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

06.18.08

Microsoft Ruins “Open Source” from the Inside

Posted in Deception, Formats, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, Windows at 2:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Injuring your freedom, the open-source way

Several days ago we showed, backed by Microsoft’s own words, what Microsoft 'open source' is all about. But wait! There’s more to this.

CodePlex is about proprietary ‘open source’ software (yes, it’s a new beast), which is tied to a proprietary stack. It’s not “enterprise open source”, mind you, but it’s akin to “proprietary ‘open source’”. It’s funny to see how much things get bent over time because Microsoft apologists permit this to happen. Watch this blog post from Fort 25.

Go Hybrid

[...]

The most interesting part of my research is that it is situated right in the middle of open source hybridization. A hybrid open source software development model combines a business model, either open source or proprietary, and open, two-way community input. The basis of my argument for the research is as follows: open source software development has been so successful that proprietary companies have been paying attention to incorporating open source strategies into their business model and very successful open source projects have had business models created around them.

Based on newer blog posts, others in the Fort appear to be engaged in making some Free software projects work better under Windows. Watch the comment from Rui Miguel Silva Seabra:

I witnessed first hand the respect Microsoft DOESN’T have for any standard at all at my dealings with the Portugues TC that has shamefully approved OOXML.

An overly sugar coated story doesn’t make up for the factual shennanigans Microsoft has spelled over every single open standard.

Microsoft has been fighting ODF for years, just as HTML before, SVG, PNG etc…

Microsoft never cared about standards, which it replaced with new memes and buzzwords. It fought or ignored standards bodies in oder to gain exclusive control. If you don’t believe this contention, here it is from Microsoft’s own mouth again:

“We want to own these standards, so we should not participate in standards groups. Rather, we should call ‘to me’ to the industry and set a standard that works now and is for everyone’s benefit. We are large enough that this can work.”

–Microsoft Corporation, internal memo (source [compressed PDF])

Articles and/or blogs posts like this one (“Has Microsoft Seen the Open Source Light?”) are still a tad clueless. They trust Microsoft a little too much.

However, the software giant has a bad name when it comes to dealing with the rest of the computing world. The company has long been accused of monopolizing the industry, it claimed last year that open source violates 200 of Microsoft’s patents, and has said on several occasions that open source software is a bigger threat to the company than Google.

The above was written in reference in the open source “census”, which became rather worthless once Microsoft had stepped in.

Technocrat’s good crowd did a little more digging in exploration of this subject. Look what was found and posted under “Microsoft Joins Open Source Usage Spying Program.”

From OpenLogic’s (the parent company of the OSC) team website:

Steven L. Grandchamp, CEO . . .

Steven also held various senior management positions with Microsoft including the application development segment of Microsoft Consulting Services. Steven spent the early part of his career in progressively responsible IT roles in the banking industry.

Readers are smart enough to draw their own conclusions, so not much remains to be added. It may be the same with companies like Black Duck, various open source Web directories (run by former Softies) and even SourceForge (project of the month goes to former Microsoft employees amid reappointment at the very top and a major Microsoft sponsorship). They’re everywhere. Doors (or “Gates”) are perhaps being opened to Microsoft by its former employees. Remember Nokia? Maybe Icahn?

Jay Lyman remains unsuspecting when it comes to the worst-case scenario, but he hits the nail right on the head with that latter observation.

However, I don’t think Microsoft has embarked on a SCO-style hunt for open source users it can cajole, threaten or sue for unnamed patent infringements. No, I think Microsoft has genuine interest in finding out how many open source software users are candidates for open source on Windows.

Remember what Steve Ballmer said just a few months ago. Pay special attention his oopsie — the apparent hesitation. It’s very revealing.

“[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 (Microsoft’s CEO), February 28th, 2008

This takes us back to the start. Microsoft realises that open source is definitely not going away (in fact, Ozzie recently named it the main threat to Microsoft), so it’s trying to deform it. The new plan is to keeping platform lock-in, which the Commission recently warned about.

Some hybrid stacks make this lock-in invisible/less visible because the administrators are trapped only lower down the stack (or up the stack on the opposite case, e.g. Oracle), sometimes obliviously. Remember what Neelie Kroes stressed last week.

Kroes said, “As purchasers, we need to be smart when we buy technology. We need to be aware of the long-term costs of lock-in: you are often locked-in to subsequent generations of that technology.

[...]

“ODF, with its status as the only internationally recognised open standard document format with a wide range of supporting applications, is a critical tool for governments to help end the era of lock-in.”

Lastly, there’s also charging for intellectual monopolies and software patents (milking/taxing the GNU), not just for licenses to rent an operating system, thus becoming a tenant of one’s own system. Here is what the EC said about the RAND scam, which Microsoft seems determined to ‘inject’ into open source by seizing control of it.

