EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Bill Hilf and Microsoft’s ‘Terror Culture’

Posted in America, FUD, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 1:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Apparently, some people take pride in attacking Free software. With statements such aswe would like to strike similar patent deals with all the Linux vendors, but we had to start somewhere” or eventhe Free Software movement is dead. Linux doesn’t exist in 2007. Even Linus has got a job today,” Bill Hilf is no popular figure these days. In fact, in a very controversial fashion, Bill has just announced that Microsoft will soon invade ‘our side’ (“the Free World”, as they called it in Forbes Magazine) even further.

In his keynote at OSCON, Microsoft General Manager of Platform Strategy Bill Hilf announced that Microsoft is submitting its shared source licenses to the Open Source Initiative.

This will definitely corrupt the meaning and value of “Open Source” (if it passes). Have a look at this other observation made at OSCON:

What Will Change at Microsoft with Regard to F/OSS Patents

Hilf’s response was… priceless. “I get a lot of e-mail.” “People like to subscribe me to crazy newsletters and spam.”

So essentially, Bill escaped the question and actually admitted that he is loathed. This is by no means the first time that he angers the Linux community. There is reason to suspect that a lot of Microsoft’s recent anti-Linux strategy came from this man, who apparently replaced and inherited the place of Martin Taylor. Martin quit Microsoft last year, having spearheaded the anti-Linux propaganda (“Get the Facts” and all the rest). Propaganda and Big Lies aside, what is even worse is terrorisation.

Personally, I am getting a little fed up. I am not alone in assuming that Bill Hilf, along with the division that he manages, has resorted to nothing more than distortion, extortion, embrace-and-destroy strategies and — shall I say — corporate terrorism. I am not the only person to have come up with such as assessment. Here are a few articles that concur.

Microsoft, the art of Corporate Terrorism

Microsoft, no longer the technological leader in the Computer Desktop market, is taking on a terrorist role in its attempt remain in power at all costs.

Convicted Monopolist Terrorizes Software Industry

That headline is designed to grab your attention. Sensationalistic as it may be, it also happens to be true, if what you mean by ‘terrorize’ is to provoke fear.

Sun exec accuses Microsoft of ‘patent terrorism’

The efforts of Microsoft to pressure the Linux community over alleged and unspecified patents is akin to “patent terrorism”, according to a local executive for Sun Microsystems.

Well, of course it’s patent terrorism

Do not let yourself be terrorised and be aware that the RICO ACT might have validity here. But, who will ever challenge Microsoft in court? They also have the support of the American government. Selected citation follow (just to prove the point).

Decide for yourself if you are looking at an above-the-law monarchy or what has essentially become a ‘country’ within country.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. akf said,

    July 27, 2007 at 2:19 am


    I don’t like Microsoft either. But we shouldn’t reject everything, just because it is from them. They say that we are unreasonable and when we just reject everything without thinking, we really are. But of course we should be cautious!

    Even the FSFE said that some of the Shared Source licenses could be okay:

    But they also say:

    Naturally, it is not the publication of licenses, but the publication
    of software under a Free Software license, that gives people freedom:

  2. SubSónica said,

    July 27, 2007 at 3:06 am


    My “spider-sense” tells me there is a patern here, let me elaborate a little bit on it:
    First, Microsoft is going after some Linux distros, in order to try to divide the FOSS community and to subvert the 4 freedoms that the GPL is designed to guarantee (remember that MSFT has been relentlessly attacking the GPLv3 and the FSF long before the last version of the license was actually released)
    Now they want to throat-feed its locking-in fake standard MSOOXML through the ISO in order to subvert the stablished standard document format (ODF/ISO23600) that, incidentally, they are the only company not willing to support in their office suite offerings. They are stuffing the technical commitees at the ISO (and astruturfing with fake support letters sent by their gold certified partners who depend on MSFT for their livelyhood)in order to force a favourable decission for MSOOXML.
    As soon as they get the standard they will shout everywhere they’re “THE” standard.
    It is the same so with the Open Source Initiative:
    They badly want its backing so it allows them to go all around shouting they are also “Open”. In this case, it is the community collaborative development what the corporate structure of MSFT cannot imitate, and which is outpacing, both in quantity and in quality the development and offerings of the monopoly: Compare for example Sourceforge.net or Freshmeat with Codeplex… well, they are not even in the same league: that is the kind of difference you get with genuine free, open and collaborative development communities VS an astruturfing experiment leaded by a control-freak corporation (Codeplex)

