09.07.08

Gemini version available ♊︎

The GNU/Linux Kidnap Theory (Microsoft, 2005)

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Novell, SCO, Servers, SLES/SLED, Virtualisation at 1:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Old tricks, different execution?

Two and a half weeks ago, Microsoft invested a lot of money in what was back then referred to as "Microsoft SUSE". Having already seen Microsoft sneaking its way into “cancer” the OSI, nothing seems impossible anymore.

Microsoft has invested large sums of money in SUSE as a server platform simply because SUSE can replace Red Hat and Microsoft has control over SUSE. It’s merely a substitution of GNUs/Linuxes. Based on observations that Shane and I repeatedly made over a year ago, many of those coupons that Microsoft and Novell had distributed were actually handed out to existing GNU/Linux users, some of whom Red Hat users.

Back in 2005, roughly one year before Novell and Microsoft began to negotiate their software patents deal, PC World (IDG) published the following article.

While chatting over dinner with the executives of a middleware company during the recent RSA conference for encryption and security in San Francisco, I heard about a secret project. It concerned the development of a version of Linux that runs smoothly as a task under Windows. The project was completed and then shelved. Whether it will ever reemerge is doubtful, but it does offer some interesting possibilities and hints as to what Microsoft may be up to with MS-Linux.

[...]

If Microsoft actually produced an MS-Linux that was the standard Linux attached to the driver layer of Windows, giving users full Plug and Play (PnP) support of all their peripherals, nobody would buy any other Linux on the market. Well, except for the fact that Microsoft would be unable to produce such a product without allowing the other vendors access to the driver code as part of the open-source Linux license arrangement (GPL). You can be sure that Microsoft lawyers are studying this as closely as possible to see if there is any way they could market a dominant Linux distribution without killing themselves. So how could they do this?

Open-source law is new and not completely tested. I’m certain that Microsoft got involved with the SCO versus Linux lawsuit partly to reach a better understanding of how to proceed.

What if Microsoft has since then chosen virtualisation rather than middleware as a penetration/intervention vector? While virtualisation has not much effect on the desktop (not yet anyway), we already know that, according to Novell’s CEO Ron Hovsepian, Novell will not be pursuing the desktop. Earlier in the week John Dragoon said that they still lose money on the desktop. So instead, Novell goes for Red Hat’s jugular: the server room. It’s all about harming true GNU/Linux vendors one by one (Novell is still a proprietary software company).

“…there was a coordinated exclusion of virtualisation drivers and ‘shims’ by Microsoft and Novell.”In virtualisation, Novell gets exclusivity from Microsoft. With VMware under Microsoft's 'puppet regime', there remains room for reliance, but that could change in the future. Red Hat and Ubuntu have meanwhile moved to KVM.

As Shane wrote over a year ago, there was a coordinated exclusion of virtualisation drivers and ‘shims’ by Microsoft and Novell. They ensure that only SUSE and Windows will play ‘nice’ with each another, which relates to the Op-Ed piece at the top (device layer as a differentiator).

That brings us back to the supposition that Microsoft indeed had such a plot. Does the above have much substance to it? Well, Maureen O’Gara, a Microsoft talking point [1, 2], had its ‘home base’ trying to ridicule this article anonymously (Maureen was publishing anonymously before). Why attack it? It’s the same ‘home base’ that supposes Microsoft might buy Novell and already covers a lot of Novell and SCO news, always in SCO’s favour. Could the story above be so much on the right topic that a story needed to be written just to attack its author?

“As discussed in our PR meeting this morning. David & I have spoken with Maureen O’Gara (based on go ahead from BrianV) and planted the story. She has agreed to not attribute the story to us….

“[...] Inform Maureen O’ Gara (Senior Editor Client Server News/LinuxGram) or John Markoff (NYT) of announcement on Aug 28, 2000. Owner dougmil (Approval received from BrianV to proceed)

“Contact Eric Raymond, Tim O’Reilly or Bruce Perrins to solicit support for this going against the objectives of the Open Source movement. Owner: dougmil [Doug Miller]. Note that I will not be doing this. Maureen O’Gara said she was going to call them so it looks better coming from her.”

(From Microsoft’s smoking guns)

“That would be because we believe in Free Software and doing the right thing (a practice you appear to have given up on). Maybe it is time the term ‘open source’ also did the decent thing and died out with you.”

Alan Cox to Eric Raymond

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.

3 Comments

  1. landofbind said,

    September 8, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Gravatar

    Mud to the wall.

    Linking to yourself.

    Quoting yourself but pretend that you are quoting somebody else.

    And more rumor and out of date “articles”.

    No intelligent comment or analysis in sight.

    Nobody needs to ridicule you, you do that yourself!

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  2. Jose_X said,

    September 8, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    Gravatar

    landofbind, I think there is interesting information on this webpage. You can help improve the overall exposition by being more specific with your critique.

    I think Roy is primarily presenting a theory and some evidence that supports it. I don’t think he pretends this blog piece itself as is would constitute what a court of law is likely to consider “proof” of the theory.

    There is much evidence to suggest we should treat Novell as hostile. It really doesn’t matter since we can be friendly towards friendly actions from anyone and hostile towards the hostile actions; however, this website provides lots of information most are not aware of. Knowing history and as much context as possible helps us better react in the future.

