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[News] Microsoft is Paying Its Way Into Contaminating Open Source

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Why Microsoft Wants Us to Get All Mixed Up

,----[ Quote ]
| What was noteworthy was that at this period Microsoft couldn't even bring 
| itself to utter the words “free software” or “open source”. Instead, 
| throughout the hour-long chat I had with him, the Microsoftie insisted on 
| referring to something he called “non-commercial software”. The intent was 
| plain: only Microsoft and its proprietary chums sold “commercial” software, 
| while the other, unnameable stuff – aka free software – wasn't “real” 
| or “commercial” stuff, but some kind of toy version that no sane IT manager 
| would touch.       
| [...]
| So there we have it: “open source” is no longer a useful term, everything 
| is “mixed source”. Microsoft has obviously woken up to the fact that 
| the “free” and “open” memes are increasingly powerful, as people realise the 
| advantages of sharing and collaborative development. Microsoft has been 
| trying to co-opt that feel-good factor for a while, first with its “Shared 
| Source” label – free software without the freedom – and more recently by 
| getting a couple of its licences approved by the Open Source Initiative.      
| [....]
| Microsoft's Mafia-like obsession with enforcing “control” and 
| demanding “respect” is reflected in a later statement from Gutierrez in the 
| same interview – well, more of a threat, actually:  
| "If every effort to license proves not to be fruitful, ultimately we have a 
| responsibility to customers that have licenses and to our shareholders to 
| ensure our intellectual property is respected," he said.  
| Software patents - what he is referring to here - are intellectual monopolies 
| specifically framed to stop the kind of frictionless sharing of programming 
| ideas that lies at the heart of free software, and that powers its unique 
| ability to build on the work of others. In many ways, such monopolies go to 
| the heart of the difference between the worlds of open and closed software: 
| any company unwilling to licence freely software patents it may have acquired 
| (for defensive reasons, say, against patent trolls – the ultimate symptom of 
| a diseased system) is by definition not a company that truly supports free 
| software. There is no “middle” ground – sorry, Horacio.        



Microsoft's CSS Extensions

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft has outlined the CSS extensions whose support has changed in IE 8.
| These extensions, all prefixed with "-ms-" can be divided into two groups.
| The first group is to support the work in progress, CSS 3.


Microsoft's IE not good enough for web creator

,----[ Quote ]
| SIR TIM BERNERS LEE, inventor of the Interwibble and current director of the
| World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has a gripe with the Vole’s Internet Explorer
| browser.
| In a recent interview, the creator of the great WWW, noted that although he
| was loath to specifying his preference of web browser, IE just wasn’t up to
| scratch when it came to graphics encoding.


[ffii] McCreevy wants to legalise Software Patents via a US-EU patent treaty

,----[ Quote ]
| Brussels, 13 May 2008 -- European Commissioner McCreevy is pushing for a
| bilateral patent treaty with the United States. This Tuesday 13 May in
| Brussels, White House and European representatives will try to adopt a
| tight roadmap for the signature of a EU-US patent treaty by the end of
| the year. Parts of the proposed treaty will contain provision on
| software patents, and could legalise them on both sides of the Atlantic.
| "TEC talks are the current push for software patents. The US want to
| eliminate the higher standards of the European Patent Convention. The
| bilateral agenda is dictated by multinationals gathered in the
| Transatlantic Economic Business Dialogue (TABD). When you have a look
| who is in the Executive Board of the TABD, you find not a single
| European SME in there", says Benjamin Henrion, a Brussels based patent
| policy specialist.
| The Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) which comprises EU and US high
| level representatives put a substantive harmonisation of patent law on
| its agenda. Substantive patent law covers what is patentable or not. The
| attempt to impose the low US standards on Europe via the Substantive
| Patent Law Treaty (SPLT) process utterly failed at the World
| Intellectual Property Organisation. Also progress in the WIPO B+
| subgroup (without development nations) could not be reached.

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