“The document reproduced below was presented at a Microsoft internal Linux Strategic Review held at the Microsoft offices in Berlin during Sept. 2002. I received it on 5 November 2002.” ESR’s review for OpenSource.org.
Halloween VII: Survey Says…
Submitted by Joseph Childrose 2002-11-06 Microsoft 7 Comments
I was surprised to see this memo without any mention of TCPA, CBDTPA, Palladium and the Fritz Chip.
There’s some likely dangerous Microsofts ideas in the memo (Lawsuit rampage?), but IMHO the absolut biggest threath to Open Source is TCPA and the likes.
I would be surprised if Microsoft would not play this strong card to their advantage. After alle.. large monopolies are the only part of the IT-industry which would benefit from TCPA.
microsoft are ready to take ‘concrete actions’, esr reckons this is lawsuits but i think microsoft has had enough of court and ‘concrete’ refers to the new boots and jackets theyre waiting to give us linux developers
the lack of mention of TCPA/palladium is (imho) because the survey results were extremely against it. the management might be able to swallow “the french, germans and japanese dont like shared source and microsoft in general” but they wouldnt like to see “everyone (99%) hates the ides of not being able to control their own computer”
it suprises me that all the negative things said about the hard-core zealots of our community dont seem to have held back business opinion? or could we be doing even better?
This latest Halloween document is attempting to address Microsoft’s current concern over OSS and GNU/Linux; whereas, Trusted Computer Platform Alliance (TCPA) is a long way off from practical application. For TCPA (and Palladium) to even have a leg to stand on for potential implementation the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act will need to make it past the US Senate. Currently it is still in committee (led by Senator Ernest Hollings Fritz of South Carolina) This is where our role as tech-savvy citizens comes into play. The job of our senators is to represent our interests. As the average senator does mot necessarily have sufficient technical expertise to make such a decision on their own, we need to educate them before they are ever expected to vote on this. I have been trying to establish correspondence with both of my senators. Senator Rick Santorum has chosen to listen to my concerns and promised to take into consideration what I have told him. My other senator (Arlen Specter) chose to not provide me with any sort of meaningful reply, thus far. We should ALL take the time to be proactive on this very important issue.
The discussion of IP rights needs to be tied to concrete actions
This can be a real threat – not only for develpoers, but also for the end user.
There should be a repository of open-source patents that can be used as a defencive measure when someone sues. This way the patent issue can actualy benefit OSS – because OSS projects will have a strong patent portfolio to back them – people may prefer to open source their work.
… the above bolded statement is from the MS paper, though it fits nicely in the context of my message.
Desperation, I can smell it. It’s thick in the air.
that even after this strategic meeting, Steve Ballmer chose to refer to Linux as “nothing but a bunch of shareware”.
This seems to be an expression of his own fear, uncertainty and doubt.