Microsoft is blatantly anti-Linux

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I often watch what I say when speaking about Linux and Windows, especially when comparing them, so that I don’t sound what’s termed as “anti-Microsoft” or “anti-Windows”. Experienced free software advocates will often tell you that sounding too aggressive against Microsoft will put people off, and they won’t always take you very seriously.

Even though I’ve always tried to be quite diplomatic towards Microsoft when dealing with their clients, some people still had the nerve to call me anti-Microsoft. I’ll go as far to admit that I am anti-Microsoft, but in the circumstances that I’ve been called anti-Microsoft, I’ve been more diplomatic than is even required.

A trend that I’ve observed is, free software developers and advocates tend to be much, much more mature and civil in the “Operating system wars” than the so-called “Microsoft fanboys”. This trend seems to have escalated all the way to Microsoft itself. A few years ago, they launched the Microsoft Get the facts campaign, where they often make outrageous and unfounded claims, backed by so-called proof that is clearly unfounded. Now, they’ve taken it one step further with the Linux Personas website, a site where they profile customers who are currently using GNU/Linux and other Unix or Open Source environments, and how to get them to buy Microsoft products replacing the non-Microsoft products. And check what it says on the front page of that site… “Winning against Linux the smart way”. Against Linux. Microsoft is against Linux.

Novell want us to believe that the Microsoft-Novell deal is good news for the free software world, but according to Microsoft’s clear anti-Linux stance, it’s clear that Microsoft has no good intentions toward the free software world with this deal. They don’t even mention Novell’s products as alternatives to similar, competitive environments that might be deployed by customers on the Personas site. Aaron Toponce blogs about Bruce Perens talking at Novell’s Brainshare, and how Microsoft and Novell will attempt to sue companies who have not purchased open source software from Novell or Microsoft. Not only are they anti-Linux, but they’re anti-free software, anti-open source. They want to control our levels of freedom, and add more restrictions to our software. How can anyone possibly consider the Microsoft-Novell deal to be a good idea?

And the plot thickens… previously I blogged about the Digital Freedom Expo, well, today I read Novell is canceling their stand at the expo. The reason? Budget constraints. Budget constraints? When you’ve just been paid millions and millions of US dollars by Microsoft? And you don’t have a few thousand dollars budget for what’s going to be the biggest Open Source event in Africa this year? Wow Novell, is that really what you mean by being committed to Open Source?

12 Responses to “Microsoft is blatantly anti-Linux”

  1. Personalidades de utilizador Linux at Liberdade na era tecnológica? Says:

    […] Já referido [email protected], e uma boa cobertura da questão pelo Jonathan Carter. […]

  2. erik Says:

    That Microsoft acts as it does shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. It’s a company and as an organization it has got maximizing the profits as #1 goal. Everything Linux and open source related is handled as competition. They might actually like the idea but as long as they got the logics ready that would bring in similar amount of money with sufficient level of certainity they will stay proprietary. It’s business view 101.

    I briefly read through couple of the whitepapers from the Get the facts site. I couldn’t actually find any outragous or unfounded claims from them. Sure, they are not scientific papers - the target group is (higher level) managers and it shows from the style. They are meant to be marketing blurbs. I couldn’t in any case find any explicit claims that would have required heavier proof (proof and claims should be in balance - it’s unreasonable to demand heavy proof for light claims etc) or would seem to me as an outright lie. Perhaps you could be more elaborate?

    I wasn’t earlier aware of the Personas site. I don’t get one point: why was it made public? It seems more suitable for an internal site or on extranet for partners that build Microsoft solutions. What is obvious though from the site is that the small sweat house nerd companies really don’t matter in “the competition”. Just take a look at what sort of big picture they are trying to conceive there.

    I wouldn’t be myself so sure that Novell is automatically bad. This is just my impression but I think that Novell has always acted weird and been mismanaged. I wouldn’t make a conspiracy theory out of them dropping one expo from their calendar. (Although I know attending costs actually a lot more. Moving stand team at business class, hotels, etc) That doesn’t mean they are good automatically either.

    After following projects like Samba trying to get some Windows-Linux interoperability working for years and blatantly failing (Samba is a pile of crap, it mostly supports legacy Windows stuff and practically nothing that the newest generation uses) wouldn’t it be possible for Novell to get some of the inside information due the good relations with Microsoft and actually improve things? I haven’t read their agreements etc through (are they even publicly available?) but I can see exciting possibilities too in that deal..

    One thing is sure though: Nothing has happened yet. There’s no final proof of anything fundamentally bad. There are though conspiracy theories, badmouthing and FUD - from “both sides”.

  3. Fabian Rodriguez Says:

    BOOM! The site has been taken offline! So this must be an official Microsoft initiative, according to the note:
    “This material is being updated and will be made available to Microsoft partners shortly.”

  4. Jeremy Says:

    Well whaddaya know. Both the website and podcast appear to have been pulled.

  5. Liam Johnstone Says:

    I agree that Microsoft is against Linux. Why wouldn’t they be? They’re marketing an operating system. Every person that uses Linux exclusively is a potential customer to them. It would not make sense for them NOT to be against a product that takes dollars out of their products.

    I am glad that the Big Evil is trying to find ways to steal customers away from Linux. It means they’ll improve. And then Linux will improve. Repeat ad nauseum.

  6. Boycott Novell » Roundup: NASDAQ Warning, Novell Training, GPLv3 Roadmap, and Anti-Linux Efforts Says:

    […] Microsoft is blatantly anti-Linux A few years ago, they launched the Microsoft Get the facts campaign, where they often make outrageous and unfounded claims, backed by so-called proof that is clearly unfounded. Now, they’ve taken it one step further with the Linux Personas website, a site where they profile customers who are currently using GNU/Linux and other Unix or Open Source environments, and how to get them to buy Microsoft products replacing the non-Microsoft products. And check what it says on the front page of that site… “Winning against Linux the smart way”. Against Linux. Microsoft is against Linux. […]

  7. Jeff Schroeder Says:

    Please note that this website actually appears to be a totally bogus one and not from microsoft at all.

    You might want to post about this:
    http://whois.domaintools.com/linuxpersonas.com
    Domain Name Owner:
    munnmultimedia
    318 First Ave S
    Apt 501
    Seattle, WA 98104
    US

    Administrative Contact:
    Munn, Stacy
    munnmultimedia
    318 First Ave S
    Apt 501
    Seattle, WA 98104, US
    Phone: 2063555916
    Email: [email protected]

    Technical Contact:
    Munn, Stacy
    munnmultimedia
    318 First Ave S
    Apt 501
    Seattle, WA 98104, US
    Phone: 2063555916
    Email: [email protected]

    Billing Contact:
    Munn, Stacy
    munnmultimedia
    318 First Ave S
    Apt 501
    Seattle, WA 98104, US
    Phone: 2063555916
    Email: [email protected]

    Record Information:
    Domain Record Created: May 16, 2006
    Domain Record Updated: September 14, 2006
    Domain Record Expires: May 16, 2007

  8. cbx33 Says:

    Well said dude ;)

  9. Steve Atty Says:

    Anyone checked up on Stacy Munn?

    http://www.stacymunn.com/resume/index.htm

    ” Learning and Media Specialist March 2005 - current
    Contractor at Microsoft, Redmond, WA ”

    Of course someone could be pretending to be her on the domain registration

  10. John Ash Says:

    Nothing says that because a site is not registered to Microsoft, that it is not Microsoft approved. I do not find it too hard to believe that a Seattle based company would use a Seattle based contractor. Before you say that Microsoft is not in Seattle, check a map, Seattle is the largest population center in the area.

  11. Dirk Tombeur Says:

    Quote: “And check what it says on the front page of that site… “Winning against Linux the smart way. Against Linux. Microsoft is against Linux.”
    => There seems to me a minor flaw in your logic :)

    Quote: … more mature and civil in the “Operating system wars”
    => in what galaxy is that war taking place?

    Quote: … and how Microsoft and Novell will attempt to sue companies who have not purchased open source software from Novell or Microsoft. Not only are they anti-Linux, but they’re anti-free software, anti-open source.
    => Microsoft and Novell have signed a mutual Convenant not to sue their customers for possible infringements of intellectual property rights. This has nothing to do with being against open source or free software

  12. SubSónica Says:

    Beware of Microsoft.
    Have a look at MSFTExtrememakeover latest post, which discusses, among other things, desired changes about Linux:
    The phrase “The Novell SUSE distribution thing is a step in the right direction, but MSFT needs to do more” is scary:
    source:
    http://msftextrememakeover.blogspot.com/2007/03/for-want-of-shoe-or-time-for-new-rider.html

    The LBU - Linux Business Unit

    Yup, time to face the music and stop pretending Linux isn’t here to stay. Not only is it, it’s likely to eventually gain a significant share of global desktops (read: eventually much more than AAPL). So why is MSFT resisting it so hard versus simply embracing it as yet another opportunity to sell software a la the Mac Business Unit? IMO, MSFT should be focused on what it can still sell accounts who go this route. At a minimum, that could include Servers for legacy support of Windows apps. But maybe MSFT should even develop it’s own “customer-friendly” linux distro (or, if GPL exposure of that code is an issue, maybe a non-GPL licensed library to run on any distro, or a BSD-based distro)? BTW, if they haven’t taken steps to at least determine the engineering feasibility of that and effort required, then they’re not doing their job. Additionally, why make it a religious battle? Like any OS, Linux does some things very well. For one, it’s much more modular than Windows. So why not empower an internal group to promote it where it might make sense - like say in a set-top box or audio device? The Novell SUSE distribution thing is a step in the right direction, but MSFT needs to do more. Heck, if it can’t convince itself that the Windows kernel and architecture is superior - and I can’t find a single analysis that argues that’s the case (company published or otherwise - if you have one btw, I’d be interested in a link) - maybe it should do an AAPL, hop on board a Mach/BSD kernel, and add value at higher levels only moving forward?

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