Software houses must declare patents in standard-setting process: Commission

Software companies involved in setting technical standards should be forced to declare their intellectual property in the area and fix maximum fees for the standard’s use of it before the standard is set, according to the European Commission.

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes told a Brussels forum that companies involved in negotiations to set standards should declare their interests and set maximum royalty rates so that others involved in the process can make informed decisions about which technologies to use.

There is actually a big problem here because Kroes is once again [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11] implicitly acknowledging a certain class of intellectual monopolies in a continent where these are not legal. There’s some more news to come on this topic.

To summarise, Microsoft’s strategy goes like this: invade open source, redefine open source, make open source work better on Windows, force open source to ‘license’ for software patents.

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

4 Comments

  1. Bob Robertson said,

    June 18, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Gravatar

    Typo, in the 2nd paragraph, it’s “Port 25″ not “Fort 25″. Nor Fort Worth, or Fort Courage. And certainly NOT Fort OpenSource.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 18, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    Gravatar

    Hi Bob,

    It’s actually a deliberate typo. See this. Port 25 is a Linux opposition department in disguise. Its purpose is to study Linux and approach Linux developers in order to port applications to Windows and leave Free platforms abandoned. See Groklaw’s coverage on the same topic. It’s no conspiracy; it’s true. In fact, Ballmer’s remarks on this topic have been too telling.

  3. Michael said,

    June 18, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    Gravatar

    Will it really matter? Free software with proper free software licenses should only benefit from more resources. And they’ll catch/isolate any specific windows features used.

    Diluting the oceanically diluted term ‘open source’ might help confuse a few people – but most of the people they’re confusing are windiots anyway so it is hardly a loss to the ‘free software’ world. ‘open source’ has already done the ‘damage’ anyway – by trying to win a shallow popularity contest rather than focusing on strong principals.

    Free software has always had an uneasy relationship with proprietary platforms – originally because it had no completely free system to run on. There have been many efforts to make lost of it work on all sorts of platforms, from solaris (which is very linux-like anyway), to macos ot macosx to windows to amigaos.

    When working on Evolution I was a bit upset by the effort to port it to win32 – I did nothing to help and intentionally used posixy linuxy things everywhere in my code to make the effort more difficult. But it is free software, so if people want to spend the money on it then they are exercising the rights we intentionally gave them.

  4. Bojan Sudarević said,

    June 19, 2008 at 3:10 am

    Gravatar

    Hi Roy,

    If a piece of software is licensed under any of the approved licenses, I don’t see a problem. If it isn’t, well then it simply isn’t open source (nor it is “proprietary ‘open source‘”), and that’s a problem only if it’s advertised as being open source.

What Else is New


  1. Links 10/12/2016: KDE neon User LTS Edition, AsteroidOS in Headlines Again

    Links for the day



  2. “Corrupt Benoît Battistelli and Željko Topić Today in Zagreb at 25th Anniversary of SIPO Croatia”

    Shortly after Željko Topić lost his court case for the third time (over allegations of corruption at SIPO), his EPO boss Benoît Battistelli joins SIPO celebrations



  3. The US Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Maintains High Pace of Patent Invalidation, in Spite of Appeals to CAFC

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), i.e. the court system, has become the last resort of serial litigators, as the PTAB gets in their way more and more often following AIA and Alice



  4. Good Luck to the US Supreme Court in Eliminating a Supremely Unjust Misuse of Patent Law

    In an important upcoming patent case, gross abuse of patent laws for the support of dubious business models can finally be tackled



  5. EPO Protest This Coming Wednesday Strives to Restore the Rule of Law and Freedom of Speech at the Office

    The level of autocracy at the European Patent Organisation, an institution which has effectively positioned itself above the law with Battistelli and his minions in charge of the Office, faces growing backlash from staff



  6. The EPO is Collapsing. Attacks on Journalists, Interns as Staff, Patents on Plants, and Bureaucratic Red Tape...

    A look at some of the latest issues surrounding the European Patent Office, whose insistence on denying the problems and instead attacking those who bring up legitimate concerns, will spell its doom



  7. Ignore the Bristows UPC Echo Chamber, the UPC is Not Happening

    Response to some of the latest UPC promotion, courtesy of some of the usual suspects, who stand to benefit financially if the UPC ever becomes a reality



  8. British Media Slams Battistelli for Attempting to Cover Up 2 Years of Juridical Abuses With Help From the Administrative Council of the EPO

    A growing voice of concern about the integrity of the European Patent Organisation, whose management appears to be in cahoots (overseers/regulators included) so as to cover up its own serious abuses



  9. Boards of Appeal Still Under Attack From Team Battistelli While the EPO Proceeds to Granting Patents on Carlsberg BEER!

