Microsoft’s unwinnable war on Linux and Open Source

Apple Store“How is an untouchable superpower defeated? In many cases, it foolishly engages itself in an unwinnable war and simply consumes itself,” Daniel Eran writes for RoughlyDrafted.

“Microsoft, threatened by the encroachment of competition from open source, has long waged a detached propaganda war against free software and in particular Linux, but has recently escalated its conflict into a full blown attack,” Eran writes.

Eran writes, “As Microsoft begins waging its all out war against Linux, how far will its popularity decline? And will that war be conveniently limited to a far away land, or might it cause fear and distress to Microsoft’s own customers? Would Microsoft’s own customers be targeted as potential enemies in massive, RIAA-style crackdowns?”

“When asked by Fortune whether Microsoft would ever seek to ‘sue its customers for royalties, the way the record industry has,’ Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer answered, ‘That’s not a bridge we’ve crossed, and not a bridge I want to cross today on the phone with you,'” Eran writes.

Eran writes, “That should certainly scare the Windows out of Microsoft’s customers.”

Much more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “LinuxGuy and Mac Prodigal Son” for the heads up.]

30 Comments

  1. Mafia$oft doesn’t need to sue their customers to piss them off. Winblows Genuine Disadvantage is doing it for them!

    Al Capone,
    Hey, I saw your jail cell in Eastern State Penitentiary on Sunday. How did you get to live like that in jail for those 8 months?

  2. Bartsimpsonhead: “Will M$ risk a Court saying something they’ve patented is too ‘general’ to be protected by law..?
    Will they risk the flood-Gates opening..?”

    I think this is to the heart of why MS threatened about the patents without actually laying them out in detail. They want the threat to be out there without actually exposing themselves. This is mafia style “it would be a terrible shame if your bar burned down, now wouldn’t it, Miko?” tactics.

    I agree with D. Eran, this has a huge chance to really blow up in MS’s face.

  3. @Blahger
    For more on this idea read Barbara Tuchman’s The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam in which she
    meditates on the historical recurrence of governments pursuing policies evidently contrary to their own interests.

  4. “How is an untouchable superpower defeated? In many cases, it foolishly engages itself in an unwinnable war and simply consumes itself,” Daniel Eran Dilger writes for RoughlyDrafted.

    “Microsoft, threatened by the encroachment of competition from open source, has long waged a detached propaganda war against free software and in particular Linux, but has recently escalated its conflict into a full blown attack,” Dilger writes.

    Dilger writes, “As Microsoft begins waging its all out war against Linux, how far will its popularity decline? And will that war be conveniently limited to a far away land, or might it cause fear and distress to Microsoft’s own customers? Would Microsoft’s own customers be targeted as potential enemies in massive, RIAA-style crackdowns?”

    “When asked by Fortune whether Microsoft would ever seek to ‘sue its customers for royalties, the way the record industry has,’ Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer answered, ‘That’s not a bridge we’ve crossed, and not a bridge I want to cross today on the phone with you,'” Dilger writes.

    Dilger writes, “That should certainly scare the Windows out of Microsoft’s customers.”

  5. Funny, when someone mentioned political undertones, I thought the same thing. The USSR definitely found itself in an unwinnable war. And the same kind of punditry predicted that the Soviets’ power was unmatchable and far beyond our own. History showed that the Soviets were masters of propaganda and little else.

    Strangely, no-one seems to recall the Soviets’ propaganda skills. And today, no-one seems willing to comment upon the jihadi’s propaganda skills.

    I guess it’s easy to scream nonsense about Bush being Hitler when you’re actually scared to death that you’ll be beheaded or blown up at a mall. Cowardice is ever-trendy.

  6. Maybe we’ve got MS’s latest antics all wrong. Maybe they know exactly what they’re doing:

    1) They’re going down in ball of flames, faster than we really know.
    2) They’re milking the beast for all its worth and will proceed to bail at 1500 feet, (or so).

    I’ve got to believe that the top 30 or 40 dogs in the MS behemoth are financially taken care of for life, assuming no serious gambling or drug habits.

    If my little scenario doesn’t have too many leaks in it, that would mean this perpetual little dance that Ballmer can’t stop doing is just an act – a put on to make sure the regular employees of MS don’t bail prematurely, or the shareholders. Its an act – a ruse.

  7. Sheesh! If and I say ‘IF’ M$ are prepared to lay their code to be scrutinised by the courts against the competitions. It will be found that some code (or alot) has come from Apple, Wordperfect, Lotus & Linux because they had at one time included Linux into Windows 2000?

    With each upgrade and we all know that upgrades are new coding stitched onto the old, their is a date stamp on the old code.

    It would then be easy just by comparing similar dates as to which software had what lines of code before the other and whether the code was in verbatim.

    The question then remains is which company would be willing to open its crown jewels to such scrutiny?

    Opensource or DRM’ed Vista… Do you need the answer?

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