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GE, Microsoft, Comcast and (Microsoft AstroTurf at) Twitter: Pact of Lies

Comcastsoft



Summary: Pack of lies to be delivered by a familiar pact of self-serving companies which pretend to inform the public

TWO weeks ago we wrote about the possibility of Comcast, an ally of Microsoft that is AstroTurfing and committing heinous crimes, getting closer to Microsoft's/GE's 'news' network. This seems to be materialising right now and a deal is already complete, according to some sources.



CNBC reports that the deal between GE and Comcast over a majority stake in NBC Universal is complete, and will likely be announced officially Thursday morning. This comes from what CNBC attributes as a "source close to the merger".


Why is this important? Well, several reasons. First is the fact that GE has been spreading FUD about Free software recently [1, 2], having already lobbied together with Microsoft (joint filing) for software patents in Europe. The 451 Group has just responded to the latest FUD

GE European CIO calls open source risky, playground — really?



[...]

I also wrote about GE as one of the big brands that is using open source.

Second, we have seen a dramatic shift in the risk/benefit outlook on open source software in the enterprise. Driven largely by difficult economic conditions, tightened budgets and time and business pressures, customers who were previously unsure about open source software are now willing to live with that uncertainty and risk to give open source a chance. Our recent survey of open source software users and customers reinforces the idea that open source is now more positively associated with cost savings than it is negatively associated with risk. In response, open source seems to be largely passing the test, meeting or exceeding cost-savings expectations for nearly 90% of our more than 1,700 survey respondents.


MSNBC.com, a joint venture involving GE and Microsoft, has also just taken over a Twitter account of an individual. That's the second reason.

A Twitter feed set up by a Dutch teenager as a hobby has been taken over by Microsoft news channel MSNBC.com.


We will come back to it later. For more information about Microsoft's practices in Twitter, see previous posts such as:



Twitter loses credibility because of Microsoft and it knows it. TechCrunch got hold of some leaked documents from Twitter and wrote: “In that same March 12th meeting, Twitter also wrestled with a proposed search advertising partnership with Microsoft. The team was “not ready” and considered this yet another “Distraction.” Worries were expressed that it would strain Twitter’s engineering resources and that any partnership with Microsoft would raise branding issues: “There is going to be a perception that we are dating.” The board was also worried about Twitter “getting into bed with Microsoft.” By the end of the discussion, someone asks, “Why did we start talking to Microsoft in the first place”?”

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