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MS Wants To Outlaw Open Source: "Threatens" the "American Way"

Hemos posted more than 13 years ago | from the we-must-not-have-a-mineshaft-gap! dept.

Microsoft 1169

EnderWiggnz was one of the people who wrote to us about some interesting quotes from Jim Allchin, main Windows guy at Microsoft. Essentially he argues that Open Source undermines intellectual property (which is true) but that it also stifles innovation and he "...can't imagine something that could be worse then this for the software business and intellectual-property business." My favorite quote:"I'm an American, I believe in the American Way,'' he said. ''I worry if the government encourages open source, and I don't think we've done enough education of policy makers to understand the threat." Wow. I know - let's blame Canada! That seems a logical next step!

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Whats next (4)

qwerty823 (126234) | more than 13 years ago | (#428822)

Next they'll be touting that the Department of Justice threatens the "American Way" (or at least M$'s version of it.)

*sigh* (1)

srhuston (161786) | more than 13 years ago | (#428825)

I don't usually resort to this sort of thing, but...

Blow it out your ass, M$.

Okay, I feel better now.

Is Open Source The New Communist Threat? (1)

vbrtrmn (62760) | more than 13 years ago | (#429550)

I really think that Microsoft is running out of time. I can imagine the marketing department:

Well Bill, we've been making these inferior products, which are loaded with bugs for years now. We think there's a fairly new threat to our global domination project. Let's make up a good old Red Scare. We'll send our PR robots out and have them try the 1950's thing. I'm a good old American, this code is developed by many people, it must be bad, it must be run by those commies. We must keep our American Apple Pie values and destroy this new commie threat.

And if that doesn't work, they'll just try something stupider.

you are not what you own

Government lobbying worries me... (5)

JWhitlock (201845) | more than 13 years ago | (#429551)

From the article:

''I'm an American, I believe in the American Way,'' he said. ''I worry if the government encourages open source, and I don't think we've done enough education of policy makers to understand the threat.''

I've always thought that one of the best things that could happen for Linux and other open-source efforts is if the government, in the name of being better stewards of taxpayers money, moved toward open-source solutions. For one thing, we could have real tests of how Linux does on the desktop on a wide scale. Another benefit would be that government-funded software development could be immediately open-sourced, and developers would get paid (government contracts) to make open-source software.

Microsoft is directly threating to convince lawmakers that open-source is un-American, against business interests, and should not be trusted. I doubt they can pass laws against open-source programs, but they may convince lawmakers to create laws that limit open-source penetration in government, schools, etc.

As we've learned with other battles, Being Right often looses to Having Lots Of Money To Buy The Ears Of Courts And Congress

MS is reaching (1)

RenQuanta (3274) | more than 13 years ago | (#429554)

Let's see...Open Source is about the free exchange of information and ideas. The first amendment was written to guarantee freedom of speech.

Yeah those two don't jive at all, do they?

MS is getting really desperate here. Since there is no entity to strike back at in this case, they're trying to do the next best thing. Strike back at the rights and liberties of their very customer base (US citizenry).

What next, a law prohbiting competition against Microsoft?

Fortunately, the USA isn't the world (1)

starseeker (141897) | more than 13 years ago | (#429556)

If the US outlaws open source (although I'm having a really hard time thinking how that would hold up in court) development would just shift elsewhere. Open source stuff doesn't have to be written in the US. And if they outlaw USE of open source software in the US, I'm outta here. Canada isn't that cold. Either way, the uproar over the DVD thing would be NOTHING compared to the response if they tried to kill the open source community.

an example of sensationalism (1)

mi (197448) | more than 13 years ago | (#429558)

MS Wants To Outlaw Open Source

No, they don't talk about that. They would rather governemnt does not encourage it, which is not a governments job, indeed.

undermines intellectual property (which is true)

And why is it true? The authors can still hold the copyrights, etc... Look at the SSH for exampe. You can get its source, but it remains an intellectual property of the creator. Same for the stuff under "Netscape license". Is not it?

If I give you my rubber duck to play I don't automaticly abandon my property rights to it.

By saying it is true, Slashdot only helps the efforts of the desperate MS to make the government discourage open source software, which is not a government's business either.

Welcome to America(tm) (5)

mosch (204) | more than 13 years ago | (#429560)

Home of the Free(tm).

We invented freedom, and we copyrighted it. You may license it for a small (enormous) fee.

"Don't trolls get tired?"

Smokey back room education (5)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | more than 13 years ago | (#429563)

I love that quote: "I don't think we've done enough education of policy makers to understand the threat."

Why do I picture an MS executive alone in the office of some commitee chairman, with checkbook in hand, saying "How much education do you think you'll need to outlaw open source software?" To which the Congressman replied, "I think 15 million credit hours will do nicely".

Hemos: Great Strangelove reference.


Microsoft calling Open Source fascist? (1)

scorbett (203664) | more than 13 years ago | (#429564)

Turn it around. Microsoft is saying that no software can be free, otherwise innovation is stifled and the incentive to do R&D goes away. So who's the fascist?


Libraries threaten the American Way (1)

CrazyJoel (146417) | more than 13 years ago | (#429566)

If people knew that they could read books for free nobody would buy books anymore!

CNET... (1)

Ronin X (121414) | more than 13 years ago | (#429570)

How can I mod a CNET article down as flamebait?

Once again the evil eye of the M$ PR machine has determined that 'Open Source' is a threat. And we all know they never get it right until the third version....

With enough M$ cash in policitian pockets, I can forsee the sad future:
"From whom did you license this software?"
"Nobody. It's Open Source."
"You're under arrest, commie."

