Gemini version available ♊︎

Microsoft’s Takedown Plot – Part I: When Linux Actually Means Microsoft

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 12:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Revisionism is a powerful PR tactic


Summary: Media manipulation seems to be part of a longterm strategy of Microsoft, with brand dilution at the core of it

THIS mini series deals with a subject covered in two previous posts [1, 2] and this guest post. It’s motivated in part by Richard Stallman’s (RMS) visit to Microsoft — an incident which we’re sure will be taken out of context and misinterpreted in order to harm Software Freedom.

“It’s motivated in part by Richard Stallman’s (RMS) visit to Microsoft — an incident which we’re sure will be taken out of context and misinterpreted in order to harm Software Freedom.”We decided to give RMS a bit more than one day to respond to our query before going ahead with this long series. It’s not just about a Microsoft lecture; but it starts with it. RMS has not responded to me yet (he always does), but I imagine he received a lot of mail over the past couple of days. The FSF hasn’t made a statement, either. There’s a legitimate concern about lack of transparency surrounding his talk (RMS/FSF usually advertises these in advance). We’ll come to this in a moment.

Readers of Techrights, both new ones and longterm/longtime ones (some people have read the site since its birth), have hotly debated the subject, mostly in our IRC channels. The atmosphere surrounding it isn’t positive; it’s mostly negative. People are not happy. One Techrights reader said he was “very concerned about [issues] such as MS/LF [Linux Foundation] affecting Linux badly. I’ve just seen on the Trisquel forum that GregKH added Sasha Levin [Microsoft] to the active kernel list then there’s another link showing GregKH adding Ben and Sasha’s GPG keys.”

“We decided to give RMS a bit more than one day to respond to our query before going ahead with this long series.”Speaking of the Linux Foundation, and looking at the past ~12 hours’ “news”, we’re seeing more of the same pro-Microsoft agenda. Swapnil’s site is still cheering for Microsoft and its abduction of Linux to make proprietary products (example from less than a day ago, akin to this Microsoft surveillance with ‘linuxwashing’ — making proprietary software on Azure seem “open” or “cool” or “Linux”). Days ago he spoke about using Xbox and installing Vista 10; this is the sole editor of Linux.com! That’s a problem. Swapnil and I used to be friends when he actually promoted Free software. He also did an interview with me for his site (which has changed domain names at least four times). He ‘defected’ some years back after Microsoft had brainwashed him, perhaps along with some other influences (being associated with the Linux Foundation won’t help, will it?). This site used to be called Muktware (Free software), The Mukt and Linux Veda among other names. Now it’s pushing proprietary stuff (three examples from yesterday [1, 2, 3]).

Several hours ago Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols published an ‘ad’ for Microsoft (at ZDNet): “Microsoft hosts first Windows Subsystem for Linux conference”

“Microsoft gleefully distorts the meaning of “Linux” and there are those eager to help it.”“Microsoft will be hosting a community conference on the Windows Subsystem for Linux and related technologies in March 2020,” he said.

So what?

Microsoft gleefully distorts the meaning of "Linux" and there are those eager to help it. A very short time later this article was promoted by Swapnil in Linux.com. The top of the page now promotes “Linux” as a Microsoft asset (if only they got excited about it not when Microsoft controls it; Swapnil uses Windows).

But it gets worse. This weekend (so far) when you look for “Linux” news you get only Microsoft and Vista 10 news instead (this one shows up too). This is promoted by Linux Foundation associates. Very disturbing.

Hours ago someone asked in our IRC channels: “Why is this the only place that talks about Microsoft being the same.”

“This weekend (so far) when you look for “Linux” news you get only Microsoft and Vista 10 news instead…”Notice how nobody in the media (except Techrights) wrote about the Linux.com layoffs! Nobody. Unlike Linux Journal layoffs…

Why are the layoffs of many writers and several editors not newsworthy? They sacked everyone before giving Swapnil the ‘keys to the castle’ (as sole editor of Linux.com).

This media silence (about Linux.com layoffs) alone makes one wonder…

This isn’t normal. It’s similar at the EPO by the way. The media refuses to cover the scandals and in some cases the EPO bribed key publishers for it (especially publishers that used to cover some EPO scandals).

Some people’s job is to control the story media — collectively — tells; a decade back we named the PR agencies that do this for Microsoft. They push puff pieces and pay off those who tell what the clients don’t want told. Think of “Microsoft loves Linux”. We saw that at the EPO; They singled out ‘unwanted’ voices and crushed critics, sometimes by intimidation and retribution.

“Some people’s job is to control the story media — collectively — tells; a decade back we named the PR agencies that do this for Microsoft.”“The media is not to be trusted,” one person said in IRC a few hours ago (in the context of the Linux Foundation). “It’s somebody’s agenda they are pushing…for money or other gains.”

