Bonum Certa Men Certa

The 'Linux' Foundation is Acting Like a Microsoft ISV Now, Commitment to Linux and FOSS Deteriorates Even Further

Lust for money can also be a nonprofit's Achilles heel

Linux Foundation finds microsoft



Summary: The Linux Foundation has just announced a new Microsoft-funded initiative that's pushing GitHub and CLAs (passing copyrights on code to corporations)

THE Linux Foundation makes us increasingly cynical about its use of the brand "Linux", hence the scare quotes in the headline. Its adherence or commitment to Free software was never a big thing, but at least it was more or less loyal to GNU/Linux about a decade ago.



"Does the Linux Foundation want Linux to actually succeed? Or does it just want the Linux Foundation to succeed (in financial terms)?"Things have changed.

Earlier this year we began examining pertinent bits of evidence, based on pointers sent to us from people with connections (not necessarily insiders). The more we started digging, the more worried we became. Does the Linux Foundation want Linux to actually succeed? Or does it just want the Linux Foundation to succeed (in financial terms)? It certainly seems as though, over time, it's more and more of the latter. Microsoft couldn't be happier!

By paying companies like Novell and Canonical (through Azure for example) Microsoft has created the financial conditions that cultivate abandonment of GNU/Linux as a desktop platform. "Stay out of our turf," they implicitly suggest or signal, "and you shalt be paid..."

"By paying companies like Novell and Canonical (through Azure for example) Microsoft has created the financial conditions that cultivate abandonment of GNU/Linux as a desktop platform."Look at Linux.com's front page. It's full of Microsoft propaganda and anti-Linux FUD. I posted lots of complaints about it yesterday, as did some readers. For instance, they're painting the company that actively attacks FOSS in election platforms as "Open Source" (in the elections context). By doing so the Foundation becomes an active participant in what PR agencies of Microsoft hope to spread. I've put remarks in daily links' latest or here in Tux Machines (down the middle). I am disgusted, disappointed but not surprised (anymore) by the Linux Foundation becoming a Microsoft front (more and more over time). "They hijacked the Web site Linux.com," one reader said to me this morning. This reader hates the site now. After 6 years reading it daily. "Eventually they are just going to promote Microsoft," the reader said, "but we just noticed it first..."

So what's the latest worrisome example? Well, the Foundation published this page entitled "Project Maintainers: Reduce Your CLA Administrative Headaches Today" (sounds benign, right?).

This is proprietary software for CLA (no friend of real FOSS). The Foundation is actively attacking, on Microsoft's payroll, a key tenet of Free software, suggesting that people should assign copyrights (on their code) to large corporations like those which fund the Foundation. As a reminder, the Foundation actually recommended a site for job applicants (for leadership of this) which is linked to Microsoft's LinkedIn.

Is it the Linux Foundation or the Microsoft Foundation?

"Is it the Linux Foundation or the Microsoft Foundation?"But here's the even more troubling point: The Foundation has basically just promoted proprietary software funded by Microsoft. Yes, the above is funded by Microsoft through GitHub. "Any project hosted by the Linux Foundation and using either GitHub or Gerrit can use EasyCLA," says the Linux Foundation, embedding just a GitHub logo in the diagram/schematics. Microsoft GitHub is funding this thing for the 'Linux' Foundation to be acting like a Microsoft marketing/recruitment front. ISV? Channel partner? Call it whatever, but we know who's being served.

We've meanwhile noticed today's article from OpenSource.com in which an employee of IBM (not Red Hat) promotes GitHub. What's going on here? Is IBM on the same boat as Microsoft? "Now, I am living in Munich, Germany and working as a Software Developer at IBM," the author said. It's all about GitHub. We've begun worrying that a proprietary software giant that lobbies for software patents now completely owns and controls the domain OpenSource.com. IBM and Microsoft cross-license their patents, so why worry? Remember when Microsoft apologists denied the argument about Mono being a ruinous Trojan horse until Microsoft took de Icaza 'in-house' (paying him millions of dollars for attacking FOSS)? Microsoft is still suing OEMs over patents. It's nowadays trying to put more patent traps inside the Linux kernel itself (exFAT). Will Linux users be safe only on Microsoft platforms such as Azure? Is Linus Torvalds paying attention? Can he still comment on it without being blasted? In many people's minds his younger baby, Git, is just Microsoft proprietary software with surveillance (a site/API called GitHub). Nowadays Microsoft goes after his firstborn, Linux, with WSL and Azure. Does he mind? EEE works if they throw money at it. At what point, if any, might Canonical decide that Ubuntu is used more in WSL form than standalone ('secure boot' makes installation hard) and then decide to just become a Windows 'app' developer (Ubuntu as an 'app')? Even if Microsoft doesn't buy Canonical..

"GNU/Linux users everywhere will gradually come to the realisation that this thing called the "Linux Foundation" doesn't work for them but against them."Earlier today we saw a new article about Ceph in Linux 5.3. Notice how with Ceph development people are now throwing Microsoft GitHub links at Torvalds.

Since I was about 20 I've studied Microsoft's tactics and crimes against its competition. It's very crystal clear to me what plans they have for Linux. Did Microsoft change? No. It changed perceptions. A PR campaign such as "Microsoft loves Linux" facilitates infiltration and it seems to be working. We don't expect the Foundation to put an end to it, but will Torvalds do something? Can he still? GNU/Linux users everywhere will gradually come to the realisation that this thing called the "Linux Foundation" doesn't work for them but against them. It is very successfully 'monetising' a sellout or a passage of Linux from what remotely still resembles a community... to few large corporations.

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