Maybe having Linux on your computer would be 'Possesion' while actually hacking code would be 'Possesion with intent to distribute'.

Re:What's next: (5)

ocie (6659) | more than 13 years ago | (#429572)

Q: Are you now, or were you ever a member of the FSF?

A: no

Q: Are you now or have you ever written free software?

A: yes, I wrote several apache modules used by the senate's web server.

Q: oh, well, I , er...

this has to be a joke (1)

bigbadbuccidaddy (160676) | more than 13 years ago | (#429573)

With morons like this guy at M$, no wonder their products suck ass.

Redefining education (1)

jasonk3 (313457) | more than 13 years ago | (#429575)

"I worry if the government encourages open source, and I don't think we've done enough education of policy makers to understand the threat."

That's it, the policy makers haven't been "educated" on the facts. Perhaps MS lobbyists should "educate" the policy makers with more stadium-fuls of money.


Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#429580)

I am glad to see a patriotic organization such as Microsoft finally standing up to the pinko commies who have been trying to take control of the the internet with their free software. Maybe Microsoft can use their windows technology to reanimate McCarthy and we can have a real witchhunt (I mean a return to the good ol days when Americans were 'us', and freewheeling hippie pinkos were 'them')

God Bless America (salute)

It seems like that power has gone back to the user (1)

rafelbev (194458) | more than 13 years ago | (#429585)

and Microsoft is damn scared about it. They are helpless to the opensource environment because company politics are now useless. They surely produce some free products and we apreciate their effort, but I think the real problem over here is not the pricing of the package. OK... Opensource OSes are cool because they come with a $0 +Bandwidth price tag. But ultimately we do not use such an OS cause of that. Its the ability for me to have a say and do something about a piece of software at my own will that empowers me with this opensource OS. I do not have to respond to company orders in developing a product further than it is, and they do not have control over that. THIS maddens them.

Un-American IBM, Apple, HP, Sun, AOL, AT&T! (2)

DrXym (126579) | more than 13 years ago | (#429587)

All these companies have released open source stuff, sometimes with licences as liberal as the GPL.

This is good. (1)

ibpooks (127372) | more than 13 years ago | (#429588)

With all of the MS FUD floating around lately, we know one major thing:

MS is scared.

If MS didn't think that Linux was a threat, they wouldn't even mention it. Do you see MS trashing OS/2 or Netware? Of course not. Why? Because neither of those is a threat.

threat? (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 13 years ago | (#429590)

what does he mean by "threat"? open source is also a freedom of speech issue. is this a threat to m$ also?

Re:What stage are we at? (4)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 13 years ago | (#429592)

A mix of both? Are they wanting to outlaw ameteurism and hobbies? Oh no! A hobbyist coder at the keyboard! Sheriff, arrest that scoundrel! Coding is something only corporations should do!

Again this shows that some groups believe they are at the center of the universe. I really don't believe that Microsoft's rise and fall really has any impact on the economy or the American way.

Heck, I remember the American Way as doing everything for yourself with your own two hands, even to the point of making your own tools, working in communities in a few projects and not relying on companies for your survival. Of course there is a lot more to it, good and bad, but if they are trying to remove the hobbyist 'hacker' and force them to use commercial products then they really are a monopolistic evil entity. They must get their ideas from the tragedy / satire "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley.

yeah, it stifles robber barrons (4)

MillMan (85400) | more than 13 years ago | (#429593)

who make more money than they deserve.

You know, he should be right...windows should be better than linux. All that money and power, and look what they put out. Semi-functional bloatware. I don't need to tell everyone here about all the inovation paradoxes in his statement. Too easy of a target :)

Frankly any product that is free, or at least costs less than what you needed before, gives more power to the individual. That, my friends, is the American spirit. THAT is democracy. The right to profit is NOT. Unfortunatly, most of America has forgotten this.

Smell the fear (1)

poit420 (248497) | more than 13 years ago | (#429594)

Comments and articles like this one stem from a fear of having to actually provide a value-add in your software. The market isn't a 'given' anymore, and proprietary giants are either accepting change and moving forward, or crying and screaming in the corner like little baby girlies.

I have yet to find arguments against open source development that actually provide a valid point, or that can't be negated by equal benefits. To say it undermines capitalism is ridiculous. The perceived problem isn't the products, it's in the ability to deliver. Bill just hopes no one else can see that.

Re:Open Source stifles innovation - is this true ? (3)

sterno (16320) | more than 13 years ago | (#429595)

An Open Source programmer isn't necessarily motivated to innovate, true. But what happens if they don't? Let's say that for a moment, every single Linux programmer decided that they were sick of innovating in a way that was beneficial to the vast majority of society. So they decide to just turn Linux into a very souped up screen saver but nothing more. What would happen?

1) People who wanted a robust operating system would pay somebody else to build it

2) Other enlightened folks would decide to take the old Linux and continue innovating along a more practical course

3) Other enlightened folks would work on some other system (FreeOpenNetBSD, etc).

