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

04.20.08

New Sightings of Microsoft Sucking Up to FOSS Developers, Hiring Them

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Windows at 2:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I want you for money

The OSA was mentioned yesterday in order to show that Microsoft leaves no stone unturned in its battle against GNU/Linux, the GPL, and Free software (not the same as “Open Source”, especially amidst malicious deformation).

The following post came to our attention yesterday. [via]

Open Source at Microsoft: my stance on Microsoft Open Source Strategy

I want to take the opportunity here to clarify my stance and how I managed to form my analysis of Microsoft Open Source Strategy.

What has ignited this desire of mine to clarify these issues was the publication on my blog of the post entitled “Microsoft and OSS: another battle brewing”, unfortunately published without my editorial approval, and without my ability to review the contents before publication. After reading the article and having personally talked with the contributing editor, Carlo Daffara, I realized he was expressing some concerns about the clarity of my position relative to Microsoft and open source. Let me try to make it clearer.

A little background.

I have been consulting with Microsoft on different subjects over the last two years.

The first time I happened to work with Microsoft was back in June 2006. I took part to the Microsoft’s Linux&Open Source Briefing partner program as open source expert. Techstream, a training firm engaged by Microsoft to deliver worldwide such program, found me over the internet, and eventually hired me after a couple of job interviews.

If you spot other stories about Microsoft’s journeys into open source companies, please let us know. Microsoft appears to be using some other individuals to do its legwork in a more subtle fashion. The monopoly from Redmond has plans. Don’t ever forget how really it views competitors, never mind the perception that independent software developers are "pawns", or "a one-night stand".

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

7 Comments

  1. LinuxIsFun said,

    April 20, 2008 at 4:04 am

    Gravatar

    http://www.piana.eu/?q=en/microsoft_free_software

    “Could eventually Microsoft take the lead of the Free Software development in many fields”

    LOL.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 20, 2008 at 4:18 am

    Gravatar

    Just a couple of hours ago, said MOG (Microsoft & SCO shill) in an article that she published in the gutter that is Sys-Con:

    “Those Heady Days of Sex, Drugs & Linux Are Over

    FOSS is Now Costing Software Vendors $60 Billion a Year in Annual
    Revenues, and It’s Still Only 6% of the Global Spend

    Well, it looks like Richard Stallman, the father of FOSS, is going to
    have to cut his hair and get a suit because the warmed-over hippie
    movement he’s been leading is no longer the radical anti-software
    establishment counter-culture his rag-tag army fancies it is.

    Nope, it IS the software establishment.”

    That’s journalism? No, it’s Microsoft. No link, on purpose.

    Some things never change. Know thy predatory enemy. From Microsoft’s own mouth:

    5: Jihad

    A Jihad is a road trip. in which an evangelist visits a large number of ISVs one-on-one to convince them to take some specific action. The classic Jihad is one focused on getting Tier A ISVs to commit to supporting a given technology by signing the technology’s Letter of Agreement (LOA – see above).

    A Jihad focuses on the Travelling Salesman aspect of evangelism. As in sales, the purpose of the exercise is to close – to get the mark the ISV to sign on the dotted line, in pen, irrevocably. Not to get back to us later, not to talk to the wife about it, not to enter a three-day cooling-off period, but to get the ISV to sign, sign, sign.

    If the start of the meeting is the first time the ISV has seen the LOA, then he’s not going to sign it at the end of the meeting. Since we’re asking for a very serious commitment, we want the ISV to give their signing serious consideration. If the ISV cannot deliver, then his committing to deliver is worse than useless – the ISV’s participation may occupy one of a limited number of available slots, keeping some other ISV from participating.

    To maximize the chance of getting the ISV to sign during the Jihad visit, make sure that

    — The ISV has seen the LOA at least a week before the Jihad visit

    — The LOA is very clear about what exactly each side is promising to deliver, and when

    — An Officer of the ISV’s corporation will be attending the meeting

    — Microsoft’s Director of DRG has positioned the LOA with sufficient seriousness, in a cover letter or other communication in advance of the meeting

    — You make it clear from the start that the purpose of your visit is to answer any questions that they might have, preparatory to signing the LOA while you’re there

    — They understand that those who do not sign the LOA, are frozen out of all further information about the techology until it goes into public beta

    — They understand (without being crude about it) that you will be making the same offer to their competitors

    — You have T-shirts or other swag to give to those who sign. lt’s amazing what some people will do for a T-shirt.

    There are a million tips and tricks to effective road trips, and to being a Road Warrior in general, all of which is beyond the scope of this discussion.

