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Microsoft et al. “Embrace and Extend” That Whole “Open Thing”

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Summary: The characterisation of patent bullies as friends of "Open Source"; more lip service to them from the Gartner Group

EVERY ONCE in a while we share with readers the latest examples of Microsoft and its allies faking and/or subverting "Open Source". Today's roundup begins with the Microsoft-backed Blackboard, which is once again playing games with "ambassadors" and other fluff that's twisting the term "open-source" (open minus source). Blackboard is trying to paint itself either as a player in "open-source" or simply a friend. It just mirrors the behaviour of Microsoft (Blackboard's financial backer), which is bullying competitors with software patents while pretending to be cuddly and tolerant. It's all PR. Blackboard is a bunch of predators in a pedobear costumes.



This brings us to the next item, which actually involves Blackboard's sugar daddy (the "biggest enemy" of "Open Source"). Microsoft boosters like Marius Oiaga still write about Microsoft's 'embrace' of projects it can exploit to sell IIS and Windows (proprietary with patents and known abuses).

phpBB 3.0.7-PL1 Available via Windows Web App Gallery and Web Platform Installer



One such example is the “SQL Server Driver for PHP 1.1, which provides key interoperability for PHP applications to use SQL Server or SQL Azure for data storage, and is released under the OSI approved MS-PL license and available on CodePlex,” Galli states.


Microsoft's press mole is at it again. They are trying to capture "Open Source" and swallow it by putting it in proprietary enclosures, Microsoft licences, and even so-called 'clouds' that give Microsoft control of the applications' data. Joomla is selling out to Microsoft in a way, or at least making an innocent mistake. Based on this short new article, there is new Joomla leadership, which might explain the change in attitude.

Then we have Microsoft's promiscuous girlfriend Novell, which is putting Microsoft code inside Linux even when it's a GPL violation [1, 2, 3]. The press is still airing the Microsoft PR angle about this code [1, 2], perhaps not realising that Microsoft has a goal of making GNU/Linux obsolete with that code. It turns GNU/Linux into a mere application (windowed) for Microsoft Windows. These are Novell/Microsoft patches for proprietary software, not for Free software.

This brings us to the next subject, which is development tools. Novell builds MonoDevelop to help train GNU/Linux users for Microsoft development in C#, ASP.NET, Visual Studio, Windows, etc. SharpDevelop 3.2 is now out with IronRuby support. For those who don't know what Microsoft is doing to Ruby with its own "IronRuby", start around [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]. This is a classic "embrace and extend" maneuver.

Saving the best for last, watch how the Gartner Group is doing it again. In recent days we showed Gartner endorsement offered to companies which advance Microsoft's interests in F/OSS [1, 2]. A company which spreads more FUD against F/OSS turns out to also be a recipient of Gartner endorsement.

Protecode, creator of the world's fastest and most reliable software Intellectual Property (IP) engine, today announced that it has been selected as a Cool Vendor in the "Cool Vendors in Intellectual Property, 2010"1 report by Gartner, Inc. The report identifies vendors that are taking an innovative approach to applying IP management capabilities in their product offerings.


It is almost as though Gartner's criteria for F/OSS acceptance is that it needs to serve its very major client and investor, Microsoft Corporation (and associated ecosystem). The above company too is a proprietary software company, which is more or less draping itself in an "Open Source" gown while only spreading fear about "Open Source". Another example similar to Protecode would Black Duck (also Gartner-endorsed), whose latest press release goes something like "Black Duck spiders the Internet for open source code, collecting information about projects and code into the Black Duck KnowledgeBase, which contains information on more than 230,000 open source projects from more than 4,500 unique websites. Black Duck reported earlier this year that more than 19,000 new open source projects were started in 2009."

What Black Duck does not say is that it adds a lot of addons to Microsoft's proprietary software (with Microsoft's own licences) to its database and calls these "Open Source", even though all they achieve is complement or encourage the deployment of proprietary software, along with software patent altercations and licences that Microsoft controls. If you are new to Black Duck, see this new Wiki page.

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