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Microsoft Attacks, Then Tries to Hijack Free Software

Deadly embraces, deadly extensions

A Microsoft press release which we mentioned the other day demonstrated the fact that Microsoft remains hostile towards Free software (Microsoft calls it "open source"), yet people are expected to believe that this is not happening. Glyn Moody has explained what all this FUD means (or doesn't mean).

Those with good memories may recall a phase that Microsoft went through in which it issued (and generally commissioned) a stack of TCO studies that “proved” Windows was better/cheaper than GNU/Linux. Of course, they did nothing of the sort, since the methodology was generally so flawed you could have proved anything.

Worth remembering are the recent attacks from the Gartner Group, which is behind "TCO". Here is a new InformationWeek essay that describes Microsoft as "Open Source Schizoid", not just "Open Source Xenophobe".

The best word for Microsoft's attempts to deal with open source is schizoid. On the one hand you have the folks at the Open Source Lab, who are building what bridges they can -- and on the other, you have the rest of the company, including its marketing and PR divisions, who may end up undoing what good is done. At the end of the day, they're still a proprietary-platform outfit, and they have to uphold that.

Who would be fooled by such a two-faced monopolist with a long history of well-documented crimes?

Embracing and Extending Free Software in the Philippines

Winston Damarillo is a renowned Free software advocate, but he seems to have just sold out to Microsoft.

Microsoft's motives and strategy are very clear. It's something along the lines of: "Here some money. Stop promoting freedom. Help Windows. Promote 'open'. Help us sell proprietary Microsoft stacks."

Here is the main report about this (in English).

Microsoft Philippines is looking to pursue more collaboration with open source developers in the country through its Open Source Interoperability Lab project.

The current Open Source Interoperability Lab is housed in the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) office at the University of the Philippines Diliman in Quezon City.

As part of this increasing collaboration with the open source community, Microsoft Philippines has inked a partnership with open source software engineering firm Exist Global headed by Winston Damarillo.

This created a small wave and it's exceptionally disappointing.

Embracing and Extending Python with Microsoft XAML

IronPython, like JPython, is an attempt to 'bastradise' a programming language or framework. Companies want to 'monetise' a community.

For reasons that are similar to IronRuby's, this is s mistake [1, 2, 3], but Microsoft has already hijacked such a project and transformed developers in it so that they adopt its own licences that it (Microsoft) can control and change at any time [1, 2, 3]. Here is an example of a new 'extend' phase.

Dan Eloff has announced the release of Silvershell 0.6. (Also known as Python/E - Python Everywhere!).


It runs in the browser with Silverlight 2 or on the desktop with a WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation - which means it won't run on Mono) User Interface.

We wrote about IronRuby in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. It's similar and it's a thing to be avoided. Microsoft wraps Free technologies with proprietary ones that impede interoperability and introduce patents.

Embracing and Extending Perl with Microsoft Influence

Microsoft is applying to Perl a tactic so similar to one which it applied to Apache [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. A reader has just alerted us to this development.

Commencing this month, Microsoft will be providing every CPAN author with free access to a centrally-hosted virtual machine environment containing every major version of Windows.

For those not realising what Microsoft has in mind, the following vanishing article is worth a look. Microsoft is making some stuff up about intellectual monopolies to undermine Free software, which is wants to police. From the Web Archive: "As far as making the source code available, we at MS strongly feel that there is a need to protect intellectual property (IP) as it is the economic incentive to create better solutions." This article as a whole is worth a read while it lasts.

It's the same old story, not the exception. They try to tame developers. First they put them on Windows and ensure all the programmers empower the monopoly and leave GNU/Linux isolated, if not neglected. At the earlier stages, it's just flirting.



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Reprinted with permission from Ryan Farmer