09.29.09

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Mono and Moblin as the Microsoft-approved “Open Source Solution”

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Hardware, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OSI at 9:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Is “Open Source” simply where Free software meets Microsoft’s software patents and other “compromises”? In some cases, it sure seems like a terminological fit

Recent attacks on Richard Stallman [1, 2, 3] are a direct outcome of remarks that he made about Mono and the person behind Mono, with whom there is this unofficial interview.

On the one hand, there is good output coming from Mono, but on the other hand there is obvious advantage to Microsoft if this route is taken. GreyGeek has responded to this issue of attacks on “Free software”, noting that:

Diluting the meaning of Open Source and HIDING the GPL in a forest of several dozen pseudo GPL licenses which do NOT offer the FOUR FREEDOMS of the GPL has been the total business of the OSI, of which Microsoft is now a member. The OSI’s “compromise” to “go mainstream” was to allow the corporate member to monitor THEIR OWN COMPLIANCE with the “Open Source” requirements defined by the OSI, as weak as the OSI requirements are. It is ALL about MONEY, and the OSI is handing out Tux Suits for cash to proprietary software houses as they try to decieve the consumer about the meaning of the GPL and the Four Freedoms.

Assuming that Moblin, for example, is encumbered by Microsoft patent tax [1, 2] (evidence does suggest so [1, 2]), then the following new analysis of “why Microsoft won’t fight moblin” makes a lot of sense. It only seems to be missing the point about software patents and it concludes with:

Moblin is the solution to the problem of Intel: providing a free, lightweight and powerful OS to sell cheaper netbooks and devices. This allows Microsoft to get out of the “bargain basement OS” market and to focus on a more expensive, higher end market with Windows 7. The differentiation between both OS is large enough to ensure that most people won’t buy a Moblin device to replace their computer but to complement it. It suits Microsoft better if consumer purchase a Windows 7 desktop AND a Moblin netbook than if their purchase only a cheap Windows XP netbook.

It is worth noting that Microsoft broke competition laws to exclude GNU/Linux from many sub-notebooks (elimination of choice) only to then complain that it was losing money by doing so. It is akin to a burglar breaking into shop, emptying the register, only to complain to the shopkeeper that there is not “enough” money at the shop and the refrigerator has no soda.

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