Bonum Certa Men Certa

“Mention the War” (of Microsoft Against GNU/Linux)



"Where are we on this Jihad?"

--Bill Gates about Linux



A war



Summary: The GNU/Linux desktop (or laptop) seems to be languishing or deteriorating, making way for proprietary takeover in the form of Vista 10 and Chrome OS and "web apps" (surveillance); nobody seems too bothered -- certainly not the Linux Foundation -- by the fact that GNU/Linux itself is being relegated or demoted to a mere "app" on these surveillance platforms (WSL, Croûton and so on)

TECHRIGHTS missed a lot of time that could be used to respond to attacks on GNU/Linux. We've been watching these for years and habitually mentioned these (or remarked on these in brief) in our daily links. Sometimes it was filed under "openwashing". We don't regret focusing on EPO scandals or working towards elimination of software patents (USPTO-granted software patents nowadays lack 'teeth') because these two are important and scarcely-explored topics. We're one of the very few sites if not the last remaining site to cover EPO corruption.



"Red Hat considered Microsoft as a buyer. We must never forget that."Our longtime readers (we turn 13 later this year) understandably ask us to maintain or return to GNU/Linux focus. Back in the days Groklaw did a lot of work in this area, but Groklaw stopped everything over half a decade ago. Yes, just over 5 years.

One reader, an experienced GNU/Linux developer, told us "please start calling it a war, it's at least 5 years old now..."

He was referring to Microsoft's war against GNU/Linux for the most part. In his own words, "you recall I said that Microsoft would buy Red Hat after GitHub, and three months later IBM did instead? I think that's pretty close for a guess."

Red Hat considered Microsoft as a buyer. We must never forget that. It says quite a lot.

"I know you're too busy for email," he added, "though I hope you'll join me in talking about the war ("don't mention the war!") against free software. You talk about it all the time, but even as Microsoft knocks over more and more autonomy chess pieces and inserts their influence into Python (that's Google territory as well and I'm no Google fan, but it shows how incredibly ballsy they are) we know that they are trying to take over all free software.

"Being controlled by Microsoft, or any company -- including Red Hat -- is the opposite of what free software is about. We are currently losing the war that Microsoft is waging on free software. But no one is calling it a war. I am calling it one, don't make me the only person calling it this.

"The FSF should be calling it a war, [but] instead they're talking about deals with the devil -- by itself, I don't disapprove of that, but I hope they follow up with more talking about how insidious the non-free devil really is. It's in everything now -- the firmware, the init system, the patent landscape. When there's a war on, people should know what's happening.

"You do a great job reporting the news -- better than anybody. Do them a favour, paint the picture for what it is -- a war. It's nothing less than that. They are trying to assimilate everything -- and look like friends while doing it. Please help."

Asset stripping GNU/LinuxI told this reader that I would incorporate these words into a future article (this one), as I did the last one on the subject, with the image on the left. I never for a moment believed it was anything but a war. But I focused on battling on the patent front (more so than other aspects/angles).

The reader continued by dubbing it an "ongoing free software sabotage" -- a description I agree with because a lot of things become less freedom-respecting over time (I wrote several articles about it earlier this year). "The quality and reliability of free software has truly been compromised since 2014," he said. "There were always errors and fixes, but I've watched an increase in "workarounds" and magic (inexplicable) tinkering to fix stability problems, and I do think this is deliberate on someone's part -- but let's stick to examples for now.

"LibreOffice 6. (also 5, from what I'm reading.) I've installed it, and it renders each window with the contents of the window shoved about 20-40 pixels up, which it crops. this is a MAJOR display error. every time you open a window (including dialog boxes) you have to move the window to be able to get the thing to render. I read about LibreOffice crashing the system a lot, about it working better if you run it as root. But the window display problem (which I can sort of tolerate, but I certainly cant recommend LibreOffice to anybody without a fix) I'm having personally. The fix, I'm told, is to go to settings -> view -> and turn OFF OpenGL rendering, which is on by default. Well, that's brilliant because every time (root or user) that I go to settings and click view -- LibreOffice crashes. this is not incompetence, LibreOffice didn't get this useless without someone's deliberate sabotage. This sort of thing is happening far too often to far too many aspects of free software.

"I've watched these trends for years, and basically from 2005-2014 software was getting better and better. from 2014 to the present, it has gone downhill. Obviously, I doubt all of this has a malicious explanation. But none of it? I doubt that even more. Make free software look bad, and "better with Windows." And all of the wonderful Windows telemetry, too. Free software is losing, Microsoft is winning. People need to work to reverse this, or it's all going to be garbage eventually. I stopped using Windows to get away from problems like this -- I remember when free software meant 1. the prevention 2. the repair -- of such problems. It's not like that these days." Many of our readers complain about similar issues in relation to systemd and express concern about the promotion of Steam (DRM) under GNU/Linux, not to mention DRM browser blobs (EME), the transition to Chrome (proprietary), and 'Web apps' where surveillance is paramount. Flatpak and Snap are also nowadays promoted as carriers of or ramps for proprietary software.

