Why should MS trust Linux users?

Story: FOSS Community Should Not Negotiate With Microsoft On Port 25Total Replies: 18
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Apr 14, 2006
12:26 PM EDT
This entire article can be summed up in one sentence: "Microsoft is a big meanie."

I have never been so ashamed to be a Linux user, seeing such blind hatred and angst among the community over what amounts to another MS blog. Why is it that every time MS does anything remotely interesting it has to turn into another FOSS bitch fest? Is that productive? Does that attitude inspire others to trust in the FOSS community?

I know a lot of people that work at MS and in the labs, and they do a lot of interesting things. They are not terrorists, and it is not at all useful or productive to label them. You guys may not realize this, but many of the folks at the Linux Lab don't use or even like Windows. They are a voice inside of Microsoft that I think at least a few of you could relate to and befriend. I would highly recommend you embrace this whole port25 thing, at least for a little while. Maybe soon we'll start to see some of the tech guys that actually *work* in the labs start posting their own blogs.


Apr 14, 2006
1:19 PM EDT
Let me get this straight. Because I pointed out how a convicted monopolist attempted to coerce the outcome of a legal process by threatening to act in a manner that would negatively impact the economy of an entire country, you are ashamed to be a Linux user?

If I were a Microsoft employee, I would be ashamed of my employer's behavior. If, every time I turned around, my CEO were spouting off lies in the press, my company were slandering CIO's who choose to adopt a file format we didn't create (and refused to participate in), and threatened to withdraw software from a national market, I would be ashamed. Microsoft employees should do something about Gates & Ballmer.

My brother is a technical writer for Microsoft. He is a man of deep faith, strong will, and sound mind. He is an awesome writer and musician. He is also very caring. He could have set me up with all the Microsoft software I wanted, but I turned him down. I won't use proprietary software. I am sure that Bill Hilf is a nice guy, once you get to know him. That does not make Microsoft a good company. It also does not change the fact that Microsoft must make some serious changes before we can trust them.

Apr 14, 2006
2:21 PM EDT
The Mafia Godfather can be very benevolent, and very good to those who are loyal and serve him well. The servants may or may not not have anything to do with the violence or the criminality that support the organization. That doesn't excuse the criminal acts, or the bad behavior. We throw those guys, and those that help them in prison.

Why is MS any different? Because they are a legal corporate entity? Their size and influence and power as well as their ability to do damage in the society is just as great, probably more so. In the end they are both thugs, plain and simple.

I'm not saying that all people working for MS are criminals as such, but there is a price for those accepting the emperor's coin in any capacity.

Apr 14, 2006
2:40 PM EDT
No, that's not what I'm saying. Calm down and read closer. Put bluntly, you have a bone to pick, you see this new thing MS is doing (doesn't matter what it is, cause you didn't do much research anyway), and so you go off on a tirade about stuff completely unrelated to port25. It's the same old thing, and that piss poor attitude is what I see as a blight on the community.

Introduce subject A: MS has this new thing called port 25. Introduce subject B: MS is evil and a terrorist. Abandon subject A: MS is still evil and a terrorist, oh, what was that port25 thing again? Oh, it's the trust issue, yeah, can't trust those terrorists, no sir, not us faithful folk.

The problem as I see it is the following: no one really knows much about the labs or the stuff they do. It's clear that you certainly don't have a clue about what the Linux lab does. But then how could you, you have no inside info or friends in the labs. This is exactly why port25 exists. Without it there's only wild speculation and BS that we see here.

Apr 14, 2006
3:06 PM EDT
Sorry, with it's past history, the MS trust factor is on empty. It's the MS 'piss poor attitude' that has caused this total lack of trust. We hear what is being said, but why in the world would we believe that this is not just one more piece of BS. If MS wants to establish it's credibility, it will have to be a lot more than port 25.

Apr 14, 2006
3:44 PM EDT
Let's step through this by the numbers, shall we?

(1) The Microsoft Linux labs is a part of Microsoft. (2) Microsoft must EARN the trust of the FOSS community before the FOSS community can (never mind will) possibly take them seriously. (3) Until Microsoft earns the trust of the community, the Linux Labs don't have the credibility to earn our trust for the rest of Microsoft.

That shouldn't be too difficult to grasp.

In spite of the above, I can have a friend or two or 80 working for Microsoft. Wonderful. But that doesn't mean I can trust Microsoft. I might trust my friend with my life. I trust my brother that far. That cannot equate to trusting Microsoft at all. So, when a unit of Microsoft seeks to build a relationship with me (us), they have a tremendous hindrance in the ill-will their leadership has bought them. Change occurs from the top down in most cases. It's rarely the other way around.

Apr 14, 2006
8:27 PM EDT
Very cool. You've summed up your previously scatter-brained argument (terrorism, etc) in a way that doesn't make you sound like a ranting, hateful lunatic. That's all I wanted. And you definitely make a good point.

