08.06.09

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Microsoft Confirms Existence of Anti-GNU/Linux Teams

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell at 3:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Laughing otters

Summary: Microsoft’s Chief Operating Officer on the “tremendous progress [...] made by the teams on open source and going against Linux”

USING internal correspondence (Comes vs Microsoft), we were able to show that Microsoft creates anti-GNU/Linux 'hit teams' which it calls “taskforces”. We saw Microsoft using a “taskforce” to take GNU/Linux off the shelves at Wal-Mart and there is a reason to believe that similar tactics are used all the times, to this date.

“We saw Microsoft using a “taskforce” to take GNU/Linux off the shelves at Wal-Mart…”Several years ago, Microsoft hired Kevin Turner from Wal-Mart to become the company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO). He is one of the pivotal people behind the Novell-Microsoft patent deal.

Jason from Mono-Nono.com found the following quote from Kevin Turner, which suggests that he publicly admitted what we saw in private E-mails. In 2006 he said: “[W]e are going to compete to win in the Linux and open source area. Tremendous progress has been made by the teams on open source and going against Linux”

As Jason puts it, “Yes, Microsoft actually has internal “teams” that attack Open Source and Linux. Most people have a hard time imagining this – people tend to take an individual view of things (”That doesn’t directly affect me.” or “Hey, it’s a matter of personal choice”. Rest assured Microsoft does not take the individual view, they are working hard at removing that choice.”

To quote another bit from Kevin Turner, here he is using the term “fraudulent perception” to refer to price of Free(dom) software.

And we’re really getting the message out about the fraudulent perception of free in the marketplace as it relates to open source. IT pros and decision-makers are starting to get it, that it’s not free, that there’s a lot of TCO that goes along with that, and there’s also substantial security risks that go along with it. And so we’re really making some traction in this area, and we’re going to continue to hit the gas and go more and more aggressive as it relates to winning share.

This is interesting because they repeated the same accusatory term — “fraudulent perception” — more than once just a few weeks ago in an analogous meeting. The above is a transcript from the Financial Analyst Meeting of 2008 and on July 15th the slur was repeated in a meeting with shareholders.

“What we [Novell and Microsoft] agreed, which is true, is we’ll continue to try to grow Windows share at the expense of Linux. That’s kind of our job. But to the degree that people are going to deploy Linux, we want Suse Linux to have the highest percent share of that, because only a customer who has Suse Linux actually has paid properly for the use of intellectual property from Microsoft. And we took a quota, you could say, to help them sell so much Suse Linux. That’s part of the deal. We are willing to do the same deal with Red Hat and other Linux distributors, it’s not an exclusive thing. But after a few years of working on this problem, Novell actually saw the business opportunity, because there’s so many customers who say, ‘Hey look, we don’t want problems. We don’t want any intellectual property problem or anything else. There’s just a variety of workloads where we, today, feel like we want to run Linux. Please help us Microsoft and please work with the distributors to solve this problem, don’t come try to license this individually.’ So customer push drove us to where we got.”

Steve Ballmer

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