02.21.08

Gemini version available ♊︎

Microsoft Introduces New Taxoperability Program

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, ISO, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, Patents, Protocol, Red Hat, Standard, Ubuntu at 10:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I want you for money

Coincidence when it comes to timing? Surely they would jest. Last week we saw some rather useless (and incomplete) binary formats being released which are potentially doing more harm than good. Microsoft was then raving about a patent ‘promise’ (semi-valid as long as you're not one of those 'ugly' GPLers). which is by no means a binding contract.

“Microsoft really wants to world to think that the company suddenly loves openness..”“It’s advertisers, advertisers, advertisers,” as Steve Ballmer once said (watch the video). It’s a question of perception rather than reality. He more recently described the solution to Windows Vista’s problems as one which is hinged on advertising. And that’s what the latest announcement is all about. Microsoft really wants to world to think that the company suddenly loves openness and some journalists are innocently falling for it, making the press coverage a total disaster.

Antitrust, Antitrust, Antitrust

Bear in mind that there are 3 ongoing antitrust investigations (happening simultaneously) at this very moment. They all involve Microsoft and these include the abuses against ISO. Microsoft’s watcher in Seattle puts the news rather well with the headline “Microsoft tries to appease EU by sharing secrets”.

Microsoft, reacting to the rejection of its antitrust appeal in Europe last year, said this morning that it’s giving outside software developers new levels of access to its biggest programs.

[...]

Antitrust regulators in Europe were emboldened by last September’s ruling against the company by the European Court of First Instance, opening two new antitrust investigations into Microsoft’s activities last month.

Kroes Doesn’t Buy It

The European Commission is not naive. It does not blindly follow the press coverage and it can read between the lines. According to Associated Press, it’s not overly impressed by Microsoft supposedly ‘opening up’ (we’ll get to the substance of this news at the end, so bear with us).

EU skeptical on Microsoft sharing plan

European Union regulators are expressing skepticism over Microsoft’s latest offer to share more information about its products and technology.

Patents, Patents, Patents and Patents

Four software patent deals have been signed with GNU/Linux distributors and it was made very clear that Microsoft intends to use GNU/Linux to its own advantage. If it cannot defeat GNU/Linux (and more broadly FOSS), then it is tipping over itself to make it possible to warp GNU/Linux such that it’s owned by Microsoft, at least in the ‘intellectual’ sense. Microsoft can then turn GNU/Linux into another Microsoft cash cow. With that context in mind, think about Mono.

The 451 Group looks at the recent events and concludes that patents are a major ingredient of this latest development, even though Microsoft did not place emphasis on this. Well, not based on announcements which it made (high note on ‘open’, quiet on the ‘tax weasel’).

It is worth noting that the new strategy will see Microsoft providing a list of the patents and patent applications that relate to the protocols and formats it uses for the named products. This should mean that open source developers are able to identify some of the 235 patents Microsoft previously claimed were infringed by free and open source software and will be able to license them (on RAND terms), attempt to develop around them, or challenge their legitimacy.

Don’t Cry for Ron Hovsepian, Argentina

Ron Hovsepian

Matt Asay, the former Novell employee who is neither there anymore (nor a fan of the company) explains why Novell ends up with an egg in its face.

Microsoft’s pledge to truly interoperate with the rest of the planet, including open-source developers (both commercial and community), leaves two clear victors in the Linux camp: Red Hat and Ubuntu. While Novell capitulated to Microsoft’s early demands for a patent stooge, Red Hat and Ubuntu stood firm.

[...]

Well, Novell gained a few quarters of “coupon cash” from the deal (though my sources at Novell say that customers aren’t renewing their subscriptions at a rate that Novell would like), but I hope it recognizes the value in standing firm for openness. What little wind it got puffed into its sails from its interoperability lock-up with Microsoft just dissipated.

There is an interesting sort of ‘leak’ there (inside information) about poor levels of subscription renewal, indicating that former Novell customers may be walking away after the deal with Microsoft.

Press Corrected

A regular reader has E-mailed to inform us of the news stating rather sarcastically that he’s “sure we’ve seen the ever-spreading news that Microsoft are, er, ‘embracing’ Open Source today…”

“Like me, I’m sure you’re not fooled for an instant,” he writes.

The reader summarises what we are seeing in the following concise way:


It’s simply the next step in their plan to enclose the commons.

They understand that Free Software is going to win.

They have accommodated themselves to that, and are working on their best chance of retaining their abusive monopolist position in the new world.

So their answer is “Fine. You can have your ‘Open Source’. So long as you pay us a royalty for every single piece of Open Source you use. In fact, as long as they get their royalty stream, the are quite happy for us ‘filthy hippies’ to develop, unpaid, for them.

  • It’s all about the patent encumberment.
  • It’s all about owning the ‘standards’ (we saw their view of ‘standards’ in what they did to ISO).
  • It’s all about enclosing (and hence owning) the software commons.

If you want to drink the Microsoft Kool-Aid, read articles in the press. They have to be 'politically correct' and follow the Microsoft press release, as well as face the wrath of prodding from Microsoft’s PR arms. If you have some different views, feel free to share them. It remains clear that Microsoft is motivated by profit, not goodwill, which it only sees as a route or a tool for making more money.

Steve Ballmer license

Image from Wikimedia

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 30/01/2023: Coreboot 4.19 and Budgie 10.7

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 29, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 29, 2023



  3. [Meme] With Superheroes Like These...

