Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Tries to 'Surrogate' Free Software with Windows-only, Patent-encumbered, Microsoft-controlled 'Open Source'

Trying to change the direction of inevitable things

BY LOOKING at the Halloween Documents, which are rather old by now, one can see that Microsoft realised it would not manage to compete against Free software. Not unless it turned to criminal behaviour, which it has. It's doing it all the time (c.f. OOXML), but some people hide under a rock and prefer not to see it. Instead, they discredit those who do, typically suing derogatory labels [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6].



We have already discussed Microsoft's latest strategy, which is to hijack this thing called "Open Source" in an EEE-like fashion. The familiar signs are there and a blanket of .NET/Mono with Microsoft patents is marketed to the masses by what's sometimes callously referred to as "useful idiots".

ZDNet has a new article which is a complaint about this hijack of "open source" -- whatever that actually means nowadays -- by vendors.

Like me, you've probably read articles on how free software, or open source, is going to thrive in 2009, and how businesses everywhere are going to survive the recession by migrating to it.

Perhaps you agree with those views; perhaps you don't. However, what I find most interesting is what people mean by the words 'open source' and, to be even more specific, what business model they have in mind.

We often assume others mean the same thing as we do in the words they use, but the truth is more nuanced than that. The real meaning behind the words is worth examining, especially when someone is trying to sell you something.


Dana Blankenhorn, a Windows user who runs ZDNet's 'Linux' blog, points out that the ZDNet article (the one that's referred to above) directs its complaint almost squarely at Microsoft.

Today, for instance, our sister publication in the UK has a piece by Mark Taylor of SiriusIT, calling Microsoft’s very definition of open source a straw man.

Microsoft representatives generally try to establish a world view sympathetic to their own by talking as if the accepted distinction in the open-source arena is between commercial and non-commercial. That definition is inaccurate and its intent is to damage.

The true distinction is between proprietary and non-proprietary. The false distinction between commercial and non-commercial is designed to imply that only proprietary software is acceptable commercially — that is, companies should keep buying the proprietary stuff and leave the non-proprietary to hobbyists.


This observation about Microsoft is correct [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] and it is very harmful indeed. Microsoft is also trying to change back the definition of "open standards" so as to exclude source code as a requirement and include software patents instead, even in Europe where these are not legal.

Microsoft continues to rely on its paid allies at Novell, who push patented technology like Windows.Forms into GNU/Linux distributions. In fact, Miguel de Icaza is still touting it right now.

I know, I know...

Much like Microsoft, Mono and its guards will soon accuse us of all sorts of things, saying we are not reliable, but apparently, even big publications like The Mail and Guardian continue to consider us worthy of referencing.

Pundits in the ICT industry will remember that as country manager for Novell, Masie was involved in the Microsoft/Novell deal of 2006 which was met with widespread controversy and efforts to boycott Novell.


The world is no black and white. But when a company commits crimes time after time, then it can't whine about being labeled black. It's time for Novell to wake up and realise that its proximity to Microsoft has it tuning grey and its passing its own dark shades to other GNU/Linux vendors, with whom code is shared.

Novell and Microsoft piss on GNU/Linux codebase



Recent Techrights' Posts

OpenBSD Says That Even on Linux, Wayland Still Has a Number of Rough Edges (But IBM Wants to Make X Extinct)
IBM tries to impose unready software on users
 
Microsoft “Discriminated Based on Sexuality”
Relevant, as they love lecturing us on "diversity" and "inclusion"...
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 28, 2023
IRC logs for Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Media Cannot Tell the Difference Between Microsoft and Iran
a platform with back doors
Links 28/11/2023: New Zealand's Big Tobacco Pivot and Google Mass-Deleting Accounts
Links for the day
Justice is Still the Main Goal
The skulduggery seems to implicate not only Microsoft
[Teaser] Next Week's Part in the Series About Anti-Free Software Militants
an effort to 'cancel' us and spy on us
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news
Permacomputing
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Professor Eben Moglen on How Social Control Media Metabolises Humans and Constraints Freedom of Thought
Nothing of value would be lost if all these data-harvesting giants (profiling people) vanished overnight
IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 27, 2023
IRC logs for Monday, November 27, 2023
When Microsoft Blocks Your Access to Free Software
"Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches." [Chicago Sun-Times]
Techrights Statement on 'Cancel Culture' Going Out of Control
relates to a discussion we had in IRC last night
Stuff People Write About Linux
revisionist pieces
Links 28/11/2023: Rosy Crow 1.4.3 and Google Drive Data Loss
Links for the day
Links 27/11/2023: Australian Wants Tech Companies Under Grip
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news
Links 27/11/2023: Underwater Data Centres and Gemini, BSD Style!
Links for the day
[Meme] Leaning Towards the Big Corporate CoC
Or leaning to "the green" (money)
Software Freedom Conservancy Inc in 2022: Almost Half a Million Bucks for Three People Who Attack Richard Stallman and Defame Linus Torvalds
Follow the money
[Meme] Identity Theft and Forgery
Coming soon...
Microsoft Has Less Than 1,000 Mail (MX) Servers Left, It's Virtually Dead in That Area (0.19% of the Market)
Exim at 254,000 servers, Postfix at 150,774, Microsoft down to 824
The Web is Dying, Sites Must Evolve or Die Too
Nowadays when things become "Web-based" it sometimes means more hostile and less open than before
Still Growing, Still Getting Faster
Articles got considerably longer too (on average)
In India, the One Percent is Microsoft and Mozilla
India is where a lot of software innovations and development happen, so this kind of matters a lot
Feeding False Information Using Sockpuppet Accounts and Imposters
online militants try every trick in the book, even illegal stuff
What News Industry???
Marketing, spam, and chatbots
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 26, 2023
IRC logs for Sunday, November 26, 2023
The Software Freedom Law Center's Eben Moglen Explains That We Already Had Free Software Almost Everywhere Before (Half a Century Ago)
how code was shared in the 1970s and 80s