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

03.14.10

The Microsoft Elephant in the Open Source Room

Posted in Apple, Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Patents, Ubuntu, Windows at 3:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Clowning around

Summary: Assorted new reports about how Microsoft abuses “open source” to gain control of it, change its direction and goals, or even to misuse the label to promote proprietary software that harms standards and promotes patenting of software

The following new post caught our attention because it attempts to portray Microsoft as one that’s engaging with the Free/open source software community; it plays right into the hands of Microsoft’s PR campaign, which strives for a fusion whereby Microsoft controls both sides of the competition and then derails the side which is less favourable to Microsoft. Microsoft has done that over and over again for many years and victims include giants like IBM and Apple.

Here is just part of this post which we disagree with:

However, it looks like Microsoft is slowly accepting that Linux and open source in general is both here to stay and a force to be reckoned with. Since 2006, Microsoft has been focusing its efforts toward interoperability rather than confrontation, for example via its collaboration with Novell.

No, it was a software patents deal; it’s an attack on GNU/Linux. Microsoft’s PR line used to be that Microsoft was ‘embracing’ Linux; yes, it was, like a python embraces a gazelle.

Microsoft hasn’t actually changed its tune, it’s still actively attacking Free software [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] and trying to abolish GNU/Linux while promoting Windows and other proprietary software as though they are complementary to Free software, which they are not (history teaches). It’s PR nonsense and Microsoft is good at PR.

Just as another new example, two weeks ago we wrote about Microsoft's fake “choice” campaign, reminding ourselves that Microsoft is still lying about the meaning of choice. Dana Blankenhorn has just written about it too.

Microsoft offers a Sophie’s Choice

[...]

Open source is completely orthogonal to the choice discussion, Kazun writes, pointing to Microsoft’s Open Government Data Initiative as proof.

But here’s my problem with that, and here is why open source is not orthogonal at all, but part of the same dimension.

You get one choice. You buy Microsoft and you’re locked into Microsoft. You can’t go back.

In Microsoft’s world its formats and open source are the two children, and you get to make one choice. Then you have to move on.

Microsoft is only stripping choice from products that it buys, such as Photosynth and FAST, which abandoned their GNU/Linux roots after Microsoft had bought them.

To top it all off, the programming scam around Silver Lie is back. Microsoft is yet again trying to associate Silverlight with “open source” [1, 2] (Novell helps Microsoft in that regard), even though it’s a patent menace, a lock-in on several levels, and attack on web standards.

“Ubuntu too is suffering from this problem because Canonical hires from Microsoft and Novell.”Last week we wrote about SourceForge/Geeknet falling into the hands of former Microsoft employees who are using SourceForge to promote Windows. Microsoft booster Marius Oiaga makes use of that new case of entryism while others mostly choose to ignore or forget (SYS-CON warning) that Microsoft is taking over from the inside, by changing employees and thus changing the agenda, too. This is a defeat, not a victory.

It’s not just a problem that SourceForge is having by the way. Ubuntu too is suffering from this problem because Canonical hires from Microsoft and Novell. One reader showed us last night that Canonical’s David Siegel wrote: “If I could only follow one person on all of twitter, without hesitation it would be @migueldeicaza”

“I hope this isn’t a trend with canonical employees,” said our reader.

Miguel de Icaza is not just a Novell employee; he is a Microsoft MVP whose focus is promotion of Microsoft everything. We now learn that Novell will go to OSBC, which Microsoft sponsors and uses to promote itself (and redefine “open source”). Here is another new gem from a SUSE developer:

Commercial open source

…sponsored by Microsoft, tommorow at 18h. I decided to take a look, so there will be some fun ;-). [And I guess I can always run away when it gets too bad.]

Microsoft loves injecting the word "commercial" and then demand acceptance of software patents. That’s just malicious, but not as malicious as SYS-CON [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], which smears opponents of Microsoft. Speaking of SYS-CON, Novell will also speak at an event that it sponsors, even though it’s SYS-CON (Novell is paying SYS-CON, which in turn smears Groklaw). How tactless. If Free software (or “open source”) does not expel champions of proprietary software that obviously want to impose software patents and Windows upon others, then it will simply allow itself to be manipulated to death.

To Microsoft, source code just means something to lift and to exploit. If this is true, then Microsoft may have just ‘pulled a Plurk’ [1, 2, 3, 4] again.

So what has Microsoft done this time? Are we in for a repeat of the Plurk incident? Well nearly, you see Microsoft is alleged to have been lifting code again. This time though at least the lifting of code wasn’t alleged unauthorised or unlawful.

Since its early days, Microsoft has used source code of others in order to build its products, without giving anything back.

“The best way to prepare is to write programs, and to study great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating systems.”

Bill Gates

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

3 Comments

  1. uberVU - social comments said,

    March 15, 2010 at 5:19 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Identica by schestowitz: The #Microsoft Elephant in the #OpenSource Room http://boycottnovell.com/2010/03/14/foss-label-abused/ #foss #entryism #novell #mono…

  2. apexwm said,

    March 15, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Gravatar

    Nice article and to the point. It’s obvious that Microsoft has an advantage of being able to steal ideas and code from open source projects, and give nothing back. That’s been going on for years. They lock up their code behind sealed doors. However, times are changing, and since Microsoft continues to keep their software proprietary, they are having hard times keeping up, especially with all of the security holes in Windows 7 and Internet Explorer.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Their rendering engine for HTML has become expensive to maintain. They find cheaper labour (offshoring and visas), but that tends to compromise quality.

