11.12.09

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Microsoft Actions — Not Free Software Proponents — Are Harming FOSS

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 1:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Screw driver in yellow

Summary: An important reminder that Microsoft’s screwing with the competition — not those reacting to it — is the problem; Microsoft leads to further FOSS drain at Yahoo!

WE are always amused to find people who accuse us of harming FOSS. To them, such an accusation is typically a defence mechanism, especially when they themselves are part of the problem (promoters of Mono everywhere, to give just one example). One of our readers has just let us know that he too was dragged into the accusations and he responded with this lengthy post.

A slightly different approach today and I hope you can relate to some of the issues I cover here. I am looking at a claim thats usually made against many outspoken people in the FOSS, but often you see it when there is no counter in an debate/argument. When I first started writing this article little did I know I would get my own example of “killing the FOSS” directed at me and it was a sweet surprise in the middle of a rather vulgar tirade by the person concerned (more on that later) Without further ado lets look at some of the people who have been accused of “Killing the foss!!!!!!!”

What is actually “killing the FOSS” — to borrow the words as he puts them — are not Free software advocates; it is not those who denounce Microsoft, either. The problem is Microsoft and those who denounce Microsoft do so in a reactionary fashion, as a defence against blatant attacks on FOSS [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].

To give just one new example where Microsoft is hurting FOSS, we previously showed that FOSS people were leaving Yahoo!, making the damage rather beneficial to Microsoft. It is by all means Microsoft's fault and now we find that the founder of PHP, who has worked at Yahoo! for quite some time, is finally leaving because of Microsoft.

When he first announced his departure, Cutting said it had nothing to do with the Microhoo! pact. “This has been in the works for awhile and is unrelated,” he told the New York Times.

So when people ask themselves what is hurting FOSS, they ought to think carefully at where the problem originates from, rather than become fixated on those who merely react and respond to the problem.

“I’m going to f—ing bury that guy, I have done it before, and I will do it again. I’m going to f—ing kill Google.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

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3 Comments

  1. David Gerard said,

    November 12, 2009 at 2:11 pm

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    I’d hope in a reactive fashion, not a reactionary one :-) Though response always beats reaction.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    A bit of both maybe, but I mostly use words to just explain.

  2. your_friend said,

    November 13, 2009 at 3:13 am

    Gravatar

    Divisive insult is an old Bill Gates trick. Here is how he framed his ignorant hatred of free software in 1976:

    most of you steal your software. Hardware must be paid for, but software is something to share. Who cares if the people who worked on it get paid? … What about the guys who re-sell Altair BASIC, aren’t they making money on hobby software? Yes, but those who have been reported to us may lose in the end. They are the ones who give hobbyists a bad name, and should be kicked out of any club meeting they show up at.

    See how he smears free software and vendors as theives while pretending to be the victim? Gates’ methods are more subtle today than they were thirty years ago but the message is louder than ever. “Independent analysts,” press shills, PR astroturf and all sorts of paid liars polute public discussion on his behalf. What they say remains the same, “quality software” can only come from Bill Gates and everyone else is a terrible person that will ruin everything.

    Microsoft’s hypocrisy then and now is obvious. Richard Stallman, for example, has long been painted as an irrational extremist and a destroyer of “commercial grade” software. They do this despite the fact that the GNU system he founded is excellent and employed by all kinds of companies to create wealth too vast to count. The detractors are happy to smear the man in vicious, false and deeply personal ways. Similar treatment is dished out against anyone who dares point out the particulars of Microsoft’s bad behavior. People who warn against performance problems and patent traps in Mono, including Richard Stallman, are called irrational language bigots and “Microsoft haters”. The attackers pretend to be victimized and then launch the foulest personal libel in coordinated smear campaigns.

    It is ironic that Gates promissed to flood the market with quality software but his company spends more on marketing, sabotaging competitors and ruining small business. The BSA and Microsoft routinly shake down vendors and users for not having enough documentation for their software. Anti trust lawsuits have been continuously filed against Microsoft with increasing levels of success. Free software has delivered on Gates’ promise in ways that non free software never will.

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