Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft is Not Promoting the Open Source Community, It's Just Exploiting It

Heart and worm
Worm heart versus warm heart



"Open source is an intellectual-property destroyer [...] I can't imagine something that could be worse than this for the software business and the intellectual-property business. I'm an American; I believe in the American way, I worry if the government encourages open source, and I don't think we've done enough education of policymakers to understand the threat."

--Jim Allchin, President of Platforms & Services Division at Microsoft

Summary: Embracing, extending, and extinguishing something is hardly a case of promotion, but gullible minds remain

THOSE who refuse to learn from the past will sooner or later be devoured by the company whose CEO said that "Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches." Microsoft is all about software patents, which are inherently incompatible with Free/open source software.



One can either laugh or cry at this new sight of a press release stating:

"Companies such as Microsoft, Oracle and IBM have been active in promoting the open source community," said Jim Miller, IWS Chairman and CEO.


This is a bizarre statement. Microsoft is a very bad example, probably the worst example one could possibly give in this case. When Microsoft supports something that it labels "open source", this is simply done in order to sell proprietary software. Writes someone from OpenOffice.org: "Except that I have been able to talk with Paula Bach (from Microsoft) who was one of the organizers of the FLOSS usability workshop" (to make OpenOffice.org use Microsoft's ribbon? That's what our source alleges anyway).

The Microsoft-boosting blog at IDG writes about Microsoft's attempt at embracing, extending, and extinguishing Ruby, using IronRuby which we wrote about in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]. Further down the post, the writer at least points out that:

Since 2007, Microsoft has done a stream of things that angered the open source community. We don't need to list them all here, we'll mention TomTom, and Amazon and leave it at that.


Microsoft engages in racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] against Free/open source projects whose existence it does not approve/tolerate. This makes Microsoft hardly a "promoter" of open source; rather, it's a predatory exploiter. IronRuby too is a case of trying to consume Ruby using .NET. More in The H:

Microsoft's Jimmy Schementi and the IronRuby team have announced the first stable version of IronRuby, the Ruby runtime for the .NET platform's Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR. IronRuby 1.0 is available in two versions, one for .NET 4.0 and one for .NET 2.0 SP1; the former is more .NET feature complete and has faster start up, the latter is compatible with the Novell developed, .NET compatible Mono. IronRuby is generally Ruby 1.8.6 compatible and supports Rails 2.3.5.


Thanks to Mono, right? Novell is helping Microsoft as it embraces, extends, and extinguishes Free software as an independent platform/paradigm. IronRuby is about Microsoft and about .NET. It's not same old Ruby or Ruby on Rails (RoR). It's all about control for Microsoft, not about independence.

Apple seems to have realised all this, so it is blocking Novell's MonoTouch [1, 2, 3, 4], which would have enabled Microsoft to gain more control over the hypePad (Apple has just delayed its international launch after failing to meet sales expectations in the US). Here is another new article on the subject:

Such wording appears to exclude not just Flash and Java runtimes from the iPhone platform, but also cross-compilers that translate foreign platforms into iPhone binaries. That nixes technology forthcoming in Adobe's Flash CS5 and MonoTouch, a Novell tool that allows developers to compile iPhone apps from C# code.


This whole episode has led to sarcasm that daemonises Apple.

On closer inspection we noticed that iTunes didn’t even use the real windows API! They make their own scroll system and their own chrome COMPLETELY bypassing our fantastic Windows OS. So, we’ve decided enough is enough. We’ll allow iTunes back into Windows when they (Apple) make the following changes.

* Apple MUST write a specialised version of iTunes on Windows and use Windows compilers and Windows languages ONLY * Apple MUST use native windows controllers such as our in built Windowing system and scroll objects. * Apple MUST lose this RIDICULOUS attitude of writing code once and deploying to multiple operating systems. Just don’t go there.


It's not much of a satire; Microsoft has a long history of abusing "third-party" developers who target Windows. The only popular platforms that have a good record when it comes to their attitude towards developers are probably BSD and GNU/Linux.

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