So, how can innovation be stifled? At worst, it is increasin people's expectations of what they should get for the money they spend. And ultimately that encoruages better products at lower prices which is increasing efficiency (and that's pretty innovative).


how can open source stifle (1)

mocm (141920) | more than 13 years ago | (#429596)

innovation? Probably in the same way that publishing a scientific paper stifles the research on the respective subject. How does it undermine IP? In the same way patents are intended to hide the your methods of accomplishing a task so that noone can improve them. I guess some people cannot see past their own wallet and confuse innovation and knowledge with profit and power. Just MHO Marcus

Tsc. Who's the next? (1)

Trinidad_T_Tobago (311951) | more than 13 years ago | (#429597)

If all things that came for free are illegal, think about humanitarians efforts...
Thinking about innovation... Hehe, they're really NOVEL when they get an trap on the Windows 3.1 to STOP when running on Novell-DOS!
And About the traps (oh, no traps, only bugs!) to blow the Netscape Navigator away from Win9X ?
Funny. If I gave clothes away to anyone FREE, can the clothes store sue me?

Competition (1)

gus goose (306978) | more than 13 years ago | (#429598)

I think the comment I can't imagine something that could be worse than this for the software business and the intellectual-property business. sums it all up. Competition!

Basically, if your income comes through intellectual property, then of course comparable products without the intellectual property overhead are worse ... for the software business If you are not in the Software Business, then you have nothing to fear, and can only gain through having alternatives.

I am not American, but I always understood that "The American Way" was to cultivate competition. Microsoft, accourding to the courts is thus a poor American Citizen. What right do they have to use the American Way as a defense?

Enough Ranting.

Stifles innovation? (5)

JimDabell (42870) | more than 13 years ago | (#429599)

Essentially he argues that Open Source undermines intellectual property (which is true) but that it also stifles innovation

How can people possibly take this seriously? Scientists have been relying on others' work all along, "standing on the shoulders of giants" in order to make the next innovative step. Having to reinvent the wheel to think up a car is just plain stupid. So why can he get away with claiming that the inverse is true for software?

'Open source is an intellectual-property destroyer,'' Allchin said.

This, again, is rubbish. Perhaps it takes away the ability to make money in specific areas (who would pay for a proprietary 'ls'?), but that it a really good thing for innovation. It means that software companies have to invent new things (oh the horror) if they want to remain profitable, instead of hocking the same old stuff over and over.

Microsoft provides support to change and develop products based on its operating system software that Linux companies don't, he said.

Hmmm. Sounds like the journalist got Windows and Linux confused. It's Linux that is available to modify and base products on.

On a side note, are there any arguments against Free software that are actually more specific than "stifles innovation"?

Re:Let's get things straight (2)

mgkimsal2 (200677) | more than 13 years ago | (#429600)

"Without the growth from *purchases* (which business can afford), the economy will not do as well."

People *purchase* our services to set up web/file/print servers. They save money by only purchasing our services, not our services plus licensing fees.

In the many dotcom crashes over the past year, couldn't more of them have used open source to spend a few hundred thousand less on servers/desktops/etc.? Maybe they wouldn't have had to lay off as many people. They could have PURCHASED more/better labor rather than PURCHASE more MS servers (or other closed-source products).

Money will continue to be spent - make no doubt about it. But if open source continues to grow like it has been, it'll be spent less on closed-source software like MS and more on people to actually do the work that needs to be done.

Strange view of america, not? (1)

iaitanto (39460) | more than 13 years ago | (#429601)

Well, considering all the stereotypes that
float around here in good 'ole Europe, the
USA are the home of the brave and the fortress
of freedom. Strange now, that at least in
Redmond, it has turned into the home of
cowards that cover before marketing people
and of slaves forced to constantly repeat
marketing nonsense.

At least from an old-fashioned european point
of view, there is no better way to innovate
than to have great brainstorming.

Ah well, thank god I'm not redmondian-american.

- Chris

PS: no offense against the non-redmondian part
of the USA ;)

Christian Loth
Project 'Gidayu' at http://gidayu.mud.de

Re:In some ways, it does (3)

twivel (89696) | more than 13 years ago | (#429602)

It doesn't threaten the american way. After all, americans are becoming more and more service oriented each year. With manufacturing plants moving to other countries like Mexico.

It threatens a business model, nothing more. It threatens the idea that you create software with the intent of keeping it secret and selling executables.

Please don't forget our free software fundamentals. Free software is not about price. In fact, there are costs to free software. Even the GNU philosophy describes what the "Free" in free software really means. It's freedom not price [gnu.org] that matters.

The cost of free software is the work it takes to maintain, modify improve and support it. Free software relies on the community to support it and contribute back to it. This is why it is great to see big corporations like IBM paying money to develop and improve it. So everyone who reads this, go out and pick a project you like. Then start learning how to help it. Whether that be develop documentation or write code, it's your choice.


I like this quote: (1)

rebill (87977) | more than 13 years ago | (#429604)

> ''We can build a better product than Linux,'' he said.

If those fools in Redmond actually did make a better product, there would have been no Open Source Movement to begin with!

Canadian Retort (1)

Raving Lunatic (67643) | more than 13 years ago | (#429607)

Ah, as a Canadian in anticipation of imminent blame, I feel it necessary to point out the auslander's view that the American Way is supposed to be "do whatever the fuck you want". Gee, where did money factor into the equation?

FUD from Hemos (1)

Fraize (44301) | more than 13 years ago | (#429608)

Nowhere in the linked article does anybody mention that Microsoft wants to outlaw open-source.

Re:Microsoft calling Open Source fascist? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#429609)

Please note, that the guy who used the word "fascist" was Brian Behlendorf, leader of Apache Foundation, not anyone from Microsoft.

They must read /. (2)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 13 years ago | (#429675)

'I think Microsoft is trying to paint the open-source community as being fascist; that all software have has to be free, or none of it can be,' said Behlendorf

What stage are we at? (3)

donglekey (124433) | more than 13 years ago | (#429678)

So are we at the fighting stage or the laughing stage, I can't really tell.

Yes! Blame Canada (1)

BloodyWanker (311122) | more than 13 years ago | (#429685)

They're not even a real country anyway! Usually MS FUD is silly, this is downright idiotic. That's like saying that musicians without a recording contract shouldn't be allowed to play or think up new music. What a joke.

What's next: (1)

Corgha (60478) | more than 13 years ago | (#429687)

"Senator, there are exactly 23 card-carrying members of the Communist Party at the FSF."

Re:What stage are we at? (1)

dmitri (82525) | more than 13 years ago | (#429700)

Definitely the fighting stage; it won't take long now until stage four. :)

What MS Needs to do... (3)

sconeu (64226) | more than 13 years ago | (#429702)

Then, if Mr. Allchin really feels this way, what is needed is:

Don't teach compiler theory in schools. Someone might make an open source compiler.

Don't teach OS theory in schools. Someone might make an open source OS.

Only sell your compiler/development tools to a select few who agree not to develop open source products. After all, if you sell to anyone, who knows what they might do?

Get a fscking clue, Mr. Allchin!

Oldest trick in the book (Or at least close) (1)

cmowire (254489) | more than 13 years ago | (#429704)

It's pretty easy to get a lot of Americans pissed off at your opponents. Just call them "Un-American". Just think about the House Unamerican Activities Comission and all of the American lives it ruined in the fifties.

God I'm glad I was born in '78. I missed out on the fifties AND the sixties! ;)

In some ways, it does (2)

Chuck Flynn (265247) | more than 13 years ago | (#429705)

That is, the American way as defined as the puruit of corporate greed. I'm an American, and it sickens me.

America didn't invent the corporation. But in the 19th century, America went further than any other country in perfecting this glorious instrument of money-extraction. Who else would have thought to give the status of natural personhood to corporations as our Supreme Court did? Who else would have turned the English language into the most imperial language on the earth today, not because of any military conquest (though the US does have plenty) but because of corporate conquest?

Open-source undermines all of that. Third-world countries like El Salvador and India can compile their own operating systems and tools instead of buying them from American corporations like Microsoft. Even within the US, people are turning away from expensive software and to free software. It's just cheaper.

In a world where the lead developer and figure head of the next greatest software is a Finn from Sweden, what hope does the US hegemony have? That's what Microsoft is worrying about here. And they're right.

Viruses and the American Way (2)

skya (239151) | more than 13 years ago | (#429710)

If this person's idea of the "American Way" is anything similar to that of Columbus and the american pioneers, we all should be expecting some nasty viruses to come from Microsoft. Or at least the possibility of putting ourselves in a position of vulnerability by using MS products.

You think MS would fix the Address book in Outlook so viruses couldn't attack using it.

Freedom to Innovate (1)

R@Bastard (91524) | more than 13 years ago | (#429723)

Does that ring a bell to anyone?

I thought that I heard that somewhere.

You'd think that will all of the money they throw at PR, they could at least *hide* their inconsistency and fear a little better. Isn't that what PR is for?

Open Source stifles innovation - is this true ? (2)

Lover's Arrival, The (267435) | more than 13 years ago | (#429727)

Let us analyse this sentiment a little. The hallmark of the open source philosophy is that there be a group, or bazaar, of developers who all work at a project as they see fit.

The problem with this is that they are suspect to all the usual forces that affect humans in normal society. In a company, programmers have to follow the dictacts of those above, and 'those above' have to follow the dictacts of the shareholder and the consumer. This forces them to do be innovative.

However, in Open Source, people are subject to a whole gamut of other forces. "what is cool (enlightenment), what is uncool, peer pressure, any of the myriad forces of petty jealousy and human strife, in a chaotic environment.

An open source programmer is like a cowboy in the wild west, trying to stake out his claim to some land. He is not conserned with being innovative in this context, but in stealing land from those already present, be it other cowboys or native americans.

This is the truth as I see it.

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.

Jim Allchin (1)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 13 years ago | (#429730)

Looks like (and has the intelligence of) a linebacker. The guy always says bafflingly stupid shit like this. Why do we give him our attention?

- A.P.

* CmdrTaco is an idiot.

The American Way? (5)

Sandlund (226344) | more than 13 years ago | (#429731)

Oh, like Amish barn raisings should be declared illegal because they threaten the innovation of contractors across our great land.

At least his comments tell us one thing: Microsoft's on the run and they don't have a clue about how to deal with open source.

Wow (2)

Azghoul (25786) | more than 13 years ago | (#429732)

Alright, so it's just a few comments from a competitor, competition is good, etc, but...

It's amazing to me that he's blatantly suggesting that MS and other 'closed' companies should buy some legislation. How much anti-competitive spew can one company spit out?

It's also funny that he's suggesting that the American Way is to buy some legislation to keep your business practices in place... I always read in school that the American Way was essentially 'may the best man win'.

/me picks jaw up off floor.

Let's get things straight (2)

Yoshi Have Big Tail (312184) | more than 13 years ago | (#429733)

MS do not want to outlaw Open Source.

What they have said, is that the government should not encourage it.

And this is more fair.

Let me explain:

The ultimate goal of Open Source is free software.

Now this means that you don't pay anything for it.

If this happens, there is no money to pay programmers. As a result, intelligent people such as myself, who could command 6 figure salaries in any profession will take different career paths.

With fewer programmers, the result will be less innovation and worse software.

Furthermore, universities, etc. won't be able to afford to run computing courses, since, as is the stated aim of many OS people, MS will be dead - and MS funds a lot of universities.