    Ever since the new managers arrived the talent has fled the company that falsely credits itself with "Open Source"



  4. Not Tolerating Proprietary 'Bossware' in the Workplace (or at Home in Case of Work-From-Home)

    The company known as Sirius ‘Open Source’ generally rejected… Open Source. Today’s focus was the migration to Slack.



  5. The ISO Delusion: A Stack of Proprietary Junk (Slack) Failing Miserably

    When the company where I worked for nearly 12 years spoke of pragmatism it was merely making excuses to adopt proprietary software at the expense of already-working and functional Free software



  6. Debian 11 on My Main Rig: So Far Mostly OK, But Missing Some Software From Debian 10

    Distributions of GNU/Linux keep urging us to move to the latest, but is the latest always the greatest? On Friday my Debian 10 drive died, so I started moving to Debian 11 on a new drive and here's what that did to my life.



  7. Stigmatising GNU/Linux for Not Withstanding Hardware Failures

    Nowadays "the news" is polluted with a lot of GNU/Linux-hostile nonsense; like with patents, the signal-to-noise ratio is appalling and here we deal with a poor 'report' about "Linux servers" failing to work



  8. Microsofters Inside Sirius 'Open Source'

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has been employing incompetent managers for years — a sentiment shared among colleagues by the way; today we examine some glaring examples with redacted communications to prove it



  9. Links 29/01/2023: GNOME 43.3 Fixes and Lots About Games

    Links for the day



  10. The Hey Hype Machine

    "Hey Hype" or "Hey Hi" (AI) has been dominating the press lately and a lot of that seems to boil down to paid-for marketing; we need to understand what's truly going on and not be distracted by the substance-less hype



  11. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 28, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 28, 2023



  12. Unmasking AI

    A guest article by Andy Farnell



  13. The ISO Delusion/Sirius Corporation: A 'Tech' Company Run by Non-Technical People

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ was hiring people who brought to the company a culture of redundant tasks and unwanted, even hostile technology; today we continue to tell the story of a company run by the CEO whose friends and acquaintances did severe damage



  14. Links 28/01/2023: Lots of Catching Up (Had Hardware Crash)

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 27, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, January 27, 2023



  16. Microsoft DuckDuckGo Falls to Lowest Share in 2 Years After Being Widely Exposed as Microsoft Proxy, Fake 'Privacy'

    DuckDuckGo, according to this latest data from Statcounter, fell from about 0.71% to just 0.58%; all the gains have been lost amid scandals, such as widespread realisation that DuckDuckGo is a Microsoft informant, curated by Microsoft and hosted by Microsoft (Bing is meanwhile laying off many people, but the media isn’t covering that or barely bothers)



  17. This is What the Microsoft-Sponsored Media Has Been Hyping Up for Weeks (Ahead of Microsoft Layoffs)

    Reprinted with permission from Ryan



  18. [Meme] António Campinos Wants to Be F***ing President Until 2028

    António Campinos insists he will be EPO President for 10 years, i.e. even longer than Benoît Battistelli (despite having appalling approval rates from staff)



  19. European Patent Office Staff Losing Hope

    The EPO’s management with its shallow campaign of obfuscation (pretending to protect children or some other nonsense) is not fooling patent examiners, who have grown tired and whose representatives say “the administration shows no intention of involving the staff representation in the drafting of the consultant’s mandate” (like in Sirius ‘Open Source’ where technical staff is ignored completely for misguided proposals to pass in the dark)



  20. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 26, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 26, 2023



  21. Sirius Relegated/Demoted/Destined Itself to Technical Hell by Refusing to Listen to the Technical Staff (Which Wanted to Stay With Asterisk/Free Software)

    In my final year at Sirius ‘Open Source’ communication systems had already become chaotic; there were too many dysfunctional tools, a lack of instructions, a lack of coordination and the proposed ‘solution’ (this past October) was just more complexity and red tape



  22. Geminispace Approaching Another Growth Milestone (2,300 Active Capsules)

    The expansion of Geminispace is worth noting again because another milestone is approached, flirted with, or will be surpassed this coming weekend



  23. [Meme] Cannot Get a Phone to Work... in 2022

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ wasted hours of workers’ time just testing the phone after it had moved to a defective system of Google (proprietary); instead of a rollback (back to Asterisk) the company doubled down on the faulty system and the phones still didn’t work properly, resulting in missing calls and angst (the company just blamed the workers who all along rejected this new system)



  24. [Meme] Modern Phones

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ is mistaking “modern” for better; insecurity and a lack of tech savvy typically leads to that



  25. The ISO Delusion: Sirius Corporation Demonstrates a Lack of Understanding of Security and Privacy

    Sirius ‘Open Source’, emboldened by ISO ‘paperwork’ (certification), lost sight of what it truly takes to run a business securely, mistaking worthless gadgets for “advancement” while compelling staff to sign a new contract in a hurry (prior contract-signing scandals notwithstanding)



  26. Links 26/01/2023: LibreOffice 7.4.5 and Ubuntu Pro Offers

    Links for the day



  27. Links 26/01/2023: GNU poke 3.0 and PipeWire 0.3.65

    Links for the day



  28. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 25, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 25, 2023



  29. Companies Would Collapse Upon Abandoning Their Original Goals (That Attracted All the Productive Staff)

    Staff with technical skills won't stick around in companies that reject technical arguments and moreover move to proprietary software in a company that brands itself "Open Source"



  30. [Meme] Listen to Your Workers, Avert Disaster

    Companies that refuse to take input from staff are doomed to fail


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts