To everyone looking at Microsoft releasing "open source", allow me to remind you of FUD cousin: EEE.


Don't be fooled by MS. It is not your "friend", nor a friend of open source. It is a giant faceless corporation only interested in PROFITS, not in privacy, software freedom or consumer choice.

And it has DECADES of experience peddling FUD and EEE. Its history is a long bloody trail of aggressive attacks against competitors.

Linux is MS competition TODAY. That is all.


@ParadeGrotesque you can't make Microsoft go away. They're the most valuable company in the world. So your choices are to encourage them and appreciate their open source efforts, or to continue to disparage them. Which of these options encourages the engineers at Microsoft to keep pushing for open source? Reard them for the good they've done so they keep doing it. They can't un-open the things they've open sourced. They've made permanent and meaningful contributions to open source and I'm thankful to them for it.

You just completely missed my point.

The fact that MS is the most valuable company in the world does NOT mean it is a friend of open source, far from it.

It also does NOT mean that MS has to behave ethically with regards to consumer privacy and a broad respect for human rights.

I have worked in enough megacorps to know that these are entirely dysfunctional, with the right hand not knowing what the left is doing.

Finally open sourcing software is 100% compatible with EEE.

@ParadeGrotesque we should totally give them hell for ethical violations. Windows is a dumpster fire of spyware and they deserve shit for it, and for all the other dumb shit they do. But they DON'T deserve crap for writing open source software. They deserve thanks for it. If you give them crap for it what reason do they have to keep doing it? You can't change minds by just yelling at at the top of your lungs at someone and dismissing their improvements.

The free software community has blinders on when it comes to Microsoft, and it's not healthy or productive.


Again: you are missing my point.

Writing open-source is all great and good, except that in the case of MS, it may well come with strings attached, in the form of EEE. And MS is a master of both FUD and EEE. They have a long track record in using both.

I agree with you we should not obsess about Microsoft. But also should not be naive about it. It is NOT our friend.


Sorry if that offends some people at Microsoft, especially if they are writing open source stuff.

Same with their donations to #OpenBSD by the way. I say cash the check, politely thank them and move on.

@ParadeGrotesque there's no evidence that MS's open source work is EEE.

Let me put it this way: what would Microsoft have to do to convince you?

There is no evidence right now about the current "initiative". There is, however, plenty of historical evidence.

To answer your question:
1) I don't think MS gives a hoot about convincing me.
2) Again, this is a company with a decade-long track record of anti-competitive practices and deceit (SCO? Anyone?).

This is backed up, not just by the rant of a deranged idiot like me but by multiple condemnations in multiple jurisdictions (EU, US, etc).

So why trust MS?

@ParadeGrotesque you're not answering the question, though. What could Microsoft do to convince you their intentions are good? An entity beyond redemption has no incentive to reform. Microsoft isn't going away so if you want reform you must be willing to forgive

I am sorry but this attitude is entirely naive.

Microsoft is a corporation. Corporations do NOT change. People change. And all people find changing their beliefs extremely wrenching.

This is not a question of "forgiveness" either. You can forgive a person for past deeds. Corporations are soulless legal fictions created to organize complex human activities.

Corporations are not "forgiven", they are dismantled.

NOTHING I have seen so far makes me believe that MS has changed.

@ParadeGrotesque just beat around the bush some more and lather me up with a few more insults. You think Microsoft (and all corporations!) can be "dismantled" and _I'm_ the naive one? Your idealism is extreme and your lack of practical sensibilities undermines your ability to bring about change

I am sorry if you feel like I have insulted you. Please accept all my apologies.

Companies can, and should, and have been dismantled in the past. See US antitrust regulations in the 30s and 40s.

And, yes, I believe most of the predatory companies that exists today should be dismantled.

This is not *idealism* this is simply a normal reaction to the overarching dominance of dangerous companies. This is an *eminently* practical response to the danger posed by concentration of power.

Think about it this way: when a person exhibit a pattern of repeated psychopathic behaviour, (s)he ends up locked in a prison for life.

When a Corporation does the same... nothing happens. It is fined, sometimes huge sums, but it continues to exist and continue misbehaving.

The only good thing about Microsoft is what it did seems tame compared to the truly evil companies such as Google, Facebook and Uber.

@ParadeGrotesque you seem like the sort of person who, in another breath, would argue that corporations aren't people (and I would agree). The comparison to locking a psychopath up for life is nonsensical.