Furthermore, the evidence is that open source does not tend to produce new innovation. For example, desktops such as KDE are based on older products from Apple and MS. When open source is the only thing remaining, innovation will obviously be reduced.

Finally, the fact is that nothing is truly free, and nothing costs money.

Let me talk about the economy. You would agree that in the past few years, it's been doing great.

Furthermore, if you ask an economist to tell you why, they will tell you it's due to IT growth.

Industry produces wealth - they produce the fact that California is the 6-th wealthiest nation worth, and they help the economy.

Killing this industry will not make everything free, but will rather damage the economy.

Without the growth from *purchases* (which business can afford), the economy will not do as well.

Funny quote (5)

srhuston (161786) | more than 13 years ago | (#429735)

'We can build a better product than Linux,'' he [Allchin] said.

So... why don't they? :P

really? (5)

gagganator (223646) | more than 13 years ago | (#429753)

he "...can't imagine something that could be worse then this for the software business and intellectual-property business."

how about monopolies?

Open Source is Voluntary (1)

memgineer (314157) | more than 13 years ago | (#429755)

Why does it not surprise me that a Microsoft executive says that Open Source undermines intellectual property? Might it have something to do with the fact that Microsoft makes its billions by selling software, as opposed to giving it away?

I'm sad to see that they are suggesting that this will undermine IP, which is a *voluntary* system. Intellectual property is protected, as no one can prevent a programmer from learning from the code creation process and applying that experience elsewhere. While the rewards may not be immediately financial, they are certain worth the effort, as thousands of open sourcing programmers will likely attest.

The Monopoly Rolls On... (1)

cruff (171569) | more than 13 years ago | (#429757)

From this person's statements, it looks like Microsoft is trying yet another way to squash a strong competitor. Oddly enough, nothing about "The American Way" forces you to keep your assets protected and to make money with them. Many people in history have given stuff away for many reasons, to the benefit of all. Perhaps Microsoft needs "a whack up side the head" so that they realize that the open source community spans the entire world. I wonder if things like China's efforts to make Linux their standard OS are hitting Microsoft hard.

I don't know about you... (2)

msaulters (130992) | more than 13 years ago | (#429759)

But I find this terrifying. NOBODY markets like MS, and they've demonstrated their ability in recent years to apply that marketing power where it can hurt the open source movement the most, in the lawbooks. They are taking aim, and when they're on target, you can be sure they'll fire. This isn't a game. It isn't friendly. It's war. Open source is the biggest threat to Bill and the way he does business. So he's going to be the biggest threat to us.

Similar to... (1)

yamla (136560) | more than 13 years ago | (#429761)

Open-source is similar to a home architect giving you the blueprints to the house when you contract him. I mean, just think about it... you could build other houses to the same design. Or worse, you could improve on the design. How terrible. Microsoft is right, this is unamerican! Let us destroy all blueprints!


Re:In some ways, it does (1)

wadetemp (217315) | more than 13 years ago | (#429762)

Exactly. The title says it all: open source threatens the "American Way." It most definitely threatens Microsoft's "American Way." I don't know that it threatens mine, though.

Orwellian... (2)

sojiro (255286) | more than 13 years ago | (#429764)

Microspeak: Competition = 'Stagnation' Inovation = 'Undermining' Campaign Donations = 'Educating'

He's kinda right... (1)

qualera (250463) | more than 13 years ago | (#429766)

Well he's right in a limited way. It wouldn't be good for businesses trying to create and maintain monopolies. And it wouldn't be good for those that like to release buggy code that shouldn't even be beta to the public as a finished product. But for everyone else...

The American way? (3)

Monty Worm (7264) | more than 13 years ago | (#429768)

This seems realistic really...

The American Way :

  • Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (in the declaration of Indepenence - I saw this on "Hollywood Squares" last night)
  • or The right to make a buck off the next guy whether he wants to or not

Seriously though, this is the most interesting sign that Microsoft feels badly threatened that they've decided to kill off the opposition lika this...

Like elections (2)

dwbryson (104783) | more than 13 years ago | (#429785)

This kind of reminds me of a political election. Where towards the end it's really close and so they candidates start calling each other names. "I'm for the American way! and my opponent is not! plus he eats moldy cheese!" I mean comon, anybody who even has half a clue can see through this kind of FUD. I just think it's kind of funny that microsoft is resorting to this. ''There is always something enamoring about thinking you can get something for free.'' ... I knew something had been bothering me for the past two years! Thanks for cluing me in Jim! gimme a freakin break

One thing to say (1)

woody_jay (149371) | more than 13 years ago | (#429791)

I only have one thing to say about open source:

Hey, don't knock it till you've tried it man!!!

It's funny how people are so quick to desire the outlawing of something that doesn't fit their way of thinking. What's completely ironic about that, is that for the most part, Open Source (or the fact that no one copyrighted code way back when) is how Bill and Microsoft made their money. Now that they seem to have the world by the balls, they want to outlaw such things that made them rich, famous, and powerful. I guess that's like saying:

Now that I'm president, I'm going to outlaw elections.

What an irony. Of course, this is just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Can you possibly be surprised? (1)

TheGeek (65841) | more than 13 years ago | (#429793)

This is just another example of the corporate smackdown. It comes from lawyers, not administrators, the admins are into anything which develops new, sellable products (and if linux really takes off, there will be a huge market in apps). I just wrote about this corporate-lawyer culture which allows this on my site.


