Open Source Software vs. Commercial Software:
Migration from Windows to Linux
An IT Professional's Testimonial


When you start to do your research, you will soon find that Microsoft has an interesting history of court cases, buyouts, and many other business tactics. At first you might think, "Yeah right, why would Microsoft want to waste its resources on these things, when it has more important things to do like write software?". Well the truth is Microsoft has purposely leaped into legal battles in order to increase its market stronghold and increase market share, and eventually creating the perfect monopoly. It has purposely purchased competiting companies before they grow big enough to fight directly against Microsoft. The more I looked into Microsoft's history, the more I realized that Microsoft has tried every trick in the book to avoid competition up front. From legal battles to company buyouts, to software patents, Microsoft has repeatedly sought to beat down competition before it creeps up on it. Now... finally Microsoft has one competitor that it won't be able to push down... and that is open source software. Open source software is exactly 180 degrees from proprietary software like Microsoft Windows and pretty much all Microsoft products. And, Microsoft really doesn't have any leverage to do much about it because it is the consumer that will bring the negative effect on Microsoft, by using open source software instead of Microsoft software. Competition is good, and in recent years Microsoft has been scrambling to find ways to try and beat down open source software, especially the GNU/Linux operating system, because it is slowly eating away at Microsoft's global market share, and causing Microsoft to have to compete the good old fashioned way.

A Little Politics: Windows vs. Linux

The argument of Windows vs. Linux is a greatly debated one, and in recent years has become quite heated. And now the debate between Windows 7 and Linux is even more heated, with Microsoft's attempt to recover from its bruises from Windows Vista. Microsoft, being a proprietary company, has dominated the computer market for well over a decade, and is now seeing increased pressure from open source Linux which is slowly eating away at its market share in several areas, along with Apple. More and more blogs, reports, research, and articles pop up daily on the Internet. Users of Microsoft Windows poise themselves against those that use Linux, each defending their operating system and software of choice.

Microsoft itself will argue that Windows beats Linux at this and that. You can spend hours and days reading on the Internet about this subject. However, I find it quite comical that when Microsoft officially announces results in favor of their software, it is often times from a company that they sponsored to run the tests! Plus, if the research is done by setting up some systems and benchmarking them, great, but what about real case scenarious where systems run for years doing normal everyday tasks? This is a difficult scenario to simulate in a lab. Fortunately for Microsoft this isn't the scope of these reports.

If an automobile manufacturer makes Car A and another manufacturer makes Car B, either company can publish a report that says their car goes 0 to 60 over the other, which would make readers think Car A would be better. But, what about a report after 10 years that shows that Car B has less maintenance costs and outlasts Car A? On one side you have a company that is boasting their car is better, but time proven proof shows that the other car is clearly the better option economically and for reliability. As I mentioned earlier, Linux is based on Unix which has been around since the 1960s and refined over the years. In my opinion, this is time proven proof for sure.

If you read the reports on Microsoft's website carefully, you will spot many points in the documents that are carefully crafted in their favor. I am just assuming this, but wouldn't you think that if they sponsor the test, that the results might be a little skewed in their favor? Obviously Microsoft isn't going to post a report on their website that says Linux is better than Windows. On the other hand, you can count that articles posted in favor of Linux will probably be like this one and published by real individuals that use the product every day, not by sponsored research companies. I do know one thing, the amount of articles posted by Microsoft about Windows beating Linux have been very plentiful and seem to be increasing in number over time, which tells me that Microsoft is definitely feeling the pressure from Linux more and more. I think that Microsoft customers are slowly realizing that there are better options out there for a fraction of the costs. Microsoft even goes so far as to put their reports in their own proprietary formats like Powerpoint, Word, and even Windows Media files so that you can't even read them with a simple web browser, but have to use their software to view the documents. Whatever happened to HTML, isn't that the standard for Internet use? I will discuss this sort of straying away from the general standards further on down.

Think of Microsoft as the salesman at your door trying to sell you a product. He comes to your door, and his job is to try and convince you to buy what he is selling. Salesmen are very aggressive because we all know that they don't make money until they make a sale. We all associate salesmen as being sneaky, deceitful, who are willing to say anything to make a sale. It is always easy for the salesman to whip out a bunch of charts and graphs supporting the product he is selling, as "evidence" that his product is superior to the competition. Microsoft does just this with reports published on their own website. Just like the salesman, Microsoft is in the game to make money, and will do whatever it takes to make that sale.


windows 7 ad
A Windows 7 advertisement depicting it to be open and flexible. Windows 7 is proprietary and has many restrictions that most people are not aware of. Advertisements can claim whatever is necessary to make the sale.



