Bonum Certa Men Certa

Distrusted Media and the Illusion of Microsoft as an Open Source Player

Soviet Microsoft



Summary: New press coverage which fails to inform readers about Microsoft's real views and intentions when it comes to "Open Source"

EARLIER THIS month we wrote about Microsoft's decision to give Russia's secret services access to Vista 7 source code [1, 2], which does not make the operating system open source, it just makes it less secure. It means that the "new KGB" -- not just the tyrannical company from Redmond -- will have exclusive rights of knowing what code runs on hundreds of millions of machines. It's a power game. Paul Rubens writes about the subject as follows:



What do you do when you find a serious vulnerability in Microsoft server OS source code? You could tell the whole world about it, or you could keep schtum and just inform Microsoft. Or, of course, you could tell no one and use the knowledge to go and attack other systems.

What would the Russians do? That's an interesting question, and I guess we are about to find out because Microsoft (NASDQ: MSFT) recently signed a deal with the Russian Federal Security Service giving it access to source code for Windows Server 2008 R2, Office 2010 and SQL Server.


This morning we wrote about Microsoft pretending to be "Open Source". Its usual bunch of "infiltrators" do this by pressuring people to pay attention to them. Last week we also saw Microsoft boosters like Gavin Clarke and Marius Oiaga pushing the same talking point about Microsoft "embrac[ing] 'official' open source" and releasing "open source" [1, 2] (we also found one example where this talking point was pushed not by a Microsoft booster). Over at IDG, two Microsoft-oriented people (one of whom of runs the Microsoft Subnet at IDG) ran a show on "open source" where the guest was talking about Fog Computing, not open source. Are they out of their minds? Well, it's IDG after all. Some of the predictions from these IDG Microsoft blogs are echoed here and it is not helpful to the 'real' "Open Source" movement -- the core people who actually promoted Free software under a different name/banner, well before Microsoft and its former staff were promoting the whole 'open' core nonsense. Here is another new example where the Microsoft booster (last mentioned here) promotes SugarCRM, an 'open' core company which has just announced that it will run as part of Microsoft's Fog Computing hosting plan (Azure) in the midst of controversy. All of these things ought to be understood because this same IDG blog which calls itself "open source" is also home to two bloggers from Microsoft-oriented/sourced/accommodated companies that spread fear about the GPL and then monetise that fear. Those companies are OpenLogic and Black Duck (Black Duck Software boasts in a new press release that it "Maintains Exceptional Growth Pace in Q2," which proves that GPL fear works well for companies like these -- those that pretend to promote open source but actually sell fear and proprietary software). Joining them last week was this newcomer called nSyte, whose business seems similar if not identical. In its press release it says:

New SaaS Audit Tool from nSyte Software to Reduce Risk Associated with Use of Open Source Code in Proprietary Software



Colorado Technology Start-up Takes a Proactive Approach to Addressing a Growing Problem in the $220 Billion Dollar Software Development Industry Involving the Inadvertent Use of Protected Open Source Code


This was covered in at least one publication that we found:

Lafayette, Colorado-based nSyte Software, a startup developing software testing tools, said today that it has launched a new open source code auditing tool.


The way they put it makes it sounds like they launched "a new open source" something, but what they actually launched is an "open source code auditing tool" which is probably proprietary like Black Duck's. They make money from fear of open source, not from producing open source.

Lastly, it ought to be pointed out that Dr. Dobb's Journal feeds the 'Microsoft press' and gives the impression that Microsoft is "Testing Open Source Waters". Although we mentioned this before, Dr. Dobb's Journal is now owned by CMP Technology/United Business Media, which runs some Microsoft-sympathetic sites like Information Week (it still places large Windows advertisements in articles about GNU/Linux). There are some publications out there (IDG included) which depend on Microsoft's business, namely contracts (e.g. IDC) and advertising.

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