Microsoft – Put up or shut up / Rudeness is the remit of Mono?

How to tell if Mono is installed on your machine? - Of course not, but I think it represents the feelings of many in regards to it.

A post today where I am looking at patent violations, the decisions of a court and Microsoft putting its money where its mouth is.  I read a decent article this morning regarding Microsoft and its patent maneuvers, which makes some very valid points.

I’m also making some comments on Mono, which (rightly or wrongly) usually pops its head up when Microsoft is mentioned.

Lets look at Mono first.  Regular readers to this blog will hopefully have noticed that whenever Mono is mentioned we often get an aggressive response.  Now with normal topics a response is usually based on a obvious love/passion for the subject at hand, yet with Mono the response is often rude, sometimes vulgar but more often than not (in my experience) combative.

Dr Schestowitz of TechRights has written an article on this which can be found here and I actually saw Microsoft MVP Mr de Icazza be rather rude on his Twitter account to someone who has concerns about Mono.  Is there any need for that?  A Mono representative acting in this way?  To me it comes as no surprise when we recently saw Jo Shields embark on a series of posts involving the four letter “C” word, which at the time his girlfriend/partner even seemed to challenge.  Jo now seems to have moved onto gaming and from the brief skim through of his musings on Twitter appears mainly to do with the Windows platform.  Ok.

I think in respect of Mono “the gloves have come off”.   There is now nothing left to lose in the battle for Mono advocates to convince people to adopt it.  If belittling or bullying tactics are the way to go, then so be it, it cannot harm the Mono image as the damage is already done and is it now a case of:

Cry havok and let slip the dogs of war…

Going back to de Icazza, this “MVP” seems to think belittling someone with the words “You seem like a nice kid” is ok.  Certainly Microsoft don’t seem to have a problem and are happy to put their MVP status on Mr de Icazza’s doorstep.

With the aggressiveness of any response to Mono opposition there are people who REALLY want you to accept Mono.  Unfortunately from what I can see, with behaviour like this,  it only adds to the image of Mono and lets face it for those that know what it is, the opposition to it is certainly not a minority.

Moving on now to the Microsoft and patent article I referred to earlier, Ive often wondered that IF Linux is actually infringing on some 200 or so patents, IF (as its reported) Linux developers have offered to remove the offending code should it prove to be the case, why then does Microsoft not specify exactly which/all of the patents Linux allegedly infringes on.   Furthermore, should an infringement case go to court, surely the question should be asked of Microsoft “If people are offering to work with you and remove any offending code, why are you only now bringing the case and why didn’t you provide the information earlier so that the matter could be rectified?”  I think the answer is simple.  Money.  Its my view that Microsoft isn’t interested in working with the FOSS world (or Linux Kernel developers) theres no money there, no, better to wait until a distro threatens the cash cow of Windows and then strike.  I wonder what you think, but consider this, if a product was infringing on patents of yours right now, what would you do?  Sit back and say nothing?  If so, for what purpose would you be doing this?

As I see it, the only other explanation is that in fact the patent infringements are not solid cases as Microsoft would have you believe and they’ve got their best poker face on.  Unfortunately the amount of money that Microsoft could through at a case would make even the bravest company think twice and settle with a “deal” out of court. – I do wonder though, if Microsoft’s bluff is called and it transpires that these patent infringements are all hot air, what will Novell think? and will they feel rather silly?

As the article says (which is linked above):

As soon as you start making money with Linux software, and Microsoft doesn’t get your money they attack you in some way.

and goes on to say (quite rightly)

I hope that someone will have the ire to stand against Microsoft at some point, and demand that the accusations and the specifics of the violations and violators be made public. How can anyone comply if the information isn’t made public?

Of course these have not yet been forthcoming and maybe Microsoft doesn’t even know themselves?  What we have to keep in mind also is that Microsoft merely only needs to sell these patents to a 3rd party in order to attack Linux by proxy, whilst still claiming to “love the FOSS”.

If Microsoft ever makes a direct claim about the Linux kernel infringing on its patent portfolio, then the question also needs to be asked, what on earth were you thinking then when submitting code to it? and a comment from an article in July (which I am sure we all remember) said:

Microsoft contributed 22,000 lines of code which make up four drivers that provide hooks for any Linux distribution to run on Windows Server 2008 and its Hyper-V hypervisor virtualisation technology…..

You can read an article about it here.

So whats left for Microsoft?  As a previous commenter liked to point out, Windows has massive market penetration.  I wonder though what would have happened if there were the choices around today when Windows first started on its home adoption path?

Consider a relatively new platform like the mobile phone and ask where is the emulation of a massive user base having Windows on their handsets….where?  I don’t see it.  What I see is Apple, Google and other having the popularity and the usage, with Windows Mobile popping up as an afterthought or on the brunt of a rant after its failed to perform.  I could be wrong, so please someone show me where the Windows brand has impressed and penetrated a market in an emulation of Windows desktop.  Could it be that years of the home user having Windows are the only real viable option be the reason for why there is still a massive usage of Windows desktop? – I’d say it is because as more technologies are released we see an increasing trend to rely on a non-Microsoft OS.

Are people merely sticking with Microsoft now out of habit? I’ll let you decide.

Goblin –

If you are new to this blog (or have not yet read it) please take time to view the Openbytes statement, here.


3 thoughts on “Microsoft – Put up or shut up / Rudeness is the remit of Mono?

  1. Microsoft cannot compete unless they have a monopoly, which is why they are pushing for software patents so hard.

    As to Monotrolls, it seems like they are getting more and more desperate. It’s my feeling that some of them are being paid for their advocacy. You know that there are companies who promise to ‘control your brand online?’ The only way they can do that, is by posting in blogs which run negative articles, and in fact, they admit that this is what they do. When it looked like there might be legislation in Europe that would make those with a financial interest disclose this when posting, one of these companies actually posted an article about how bad it would be for the industry if they had to admit the truth!

  2. Hi!

    I try to separate Mono from Microsoft as much as I can, as the primary basis for my objections to it have been well documented before and Ive also said would not change even if the tech it was based off was from ANY company.

    The fact that ultimately its a poorer cousin of an MS framwwork helps none and the point I hope which came out of the article was that there are people who REALLY want you to use it…the ultimate motive behind that? who’s to say and its academic for me when my primary objection to it does not base itself of its MS roots.

    Quote “The only way they can do that, is by posting in blogs which run negative articles”

    Having said that, opposition blogs are guilty of the same thing (mine included) Ive made no excuses for having no love for Mono and my articles reflect that, I would not seek to suggest Openbytes is impartial since at the end of the day it is my opinion. What I do try to do is offer scope for someone to counter and also a forum for someone else to put their opinions across. If a blog/site has a pro-mono stance thats fine and I would be hypocritical if I denied the blogger the same rights as me. My observation was, Mono debates often fall into the remit of vulgar and its that which I find unacceptable.

    Quote “When it looked like there might be legislation in Europe that would make those with a financial interest disclose this when posting, one of these companies actually posted an article about how bad it would be for the industry if they had to admit the truth!”

    I agree. Although whilst in theory its a great idea, like the digital economy bill in practice its a logistical nightmare. Whilst I cannot condone a posting opinion based off reward by the company concerned, it will be (for the most part) impossible to police and open the flood gates to massive amounts of money being spent trying to enforce it.

    Lets say I received a Vista 7 laptop and then went on to write a favorable article about a different MS tech. Do the same rules apply? Praise by proxy, how would that be policed? In addition if I’m after a freebie and start writing favorably about a company in the hope of getting something, how would that be policed?

    I think that type of legislation would give people a false sense of security when reading opinion and I think the best judge of if a post/article is honest is the reader themselves after reading a wealth of opinion and forming their own conclusions.

    Finally, I’ll end on:

    Quote “As to Monotrolls, it seems like they are getting more and more desperate”

    and I can understand that. Vulgarity and rudeness though should never be accepted. I can understand the need to promote and get people depending on Mono, its merely the way its done which I take great issue with. I would add to that though that Mono critics can be just as rude and I think any challenge to Mono needs to be polite and free of vulgarity so that the moral highground can be maintained.

    Kind regards

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