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. Alice Case Beats Microsoft Patent Troll, USPTO Director Michelle Lee Wants Reform

    Latest developments surrounding software patents and patent trolls in the United States



  2. Links 7/7/2015: Lenovo ThinkPad With GNU/Linux, More Containers Hype

    Links for the day



  3. There is No 'New Microsoft': Under Nadella, Patent Extortion Against Linux/Android Carries on

    Kyocera is again being targeted by Microsoft, using patent aggression, with a secret settlement being reached whose negative impact on Android remains to be seen



  4. Patent Propaganda, Glamourisation, and Erosion of Citizens' Rights in the Process

    An overview of recent coverage about patents, demonstrative of inherent bias in the world of patent practitioners and the journalists whom they misinform



  5. Corporate Media Should Stop Grooming Black Duck by Calling it 'Open Source' and Repeating Its Lies

    Black Duck uses gullible (or easy to manipulate) journalists to spread its marketing talking points, which grossly overstate risks of using Free software



  6. Links 6/7/2015: Linux 4.2-rc1, YotaPhone Picks Sailfish OS

    Links for the day



  7. Microsoft Windows Unsafe at Any Speed, by Design

    More timely reminders that Windows is simply not designed to be secure, irrespective of version, status of patching, etc.



  8. After Moonlight Dies and Even Microsoft Abandons Silverlight, the Abusive Monopolist Keeps Pushing for Other Microsoft Lock-in, Injecting OOXML Traps Into Free Software (Moodle)

    Despite a long history of Microsoft formats being proven guarantee of digital obsolescence, Moodle allows itself to become Microsoft prey and a Trojan horse for OOXML in classrooms (for children)



  9. Links 4/7/2015: Mostly (Geo)Political Catchup

    Links for the day



  10. Links 3/7/2015: KDE Applications 15.04.3, Ubuntu-Flavored Compute Stick

    Links for the day



  11. Patent Lawyers and Their Firms, Still Desperate to Protect the Status Quo, Manipulate the Media

    Patent lawyers are besieged by gradual tightening of patent scope and recklessly fight back (e.g. by saturating the media) to secure their revenue sources, derived from (and at the expense of) actual scientists and true market producers



  12. Amid Controversy, Political Scrutiny and Increased Media Pressure Željko Topić and Benoît Battistelli Allegedly Cancel Today's Trip to Zagreb (Croatia) Where Topić Faces Many Criminal Charges

    The Croatian press comments on the recent declaration from the Council of Europe and Topić's not-so-sterling status in his home country, where he is wanted for alleged crimes



  13. Microsoft Gradually Embraces, Extends, Extinguishes Linux Foundation as a Foundation of GNU/Linux

    By liaising with (or hijacking) existing members of the Linux Foundation, as well as by paying the Linux Foundation, Microsoft turns the Linux Foundation into somewhat of a Windows advocacy group



  14. Microsoft India Still Lobbies and Lies About Free Software in Order to Knock Down Policy That Favours Free Software

    Microsoft continues to bully Indian politicians who merely 'dare' to prefer software that India can modify, maintain, extend, audit, etc.



  15. Patent Lawyers and Corporate Media Nervous About New Patents Barrier/Reality (Less Patents on Software and Business Methods)

    The rich and the powerful, as well as their lawyers (whose job is to protect their money and power by means of government-enforced monopoly), carry on whining after the Alice case, in which many abstract patents were essentially ruled -- by extension -- invalid



  16. Translation of Pierre-Yves Le Borgn' Speech Against EPO Management and New Parliamentarian Interventions

    More political fire targeting the EPO's management, adding up to over 100 parliamentarians by now



  17. Links 2/7/2015: KDE Plasma 5.3.2, antiX 15

    Links for the day



  18. Links 1/7/2015: OpenDaylight Lithium, OpenMandriva Lx 2014.2

    Links for the day



  19. Munich Press, Münchner Merkur, Slams the Munich-based EPO

    Pressure on Benoît Battistelli to leave (or be fired) grows as the cronies whom he filled his office with have become a huge public embarrassment to the decades-old European Patent Office



  20. The Shameless Campaign to Paint/Portray Free Software as Inherently Insecure, Using Brands, Logos, and Excessive, Selective Press Coverage

    Some more FUD from firms such as Sonatype, which hope to make money by making people scared of Free/libre software



  21. National Insecurity and Blackmail, Courtesy of Microsoft

    British members of parliament (MPs) outsourced their communication to the number one PRISM company and they are paying the price for it; The US Navy's systems continue to be unbelievably insecure (Windows XP), despite access to the world's biggest nuclear arsenal



  22. Microsoft Keeps Shrinking

    As the era of shrink-wrapped software comes to an end so does Microsoft, whose effort to become a 'cloud' company with online operations has been miserable at best



  23. They 'R' Coming: More Microsoft Money for the Linux Foundation

    The problem with having Microsoft in a Linux Foundation initiative, the R Consortium



  24. Speculations About the EPO's Possible Role in DDOS Attacks

    Readers' views on who might be behind the attacks on this site amid confirmation that it's on the 'targets' list of the EPO



  25. Links 30/6/2015: Linux Mint 17.2, OpenMandriva

    Links for the day



  26. Techrights Confirmed as a Target of EPO Surveillance, With Help From Control Risks Group (CRG)

    Unveiling the cloak of secrecy from long-term surveillance by the European Patent Office (EPO) and a London-based mercenary it hired, bypassing the law



  27. Google's Fight to Keep APIs Free is Lost, Let's Hope Google Continues Fighting

    SCOTUS refuses to rule that APIs cannot be considered copyright-'protected', despite common sense and despite Java (which the case is about) being Free/libre software



  28. Patent Trolls in the Post-Alice World

    A round-up of news about patent trolls in the United States, some of whom are are doing well and some of them not as well



  29. DDOS Attacks Against Techrights

    Information about some of the most recent DDOS attacks against this Web site and the steps to be taken next



  30. The Patent System Not What it Used to be, Large Corporations and Patent Lawyers the Principal Beneficiaries

    A look at some recent patent stories and what can be deduced from them, based on statistics and trends


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