"can't we all just get along"

Story: Giving Up on MicrosoftTotal Replies: 8
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May 14, 2007
5:01 PM EDT
This is a yet another "can't we all just get along" plea, this time coming from someone in the Microsoft world. While this is always in itself a noble sentiment, it is too often made in ignorance towards some of the really valid reasons why getting along doesn't happen.

I would say that schism between GNOME or KDE, Vim and Emacs, GNU/Linux and FreeBSD etc. would be quite foolish and unproductive and I would completely support the "getting along" plea in such cases.

But a schism between Free Software and proprietary software, Free Software community and Microsoft is often very justified and even necessary.

This is not just a battle between two differing software camps on grounds of who does what better. For Free Software it is often a battle for survival as a growing ecosystem.

The only thing that Free Software is guilty off is growing. It is because it grew to this point that Microsoft took notice and instead of letting it grow freely started to threaten it and fight it any way they find feasible. Are we supposed to love them for this?

Especially so when we consider the background behind the very model that Microsoft has been (ab)using to come where they are. Proprietary software has restricting the user at its core, as a fundamental principle, whereas Free Software has freeing and empowering the user at its core. It is hard for someone who has experienced the freedom that Free Software offers to ethically justify Microsoft or anyone else taking it away.

So again, should we really just bury all those reasons and "get along"? Hell no! I advise you not to! Attempting this would only soften us and make us more vulnerable to Microsoft's anti-competition strategies.

This is not saying that we should hate or despise everyone who works for Microsoft, but we should despise practices that they may or may not be condoning. They are all people and they can change their minds and alegiances, but they wont change if we, in an attempt to "just get along" forget to despise and fight the unethical practices.


May 14, 2007
5:37 PM EDT
>Especially so when we consider the background behind the very model that Microsoft has been (ab)using to come where they are.


When I really want to depress myself with how bad it is, here is where I start:

MS Litigation http://www.groklaw.net/staticpages/index.php?page=2005010107...

Criticism of Microsoft especially Sec. 2.4.3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Microsoft#Market_p...

May 14, 2007
6:12 PM EDT
I reckon we could still meet up in no man's land for a game of football and a sing-song on christmas eve.

May 14, 2007
6:38 PM EDT
What I find annoying about his argument is that he views it as rivals not wanting to work with each other. Actually, if I write a GTK program, I can run it on any platform I want. If I write a Python program, I can run it on any platform I want. About the only time there are problems with being tied to one platform, it is with Microsoft tools.

This is a common view, unfortunately. Open source and Microsoft are viewed as equally at fault. That is the same as saying two children are "fighting". Normally that means the older kid is beating the snot out of the younger kid and the parents are tired of hearing the younger kid whining.

In this case, all of the problems are exclusively the choice of Microsoft, and it helps to present it that way.

Part of my motivation in posting this was to give the link to http://www.afreshcup.com, as it has a lot in common with my move away from proprietary lock-in. Although I spend a lot of time writing programs, fortunately my job is a lot more than programming, so it wasn't as tough to go open source-only. You never regret the choice once you are free.

May 14, 2007
6:48 PM EDT
@Aladdin Sane:

> MS Litigation [HYPERLINK@www.groklaw.net]

That kinda blows away Brian Smith's claim that Microsoft has always preferred licensing to litigation. That list is quite huge.


> I reckon we could still meet up in no man's land for a game of football and a sing-song on christmas eve.

Absolutely. There simply needs to be a distinction between hating humans and hating their practices, unless particular humans really don't have any other life outside of their unethical practices, but those cases may be rare..

May 15, 2007
12:10 AM EDT
Bigg you're quite right. I was reading the article and thought the real reason why it is all or nothing is that keeping any Microsoft element in the development chain means you risk having a dependency that stops you being able to run it anywhere but Windows.

The two camps don't get along mainly because Microsoft tries so hard to make it impossible to.

May 15, 2007
4:31 AM EDT
I commented on the blog that Bill and Steve keep running around threatening and belittling our community, and that, whatever the MS employees accomplish, their upper management keeps it screwed up. I briefly mentioned my technical reasons for migrating away from the Microsoft world as well. Just my $0.02.

May 15, 2007
10:24 AM EDT
As written before, this is something like a top and bottom type of attack on FOSS that MS is engaging in. The top type of attack is as described above.... via IP Patent threats, IP deals, attempts at quashing open (ODF) initiatives and so forth carried out by the likes of Bully Ballmer and Brian Smith HISSSself. The bottom type of attack on FOSS is via conspicuously-placed ads, blogs, "can't we all just get along" pleas, calls for so-called "interoperability" and the like. This latter gentler type of attack is via MS developers (MS-approved?), the MS PR machine, and the likes of FOSS-aware Charmy HilfBilly among others.

Not sure exactly where Rob Enderle and other bona fide MS-shill publicists fit in here, but would guess that their less conspicuous attacks on FOSS are more toward the "gentler" side if one could term it thus.

May 15, 2007
5:56 PM EDT
Take a Windows box and put it in a primarily-Linux office. No problems at all.

Put a Linux box in a primarily-Windows office. What? How the hell do I find an application that does Active Directory? Where is the Exchange server client? Why won't Konqueror render the Exchange web-interface correctly? Etc.

If Microsoft has any interest in "getting along", all it would have to do is stop fighting.

No two people want exactly the same systems. That's why there are so many distributions. Not everyone buys RedHat, not everyone who wants to get their systems without monetary cost uses Debian.

It is _Microsoft_ who is picking the fight, who refuses to play nice with others. It is _Microsoft_ who sets up this "us against the world" attitude.

To paraphrase Princess Leah, "If fighting is all that you want, then that is what you shall receive."

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