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Recidivist M$ Up to New Tricks

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Rebounding after their humiliating defeat in the SCO fiasco megalomaniac Bill Gates and his Redmond orcs are at it again. This time the name of the game is entrapment - all in line with the directives from their infamous 'Halloween Documents' nine years ago: when you can't beat 'em - play dirty.

In October 1998 a whistle blower at Microsoft leaked an internal study to both Eric Raymond and the New York Times. The latter were later able to get confirmation from Microsoft that the documents were real.

Open source advocate Eric Raymond then dissected them and dubbed them the 'Halloween Documents'.

You Can't Beat 'Em

The internal Microsoft study into the threat of open source was unequivocal in its conclusions: you can't beat the open source development model with the closed model practiced by commercial organisations such as Microsoft's.

On all counts open source wins - and naturally represents a threat to Microsoft revenues and Microsoft 'hegemony'.

So Microsoft must therefore resort to 'playing dirty', the study recommended, iterating through any number of astute suggestions including infiltrating the open source community to sow dissension, slinging FUD and mud at the very idea of open source, and attacking the person of open source leaders such as Linus Torvalds.

Microsoft have used the 'Halloween Documents' as a rule book ever since.


The first tack was to sling FUD and mud. Gates, Ballmer, and other reps of Microsoft got themselves quoted widely about what open source was really all about. 'They're all communists', said Gates. 'Open source is a cancer', said Ballmer. And so forth.

It didn't work.

We'll Bury You

As Microsoft found out that more and more government clients were abandoning them for open source they tried outright threats, Ballmer traveling to the far east to state so unequivocally. China and all those other scum countries are going to get in a lot of trouble if they continue developing their own operating system, screamed Ballmer.

It didn't work.

Gates Takes a McBride

And so it was time for Bill to get married - again. Working in typical underhanded fashion, Microsoft got lacklustre and bankruptcy threatened SCO to file ridiculous charges against behemoth IBM for infringing on Unix rights. It took several years for the courts to mesh it all out but the verdict's now in: Gates' McBride never owned any rights to Unix and in fact must pay other companies for infringing on their rights.

It didn't work.

M$ ActiveMousetrap™

The latest tack - only in recent days being exposed - is to lure open sorcerers to a juicy piece of cheese: Microsoft's source code to their infamous .NET framework.

The trick is that as soon as any open source programmer so much as looks at this code any and all subsequent open source development is suspect of being a theft - and this is the strictly legal interpretation.

Microsoft would of course have to prove the open source community actually peeked at their .NET source but this presents no obstacle whatsoever: you just make everyone sign an agreement before accessing the code.

Novell already have a parallel framework called Mono; the likelihood sporadic lines of code will appear similar is very good; couple this with the smoking gun of the signed agreements open sorcerers have signed and you have the next prolonged court battle Microsoft will wage in a futile attempt to stay open source.

Unleash the Astro-Turfers!

Already on Apple oriented developer mailing lists one can see the astro-turfing has begun. A really amateurish attempt by 'Mac Developer' (no one uses a stupid handle like that) turned up today.

FROM : Mac Developer
DATE : Thu Oct 04 22:10:32 2007

As anyone who has used .Net knows, it's a nice programming environment with good APIs.

Here is one more thing to make me more likely to choose it for future projects. Microsoft has announced that they'll be including source code for .Net.

http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2007/10/03/releasing -the-source-code-for-the-net-framework-libraries.aspx

If source were available for Cocoa and QuickTime and various other APIs, I can think of dozens of times over the past year where I wasted one or more days due to poorly documented, buggy, or incomplete APIs from Apple.

In almost every case, access to the source code for DEFINITIVE documentation (code) would have allowed me to spend my time on something productive instead.

In the few times I've had a chance to use WebKit, the source has proved invaluable to tracking down strange bugs.

He was quickly shot down.

If pursuing that idea has merit for you, however, I would encourage you to pursue it farther in an appropriate forum.

Might I suggest future posts contain less rant and more technical relevance? This strongly paints you as little more than a troll.

No Parole

And eWeek open source advocate Steven Vaughn-Nichols was onto the scam immediately.

The bait's a 'trap for Mono programmers with .NET cheese', warns Nichols. 'If you ever - and I mean ever - want to write open source code I recommend you not come within a mile of Microsoft's .NET framework code or any other similar projects that the boys from Redmond open up. If you do you're nibbling on the cheese of a trap that will eventually snap shut on you and kill up your program and quite possibly your job and finances.'

Bill Gates can't win - and he knows it: his 'Halloween Documents' told him so. For the past nine years he has followed these documents to the letter. And he's shown he's not going to pursue any ethical angles anymore - all he's got left are in his bag of dirty tricks.

But he doesn't care.

The conclusions to be drawn can't be argued with: some criminals have to be kept behind bars.

See Also
eWeek: Microsoft's Open-Source Trap for Mono

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