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posted by martyb on Wednesday June 12 2019, @10:05PM   Printer-friendly
from the same-old-M$ dept.

Microsoft's tactics against GNU/Linux have not changed much in two decades, they're just framed differently, nowadays the attacks are masqueraded as friendship and proxies are used more than before. So as a fresh look at how these established tactics are used currently to attack Free Software, a guest poster at TechRights has summarized them in a ten-chapter handbook, aptly named A Handbook for Destroying the Free Software Movement. The first two chapters cover what Microsoft is now doing through GitHub, licensing, Azure, Visual Studio, Vista10, and its other components foisted on developers. Other chapters cover manipulation of media coverage, OEM lock-in, use of attack proxies, and software patents. Most of all, these tactics have stayed true to the plans outlined over 20 years ago in the Halloween Documents.

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 01: Know your enemies– Act like a friend
  • Chapter 02: Work with the system– Use OEMs and your legal team
  • Chapter 03: Playing the victim– Show the world that too much freedom hurts development
  • Chapter 04: You get what you pay for– Getting skeptics to work for you
  • Chapter 05: Open Source Judo– How to bribe the moderates to your side
  • Chapter 06: Damning with faint praise– Take the right examples of free software and exploit them for everything
  • Chapter 07: Patent War– Use low-quality patents to prove that all software rips off your company
  • Chapter 08: A foot in the door– how to train sympathetic developers and infiltrate other projects
  • Chapter 09: Ownership through Branding– Change the names, and change the world
  • Chapter 10: Moving forward– Getting the best results from Open source with your monopoly

It's written a bit tongue in cheek from Microsoft's perspective. Some material is drawn from Comes v Microsoft (aka The Iowa Case) and, as mentioned, the leaked internal memos known as the Halloween Documents.


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  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 12 2019, @10:32PM (10 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 12 2019, @10:32PM (#854879)

    Skimmed through Chapter 7. No proof of anything, no citations of Microsoft's actual current behaviors, only innuendo and quoted references from the 21 year old Halloween Documents. So no, not established tactics currently attacking free software, only what was known two decades ago. Which doesn't mean that what's said isn't true, only that there is no proof of it. Perhaps Chapter 11 should be, "Trick people by writing a whole bunch of things with no actual proof that the behaviors are current so that they can be safely ignored by anyone who actually wants evidence."

    Personally, I believe that Microsoft has established much better (and scarier) tactics than these in the intervening years, such that they no longer have to extinguish free software. To the contrary, their current strategy if anything is, "embrace, exceed, ignore." But who wants to waste all that time actually assembling proof and gaining access to sources? (Just for starters, don't you think countries hostile to the U.S. would have managed to get Wikileaks to publish more damning documents by now if they existed in digital from? Like I said, changed and sharper tactics such that Halloween Documents are no longer produced because they're unnecessary.)

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  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by realDonaldTrump on Wednesday June 12 2019, @10:37PM (2 children)

    by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Wednesday June 12 2019, @10:37PM (#854884) Homepage Journal

    If you must look at the "story." Start with Introduction. "Introduction of a new satirical ‘handbook’ published exclusively here (by a pseudonymous reader)." In other words, FAKE NEWS!!!!

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 12 2019, @11:48PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 12 2019, @11:48PM (#854913)

      Hey, Donald, I hear a real billionaire is looking for you. His name is Paul Allen. Why don't you go find him?

      • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by realDonaldTrump on Thursday June 13 2019, @12:26AM

        by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Thursday June 13 2019, @12:26AM (#854936) Homepage Journal

        Incredible guy, fantastic guy -- he founded Microsoft, as everybody knows. Don't worry, he did find me. Before he died, so tragically, of Windmill Cancer. Fortunately I was able to buy his beautiful Boeing 757 for only $100 million. Great price and I gave that one a TOTAL & COMPLETE make over. I call it, Trump Force One. Watch while Amanda Miller (so sexy) gives the guided tour!! youtu.be/UZq3iCn2y74 [youtu.be]

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Ethanol-fueled on Wednesday June 12 2019, @10:46PM (4 children)

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Wednesday June 12 2019, @10:46PM (#854887) Homepage

    Maybe so, but it gave me a good flashback back to the SCO days when Microsoft got BTFO and Linux was actually on the rise and becoming more usable as a desktop OS. Ubuntu from around 2007 to 2010 appeared to be unstoppable and every day it looked like it was going to crush Windows as a dominant desktop OS.

    Then, for some reason, Ubuntu backed down. It turned a usable Windows-like system into Macfag shit with everything useful hidden by default or moved somewhere else and a horrible new color scheme, and we all know people who don't actually buy MacFag shit don't like MacFag shit. Then they crippled Compiz-fusion so that it was impossible to show that a beat-up 10 year old laptop could have better graphical effects than a brand new Mac.

    I'm still bitter about all that, fucking bastards.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by krishnoid on Wednesday June 12 2019, @11:13PM (1 child)

      by krishnoid (1156) on Wednesday June 12 2019, @11:13PM (#854900)

      Flashbacks are nice, but it would be great to have their actions as a timeline. That way we can remember what they did to their competitors -> how they spun it -> why the current release sucks -> why the new release will be better -> lather, rinse, discharge microplastics into the environment -> repeat, and at exactly which points we were naive enough to believe them, until we stopped.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Thursday June 13 2019, @01:54AM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday June 13 2019, @01:54AM (#854962)

        So much hasn't changed. We're a mixed development shop: Windows10 and Ubuntu, and neither is perfect, but I see the Windows devs on the same f-ing treadmill that I was running back in the 90s, it never stops. When I finish something in Ubuntu, it stays finished. And, when there's a problem in Ubuntu, even the Windows guys can dig into the logs, find the problem, find the diagnosis on the web in 30 minutes or less, and have a solid fix plan. On the Microsoft side, when shit breaks down or doesn't perform as expected it's denial and obfuscation city: maybe you need to buy a better library? That's unsupported. This is the new behavior, maybe you should migrate your codebase to the new toolset?

        --
        Україна не входить до складу Росії.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13 2019, @04:14AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13 2019, @04:14AM (#855007)

      What do you mean? I LOVE the uniform blocks of light gray that replaced what the GUI used to be. The lines, so clean! All those functions you used to use only once or twice a day - GONE! Sooo clean.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13 2019, @07:18AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13 2019, @07:18AM (#855033)

      Have you tried Ubuntu 18.04 Mate?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13 2019, @03:09AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13 2019, @03:09AM (#854984)

    ZOMG, it's the Protocols of the Elders of Redmond!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13 2019, @07:05AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 13 2019, @07:05AM (#855025)

    When lennart poettering ends up at M$ or Apple or some tivoizing corp, your comment will seem even funnier, pal.