Recent Techrights' Posts

Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Hand Held Maneuvering Unit and Hugo Static Files
Links for the day
Removing the Tumour From IRC
looking back
Windows Sinking Below 13% Market Share in the Island of Jamaica
Microsoft's decline continues and will mostly likely continue indefinitely in Jamaica and its neighbours
Women in Free Software (FOSS) Need Action, Not Mere Words
the men who are loudest about women's rights are some of the very worst offenders
 
Usage of Let's Encrypt in Geminispace Has Collapsed (That's a Good Thing!)
Ideally, or eventually, all capsules will sign their own certificates or have their own CA
North Macedonia: Windows Down From 99.2% to 28.5%
Last year it was even measured at 26%
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 15, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, June 15, 2024
[Meme] The Free(dom) Software Engineer in European Elections
“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”
Vista 11 Was 'Leaked' Exactly 3 Years Ago and This One Picture Says It All
how 'well' Vista 11 has done
A Smokescreen for Brad Smith
Maybe the key point was to say "Linux is not secure either" or "Windows and Linux are equally vulnerable", so don't bother dumping Microsoft
Links 15/06/2024: Microsoft's Intellectual Ventures Attacks Kubernetes With Software Patents, More Layoff Waves
Links for the day
Gemini Links 15/06/2024: On Lagrange and on YouTube Getting Worse
Links for the day
Edward Brocklesby: hacker received advance notice of zero-day vulnerabilities in MH and NMH email software
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] Code Liberates Kids
Matthias Kirschner: I can't code, but I can write a book
In Armenia, Bing is Measured at 0.6%, About Ten Times Less Than Yandex
Bing will probably get mothballed in the coming years
[Meme] A Pack and Pact (Collusion Against Computer Users)
They never really cared about users, no more than drug dealers care about drug users...
GNU/Linux in Azerbaijan: From ~0.1% to 7%
Azerbaijan is around the same size as Portugal
Embrace, Extend, Extinguish Minecraft
These folks should check out Minetest
Techrights Statement on Men Who Viciously Attack Women in Free Software
history shows women will win
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 14, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, June 14, 2024
[Meme] People Who Cannot Find Gainful Employment Because of Their Poor Behaviour Online (Not the People Who Merely Call Them Out on It)
Imagine trying to become a lecturer while talking like this in public
You Too Would Get Nervous
countries where Windows is down to 2%
[Meme] The Two Phases (and Faces) of Microsofters
Microsofters: stalk IRC, then troll IRC
The 'Nobody Reads Techrights Anyway' Crowd
Send In the Clowns
Books in the Making
I intend to spend a considerable amount of time explaining what my family and I were subjected to for the 'crime' of promoting/covering Free software
Microsoft is Still Losing Malta
And GNU/Linux is doing well on laptops and desktops
Tux Machines: Third Party Impending
There will be more next week
Links 14/06/2024: Microsoft Layoffs in the News Again, East-West Conflict/Tensions Update
Links for the day
Links 14/06/2024: Comments on the Death of Email and Lagrange Commentary
Links for the day
Dutch Government Appoints Microsofters to Combat "OSS Fetishism"
What corruption looks like
Microsoft's Collapse in Africa and Shutdown of Entire 'Development Centre'
Unlike what Microsoft claimed in face-saving statements
[Meme] Not Your Typical IRC Troll and Harasser
I say, let's punch nazis...
GNU/Linux's Journey in Qatar: From 0.1% to Over 3%
Windows is no longer an important contender there
Secret Contracts and Corpses
The media pretends it's just some generic "IT" issue, but it is not
Bing Has Run Out of Time and Microsoft Might Dismantle It (Save a Financial Miracle)
How much more of investors' money is Microsoft willing to throw in the trash?
Statement on Antisemitism in Our IRC Network and in Social Control Media
In an ideal world nobody would have to be banned from IRC
Gemini Links 14/06/2024: Ads vs. Content, Why Aliases Are Har
Links for the day
Vista 11 Has Fallen in Switzerland, a Country That is More Microsoft Friendly Than Most of Europe
GNU/Linux rose to its highest level there in almost half a decade
Microsoft is Dying in Africa
Based on the Central African Republic, which "is around the same size as France"
[Meme] Microsoft in Africa
Are you telling me Windows is now down to 1% 'market share' in some countries?
Management of the European Patent Office Misleads Staff on Views of the Office's Staff Committee
The EPO as a workplace very rapidly deteriorates
[Meme] Newer is Worse
"They say those are New Ways of Working (NWoW); New does not mean better, it is worse"
Microsoft Needs to be Banned From Contracts, Including Government Contracts, Not Just for Security Failings But for Criminal Negligence, Corruption, and Fatal Cover-ups
How many deaths will it take for Microsoft to face real, effective scrutiny rather than kid gloves treatment?
Links 14/06/2024: Violence, Famines, and Montana Has More Cows Than People
Links for the day
Microsoft Telecom Layoffs, Facebook Layoffs in Africa: A Month After Microsoft's Mass Layoffs in Lagos (Nigeria) Facebook/Meta Does the Same and Microsoft is Now Retreating and Quitting an Entire Sector! (Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch)
Disasters in the making for GAFAM. Money down the drain.
Papua New Guinea: GNU/Linux Growing, Windows Down Below 15%
it seems indisputable there's headway and momentum
"Planets" Cannot Replace Social Control Media, They're Very Much Akin to It (Censorship Hubs, Gatekeepers)
Don't be subjected to gaslighting; make your own OPML file
Topics That Truly Irritate and Consistently Infuriate the Microsofters (Whenever We Cover These)
Censoring uncomfortable information is a difficult activity that has its limits, even in Reddit
Honduras: Vista 11 Down, GNU/Linux Up
Valve sees GNU/Linux as bigger than Apple's MacOS
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 13, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, June 13, 2024
LibrePlanet 2024 and the Lost Video/Audio of Talks
After the event was over someone informed us that due to technical issues they had lost (or failed to acquire) recordings of the talks
Choosing Between Options to Outsource to Evades the Best Solution (Self-Hosting)
Most users don't need this sort of complexity
IBM Layoffs at Kyndryl
This can soon spill over to Red Hat
Turkmenistan: GNU/Linux Leaps Past 5% This Month?
This is how statCounter sees it
Watch This Space
what matters most is not the volume or quantity of publications but their underlying depth and quality