Microsoft's Incurred Legal Battles: Patent Wars

Most recently, I came across some articles that describes some of the games that Microsoft plays, to ensure its long term dominance in the desktop PC and mobile computing world, and attempts at the server PC world as well. Some of these moves by Microsoft also backs up my statement just a few moments ago where I mentioned that it must be feeling the pressure of Linux. And, in some cases, the moves by Microsoft are not always in the best interest of its customers, but in the best interest of Microsoft itself. This is another example that the relationship of Microsoft to its customers is a shaky one. Customers are forced to pay for upgrades, and are led into upgrade paths that ensure that they will have to crawl back to Microsoft with each upgrade step. This is Microsoft's famous game of vendor lock-in.

As I mentioned before, Microsoft has purposely started legal battles in order to crush competition and try to take over different software markets. Take for instance the case "Microsoft vs. Java" [1AAA], where Microsoft attempted to destroy Sun's Java technology because it enabled people to run software without Microsoft Windows.

But, there are more games that Microsoft has been playing, in the war of software patents. First, let's look at software patents and what they mean to the software industry. Software patents allow a company to patent certain functionality so that another competitor cannot come along and start cloning the same functionality. This, in theory, would keep the company that first thinks of the functionality safe from others capitalizing on its own ideas. While this is true, there are many side implications of software patents that are very harmful to the entire software market as a whole. I have read time and time again where Richard Stallman, the free software pioneer, has openly deruled software patents. The more I read into why, the more sense it makes. While software patents help protect the inventor, they also weed out competition and form an indirect monopoly. Microsoft today heavily uses the patent system to legally do just this, and in turn uses it to crush its competition and maintain its own monopoly in various software markets. Why else would Microsoft hold over 5000 patents? I will get more into this in a bit.

Most recently, Microsoft started to push for a global or worldwide patent system.[1AA] And, after considering Richard Stallman's idealogy on software patents, it all begins to make sense of why Microsoft would want this so badly. Over the past decade, foreign countries have increased their presence in the global market of software considerably. Microsoft has realized this, and if a global patent system was allowed, would give Microsoft worldwide control on its thousands of patents. The more you think about it, the more it seems like a force becoming hungry for more power. To implement a global patent system would be disastrous, and would completely disallow any sort of competition to Microsoft's products, giving it complete and worldwide market control. It would also prohibit innovation and building off of technologies of today, to prepare for tomorrow. It would encourage duplicate effort to achieve the same software goal, as every party would be attempting to get to the same result while trying not to infringe on any other party's patent. With Stallman's open model of free software, all parties work together to achieve the same goal, which is far more productive.

Microsoft has been playing other games with patents and has been in the courts seeking alternative ways for compensation. In 2007, Microsoft openly announced that Linux violated 235 of its software patents. [1A] Things from the way menus and toolbars worked to other visual effects of software. Yet, users that have used both Windows and Linux will note that Microsoft has in many ways taken ideas from open source and used them openly without asking. This is in part because open source software doesn't have patents, there is essentially no need for them and it is part of the GPL (GNU General Public License) that states that patents are prohibited. So, this starts to get into the "one way street" politics of Microsoft, where it strays into its own world yet slaps the hand of others that try to mimic its ways, but it can go ahead and mimic other software without being challenged. Very similar to a 2-year old child who throws a temper tantrum when they do not get their way or are told "no".

With this statement in 2007, Microsoft has started to pursue royalties from companies and users who use open source software and Linux. Why would they consider doing this? Well, at first most would say it is to squeeze more money out of companies that are using a competing product. And this is partially right. However, it is also to try and pursuade those companies to switch back to Microsoft products to avoid conflict. But how can a company try to play these evil games, is this ethical? Well, the answer to that is definitely based on opinion, however my belief is that Microsoft is feeling the pressure of Linux as a competitor and does not like what it is seeing. Therefore, my belief is they are trying to head off Linux at the pass before the situation gets worse. Let's face it, Microsoft has not really seen any threatening competition within the past 20 years or so. Now that Microsoft is making such strange moves tells me they see Linux and open source as a viable threat. That should mean something due to the size of Microsoft. However, the consumers and users of the software ultimately have more power which Microsoft realizes.

