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

09.12.07

Mark Shuttleworth Still Dislikes Microsoft’s Linux Deals

Posted in Formats, FSF, FUD, GNU/Linux, GPL, Interview, Kernel, Microsoft, Open XML, Ubuntu at 4:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Canonical and Ubuntu Founder, Mark Shuttleworth, has had an interview that contains a lot of interesting information. Here is what he said about the deals with Microsoft:

9) Do you think Microsoft’s patent deals are just an attempt to slow down Linux, or do you think there might be some genuine interest in cooperation?

[Mark:] That’s a complicated question because it suggests that Microsoft has one single opinion. But like any large organisation, Microsoft will have people internal to it who have a variety of different opinions. So I definitely do believe that some of the folks who are working at Microsoft on the patent deals have a genuine interest in seeing interoperability across Windows and across the free software platform. Unfortunately, I think other people at Microsoft do feel it’s a way of limiting the field of engagement between the free software world and the proprietary software world, and making sure that Microsoft effectively has a competitive advantage in that engagement.

At this stage, all of the deals that have been announced really are very advantageous to Microsoft, and create real barriers to the complete a pervasive adoption of free software. In addition to that, I do think that Microsoft attempts to have its own file formats declared a standard in very bad faith. Because they’re pretending to create a standard when in fact the only thing that comes close to implementation of that standard is the Microsoft Office application. And the real value of a standard is to have something which is agreed upon by lots of different groups and implemented by lots of different groups. And that’s just not the case with Microsoft’s file formats. More importantly, I don’t think they will allow other people to implement the standard, they’ll simply change it to suit themselves.

So, Microsoft is a large organisation and I think there are people with good ideas and with bad ideas. It’s not simple. I don’t think we can simply say that the whole organisation is being constructive or unconstructive. I think we have to look at specific initiatives. Unfortunately, their OpenXML document standard initiative is being driven with poor intention at heart.

As you can see, the patent deals have a great deal to do with OOXML. Some of our readers have failed to see the connection, but given the fact that many organisation refuse to depart from Microsoft Office because of “incompatibility”, the important of ODF is obvious. A universal format is desperately needed. Microsoft does not want such a format unless it controls, ‘extends’ it, and already has it fully implemented.

Also interesting is the following new interview with Richard Stallman. The headline says “Stallman: If you want freedom don’t follow Linus Torvalds.” As you may recall, Torvalds does not fight back against the Microsoft deals. He tries to keep quiet and uninvolved (the passive approach). See the links at the bottom of this post for further details.

The summary from the interview with Stallman is this:

The founder of the Free Software Foundation asks readers whether they will fight for freedom or be too lazy to resist.

Returning to the interview with Mark Shuttleworth, consider this question and answer:

10) While Richard Stallman is an outspoken critic of the so-called tivoisation, Linus Torvalds just doesn’t mind when Linux is used in proprietary devices. What is your stance?

[Mark:] I do think that DRM, tivoisation, or locked down hardware and software are all a real threat to continued spread of free software. And so I very much support Richard Stallman [interview] and the Free Software Foundation in bringing those issues to the front in the debate of GPLv3.

At the same time I think we have to respect the kernel community’s choice to license their software under whatever license they choose. And the kernel community has consistently taken quite an open approach to allowing people to do pretty much what they liked with the Linux kernel code. It’s not entirely true, but it’s true in many cases. The main thing to point out though is that this really is not an issue for free software. In Ubuntu we ship software under, maybe, a hundred and fifty different licenses. So adding GPLv3 as the hundred a fifty-first license is not a problem at all and Linux will continue to progress, regardless of whether the kernel team adopts v2 or v3. As for myself, I think v3 is a very good license, I think it went through a very strong public process, and I think it’s a much better license in the end than it was when it began. So I think there’s every reason for the kernel community to consider it, but if they choose not to adopt it then that’s fine too.

Interesting take. Going a weeks or months back we find other yet similar perspectives.

Mark Shuttleworth quotes (about the Linux deals):

That’s extortion and we should call it what it is. To say, as [Microsoft CEO Steve] Ballmer did, that there is undisclosed balance sheet liability, that’s just extortion and we should refuse to get drawn into that game…

                                                            Source

Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won’t say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: ‘It’s an unsafe neighbourhood, why don’t you pay me 20 bucks and I’ll make sure you’re okay,’ that’s illegal. It’s racketeering. What Microsoft is doing with intellectual property is exactly the same. It’s a great company and I have great admiration for it, but this was not a well considered position.

