11.03.09

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European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Corrupted by Microsoft et al, Its Lobbyists

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Interoperability, Microsoft, Patents, Standard at 7:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: An attempt to promote a more ethical and beneficial ICT policy gets derailed by Microsoft and its allies/minions, quite frankly as usual

THE PREVIOUS post talked about Gartner and its pointing out that SAP and Microsoft are advisaries of Free software. That’s too obvious to everyone who just listens to the venom that comes from these two companies, which at least once before did consider a merger/takeover. In some ways, SAP is like “the Microsoft of Europe”.

We previously showed in a great level of detail how a European software strategy document got corrupted by Microsoft lobbyists and SAP. See for instance:

  1. European Open Source Software Workgroup a Total Scam: Hijacked and Subverted by Microsoft et al
  2. Microsoft’s AstroTurfing, Twitter, Waggener Edstrom, and Jonathan Zuck
  3. Does the European Commission Harbour a Destruction of Free/Open Source Software Workgroup?
  4. The Illusion of Transparency at the European Parliament/Commission (on Microsoft)
  5. 2 Months and No Disclosure from the European Parliament
  6. After 3 Months, Europe Lets Microsoft-Influenced EU Panel be Seen
  7. Formal Complaint Against European Commission for Harbouring Microsoft Lobbyists
  8. ‘European’ Software Strategy Published, Written by Lobbyists and Multinationals
  9. Microsoft Uses Inside Influence to Grab Control, Redefine “Open Source”
  10. With Friends Like These, Who Needs Microsoft?

In previous posts we also highlighted the fact that known Microsoft front groups which include CompTIA, BSA, and ACT worked in tandem to ruin the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) [1, 2, 3]. It’s not surprising at all; it is predictable. Microsoft usually sends its external agencies not just to do unethical marketing but also political campaigns.

Dr. Glyn Moody, who submitted some input regarding EIF one year ago, has taken a look at what happened since. There is a leak [PDF] which tells a mouthful:

Version 1 came out in 2004, and since then battles have raged over how Version 2 would address the issue of “openness”. Judging by a leaked version of the near-final result, it looks like the lobbyists acting on the behalf of closed-source software houses have won.

[...]

Got that? “Closed” lies at one end of the *open* spectrum, which conveniently means we can *include* closed solutions in the interoperability framework because they are part of that continuum.

“Just who exactly was involved in drafting the EIF,” asks us a reader. “Just a rhetorical question,” he adds. “What saddens me is how they have no hesitation in subverting the democratic process in pursuit of their goals. There isn’t any lie they won’t use. It’s the perversion of the language that is the worst crime.”

What is rather disgusting is how Microsoft keeps pretending to have embraced FOSS while still attacking it, even openly in the press. That’s an example from a few days ago. Watch how Microsoft still attacks FOSS with slurs.

Another company that attacks Free software is Blackboard, which was initially funded by Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4]. We wrote about it a few days ago, reminding people that Blackboard sues its competitors using software patents [1, 2, 3]. Now watch the following Blackboard press release, which pretends that Blackboard has embraced “open source”. It is a bunch of self-serving nonsense, which only serves to confuse people.

…the Blackboard Building Block(TM) has been released as open source to let other institutions use or build on the technology at no cost.

In the ‘Microsoft press’ (Redmond developers) we now find this Citrix/Xen piece. “Citrix to Open-Source XenServer” says the headline, but the reality behind Xen and Citrix is a lot more complicated [1, 2].

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