Since 2007, Microsoft has been active in some additional lawsuits over patents. I have read about another case where Microsoft actively sued a company for using Linux. This was the case of Microsoft against TomTom, which had decided to use the Linux kernel in its car navigation systems. Details of this case can be found by searching for it on the Internet. However, some speculate that this move has shown even more desperation from Microsoft which may show it is feeling even more pressure from Linux and the open source community. [1B] It has been said that some personnel of Microsoft are fiercly competitive and could account for Microsoft starting to get agitated at the presence of Linux and the dent that it is putting on Microsoft's bottom line.

Microsoft has also started bullying companies to sign secret patent agreements, which the details of these agreements are kept behind closed doors. However, the details that have leaked out basically state that manufacturers have agreed to pay Microsoft a small fee for each device they manufacture. For instance, Amazon secretly signed a patent deal with Microsoft over the Kindle. In October of 2011, Microsoft announced that they had signed a total of ten software patent agreements with manufacturers of Android devices. Android is Google's operating system based on the Linux kernel, and is commonly found on many phones and tablets. Since each manufacturer can customize the Android operating system for its own device, Microsoft has been able to go after multiple manufacturers at once. This ensures that the money going back to Microsoft keeps flowing like a river. On top of this, it will probably discourage manufacturers from using the Android operating system, because of these extra fees. Manufacturers need to look at both hands, in one hand they have Android, where they are being forced to pay Microsoft for using, and in the other hand they can have Microsoft's Windows operating system, without paying fees to Microsoft. Unfortunately I see these secret patent deals giving Microsoft the upper hand in the mobile computing market, unless the software patent madness can be stopped.

The interesting thing about the patent wars between Microsoft and other companies is that some companies have stood up and sued Microsoft for software patents that were infringed. The game that Microsoft plays has actually bitten it back. For instance, a company called "i4i" sued Microsoft for using its custom XML technology in its Word 2007 software. This case, if decided in i4i's favor, would change the Microsoft Word 2007 software so that Microsoft would have to roll out a patch to change its functionality and remove the offending functionality from the program. Microsoft has since appealed, and at the time of this writing the case has not been settled. Unfortunately, as this example shows, two companies battling over a software patent can affect the customers of the software. Users have already purchased and installed Microsoft Word 2007 which includes the offending functionality. So, if the settlement of this case decides that Microsoft must remove the offending functionality, this will change the software that the customers already have installed and started using. This could really affect a company that may have already created documents with the format, and already depends on it being there.

In 2011, Microsoft again went after another company over the Android operating system. This time it was Barnes and Noble, and it was because of B&N's Nook ereader which runs the Anroid operating system. I was a bit surprised that Microsoft would go after the Nook ereader, which isn't a direct threat against Microsoft really. Microsoft doesn't really have an ereader on the market right now. But, some interesting information has surfaced courtesy of Barnes and Noble, who said that the accusations by Microsoft of patent infringement are bogus. B&N has publicly stated that it believes Microsoft is using the patent infringement threats to try and control the market because of the highly successful Android operating system. B&N has also stated that it believes that the accusations of Microsoft have nothing to do with current Microsoft products, but is strictly to try and make Android devices unattractive to consumers. B&N went even further to back up their theory on Microsoft's strategy, by bringing up the recent deal between Microsoft and Nokia which essentially has Nokia totally dumping its Symbian operating system and moving strictly over to the Windows Phone operating system on its new phones. B&N claims it has video evidence with statements by Nokia and Microsoft agreeing that together they have a very strong patent portfolio and shall use it defensively and offensively. A snip posted by Barnes and Noble has stated:

"...Microsoft has asserted patents that extend only to arbitrary, outmoded, or non-essential design features, but uses these patents to demand that every manufacturer of an Android-based mobile device take a license from Microsoft and pay exorbitant licensing fees or face protracted and expensive patent infringement litigation. The asserted patents do not have a lawful scope sufficient to control the AndroidTM Operating System as Microsoft is attempting to do, and Microsoft’s misuse of these patents directly harms both competition for and consumers of all eReaders, smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile electronic devices....

3. Microsoft did not invent, research, develop, or make available to the public mobile devices employing the AndroidTM Operating System and other open source operating systems, but nevertheless seeks to dominate something it did not invent. On information and belief, Microsoft intends to take and has taken definite steps towards making competing operating systems such as the AndroidTM Operating System unusable and unattractive to both consumers and device manufacturers through exorbitant license fees and absurd licensing restrictions that bear no relation to the scope and subject matter of its own patents....

