Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Staff Repeatedly Refuses to Tell How Many People Use WSL, Defends Patent Extortion and Blackmail of Linux Instead

"If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good."

--Bill Gates, Microsoft



Summary: The people who develop WSL (mostly Microsoft employees) get easily irritated when asked how many people actually use this thing; but more interestingly, however, they reveal their disdain for GNU/Linux and support for Microsoft blackmail (for 'Linux patent tax')

THE introduction of "Windows Slaughtering Linux" (WSL or WeaSeL for short) happened at an inconvenient time (for us at least) because we were super-busy covering EPO corruption and weren't able to pay much attention -- except in Daily Links -- to Microsoft's ongoing attacks on GNU/Linux. EPO coverage was highly essential at that point.



WSL was a (non) 'solution' in search of a problem, except Microsoft's problem, which is GNU/Linux dominating everything (even laptops now that Chromebooks dominate schools). It happened not far apart from the bribery of the Linux Foundation, which was then happy to promote various WeaSeLs (WSL 'flavours').

"Microsoft isn't the sort of company that keeps quiet when it has something to brag about. Heck, it even distorts and sometimes makes up numbers."Has anyone noticed how we never hear anything about WSL usage figures (even any blog posts about such usage are rather rare)?

Microsoft isn't the sort of company that keeps quiet when it has something to brag about. Heck, it even distorts and sometimes makes up numbers. We saw and covered many examples over the years.

Over the past few days I mentioned WeaSeL a few times. The main thread (most interactions) can be found here, but there are a couple dozen or so in total, as they're sort of fragmented. Yes, that's how Twitter works (or doesn't work). Just pasting loads of "tweets" would not make it "journalism", so we've prepared a summary/outline, which can be defended by the tweets we've seen and collected (copies posted in IRC as well for longterm preservation).

"I never saw or met (or even heard of) anyone who uses WSL. That's a fact."My 'rudest' tweet wasn't even particularly rude; it didn't name anyone and was objective (based on my personal experience and observation). "From what I can gather," I said, "Microsoft WSL has been an utter failure as hardly anyone uses it, we hardly hear about it anymore. But if the goal was to Googlebomb "Linux" with Vista 10 spam, then it was a success."

That's it.

It struck a nerve; I never saw or met (or even heard of) anyone who uses WSL. That's a fact. And I work in the domain every day, so one might/could think that I at least saw it 'in the wild' at some point (or heard about someone who uses it). WSL has been around for years. It's nothing unprecedented (VMs are better). It's not something new awaiting adoption. If the WSL team wants to prevent further defections from Vista 10, there's no evidence that they succeeded. The few people who touched it are likely already attached to Windows. They're 'hardcore' Windows users.

"Current Microsoft employees are attacking former ones for daring to question the alleged 'success' of WSL!"People with spare time can read this long thread in Twitter (with context and everything); the gist of it is, Microsoft is failing to provide proof of WSL adoption. Then, it starts calling former Microsoft staff who inquires about these numbers "rude". Current Microsoft employees are attacking former ones for daring to question the alleged 'success' of WSL!

After much insistent querying they ended up asking for more than a month to come up with a way to create spin (they already know the numbers!) and in the process they reveal something even darker. I've mentioned patents Microsoft uses for blackmail against GNU/Linux OEMs (companies that distribute Linux devices) -- patents which are not publicly listed/disclosed. I cited an example as recent as months ago (a lawsuit by Microsoft -- an instance from this year).

"If someone violates a patent," a Microsoft manager responded, "the patent owner has recourse. If you have issues with patents, then take it up with the PTO and Congress."

"They're this hostile towards GNU/Linux and insist it's OK for Microsoft to blackmail it using patents!"Microsoft lobbies both the PTO and Congress for this blackmail to carry on. Way to shoot oneself in the foot with that reply!

This is nothing amusing! This is like the program manager in charge of EEE against Linux, the WSL team. They're this hostile towards GNU/Linux and insist it's OK for Microsoft to blackmail it using patents! And they then pretend to be the victims.

