12.25.08

Quote of the Day: Bradley M. Kuhn (SFLC) on Microsoft

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GPL, Microsoft, Quote at 2:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bradley Kuhn, who works at the SFLC, is one of the most senior (and thus respected) people in the Free software world and yesterday he published this essay, which remarks on Microsoft and “open source”.

I thought immediately of Microsoft’s presence at OSCON this year and the launch of their campaign to pretend they haven’t spent the last ten years trying destroy all of Free Software and Open Source.

[...]

Microsoft is unique among proprietary software companies: they are the only ones who have actively tried to kill Open Source and Free Software. It’s not often someone wants to be your friend after trying to kill you for ten years, but such change is cause for suspicion.

He is reminding people why Microsoft tries to buy the hearts of open source projects. Some of them sold out, but we won’t name them here as it would seem confrontational or abrasive.

Related posts:

“Microsoft representatives generally try to establish a world view sympathetic to their own by talking as if the accepted distinction in the open-source arena is between commercial and non-commercial. That definition is inaccurate and its intent is to damage.”

Mark Taylor

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11 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    December 25, 2008 at 5:16 pm

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    Awesome:

    They are going to try to buy us, try to corrupt us, try to do anything they can to convince us to give up our principles just to make our software a little better or a little more successful. But we can do those things anyway, on our own, in the fullness of time.

    Ask Novell and Xandros, the deals are a sham. Some saw these things earlier than others. Here’s RMS’s excellent 1992 essay on why software should be free. This is a newer Linux FAQ that addresses the Novell issues directly:

    The widespread practice of adding non-free software to the GNU/Linux system is a major problem for our community. It teaches the users that non-free software is ok, and that using it is part of the spirit of “Linux”. Many “Linux” User Groups make it part of their mission to help users use non-free add-ons, and may even invite salesmen to come and make sales pitches for them. They adopt goals such as “helping the users” of GNU/Linux (including helping them use non-free applications and drivers), or making the system more popular even at the cost of freedom.

  2. Hubert said,

    December 25, 2008 at 8:35 pm

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    LOL, are you the same guy from Slashdot that has like 100 accounts?

    We were talking about you the other day on IRC.

  3. pcolon said,

    December 25, 2008 at 9:04 pm

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    @Twitter: We’ve been turning away plenty of ‘Linux user helpers’ from our groups lately.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 25, 2008 at 9:14 pm

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    That’s not as bad as Microsoft representative contacting LUGs in order to give presentations there (true stories, and some even accepted the propositions, only to be preached about Microsoft’s software patents). Did you know that Microsoft spammed all the registered Linux users in Austria?

  5. pcolon said,

    December 25, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Gravatar

    Didn’t know about Austria, but I thought they had done something similar to a FOSS group in India, IIRC, not too long ago.

    Every once in a while we get together and discuss basics; What was the reason for becoming FOSS advocates, and therefore, not lose sight of what brought us together in the first place.

    ”If thought can corrupt language, then language can also corrupt thought.” –George Orwell.

    This is the campaign waged against FOSS today.

  6. twitter said,

    December 26, 2008 at 1:11 am

    Gravatar

    I have a few Slashdot accounts, which I use only to avoid blatant M$ censorship. People who have hundreds of accounts are interested in gaming and disruption. They hate me because I routinely prove them ineffective and thereby threaten their contracts. I’m on vacation and staying away from both IRC and Slashdot as are most normal people. I can only assume the troll are having their usual field day.

    Here’s a nice Christmas present that I overlooked – According to the November (Fall) FSF Bulletin, BadVista.org has declared victory. Business acceptance of the sorry OS is under 6% and badvista.org continues to be in the first page of search results for “Windows Vista.” Slime does not sell.

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 26, 2008 at 4:21 am

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    Sells to whom? Microsoft sells it to the OEMs. The end users are often forced to use it.

  8. twitter said,

    December 26, 2008 at 9:59 am

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    My point is that M$’s extensive disruption and astroturf campaign has failed. Vista has failed and free software is on the rise. Vendors that ignore free software are losing out and those that followed M$’s Vista only programs failed. As PJ puts it, people are not as dumb as M$ needs them to be. I’m looking for M$ to go bankrupt and for the world to become a far more pleasant place because of it.

  9. Jose_X said,

    January 1, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Gravatar

    >> They are going to try to buy us, try to corrupt us, try to do anything they can to convince us to give up our principles just to make our software a little better or a little more successful. But we can do those things anyway, on our own, in the fullness of time.

    ..the simple ability to recognize an investment. Today we have what we have because of many investments made in the past.

    Caution on two items:

    1 — In general, no FOSS app is more important to its own future than is the rest of FOSS. Gaining a little for that app while losing a little (or a lot) for a great many other apps will lead to a net loss for that app after the short-term effects have run their course.

    2 — Short term gains can become costly further on down the line. A war analogy: destroying the plant that makes ammunition in exchange for gaining a town. Wars are won/lost based on key strategic decisions way before most of the battles are fought. Superior position means you can lose and lose and lose battles and eventually win the war. Microsoft surely knows how to play that game of being patient and working for strategic advantage over adversaries. Do not take Microsoft for granted.

    Microsoft is more focused today to address and meet the FOSS challenge. The quote “first they ignore you.. then you win” is great but doesn’t happen if we diverge from our superior long-term game plan.

    Want a FOSS environment that produces a lot more than what we manage today? ..work to eliminate the Microsoft levers. [eg, work to spread Linux against the Windows monopolies http://boycottnovell.com/2008/11/25/jose-on-mono/#comment-39977 ]

    Think of the app as an individual of a species. Some actions help the app while hurting its species. If this species gets ravaged, the future will be less interesting and less enjoyable for many (for devs and for “end” users).

  10. Jose_X said,

    January 1, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Gravatar

    Link just given should have been http://boycottnovell.com/2008/11/25/jose-on-mono/

  11. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 2, 2009 at 2:51 am

    Gravatar

    Since you mentioned “war”, be aware that Microsoft does characterise this as a “WAR” (in capitals).

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