9. On information and belief, as part of Microsoft’s recently announced agreement with Nokia to replace Nokia’s Symbian operating system with Microsoft’s own mobile device operating system, Microsoft and Nokia discussed and apparently agreed upon a strategy for coordinated offensive use of their patents. Indeed, in videotaped remarks made two days after the Microsoft-Nokia agreement was announced, Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop confirmed that Microsoft and Nokia had discussed how their combined intellectual property portfolio is “remarkably strong” and that Microsoft and Nokia intended to use this combined portfolio both defensively and offensively. This type of horizontal agreement between holders of significant patent portfolios is per se illegal under the antitrust laws, threatens competition for mobile device operating systems and is further evidence of Microsoft’s efforts to dominate and control Android and other open source operating systems."

Microsoft followed up to Barnes and Noble by stating:

"Our lawsuits against Barnes & Noble, Foxconn and Inventec are founded upon their actions, and the issue is their infringement of our intellectual property rights. In seeking to protect our intellectual property, we are doing what any other company in our situation would do."

As always, Microsoft appears smug with its statements, acting innocently as if it could do not wrong. It will be interesting to see how this case unfolds. You can read more about this case on the Groklaw website.

With Stallman's model, software patents are prohibited, and therefore all of the political games and issues are prohibited as well. In the end, conflict of this nature is completely non-existent with free and open source software, and results in further well developed software by the overall community in a cooperative fashion. It also avoids reverse changes due to legal reasons as in the examples above. Users of the software should not be subjected to the legal battles between Microsoft and others over software patents and ever changing software because of them.


Attacks on Linux

Other alleged documents and blips have also been "leaked" out from Microsoft's internal network, depicting various methods to try and push Linux aside. For instance, a presentation called "Comes vs. Microsoft – exhibit PX09346" surfaced in 2005 which outlines various figures put together by an employee of Microsoft. The presentation describes what Microsoft calls its "Delta Force", which seems to be an intricate plan to try and attack GNU/Linux. In the presentation, Microsoft is portrayed as a powerful company that should snub Linux in every situation possible. The presentation includes broad statements such as

All figures shown are in complete support of Microsoft and advantages of Microsoft in every way over Linux. At first glance, the numbers all appear legit. However, if you understand the situations behind how the numbers are obtained, it brings in some question on how accurate or fudged the numbers really are. In one section, the total number of patches released by Microsoft for Windows is compared to Linux as a whole. Since all of the evidence was researched by Microsoft or its paid partners, it's no wonder the data is in support of Microsoft. The presentation sounds more like a pep rally to me for fellow Microsoft employees. I find that the numbers are so far in support of Microsoft that they just don't seem fathomable. Many figures are skewed way off in one direction. Is Microsoft trying to brainwash its employees? The actual truth may never be known. There are no doubt many secrets behind the closed doors of Microsoft that may never get leaked out. However, things will catch up in time. Microsoft makes broad statements frequently that implies that they are viewed as immortal at times. But, it is clear that Microsoft is feeling some sort of pressure of open source software, as more and more reports are now surfacing published by Microsoft, that attack Linux and open source directly. And, the most recent market share numbers show that Microsoft is losing ground quickly to Apple, Linux, and other vendors starting in late 2008 and into 2009. My personal advice is to look around on your favorite search engine, and study the reports of Windows vs. Linux that are ONLY published by third parties, or parties that are NOT endorsed by either party. If you do this, you will soon find that almost every report is released by just such parties. Microsoft tries to inject its own reports into the mux of others, but sift through and you do your own research. This article is released in the context mentioned; I am not endorsed by Microsoft or the open source community in any way. I publish my findings in true honesty as I have seen them in my many years as a systems/network administrator of both operation systems. Linux does not need to endorse anybody, partially because Linux is not really a single entity like Microsoft, and also because the Linux community in general doesn't really feel it necessary. The true facts of Linux and Windows will appear on their own.

In other recent happenings, Microsoft has also tried to gain share of the netbooks back from Linux. If you don't know what netbooks are, they are lightweight laptops. They recently became quite popular because of their small size and portability. Linux started to appear on netbooks and actually gained quite a bit of share, then the trend swung back to Windows. However, newer versions of Windows will have a fight as the netbooks are limited on resources as well, which as we know has been a roadblock for Windows on the past because of it's bloated nature.