    The lunacy of the EPO with its patent maximalism will likely go unchecked (and uncorrected) if Battistelli gets his way and turns the EPO into another SIPO (Croatian in the human rights sense and Chinese in the quality sense)



  10. Memo “Deliberately Leaked to Cover up the UPC” With Its Many Associated Issues Amid Brexit

    Some eye-opening updates about the awkward move from Lucy Neville-Rolfe, who made promises (expression of intent) she can neither fulfill nor justify to the British public



  11. Links 8/12/2016: Korora GNU/Linux 25, SparkyLinux 4.5.1

    Links for the day



  12. Links 7/12/2016: ROSA Desktop Fresh R8 Plasma 5, Ubuntu Touch OTA-14

    Links for the day



  13. The UPC Scam Part VII: A Fine Mess in the Making, as Nothing Can be Made of It Amid/After Brexit

    The final part in this multi-part series about UPC, which cannot be implemented in the UK as long as Brexit is on the agenda



  14. The UPC Scam Part VI: The Real Story Which People Missed Due to Puff Pieces Seeded by Battistelli-Bribed Media is That UPC Technically Cannot Come to the UK

    Another long installment in a multi-part series about UPC at times of post-truth Battistelli-led EPO, which pays the media to repeat the lies and pretend that the UPC is inevitable so as to compel politicians to welcome it regardless of desirability and practicability



  15. EPO Spiraling Down the Drain as Experienced Examiners and Judges Are Seemingly Being Replaced by Interns

    Implementing yet more of his terrible ideas and so-called 'reforms', Battistelli seems to be racing to the bottom of everything (patent quality, staff experience, labour rights, working conditions, access to justice etc.)



  16. A Lot of News From the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Today, With Some Important Decisions on Patents Coming Soon

    A roundup of today's outcomes from the US Supreme Court, which intends to review and decide on important patent cases



  17. In Historic Blow to Design Patents, Apple Loses to Samsung at the Supreme Court

    A $399 million judgment against Android devices from Samsung, with potential implications for other Android OEMs, is rejected by SCOTUS



  18. Good Riddance. Ray Niro is Dead.

    The infamous father of patent trolling is dead, so we need to remember his real legacy rather than rewrite his history to appease his rich relatives (enriched by destroying real companies)



  19. EPO Suicides Greater in Number Than is Widely Reported, Unjust System a Contributor to These

    The horrible regime of Benoît Battistelli has an enormous human toll (fatalities), far greater than the Office is willing to publicly acknowledge



  20. Lobbying Disguised as 'Reporting' by the Patent Microcosm, Which Wants More Patents and More Lawsuits (Lawyers Needed)

    A rebuttal to some new articles about patents, especially those that strive to increase patent-related activities (usually for personal gain)



  21. USPTO Echo Chamber That Lacks Actual Software Professionals Deciding on Patentability of Software

    A look at yesterday's "Roundtable on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility," which lacked involvement from those actually affected by patents rather than those who sell, trade, and exploit these



  22. More Examples of Microsoft and Its Patent Trolls Taxing Linux, Even After Microsoft 'Joined' (Paid) the Linux Foundation

    A quick look at the past week's news and clues about Microsoft's (and its broad army of patent trolls) strategy for taxing Linux, or imposing bundling at zero cost (to Microsoft)



  23. Heiko Maas, the SPD “Cash for Access” Affair, and Suspicions of Unwarranted Censorship at IP Kat (Again)

    Unsayable views or just a glitch? Readers of IP Kat express concern about a culture of censorship at IP Kat



  24. Endgame for Battistelli at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Battistelli turns bad into worse by spitting on the very notion of accepting justice (from the highest court in The Hague or even the UN in this case)



  25. Les Échos Chamber: Having Corrupted the Media (With EPO Money), Battistelli Now Uses It for More UPC Propaganda

    The lies about the Unitary Patent are now being broadcast (Battistelli given the platform) by the publication that Battistelli pays



  26. Rumour: EPO in Berlin the Next Casualty of Battistelli's 'Reform' (Organisational Suicide Plan)

    Months after we learned that a former staff representative in Berlin had been dismissed we come across an anonymous claim that Berlin's 'branch' of the EPO will be folded onto Munich's



  27. Caricature: the Maas App

    The failure of Maas to even bother with regulation of Battistelli (among others) earns him this cartoon



  28. Links 5/12/2016: Linux 4.9 RC 8, DeepMind as FOSS

    Links for the day



  29. Leaked: Battistelli Acknowledges Bunk 'Justice' in About 100 Cases at the Internal Appeals Committee of the EPO

    A look at Battistelli's response to the latest from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), exceptionally delivering two decisions at the very end of last month



  30. The UPC Scam Part V: Unitary Patent Regime a Fantasy of Patent Trolls

    "Good for trolls" is a good way to sum up the Unitary Patent, which would give litigators plenty of business (defendants and plaintiffs, plus commissions on high claims of damages) if it ever became a reality


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