What Else is New


  1. Links 24/7/2014: Oracle Linux 7; Fedora Delays

    Links for the day



  2. Valerie Strauss Explains Why Gates Foundation's Lobbying for 'Common Core' (Privatisation) is a Swindle That Makes Microsoft Richer

    Continued criticism of the Gates Foundation's lobbying and masquerading, with more journalists brave enough to highlight the corruption



  3. USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

    Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom



  4. UK Government Adopts OpenDocument Format (ODF) and Microsoft Already Attacks the Government Over It, Showing Absolutely No Commitment to Open Standards

    Only "Microsoft as the standard" is the 'standard' Microsoft is willing to accept, as its response to the Cabinet Office's judgment reveals



  5. Microsoft Layoffs of 2014

    Another quick look at Microsoft's horrible state of affairs and why it has virtually nothing to do with Nokia



  6. Links 22/7/2014: Linux 3.16 RC 6, New UberStudent

    Links for the day



  7. Links 20/7/2014: Jolla in India, Mega Censored in Italy

    Links for the day



  8. Longtime Mono Booster Joins Microsoft-linked Xamarin

    Jo Shields almost joins Microsoft, settling instead for its proxy, Xamarin



  9. Linux Foundation Welcomes Patent Aggressor Red Bend Software

    The Linux Foundation's AllSeen Alliance welcomes as a member a company that uses software patents to sue Free/Open Source software



  10. Matt Levy From Patent Progress (and CCIA) Does Not Really Want Patent Progress

    Matthew ('Matt') Levy moved into a foe of patent progress last year, but he still runs a site calls Patent Progress, in which he diverts all attention to patent trolls (as large corporations such as Microsoft like to do)



  11. Attacking FOSS by Ignoring/Overlooking Issues With Proprietary Software

    The biasing strategy which continues to be used to demonise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) along with some new examples



  12. Links 19/7/2014: CRUX 3.1 is Out, CyanogenMod Competes With Google Now

    Links for the day



  13. Microsoft's Massive Layoffs Go Far Beyond Nokia; Nokia's Android Phones Axed by Microsoft's Elop

    Microsoft's rapid demise and permanent exit from Nokia's last remaining Linux platform (after Microsoft had killed two more)



  14. Patents on Software Already Being Invalidated in Courts Owing to SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Patents

    The Federal Circuit Appeals Court has just "invalidated a software patent for being overly abstract," says a patents expert



  15. OpenSUSE 'Community' is Crumbling, AttachMSFT Killed SUSE's Potential (Except as Microsoft Tax)

    Not much too see in the land of SUSE and Attachmate, or formerly the company known as Novell



  16. Links 18/7/2014: Slackware Turns 21, Spotify Switches to Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  17. Links 16/7/2014: Manjaro 0.8.10 Third Update, SIA Migrates to Red Hat

    Links for the day



  18. Microsoft's Latest Round of Massive/Bulk/Large-scale Layoffs

    Microsoft boosters are preparing 'damage control' pieces ahead of massive layoffs at Microsoft



  19. Secrecy Allows British Government to be Manipulated by Microsoft for Spyware Behind Closed Doors

    Dependence on malicious software from NSA ally Microsoft is highly dependent, at least in Britain, on government secrecy and vain refusal to comply with Freedom of Information (FOI) requests



  20. Software Patent Applications Already Being Rejected in the US Owing to SCOTUS Ruling, Some Patent Lawyers Are Fuming

    Good news on the software patents front as the USPTO starts rejecting software patent applications, based on patent lawyers' words



  21. Links 15/7/2014: New Plasma, Google Announces Project Zero

    Links for the day



  22. Interest in Free Software Coverage and 9 Months With Tux Machines

    Thoughts about the level of interest in Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and growth of at least some sites that focus on GNU/Linux



  23. White House Backs Away From Appointing Patents Zealot to Top USPTO Position

    Philip Johnson is no longer poised to become the Director of the USPTO, which is basically an establishment that provides protectionism to primarily US-based corporations



  24. Professor James Bessen Presents the Case Against Software Patents After Important SCOTUS Ruling

    The debate about software patents in the Unites States continues, with academia on one side and greedy patent lawyers on the other



  25. Software Patents Demising in the US as Microsoft Patent Attacks on Android/Linux Suffer a Huge Setback

    M-Cam's assessment of Microsoft's bundle of extortion (using software patents) shows toothlessness, irrespective of the SCOTUS decision to effectively annul "abstract" software patents



  26. Links 13/7/2014: KDE Activity Surge

    Links for the day



  27. Pro-Microsoft Spin in Microsoft-Funded News Networks

    The rogue media (misinformation) campaign of Microsoft benefits from networks which have been paid by Microsoft over the years



  28. Cronyism at Play: European Hostility Towards Free/Libre Software Despite Espionage and Moles

    Europe continues to be held hostage with back doors, lock-in, and massive payments to foreign powers, despite evidence that these powers are destructive and hostile



  29. Wirelessly-Controlled Contraceptives and Other Villainous Bill Gates Initiatives

    Remote controls for people's reproductive systems are now in the making and Bill Gates is a prominent investor in the technology



  30. Links 12/7/2014: CrossOver, New Wine

    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