Great quote (1)

khyron664 (311649) | more than 13 years ago | (#429794)

''We can build a better product than Linux,'' he said. ''There is always something enamoring about thinking you can get something for free.''

So why haven't they? If MS can create a better product than Linux, what's stopping them? It's rather obivous they haven't, or they wouldn't be running scared like that are and it's obivous they fear Linux. Why would they fear Linux if they create a better product? Hrmmmm....

Sounds like more FUD to me. What a surprise.


Open Source is not innovation. (2)

SpanishInquisition (127269) | more than 13 years ago | (#429797)

Innovation is to steal ideas from others and pretending there are your own.

Re:What MS Needs to do... (2)

wiredog (43288) | more than 13 years ago | (#429800)

Actually, the RIAA and MPAA would probably support option 3. Licensing of programmers is the logical next step for the DMCA/UCITA crowd.

Slashdot Poll... (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 13 years ago | (#429801)

How many beers had Jim Allchin drunk before publicising his views about Open Source ?
  • None. He was saying this for a laugh.
  • None. He believed what he said.
  • None, but BillG was pulling the strings.
  • 1-3
  • 4-6
  • Jesus, I hope this guy wasn't driving!
  • CowbowNeal

Re:What stage are we at? (3)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 13 years ago | (#429813)

This is the kind of sign that indicates we've progressed past the laughing stage. It's *not* funny to these people anymore. Actually this kind of "Open Source is anti-American" FUD indicates some real fear brewing. Makes the blood rush through my veins. I love a good fight.

Nice flamebait Hemos (1)

eXtro (258933) | more than 13 years ago | (#429815)

Yeah, the Microsoft guy is a dufus, but he never said outlaw Open Source. I was anticipating reading that they were lobbying to prohibit Open Source software in the government but that wasn't the case. No wonder slashdot is home to trolls. The editors in chief are nothing more than trolls themselves.

Most of what he said was wrong or overstated or oversimplified, but Hemos' was no better.

Re:What stage are we at? (1)

donglekey (124433) | more than 13 years ago | (#429816)

No, because Linux has decent java support and people use it even if they don't have to.

Intellectual Property (1)

certron (57841) | more than 13 years ago | (#429819)

Does it really undermine intellectual property or does it just mean that you can borrow it all you want? Say, it is my property, but you can use it all you want, just don't destroy it (which is difficult, since I have 1 copy of it, and so do many other people), you can borrow it as much as you want, but it is still mine.

I interperet the GPL as using copyright law to give rights to the author and ownership to the world at large. It is still intellectual property, but everyone owns it. Are they arguing somehow that it would diminish their own ownership of their code in some way to have other code owned by other people being shared freely?

Why are they trying to tell other people what they can and cannot do with their own property? (I won't start on whether this concept is American or unAmerican... depends on when you are looking at America...)


Where in that article does it say... (3)

joshamania (32599) | more than 13 years ago | (#429820)

...that Micro$oft wants to outlaw open source. I certainly believe they would have a big old party if it were outlawwed, but this is irresponsible journalism.

You are twisting the words of Microsoft to suit your own ends, and it diminishes your credibility.

The American Way (1)

Squiggle (8721) | more than 13 years ago | (#429822)

Maybe the American's should learn something from Canadian's... the American Way seems to be a morally devoid cash-grubbing self-centered existance. Canadian's still have some traces of socialist views (even with being constantly bombarded with American media).

Can some American's explain why the "American Dream" is attractive? I don't understand why you would be proud to find your happiness and "freedom" through money and power. I suppose the Dream has been corrupted by corporate propaganda, but perhaps the dream was flawed to begin with. It's a new century, let's throw out the old dreams, and construct societies that we are proud to be a part of.


It might be bad for the "software business"... (1)

Stalemate (105992) | more than 13 years ago | (#429823)

but it should really be judged on the effects it has on the software itself, not the business of producing/selling it.


Thing is... (3)

JanneM (7445) | more than 13 years ago | (#429825)

The thing is that free/open software plays by the rules. There is no stealing of intellectual property and nothing else illegal going on at all. open/free software is even copyrighted and licenced to its users, just like MS' products are. The only difference (from a legal standpoint) is the distribution method (source) and the terms of the licenses (you don't need to pay, but you have to share).

As far as I am aware, there is only one way that giving stuff away could pose problems, and that is if a market player dumps stuff at below cost in order to squeeze out their competitors. This should not apply in our case, as 'free' is the normal price, not a limited offer, and the cost is (close to) zero, as the vast majority writes the stuff as a hobby, on their free time. Even those companies employing programmers to work on open source should be off the hook as they legitimately can say that they are improving the software for internal use, then sharing the improvements as per the license; or that they are in the service business, not the software business.

I get the impression that MS has current, accurate figures about linux adoption and are getting scared. It'll be interesting to see when usage figures are next published...

We must protect our Precious Bodily Fluids! (1)

daemonc (145175) | more than 13 years ago | (#429847)

...from the International Open Source Communist Conspiracy.

--Dr. Strangelove (or How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love Microsoft)

Gov't open source (2)

ocie (6659) | more than 13 years ago | (#429848)

Yep, I think all the intellectual property that comes out of Darpa and American universities should go to Microsoft. Wait, I mean it should go to the taxpayers who support these institutions.

The internet, UNIX, Linux -- These would not exist in their present forms if their inventors had kept them proprietary. Of course, Microsoft would love this. Why surf the web for the information you want when you can buy it on a Microsoft CD? Why run a free and open operating system on your machine when there is Windows?