    This “me too” strategy is deep rooted in Microsoft behaviour: whenever
    a product, service, development model or standard that they do not control, is successful they go out with their own second class offering and try to use their desktop monopoly leverage to impose their “clone” in the market, while
    at the same time eroding and subverting the original/competing one. (It already worked with DRDOS, OS2, Novell, WordPerfect, Borland, Netscape, Palm… and they keep trying against PlayStation -Xbox mkI & mkII-, Ipod -Zune mkI & mkII- …etc)
    Aditionally, I suspect that if they get the standard and the open “certification” they will go around shouting they are THE standard and THE open way to go, but it won’t take long for them to change some details in the standard or in the licence that make them double-edged and they will be used exclusively (in ways that are neither standard nor open) against any competing player in the market. You can bet the licence Microsoft submits to the OSI will be carefully designed to be fully incompatible and toxic with the GPLv3: In fact many of these exclusive-proprietary-non-standard flaws are alredy incorporated in their MSOOXML format or, for example, in their “covenants not to sue” devised to attack-threaten any Gnu/Linux distros /users not caving to Microsoft’s wishes.
    On the other hand, if they cannot get their way and the ISO rejects the MSOOXML format and the OSI rejects their “open” licence, I expect a harsh campaign from Microsoft to discredit these intitutions as “irrelevant”.
    So far this strategy has worked with many products and some services. Let’s hope it doesn’t work so well with international standards or with community
    development models and licences, actually no, let’s not only hope, let’s fight for it.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 27, 2007 at 4:24 am


    Have a look at this new report.


    One has to wonder if Microsoft could attempt to create a ‘civil war’, essentially dividing the ‘open source’ world further. Their deals have already led to a storm in OSDL, so why not OSI?

    As SubSónica points out, making their licences incompatible with GPL(v3) would be be convenient. It’s akin to joining the Web, ‘extending’ a few things, and then bringing over some userbase (e.g. developers), whose old stuff is no longer compatible with the new rules.

  4. mcintosh said,

    July 27, 2007 at 4:24 pm


    >>I don’t like Microsoft either. But we shouldn’t reject everything, just >>because it is from them.

    Even though a broken clock is right twice a day, I’m going to look elsewhere for my time checks.

  5. Tel said,

    July 28, 2007 at 12:41 am


    The world is big, the options are numerous and thinking about the legal details of the latest Microsoft offering takes time away from other, more important things. One fact has been proven by history… you don’t partner up with Microsoft and walk away alive. Ask Stacker.

    At the end of the day, Microsoft’s current business plan depends on maintaining market dominance. Linux, by its nature, does not allow one company (or any single distro) to squeeze the market like Microsoft has done. The only rational conclusion is that Microsoft behaviour is designed to maintain their position of power and to stifle Linux adoption. Spend your thinking time on the next killer Linux app or a cool game for Linux or building that online business. Microsoft have had more than a reasonable measure of slack cut to them — trusting them now is a fool’s errand.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 28, 2007 at 1:14 am


    To name some Microsoft ‘partners’: Lotus, WordPerfect, Corel, DBase, Netscape, and Novell (pre Linux).

    I have the suspicion that while many of these companies take the dive, some people at the top end up with big bucks. It is sad when an excecutive’s interests do not intersect with the well-being of the company s/he run.

    Discover the ‘benefits’ of the latest deals:

    How Much Did Mr. Typaldos, Mr. Carmony, and Mr. Hovsepian Get Paid to Stomp on Linux?

    The ‘Cost’ of GPLv3 is the Loss of All Threats to Free Software

  7. akf said,

    July 29, 2007 at 6:55 am


    Maybe I should explain my first posting. Of course I would not like Microsoft licenses to be accepted by the OSI. But the OSI has to find a very convincing explanation for the rejection. Just saying “because we don’t like you” could be turned against us. If they can’t find a convincing explanation, it is better to approve the licenses. There are other OSI approved licenses, which I would never use…

    And the OSI has to make very clear, that it is not about all Shared Source licenses. I fear Microsoft will try to lump them together, if they get the approval.

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 29, 2007 at 8:26 am


    But the OSI has to find a very convincing explanation for the rejection. Just saying “because we don’t like you” could be turned against us.

    I agree with you entirely and therein lies the rub. Be aware that Microsoft was a Diamond Sponsor of OSCON. It’s slush money for Microsoft. It’s a pattern. It’s assimilation with malevolent/self-serving intent. See the following recent story.

    “Microsoft seems to have hijacked Linux Asia”

    ,—-[ Quote ]
    | Was the general feel amongst the attendees at Linux Asia 2007;
    | MS however, just wanted to say ”let us walk hand-in-hand”


    I have many more such examples, just in case you need any.

