Of interest is ESR's "pre-emptive strike" on the speech which has predicted its aim and content reasonably well.
I call to free software developers and advocates to think about this speech.
I suppose as one post on another discussion site indicated this propaganda shows how dearly MS is in need to
evade free software (or open source if you'd prefer the term). It *is* propaganda, because I think
every free software developer here will be able to recognize that the article deviates intentionally
from the truth, distorting the facts to tune the audience to a new state of mind that will benefit the
greedy corporation. You may as well call it FUD.
This is still the bazaar versus the cathedral. MS tries very hard to maintain its monopoly by
whatever means available to them. They have now identified their enemy: source that they cannot
adapt in their products without opening the source. In other words "free software".
They are associating free software with businesses based on free software and stupid "freebie"
.com companies to confuse the reader, presumably managers who are not always familiar with
these issues. They are _pretending_ to support an intellectual commons, yet *denying* the very
thing that is the strongest supporter of the intellectual commons as Lawrence Lessig put very well
in 'Code' : free software movement.
They would like to harness the benefits of open source development without adhering to open
source licenses: distributed bug reporting and fixing, large scale peer review, folding of
innovations from different sources in software where needed, etc. How clever! Note that this article
also supports "copyrights, patents or trade secrets"; surely a software patent is a monopoly's best
friend to prevent free software developers from employing the often trivial or published results in
Now about Microsoft's version of the history of the Internet.
MUNDIE: Phase 1: In the early 90s it was all about static information.
Yes, static information like USENET for example!? Most of the protocols, their implementations and
important systems software were already written by then. Which were done in the true spirit of the
Internet that crowned openness and freedom. And they are regarded as being all about "static
information"? This phase may be the least interesting from the viewpoint of the vision-free casual
.com manager, but it's the most interesting one for the content of the article since it is about
source code. If you don't study how this "phase" was accomplished, then you will never conceive
the nature of Internet's code evolution.
MUNDIE: Phase 2: The late 90s saw the birth of the online transaction and the promise of
Internet-based business models.
The fact that you can do commerce over the Internet. Which was again made possible by the
co-operation of many entities that wanted to enable secure transactions.
MUNDIE: Phase 3 is what is being worked on now. It's all about connecting the currently separate
complex systems of information and transactions and bringing that power to the individual in a
readily accessible format on a variety of devices. **snapped propaganda here** heavy investment
in research and development is going to be required in order for businesses and individuals to
see the benefits of phase 3. The technology industry has to prove its commitment to privacy and
security in order to encourage user acceptance of the technologies. ** propaganda goes on**.
So, although bulk of the Internet was achieved by means other than "Commercial Software Model",
this last phase which is the realization of .NET to lock *every* helpless poor computer user to their
ugly mess of code needs it. By enslaving them even more securely; making their everyday
applications depend on some monthly subscription. And I think he is very correct in saying that
this will require a monopoly and its community of "dependents" and NDA signers! For generally
useful software that will demand ridiculous payments is not in the agenda of free software! Surely,
there is a lot of research and development put in MS products, for they have thousands of very
high quality programmers. And of course, that innovation cannot be replicated or superseded by
thousands of free software developers and thousands that are joining our ranks every year !? :) A
play we have seen before.
This is the rational part of the whole article. Next is the least informed attack on free software ever
witnessed. That Shared Source is a better thing than OSS because it leads to unhealthy forking,
instability, hindering businesses, security risks and can force precious IP into public domain. Each
one of these points is *totally* *wrong*; you may find refutations already on the Net and most of
you will know immediately how misleading they are. The saints and advocates of free software:
spread the word how untrue these sayings are.
As this were not sufficient, the article concludes with MS's commitment to an intellectual
commons by their contributions to public standards. (to follow up from where I left at the
beginning of the post) Nevertheless, code itself, that runs these machines and the Internet
*cannot* be part of the intellectual commons according to Mundie. Tax-paid universities and
government institutions should better contribute to the MS code base rather than the intellectual
commons, don't you think?
Fortunately, free software is already here and the more that they speak of us the stronger we get.
Thanks for your patch to free software licenses, but I believe that will be ultimately rejected.