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Microsoft is OSBC's First Sponsor Ever (Updated)

Maybe a coincidence, but here is what we know

Having just gone through responses at Digg.com, I found that Matt Asay responded to a submission of mine. He said:

What is ironic, Roy, is that Microsoft was the first sponsor ever for OSBC...and yet it hasn't capitulated after five years and 7-8 events. Maybe it *is* possible to talk without being swayed. It is for me, anyway.


So, Microsoft was the first to offer money to make this open source conference possible. That would seem to indicate that Microsoft wanted OSBC created. In relation to the "business" slant of this conference (that's the "B" in OSBC), the following publication, once cited only by Asay, comes to mind again. At the time, we suspected it could have been sponsored by Microsoft. It had fingerprints on it.

“That would seem to indicate that Microsoft wanted OSBC created.”The thesis speaks about commercialisation of open source software, which is exactly what Microsoft wants because it's easier to monetise and exploit (e.g. with software patents), all at the expense of old-school Free software. I am also reminded of Asay's anti-Stallman blog posts, not to mention the many slurs against Linux on the desktop and the GPLv3. I've been reading Matt's blogs quite exhaustively for about two years, so I feel eligible to comment on this.

I also found the following bit of text among Andy Updegrove's links just a couple of hours ago:

Microsoft's Brad Smith Tries To Make Nice With Open Source Community

Andrew Updegrove, a partner in the law firm Gesmer Updegrove LLC, was a member of a panel following Smith's talk and asked, "Wouldn't it be a great step to assert that no patents will be used against Linux?" Smith responded, "That would be saying, 'Hey, if you create the Linux kernel, you get a free pass.' ."


Unsurprisingly, the bit above was selectively quoted by Andy. Who wouldn't find it a tad shocking?

We last wrote about OSBC yesterday afternoon. You are strongly encouraged to read this post if you haven't.

Earlier this night I received another E-mail asking about OSBC. Specifically, it was an inquiry in relation to that horrific talk from Brad Smith. I later asked: "I suppose you know who invited Brad."

The response was interesting:




Who? Matt Asay?

Is this guy pro-Microsoft?

I have the impression he is responsible for the Microsoft hijack of the open source term, and the recent MS-OSS licenses.

Maybe he is bought already.

[...]

When it comes to patents, Microsoft might be in the top3 worse companies.




This response comes from a European expert on software patents. It gets very difficult to trust people these days. As a note of clarification, I do not believe Asay wishes to help Microsoft but I maintain my position that he is being used, probably without even realising it.

He is promised fame and glory, but he may be manipulated (a condition upon which this reward depends). And ironically enough, this reminds me of a particular Vice President from Novell, who once pursued a job at Microsoft. Instead, shortly after the job interview, he created a competitor to KDE, thus leading to fragmentation and duplication of effort.

Update: I have just come across this writeup from Linux expert/journalist Sean Michael Kerner. It seems to concur in places. Have a look:

Microsoft's Open Source Business Conference

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