Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft the “Biggest and Baddest Anti-FOSS Company in Existence Today”

"[Which software company would you hate to compete against? What makes you single them out?] Microsoft of course. They have the deepest of pockets, unlimited ambition, and they are willing to lose money for years and years just to make sure that you don't make any money, either. And they are mean, REALLY mean [...] "Ruthless" is good. The company is built in the image of Bill Gates and Bill is a guy who gets caught-up in the game of business and doesn't typically see its personal cost. To use what might seem to be an obscure example, just look at all the various partnerships and industry consortia that Microsoft has announced through the years that never produced a product or even a usable specification. There have been literally dozens of these operations that are intended solely to freeze the competition until Microsoft can figure what the heck it actually wants to do. To Microsoft its a PR exercise that helps them compete but to customers it is just a damned lie. That's ruthless. There are plenty of other examples I can give but you get the point. I represent the concerns of users, not vendors, and Microsoft doesn't really care about users."

--Robert X Cringely, 2007



The biggest news today is probably not the entrance of GNU/Linux into more cars (which is true), but the hopping of the world's giant phone maker (Nokia) onto the Linux phones bandwagon (no, not just tablets anymore). More on that shortly. It's pretty huge, maybe on par with ASUS motherboard that all come with Splashtop.

“We saw that when Novell grew closer to Microsoft, over time.”There remains just a single massive company and mastermind to whom GNU/Linux and the GPL are a threat so great that it must fight. Tooth and nail, using to-be-exploited partners too! No other company (Adobe for example) has invaluable cash cows to defend, in addition to an abysmal track record when it comes to ethics (never mind 'whitewashing' in the subverted media that dodges Cringely's truths). At the same time, to decrease awareness of its goals, Microsoft fakes friendliness and uses its 'moles' to cause and inflict trouble from the inside. We saw that when Novell grew closer to Microsoft, over time.

There is a good blog post over at the Open Malaysia blog (happy second birthday to them!). It sheds light also on the effect of the Novell deal.

In a nutshell, they are saying that they will not sue "hobbyist FOSS users and developers" but they will sue FOSS distributors and enterprise end-users who fail to obtain a patent license from Microsoft. This is no bogey man. Its quite clear in the announcement, and the BSA is pretty active in Malaysia, not hesitating in sueing end user companies.

[...]

Here was a golden chance for Microsoft to gain some precious goodwill with the Open Source Community. Instead they botched it up just like they did before, again and again, cementing their reputation as the biggest and baddest anti-FOSS company in existence today.

How many other companies out there have such a anti-FOSS policies? Which company can be so unfriendly to their end users who prefer more choice? Why threaten when you should coax?


Particularly valuable this short articles has proven to be because it justifies doubt and suspicion, especially where Microsoft is involved or present. Those supposedly-"overzealous" Linux users are perhaps rightly 'obsessed' with that who always schemes to undermine the entire movement for choice and for freedom (basic human right that are shrewdly taken away amid digitisation).

Those who are called "obsessed" or "Microsoft haters" will often find that such labels are simply being used to urge peers to daemonise them (outcasting by peer pressure). The turning of active into passive and positive into negative can work magic. In some cases, due to such labeling schemes, people just stop watching and later find themselves victimised. Vigilance is crucial. Only the Paranoid Survive (Andrew S. Grove, former president and CEO of Intel Corporation).

Learn to ignore the labels. If someone uses them against you, it's likely a distraction technique. It sometimes means you're on the right topic.

We wrote about this previously in:



"I’m thinking of hitting the OEMs harder than in the past with anti-Linux. ... they should do a delicate dance"

--Joachim Kempin, Microsoft OEM Chief

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