American Way == Nazi Comparison (1)

Godai (104143) | more than 13 years ago | (#429850)

Talking about the "American Way" is like comparing somone to being a Nazi: it more or less ends the discussion :) Can't justify your opinion? Just say it's contrary to the mythical American Way, which has been used to justify just about anything you back up with facts

Wood Shavings!

Blameless in Canada (2)

Lew Pitcher (68631) | more than 13 years ago | (#429852)

"Let's blame Canada"

Don't look now, but here in Canada, we already blame the USA. ;-)

Maybe we all should blame Finland, instead.

Any other sources on this? | MS-Corel probe (2)

update() (217397) | more than 13 years ago | (#429854)

The comments in the C|Net story are so absurd (they sound like a particularly heavy-handed Segfault article) I'm curious to see how this was reported elsewhere. I don't see any other coverage, including on the Microsoft site. Does anyone know of other articles?

On the other hand, news of the DOJ investigation of the Microsoft - Corel deal [yahoo.com] is all over the place.

Biggest response ever (1)

sonofepson (239138) | more than 13 years ago | (#429857)

I predict that this topic will generate 452 angry replies, 23 first post claims, 8 goat.cx links and one Portman cluster sighting

Prognosticator to the geeks

Threating intellectual property (1)

leperjuice (18261) | more than 13 years ago | (#429859)

Never mind that Mr. Allchin's comments are FUD at its finest, a quick response to a point and then a question:

Response- Yes, open source projects may mean less of a focus on R&D. However, if good percentage of R&D work done consists mainly of reinventing the wheel, then what is the loss, except perhaps the "churn" that comes from paying engineers who then pay taxes, buy stuff, and otherwise add momentum to the economy.

As for threatening intellectual property, well, that's Napster's job (\me donning asbestos suit in preparation for flames). While open source may reduce the *volume* of intellectual property out there (as a result of reduced R&D), I don't see how open source is a threat to established IP (unless perhaps he's thinking about wacky GPL license-infection or something, which is a non-issue now).

Of course, we all know that what he's really doing is trolling the open source community. Good job Allchin! (Now how can we mod him down?)

I like this quote: (2)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 13 years ago | (#429860)

"We can build a better product than Linux," [Allchin] said.

Well, then, can you get back to us when you finally do? :)

- A.P.

* CmdrTaco is an idiot.

You mean .... (2)

efuseekay (138418) | more than 13 years ago | (#429879)

Blame Canada? [canniballovers.com]

Innovation == making money (1)

ritalin (4861) | more than 13 years ago | (#429881)

In the view of this guy, innovation will never occur if people can't make money from it and market it.

If this were true, then UNIX would have never become. I guess everythign that comes out of Bell Labs isn't innovation and will never be used. I guess nobody uses anything based on unix, i guess unix wasn't innovative.

When was the last time MS innovated anyways? I know office is a good suite. I guess .net is innovation, but is it any good and why wouldn't it be any good if it were an open initiative?

I fail to see how being american makes me a money grubbing pig always seeking the next business opportunity, and not the next advance for the sake of advancement. I guess being an american makes everything have a value in terms of money. How does this guy sleep at night? Windows hasn't innovated since 1995, 98 and ME are basically the same thing with few improvements or innovations.

You don't have to market something to innovate. I guess mapping the human genome was not an innovation. Nope.

This guy shows everything that is wrong with the american view of things. If cnn were to carry this story they would have a view of open source that shows it to be stale and unprofessional and illegal.

Having open source does not inhibit innovation, it simply improves on it. If i innovate i can have 100000 people polish it and look it over as opposed to 10. People can incorporate it into other projects.

I fail to see the undermining of innovation, simply undermining of profit from half-assed innovation.

He's right, but not correct (1)

FastT (229526) | more than 13 years ago | (#429882)

Think about it, open source does inhibit innovation--at least if you take the word literally:
to propose or implement a new method, approach, idea, or the like
Instead of everyone coming up with their own incompatible or closed solution, people can freely build on the work of others. This is less innovation in a narrow view, but that doesn't mean it's a bad thing.

Given the mess of incompatible systems, architectures, desktop environments, what have you, less innovation can be a good thing because it focuses effort where it's needed. Imagine what Linux would be like if Microsoft put as much money (not code!) into it as they do into Windows.

Responses (1)

Datafage (75835) | more than 13 years ago | (#429884)

At the time I read this, three people had replied. All of them were childish remarks. Instead, people should be pointing out that Linux actually promotes the American Way, by making it easier for people to learn computing on their on, based on merit rather than existing wealth, which is the entire Republican "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps" mentality.

Pointing this out, preferably in a more public place than this forum, would do far more good for the cause. And as a disclaimer, I run Windows, and just signed up to beta Windows XP, simply because Linux has never worked properly for me, even when installed by hardcore users. However, I believe choice should exist, and Open Source should not be stopped, I merely choose not to make use of it right now.


Allchin != Idiot (1)

Gray (5042) | more than 13 years ago | (#429885)

I don't think Jim Allchin is an idiot.. This is just a good example of how differient the perspectives can get in this game.. For Jim, money from software=publishing=copyright=tech boom, which in his case, it totally does.. Open source has more hollistic relationship to 'tech boom', again, Jim's right, more education of policy makers would help, just probably not the way he thinks it would..

lowpass.net [lowpass.net]

Love that last quote... (1)

bmacy (40101) | more than 13 years ago | (#429886)

'We can build a better product than Linux,' he said. 'There is always something enamoring about thinking you can get something for free.'