Remember that, at least to them, GNU/Linux is just a nuisance for Microsoft to attempt to 'tame' (if not undermine, which is hard, then at least control). Everything these guys said has merely confirmed what we knew all along about WSL's intentions (and its team's attitude towards GNU/Linux).

We made copies of over 50 tweets about this. There's no way to delete such tweets (we would notice and have made local copies in IRC channels).

Notice how almost all of the people in the thread/s are Microsoft employees, both past and present, and one (Hayden Barnes) is employed by Canonical to help Microsoft put Ubuntu in the belly of Vista 10 and send out press releases to promote this spyware.

"It's worth noting that several former Microsoft employees took my side, insisting it's actually an attack on GNU/Linux and Microsoft likely lies about it, won't share numbers (always a bad sign) and so on."Mitchel Lewis, who does guest posts here (gladly allowing us to syndicate his articles), asked : "Since when is it unprofessional to be shrewd and ask for supporting facts?"

"They are using psychological tricks to paint themselves, who attack GNU/Linux, as the victims," I responded to him. "I covered dozens examples of these tricks over the years." Many dozens.

It's worth noting that several former Microsoft employees took my side, insisting it's actually an attack on GNU/Linux and Microsoft likely lies about it, won't share numbers (always a bad sign) and so on.

The only ones trying to battle my claim are full-time WSL folks, i.e. Microsoft people.

"IMO," Mr. Lewis continued, "this seems more of a situation where people without formal training in logic, rhetoric, and debate resort to deflection, projection, ad hominem and other basic logical fallacies in error when they can’t advance their argument. It’s a central theme of the Platonic dialogues..."

Basically, it's like a politician saying, "I built a road!"

But none was built.

"Microsoft has long used that "polite criminal" narrative; sure, we committed a crime, but at least we're polite about it, whereas the law enforcers are "aggressive" and "rude"."So the politician starts panicking when asked about it repeatedly, only failing to deliver an answer and then attacking the journalists who keep asking about it.

"Stop bullying me!"

People are familiar with brutal cops saying (or shouting) "stop resisting" when they assault people who pose no actual threat.

"Microsoft alumni here," he added later, "built Exchange Online with a few friends and later dabbled in predictive analytics/defect density to better anticipate failures within Exchange Online. Plz tell me moar aboot statistics."

"Reversal of narratives is an art form. Bad people have long attempted to portray good people (activists, whistleblowing champions, public interest groups) as malicious, self-serving, arrogant and so on."Microsoft has long used that "polite criminal" narrative; sure, we committed a crime, but at least we're polite about it, whereas the law enforcers are "aggressive" and "rude". "They're out to get us!"

"Poor Trump..."

The subject of a "witch-hunt"...

His wife claims to be the most bullied person, for... well, supporting the biggest bully in the world.

"..."Mopping Up" GNU/Linux won't be easy, but if WSL fails, then they will try WSL2, then WSL3... or maybe then leap to WSL10 just for hype's sake. 10 is a special decimal number."Reversal of narratives is an art form. Bad people have long attempted to portray good people (activists, whistleblowing champions, public interest groups) as malicious, self-serving, arrogant and so on.

When you choose to work for Microsoft you choose to basically work on attacking companies Microsoft considers to be rivals. Because this has historically been the company's modus operandi. It's shameless about it, show internal documents. As James Plamondon, Microsoft's chief evangelist, once put it (in a written presentation): "Mopping Up can be a lot of fun. In the Mopping Up phase, Evangelism's goal is to put the final nail into the competing technology's coffin, and bury it in the burning depths of the earth."

With GNU/Linux it's tricker because it's not a company; bribing groups associated with it takes time and longterm deception (like "Microsoft loves Linux"). It cannot be defeated by takeovers, or even investor 'activists' (corporate raiders).

"Mopping Up" GNU/Linux won't be easy, but if WSL fails, then they will try WSL2, then WSL3... or maybe then leap to WSL10 just for hype's sake. 10 is a special decimal number. What ever happened to Vista 9?

Harder than fighting an actual company -- Windows Slaughtering Linux (WSL)

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