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

04.28.08

In Microsoft Speak, “Open” Means No GNU/Linux or FOSS Support

Posted in Apple, Formats, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard, Windows at 1:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

KOffice Logo

Separation between FOSS and
OSS, courtesy of Microsoft

False Marketing of “Open”

Both Microsoft and Novell can be accused of harming perceptions of “Open Source”. Novell seeks justification by clarifying that it really is a mixed-source company, whereas Microsoft shoves the word "open" everywhere it deems possible. Why would they do this? Because the market increasingly demands “open source”. Microsoft and Novell hope to sell their overpriced crown jewels while falling under the same “open” umbrella, whose significance they lessen.

Europe Embraces Open, Microsoft Responds with Closed XML (Calls it “Open”)

Yesterday we wrote about EuroOffice, which is of course an OpenDocument-based product. Just watch what else is happening in Europe at the moment.

The free, open source project management solution OpenProj is now being included in StarOffice boxes available in Europe. OpenProj is a complete replacement of Microsoft Project, offering equivalent functionality, and available on Linux, Unix, Mac or Windows.

In order to suppress this increasing adoption of open source software Microsoft hopes to successfully respond with formats that de-commoditise office suites. At the same type, technical impossibilities aside, it injects an anti-Free software poison pill called "RAND". Ironically, that’s just what Microsoft means by “open”. Free Software Magazine has a nice new cartoon which illustrates just how ‘open’ Microsoft really is.

“In order to suppress this increasing adoption of open source software Microsoft hopes to successfully respond with formats that de-commoditise office suites.”In order to hide the technical and legal issues, Microsoft has turned a lot of this into 'politics'. It’s a tactic which is intended to confuse by diversion of attention to uninteresting or incorrect details. A reader says, in reference to ISO's decision: “Some of the counter arguments being thrown are based on the false premise that the decision is and has been a purely technical one.”

Further, he says: “There are two components. The technical component, which we would all prefer to focus on. And the political component brought into play by Microsoft. Ignoring the politics brought into the debate by Microsoft causes the debate to be lost: politics trump technology. Spending too much time on the politics means the technology languishes. Be sure which one is being discussed. If we could steer the debate back to one purely of technology, Microsoft would be gone.”

It’s particularly interesting when viewed in light of history. Microsoft tried to rush the release of Windows 98 in order to avoid further technical scrutiny (think about “Fast Track”). Watch this:

One wonders, is this the same product Microsoft insisted would irreparably harm the U.S. economy if government lawyers delayed its release? The very same.

Remember the similar use of fear to promote OOXML? Or Bill Gates saying that OOXML will help the families? The fear-mongering or sentimental blackmail techniques must not be forgotten. Further, from the same old article:

Let’s face facts: Windows 98 is less an operating system than an Internet Explorer delivery device, a Netscape killer. To call it anything more complimentary would be to perpetuate a fraud. Windows 98 is the clearest evidence yet of the company’s continuing evolution from Microsoft the Popularizer, into Microsoft the Monopolizer. About us, they couldn’t care less. And if we don’t understand this dirty little secret by now, we never will.

There are similar examples even at present. Windows Vista is a DRM delivery device (media becomes Windows-only, establishing more effective lock-in), among many other things. Office 2007 is also used as a virtual door to be shut at the face of competition, capitalising on OOXML digital handcuffs and thus decreased compatibility.

Microsoft Mesh is Not Open

Once again Microsoft is misusing the word “open”, or at least choosing to define it the way which suits Microsoft marketing routine. Over at Market Watch, Microsoft’s mesh is being called a “mess”, not “open”. However, just minutes ago we wrote about Microsoft's bias in the press and from the obedient CNN comes another example. To quote the slightly more critical part:

Microsoft swears it’s embracing open standards – really!

[...]

Open? Microsoft? Let’s be frank here: The two haven’t exactly gone hand in hand – just ask any number of high courts around the globe. But as computing continues to shift more toward the Web and away from the desktop even Microsoft doesn’t have a choice. Live Mesh may be Microsoft’s admission that the future of computing is open, and that even if it had to be dragged kicking and screaming to that conclusion, it has come to it.

Almost nothing is supported at this stage other than Microsoft’s operating system, partners etc. Even a former Microsoft evangelist says the truth about this mesh:

Unfortunately they aren’t even close to being finished. Mac support? Coming in the future. Nokia support? Unclear. iPhone support? Ask Steve Jobs (translation: will be very limited due to Apple’s complete control of that platform). Firefox support? Yes! Linux support? What’s that?

What is so open about this mesh then? The open confessions about exclusion of Microsoft’s #1 rival?

“[If I ask you who is Microsoft's biggest competitor now, who would it be?] Open…Linux. I don’t want to say open source. Linux, certainly have to go with that.”