    [...]

    8: The Slog
    Guerilla marketing is often a long, hard slog.

    slog (sl^g) v. slogged, slogqing, slogs. –tr, To strike with heavy blows, as in boxing. -intr. 1. To walk with a slow, plodding gait. 2. To work diligently for long hours. –n. . 1. long, hard work. 2. A long, exhausting march or hike. [Orig. unknown.] -slog’ger
    –American Heritage Dictionary, 1991

    In the Slog, Microsoft dukes it out with the competition. MSDN and Platform marketing are the regular forces, exchanging blows with the enemy mano a mano. Evangelism should avoid formal, frontal assaults, instead focusing its efforts of hit-and-run tactics.

    In the Slog, the enemy will counter-attack, trying to subvert your Tier A ISVs to their side, just as you should try to subvert their ISVs to your side. New ISVs should be sought, and directed to MSDN’s one-to- many programs. Evangelism should constantly be on the lookout for killer demos, hot young startups, major ISVs, customer testimonials, enemy-alliance-busting defections and other opportunities to demonstrate momentum for our technology. If bugs are found in our technology, or missing features are found to be critically important, then now is the time to identify and fix them. Stay engaged with the technology development team; ensure that you are a valuable resource for them, not a hectoring pest. Document all of your progress (ideally in regularly updated internal Web pages) and forward it regularly to management. If management is not aware of your progress, your successes, and your stumbling blocks, then they can’t help. (They may not help anyway, but they can’t if they don’t know what you need.)

    Keep those Tier A ISVs on track to delivery! They are your strongest weapons and cannot be forgotten.

    The elements of the evangelical infrastructure – conference presentations, courses, seminars, books, magazine articles, whitepapers, etc. – should start hitting the street at the start of the Slog. They should be so numerous as to push all other books off the shelf, courses out of catalogs, and presentations off the stage.

    Working behind the scenes to orchestrate “independent” praise of our technology, and damnation of the enemy’s, is a key evangelism function during the Slog. “Independent” analyst’s report should be issued, praising your technology and damning the competitors (or ignoring them). “Independent” consultants should write columns and articles, give conference presentations and moderate stacked panels, all on our behalf (and setting them up as experts in the new technology, available for just $200/hour). “Independent” academic sources should be cultivated and quoted (and research money granted). “Independent” courseware providers should start profiting from their early involvement in our technology. Every possible source of leverage should be sought and turned to our advantage.

    I have mentioned before the “stacked panel”. Panel discussions naturally favor alliances of relatively weak partners – our usual opposition. For example, an “unbiased” panel on OLE vs. OpenDoc would contain representatives of the backers of OLE (Microsoft) and the backers of OpenDoc (Apple, IBM, Novell, WordPerfect, OMG, etc.). Thus we find ourselves outnumbered in almost every “naturally occurring” panel debate.

    A stacked panel, on the other hand, is like a stacked deck: it is packed with people who, on the face of things, should be neutral, but who are in fact strong supporters of our technology. The key to stacking a panel is being able to choose the moderator. Most conference organizers allow the moderator to select the panel, so if you can pick the moderator, you win. Since you can’t expect representatives of our competitors to speak on your behalf, you have to get the moderator to agree to having only “independent ISVs” on the panel. No one from Microsoft or any other formal backer of the competing technologies would be allowed – just ISVs who have to use this stuff in the “real world.” Sounds marvelously independent doesn’t it? In fact, it allows us to stack the panel with ISVs that back our cause. Thus, the “independent” panel ends up telling the audience that our technology beats the others hands down. Get the press to cover this panel, and you’ve got a major win on your hands.

    Finding a moderator is key to setting up a stacked panel. The best sources of pliable moderators are:

    — Analysts: Analysts sell out – that’s their business model. But they are very concerned that they never look like they are selling out, so that makes them very prickly to work with.

    — Consultants: These guys are your best bets as moderators. Get a well-known consultant on your side early, but don’t let him publish anything blatantly pro-Microsoft. Then, get him to propose himself to the conference organizers as a moderator, whenever a panel opportunity comes up. Since he’s well-known, but apparently independent, he’ll be accepted – one less thing for the constantly-overworked conference organizer to worry about, right?

    Gathering intelligence on enemy activities is critical to the success of the Slog. We need to know who their allies are and what differences exist between them and their allies (there are always sources of tension between allies), so that we can find ways to split ‘em apart. Reading the trade press, lurking on newsgroups, attending conferences, and (above all) talking to ISVs is essential to gathering this intelligence.

