Bonum Certa Men Certa

Beware Fog Computing/Proprietary Software Peddlers Disguised as 'Open Source'

"My definition of Cloud Computing: "the Fine Art of Separating People from Their Software""

--Fernando Cassia

Matt Asay in clouds

Summary: Criticism of OSBC and Future of Open Source, which only help redefine the goals of F/OSS so as to be nearly meaningless

BE CAREFUL of this not-so-new trend where proprietary software companies use the words "open" and "cloud" to portray themselves as something that they are not. OSBC shows many of the symptoms we have drawn attention to before; some are trying to paint the conference "cloud" or something along those lines, completely diluting the content of the conference and turning people's attention away from freedom. The word "business" in OSBC need not exclude freedom because freedom and business are not at all opposites. We covered all of this before, so readers can be spared the explanations.

More importantly, beware of Microsoft spin at OSBC and watch out for deception from IDG's "Microsoft Subnet", whose most blatant Microsoft booster (Robert Mullins, not Jon or Julie) is at it again. It was only yesterday that we wrote about IDG spinning OSBC to its own clients' advantage. Mullins at least notes that:

Microsoft hasn’t won over everyone in the open source community given comments to Gupta’s Sunday blog post on the subject.

Well, given the money Microsoft has extorted from F/OSS using software patents, given the effect of the FUD campaigns, and given the many families and developers who lost income due to Microsoft's brutality, Mullins oughtn't expect Microsoft to be accepted by "everyone in the open source community". Heck, many will not even tolerate Microsoft and some will ostracise the company. In order to issue some sort of reparations for the damage Microsoft has done to the developers (not to mention damage affecting everyone due to insecurity and elimination of choice), Microsoft would need to sell and liquidate all of its assets, including the executives', then distribute these back to the victims. The damage Microsoft has done is well documented and those who pretend that some self-serving patch somehow makes amends are extremely unrealistic. Need it be added that Microsoft currently has multiple patent lawsuits against Linux (Motorola and B&N for starters)?

Microsoft has been pouring money not into compensating victims or helping F/OSS. Instead, Microsoft just been investing in PR and funding of F/OSS conference (like Future of Open Source), with the intention of changing the agenda of them along with so-called analysts (who are essentially funded by Microsoft in this way). The Gates Foundation uses the same tricks. Jay Lyman from the 451 Group writes about "Community Linux love from Microsoft" and notes:

It seems Microsoft understands that unlike pirated Windows, which it considers a loss, the use of free, unpaid Linux — particularly by large enterprise, government and other organizations — is a big opportunity for it.

Yes, it is an opportunity to harm GNU/Linux, by putting a cost on it in the form of proprietary software, even if the GNU/Linux part is free of charge. What a nerve Microsoft has. Well, Scientific Linux is said to have just added another developer for the cloning of RHEL. Scientific Linux receives backing from some of the world's leading research labs, so it need not be paid to change the agenda for Microsoft or anybody else.

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