06.13.08

If Microsoft’s Marketing Ploy Continues, “Open Source” is Passé

Posted in Asia, Deception, Europe, Free/Libre Software, ISO, Microsoft, Open XML, OSI at 11:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Open Source” is no longer synonymous with Free software. Far from it.

This item explores some of the latest evidence which suggests Microsoft is hijacking and subverting “Open Source” as it was once known to people. This development was seen in advance… a very long time ago as a matter of fact.

Backstabbing of Developers, Possibly Bald-faced Lies

The Sandcastle open source hoax was mentioned here before, so its description probably needn’t be repeated. It is, however, important to emphasise a few things:

  1. Rather than tilting Sandcastle into an ‘open source’ route when it got caught with its pants down, Microsoft withdrew it. That’s the equivalent of promising you diamond, but giving you sandy and shady glass instead; once busted, they grab the glass away rather than fulfill the promise. That’s very, very low. It’s a shame that A- and B-class bloggers were too shy to vent; they were almost as apologetic as Microsoft.
  2. Herein we ought to find some more early warning signs. We find dishonesty. Microsoft itself is faking open source and probably then pretending that it was just a ‘terrible mistake’ (as opposed to a marketing ploy gone awry).
  3. The third thing, which was probably easy to miss, is that developers clearly got betrayed by Microsoft’s selfish deeds (and yes, it's a pattern, almost a cliché by now). Here. Have a look below.

The fix to Microsoft’s open source faux pas creates another problem: Developers were relying on Sandcastle to produce code documentation. Numerous responses to Ramji’s blog post indicate real frustration over having the documentation tool summarily yanked out from under their projects.

Adding insult to injury, the OSI seems to have said nothing about this. Microsoft got away with faking. How irresponsible.

Microsoft’s ‘Open Source’: Windows-only “Collaborative Development”

Watch what Glyn Moody has just had to say. We covered these issues recently.

This trope of openness being “just another business model” is a favourite of Microsoft’s, alongside “we need more than one standard for a given area, to promote choice” – when what are needed are *implementations* of a single standard. These rhetorical siblings are rather desperate, if amusingly Jesuitical, attempts to use words to gloss over the reality.

Going a little further (perhaps too far), remember what Microsoft wishes to strip off the definition it’s unable to embrace.

Microsoft is going to become an OSS company, not a FOSS company. (See what the “F” stands for here.) We are already seeing the early signs of this. They have created a couple of open source licenses and have submitted them for approval successfully with the Open Source Initiative. Microsoft has pledged to become a more open company. Although the said pledge has been received with a lot of skepticism, I think they really mean it. They have to. Microsoft is now hard at work trying to convince the world that they really have changed. Is all this going to be enough? I don’t think so.

Blasts from the Past Year

New readers may not have seen the following old stories that speak volume. We wish to repeat them in sequence.

Steve Ballmer: ‘I would love to see all open source innovation happen on top of Windows’

Steve Ballmer apparently likes open source. Well, so long as it drives Windows revenue. And doesn’t replace any. Ever. In fact, as he said at an event in Microsoft last week in London that he hopes to see all open-source innovation going to Windows, rather than Linux (more below).

Ballmer: Microsoft Will Buy Open-Source Companies

“We will do some buying of companies that are built around open-source products,” Ballmer said during an onstage interview at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.

Steve Ballmer on Open Source, Online and Other

Any plans to bring development tools to other platforms? No.

OSI approves Microsoft licenses

For now though it’s all eyes on Microsoft to see what the company will do next, and in many ways this will be more interesting than whether or not the OSI approved the licenses. For reasons that were never fully explained, Microsoft wanted open source licenses.

Now that it’s got them, will it use them to release significant code to the community?

BECTA Revisited

Earlier on we wrote about what we can only suspect is rotten; it might end up as another BECTA scam. Here you can find some valuable background information from ITPro, which is UK-based.

Becta, open source and education: Too little, too late?

[...]

Slow adoption of open source and free software in UK schools can be attributed to the same kind of inertia that afflicts SMEs in the UK. It arises from a fear of the unknown, misapprehensions of the capabilities of the software, over-reliance on trusted suppliers, and general lack of awareness of the alternatives – but the major obstacle has been a lack of coordination, direction or understanding from the relevant authorities, exacerbated by a series of agreements with Microsoft at government level that have effectively tied the education system into Microsoft-only solutions.