So what I take away from this is that you don't care so much about the folks that work in the Linux labs and whether they're nice people and such, but really you're fixated on Microsoft Corp. as a whole and the policies and politics that surround it. I suppose that's reasonable. The downside to this, of course, is that you're setting a standard for these folks that is impossible for them to overcome. I might suggest instead that people keep a more open mind about the whole thing, as opposed to taking your advice and completely shutting them down without even listening.

Apr 14, 2006
9:27 PM EDT
> The downside to this, of course, is that you're setting a standard for these folks that is impossible for them to overcome.

True, since it's up to the company to overcome it, not the individuals in question. But since the management of the company can always overrule those individuals, what we think of their words and actions doesn't really matter, does it? It's the official words and actions of the company which mater, not the individual words and actions of it's employees.


Apr 15, 2006
1:19 AM EDT
Microsofts track record for embrace and extinguish tactics make their recent announcements highly suspicious.

You'll forgive us for being cynical, only we've seen altogether too many people get bitten and stamped on by Microsoft.

The onus is on them to prove that they mean well and that their days of lies, bullying and outright corruption of fair business practices are over.

Personally, I don't believe a word MS say. I think this cozying up to Linux is preparatory to some sort of attempted marketing move that (in their plans) will suffocate Linux for good.

Apr 15, 2006
5:26 AM EDT
Why should we focus on individual Microsoft employees and consider cooperating here with them just because some of them may be good guys with good intentions? They weren't forced to work for Microsoft, were they? Most of current Microsoft employees wouldn't be so much worse off if they just decided to quit their job at Microsoft after seeing how badly it behaves. They'd easily get jobs in another company that doesn't act like that.

By the fact that they don't quit their jobs they formally submit to the will of Microsoft Corporation and its leadership as well as its behavior in the market. Therefore I do not think that Port 25 deserves good treatment just because some folks from the Microsoft "Linux Lab" like GNU/Linux. They're still working for the beast, and submit to the beast and whatever the beast decides to do they follow. It therefore just doesn't make sense that we put our focus on individual employees instead of the beast, that is the corporation itself - and that corporation we simply cannot trust, we haven't been given a single reason to trust. Those are not the terms on which they can expect the FLOSS community to suddenly be friends and talk to them like nothing happened (just to be once again screwed up anyway).

Apr 15, 2006
7:53 AM EDT
Funny how this keeps coming up- "we have to be nice to poor old picked-on Microsoft, or everyone will think FOSS sux." I am completely mystified by this attitude. It's either MS astroturfers, or someone who has paid absolutely no attention to Microsoft's thousands upon thousands of misdeeds since their inception. Their absolute nadir was when they whipped the disabled community in Massachusetts into a frenzy against ODF, or at least a few token mouthpieces. How can you get any more evil than persuading/buying/extorting disabled people to lobby against their own interests? There are no words for anyone that vile; I can't even console myself by saying "despicable" like Sylvester the cat, which usually cheers me up.

As others pointed out here, it doesn't matter how many nice MS employees there are- they don't set policy, and they support one of the all-time corrupt companies. MS was founded on deception, bullying, stealing, and cheating, and has never changed. Whining about mean old hateful FOSS advocates who dare to point this out is just another way of saying "shut up and bend over." Giving even the slightest shred of the benefit of the doubt to MS is beyond dim, it's suicidal.

As for Port 25, I would like to hear some fact-based reasons to even give them the time of day, let alone offer them so much as cheerful smile. It's a blatant effort to co-opt some completely unearned FOSS goodwill and jump on the FOSS bandwagon since even PHBs think it's cool now, even as they search for ways to screw the FOSS world over. If MS were serious about supporting FOSS and being good community members, they could do all kinds of things unrelated to building a super-duper lab with their sock puppet Hilf putting on dog n pony shows all the time:

-Open up and document their APIs and file formats -Financially support FOSS developers -Open up and document their horribly borked networking protocols -Quit borking standards and protocols, like Kerberos, TCP/IP, XML, etc etc, which is done expressly to hinder interoperability -Support open document formats -Drop their horrible DRM initiative, which is all about locking customers and vendors into their platform at both the hardware and software level -Quit lying all the time! sheeesh! That alone would go a long ways towards building some goodwill

That's a small start anyway.

[added comment] I forgot to rant at "Why should MS trust Linux users?" Trust USERS? They already don't trust users, who they treat like criminals, or anyone else. Remember, the beauty of FOSS is you don't have to depend on individuals or corporations- if Linus should lose his mind today, tomorrow the kernel will be forked and preserved by someone else. No one particular entity is necessary to the code's survival, and that's what scares MS the most.


Apr 15, 2006
4:33 PM EDT
> It's either MS astroturfers, or someone who has paid absolutely no attention to Microsoft's thousands upon thousands of misdeeds since their inception.

And we all know which one is the case 80+% of the time.

Apr 15, 2006
7:04 PM EDT
> And we all know which one is the case 80+% of the time.

I'm guessing I know what you meant by that, but the fact is that there are a lot of "dumb" users out there and that is in fact what the Microsoft monopoly (as is the case with most monopolies) depends upon.