    If you watch this closely, you’ll see that Microsoft poisons the minds of the attendants. The attendants are unhappy about this. The attraction is lost and the conference loses focus. It is not an isolated incident. Linux and Open Source conferences require funding, but given the wrong funding source, agendae get ‘corrupted’. A recent conference in Germany came under a lot of scrutiny.

    At the end of the day, tensions are unhealthy.

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    July 29, 2007 at 8:39 am


    a little addendum…

    A quick search on “bill hilf” immediately brought up the following, which is a prominent reference connecting Martin Taylor to Bill Hilf.

    “Martin Taylor and Bill Hilf – Linux at Microsoft, Part I”


    God save us. If these two minds think alike, then I would be surprised if Bill uses Tux toys as a voodoo dolls. These are very poisonous people whose position is, as I suspected, to destroy GNU/Linux (and Free software).

    Taylor used very questionable propaganda techniques to achieve this. He worked closely with Steve Ballmer at the time. The product of the “Get the Facts” smear campaign is, as I only recently found out, banned in the United Kingdom because it’s considered misleading advertising, which increasingly invades more of the Web. Recently, LinuxWorld started the placement of not one but two large and animated banners with anti-Linux ads from Microsoft.

  10. Matthew Flaschen said,

    July 29, 2007 at 9:54 pm


    I’m far from a fan of Microsoft’s licensing policies, but rejecting a license from them /just/ because it comes from them is ridiculous. I am fairly familiar with the Open Source Definition (http://opensource.org/docs/osd) and I think both the Microsoft Permissive License (http://www.microsoft.com/resources/sharedsource/licensingbasics/permissivelicense.mspx) and Microsoft Community License (http://www.microsoft.com/resources/sharedsource/licensingbasics/communitylicense.mspx) comply (Note: Microsoft Limited Permissive License and Microsoft Limited Community Licenses clearly don’t). Others on the OSI list have expressed this opinion, and OSI has held off formal consideration only because Microsoft had not submitted the license. Should the open source community use the Microsoft licenses if they get approved by OSI?? Maybe, maybe not. I see no benefits to these licenses compared to existing ones. But I would have no problem with OSI approving them, since it would clarify that a significant and growing body of work is in fact open source.

What Else is New

  1. Documents Needed: Contract or Information About EPO PR/Media Campaign to Mislead the World

    Rumour that the EPO spends almost as much as a million US dollars “with some selected press agencies to refurbish the image of the EPO”

  2. Guest Post: The EPO, EPC, Unitary Patent and the Money Issue

    Remarks on the Unitary Patent (UP) and the lesser-known aspects of the EPO and EPC, where the “real issue is money, about which very little is discussed in public...”

  3. Saving the Integrity of the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Some timely perspective on what's needed at the European Patent Office, which was detabilised by 'virtue' of making tyrants its official figureheads

  4. A Call for Bloggers and Journalists: Did EPO Intimidate and Threaten You Too? Please Speak Out.

    An effort to discover just how many people out there have been subjected to censorship and/or self-censorship by EPO aggression against the media

  5. European Patent Office (EPO) a “Kingdom Above the EU Countries, a Tyranny With ZERO Accountability”

    Criticism of the EPO's thuggish behaviour and endless efforts to crush dissenting voices by all means available, even when these means are in clear violation of international or European laws

  6. Links 26/11/2015: The $5 Raspberry Pi Zero, Running Sans Systemd Gets Hard

    Links for the day

  7. EPO Management Needs to Finally Recognise That It Itself is the Issue, Not the Staff or the Unions

    A showing of dissent even from the representatives whom the EPO tightly controls and why the latest union-busting goes a lot further than most people realise

  8. Even the EPO Central Staff Committee is Unhappy With EPO Management

    The questions asked by the Central Staff Committee shared for the public to see that not only a single union is concerned about the management's behaviour

  9. The Broken Window Economics of Patent Trolls Are Already Coming to Europe

    The plague which is widely known as patent trolls (non-practicing entities that prey on practicing companies) is being spread to Europe, owing in part to misguided policies and patent maximalists

  10. Debunking the EPO's Latest Marketing Nonsense From Les Échos and More on Benoît Battistelli's Nastygram to French Politician

    Our detailed remarks about French brainwash from the EPO's media partner (with Benoît Battistelli extensively quoted) and the concerns increasingly raised by French politicians, who urge for national or even continental intervention

  11. The Sun King Delusion: The Views of Techrights Are Just a Mirror of EPO Staff Unions

    Tackling some emerging spin we have seen coming from Battistelli's private letters -- spin which strives to project the views of Techrights onto staff unions and why it's very hypocritical a form of spin

