back to article Microsoft: Judge us by our deeds on open source

Microsoft has made a "tremendous commitment" to systems and file interoperability, according to its head of North American sales and marketing. Robert Youngjohns on Wednesday called interoperability between Widows and Linux and support for open-file formats and open-source languages like PHP a business imperative. He added …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    We have judged based on actions.

    That is why MS have been found wanting. This is just more crap to try and poison the well.

    If MS want to be taken seriously, they can drop their own proprietary formats, drop the TomTom case, stop the anti-competitive deals with big retailers like Dell, stop the Linux FUD, and (generally speaking) stop be such utter fuckers.

  2. raving angry loony
    Thumb Down

    But I do.

    I for one DO judge them for their deeds. Just not only the ones they advertise and want to be known for. I look at ALL the deeds that are traceable to them. That's why I despise everything they represent: unethical behaviour, illegal pressure on vendors, abusing their monopoly to continue their "embrace, extend, extinguish" policy, even outright buying of representation to supposedly independent standards organizations in order to get completely unworthy "standards" passed. They are the poster-child for unethical and corrupt behaviour in a high-tech corporation.

    The ARE the enemy of anything resembling good, secure, well designed computing, and through their actions they have made themselves known as such.

  3. Aitor

    Some Open S. supports windows so we support OS..

    I guess his sons must be in school, and one of them just got to the tansitive property.. but the fat that there is open source software that supports windows doesn't mean that microsoft supports open source..

    As for the assertion that they have worked for standards.. well, it just seems as a joke. They FIGHT them to try to push their propietary ones.. and get royalties and/or lock the market.

  4. Paul
    Thumb Down

    DRM, patents, lawsuits, FUD, proprietary lockins, security disasters...

    yes, I'm happy to judge microsoft on their record and their actions.

    just read their EULA to see how proud they are of their software by giving it a cast iron warranty. er. disclaimer.

  5. Francis Fish

    Microsoft: judge us by our deeds on open source

    May I be the first to say I already did.

  6. Tom Paine

    What's that distant howling sound?

    "Youngjohns [..] said Microsoft has a right to create IP [..] and a duty to enforce those patents. [...] "I believe it's our duty to enforce that [patents and licensing]. I don't see a problem with that, and I make no apology for that.."

    Howling sound? Hmmm, let's see. A gust of wind? Nope. A squeaky floorboard? Nope. Could it be the baying hounds of hell, racing through the ephemeral vaporous fabric of our mortal world, slavering as they race to tear the metaphorically still-beating heart of Youngjohns' eternal soul from his body, and carry it back in triumph to their Dark Lord in his dreadful domain? .....could be!!

    Watch diligently, oh unbeliever, for the flaming sword of truth and Freedom, wielded by St. Aremmess! That haze darkening the horizon are the Legions of the FSF,..

    oh wait -- did I say that out loud? You mean this /isn't/ a dream??

  7. Lager And Crisps
    Jobs Horns

    ...and we did laugh!

    Of the 228 patents that Linux violates Ballmer stated "Someday, for all countries that are entering the WTO (World Trade Organisation), somebody will come and look for money owing to the rights for that intellectual property"

    Maybe I'm missing something and that whooshing sound over my head is deafening, but does the headline read "Microsoft: judge us by our deeds on open source"?

    I think this is one of those double-take moments, I need to collect myself, have a stiff drink then go lie down somewhere. Bye...!

  8. Gerry

    How could anyone forget Microsoft's efforts on interoperability...

    "We have made a huge effort to get some of the document formats we have... accepted as formal standards in the industry"

    That would be the process leading up to ISO 29500?

    How we all loved watching that one.

    And notice the careful phrasing "formats we have" - remind me which product supports ISO 29500?

  9. Tom B

    Actions Speak Louder

    Microsoft will be judged by its actions, and its actions with regard to patents belies its pretty words on interoperability and community. Microsoft has shown -- again by its actions -- that it cannot tolerate *any* competition in the computer software arena. Historically, it has used every weapon at its disposal to destroy every competitor that has dared to "steal" its rightful market share of one hundred percent.

    Interestingly enough, it is the actions of predators like Microsoft that demonstrate the danger software patents are to innovation. These actions do not serve to advance the way people get work done, but merely increase the profits of a known monopolist. That the FAT patents are considered valuable IP by Microsoft would be laughable if the current lawsuit didn't threaten the jobs and the livelihood of a company far smaller than the Redmond giant. Make no mistake, TomTom cannot settle the lawsuit. If they do, they break the GPL and cannot use the software. If they lose the lawsuit, they will face massive payments to Microsoft. Either way, they will be out of business.

    So, yes, judge Microsoft by their deeds, not their words. But judge them on *all* their deeds, and not just the ones their PR department would like you to focus on.

  10. Andy Bright


    Who would have credited Microsoft with having a sense of humour? I laughed so hard..

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    It could be worse:

    With the ability to spout such utter nonsense with a straight face, Youngjohns would do well in politics. He could tell us the the government are responding to popular demand by requiring mandatory ID cards for £300 each. He could tell us that for our own protection, anyone looking at a cartoon in a funny way should be locked up like a sex offender. While he was at it, he could print a few billions and hand them out to his friends to help them cope with the recession. I am serious: remember who knighted Bill?

  13. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    What a load of hot air

    The usual Microsoft gumption is at work here. Judge you by your deeds indeed, do you think we've waited for your permission ? Do you think your track record is such a shining, spotless testament to your belief in Open Source ?

