03.14.10

The Microsoft Elephant in the Open Source Room

Posted in Apple, Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Patents, Ubuntu, Windows at 3:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Clowning around

Summary: Assorted new reports about how Microsoft abuses “open source” to gain control of it, change its direction and goals, or even to misuse the label to promote proprietary software that harms standards and promotes patenting of software

The following new post caught our attention because it attempts to portray Microsoft as one that’s engaging with the Free/open source software community; it plays right into the hands of Microsoft’s PR campaign, which strives for a fusion whereby Microsoft controls both sides of the competition and then derails the side which is less favourable to Microsoft. Microsoft has done that over and over again for many years and victims include giants like IBM and Apple.

Here is just part of this post which we disagree with:

However, it looks like Microsoft is slowly accepting that Linux and open source in general is both here to stay and a force to be reckoned with. Since 2006, Microsoft has been focusing its efforts toward interoperability rather than confrontation, for example via its collaboration with Novell.

No, it was a software patents deal; it’s an attack on GNU/Linux. Microsoft’s PR line used to be that Microsoft was ‘embracing’ Linux; yes, it was, like a python embraces a gazelle.

Microsoft hasn’t actually changed its tune, it’s still actively attacking Free software [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] and trying to abolish GNU/Linux while promoting Windows and other proprietary software as though they are complementary to Free software, which they are not (history teaches). It’s PR nonsense and Microsoft is good at PR.

Just as another new example, two weeks ago we wrote about Microsoft's fake “choice” campaign, reminding ourselves that Microsoft is still lying about the meaning of choice. Dana Blankenhorn has just written about it too.

Microsoft offers a Sophie’s Choice

[...]

Open source is completely orthogonal to the choice discussion, Kazun writes, pointing to Microsoft’s Open Government Data Initiative as proof.

But here’s my problem with that, and here is why open source is not orthogonal at all, but part of the same dimension.

You get one choice. You buy Microsoft and you’re locked into Microsoft. You can’t go back.

In Microsoft’s world its formats and open source are the two children, and you get to make one choice. Then you have to move on.

Microsoft is only stripping choice from products that it buys, such as Photosynth and FAST, which abandoned their GNU/Linux roots after Microsoft had bought them.

To top it all off, the programming scam around Silver Lie is back. Microsoft is yet again trying to associate Silverlight with “open source” [1, 2] (Novell helps Microsoft in that regard), even though it’s a patent menace, a lock-in on several levels, and attack on web standards.

“Ubuntu too is suffering from this problem because Canonical hires from Microsoft and Novell.”Last week we wrote about SourceForge/Geeknet falling into the hands of former Microsoft employees who are using SourceForge to promote Windows. Microsoft booster Marius Oiaga makes use of that new case of entryism while others mostly choose to ignore or forget (SYS-CON warning) that Microsoft is taking over from the inside, by changing employees and thus changing the agenda, too. This is a defeat, not a victory.

It’s not just a problem that SourceForge is having by the way. Ubuntu too is suffering from this problem because Canonical hires from Microsoft and Novell. One reader showed us last night that Canonical’s David Siegel wrote: “If I could only follow one person on all of twitter, without hesitation it would be @migueldeicaza”

“I hope this isn’t a trend with canonical employees,” said our reader.

Miguel de Icaza is not just a Novell employee; he is a Microsoft MVP whose focus is promotion of Microsoft everything. We now learn that Novell will go to OSBC, which Microsoft sponsors and uses to promote itself (and redefine “open source”). Here is another new gem from a SUSE developer:

Commercial open source

…sponsored by Microsoft, tommorow at 18h. I decided to take a look, so there will be some fun ;-). [And I guess I can always run away when it gets too bad.]

Microsoft loves injecting the word "commercial" and then demand acceptance of software patents. That’s just malicious, but not as malicious as SYS-CON [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], which smears opponents of Microsoft. Speaking of SYS-CON, Novell will also speak at an event that it sponsors, even though it’s SYS-CON (Novell is paying SYS-CON, which in turn smears Groklaw). How tactless. If Free software (or “open source”) does not expel champions of proprietary software that obviously want to impose software patents and Windows upon others, then it will simply allow itself to be manipulated to death.

To Microsoft, source code just means something to lift and to exploit. If this is true, then Microsoft may have just ‘pulled a Plurk’ [1, 2, 3, 4] again.

So what has Microsoft done this time? Are we in for a repeat of the Plurk incident? Well nearly, you see Microsoft is alleged to have been lifting code again. This time though at least the lifting of code wasn’t alleged unauthorised or unlawful.