And “that wasn’t always their business model,” I responded. “Things changed.”

“I have noticed that since the Linus break he took, we don’t hear from him,” that person continued. “I think they got to him.”

We wrote about that many times, e.g. in [1, 2].

Someone needs to speak out. In fact, we can’t fight on our own (for the truth) and we need people to spread the word while there are sites that try to suppress it, e.g. by removing links (Hacker News censored a link to a story of ours a few days ago after it had made their front page; it didn’t matter that nobody complained about it, which in itself was rather odd). Sure, we don’t have money on our side, but truth too is powerful and it ought to be told. We can’t fight on our own against all the lies. We try.

As one reader put it a short while ago, “not hearing from Linus makes me uneasy for the Linux Kernel.”

Torvalds has done OK for himself, but what started before him in the 1980s is at risk. Sooner or later, unless we do more, people won’t be able to use Free/libre operating systems but some awful ‘cloud’ trap controlled by government/military-connected private sector. ChromeOS is OK by their criteria/standards; it’s not about freedom, it’s primarily about spying.

“Torvalds has done OK for himself, but what started before him in the 1980s is at risk.”“The great thing about Linux is that it’s a moving target,” one reader said. “Microsoft true colors will soon show.”

Microsoft “are really having a department to remove the bad stuff about them,” one reader said. Well, they also tried to get me fired — a subject I mentioned here in the past. They mentioned things that I wrote about them in Techrights (to my boss at work, which is unrelated to Techrights).

“The industry is now after Google in the present and Facebook also,” one person noted. “They don’t talk about Microsoft. I find that peculiar.”

“There’s a PR campaign,” I responded, and “it's promoted by sites funded by Bill Gates…”

“Microsoft pays people to discredit the privacy of Google,” a person said in IRC, whereupon I noted that also professors are paid by Microsoft to do this. It pays them for “letters”, for “papers” and so on and that goes back a long way; look up their “Scroogled” PR campaign and various articles we published here a decade ago. A couple of decades ago mainstream media exposed Microsoft as having paid university professors to mention Microsoft trademarks in their lectures.

“A couple of decades ago mainstream media exposed Microsoft as having paid university professors to mention Microsoft trademarks in their lectures.”We’re sadly moving into a bizarre (not brave) “new world” where Microsoft pops up even in its main competition’s sites. Hours ago we stumbled upon this from Linux Academy (scan the page for Microsoft and Azure; this is just wrong… and it’s the second time in a few days), this from Mozilla (wasting energy helping to prop up Microsoft’s universe of proprietary software… openwashing the ‘open core’ way) and this from RedHat.com (you expect GNU/Linux news and they give you .NET). These are all examples from the past 24 hours alone! We see more such examples every day.

The next part will deal with how Microsoft now associates itself with Stallman and the FSF (by extension).

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

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New

  1. Links 24/10/2021: Ceph Boss Sage Weil Resigns and Many GPL Enforcement Stories

    Links for the day

  2. GAFAM-Funded NPR Reports That Facebook Let Millions of People Like Trump Flout the So-called Rules. Not Just “a Few”.

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission

  3. Some Memes About What Croatia Means to the European Patent Office

    Before we proceed to other countries in the region, let’s not forget or let’s immortalise the role played by Croatia in the EPO (memes are memorable)

  4. Gangster Culture in the EPO

    The EPO‘s Administrative Council was gamed by a gangster from Croatia; today we start the segment of the series which deals with the Balkan region

  5. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXI: The Balkan League – The Doyen and His “Protégée”

    The EPO‘s circle of corruption in the Balkan region will be the focus of today’s (and upcoming) coverage, showing some of the controversial enablers of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos, two deeply corrupt French officials who rapidly drive the Office into the ground for personal gain (at Europe’s expense!)

  6. Links 23/10/2021: FreeBSD 12.3 Beta, Wine 6.20, and NuTyX 21.10.0

    Links for the day

  7. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, October 22, 2021

  8. [Meme] [Teaser] Crime Express

    The series about Battistelli's "Strike Regulations" (20 parts thus far) culminates as the next station is the Balkan region

  9. Links 23/10/2021: Star Labs/StarLite, Ventoy 1.0.56

    Links for the day

  10. Gemini on Sourcehut and Further Expansion of Gemini Space

    Gemini protocol is becoming a widely adopted de facto standard for many who want to de-clutter the Internet by moving away from the World Wide Web and HTML (nowadays plagued by JavaScript, CSS, and many bloated frameworks that spy)