    This is a very tough phase of evangelism. You’ll be pulled in every direction at once, randomized by short-term opportunities and action items, nagged by your Tier A ISVs and pestered by every other ISV that wants to become a Tier A. Management will want to know right now how you’re going to respond to some bogus announcement by some random ISV. Some PM over in Consumer will demand that you drop everything to go talk to an ISV in Outer Mongolia, that’s run by an old college chum of his. Competitors will make surprise announcements, lie through their teeth, and generally try to screw you just as hard as you are trying to screw them.

    Of course, if you are very, very lucky, there will be no competition to your technology. But this is almost never the case. ODBC had its IDAPI, OLE had its OpenDoc, COM had its SOM, DCOM has its CORBA, MAPI had its VIM, etc., etc., etc. The existence of a Microsoft technology nearly guarantees that a competitive technology will spring into existence overnight, backed by an impromptu association of Microsoft competitors which have decided to draw yet another Line in the Sand (“If we don’t stop Microsoft here, then they are going to take over the whole world!”).

    Without a competing technology to fight, you just hand everything over to MSDN, give your Tier A ISVs to PSS, and find a new technology to evangelize. But that takes most of the fun out of the game :-)

    9: Final Release:

    Evangelism of a given technology usually ends with the final, shipping release of that technology. One last big press event, with demos, a tradeshow, press releases, etc., is often called for, showcasing the apps that are sim-shipping and the customers that are using them. In the face of strong competition, Evangelism’s

    focus may shift immediately to the next version of the same technology, however. Indeed, Phase 1 (Evangelism Starts) for version x+1 may start as soon as this Final Release of version X.

    10: Critical Mass

    The Slog may continue beyond the Final Release, for many months, until Critical Mass is reached. It is possible that Critical Mass will not be reached at all for Version X of a technology, such that Phases 1-9 will have to be repeated – possibly more than once – before ever reaching Critical Mass.

    Critical Mass is reached when the technology starts evangelizing itself. When reviews subtract points if it’s not supported; when analysts say “great product plan, but what about [Technology Name]?”; when VC’s won’t fund a company unless it supports [Technology Name] – that’s Critical Mass. At that point, Evangelism of the technology stops, and Evangelism’s resources are applied to other technologies – or, if you’re lucky, moves into the Mopping Up phase.

    11: Mopping Up

    Mopping Up can be a lot of fun. In the Mopping Up phase, Evangelism’s goal is to put the final nail into the competing technology’s coffin, and bury it in the burning depths of the earth. Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.” Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the competition’s technology part of the mythology of the computer industry. We want to place selection pressure on those companies and individuals that show a genetic weakness for competitors’ technologies, to make the industry increasingly resistant to such unhealthy strains, over time.

    12: Victory

    Some technologies continue as competitors long after they are true threats – look at OS/2, the Operating System that Refused to Die. It is always possible – however unlikely – that competitors like OpenDoc, SOM, OS/2, etc, could rise from the dead… so long as there is still development work being done on them. Therefore, final victory is reached only when the competing technology’s development team is disbanded, its offices reassigned, its marketing people promoted, etc. You have truly and finally won, when they come to interview for work at Microsoft.

    Victory is sweet. Savor it. Then, find a new technology to evangelize — and get back to work :-)

  3. LinuxIsFun said,

    April 20, 2008 at 4:25 am

    Gravatar

    just did a google on carlo piana who wrote that article. guess what comes up…lol…amazing.

    you never know who is who.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 20, 2008 at 5:15 am

    Gravatar

    He was doing Samba’s work in the EU. He was also very critical of OOXML and the process.

  5. Roberto Galoppini said,

    April 20, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Gravatar

    Having had insights into how Microsoft operates in relation to open source and yet being active in the commercial open source arena, gives me the opportunity to speak from two different aspects of the ecosystem.

    I believe that partnering with Microsoft could greatly help OS firms to increase open source market penetration, giving them access to a larger market and, last but not least, with the support of Microsoft marketing force.

    Then global service providers could take advantage of such penetration, reserving the possibility to dilute Microsoft position eventually. Before that they have to fix the “last mile” problem, helping customers to manage open source governance, and providing easy access to software selection tools and procedures. In my opinion Sun could do that, that’s why I wrote the open source franchising business model (more on my blog, with Matt Asay’s, Matthew Aslett’s, Frank Hecker’s, Simon Phipps’s comments and feedback).