So, how to combat Linux in the netbooks and retail markets? Microsoft invented its "ExpertZone" training and in a section of this "exam", it targets Linux directly. In the Linux section, a series of questions are presented with canned answers that promote Microsoft products. This was introduced to employees of retail stores in order to persuade them to sell Windows over Linux. Interesting approach, as its purpose is to put ideas in the minds of employees that Windows is better than Linux. The reward for completing this "exam" is to get a copy of Windows 7 for only $10. At least, this is the rumor, I have not verified this directly. Not a bad deal, IF it is true, and IF you want to continue using Windows and/or learn more about it. It will be interesting to see how effective this is in the long run. Microsoft clearly has many advantages over Linux with broad exposure to the public. And, it is clear they are beginning to take advantage of this to try and prevent more people from discovering Linux. My hope however is that by doing this, Microsoft will bring Linux to light for those that may have never heard of it before, and as a result may spark some interest for some to pursue Linux and check it out.

Probably one of the most disconcerting facts about the "ExpertZone" section against Linux, is that the answers are very ambiguous and could easily be argued. For example one of the questions Microsoft tries to compare the number of updates for Ubuntu Linux vs. Windows. Microsoft claims that Ubuntu can have "hundreds" of updates per month. However, the scope of Ubuntu includes the complete Ubuntu distribution, which not only includes the Linux operating system but ever piece of open source software with it. So, in reality, yes there will be more updates for the entire Ubuntu distribution when compared to just Windows, which is the bare OS only. To make a comparison on a level playing field is almost impossible, as both products cover a completely different scope. But, the bad part about all of this is that normal everyday Windows users do not know these simple facts when reading the Microsoft claims.

Another section claims that Linux has low support for MP3, printers and scanners, software compatibility, World of Warcraft, "Authorized support" (which I have no idea what that is supposed to mean), and video chat on all major IM networks. However, to the contrary, Linux does have good support for these items.

Proof of Microsoft's bitter take on Linux can also be found in other areas. Simply looking around on Google for inside posts at Microsoft will yield interesting results. Take for instance a job posting that Microsoft published but then removed from its website quickly, for a "Linux and Open Office Compete Lead". In this job posting, Microsoft seems to be looking to add to a team to hunt out and beat Linux in various markets. Phrases appear in the posting, such as:

If Microsoft is assembling a specific team to fight Linux, then is definitely a good thing as it means they are acknowledging direct competition!

Microsoft only mentions points where it thinks Windows excels over Linux by miles, to try and prove a point. But just because Microsoft says "it is", doesn't necessarily mean it is! The pure fact that Microsoft is trying to sell you something, doesn't mean they are telling the absolute truth. Think of it as a salesman. Most of use associate salesmen as sneaky individuals that will tell you ANYTHING to make a sale. Doesn't this sound famliar? This is one frustrating thing that has actually turned me away from Microsoft products. Countless times Microsoft has made a claim that their software does something that no other can, and later I discovered that there were open source products that actually COULD. This is why I have posted additional information on making a migration from Windows to Linux and how many common tasks can be done with open source software without paying a dime for equivalent commercial software. Many people associate the Microsoft name with one they can trust. However, I can only hope that eventually they will discover that while Microsoft is making its claims about how wonderful it is, that money is being slipped out of their pockets at the same time.

Luckily, attempts by Microsoft to thwarte Linux have so far been unsuccessful on a global scale, thanks to the work of Richard Stallman's GPL (GNU General Public License), and lawyers of Stallman's Free Software Foundation such as Eben Moglen. Recently, Microsoft has made mild statements that nobody should rule out the possibility of more patent infringement cases. [1C] What is probably most disconcerting about the whole topic is that Microsoft has actually considered drawing royalties from its own customers, which backs up my previous statement about Microsoft looking out for itself with the sacrifice of others, even its own customers. To me it seems like double dipping into the pockets of its very own customers. Hopefully, the customers will not tolerate it. It has been openly published that Microsoft started seeking out royalties from some of its customers, some being Fortune 500 companies. Some of the companies actually complied to avoid conflict.

Sure, you can say that it is unfair to pick on Microsoft. Many feel that those critical of Microsoft are just mad because they have been so successful. That is not the goal of this article whatsoever. I agree that Microsoft has been VERY successful at marketing its products to its consumers. However, there are many problems with the way that Microsoft goes about its business. Things are done in very crafty and aggressive ways to try and crush competition. Its software is incredibly buggy when compared to open source alternatives. This is where I feel that Microsoft plays some very ugly games, and as a result, the consumers are often times the ones that are hurt. It is my goal to put the facts down in front of you, and let you the reader decide what your take is. It is quite easy to search on the Internet and find articles that are critical of Microsoft, so I have decided to only touch the surface in this article.


