Bonum Certa Men Certa

Divide and Conquer: How Microsoft Fractures Free and Open Source Software, GNU/Linux

Beware the enemy within

Behind the wallSummary: Latest examples of Microsoft's strategy, wherein it sends out affiliates to pretend to be FOSS people and then promote software patent deals, separation between Open Source and Free software, departure from the GPL, promotion of 'open' core (proprietary) as "Open Source", and demotion of free/libre platforms like GNU/Linux along with free suites/formats like ODF

MICROSOFT has a lot of nerve. But hey, it's Microsoft!



For those who cannot recall, Microsoft was forced by the European Commission to comply with Samba's requests (or face extremely heavy fines), but that's not the story Microsoft wants to tell the world, so later it pretended to have done it all out of goodwill (utter lies stemming from need to spin). We covered this pattern of spin before and debunked it thoroughly; still, this FUD just won't die. Since when is the press just a facility for Microsoft revisionism? Oh, well, keep the up count then. Mea culpa.

A few months ago Microsoft had to comply with the Commission (or face maybe billions in fines), so it very reluctantly implemented browser ballots, which are a farce (Internet Explorer is a part of all options which are selectable) and one that Microsoft could never implement properly. See the following posts:

  1. Browser Ballot Critique
  2. Microsoft's Fake “Choice” Campaign is Back
  3. Microsoft Claimed to be Cheating in Web Browsers Ballot
  4. Microsoft Loses Impact in the Web Despite Unfair Ballot Placements
  5. Given Choice, Customers Reject Microsoft
  6. Microsoft is Still Cheating in Browser Ballot -- Claim
  7. Microsoft's Browser Ballot is Broken Again and Internet Explorer 8 is Critically Flawed
  8. The Microsoft Who Cried “Wolf!”


Now, here comes the key point; Microsoft used exactly the same spin that it used against Samba. Microsoft pretended that those ballots were an act of goodwill rather than obeying a law. Microsoft was also pretending that ballots are punishment enough, even though Internet Explorer remained obligatory.

“It seems like that old tactic which Microsoft calls or refers to as "infiltration"...”It's amazing, isn't it? Microsoft breaks the law, then it is punished for it (the punishment is so minor that it's meaningless), and Microsoft then spins this punishment as a self-imposed limitation that Microsoft has chosen because it loves competition so very much.

Well done, Microsoft. You're a master of spin.

Over in Budapest, Microsoft spent the beginning of the week bashing OpenOffice.org (in public), assuming the claims are correct. What a funny case of timing, eh? It happens to coincide with the OpenOffice.org event in Budapest. It turned out later, as IBM's Rob Weir told me, that Microsoft's Moritz Berger also decided to divide and conquer the OpenOffice.org event itself. It seems like that old tactic which Microsoft calls or refers to as "infiltration" (or "crashing" the event, as per this internal document [PDF]).

"You are totally wrong Both RDF and digital signatures are new to ODF 1.2"
      --Rob Weir to Microsoft infiltrator at OpenOffice.org event
Why does Oracle allow Microsoft to to this? Not surprisingly, some hours ago it turned out that Microsoft's Berger used the OpenOffice.org event to smear OpenOffice.org or ODF. "You are totally wrong Both RDF and digital signatures are new to ODF 1.2," hollered Weir at Berger during the event.

So let's repeat what was happening here: Microsoft staff moving on from an anti-OpenOffice.org event in Budapest to an OpenOffice.org event in Budapest where they spread FUD, as expected. Microsoft always comes to these events under pretenses of "we come in peace" (the title of the talk in this case was about "bridges", a mere euphemism) and anyone standing in their way will be painted an "irrational zealot" and separated from the rest, singled out as "poisonous" (that's where the "divide and conquer" approach applies). We wrote a lot more about these techniques (so do Microsoft's internal documents/presentations to newly-recruited AstroTurfers) when LinuxTag 2010 got the 'Microsoft treatment' [1, 2, 3]. It's truly distasteful and it's damaging.

Another thing we wish to draw attention to is IDG's fuaxpen source blog, which delivers more and more messages from Microsoft staff (here is another one from the Microsoft employee who compares/likens Free software to communism and says that "No one is working for free"). How did Microsoft's team end up writing in this blog? It's simple. Bort from the Microsoft Subnet now explains who brought him in (Walli), augmenting the Microsoft 'open source' think tank which they broadcast to the world via IDG Web sites:

So, I got a hold of Stephen Walli (pictured), who recently joined Network World's Open Source Subnet as a blogger. (He writes the Open Minded blog). Walli is Technical Director of the CodePlex Foundation.


