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Microsoft Tries to Associate Itself with Open Source in Order to Spread Lock-in, Dump Proprietary Software on Clients



Summary: FOSS gets 'extended' by Microsoft to make it hook up with Microsoft's software that harms FOSS

AS PART of the assimilation strategy, Microsoft carries on blurring the difference between open source and proprietary software. In essence, every now and then it merely uses open source as a latch with which to impose proprietary software and dependence on a single vendor. Guess which vendor?

On many occasions in the past we warned about Microsoft's influence on Apache [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17]. Now we find this:

The Apache Stonehenge project is evolving toward what Microsoft referred to as the first key milestone. Milestone 1 is synonymous with sample applications built with different languages, and designed for specific platforms, being deployed together in an effort to drive interoperability. Microsoft is a participant in the Apache Stonehenge project, a move from the company underscoring its commitment to making its proprietary technologies interoperable with open-source solutions, according to Kamaljit Bath, a principal program manager on the Interoperability Technical Strategy Team at Microsoft.


When Microsoft speaks about "open source", then it would rather speak about incorporating BSD code into its proprietary products. Also from the news:

Sidekick retains its own OS - the question is whether Microsoft will start to run WinMo or Windows CE on the product in order to get even better feedback on users' behaviour and acceptance. It may, however, be wanting intelligence in another area, open source operating systems. LX will run open source NetBSD OS, and Microsoft was recently advertising for people with NetBSD skills to help launch the new Sidekick, pointed out PCWorld. Perhaps a tiny step towards open source acceptance for the Windows giant?


Microsoft is fine with BSD because it turns it to proprietary code and even uses in it Windows.

Then there is Microsoft's relationship with Zend. Microsoft is now bringing the GNU/Linux- and Free software-hostile Silverlight via PHP.

PHP for Silverlight is a code sample and tutorial on Microsoft' codeplex site which explains and gives examples of how to integrate Silverlight controls in PHP.


In essence, what Microsoft does here is it uses FOSS to spread anti-FOSS software. And at the same time Microsoft is spreading its gratis (limited time) competitor to FOSS (libre). This is a press release about BizSpark/DreamSpark (Silverlight involved), but there is also some PR for Microsoft from the Seattle press. They use HSBC's name to make some more noise.

HSBC Commercial Banking (LON:HSBA) has today announced that it has joined the Microsoft BizSpark Programme as a Network Partner and becomes the first UK bank to become part of the network.


This makes HSBC somewhat of a 'drug dealer' in the sense that it makes people dependent on something that cannot (or can hardly) afford. Then again, it fits HSBC's model quite well because it also sells mortgages. We wrote about the *Spark programmes in:



Over it the Philippines there is something similar going on, but this time under the heading/banner of Live@edu (details already leaked).

Steve Haite, Live@edu, Information Worker Director, Microsoft Asia Pacific, said Microsoft Live@edu addresses common teaching and administrative problems that schools encounter in today’s digital age. He recently engaged in a roundtable discussion with a select group of journalists about the trend toward university use of hosted Web services, and how university learnings and experience translate for the business world of IT.


It all looks like a form of commercial in the press, masqueraded as an article (maybe ghostwritten). But anyway, what all reporters neglect to say or refuse to say is that the tobacco companies used similar techniques to deprive people, under the disguise of offering them something. Critique is absent.

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