Lobbying with Governments

So what other clever schemes could Microsoft use to ensure there is little to no competition? Lobbying with governments of course! Just another trick up its sleeve. There have been countless cases of Microsoft lobbying with the government, presenting cash to drive away competition, and many other schemes. And not only has Microsoft tried to lobby against governments, but within schools and educational institutions. A example of some of this lobbying effort takes place with the Association for Competitive Technology. What is this? It is also known as ACT, and is an organization formed in 1998 by software developers of the Microsoft Windows platform. This group strongly supports intellectual property rights, often referred to as IP, which includes software patents. This group is also known to support limited government involvement in antitrust regulation. See the tie here? The ACT was formed right around the time that Microsoft was involved with its antitrust hearings. Most recently the ACT lobbied against the State of Massachusetts' endorsement of the OpenDocument standard. The OpenDocument standard is a file format for electronic documents, spreadsheets and presentations, most commonly used by the OpenOffice office software suite, a direct competitor of Microsoft Office. As you can probably already tell, Microsoft sees the OpenDocument format as a conflict to its own proprietary Microsoft Office document formats. So, in the case of the State of Massachusetts which layed down plans to migrate to the OpenDocument standard, Microsoft quickly jumped in and tried to alter the plans in its favor. Fortunately, the State of Massachusetts moved forward with the OpenDocument migration anyway. The OpenDocument standard is fully supported in the OpenOffice / LibreOffice free open source office software, commonly found in Linux distributions. Since this software is a direct competitor to Microsoft, when large governments or organizations start talking about plans to use it, it lights up a huge warning signal at Microsoft.

It has been thought that the ACT is also a front for Microsoft, and acts upon Microsoft's wishes. This means, it appears as an independent organization yet it is solely controlled by Microsoft without the general public knowing it. There is more about this discussion below, about Microsoft using puppets on its own behalf.

More recently in 2011, it has been said that the ACT has been lobbying to try and block the import of Android devices [1BB]. Sound familiar again? Not only has Microsoft tried putting down Android by going after Android manufacturers with secret patent deals to collect royalties from them, but it is also backing the ACT to lobby against Android at the same time. If ACT is a front for Microsoft, it provides a backdoor for Microsoft to secretly fight the competition. Even if the ACT may seem like a separate entity, nothing can stop Microsoft from funding the ACT which indirectly makes Microsoft involved in their actions. So as you can see, Microsoft is attacking the competition from many fronts simultaneously.


The Great Puppeteer

So what is with all of the accusations that Microsoft uses 3rd parties to act upon its behalf, such as the ACT group mentioned above? Microsoft as we all know is a very large company, with a huge cash pile and resources that we cannot even imagine exist. With this, it is reported that Microsoft frequently uses puppets or fronts, which are 3rd party companies and organizations that do the dirty work. Why would this help? Because by doing this Microsoft can completely wash its hands in case any bad propaganda were to come up from some of its antics. Microsoft is known to use organizations as fronts like ACT, as well as individuals. We already know what Microsoft does with organizational fronts. With individual fronts, Microsoft is mostly known to pay individuals to post on blogs and in forums, strongly supporting Microsoft and lashing out at other competitors and software. Often times they appear in Linux-based or anti-Microsoft forums or newsgroups, and comments usually are so skewed in favor of Microsoft that they stand out. It has been said that Microsoft's puppets also post bogus messages in forums, such as Linux-based forums, pretending to have bizarre problems and asking for help. When help is offered by the open source community, the puppets disappear and are never heard from again.

Usually, Microsoft's puppets are very strongly opinionated in favor of Microsoft, so much as they often sound like Microsoft employees. Be on the watch, and you will see what I mean if you dig around or participate in Linux forums. This area seems to be where most of these Microsoft puppets are spotted. This, and I'm pretty sure I've seen some in feedback comments on news articles and anti-Microsoft blog posts that have negative information about Microsoft.


Next Section : A Little Politics:Open or Closed, Software Editions, Market Usage

Previous Section: Preface, People Are Habitual, A Little History


Table of Contents


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1AAA. CNET News: Microsoft's Holy War on Java

1AA. Microsoft pushes for single global patent system

1A. CNN Money: Microsoft takes on the free world

1B. CNET News: TomTom suit suggests Microsoft's still Microsoft

1BB. Microsoft Throws More Lobbyists Into the Ring to Ban Linux Phones

1C. CNET News: Microsoft lawyer 'won't speculate' on Linux suits