  6. Carlo Piana said,

    May 1, 2008 at 10:48 am

    Gravatar

    @LinuxIsFun:

    I don’t understand if you have read all of my blog post or you just stopped at the title, which is intentionally misleading.

    Just to make it clear: I am still one of the most convinced advocates of Free Software and on the bandwagon who had been most disruptive on Microsoft’s anti-Free Software strategy. And I think I still am.

    But I am also seeing some developments in the relationships between part of Microsoft and Samba, and it is going better than I expected. I expected NOTHING, so this is not much, but it is something. I am very interested in any changes, and I think that there is a very small, maybe insubstantial, possibility that they reach a tipping point when they could never come back. We are still very far, and I want to see more beef before popping champagne.

    The track record of Microsoft is very bad, but this means that they can only improve. Perhaps with some change of management first. They *must* change: the anti-Free Software, anti-competition, all proprietary strategy has been very successful, but unsustainable on the long run. They must change or they will be made irrelevant, collapsing on themselves, just like the USSR empire. It will take time and many dead bodies will float down the river in the process, but something will be changing. In which direction, I can’t still tell. I hope in the good direction.

    Ciao

  7. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 1, 2008 at 10:54 am

    Gravatar

    Carlo,

    I am very supportive of your work. I think that reader “LinuxIsFun” just isn’t familiar with the background.

What Else is New


  1. Microsoft's Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures Still Suing Microsoft's Rivals, Microsoft Gags Its Staff Regarding Patent Matters

    Microsoft says it's pursuing "truce"; the patent trolls it has created and backed (Bill Gates still backs them at a personal capacity) feel differently



  2. The EPO Under António Campinos Has Opened More Doors to Software Patents and Only Litigators Are Happy

    António Campinos continues Battistelli's tradition of shredding the Convention on the Grant of European Patents (EPC); it's all about generating as much assertion (e.g. litigation, shakedown) activity as possible, serving to bring Europe's productive industries to a halt



  3. German Court on UPC Constitutional Complaint: “No Oral Hearing is Currently Scheduled. A Decision Date is Not Foreseeable at Present.”

    More bad news for Team UPC as there's no sign of Germany signing/ratifying the UPCA and none of the underlying issues (noted in the complaint) have been addressed at all



  4. Links 22/10/2018: New Kernel Release and Linus Torvalds is Back in Charge

    Links for the day



  5. Lack of Patent Quality Means Lack of Patent Validity and Lack of Legal Certainty

    35 U.S.C. § 101 at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) -- like the European Patent Convention (EPC) on the Grant of European Patents -- stresses patent quality and scope; will patent offices get things right before it's too late or too expensive to undo?



  6. Data Engine Technologies (DET) Just One Among Many Microsoft-Connected Patent Trolls That Pick on Microsoft's Biggest Competitors

    Lawyers' articles/blog posts continue to obscure the fact that Data Engine Technologies is merely a satellite or unit (one among many) of patent trolling giant Acacia Research Corp., connected to Microsoft and sporting a long history of lawsuits against GNU/Linux



  7. Alice/Mayo and Hatch-Influenced US Patent Office

    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) seems to be serving those who pay the most to define the scope or limits of patenting; this means that even nature and life are being 'privatised' (or turned into someone's "intellectual" property)



  8. Funded by the Public to Prey on the Public: The Absurdity of Patent Sales and 'Enforcement' by Government

    Government or US Government-funded entities are looking to tax private companies using patents that were actually funded by the public; in practice this helps private firms or insiders (individuals) personally gain from something that the public subsidised and should thus be in the public domain



  9. Lockpath Patents Demonstrate That the US Patent Office -- Unlike US Courts -- Keeps Ignoring 35 U.S.C. § 101/Alice

    35 U.S.C. § 101 isn’t being entirely followed by examiners of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO); in fact, evidence suggests that mathematics are still becoming monopolies of private firms — something which should never happen



  10. The Eastern District of Texas and Its Patent Trolls Affinity Not a Solved Issue

    The American patent system continues to distribute monopolies on algorithms and some of these cause litigation to reach courts that are notorious for intolerance of 35 U.S.C. § 101, resulting in unnecessary payments to lawyers and patent trolls



  11. More 'Blockchain' Nonsense in Pursuit of Bogus, Nonsensical Software Patents

    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is still granting abstract software patents because words like "blockchain" get mentioned in the applications; companies that do this hope to shield themselves from disruptive technology and possibly facilitate future patent blackmail



  12. A Warning About MPEG-G, the Latest Software Patents Trap That Threatens Innovation Everywhere

    Combining patents on software and on life, MPEG-G assembles a malicious pool with malignant ramifications for bioinformatics



