Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft 'Joins the Club' Because Government Policies Favour Open Source

The deals which Microsoft has signed with Linux vendors, among a variety of other moves such as the OSI 'invasion', bring many benefits to Microsoft. Apart from the fact that Microsoft's causes damage from the inside, e.g. by making agreements, deals and licences incompatible with the GPL and extracting money from Free software, Microsoft also gives the impression that it's a player in the Linux and open source world. To the average MBA (or CIO), all our discussions about Microsoft's true motives are lost in the fog which is the biased, one-sided press.

"Governments have begun embracing plans to reduce procurement costs and lock-in."The situation we are dealing with is complicated, so various parts of it should be considered in isolation. To look at one among many issues (it's worth stressing that it's just a small part of a much larger situation), consider this. Governments have begun embracing plans to reduce procurement costs and lock-in. The way to establish this is to encourage (or force) acquisition of open source technologies. Microsoft cannot afford to let itself be excluded from definitions that speak about 'open source'. Consider, for instance, this new press release from Frost (which does a lot of business with Microsoft, by the way).

South Africas Open Source Software Market Builds on the Government’s Adoption of FOSS Policy



[...]

While the South African open source software (OSS) market is still in its development stage, the recent decision by the South African Government to adopt a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) policy is a significant boost for the industry.


Also consider this other new press release.

Federal Government Votes for Open Source



[...]

The Federal Open Source Alliance, an organization devoted to open source education, today announced the results of its “Federal Open Source Referendum” study, the first annual report designed to identify current open source adoption rates and trends in the Federal market.


Here is an article that was published just hours ago:

More than half of all U.S. government executives have rolled out open-source software at their agencies, and 71 percent believe their agency can benefit from open-source software, according to a survey.


If Microsoft is unable to pretend that it has 'joined the club' (open source movement), then it will be left behind. Therefore, be aware of Microsoft's motives in submitting licenses to the OSI. Also recall the bit of analysis which shows us that Microsoft may have already exploited their apparent involvement in "open source". They used this perceived membership in order to deceive in Europe and inject its anti-GPL poison into an important agreement [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11].

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