Bort's colleague/co-writer, who works for a Microsoft partner, is currently trying to separate "Linux" from the rest (another common Microsoft tactic commonly seen in this Microsoft auditorium). When someone's colleagues work for a company that spreads proprietary software (there are more of them), it's likely that more will follow, gradually separating the platform from the notion of Freedom -- including the GPL -- which otherwise belonged under the "Open Source" badge/brand. Likewise, they are separating it from GNU/Linux.

Watch out for those who take Microsoft and "Open Source" and combine the two. IDG is marrying them quite a lot these days, occasionally taking input from Microsoft Florian (when it comes to patents). Another person who takes input from Microsoft Florian is ZDNet's Blankenhorn and he got some flak for it from Groklaw, which he once gave an award to.

"Entryism (or entrism or enterism) is a political tactic by which an organisation or state encourages its members or agents to infiltrate another organisation in an attempt to gain recruits, or take over entirely. In situations where the organisation being "entered" is hostile to entryism, the entryists may engage in a degree of subterfuge to hide the fact that they are, in fact, an organisation in their own right." --Wikipedia

Comments

Recent Techrights' Posts

In Malawi, Windows Down to 10%, GNU/Linux Growing
it's not a small country
[Meme] Featuritis
Newer is not always better
Ireland Last to Report Election Results
Daniel Pocock's involvement in Australian politics goes back to his university days
Never Sleeps, Never Slumbers
We're going to try to improve not just in quantity but also in quality
EPO Has Gotten So Bad That Workers Need to Ask to be Allocated a Desk (at Work)
Wow!!!! An “allocated workplace”!!
 
New Highs for Android in Haiti (Nearly 80%), Microsoft Windows at Only 4%
that's Android at another new high and very close to 80% (it now seems inevitable)
[Meme] How Stefano Maffulli (and Microsoft's Own OSI Insiders) Make Money
Milking what's left of the OSI by attacking its very mission - something that more people now recognise
Mobs Don't Get the Job Done (Mob Leaders Have Lost Credibility/Visibility, Job, or Both)
their demands weren't met
Montenegro: GNU/Linux "Proper" at Over 6%
Windows is down to record lows
Links 13/06/2024: Overpopulation Woes, Best Buy Lays Off More Employees
Links for the day
Nationwide Eventually Did Listen
Miles better than their original nonresponse
The Corruption of Open Source Initiative (OSI), a Front Group of Microsoft and GAFAM, Openwashing Proprietary Things and Even Plagiarism, GPL Violations
Stefano Maffulli (and Microsoft's staff that works with him) basically profits from anti-FOSS
"AI" Tech Bubble
How much "hype quotient" does this whole "hey hi" (AI) thing have left in it?
Links 13/06/2024: Science, Politics, and Gemini
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, June 12, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Gemini Links 12/06/2024: The Rodent Revolution and Adding Twisty Puzzles
Links for the day
Links 12/06/2024: Ukraine War Updates and Many Patents Being Subjected to Squashing Bounties
Links for the day
[Meme] The Purpose of Life is to Find a Desk
dogs have desks
Tux Machines Parties Going Well Do Far
Cross-posted from Tux Machines
In Many Countries, Both Large and Small, Vista 11 is Losing Market Share (Despite New PCs Coming Preloaded With It)
One need not even consider large nations in isolation
By "Going Public" the Raspberry Pi Ensures It'll No Longer Serve the Public
It'll be owned and controlled by whatever people wish to control it
Dave Wreski Also Plays the Bot Game (Chatbot) at LinuxSecurity to Fake 'Articles' About "Linux"
How much longer can they fool search engines (SEO) and readers?
[Meme] Indisputable Success
MICROSOFT buys shares of MICROSOFT
Links 12/06/2024: 'Hey Hi' (AI) Bubble Imploding Already, Danish Media Threatens to Sue OpenAI
Links for the day
Links 11/06/2024: Floods in Germany and Brazil, Political Violence
Links for the day
Gemini Links 12/06/2024: Sketching Plants, OpenBSD Pubnix
Links for the day
"2025 the year of Linux on the Desktop"
Charlie Stross quote
In Bahrain, Historically Low on GNU/Linux Adoption, Things Change for the Better
They have some people who understand Free software
Daniel Pocock Received Twice as Many Votes as Andreas Tille (Debian Project Leader After 2024 Election)
From the media yesterday...
Debian is Built by Hundreds of Volunteers and 524 Irish People Voted for Daniel Pocock
524 in that area went to the polling station to vote Daniel Pocock (Ind)
[Meme] RMS is 'Too Old', Says Company Run by a Person 5 Years His Junior (Ginni Rometty) and 10 Years His Junior (Arvind Krishna)
Never again?
[Meme] Women in Computer Science
Grace Hopper, Ada Lovelace etc.
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, June 11, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, June 11, 2024
Togo: GNU/Linux Growing Fast This Year, Now Measured at 6%
Sending Bill Gates with a suitcase to bribe African officials isn't enough anymore
Free Software Projects Need to Chase Away Men Who Attack Women Rather Than The Women Who Complain
A just society holds people accountable rather than covers up such blunders
Improving the Image of Women in Free Software by Hiring and Promoting the Proficient Ones
Million's shaman background isn't the problem, or even the superstitious ghost-chasing. The problem is that she has absolutely no background in Free software.
They Say Cash is King
People who value their freedom will pay with cash any time they can
'Team Microsoft' Wants to Leverage Our Popularity as a Weapon Against Us
In the past 2 days we published 64 articles and served over a million HTTP/S requests
[Meme] Microsoft Has Enough of Its Own Problems (Layoffs Abundant), It Won't Rescue IBM or Canonical
"It's OK, we're partners"
Know Your Allies, Know Your Enemies
The answer to censorship attempts is more speech, not less speech
Debian is Back to Taking Money From Microsoft, the Company That's Attacking Linux From the Inside
If Debian fails to understand what's wrong with it, that's a problem
Ghana: Windows Down From 97% to Just 15%
The doors are closing on Windows
Links 11/06/2024: Practice of Retaliatory Layoffs at Microsoft
Links for the day
Gemini Links 11/06/2024: GMID 2.0.5 and More
Links for the day
The United States Will Cut Off or Cull Firefox
It is only a matter of time
[Meme] Firefox Is Not an Alternative to Google, Only to Chrome (and It Has Become Proprietary or OSPS Like Chromium)
The illusion of remaining "choice" on the Web
No, the World Wide Web Isn't Open (and Hasn't Been for Years)
It's proprietary all the way now
The War on Free Software Reporters - Part VII - Groupthink, Censorship Demands, and Ultimatums
There's a lot of groupthink in the Free software community
Microsoft Told Us That LLMs Were a Boon for Azure and 'Clown Computing', But the Thousands of Layoffs This Month Prove That It Was a Lie All Along
Azure is collapsing
Why We Post Statistics About the Usage of Operating Systems Worldwide
We're hoping to see GNU/Linux at over 10% (on desktops/laptops) some time in the coming years
Winning Defamation Cases is Incredibly Difficult (for Plaintiffs), Even in the United States and the United Kingdom
SLAPP should always backfire
In Kuwait, Microsoft's Windows Fell From 97% to Just 15%
According to statCounter
GNU/Linux in Philippines Climbs to New Levels
This is an all-time high
Links 11/06/2024: Windows Outcry and Climate News
Links for the day
Tux Machines Was Always a Women-Run Site (the Real Voices of GNU/Linux, Not Political Props in Corporate Events)
Corporate "diversity" is more of a marketing/PR gimmick than real, genuine diversity
Macao: GNU/Linux Desktop/Laptop Operating System Market Share Rising Close to 7%
GNU/Linux Rises to Record High in Macao
FSF is Now 50% Female, Unlike Red Hat (Which Moaned About Lack of "Diversity" at FSF)
Isn't the hypocrisy just astounding?
Since COVID-19 Lockdowns Windows Fell From Almost 50% to Just 10% in Loas
According to statCounter
[Meme] Quantity Says Nothing About Worth, Value, or Quality
People will generally gravitate towards things of quality and reputation
Microsoft's Windows in Gabon: From 20% 'Market Share' Down to Around 10% in a Few Months
Gabon is not a small country
Meanwhile at canonical.com
Canonical knows exactly what Ubuntu users want
[Meme] Microsoft (and the NSA) Will Never Forget
The user trying to permanently disable 'recall'
Windows Falls Below 20% in United Arab Emirates This Month
According to statCounter
"Windows 11's Recall AI, known to take snapshots and recordings of user computers regularly, including key presses, was discovered to store all its information in an unencrypted local folder."
"You can copy the data from another user's "recall" folder as another user."
Fedora Week of Diversity (FWD) 2024 Outsourced to Proprietary Spyware of GAFAM
Need to use proprietary software to participate
IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 10, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, June 10, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
[Meme] Clown Computing is Better For...
Clown: they said clown computing enhances security
One in a Thousand Voters Chose to Vote Daniel Pocock (as First Preference)
He got about 4 times more votes than what had him win FSFE elections
Daniel Pocock on Good Performance in His EU Election Campaign: Thanking the voters of Midlands-North-West, Ireland
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
The 'IT Industry' is Already in Ruins
The "powers that be" do not want the "hoi polloi" to possess skills and systems
Microsoft's Windows is Sliding Away Into Minority Platform Territories, Even in Rich Countries With Affluent Computer Users
We seem to be striking a nerve at Microsoft every time we say this
Self-Hosting Should be Taught and Embraced, Outsourcing Creates More Problems (or Risks) Than It Solves
One can control one's destiny...