Bonum Certa Men Certa

Here Come the Microsoft Apologists from the Open Source Initiative and the Linux Foundation (Updated)

"Show your respects for a convicted monopoly abuser"

It is truly amazing. After all the abuse, certain people simply remain blind. They forget about all the crimes. They also believe (or wish to believe) that Microsoft will become gentler at times when it is most fragile and most likely to face extinction in the face of Google, among other paradigm shifts.

Sometimes you just need to show some hard proof rather than just say "get real". Hopefully this Web site provides evidence of the fact that Microsoft has not changed. It gets worse and it gets more aggressive over time. It just knows how to hide its plans. The increasing intensity in wording that accompanies "Get the Facts" propaganda is a good reflection of this. Have you seen how blatantly (and openly)
Make no mistake about it, if you are using a Linux distribution, you are not a friend to the software giant in Redmond. For years, they have spread rumors and half-truths in an effort to curb any further attraction to Linux development. Unfortunately for them, this has not only failed miserably, but their own Vista operating system has become the ultimate pro-Linux marketing campaign with its bugs, bloat and compatibility issues.


This, among other reasons, is the motive for increased aggression. A Dell strategist projected and predicted that Vista would drive people to GNU/Linux. This emerged in an interview from LinuxWorld just a couple of days ago.

What bothers the mind are people who refuse to identify a convicted criminal. Can the Linux Foundation honestly say that we need to have "respect for Microsoft"? Is it just their public relations pitch? For a company that thrived in crime and maintains its existence in this way, "respect" should be hard to earn. "Respect" would be approval and acceptance of the fact that crime pays. From the article:

"There are some things that Windows does pretty well," Zemlin said. Microsoft for instance has excelled in marketing the operating system, and has a good track record in fending off competition.

Although Zemlin advised against launching large scale marketing campaigns and against setting up a Microsoft-styled PR organization, Linux should acknowledge and address preconceptions about the software instead of denying them.


Jim Zemlin has held this type of view for quite some time. Maybe it's a good thing because Microsoft-tied businesses will take him more seriously. It is the same type of thing which urged Eric Raymond to start with "Open Source". It's about image and perception. But how far does one go? Even "Open Source" is becoming a victim, as well as a doorway to invasion that hurts Free software, including GNU/Linux.

Matt Asay, who is on the OSI board, has responded to criticism.

Pamela Jones of Groklaw, whose opinion I value and with whom I normally concur, berated me for daring to suggest that we should welcome Microsoft's participation in open source...


I know Matt because I have read his blogs for a long time. We even exchanged a few words.

Mind you, he is having lunch with Microsoft executives. He does not like Microsoft, but I believe he remains ignorant about their motive. They try to 'buy' the minds of open source/free software people, including luminaries. There is a long track record of such behaviour. In this case, they hold back protocols and interoperability, which Alfresco (where Matt works) needs in order to build and sell its services. Let's not go as far as calling it "extortion", "ransom", or a case of "holding interoperability hostage", but we might as well.

Take these words as though they are just a signal of warning. Microsoft ensures it controls some people who will approach the gate and open it for a Trojan horse to demolish an entire city. By no means do I imply that the people above are the drunk village idiots (as the legend goes). I respect them enormously, but this is just an alarming analogy. Some things are dangerous enough to justify caution, so alarms are truly needed.

OSI gets slammed by yet another man; actually, a man whose company used to be an 'open source' offender. He gathered some nerve as the following article shows.

Free software darling SugarCRM blasts OSI

Full of free software pride, SugarCRM CEO John Roberts has revitalized his attack against the Open Source Initiative (OSI) characterizing the organization as weak and confused.

After being the open source community's whipping boy, SugarCRM now enjoys a position of power. Last month, the software maker agreed to place a fresh version of its flagship product under the General Public License v3 (GPLv3) crafted by the Free Software Foundation. This established SugarCRM as the most prominent backer of GPLv3 to date.


Whatever knocks some sense into their heads would be truly helpful. This OSI invasion is an extremely dangerous one, so it might time for rethinking and/or restructuring.

Update: there are others whose opinions intersect with this blog post. Here is a criticism of the Linux Foundation's statement and here is some frustration with OSI.

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