It’s easiest to launch an assault on the apathetic
Bruce Byfield’s subtle attack on our credibility was mentioned briefly the other day in a post about Acacia. The Managing Editor of LinuxToday (Brian Proffitt) seems to be mitigating Bruce’s message, so it’s worth you taking a quick look.
It is, admittedly, very easy to put the blame on companies out to do harm to Linux, free, and open source software. Because sometimes that blame is justified. When Mandriva’s CEO called Microsoft out for attempting to co-op Mandriva’s deal for pre-loaded Classmate PCs in Nigeria last November, the evidence was pretty overwhelming.
Now, there’s suddenly a lawsuit against the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project in that same country, claiming patent infringement on the part of OLPC, and demanding $20 million. “Conspiracy theorists” might say this is just one more attempt to protect Microsoft’s desktop share in Nigeria. Heck, I could get really crazy and point the finger at Intel, now that they’re on the outs with OLPC. Or even… (hushed whisper) Mandriva. We know how evil they are!
In all honesty, I have no idea what’s behind this lawsuit. It’s probably just for money, in the classic ambulance-chaser style, and I will let it go at that until I hear differently.
Byfield would have the people who accuse Microsoft or any other company of deception labeled as conspiracy theorists. That label has a negative connotation, but I understand its application in this instance. Where I disagree with Byfield is how bad such accusations and speculations really are.
Mind the latest post about the Nigeria incident (published just hours ago), which links to others with further information that escapes our scope and capacity. It is very clear that Microsoft cannot be ignored. Some say that it should be ignored with the exception of cases where it attacks Linux. Never mind its new products and its technical problems, from which it can suffer alone. Let it be stressed again:
This Web site does not contain Microsoft bashing. Detractor will try to recruit stereotypes like “zealot” and “fanboy” to shoot down our message. This site delves into affairs where Microsoft actively sabotages — directly or indirectly — the Free software movement. This includes ridicule of standards bodies, bribery, threats, litigation by proxy, and many other examples. Novell has a big part of this charade ever since the deal with Microsoft in 2006 and it is merely the raison d’être for the site’s existence.
We needn’t keep our ‘enemy’ closer as much as we need to understand why the ‘enemy’ is trying to get closer to us — only to do damage from the inside as we witness time and time again.
“We should dedicate a cross-group team to come up with ways to leverage Windows technically more.”
–Jim Allchin, high Microsoft executive