Such companies talk a good story when it comes to R&D, product quality, and so on, while on the production line aim no higher than "good enough".

The MS monopoly depends on the fact that most, if not all of their users are not sophisticated technologists (even if some of them claim to be.) Such people got where they are more through social networking rather than the TCP/IP kind. They do good Power Point presentations, know how to organize a budget and are creative about coming up with excuses when things go wrong.

Most importantly, they resent anyone hinting that they don't know their ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to technology. And of course, like their predecessors who always went with IBM gear, they are fond of saying things like: "Nobody ever got fired for choosing Microsoft."

They'd like nothing better than for this alternative OSS option to go away, as the more visibility it gets the more people are going to ask tough questions at the end of their Power Point shows.

Read Dilbert every day. You will have no trouble identifying Ballmer as well as they type of people he is best at selling to. Ballmer truly is the face of Microsoft.


Apr 15, 2006
7:37 PM EDT
>It's the official words and actions of the company which mater, not the individual words and actions of it's employees.

JDixon, it's like you're reading my mind. ;-) Bill Hilf is probably a great guy - I even assume that he is. But look who he works for. His sincerety can be undermined and over-ruled by Gates & Ballmer.

Apr 16, 2006
1:10 AM EDT
I can't separate the individuals from the illegal, underhanded tactics throughout the history of the corporation with which those individuals have chosen to associate themselves. Anyone who chooses to work for such a despicable organization is not trustworthy.

If you read each of the documents linked from http://www.groklaw.net/staticpages/index.php?page=2005010107... (Groklaw's MS Litigation page), and each of the documents at http://aaxnet.com/topics/msinc.html (aaxnet's "The House Monopoly Built"), you will see that Microsoft has a history of legally and socially unacceptable behavior. There are many collections of documents such as these, with corroborating evidence of Microsoft's deliberately damaging activity.

Imagine a neighbor or family member with such a record. Would you allow your children to be trained by such a one? Would you turn your back on such a miscreant or even allow them in your home? What about members of that miscreant's gang? Would you trust those who support that one's harmful actions?

Sometimes those who wail about characterizations of Microsoft as "evil" have never actually read documents detailing its history. Many times those who wail are crying crocodile tears because they are either paid to do so or they have chosen to make themselves dependent upon Microsoft's continued market dominance and resulting money streams.

They do not consider how those streams were obtained or are maintained. They do not consider how constricted the market is because of the illegal monopoly leveraging. They do not care lives disrupted or financially ruined. They do not care about the damaged political landscape or the distortions to a capitalist, competitive market. They have only a completely selfish dream of extracting money for themselves. Ticks have much the same moral make-up.

I assume that anyone who chooses to work for Microsoft or on their behalf has the same morals as Microsoft, as documented in court records and the news. Such persons need to be viewed with suspicion, for they chose to associate themselves with an entity which takes no measure of the misery it causes, only its acquisition of financial power. Scouring sewers for a living would be cleaner work.

Apr 16, 2006
4:58 AM EDT
> but the fact is that there are a lot of "dumb" users out there ...

Who have neither the knowledge nor desire to look up a Linux/FOSS site and make posts supporting Microsoft.

Apr 16, 2006
10:34 AM EDT
"-Drop their horrible DRM initiative, which is all about locking customers and vendors into their platform at both the hardware and software level.".....

Whether she knows it or not Tuxchick has nailed it. Microsoft has to SELL DRM and Trusted Computing as a legitimate technology. If, God forbid, they get away with the Vista debacle of TC and DRM, not only will Windows Users lose ownership of their computers, Linux Users will find themselves either outside the law or completely closed off from the computing experience...Linux will all but be destroyed.

Proof of that seemingly outlandish statement is forthcoming.

Apr 16, 2006
3:31 PM EDT
Here's my point of view of Port25:

The frontpage is chaotic and doesn't make clear what port25 is meant for at all. It only seams like another bunch of blogging MS-coworkers. The site is (far too) full of anti-MS garbage, and therefore I can't take it serious.

Then, here's the biggest problem: On port25, MS workers want to make Microsoft interoperable with Linux. In OSS land, people want to make Linux interoperable with MS. The European commission wants to make sure OSS can be interoperable with MS. Both OSS programmers and the EC made very clear how OSS could be made interoperable with MS, and the steps MS needs to take. Even when it costs them money, MS isn't willing to take this steps at all(see the continuing EC/MS battle). They already could have made Linux interoperable with Microsoft since the day the EC asked them to do so: Since 2004. Then MS comes up with port25: Meant to make MS interoperable with Linux.

In other words: MS wants to make Windows interoperable with Linux, but doesn't want Linux to be interoperable with Windows.

This one-way traffic won't work, since only MS will profit.

So, though I believe there are pro-Linux voices inside MS (people tired of working with Windows can be find in any company), there management not willing to cooperate with the EC makes the port25 completely rediculous.

Apr 17, 2006
8:08 AM EDT
Quoting:How can you get any more evil than persuading/buying/extorting disabled people to lobby against their own interests? There are no words for anyone that vile

Allow me:


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