Steve Ballmer, February 28th, 2008

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. The EFF Back to Tackling Software Patents, Not Just Patent Trolls

    Electronic Frontier Foundation lawyers start targeting large companies that exploit patents for intimidation and extortion, not just patent trolling



  2. Microsoft Wants to Devour the Competition (Linux), Devour People's Data

    Refuting the "new Microsoft" propaganda and some ludicrous concept that Microsoft is now "playing nice"



  3. Benoît Battistelli Thinks 'President' is Above the Law, Decides to Ignore the Court's Ruling

    Staff of the EPO is given yet more reasons to protest tomorrow at the British Consulate, for the so-called 'President' of the EPO reminds everyone of the very raison d'être for the protest -- a vain disregard for the rule of law



  4. Links 24/2/2015: Xfce 4.12 a Week Away, GNOME 3.16 Previewed

    Links for the day



  5. Links 23/2/2015: Ubuntu Kylin 14.04.2 LTS, Cinnamon 2.6 Previews

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: February 8th - February 21st, 2015





  7. The EPO's Sham 'Internal Investigation' of EPO Vice-President Željko Topić's Affairs

    The EPO never investigated the Željko Topić affair, it only pretends to have investigated (one small aspect, i.e. cherry-picking) using a Benoît Battistelli-controlled group



  8. Links 21/2/2015: GNOME 3.15.90, Google Wins Android Lawsuit

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft AstroTurfing War on GNU/Linux is Still Going On, But Hidden Better, Uses API as Instrument of Lock-in

    The corruptible press continues to describe blatant attacks (Embrace, Extend, Extinguish) against GNU/Linux and Free software as Microsoft 'embracing' Open Source



  10. Lenovo's Superfish Scandal is Spyware on Top of Spyware (Microsoft Windows), the Problem is Inherently Proprietary Software

    Shifting focus to the root problem, which is neither Lenovo nor its laptops but the non-free programs installed on hardware



  11. Benoît Battistelli Once Again Threatens EPO Staff That 'Dares' to Protest, Battistelli Exploits Terror Attacks to Pretend to Respect Free Speech

    The European Patent Office (EPO) President, Benoît Battistelli, reportedly started threatening -- as before -- staff that decides to exercise the right to assemble and protest against abuses, including the abuses of President Battistelli himself



  12. Links 20/2/2015: Android Studio v1.1, GDB 7.9

    Links for the day



  13. Links 20/2/2015: Bloomberg Joins Linux Foundation, ClearOS Community 6.6.0

    Links for the day



  14. The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys Slams the European Patent Office for Structural Failings

    An important letter which we overlooked while writing yesterday's 4 articles about the European Patent Office (EPO); yet another key stakeholder complains



  15. Links 19/2/2015: Hewlett-Packard on Cumulus Linux, Previews of GNOME 3.16 Beta

    Links for the day



  16. Techrights Under Attack Again, Shortly After Important EPO Articles

    Techrights highlights a pattern that is months old; Site faces availability issues shortly after reports about the European Patent Office and its abuses



  17. EPO Staff Protests Against Benoît Battistelli’s Lowering of Patents Quality (Scope Expansion and Software Patents for Profit)

    A protest in Munich in less than 6 days will target Mr. Sean Dennehey, who has helped Battistelli cover up his abuses and crush legitimate critics, whom he deemed illegal opposition as if the EPO is an authoritarian regime as opposed to a public service which taxpayers are reluctantly (but forcibly) funding



  18. Breaking: European Patent Office Sued by Its Own Staff in The Hague, Must Unblock Staff's Voices

    The crooked management of the European Patent Office (EPO) gets in legal trouble after repeated attempts to cover up abuses and suppress criticism



  19. Željko Topić's History in SIPO Leaves a Legacy of Alleged DZIV Vehicles (Bribes), Authorship Abuses, and Intimidation Against Reporters

    Another deep look at Željko Topić's background in Croatia, preceding his very notorious appointment to the EPO where he now serves as Benoît Battistelli's most controversial attack dog



  20. The Old Obsession With Patent Trolls Continues to Distract From Debate About Software Patenting

    A roundup of recent coverage about monopolies on algorithms in the United States



  21. Links 19/2/2015: 64-bit ARM Linux, Chinese New Year

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/2/2015: Linux Report, FlightGear 3.4

    Links for the day



  23. EPO Scandals: The Story So Far

    An overview of articles about mischief, misconduct and breach of laws at the EPO



  24. Links 17/2/2015: TripleO, Pivotal

    Links for the day



  25. Links 17/2/2015: SystemD 219, Frugalware 2.0 (Rigel) Released

    Links for the day



  26. Željko Peratović Slammed for Whitewashing Željko Topić After Publishing Important Piece on Behalf of Key Sources

    Response from Ivan Kabalin to Zeljko Peratovic's so-called "apology" which is both mysterious and seemingly inadequate as it does nothing to actually explain what was wrong (if anything)



  27. Benoît Battistelli Has Made Oversight of European Patent Office Absolutely Impossible





  28. Microsoft Already Killed Nokia, Don't Let It Kill Android Players Too

    Microsoft's strategy against Android mirrors the company's evil strategy that derailed MeeGo and Nokia



  29. Intel Continues to Attack Software Freedom Through UEFI

    The Trojan horse that Microsoft uses to cement its monopoly on desktops and laptops (making it hard or impossible to install and run GNU/Linux) is also being misused to block Coreboot



  30. Links 16/2/2015: Netrunner 15, Bridge 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