Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Politics of Openwashing: How Microsoft Pretends That Windows Has 'Open Source', Generates Self-Congratulatory Coverage

Summary: Deceiving manoeuvres from Microsoft, which is trying to put an "open" label on its common carrier, despite the fact that it is as proprietary as anything can be

MICROSOFT MUST be very desperate to appear as "open" as GNU/Linux/Android even though Windows is definitely not. Several journalists got bamboozled by Microsoft's latest PR charade, which involved exposing source code of legacy stuff that's of no use and nobody uses. Microsoft's thugs are once again interjecting themselves into museums (public space), just as Bill Gates did over the past decade or so (the Gates Foundation was paying establishments like these to glorify Gates and warp computer history, omitting all the crimes).



The OSI's president stresses that "Microsoft has NOT "open sourced" MS-DOS or Word v1. Both are under a restrictive & non-open-source license," with reference to this licence.

As David Gerard (Wikipedia) put it to me last night, "even hacker news doesn't think it's safe to look at these downloads" (nothing from Microsoft is safe these days).

Dr. Donnie Berkholz, a Gentoo developer who now works as an analyst, responded to the OSI's president by saying that Microsoft rejecting Open Source licences "is frankly just weird. Who's going to benefit off code that old anyway. Why wouldn't MS actually open-source it?"

I responded by saying that making it FOSS would weaken some patents and other such stuff that Microsoft may need to attack rivals with. "Because suing your customers is great business," Berkholz replied and the OSI's president added: "Not just rivals; also those they wish to, uh, monetise." He alluded to patent extortion. "Or to force into Windows, e.g. Barnes and Noble," was my followup. We already saw how Microsoft used patents to sue Barnes and Noble and when challenged in court Microsoft then bribed Barnes and Noble to embrace Windows instead of Android. That's the modus operandi of Microsoft nowadays. Microsoft abuses patents and copyrights for blackmail purposes.

To see some poor coverage of the latest non-event (or even worse [1], with pro-Microsoft/XP propaganda [2] and misuse of the word "free"), just consider what Engadget wrote. Making useless old code seem 'open' is good for nothing except openwashing, but some news sites pretend it's great news for "geeks". They are basically printing/transmitting Microsoft talking points/PR, citing Microsoft press releases which are calling crimes that led to monopoly "open" (look, but don't touch) and trying to pass off the PR as goodwill. Here is Will Hill's response to the nonsense from Engadget:

It is bad and could be very bad in various ways. It is historical revisionism and copyright propaganda. It may also be a trap for free software developers.



We can be sure that the source code is washed of sabotage for competitors. That would be revisionism. The Engadget article itself is either revisionism or ignorant - Gates simply purchased/licensed/stole QDoS, the Quick and Dirty Operating System to make MS DO.



From a copyright perspective, Microsoft is pretending binary code finally enriches the public domain but that's a farce. We can't verify that this is the source code they worked with, nor should we trust companies to finally come clean decades later. This is very important because copyright protection is only granted in the US if it advances the state of the art and public domain. None of that happens here. This will be used as propaganda the same way the Gates Foundation is - a germ of truth will be blown out of proportion to conceal an ugly reality.



Finally, Microsoft never really gives anything away -this code is poison and should be avoided by free software developers and competitors alike. Let's look at their "agreement". Oh yeah, you don't even have freedom zero because there are limits on personal use. Personal use if only for "non commercial purposes," it appears that even consulting based on results of tests are prohibited. You may not share your copy or your modified copies. It's like they looked at the four freedoms and negated each, and that's just the first of eight restrictions. One of the nastier restrictions limits damage to $5 for anything, including things Microsoft should have known about - like anti-competitive sabotage.



FU Microsoft, I'll stick with DosBox and other free software. You can keep your fake old crap and I still don't think you have legitimate grounds for copyright monopoly.



In summary, Microsoft did nothing commendable. It's just a PR charade which contributes nothing to computing. It distorts public museums and warps history. Again.

Related/contextual items from the news:


  1. Microsoft open-sources MS-DOS. ’80s kids dance in the streets
    Microsoft actually bought the rights for QDOS (stands for “quick and dirty operating system) from Seattle Computer Products in 1981 for a paltry $25,000. What happened next is computer history.


