Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft's Touch of Death

"I once preached peaceful coexistence with Windows. You may laugh at my expense -- I deserve it."

--Be's CEO Jean-Louis Gassée



Summary: Microsoft continues to ruin companies that it is getting in contact with

WHENEVER Microsoft touches something, that something usually perishes at the end. A few months ago, a Microsoft insider/partner warned everyone that Microsoft “destroys” partners. We have given many examples of companies that lost their GNU/Linux focus after Microsoft deals and the latest one is FAST. Another example would be Yahoo!, which Microsoft has been harassing for 2 years now (it started in February 2008). Watch Yahoo! as it shuts down yet another part of its business.



This is the latest in a long list of properties Yahoo has shut down over the last year, including GeoCities, Jumpcut and Farechase. A Yahoo spokeswoman says that the company decided no longer to maintain a standalone tech site because it is “increasing investment in some areas while scaling back in others” as part of its effort “to build products and services that deliver the best possible experiences for consumers.”


Considering all the talented employees who fled Yahoo! because of Microsoft, it is safe to attribute this gradual destruction/implosion to Microsoft's "touch of death". It poisons everything. With the help of its MVP and board member (at the CodePlex Foundation), Microsoft is also poisoning GNU/Linux, putting inside it Mono and Moonlight so as to disseminate Microsoft's standards-hostile APIs. Miguel de Icaza is doing a lot of the heavy lifting and we were amused to discover that people at FOSDEM 2010 put up a sign on the wall which says "leave it [Mono] in the hallway!" This has nothing to do with us, but it does show that Mono unrest is widespread (correction: it turns out to have been a joke which our informant did not understand). In fact, one of the big proponents of Ubuntu, who also deploys it in products for a living, is so upset by Ubuntu's inclusion of Mono that he resorted to comparing Canonical to Microsoft. This rant of his is counter-productive as it only serves Microsoft's agenda of poisoning good projects. But anyway, here are the concerns about Ubuntu (which Canonical can hopefully address):

I am not trying to incite riots or wars in the halls of residence or corridors of power but Canonical/Ubuntu is starting to catch more “bad karma” than is healthy for it IMHO.

* Let’s start with Mono. Yep. It’s been a prickly thorn for many and the concerns expressed are not going away. There’s no point in raking over the old ground; it is just one of the bad-karma attractants in a growing list. * Then we have Ubuntu One. Proprietary, closed, caused much debate and friction when announced and now the possibility of a Windows version too. * Next comes dumping GIMP, OOo and other much-loved applications from the default installation of versions of the forthcoming distribution. * Then the discussion about what closed/proprietary applications should be made available in the Ubuntu repositories. * Then we have the change of the default search engine from Google to Microsoft Yahoo. * Then Matt Asay joins as COO which should be, and probably is, good news. Matt is well known, respected and experienced, yet some of his prodigious public commentary tugs at the heartstrings of many a Freedom Fighter.


Earlier this week we wrote about a Mono project called Pinta, which turns out to be developed by a Novell employee. Here is what Jan from Red Hat told me about it yesterday: "as expected and just in time for ubuntu - the mono based paint app http://pinta-project.com/" (developed by the guy who was porting Paint.NET).

“Later this year, the GIMP will be released with a single-window option, which ought to appease those who complain about the user interface.”Our reader Pawel has just shown us this new article about Pinta, calling it "another .NET-infected app" and adding that "idiots even released this under MIT X11 license" (just like Banshee, which is also a Mono application from Novell that only SLED users can safely deploy).

Well, to be fair, there is no indication that Ubuntu will adopt Pinta, but either way, polls in Ubuntu Forums indicate that most people want the GIMP back. Later this year, the GIMP will be released with a single-window option, which ought to appease those who complain about the user interface. As for disk space, a lot can be saved by removing Mono runtime. That would also save memory and remove the patent problem that Jeremy Allison warned about [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. I love Ubuntu and I want it to succeed. These criticisms are defensive and hopefully constructive.

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