will soon let you run Ubuntu and access your workspace natively
  18. Ubuntu on Windows — The Ubuntu Userspace for Windows Developers
  19. Ubuntu brings Linux Bash Shell to Windows 10
  20. Here’s how Windows 10′s Ubuntu-based Bash shell will actually work
  21. Ubuntu Linux On Windows 10 — Here Are The First Pictures For You
  22. Winbuntu review
  23. Watch Microsoft show off the Linux command line on Windows 10 (video)
  24. Windows 10 + Bash Preview
  25. The devils spawn

    I just heard from several sources that Canonical and Microsoft are forming a partnership a marriage if you will between themselves. This unholy matrimony, this putrid partnership is not to bring windows to the Linux operating system, it is to bring ubuntu to the windows operating system.

  26. How bad is the Windows command line really?

    Kevin Gallo just announced Bash support on Windows.

    If you have never had to interact with the Windows Batch language, this might not seem like such a big deal. Surely Batch could not be substantially worse than Bash, right?

    Bash: a language that was neither designed, nor evolved. An adequate solution to a problem that has since become orders of magnitude harder. As arcane as it is useful, as dangerous as it is ubiquitous, Bash: the language that asks how much we are willing to give up for convenience’s sake?

    Sure, Bash could be worse. But substantially worse? Bash had one value proposition: it was just good enough. It is difficult to imagine that it would have flourished as it has, if that had that not been true.

    But the truth is what it is. Batch is substantially worse. And how much worse sort of beggars belief.

04.01.16

Con ‘Amor’ Como el de Microsoft ¿Quién Puede Definir Odio de ahora en Adelante?

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Ubuntu at 1:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

English/Original

Publicado en Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Ubuntu at 8:00 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

O como ´amigos´ como estos, ¿Quién necesita enemigos?

BP loves puppies
BP ama a puppies

Sumario: Creciente percepción de que Microsoft esta simplemente mintiéndo a todo el mundo mientras activamente ataca a GNU/Linux a puertas cerradas (arreglos secretos, sobornos, extorsión de patentes y lo demás)

Esta mañana hubieron muchas diátribas online acerca de lo que Canonical ha hecho con Microsfot para ayudarle a vender Vista 10 y poner Ubunto dentro de un hypervisor proprietario, completo con keyloger, puertas traseras, y lo deás. No deseamos pasar más tiempo hablando de las ramificaciones (hay algo de ellon en nuestras links diarias), pero mucha gente lo ha etiquetado/llamado E.E.E (y muy corréctamente). Escribimos acerca de ello anoche, también notando lo que Microsoft ha estado haciéndo en China y Romania (esto esta siendo discutido en Soylent News profundamente hoy).

“Está enamorado de Linux, así que esta tratándo de aplastar a Linux.”Un artículo particular, nos fue enviado esta mañana por un lector, dice: “Relaciones con el Estado Rojo han recorrido un largo camino desde los planes a ‘Dewindowsify’ fueron anunciadas en 2014, sugiriéndo que Microsoft sería echado de lado en favor de un sistema proprietario basado en Linux. Esto todavía continúa, and NeoKylin ya está siendo usado en algunos sistemas claves del gobierno.”

Correcto, pero Microsoft ama a Linux. Lo dice. Está enamorado de Linux, así que esta tratándo de aplastar a Linux. Basado en reportajes, Microsoft todavía trabaja activamente para socavar esta masiva migración. Si la clase gobernante se traga el cuento debido a la corrupción de algunos burócratas vendidos a Microsoft caerán de nuevo en manos de la CIA. Recuerden como fue saboteado el programa atómico de Iran, simplemente usaban Windows en sus centrales nucleáres. Rusos no sean cojudos! Si esta es la compañía que ¨ama a Linux¨, entonces ya perdimos vista de lo que es un enemigo. Incidentálmente, como fué señalado por este mismo lector, IDG, de nuevo esta difundiéndo propaganda para Microsoft, poco tiempo despues de haber atacado a GNU/Linux con informaciones falsas (mismo autor). Este ayayerismo se resume a, Microsoft ha perdido y no tiene oportunidad de recuperárse. He aquí ganó. ¿Es este periódismo? Ni siquiera comprueban los hechos. ¿Qué es lo próximo? ¿Otro artículo de Microsoft ¨ama a Linux¨? Ellos emiten esto cada dos días (aquí hay un ejemplo de la semana pasada). Es más una campaña de relaciónes públicas que periodismo.

“Una estrategia que Microsoft ha empleado en el pasado es pagar por el silencio de personas y compañías. Charles Pancerzewski, antiguo jefe auditor de Microsoft, se enteró de esta práctica de Microsoft de pasar ganancias de un periódo contable al siguiente, conocida como ¨manejo de ganancias¨. Esta práctica alisa reportados fuentes de ingresos, aumenta el valor compartido y engaña a los empleados y accionistas. Además de ser no ético, es también ilegal bajo la Ley de Seguridades de los US y viola Prácticas Contables Aceptadas Generalmente (Fink).

2002 Historia acerca de Charles Pancerzewski, Microsoft

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