MS going toward open source? Well, not really....

Story: Microsoft's magnificent 7 open source optionsTotal Replies: 5
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Aug 10, 2009
10:55 AM EDT
Invariably over time, innocent and naive bloggers (or those perhaps disguised as such like Goodwins?) come out and basically write "Gee, Why cannot Microsoft and the F/OSS Community just all get along fine and dandy??"

One cartoon that may help a few of these bloggers learn something about Microsoft is the repeated scene from Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schultz's epic "Charlie Brown’s running battle with Lucy and the football". Many LXer commentators may remember this Peanuts cartoon scenario from many years back. Here is the url of one such typical cartoon-strip;

The key point from Schultz's "Charlie Brown’s running battle with Lucy and the football" is that EVERY time Lucy holds the ball for Charlie Brown to kick, she ALWAYS manages to convince Charlie Brown to run towards the ball for a kickoff, and then she ALWAYS pulls the ball away at the last possible second just so Charlie Brown is fooled and falls head-over-heels.

Same thing with Microsoft; ultimately EVERY time it makes nice with those in power who must consider its competition's software vs. its own (the "Convincing" phase), Microsoft then ALWAYS ends up pulling the ball away the instant Charlie Brown approaches. One recent example of this "pulling-the-ball-away" is in last month's piece 'Microsoft, OOXML and the ISO'at . OOXML's optimal support for ODF gets pulled away or downright ignored once Microsoft has gotten ISO-approval. A list of such assurances of Microsoft that it would "play nice" even before the OOXML fiasco are the revealed parts of its legal settlements with other companies, see 'Microsoft Litigation' at

Indeed, Microsoft's use of the word "Open" remains a current "Convincing" attempt, as previous LXer commentators have pointed out in no uncertain terms. Witness this very Goodwins piece.

Then there are the issues of Microsoft's current "playing nice" gambit with Mono followed by possible future software "gotchas" and licensing issues in a similar vein. Does anyone still recall the disturbing EULA issue of MS-Windows XP in the piece 'A Contract Only Micro$oft Can Break', ??? Also see the first commentator's appropriate insights on the piece 'Matching Microsoft on INteroperability', LXer comment found at


One can hope that more and more "innocent and naive" bloggers such as Goodwins will eventually uncover Microsoft's "Convincing" gambit for the eventual "pulling-the-ball-away" this turns out to be.


Aug 10, 2009
11:24 AM EDT
Wow. I've been a Peanuts fan ever since I could read, and I never thought of that analogy.

And it pretty well applies to all the Microsoft "We'll get it right this time" BS.

Stick that in your CTO's pipe.

Aug 10, 2009
11:32 AM EDT
@vainrveenr That's a pretty good analogy. You can't trust MS. They will lie to their friends and stab them in the back, let alone their enemies.

Aug 11, 2009
11:15 AM EDT
@v, Great analogy! but a little confusing about Charlie Brown here. @g@s, Both your comments in the other thread on M$'s interoperability BS are clearer for me.

Seems that in the Peanuts analogy here, Charlie Brown could be two people. The C.B. that gets convinced to run to the football could be the EU, company CEO's, and whoever else the infamous M$ marketing and legal teams can reach. It seems in the end that the uneducated end-users are the C.B.'s that always take the hard falls. It's almost like end-users are M$'s true competitors or something (!?) And BTW, all this tech-deception and spin ultimately results from the typical Micro$haft EEE-policy maintained from this company's higher-up rungs.


Aug 11, 2009
11:44 AM EDT

The point is that, no matter how many times Lucy pleads that she's reformed, and she'll hold the football for Carlito Moreno to kick, she never really changes. The only thing that changes about her is how she pleads her case.

Aug 11, 2009
1:18 PM EDT
@gus3, and then @swjanitor Your points are right on related to the M$ interop BS (oh I already wrote this above, OK)

You brought in the case there of OpenOffice which M$ is doing what it can to thwart, and how this company does this to so many others. Now Mono is something else where I could definitely see Micro$haft pulling the Lucy deception in order to make its products "a moving target". Get people convinced it's the best thing out there with whatever pleadings are effective. Eventually start modifying the code, (skimming off the best coders?), modding the license agreement, and whatever else M$ can get away with doing, just so that Mono's no longer fully GPL'd F/OSS. Even when F/OSS SW comes out to compete on merits with its own SW that'll work on Winblows (in the case of Mono, maybe a _great_ fully GPL'd Mono fork?), M$ STILL manages to screw over end-users with some type of crippleware or lock-in, and the C.B.s fall over again! a repeated booo, arggghhh, hisss.... >:-{ -fb

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