Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

GitHub as the Latest Example of Microsoft Entryism in Free/Libre Software

Filed under
Just talk

"This is in effect the very same trick they did/pulled with Novell and SUSE (where Nat Friedman came from after his Microsoft internship) about a decade ago."

Postman

THE recent GitHub takeover, which has not formally been approved just yet (although there are no foreseen barriers to it), is definitely bad news; it is a lot of things to Microsoft however. It is good news only to Microsoft and GitHub shareholders, who basically sold out many developers without rewarding/compensating them for this unwanted (to them) takeover.

There are many aspects to it: First of all, it helps paint Microsoft as "open source" and it helps Microsoft gain leverage over developers, e.g. their choice process of framework/s and licence/s (Microsoft still dislikes copyleft); by leverage over platform they can suggest Azure, for example, or create bindings to it; they gain leverage over projects tied to governments, including some of our clients at work; Microsoft can vainly tell them, i.e. the governments and their developers: "look, you want FOSS? We're FOSS" (so they effectively become their own competitor!). In fact, there's so much more and I could easily name a couple dozen examples, but I know people pursue/need concision here. For an analogy, in politics this concept or strategy is known as "entrism" or "entryism".

Microsoft also uses patents to blackmail FOSS; there's that element too, albeit many people conveniently choose to forget it. Microsoft is sending patents to patent trolls, then offers "Azure IP Advantage". This is in effect the very same trick they did/pulled with Novell and SUSE (where Nat Friedman came from after his Microsoft internship) about a decade ago.

There are many other angles to it, including programming languages, frameworks (e.g. proprietary IDEs like MSVS), code editors and not just bindings to Microsoft as a host and API provider. People, especially developers of software, generally know how E.E.E. works; the basic precondition/premise is that you gain controls/leverage over that which threatens you (Nokia: Elop, Novell: Mono and lots more examples). So that's kind of a way of getting inside, gradually forming a partnership and then shutting down or sidelining whatever threatens you. Like Xamarin did to RoboVM, in effect killing it under Friedman's leadership. Friedman is going to be the chief of GitHub.

Microsoft can direct the opposition's decisions and its fate. Sadly, they already do this inside the Linux Foundation, where Microsoft staff already has chairs in the Board.

From what I can gather, developers ditching GitHub is becoming a fairy common thing this month. I already see the 1) active 2) large 3) non-Windows ones leaving, but it can take time; some told me they still rely on open bug reports and other 'vendor lockin'; that needs some work before they can migrate; the real alternative is self-hosted git.

"Sadly, they already do this inside the Linux Foundation, where Microsoft staff already has chairs in the Board."

More in Tux Machines

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and CentOS 7 Get Important Kernel Security Update

Marked as important by Red Hat Product Security, the new Linux kernel security patch is here to fix a use-after-free flaw (CVE-2018-20856) discovered in the __blk_drain_queue() function in block/blk-core.c, as well as a heap overflow issue (CVE-2019-3846) discovered in the mwifiex_update_bss_desc_with_ie function in marvell/mwifiex/scan.c. It also addresses a heap overflow issue (CVE-2019-10126) discovered in the mwifiex_uap_parse_tail_ies function in drivers/net/wireless/marvell/mwifiex/ie.c and a Bluetooth flaw (CVE-2019-9506) that may lead to BR/EDR encryption key negotiation attacks (KNOB). Read more

Purism: Supplying the Demand

Thank you all for the continued support and remarkable demand for the Librem 5. As we’ve shared earlier, we are iterating through shipping batches. The purpose of doing so is to increment and improve with each batch toward mass production and share that story publicly. As a result, these earlier batches are limited in quantity as we move toward mass production. Publicly releasing iterated hardware at this level of transparency is extremely uncommon, but in nearly everything we do we try to lead by example. Forming as a Social Purpose Corporation, open sourcing all our software, having PureOS be FSF endorsed, securing the lower layers of computing, or manufacturing a revolutionary mobile phone from scratch… all have required sacrifice but are well worth it to provide people with a values-driven alternative to Big Tech. Read more Also: Purism Provides Update On Librem 5 Shipping, Known Issues

KDE Plasma 5.17 Desktop Environment Gets First Point Release with 40 Bug Fixes

Released last week on October 15th, the KDE Plasma 5.17 desktop environment introduces Night Color support on X11, fractional scaling on Wayland, HiDPI and multi-screen improvements, as well as the ability to support for managing and configuring Thunderbolt devices in System Settings. It also improves the notification system with a new Do Not Disturb mode that automatically detects presentations, Breeze GTK theme support for the Google Chrome and Chromium web browsers, Nvidia GPU stats in System Settings, and color scheme support for GTK and GNOME apps in the Breeze GTK theme. Read more

Ubuntu Touch OTA-11 Release

Ubuntu Touch is the privacy and freedom respecting mobile operating system by UBports. Today we are happy to announce the release of Ubuntu Touch OTA-11! OTA-11 is immediately available for all supported Ubuntu Touch devices. You can skip to How to get OTA-11 to get it right away if you're impatient, or read on to learn more about this release. We were calling this a "small release" originally. Our plan was to cover the backlog of pull requests that weren't quite ready for OTA-10. It turns out, that made this "small" update not small at all. Read more Also: Ubuntu Touch OTA-11 for Ubuntu Phones Brings Smarter Keyboard, Better Browsing UBports' Ubuntu Touch OTA-11 Released