Recall yet again which firm BECTA finally chose and who got designated for “Open Source”. BECTA chose a Windows/Microsoft shop for so-called ‘open source’, whose site won’t work without Flash. What a farce in the making. Later on they might use such a farce to throw ‘blame’ and pull a Newham [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

BECTA seems to have deceived on “Open Source”. Many in the UK will be deeply disappointed by the choice of a proprietary software workshop (consultancy). How can it be trusted in handling what should be open source software at schools? More absurd than this it hardly ever gets and flack for it is only to be expected in days to come.

Time to paddle back to "Free Software"? Gradually maybe? Need there be an index?

The Great OOXML Scam

“Remember: it’s all just for marketing purposes.”For OOXML marketing needs, Microsoft India is still hijacking (or borrowing) “open source” and pretending to have embraced it (its own definition of it). Remember: it’s all just for marketing purposes. This article seems like another Microsoft brainwash piece, but you may wish to familiarise yourself with the mental manipulation contained in it.

Moving a little further, it’s clear that secret formats remain secret formats. Formed selfishly, put together privately (out of people’s sight) and made dependent on a single platform and non-Free application, here is where we stand. There is still no OOXML. Nobody know what it is, yet Microsoft boasts about a mythical rubber stamp it acquired from ISO.

The standard as it stands is naked. It lacks a text. Where is it? The secret 30 April document is a phantom. We don’t know yet if ISO can provide a consolidated version of the BRM results. We only know that member states adopted the non-existing text as a standard. Now the nations that filed complaints will be blamed for lack of delivery.

This one is good for a laugh as well. The level of deception has no bounds.

“You know what Microsoft’s problem really is? They’ve lost the ability to feel ashamed.”

PJ, Groklaw

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

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2008/06/13/open-source-marketing-ploy/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

2 Comments

  1. Victor Soliz said,

    June 13, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    Gravatar

    Microsoft’s definition of open source varies from “windows-only development model” to “windows-only non-commercial software”. Anyway MS’ OOXML .net SDK has been released, I guess Miguel is thrilled.

  2. Michael said,

    June 15, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    Gravatar

    But ‘Open Source’ was conceived as an empty/meaningless marketing term. One designed specifically with commercial interest in mind and also specifically to distance itself from those hairy free software fellows.

    i.e. it was designed to co-opt free software for commercial interests.

    A little too clever i think. MS aren’t ‘being evil’ here, ‘open source’ IS AND ALWAYS WAS MEANINGLESS.

What Else is New


  1. Links 14/5/2021: KDE Plasma 5.22 Beta and GNOME 40 in Gentoo

    Links for the day



  2. Audio: “Unjust Computing Clamps Down” by Richard Stallman

    The FSF has finally uploaded the LibrePlanet talk of Richard Stallman



  3. Links 13/5/2021: KDE Gear 21.04.1 and LibreOffice 7.0.6

    Links for the day



  4. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 4: The President of the Boards of Appeal

    A deeper look into the ‘sausage factory’ that is EPO tribunals certainly helps us understand the inherent bias of many decisions, including a recent decision on European software patents like a controversial simulation patent



  5. Judging the Judges

    Today we shall take a closer look at Carl Josefsson, a person who shall become a figure of interest if he sends EPO courts to the United States in clear violation of the EPC (looking to rubber-stamp an unlawful decision already made before this case even started)



  6. When EU Authorities Tell You to Complain to the EPO Itself About EPO Privacy Violations...

    “Kafkaesque” at the EPO; Kafka could do a whole novel about the flirtations with or affairs of ‘justice’ at the EPO



  7. The Need for Reliable Governance at Freenode

    Why the current and high-profile (albeit somewhat covert) owner of the network, who seems to care about Free software (it has made him very wealthy), should put the whole thing in reliable hands and not attempt to 'monetise' it in any way



  8. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 12, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, May 12, 2021



  9. Andrew Lee of Private Internet Access/London Trust Media Increasingly Owns and Controls Freenode (Updatedx2)

    The details about Freenode ownership and control are explained in a resignation letter urging users to move to another network



  10. [Meme] eBPF is Not Microsoft's, But It's Certainly Googlebombed by Microsoft

    eBPF isn't Microsoft's. But sites that work closely with Microsoft keep mentioning that term as if Microsoft created it and champions it (typical tactics).