  11. Unlawful Regimes Even Hungary and Poland Would Envy

    There’s plenty of news reports about Polish and Hungarian heads of states violating human rights, but never can one find criticism of the EPO’s management doing the same (the mainstream avoids this subject altogether); today we examine how that area of Europe voted on the illegal "Strike Regulations" of Benoît Battistelli

  12. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XX: The Visegrád Group

    The EPO‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations” (which helped Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos illegally crush or repress EPO staff) were supported by only one among 4 Visegrád delegates

  13. [Meme] IBM Has Paid ZDNet to Troll the Community

    Over the past few weeks ZDNet has constantly published courses with the word "master" in their headlines (we caught several examples; a few are shown above); years ago this was common, also in relation to IBM itself; clearly IBM thinks that the word is racially sensitive and offensive only when it's not IBM using the word and nowadays IBM pays ZDNet — sometimes proxying through the Linux Foundation — to relay this self-contradictory message whose objective is to shame programmers, Free software communities etc. (through guilt they can leverage more power and resort to projection tactics, sometimes outright slander which distracts)

  14. [Meme] ILO Designed to Fail: EPO Presidents Cannot be Held Accountable If ILOAT Takes Almost a Decade to Issue a Simple Ruling

    The recent ILOAT ruling (a trivial no-brainer) inadvertently reminds one of the severe weaknesses of ILOAT; what good is a system of accountability that issues rulings on decisions that are barely relevant anymore (or too late to correct)?

  15. Links 22/10/2021: Trump's AGPL Violations and Chrome 95 Released

    Links for the day

  16. [Meme] How Corporate Monopolies Demonise Critics of Their Technically and Legally Problematic 'Products'

    When the technical substance of some criticism stands (defensible based upon evidence), and is increasingly difficult to refute based on facts, make up some fictional issue — a straw man argument — and then respond to that phony issue based on no facts at all

  17. Links 22/10/2021: Global Encryption Day

    Links for the day

  18. [Meme] Speaking the Same Language

    Language inside the EPO is misleading. Francophones Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos casually misuse the word “social”.

  19. António Campinos Thinks Salary Reductions Months Before He Leaves is “Exceptional Social Gesture”

    Just as Benoît Battistelli had a profound misunderstanding of the concept of “social democracy” his mate seems to completely misunderstand what a “social gesture” is (should have asked his father)

  20. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 21, 2021

  21. Links 21/10/2021: MX Linux 21 and Git Contributors’ Summit in a Nutshell

    Links for the day

  22. [Meme] [Teaser] Miguel de Icaza on CEO of Microsoft GitHub

    Our ongoing series, which is very long, will shed much-needed light on GitHub and its goals (the dark side is a lot darker than people care to realise)

  23. Gemini Protocol and Gemini Space Are Not a Niche; for Techrights, Gemini Means Half a Million Page Requests a Month

    Techrights on gemini:// has become very big and we’ll soon regenerate all the pages (about 37,500 of them) to improve clarity, consistency, and general integrity

  24. 'Satellite States' of EPO Autocrats

    Today we look more closely at how Baltic states were rendered 'voting fodder' by large European states, looking to rubber-stamp new and oppressive measures which disempower the masses

  25. [Meme] Don't Mention 'Brexit' to Team UPC

    It seems perfectly clear that UPC cannot start, contrary to what the EPO‘s António Campinos told the Council last week (lying, as usual) and what the EPO insinuates in Twitter; in fact, a legal challenge to this should be almost trivial

  26. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXX: The Baltic States

    How unlawful EPO rules were unsurprisingly supported by Benoît Battistelli‘s friends in Baltic states; António Campinos maintained those same unlawful rules and Baltic connections, in effect liaising with offices known for their corruption (convicted officials, too; they did not have diplomatic immunity, unlike Battistelli and Campinos)

  27. Links 21/10/2021: GIMP 2.99.8 Released, Hardware Shortages, Mozilla Crisis

    Links for the day

  28. How Oppressive Governments and Web Monopolists Might Try to Discourage Adoption of Internet Protocols Like Gemini

    Popular movements and even some courageous publications have long been subverted by demonisation tactics, splits along unrelated grounds (such as controversial politics) and — failing that — technical sabotage and censorship; one must familiarise oneself with commonly-recurring themes of social control by altercation

  29. [Meme] Strike Triangulations, Reception Issues

    Financial strangulations for Benoît Battistelli‘s unlawful “Strike Regulations”? The EPO will come to regret 2013…

  30. [Meme] Is Saying “No!” to Unlawful Proposals Considered “Impolite”?

    A ‘toxic mix’ of enablers and cowards (who won’t vote negatively on EPO proposals which they know to be unlawful) can serve to show that the EPO isn’t a “social democracy” as Benoît Battistelli liked to call it; it’s just a dictatorship, currently run by the son of a person who actually fought dictatorship

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