Since its early days, Microsoft has used source code of others in order to build its products, without giving anything back.

“The best way to prepare is to write programs, and to study great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating systems.”

Bill Gates

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2010/03/14/foss-label-abused/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

3 Comments

  1. uberVU - social comments said,

    March 15, 2010 at 5:19 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Identica by schestowitz: The #Microsoft Elephant in the #OpenSource Room http://boycottnovell.com/2010/03/14/foss-label-abused/ #foss #entryism #novell #mono…

  2. apexwm said,

    March 15, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Gravatar

    Nice article and to the point. It’s obvious that Microsoft has an advantage of being able to steal ideas and code from open source projects, and give nothing back. That’s been going on for years. They lock up their code behind sealed doors. However, times are changing, and since Microsoft continues to keep their software proprietary, they are having hard times keeping up, especially with all of the security holes in Windows 7 and Internet Explorer.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Their rendering engine for HTML has become expensive to maintain. They find cheaper labour (offshoring and visas), but that tends to compromise quality.

What Else is New


  1. [Meme] No Crime Goes Unrewarded at the EPO

    It is more or less undeniable that from a legal and functional perspective the EPO is already defunct and is still perishing under a couple of Mafiosos whose sole interest is cover-up and grifting/plunder (of what’s left of the Office after almost 40 years of goodwill/reputation); the recent G 1/21 fiasco was just icing on the cake and the EU’s insistence on a patently unconstitutional UPC (more legal powers for chronic EPC violators) actually weakens unity in Europe (by discrediting the Union)



  2. [Meme] There's Always a Way (When Financial Results Are Not So Good...)

    Too many US ‘tech’ companies still lie to their investors. They choose financial engineering instead of real engineering.



  3. Links 28/7/2021: OPNsense 21.7 and MX Linux 21 Beta

    Links for the day



  4. The One Reason I Cannot Get 'Google News' (or Google) Completely Out of My Life

    Google has got almost a monopoly on (nearly) real-time news syndication; this is why, for our Daily Links at least, we still rely on Google News to a certain extent



  5. [Meme] When Sociopaths or Psychopaths Run Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    The EPO has a very profound issue because it is run (and ruined) by insecure thugs with inferiority complex, so they form cliques of friends of theirs instead of actually qualified people, in effect creating personality cults that laugh at the law and disregard any obligations to the institutions/staff they were entrusted to manage



  6. Links 28/7/2021: GCC 11.2 Released

    Links for the day



  7. Microsoft 'Loves' Linux So Much That It's Spreading FUD About It All Over the Media for 3 Days in a Row (So Far)

    The stubborn cult at Microsoft likes telling us all — especially officials and decision-makers — a bunch lies like, “we invest [some amount of money] in security” and “security is our goal”, but in reality the money is sunk into hiring (‘buying’) firms with “security” in their name, bribing publishers for mindless PR/platitudes that cast critics of Microsoft insecurity/ies as “fanatics”, “bashers”, “jealous”, “irrational” et cetera; finally, actual money goes into collaborations with the NSA on back doors, i.e. the exact opposite of security. The video above is a follow-up or sequel for something we meme-ified two days ago; we’ve since then included more examples (with editorial comments added to the links) in our News Roundups/Daily Links; Western media follows the same script we saw in Indian Web sites on Sunday and the objective is to paint Linux as “equally insecure” if not less secure than Windows. As already noted on Sunday, in a much longer video, the ‘Linux’ malware (it has nothing to do with Linux itself!) needs user intervention, neglect, or even sabotage to even get on the compromised systems in the first place. One can guess what situation or which incidents Microsoft is ever so eager to distract/deflect from…



  8. [Meme] EPO Asked to Comply With the Law and Correct Behaviour

    EPO staff wants reparations for monumental abuses, but the “Mafia” of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos will never allow that to happen (we saw the same regarding the unlawful composition of internal courts)



  9. The Unfunny Joke That Microsoft Cares for 'Developer Rights'

    Microsoft propaganda urging software developers to find comfort in a prison of Microsoft (proprietary software monopoly) is a symptom of dying media, or thinly-veiled PR looking for a buck



  10. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, July 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, July 27, 2021