  11. Links 13/5/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.3 on Finer Hardware, AMI Dabbling in Free Firmware

    Links for the day



  12. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 3: The Current Line-up

    The composition of the Enlarged Board for case no. G 1/21



  13. System76’s First Keyboard Packs in Plenty of Surprises

    Putting the genie back in the bottle is hard, and moreover the corrective post from Joey Sneddon may cause a bit of a 'Streisand Effect'



  14. Links 12/5/2021: HAProxy Data Plane API 2.3 and Mousepad 0.5.5

    Links for the day



  15. IBM is Destroying Red Hat, Squeezing Red Hat's Work for Cash, Laying Off Staff, and Asking Staff to Resign

    Layoffs are not a new thing at IBM (hardly so in the past couple of decades or more), but they're oversensitive about the Red Hat agenda



  16. [Meme] Longing for the Original IP Kat...

    It would be nice to see more posts critical of injustice at the EPO, as we've just noted



  17. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 2: Just Another Pro Forma Rubber-Stamping Exercise?

    Half a decade after Benoît Battistelli ‘kidnapped’ and then defamed judges (it started in 2014) António Campinos has done nothing to restore lawfulness at the EPO, as controversial referral case G 1/21 shows; in fact, they recently approved European software patents after pressure from Campinos himself



  18. Why I'm Using Just a Landline and Recalling My Richard Stallman (RMS) Interview on Working Locally or How the Signal Processor in Phones is a De Facto Back Door

    A longer-than-expected rant about what mobile phones have turned into and a look back at (or listen to) what Richard Stallman (RMS) told me way back in 2013



  19. The European Campinos Award

    The campinos (peasants) of Europe shall gather around for another ceremony championing farmers and nurses... or not



  20. Personal Thoughts About the EPO 'Kangaroo Court' Scandal

    Some unscripted and unedited thoughts about the current EPO scandal/series, which shows intervention such as stacking by António Campinos, continuing the tradition of Benoît Battistelli with his attacks on justice itself



  21. Doing Justice by Reporting Injustice

    Europe's second-largest institution, helped by Europe's largest, is engaging in a massive attack on the very concept of the Rule of Law and incredibly enough the so-called 'press' (or 'media') doesn't report on it



  22. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 11, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 11, 2021



  23. Links 12/5/2021: New Audacity and Musescore Owner Named, Microsoft May Lose "JEDI" (Trump's 'Bailout Package')

    Links for the day



  24. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 1: Rumours of a Kangaroo Court at EPOnia

    EPO's President Benoît Battistelli viciously attacked judges and slandered judges; António Campinos adopts a more 'soft power' approach, but nevertheless the impact is the same



  25. Bill Gates Exposed

    While publishers like ZDNet worked hard (on Microsoft's budget) to distract us from real scandals many nefarious things were happening; are we witnessing the fall of Gates?



  26. Welcome to ZDNet's 'Linux' Section...

    ZDNet, which defamed RMS to help distract from Bill Gates scandals, is doing what the sponsors (IBM, Microsoft, Linux Foundation) pay for



  27. Europe's Second-Largest Institution, the EPO, is Partly Based in the United States

    The EPO has outsourced its operations, including its 'courts', to the United States; this seems to be the so-called 'New Normal'



  28. You Look for Linux News and Instead It's Microsoft Noise and Openwashing

    Imagine trying to go about doing your own 'business', only to be confronted by paid-for plugs (sponsored) by the people trying to undercut/undermine your business; welcome to "Linux" in 2021



  29. Links 11/5/2021: Maui 1.2.2 and Tor Releases

    Links for the day



  30. The Next Generation of Free Software (or Software Freedom) Activism, Tackling Newer Problems

    New challenges as labour rights and human rights are further eroded, thanks to 'high' 'tech' with its very 'innovative' 'features'


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