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. Microsoft Tired of Pretending to be Nice to Free/Open Source Software (FOSS), Microsoft 'Open' Technologies Dumped

    Microsoft dumps its proxy (misleadingly named 'Open Tech') and other attacks on Free software persist from the inside, often through so-called 'experts' whose agenda is to sell proprietary software



  2. More Translations of French Article About the EPO

    German and Dutch translations of the Le Monde article are now available



  3. Links 17/4/2015: Wipro and the Netherlands Want FOSS

    Links for the day



  4. Microsoft's Multi-Dimensional Assault on Android/Linux: Extortion, Lobbying of Regulators, and Bribes

    Microsoft's vicious war on Linux (and Android in its current incarnation) takes more sophisticated -- albeit illegal (as per the RICO Act) -- forms



  5. Microsoft's Plot to Associate Windows with 'Open Source' is Proving Effective, Despite Being Just a Big Lie

    A look at the latest headlines which can lead to a false perception that Microsoft is now in bed with 'Open Source'



  6. Microsoft Windows Remotely Crashed, Remotely Hijacked, But Still No Logo and No Branding for the Bugs

    Windows maintains its reputation as a back doors haven, but the media is still not highlighting the severity of this issue, instead focusing on accidental bugs in Free software, even very old (and already fixed) bugs



  7. Black Duck's Latest Self-Promotional Propaganda (for Proprietary Software) Still Fools Journalists

    Under the traditionally misleading title "Future of Open Source" Black Duck expresses its desire for proprietary software sales, salivating over fearful managers who may get bamboozled into buying the patents-'protected' Black Duck 'product'



  8. Links 16/4/2015: Opera for 32-bit GNU/Linux, New Chromebook Site

    Links for the day



  9. Links 15/4/2015: Plasma 5.3 Beta, Docker's New Funding

    Links for the day



  10. Microsoft is Still Googlebombing the Term Open Source and Fooling Politicians Who Now Think Microsoft is Open Source

    Microsoft's attempt to assimilate (to confuse) bears some fruit and the Microsoft-linked media plays a considerable role in it



  11. Back Doors/Bug Doors in All Versions of Microsoft Windows Need a Name, a Logo, and Branding Too

    All versions of Microsoft Windows are found to have been insecure since 1997, but the bug responsible for this is not named as candidate for back door access, let alone named (with logo and marketing) like far less severe bugs in Free/libre software such as OpenSSL



  12. OnePlus (or OnePlus Customers) Should Wipe CyanogenMod From Existing Devices and Install Something Else

    A call for OnePlus to reconsider any future updates from Microsoft's Trojan horse, Cyanogen



  13. Links 14/4/2015: 3DR Dronecode, Z1/Z2 Tizen

    Links for the day



  14. Links 13/4/2015: Linux 4.0 Released; A Look at Antergos 2015.04.12

    Links for the day



  15. EFF Uses Alice v. CLS Bank Case to Pressure USPTO to Halt Software Patenting

    A look at recent patent policies and actions from the EFF, as well as increasing secrecy at the USPTO



  16. No, Panasonic Did Not Open-Source Anything (Another Example of Openwashing for PR)

    A dissection of media deception (or media being bamboozled) regarding the act of promising not to sue using patents, which in no way relates to Free/Open Source software



  17. Yes, Software Patents Are Dying, But Media Continues to Be Dominated by Those Denying it For a Salary

    The debate about software patents in this post-Alice era parallels the Net neutrality debate, where voices of people with vested interests contribute to confusion and meddle with largely-accepted views/consensus



  18. Links 12/4/2015: Linux 4.0 Imminent, Semplice 7 Reviewed

    Links for the day



  19. GNU/Linux is Crushing Windows, So Microsoft Leaps Ahead to X+2 Vapourware (Two Versions Ahead Into the Future)

    Microsoft continues to pile up bogus claims and empty promises in an effort to stall migrations to GNU/Linux



  20. The ITC's and US Media's Surprisingly Soft Treatment of Patent Bully Apple

    Despite Apple's history of initiating patent aggression against its competition (mostly Android-backing companies), the US corporate media treats Apple like a victim



  21. Microsoft Continues to Attack (and Tax) Linux Using Software Patents

    Microsoft stabs Linux in the back while it continues to insist that it 'loves' Linux



  22. European Unitary Patent Decision Due 5th of May

    The meta-industry of patent protectionism is debating and pushing forth the Unitary Patent Court, with or without endorsement from the European public



  23. Microsoft is Still Googlebombing 'Open Source'

    Microsoft's massive campaign of deception, obfuscation and misuse of the "Open Source" brand is still on, even a week after it was cleverly started by Condé Nast



  24. Links 11/4/2015: elementary OS Freya, Mageia 5 on the Way

    Links for the day



  25. Links 10/4/2015: Linux 4.0 Imminent, ZFS On Linux Improved

    Links for the day



  26. New Article Chronicles Suicides and Nervous Breakdowns at the EPO Due to the Management's Abuses

    Article from Le Monde translated into English



  27. Links 9/4/2015: SalentOS, Semplice Releases

    Links for the day



  28. The EPO is Becoming More Like the USPTO Under Benoît Battistelli's Greed-Driven Reign

    Recent articles about the EPO and the Unitary Patent are bundled together to highlight truly disturbing developments whereby those in power beget power through instruments of state-sanctioned power, such as the EPO (stateless entity within a continent-wide 'island')



  29. More Suicides Reported at the Staff-Hostile European Patent Office

    The EPO has become so rogue that it might as well be renamed the Euthanasia-Prodding Organisation



  30. Security FUD Against Free Software Resurfaces, Using Promotional Branding From a Microsoft-Linked Firm, So Red Hat Finally Responds

    Old news is 'new' again, as Microsoft-friendly media decides to keep knocking hard on the reputation of Free software, using words rather than substance


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