09.05.14

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‘Embrace and Extend’ at Microsoft: The New Generation

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 6:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Man and woman

Summary: Some of the latest examples of Microsoft’s predatory acts against Free software and against competition in general, disguised as acts of friendliness

Microsoft has got a well-established track record of suffocating competition by pretending to embrace it. It is not a theory but a simple fact, and many dead companies exist (or existed) to remind us of this.

In recent years FOSS has been a target of Microsoft’s abusive EEE strategy (embrace, extend, extinguish) and today we present some new examples.

Microsoft Mono is a ‘religious’ (metaphorically speaking) software piece developed by both Microsoft and its partners; it helps openwash proprietary .NET and put Microsoft patent risk, dependence on Microsoft APIs etc. deep inside the competition. It is a Trojan horse. It is more like a virus. Well, it is now in repos of many distros or available from Microsoft partners. Jo Shields, who recently joined a Microsoft partner, boasts about this, as he has been doing for years (pushing Mono into Debian and Ubuntu for the most part). Can someone stop this? Microsoft veterans recently subsidised such efforts. This ought to be rather telling. Mono is about openwashing Microsoft lock-in which is already making its way into competing software from Sony. As one site put it: “The editor purports to be compatible with any game engine via its API suite, and offers a WYSIWYG interface and tools written in a mixture of C# and C++. It’s designed to render in 3D using DirectX 11, and supports simultaneous use by multiple developers.”

So, an attack on GNU, Linux, cross-platform languages and OpenGL is now being called “open”.

“So, an attack on GNU, Linux, cross-platform languages and OpenGL is now being called “open”.”Here is Microsoft hoping to embrace and extend Android, based on rumours. Fracturing the competition in an embrace-and-extend fashion would be a familiar strategy; remember the ‘embrace’ of SUSE. Embrace and extend can also be seen involving Ubuntu; tie-up with proprietary and spyware (Windows/Azure) can now be seen here. It’s Ubuntu in bed with Microsoft again — an embrace-and-extend with NSA’s PRISM.

Watch how Microsoft does the same to Google right here. Bringing NSA to Ubuntu and standards? Google should sue Microsoft for extortion, not just for FUD. But it is not likely to happen because Google is not legally aggressive. Here is some of the latest FUD attack that reminds us how desperate (but malicious) Microsoft has become. To quote: “Microsoft is well known for spreading FUD to harm their competition. A business strategy that may work to some extent, but is also a sign that Microsoft lacks confidence in their own products.

“Microsoft recently published a Microsoft Educast on YouTube where they compared Chromebooks to Windows 8 laptops. The video has been set to private in the meantime, I suppose the feedback wasn’t very positive.

“Unsurprisingly, Microsoft can’t see many good things in Chromebooks, admitting they are super low-cost, but of course there are reasons for that. In the 9 minute video they manage to get several things wrong though. Maybe not as embarrassing as other MS FUD campaigns, but still worth a closer look.”

So much for Microsoft ‘embracing’ FOSS…

Earlier this week we wrote about the Microsoft-connected Black Duck with its latest FUD against FOSS. Well, the Wall Street Journal covered the subsidy and another article called this Microsoft partner “open source software provider”. Well, Black Duck is not an “OSS provider”, it’s a proprietary software company exploiting FOSS and disseminating FUD about it. See how FOSS gets diluted and distorted? Maybe this was the intention all along. This openwashing can be traced back to the deceiving, dishonest press release. Black Duck spent a lot of money planting the press release all over the Web [1, 2], falsely claiming that Black Duck “Advance Leadership In Open Source Software Logistics” (they advance leadership in Open Source Software FUD, that’s what they do). It is true that Black Duck has leadership in this area because other Microsoft-connected firms of its kind, such as OpenLogic, are not as big. Here is a new example of a journalist promoting the FOSS-hostile FUD from Protecode with a slideshow in a news site called “CIO Insight” (fear for CIOs). Protecode, unlike many in its area, does not seem to be Microsoft-connected, but its strategy is more or less the same. It only speaks about problems in FOSS, or perceived problems in FOSS, in order to sell proprietary software and services.

Microsoft’s tentacles reach further than a lot of people care to notice. Here we have AMD embraced and extended by Microsoft:

AMD and Microsoft jointly released C++ AMP version 1.2 compiler that supports Linux alongside Windows. Ubuntu is the officially supported distribution at this time.

Watch how Intel now ignores Linux, having been infiltrated and blackmailed by Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4].

Not just Microsoft is doing an EEE manoeuvre. Former Microsoft executives who now run VMware are also doing it. The following new article is titled “Is VMware OpenStack an embrace of open source — or an attempt to extinguish it?”

We wrote about this embrace and extend move last month and suspicion is now becoming the norm.

Another Microsoft partner, Centrify (spreading Microsoft AD), is now becoming more proprietary and expensive. This should serve to show why Microsoft APIs are harmful for one to depend on, irrespective of the platform.

These are all examples from the past week alone. They ought to show the impact of Microsoft entryism and involvement by proxy. Something that is a lot less problematic — generally speaking — is FOSS adapting to Windows [1], but whenever Microsoft tries to infiltrate FOSS it is very unlikely to be because Microsoft wants to help. Base it on Microsoft’s bad track record. The company is very much determined to destroy FOSS unless it helps sell proprietary software from Microsoft.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Univa Grid Engine Does Windows, Linux Containers

    Grid Engine, the popular workload management tool for distributed computing environments, now does Windows. And it is also doing Linux control groups, or cgroups, containers, a technology that was championed by Google many years back as the basis for its internal resource control on its massive clusters.

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