  2. As WinXP death looms, Microsoft releases its operating system SOURCE CODE for free




Recent Techrights' Posts

Jean-Pierre Giraud, Possible Forgeries & Debian: elections, judgments, trademark already canceled, archaeologist
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Justices Jeremy Johnson and Victoria Sharp to Decide the Fate of Julian Assange in About Three Weeks
Will he be back home in Australia by year's end?
Treating Them as Teammates, Not as Political Props, Trophies, or Objects
Most of the world's people are women
Belarus: Bing Fell From 1.1% to 0.6% Since Microsoft Started the LLM Hype (Yandex is 50 Times Bigger Than Bing)
Now enter Belarus
Australia: Bing Lost Market Share Since the LLM Hype ("Bing Chat")
Google rose, Bing went down
 
You're Only Proving Our Point, Sir
clearly obsessed with what we write
Just Because It Happened Over 20 Years Ago Doesn't Mean It's "Old News" or Stopped Happening
This strategy merely evolved
Thanking Solderpunk for 5 Years of Gemini Protocol
Long live Gemini Protocol and long live Solderpunk!
[Meme] He Who Controls the Boot
And licks the Microsoft boot
[Meme] systemd-recovery
Imagine "Linux" (Poetterix) becoming so unreliable that it needs factory resets
Almost Every Day This Month the GNU/Linux "Market Share" Grows in statCounter
Advocates like to see progress
Dawg, I Herd You Like Freedom
In the context of Software Freedom, little is ever said about free speech
Links 19/06/2024: Microsoft Faces Big Backlash, Bytedance Referred to US Department of Justice
Links for the day
Gemini Protocol Turns 5 in 15 Hours
Geminispace is still very much alive
OSI's Blog is Still 100% "AI" Nonsense Sponsored by Microsoft (the Authors Are Also Salaried by Microsoft)
The founder of the OSI no longer supports the OSI
Poland is Another Country Where Bing Lost a Lot of Market Share Since the LLM Gimmicks
down from 3.24% to 2.4%
It Took Microsoft More Than 3 Years to Get a Quarter of Windows Users to 'Upgrade' to Vista 11 (3 Out of 4 Windows Users Still Reject It)
That is exactly what's happening right now
[Meme] The Empire
Don't be like Putin
They Want 'Transparency' Only for the General Public (Every Bit of Communication Available to the Government, Usually Via Corporations)
The EU might decide to effectively ban SSH
Free Software Won't Fix Equality, But It Helps
Let's examine Free software in the context of: 1) money. 2) justice.
Links 19/06/2024: SFTP and Gopher Milestone
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, June 18, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, June 18, 2024
US Surgeon General's Advice on Social Control Media (and "Smart" Phones) Seems Reasonable
People forget what the real world is about
Quiet at Planet Debian
planet.debian.org has not had any updates since 5 days ago
Morale at Microsoft Sinks to New Lows
The annual 'Employee Signals' survey showed a drop from 69% to 62% in positive responses
Microsoft Windows is Being Abandoned in the UK, Relative to Other Platforms (New All-Time Lows)
Windows at new lows
Links 18/06/2024: More Executives Leave Microsoft, Attacks on the Press in Russia and 'Exile'
Links for the day
[Meme] Always Livecasting
Wait Till Systemd-Recall
Gemini Links 18/06/2024: Unconscious Consumption and Firewall Autoban
Links for the day
[Meme] Canonical Has Basically Become Novell II
Today's Canonical...
While Everyone is Furious at Vista 11 (Over TPM, Recall and Other Malicious 'Features') Canonical is Selling It to People
So the only thing Canonical says about Windows is that you should give it a try?
Links 18/06/2024: Adobe and Internet Archive in Trouble
Links for the day
Peter Duffy Explains SystemD
Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer!
[Meme] The Doyen and the Colonel
EPO continues to prioritise lawbreaking over knowledge
EPO Union Action: Next Week SUEPO The Hague and SUEPO Munich Talk About New Pension Scheme (NPS) and Salary Savings Plan (SSP)
So there are basically 32 days left for more people to intervene
[Meme] Wait Till Systemd-Recall
The only thing Linux still needs is a forensics backdoor
GNU/Linux Up This Month in India (or Why Famous Criminal Bill Gates Keeps Visiting Modi)
truth tends to catch up with people
Microsoft Poetterix is Work in Progress
Linux's New DRM Panic 'Blue Screen of Death' In Action
24/7 Work Discipline
it's not so much about how much (or how long) one works, it's about how one works and whether one feels comfortable doing it
Adamant Conformism is an Enemy of Science
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man"
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 17, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, June 17, 2024
Links 18/06/2024: Further Mass Layoffs and Gemini Leftovers
Links for the day
At IBM, "Brownnosing is the Norm."
Many of these comments are from IBM insiders
Myanmar/Burma: Google Gains One Percent, Microsoft Loses One Percent Since the LLM Hype ('Bing Chat')
it's not hard to understand LLMs didn't replace real search and didn't replace Google, either
[Meme] KISS, not SAAS
Gemini Protocol turns 5 in exactly 2 days
Hostageware: The Threat of Clown Computing (or 'SaaS', Another Misnomer or Buzzword) to Computer Users Everywhere
This problem isn't limited to Free software adopters
Six on the Beach: After Losing Six Continents Microsoft is Losing Oceania Too
Based on the 6- or 7-continent view of the world
Links 17/06/2024: Mass Layoffs Accelerating in Tech, Concerns About Impact of the Net
Links for the day
Gemini Links 17/06/2024: Hyprland Analysed and No Use for Betrusted
Links for the day
Microsoft Can Never Make a Comeback Anymore, the Community is Shutting It Out
We're relying on the real community, not fake ones or coopted ones
The World is Becoming (or Has Already Become) Linux
An intercontinental success story
Georgia: Bing Share Fell by Half Since 'Bing Chat' (LLM Hype), Fell Behind Yandex As Well
Georgia's situation is interesting
[Meme] Community of People to be Exploited, Then Thrown Away, Left Behind or Even Slandered
Debian.org front page
Alexandre Oliva's FSF disposition
During my recent trip for LibrePlanet, I was fortunate to have, or at least start, long conversations with nearly everyone in FSF staff
[Meme] SPI and 'FSFE': Sponsored by Microsoft to...
women's instincts do not matter to these strongmen
One More (Failed) Attempt to Deplatform the Sites by Harassing and Threatening Webhosts
What we're seeing here is a person who abuses the system in Canada at Canadian taxpayers' expense trying to do the same in the UK, at British taxpayers' expense
[Meme] Shitburger of an LLM
IBM and the Hololens
Links 17/06/2024: Chatbot Nonsense Thrown Under the Bus (Severe Failure, Pure Hype), How to Finance Free Software 'Hackers'
Links for the day
Debian's Personal Attacks Are Upsetting Women, Too
Female Debian Developer: "I Believe Daniel [Pocock] is On the Right Track."
Microsoft's Bing is So Irrelevant in Moldova (1%) That Russia's Yandex is About 5 Times Bigger
How much longer before Microsoft throws in the towel?
12 Days Have Passed Since the Edward Brocklesby Revelations and Debian Project Has Said Absolutely Nothing About That
One must therefore assume they have nothing to say in their defence (covering up severe security failings)
Yes, You Can
Unless you live somewhere like Russia...
[Meme] Listen to the Experts
Bill Gates didn't even finish university]
Roy and Rianne's Righteously Royalty-free RSS Reader (R.R.R.R.R.R.) and the Front-End Interfaces
As the Web deteriorates the availability, quality and prevalence of RSS feeds is not improving, to put it mildly
Algeria Shows High GNU/Linux and Android Adoption, All-Time High and Almost Three-Quarters of Web Requests
GNU/Linux was below 3%, now it is above 3%
Mass Layoffs at Microsoft-owned GitHub (About 80 Percent of the Staff in India Laid Off)
It's not just in India
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 16, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, June 16, 2024
Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Scarecrows, Moles, Ham Radio, and No IPs
Links for the day