Note he doesn't say they *do* build a better product. He's claiming the "we haven't been trying" defense :)

Brian Macy

Goody, goody (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 13 years ago | (#429887)

"Despite Linux's success in some markets, Allchin says he isn't concerned about sales competition from the product. Microsoft provides support to change and develop products based on its operating system software that Linux companies don't, he said. Companies that use Linux in their products then must pay someone else for support, he said." - This in principle does not go against corporations, in fact it creates new business opportunities since there is a new market niche for support providers.

"''We can build a better product than Linux,''" - We "CAN" means we did not do it yet? and we'll never do (should have added)

"''There is always something enamoring about thinking you can get something for free.''" - which is obviously too human to be American. You can never get a free lunch. If you give me something I want something back, etc. etc. etc. This is not completely true even for the States.

Ah, yes, the American way (1)

cluening (6626) | more than 13 years ago | (#429888)

If you can't beat it, can't buy it, and can't get rid of it, the only thing to do is either sue it or outlaw it!

Such a threat (1)

Iron Webmaster (262826) | more than 13 years ago | (#429889)

The greatest threat to the American Way is free air. We must act quickly before Canada steals it all and Americans are left gasping.

Good for software bad for business. (1)

harl (84412) | more than 13 years ago | (#429890)

''Open source is an intellectual-property destroyer,'' Allchin said. ''I can't imagine something that could be worse than this for the software business and the intellectual-property business.''

Yup it's bad for business. MS will have a harder time making money. So? Adapt and compete and you will succeed.

But open-source is good for software. At least I'm very happy with it. I wish I could play with the Linux at work more but it so rarely breaks that I spend all my time fixing the NT that so rarely doesn't break.

They are frightened (1)

joestar (225875) | more than 13 years ago | (#429909)

I think this is real good news: it shows that MS is more and more nervous about Linux and Free-Software. In the meantime, we have to fight hard because they could have the power to start legal suits against GPL or any open-source license.

I remember that in his autobiography, Bill Gates wrote somewhere that he was scared not to know the day when Microsoft will be at the top and start to fall. I think the day has came and he hasn't realize yet. I'm very surprised that Microsoft reacts this way because I think it's the worse way for them to react to Open-Source. Instead, I think they should put all Microsoft products in Open-Source, that would be a revolution and they would become extremely popular for doing that. And I don't see what would be dangerous for them in doing that, they'd just have to accept the idea to gain less money in licences, and more in e-services.

However, my wish is to see Linux succeed so I hope they won't change their attitude :-)

new M$ platform, follow-up to .NET (2)

Goronguer (223202) | more than 13 years ago | (#429910)

M$ today unleashed their new .FLAMEBAIT platform.

Seriously, this is idiotic.
No one is forced to release software under the GPL. No one's intellectual property has been stolen. If you want to keep your goodies to yourself, no one is stopping you. No one was ever prevented from innovating by anyone in the Open Source movement.

This is the lowest level of attack: empty name-calling and appeals to irrational fears. Next they'll hold up a sheet of paper and say "I have in my hand a list of 107 known Communists in the Open Source Movement."


Correct me if I'm wrong, but... (1)

caino59 (313096) | more than 13 years ago | (#429911)

The Open Source community is a tad larger than just the US...

Besides, Billy Gates can't tell who the people are running copied versions of windows, how the hell are they going to keep us from going to somewhere like SuSE [suse.com] to d/l the OS, and any other overseas site to d/l what people have been working on abroad.
Take it a step further...what's to keep us from just submitting anything we do to some overseas forum?

Bill, sit down, shut up...enjoy the competition. I'm sorry if it's making you guys work to put out a better OS, but i think THAT's what we really need....

Ok, off the soapbox now...


Don't touch my .sig there!

He's right (in some ways) (1)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 13 years ago | (#429912)

There is a certain tendancy for a cool new piece of software to come out, only to be suddenly followed by some open source projects who decide that there ought to be a free version.

A good example is VMWare - it was an innovative, useful new product, but very soon after it was released the FreeMWare (or whatever it is called now) project started up. Now don't get me wrong - I applaud the FreeMWare folks, but you can see how it doesn't bode well for the VMWare guys who did it first. They may be able to compete on features, but they sure can't compete on price. Without VMWare, FreeMWare probably wouldn't have been started, or at least, it would have appeared much later without as much publicity and developer support.



pretty funny (1)

alprazolam (71653) | more than 13 years ago | (#429913)

ms labels opensource as 'unamerican' at the same time they wants to import workers into the country. the whole article was just ridiculous. why should government be involved at all i wonder. maybe he wants government to enforce ms licenses but not the gpl. who knows. the guy just made a bunch of wild accusations, he was probably drunk.

They're just jealous (1)

Coonra (316112) | more than 13 years ago | (#429914)

"Allchin said he's concerned that the open-source business model could stifle initiative in the computer industry."

Really, if he wants to talk about stifling initiative in the computer industry, he needs to look internally. All Microsoft has done is try to stifle any and all competition, so that they come out on top in the marketing world.

It looks like they are just stuggling to try to find more ways to put down Open Source, so that they look good. The question is, in whose eyes do they end up looking good?

--Shoot me, I used to be an MCSE

If it is so bad then why... (1)

manyoso (260664) | more than 13 years ago | (#429915)

do they use it!!!

Perhaps Microsoft should purge there codebase of all the networking code they have taken from BSD before they make such statements.

You know there is real fear up in Redmond when Microsoft is going to the government (HELLO! Antitrust Investigations left and right) for help... ha hah ha

They can't compete on the technical merits so they want to try and legislate there competitors away!

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