  11. Links 28/7/2021: PulseAudio 15.0 Released, World’s Slowest Raytracer

    Links for the day



  12. Links 27/7/2021: New Godot Engine Beta and a Call for Funding of GIMP

    Links for the day



  13. The EPO's 'News' Page Annotated

    From the above: Greenwashing; Offshoring; ViCo nonsense; Openwashing; Patents=space travel? Faking empathy; Patents as monopoly; ViCo whitewash; Constitutional hogwash; ViCo propaganda; Pinkwashing; Whitewashing GDPR violation; Self-praise; Exploiting pandemic for $; More openwashing; Protectionism; Outsourcing; Occupying the legal system; Grifting and PR; 'Legalising' EPC violations; More surveillance; Patents as sharing?; Patents as mere info? Lobbying by litigation firms; Proprietary/MS



  14. Playing With Fire: The Linux Foundation Associates the Linux Brand With Proprietary Software and GitHub (as Usual)

    Racist IBM is once again using or misusing the “Linux” brand (through the Linux Foundation) to promote racist Watson (which is also proprietary software); the ‘Linux’ Foundation is now revisionism as a service (not just in service of its own mythology, e.g. the operating system starting in 1991 rather than 1983)



  15. Links 27/7/2021: KDE Plasma 5.22.4, Libinput 1.19 to Include Hold Gestures

    Links for the day



  16. Recording Videos With Webcamoid on GNU/Linux

    A lot of people use OBS Studio or similarly high-profile Free software that's mostly designed for live streaming; but this video is a bit different as it takes a look at Webcamoid, which not many people even know about, explaining the current setup that's used to record pretty much every video we make



  17. Getting News and Updates Over Gemini (in General and for Techrights)

    Gemini (gemini://) is very well suited for 'consumption' of news; the hardest part is getting past the simple fact that not every article needs to have pictures in it and syndication (for updates) isn't done through social control media



  18. IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, July 26, 2021



  19. [Meme] Microsoft is Lecturing Us on Security!

    Dev Kundaliya and 'Hacker' News play along and go along with this laughable lie that Microsoft is some kind of security expert with moral authority/credibility on this subject



  20. [Meme] EPO 2025 (When Most of the Decent Patent Examiners Have Been Chased Away)

    Based on this week's reports (see batches of Daily Links), many recently-granted European Patents are being thrown out by courts, which means it's hardly surprising that demand for European Patents is in fact decreasing (while quality/validity/legal certainty nose-dives)



  21. Funding Sources Like Corporate Sponsors/Patrons/Masters Put at Risk the Freedom of Free Software

    Sources of funding or “sponsors” such as large corporations typically come with some barely-visible or temporarily-invisible strings attached (an expectation of commercial reciprocity, rendering the recipients subservient like ‘slaves’) and we need to understand how to preserve software freedom in the face of such trends



  22. Links 26/7/2021: Nanotale on GNU/Linux and IBM Promoting Microsoft GitHub

    Links for the day



  23. Free Software Projects Should Quit Selling Keynote Speeches to the Highest Bidders (Corporations) and Choose Based on Merit/Relevance

    OSI, SFC, FSF and Linux Foundation are in effect selling time and space (even to Microsoft, except the FSF was never foolish enough to do this). As of today, LibreOffice does the same thing (which might remain benign; just be sure to reject rivals as "sponsors" because it dooms projects and events).



  24. Microsoft Windows Has Lost Another 2 Million Web Sites This Past Month Alone (IIS Floundering)

    The rapid decline of Microsoft, Windows and IIS in servers is undeniable; it's just a damn shame that corporate and so-called 'tech' media never writes about this subject



  25. Links 26/7/2021: Grml 2021.07 and DXVK 1.9.1

    Links for the day



  26. Increasing Focus on Advocacy for the Free Software Community (Putting Control Over Computing in the Hands of People, Not Large Corporations)

    After 31,000 blog posts it's time to add a new theme to our coverage, which prioritises science, computer developers, and technology users; an urgent matter and pressing issue is the passage of control (e.g. over code and policy) to non-practising entities



  27. Video: How to Follow All Our Channels (Interactively) From the Command Line

    We’ve been enhancing the access possibilities/options for #techrights and other IRC channels, partly because we want to encourage more people to wean themselves off the DRM-ready Web, the monoculture, the bloat, the surveillance, and centralisation in general (the Web favours centralisation, which is exacerbated by the bloat and other topological dynamics)



  28. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, July 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, July 25, 2021



  29. Links 26/7/2021: Third RC of Linux 5.14 and Beta 3 of Haiku Project

    Links for the day



  30. No, Microsoft Does Not Get to Lecture Us on GNU/Linux Security (or Security in General)

    The corporate media wants us to think (or feel) like Microsoft is some kind of security guru; the reality, however, is the exact opposite because at Microsoft sometimes if not always/by default insecurity is the actual objective (back doors)


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts