[NetBehaviour] Microsoft: Linux is anti-commercial (correct version)
marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Mon Nov 28 13:39:32 CET 2005
*Microsoft: Linux is anti-commercial*
November 25, 2005, 17:30 GMT
Microsoft asked for references to free software to be removed from a
document presented at last week's UN World Summit on the Information
Society (WSIS) conference, the software giant admitted on Friday.
The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is unhappy that the document
was changed and claims that even though it was on the panel discussing
the document, it was not made aware of Microsoft's changes.
The document, known as the Vienna Conclusions, discusses issues around
IT and creativity. The original draft of the document discussed how the
free software model is changing the way people do business.
"Increasingly, revenue is generated not by selling content and digital
works, as they can be freely distributed at almost no cost, but by
offering services on top of them. The success of the free software model
is one example," stated the original document, according to the FSFE.
But the final version of the document contains no reference to free
software. "Increasingly, revenue is generated by offering services on
top of contents," states the final version of the document.
Thomas Lutz, the manager of public affairs at Microsoft Austria, asked
for this section to be deleted as "it contains only a one-sided
perspective on the ICT industry."
"The rationale for this is, that the aim of free software is not to
enable a healthy business on software but rather to make it even
impossible to make any income on software as a commercial product," he
Lutz' comments were posted on a conference blog, but Georg Greve, the
president of FSFE, who was involved in drafting that section of the
document, claims that no-one on his panel was aware of the blog until
Greve criticised Lutz' comments as "Microsoft propaganda".
"This is so obviously stupid and nonsensical that it seems pointless to
comment on it: Just another monopolist trying to uphold their monopoly
by preventing freedom of markets - which is what Free Software really
aims at," he said, on his blog.
But on Friday Lutz denied that the panel was unaware of these changes
and confirmed that his blog postings are accurate.
"The Vienna Conclusions document was created through a democratic
feedback process as requested by the committee and stated on the
committee blog. Each and every participant of the conference was invited
to publish contributions, share feedback and offer changes which
facilitated discussion and an open exchange of positions," he told ZDNet
UK. "All of our change requests were approved by the committee."
This is not the only change to the document that Microsoft brought
about. In a later section of the same document, Lutz asked that a
reference to the open source operating system Linux be removed as "this
is only one particular - anti-commercial - specificity of the open
Microsoft appears to have been stepping up its fight against Linux
recently, with comments about open source 'dorks' and claims that Africa
does not need free software.
This story was printed from ZDNet UK, located at http://news.zdnet.co.uk/
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