    In case you might have missed it, Ballmer, we still remember the fact that you are a convicted monopolist, despite all those things Gates claimed to not remember. And we will never forget the hugely reported trial against Linux, which was really a perfect demonstration of your "commitment" to Open Source. By the way, Steve, have you ever actually published the 200+ infringements that you based your trial on ? I mean, apart from the one so poorly disguised by hiding it in another font ?

    So, just to make it perfectly clear, Monkey Boy, your track record reads like a pimps' criminial record. Abuse (of customers and vendors), battery (of the judicial system), corporate misdoings (company takeovers just to kill a product), money laundering (i.e. tax evasion) and practically every crime we have a law for (metaphorically speaking), they're all in your record.

    And we will never forget that.

  14. Robert Grant Silver badge

    Widows and Linux


  15. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. Jeremy
    Thumb Down

    Judged by deeds

    Judged by their deeds its thumbs down. Microsoft is the Standard Oil of the IT world, a sickening convicted monopolist that must be utterly destroyed.

  17. Geoff Mackenzie

    Microsoft has a right to create IP

    Sure it does. Any time it fancies having a crack at some actual innovation.

    Still waiting, here.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    HHas someone not been taking their pills?

    This is Microsoft right?

    This is the company that refused to document its SMB protocols until threatened with huge fines?

    This is the company that has fucked up implementation of recognised standards repeatedly to enforce vendor lock in.

    This is the company that has a pile of patents that are a complete pile of steaming shit (look at the Tom Tom case) and uses bully boy mobster style tactics to force people to pay protection money.

    This is the company that has been found guilty repeatedly of illegal practices, of abusing its monopoly position and behaving time and time again as if the law does not apply to it.

    This is the company that is the IT equivalent of the Mafia.

    And you want us to look on you in a good light? You might claim that you are reformed and its all in the past. But people don't tend to trust "reformed" criminals, especially when they are saying that they're "changed now" and at the same going back and carrying on business as usual.

  19. g e

    May I just add...

    "interoperability between Widows and Linux"

    I for one welcome our new Hot Widow Action overlords

  20. alan
    Thumb Up

    RE: AC, first comment

    You, sir, win.


  21. Nigel
    Thumb Down

    Watch what they do, not what they say.

    So when is Microsoft going to publish a declaration (legally binding on itself) that it will not enforce its patents against open source projects, but only against competing companies that are trying to use MS IP in their own closed and proprietary products, or as retalliation against any company that brings patent infringement actions against MS?

    I'll believe it when I read it. Heck, even a limited declaration with a list of patents that MS *will* seek to enforce, would be an improvement. At least programmers would know what to avoid, and which patents to seek to invalidate with prior art. But uncertainty is what MS profits by, isn't it? Pigs don't fly, and MS is the biggest pig of all.

    Incidentally, the FAT patent would be nearly worthless if it were possible for manufacturers to format their drives with a different filesystem and still to inter-operate with Windows. I'd argue that MS making it impossible for any other company to write a filesystem for Windows to augment or compete with FAT and NTFS, is an abuse of a monopoly. The EU has busted their networking protocols monopoly, time to go for this one next?

  22. Wortel


    And ignore the howling planet-destroying maw filled with endless rows of serrated shark teeth belonging to your slobbering mountain of festering grease you call Windows, then?

  23. Peter Simpson

    Dear MS:

    Here's a deed I would judge you your file formats and allow them to be used by anyone, royalty-free. Do the same with FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS.

    Then we can talk.


    Your Customers

  24. Dave


    "We have made a huge effort to get some of the document formats we have... accepted"

    Yes, and not too many people were impressed by THAT blatent attempt to steam-roller the opposition.

  25. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Down

    We do Billy! We do!

    Which is why more and more of us moving over to Linus and Steve J's house!

    Linus and Steve have bothered to keep their places nice, you Bill are more worried about fighting with the neighbours and you own that rather rough place on the end of the road with the old rusty cars and broken fridges out in the front garden. The one the kids run past while chucking stones at what's left of the broken Windows!

    Sorry, a whole generation of us got burned and we learned, once bitten, twice shy!

  26. Paul


    Which words? Those of Youngjohns, or the rabid assertions of Ballmer?

    Which actions? The supposed ones this guy is talking about, or the ones they've actually been carrying out for their entire sordid history?

    Youngjohns wants us to judge them by their actions, not their words? No problem. Ballmer's words and Microsoft's actions match up pretty well. I have judged both by actions and words, that's why I don't trust them and don't buy their stuff.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    your standards do not transfer within your own standards

  28. rob
    Jobs Horns

    All you need to read is the first line

    Microsoft has made a "tremendous commitment" to systems and file interoperability, according to its head of North American sales and marketing.

    <b>"Tremendous commitment"</b> - read: We included nothing for interoperability in the first place, so we had to spend a lot of time trying to make something work now, to make it appear that we care

    <b>according to its head of North American sales and marketing.</b> read: Sales and Marketing department: The biggest bullshitters at the biggest bullshitting company on the planet.

    I really should have stopped reading after that first sentence.

    Microsoft will do anything right now to try to get back to their previous monopoly, that includes pretending to like the very software that they have been fighting their entire life to crush.

    Microsoft disgust me in every possible way. The lack of ethics, the lack of honor, the lack of morals, the lack of innovation, the lack of ingenuity, the overuse of FUD, the overuse of marketing, the lies, the illegal use of their market position over and over again.

    You, Microsoft, have been judged, there is no appeal. We the jury find you guilty.

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