  12. Links 25/11/2015: Webconverger 33.1, Netrunner 17 Released

    Links for the day

  13. United They Stand: FFPE-EPO Supports Suspended Staff Representatives From SUEPO

    An obscure union from the Dutch side of things at the EPO is expressing support for the suspended colleagues from SUEPO (more German than Dutch)

  14. Censoring WIPR Article About Censorship by EPO

    A testament to how terrified journalists have become when it comes to EPO coverage, to the point of deleting entire paragraphs

  15. Censorship at the EPO Escalates: Now We Have Threats to Sue Publishers

    Having already blocked Techrights, the EPO's management proceeds to further suppressions of speech, impeding its staff's access to independently-distributed information (neither ordinary staff nor management)

  16. Response to Bogus Accusations That EPO Staff Protests Are Really an Attempt to Derail UPC

    Common myths about staff protests in the European Patent Office (EPO) debunked, with some additional background and general perspective on recent events, the unitary patent (UPC) and so on

  17. New Heise Article Makes It Clear That 'Nazi'-Themed Accusations Against the Suspended Board Judge Were Insufficiently Substantiated

    The personal attacks on a judge who was illegally suspended (a so-called 'house ban') increasingly look like the management's own campaign of defamation, mostly intended to marginalise and punish a judge who spoke about serious charges against VP4 (Željko Topić)

  18. Links 24/11/2015: Asus Chromebit CS10, Second Linux 4.4 RC

    Links for the day

  19. European Central Bank Staff Committee Adds to Growing Pressure on Abusive EPO Management

    The staff representatives of the European Central Bank E-mail their colleagues -- with European Central Bank managers' approval -- regarding the European Patent Office and its attacks on staff unions

  20. Gross Violation of Workers' Rights in EPO: Denial of Christmas Vacation/Leave for Slower Workers

    A look at an E-mail from within the EPO which shows how Christmas is used to squeeze staff, urging them to work even faster (despite speed gains) or lose their Christmas leave

  21. The Bogus Narrative Floated by EPO Management: Our Judges and Examiners Are Armed and Violent

    A look at the union-busting and protest-crushing moves from high-level EPO managers, who are trying to convince politicians that they do so in an effort to stop terrorists and neo-Nazis

  22. Support SUEPO or End Up Like They and Some of the Boards Did

    SUEPO, the fast-growing staff union of the EPO, increasingly needs the support and protection offered by action and participation from staff

  23. NRC Handelsblad (Dutch Evening Newspaper) Speaks About EPO's Refusal to Accept Court Orders From The Hague

    Article explains the depths of the issues inside the EPO and the unacceptable immunity that management at the EPO continues to exploit, shaming or discrediting the very notion of the rule of law in Europe

  24. HeBS Digital and Black Duck Press Releases Treated Like Articles, Used to Muddy the FOSS Waters

    Free/Open Source software (FOSS) is under attack again, and it's the proprietary software lobby that's responsible for that

  25. EPO President Battistelli Now Intimidates Even National Delegations

    Report about an embarrassing incident implicating Benoît Battistelli and some angry comments cast over the witch-hunting of a judge, using all sorts of questionable tactics

  26. A Look at the Latest Gross Deletionism at the EPO's 'Media Partner', French Newspaper Les Échos

    The EPO's bogus 'journal of record, which Team Battistelli likes to cite in order to bolster its warped version of events at the EPO while maintaining a close secret relationship with the publisher, keeps censoring its own reporters (spiked paragraphs, silently self-censored or censored after publications)

  27. Rumour About Efforts to Dismiss a Board Judge by Intimidating Boards of Appeal

    Comment found online accuses the Administrative Council of pressuring, by threats, Directorate-General 3 to dismiss a judge who is silently accused (with selective 'leaks' to the media, reportedly orchestrated by EPO managers) but not even proven guilty

  28. President Battistelli Now Pressures/Threatens Politicians Who 'Dare' to Complain About Abuses and Unacceptable Conditions at the EPO

    Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’, a French politician, unleashes an angry letter from Benoît Battistelli and reveals just to what lengths the EPO's Team Battistelli is willing to go in order to crush political backlash

  29. EPO: It's Like a Family Business - Part IV

    Some more background information about Elodie Bergot and Gilles Requena, who are married whilst also sharing positions of power at the EPO (and also strong connections/ties with the EPO's President, Mr. Battistelli); Rumours afloat at the EPO -- some with ever-increasing circulation too -- are worth noting

  30. Translation of Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann's Article in the German Media, Urging European Politicians to Intervene in EPO Chaos and Lawlessness

    Frankfurt-based media presents an opinion piece written by a Munich-based economic correspondent, Thomas Magenheim-Hörmann


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time


Recent Posts