If you want to have an impact, you need to decide what reasonable goals are. Dismantling the most valuable company in the world isn't going to happen. Reforming it could. So you need to square yourself with the idea that it could be reformed.

Right now you're just yelling at the wall. The wall isn't listening.

To wit:
> Dismantling the most valuable
> company in the world isn't going
> to happen.

To which I can only reply: Why Not?

Does it have something to do with the huge sums spent by Microsoft to influence political representatives?

So that Microsoft is allowed to continue operating as before? And continue its pattern of anti-competitive practices?

@sir @ParadeGrotesque Why do you want to reform ms? Why does anyone in the open source community need their continued existence?

@ewok @ParadeGrotesque you can't stop them from existing, but you can be supportive when they channel their existence into positive things like publishing, funding, and contributing to free software

@sir @ParadeGrotesque Whatever open source work they do is tied to profit. It’s a corporation. This is like endorsing McDonald’s for charity work helping childhood obesity. Nice try but nah.

@ewok RedHat is a corporation traded on the NYSE and therefore, their work is also tied to profit.

Profit is not evil, nor is it contrary to open source.

@sir @ParadeGrotesque

There is nothing wrong with profit, I agree with you, except when you reuse said profits into political pressure to obtain an undeserved dominating position. And Microsoft has been doing that for decades now.

Also, let us be honest:

- MSFT cap: US$ 904 billions
- RHT: +/- US$ 35 billions

We are not exactly talking about companies of the same size here...

(Finally, I'll add that I loathe Red Hat because it foisted the horror named systemd upon us... But I digress.)

@ewok @sir


Is this a reply? Because it’s wholly unrelated to anything I said.

@sir @ParadeGrotesque

@ewok Perhaps I misread the intention behind this statement?

> Whatever open source work they do is tied to profit. It’s a corporation.

Because it sounded to me like you were trying to negate the benefits of MS's contributions to open source because they are profit-driven.

@sir @ParadeGrotesque

@erikstl @sir @ParadeGrotesque You did miss the point. MS’s motives for contributing are not benign. Eg you can bet that their free software will change the computing landscape enough in their favor such that this highly unethical company will continue to hurt people. It is exactly my McDonald’s charity analogy. Pardon me for not kissing their ass for making some free garbage. A statement like “profits aren’t evil” doesn’t really have anything to do with what I said.

@erikstl @ewok @sir @ParadeGrotesque i would argue that. Keeping sources closed, restricting users and locking them in has granted Microsoft power and money they never would have "earned" if they would have opened their code. Maybe #FOSS is not contradicting #profit, but some business models are hostile to open source.


Agreed, let's thank them for what they do... While keeping in mind they do have a very ugly track record.

It's a little bit like this scene in "Backdraft": "Yes, I have changed, I am so sorry for my crimes, and I love Linux and open source now..."

Oh, and "You can stop them from existing"? Sorry, but we can. Either divide MS into different companies (forbidden to talk to each other), sue it into oblivion or boycott it. I have chosen option #3.


@sir @ParadeGrotesque imo I think the first step MS could take to garner actual good will to a significant degree to get a large amount of people to give them a chance is an action MS will never take.
Be this open sourcing under free software licenses any of it's main product lines (dos/win, winxp, etc), or willingly breaking themselves up without govt actually enforcing existing laws that they could enforce right now (even if stock splits would be a huge boon to investors).

MS has plenty of incentive to get better, they choose not to and lead people on and there is a limit of how 'good' they will be
They may be 'better' than some other major centralize conglomeration, but their interests do not align or respect yours just as much as the other companies.

MS isn't going to replace Google in the 'do no evil' space, and with Google we have an example of MS's classic EEE being used in the open source space.

MS isn't open sourcing to promote free/libre software, but to compete with Google. Anything freed is just a side effect of a business decision that cares not about you and other people.
@sir @ParadeGrotesque that's not to say that OSS from MS isn't good overall as it forces other companies to adopt OSS which may be free/libre, and that being able to run Linux stuff in Windows at least allows many Linux-only projects to be ran on Windows by regular folk.
But they are not to be trusted in the end.


> But they are not to be trusted
> in the end.

Again, that was exactly the point I was trying to make.


@sir @ParadeGrotesque as a serious answer, because i was thinking about this recently while walking through the microsoft campus:

open source the nt kernel and the core components of the windows operating system.

when i can go and build my own minimally functioning version of windows, and modify it, freely, that's when i will start to believe microsoft is genuinely committed to open source

until then, i'm inclined to believe that these actions are nothing but part of an effort to increase their monopoly.

@sir @ParadeGrotesque i am genuinely concerned that, as an example, the new windows subsystem for linux features will mean that my employer could make the decision that all of my embedded linux development work should be done on windows now that it's "compatible".

i do not want that, and i think many folks don't, but that is a thing that is probably going to happen to some people.

that's how microsoft does this, and that's how they always have. make it "compatible", and then take over the competition.


> that's how microsoft does this,
> and that's how they always have.
> make it "compatible", and then
> take over the competition.

And THAT, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the very definition of Embrace, Extend and Extinguish.

Thanks for giving us a concrete example of what Iwas saying earlier.

Big corps LOVE proprietary software, because it means they have someone to blame if something goes wrong.

MS is very happy to take loads of $$$ and shoulder the blame.


@sir @ParadeGrotesque i *guarantee* that a previous employer of mine is going to have their engineers do that, and the engineers will not have a choice if they want to keep their jobs (which, knowing them, means they don't have a choice).

microsoft is going to gain share in favor of linux on this, and not by the choice of their users, but by the choice of companies. the open source ecosystem isn't going to gain more people from this, it will lose them. microsoft has enough market share.

OS stuff 


> what would Microsoft have
> to do to convince you?

Release Windows, Office Professional and SQLServer under a strong copyleft. Donate all related patents to #FSF and #FSFE. Refuse to sign any UEFI payload, not even Windows' one.

These are tree decent starting poins.


@sir @ParadeGrotesque yeah but you cannot release fancy OSS terminals with one hand and sue/take money for linux with another. I didn't hear anyone said "blah, they OSSed it!" but everyone was "yeah, that's nice but can you stop killing us please?"

@charlag @ParadeGrotesque source on "sue/take money for linux"? Also, selling Linux in general is not a problem, commercial use is one of the four freedoms and selling Linux does good for Linux

@sir @ParadeGrotesque I don't care what they sell, I say that they make money from each Android phone sold. "Ms heart Linux" but shares patents with thugs who will try to sue every dollar out of you.
I'm sorry that I cannot provide links but I don't have a proper internet access rn. Maybe someone can help find these cases (second one is pretty new)

@charlag @ParadeGrotesque definitely going to need a source here. Not in a hurry, whenever you can

@sir @ParadeGrotesque @charlag Microsoft uses various shell companies such as Intellectual Ventures to do patent trolling.


Here is one example:

1.3 billion Android devices were sold in 2017.

That's US$ 6.5 billion in revenues for MS just in 2017. Nice job if you can get it.


@ParadeGrotesque @charlag thanks. I totally condemn this, for the record. Patents are actively harmful and abusing them is really shit of them. This isn't really an attack on open source, though, but rather on a bunch of OEMs who are all just as bad - or worse.

@ParadeGrotesque @charlag oh, and it doesn't invalidate their open source contributions or support the idea that their open source work is a poison pill

@sir @ParadeGrotesque again, no one said it is bad what they're doing for OSS. Many people are sceptical that it's EEE, but that's not too important yet IMO.
There are things really worth appreciating. Like they develop OSS switch firmware called SONIC and make shitty manufacturers support it.
It's just that a lot of things are suspicious and some are harmful and I don't have any desire to praise them. They help themselves first.

@charlag @sir @ParadeGrotesque The operative phrase here is "available to Azure customers". Anyone else is subject to Microsoft's lawyers as usual.

This sounds very much like a protection racket.

@sir @ParadeGrotesque
Do not be naive, Microsoft has never abandoned its proprietary software model.
All their contributions to Opensource, at one time or another, Microsoft will charge very dearly by claiming software patents and intellectual property.
Microsoft will go to court if necessary to make people paid for.
Already ex-Microsoft employees sue to extort royalties on behalf of intellectual property.

@sir I know, I was just thanking you because you're the first person I've seen here in the last few days that is not trashing Microsoft just because it's Microsoft. Most people are not even aware how many open source projects Microsoft is behind.

@angristan ah, for sure. We should definitely trash things like Windows but not all of Microsoft

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