  13. MIT and the Prior Art Archive Perpetuate Existing Problems

    Large companies with many tens of thousands of patents (each) would have us believe that broadening access/reach of prior art (e.g. to patent examiners) would solve the issues; This may very well work for these large companies, but it overlooks the broader picture



  14. Links 20/10/2018: Mesa 18.2.3 Released, FreeBSD 12.0 Beta 1

    Links for the day



  15. Unified Patents Demolishes Some More Notorious Patent Trolls and Offers Bounties to Take Down More of Them

    Even though the new management of the US patent office treats patent trolls as a non-issue, groups that represent technology firms work hard to improve things (except for the litigation zealots)



  16. The Identity Crisis of the European Patent Office, Wrongly Believing It Exists to Serve Lawyers and Patent Trolls Outside Europe

    The European Patent Office doesn’t even feel like it’s European anymore; it’s just an international patent office that happens to be based (primarily) in Munich; insiders and outsiders alike need to ask themselves what these ‘European’ officials (employing firms outside Europe) have turned the Office into



  17. Links 19/10/2018: OpenBSD 6.4 and OpenSSH 7.9 Released

    Links for the day



  18. Ingve Björn Stjerna Has Just Warned That If Team UPC and the European Patent Office Rigged the Proceedings of the German Constitutional Court, Consequences Would be Significant

    The EPO is back to mentioning the Unified Patent Court and it keeps making it abundantly clear that it is only working for the litigation 'industry' rather than for science and technology (or "innovation" as they like to euphemise it)



  19. Links 18/10/2018: New Ubuntu and Postgres

    Links for the day



  20. It's Almost 2019 and Team UPC is Still Pretending Unitary Patent (UPC) Exists, Merely Waiting for Britain to Join

    Refusing to accept that the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) has reached its death or is at a dead end, UPC proponents — i.e. lawyers looking to profit from frivolous litigation — resort to outright lies and gymnastics in logic/intellectual gymnastics



  21. IAM and IP Kat Are Still Megaphones of Battistelli and His Agenda

    IAM reaffirms its commitment to corrupt Battistelli and IP Kat maintains its stance, which is basically not caring at all about EPO corruption (to the point of actively deleting blog comments that mention such corruption, i.e. 'sanitising' facts)



  22. The EPO Under António Campinos Relaxes the Rules on Software Patenting and the Litigation 'Industry' Loves That

    EPO management, which is nontechnical, found new terms by which to refer to software patents -- terms that even the marketing departments can endorse (having propped them up); they just call it all AI, augmented intelligence and so on



  23. Links 17/10/2018: Elementary OS 5.0 “Juno” Released, MongoDB’s Server Side Public Licence

    Links for the day



  24. Improving US Patent Quality Through Reassessments of Patents and Courts' Transparency

    Transparency in US courts and more public participation in the patent process (examination, litigation etc.) would help demonstrate that many patents are being granted — and sometimes asserted — that are totally bunk, bogus, fake



  25. Ask OIN How It Intends to Deal With Microsoft Proxies Such as Patent Trolls

    OIN continues to miss the key point (or intentionally avoid speaking about it); Microsoft is still selling 'protection' from the very same patent trolls that it is funding, arming, and sometimes even instructing (who to pass patents to and sue)



  26. Links 1610/2018: Linux 4.19 RC8, Xfce Screensaver 0.1.0 Released

    Links for the day



  27. Judge-Bashing Tactics, Undermining PTAB, and Iancu's Warpath for the Litigation and Insurance 'Industries'

    Many inter partes reviews (IPRs) at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) leverage 35 U.S.C. § 101 against software patents; instead of putting an end to such patents Director Iancu decides to just serve the 'industry' he came from (a meta-industry where his firm had worked for Donald Trump)



  28. 'Cloud', 'AI' and Other Buzzwords as Excuses for Granting Fake Patents on Software

    With resurgence of rather meaningless terms like so-called 'clouds' (servers/hosting) and 'AI' (typically anything in code which does something clever, including management of patents) the debate is being shifted away from 35 U.S.C. § 101 (Section 101); but courts would still see past such façade



  29. Corporate Media's Failure to Cover Patents Properly and Our New Hosting Woes

    A status update about EPO affairs and our Web host's plan to shut down (as a whole) very soon, leaving us orphaned or having to pay heavy bills



  30. Links 15/10/2018: Testing Ubuntu 18.10 Release Candidates, KaOS 2018.10 Released

    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