    Remember that this is a blog. This blog is used in part in order to organize some research and perhaps eventually write more formal pieces. [That's my theory about the function of this website.]

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 8, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    Gravatar

    ‘landofbind’ only systematically heckles this Web site. Valuable feedback isn’t expected from him/her.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 05/02/2023: Pakistan Blocks Wikipedia, Musharraf Dies

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 04, 2023

    IRC logs for Saturday, February 04, 2023



  3. Links 04/02/2023: FOSDEM Happening and Ken Thompson in SoCal Linux Expo

    Links for the day



  4. 2023 is the Year Taxpayers' Money Goes to War and Energy Subsidies, Not Tech

    Now that a lot of powerful and omnipresent ‘tech’ (spying and policing) companies are rotting away we have golden opportunities to bring about positive change and maybe even recruit technical people for good causes



  5. Getting Back to Productive Computer Systems Would Benefit Public Health and Not Just Boost Productivity

    “Smartphoneshame” (shaming an unhealthy culture of obsession with “apps”) would potentially bring about a better, more sociable society with fewer mental health crises and higher productivity levels



  6. Links 04/02/2023: This Week in KDE and Many More Tech Layoffs

    Links for the day



  7. Dotcom Boom and Bust, Round 2

    The age of technology giants/monopolies devouring everything or military-funded (i.e. taxpayers-subsidised) surveillance/censorship tentacles, in effect privatised eyes of the state, may be ending; the United States can barely sustain that anymore and raising the debt ceiling won't solve that (buying time isn't the solution)



  8. Society Would Benefit From a Smartphoneshame Movement

    In a society plagued by blackmail, surveillance and frivolous lawsuits it is important to reconsider the notion of “smart” phone ownership; these devices give potentially authoritarian companies and governments far too much power over people (in the EU they want to introduce new legislation that would, in effect, ban Free software if it enables true privacy)



  9. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 03, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, February 03, 2023



  10. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 02, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 02, 2023



  11. Links 03/02/2023: Proton 7.0-6 Released, ScummVM 2.7 Testing

    Links for the day



  12. Links 03/02/2023: OpenSSH 9.2 and OBS Studio 29.0.1

    Links for the day



  13. Links 03/02/2023: GNU C Library 2.37

    Links for the day



  14. Sirius Finished

    Yesterday I was sent a letter approving my resignation from Sirius ‘Open Source’, two months after I had already announced that I was resigning with immediate effect; they sent an identical letter to my wife (this time, unlike before, they remembered to also change the names!!)



  15. The Collapse of Sirius in a Nutshell: How to Identify the Symptoms and Decide When to Leave

    Sirius is finished, but it's important to share the lessons learned with other people; there might be other "pretenders" out there and they need to be abandoned



  16. Links 03/02/2023: WINE 8.1 and RapidDisk 9.0.0

    Links for the day



  17. Links 02/02/2023: KDE Gear 22.12.2 and LibreOffice 7.5

    Links for the day



  18. Linux News or Marketing Platform?

    Ads everywhere: Phoronix puts them at the top, bottom, navigation bar, left, and right just to read some Microsoft junk (puff pieces about something that nobody other than Microsoft even uses); in addition there are pop-ups asking for consent to send visitors’ data to hundreds of data brokers



  19. Daily Links at Techrights Turn 15, Time to Give Them an Upgrade

    This year we have several 15-year anniversaries; one of them is Daily Links (it turned 15 earlier this week) and we've been working to improve these batches of links, making them a lot more extensive and somewhat better structured/clustered



  20. Back to Focusing on Unified Patent Court (UPC) Crimes and Illegal Patent Agenda, Including the EPO's

    The EPO's (European Patent Office, Europe's second-largest institution) violations of constitutions, laws and so on merit more coverage, seeing that what's left of the "media" not only fails to cover scandalous things but is actively cheering for criminals (in exchange for money)



  21. European Patent Office Staff Votes in Favour of Freedom of Association (97% of Voters in Support)

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) at the EPO makes a strong case for António Campinos to stop breaking and law and actually start obeying court orders (he’s no better than Benoît Battistelli and he uses worse language already)



  22. Links 02/02/2023: Glibc 2.37 and Go 1.20

    Links for the day



  23. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 01, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 01, 2023



  24. Links 01/02/2023: Security Problems, Unrest, and More

    Links for the day



  25. Links 01/02/2023: Stables Kernels and Upcoming COSMIC From System76

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 31, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 31, 2023



  27. Links 31/01/2023: Catchup Again, Wayland in Xfce 4.20

    Links for the day



  28. Links 31/01/2023: elementary OS 7

    Links for the day



  29. Intimidation Against Nitrux Development Team Upsets the Community and Makes the Media Less Trustworthy

    Nitrux is being criticised for being “very unappealing”; but a look behind the scenes reveals an angry reviewer (habitual mouthpiece of the Linux Foundation and Linux foes) trying to intimidate Nitrux developers, who are unpaid volunteers rather than “corporate” developers



  30. Links 31/01/2023: GNOME 44 Wallpapers and Alpha

    Links for the day


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