                                                            Source

Linus Torvalds about Microsoft FUD, the software licences, and the Linux deals

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 1/9/2014: Poettering on systemd, ITNews on DBMSs

    Links for the day



  2. Moving Away From Windows to GNU/Linux and the Abandonment of Windows as the Modest Proposal These Days

    Morale of GNU/Linux and an embrace of GNU/Linux is very high, despite recent propaganda from Microsoft MVPs and boosters (primarily security-themed and Munich-themed FUD)



  3. Korean Press Slams Microsoft Over Patent Extortion Against Linux/Android as New Abuses Resurface

    Harsh words from the national press of South Korea as Nokia's role in Microsoft's anti-Linux tactics becomes more apparent



  4. More Good News About Patents and Their Demise in the United States

    A roundup of news about software patents and patent trolls in the land where these thrive



  5. Links 31/8/2014: Linux 3.12.27, Akademy 2014

    Links for the day



  6. Links 30/8/2014: Jailhouse 0.1, *buntu 14.10 Beta

    Links for the day



  7. Links 28/8/2014: Many New Games, CTO of Red Hat Steps Down

    Links for the day



  8. We Are Gradually Winning the Battle Against Software Patents

    The once-elusive war on software patents is finally leading to some breakthrough and even the Federal Circuit reinforces the trend of software patents' demise



  9. Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) Companies Versus FOSS Moles (VMware, Sonatype, Xamarin)

    A look at three entities which pretend to be pro-FOSS but are actually FOSS-hostile and very much determined to replace FOSS with proprietary software



  10. Links 27/8/2014: GNU/Linux in Space, China, LinuxCon

    Links for the day



  11. FUD Against Google and FOSS Security Amid Microsoft Windows Security Blunders

    In the age of widespread fraud due to Microsoft Windows with its back doors there is an attempt to shift focus to already-fixed flaws/deficiencies in competitors of Microsoft



  12. Microsoft Spin Watch: IDG Turns to More Microsoft Propaganda, Hires Microsoft Boosters

    Media in Microsoft's pocket is telling Microsoft's lies and deceives the public for Microsoft's bottom line



  13. Microsoft's Massive Tax Evasion Becomes Better Known

    A new report about Microsoft's admission that it plays dirty tricks with tax (sometimes using moles in government) is increasing awareness of Microsoft's criminal aspects



  14. Links 25/8/2014: China's Linux Revolution Imminent

    Links for the day



  15. Links 24/8/2014: GNU/Linux Specialisation and Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  16. Links 23/8/2014: GNU/Linux Growth

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft-Funded Attacks on Android Security and Patent/Copyright

    A look back at examples of people who smear Android and are receiving (or received) money from Microsoft



  18. Blowback in Chile and Munich After Microsoft Intervention

    Microsoft's attacks on the digital sovereignty of countries involves lobbying, corruption, an attack on standards (e.g. ODF), an attack on FOSS policies, and even an attack on accurate reporting (truth itself)



  19. The End of Microsoft is Nigh

    A look back at a tough year for Microsoft and a not-so-promising future



  20. Links 22/8/2014: Linux Foundation LFCS, LFCE

    Links for the day



  21. UPS Burned by Microsoft Windows, Gives Away Massive Number of Credit Card Details

    UPS is the latest victim of Microsoft's shoddy back door with software on top of it (Windows); attempts to blame FOSS for data compromise actually divert attention from the real culprit, which is proprietary software



  22. Microsoft's Funding of ALEC and Other Systemic Corruption

    Microsoft role in writing of laws by proxy, via groups such as ALEC



  23. Microsoft is Still Preying on British Taxpayers, Playing Politics

    Some news from the UK showing how Microsoft uses politics to extract money out of taxpayers, irrespective of their preferences



  24. Microsoft's Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as 20% of Staff Laid Off

    More good news regarding the demise of patents as Microsoft's leading patent proxy is collapsing more rapidly than anyone ever imagined and software patents too are collectively doubted



  25. Links 21/8/2014: Conferences of Linux Foundation, Elephone Emerges

    Links for the day



  26. Links 20/8/2014: Linux Event, GNOME Milestone

    Links for the day



  27. Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile's Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  28. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  29. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  30. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts