Closed !== Open

Need a good laugh today?

About Microsoft Openness

Microsoft has changed as a company and is becoming more open in the way that we work with and collaborate with others in the industry, in how we listen to customers, and in our approach to the cloud.

We contribute to and partner with open source communities and promote interoperability to make it easier and less costly for customers to develop and manage mixed IT environments. We actively participate in the standards setting process and support established and emerging standards in our products.

In the cloud, we support key standards that provide the building blocks for open, interoperable cloud services, and we support developer choice of programming languages. We support data portability and believe customers own and control their data, no matter where it resides.”
see Microsoft Openness – Building Bridges Across Technologies.

Well, is it possible for the company that brought the world the following to change?

  • “best seen at 800×600”
  • re-re-reboots
  • the registry
  • domains designed to sell server licences
  • waves of malware
  • really restrictive licences and EULAs
  • embrace, extend, extinguish
  • desktop monopoly
  • outrageously expensive IT compared to what is needed

I don’t think so. In the immortal words of Paul Moritz,

  • to combat Nscp. we have to have position the browser as “going away” and do deeper integration on Windows. The stronger way to communicate this is to have a “new release“ of windows and make a big deal out of it. We will thus position Memphis as “Windows 98′.
  • IE integration will be most compelling feature of Memphis.

Nathan Myhrvold wrote, “I think that it is CRUCIAL to make the statement we ask people about in the survey, or the statement we ask them to sign etc. is worded properly.

Saying “put the browser in the OS” is already a statement that is prejudical to us. The name “Browser” suggests a separate thing. I would NOT phrase the survey. or other things only in terms of “put the browser in the 0S’‘.

Instead you need to ask a more neutral question about how Internet technology needs to merge with local computing. I have been pretty successful in trying this on various joumalists and industry people.

To sum up, is the company that brought waves of malware to the world of IT by integrating a totally insecure web browser with their OS in order to mess with competitors to be trusted as “open”? No. M$ is a closed corporation with closed products intending to close out competition by fair means or foul. Pretending to be open is just a means to delay the shift to real openness, FLOSS, or to slow that shift.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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12 Responses to Closed !== Open

  1. oiaohm says:

    Der Balrog these patent nightmares from hell are why Royalty free standards are so good. There is less ways to screw up writing a Royalty free patent declare.

  2. oiaohm says:

    Der Balrog
    –Firefox could’ve played back H.264 years ago. Because Windows 7′s support for H.264 was there years ago. But Mozilla decided that this was unethical.–
    Wrong breach of patent todo that before Nov 2012, Oct 2012 terms were slightly corrected. This all goes back to MPEG-LA H.264 playback licenses.

    Stupid its another thing fixed in Nov 2012 fix of licenses at MPEG-LA. To be correct it was not patent clear to have software use a H.264 software codec it does not license directly. So yep every application using the built in Windows Software Codec of H.264 that was not made by Microsoft until Nov 2012 was in breach of the patent license.

    Prior to Nov 2012 it was permitted to use true hardware implementations of the codec only to be shared. Windows did not make that simple to find out if it was software or hardware and that would not have made users particularly happy either. Even in android solving this was not simple either.

    It basically been a completely screwed up mess.

    First attempt at fix in the H.264 licenses start Jan 2012. Lets just say it too a few round to get all the bugs out.

    Der Balrog hardware decoders this complete time have not had a issue. MPEG-LA license on hardware decoders is that you can basically send anything to them and it legally fine.

    Its the software decoders where MPEG-LA license goes nuts. And some of the restrictions of hardware encoders.

    Yes the reason why chrome and opera shipped with there own instances of the H.264 was lack of means to use the OS included in XP and Vista. 7 the license was kinda right and kinda wrong.

    Welcome to errors from hell for software development basically.

    Yes there was also some issues with what is software and what is hardware. Yes the crap that was done to MPEG-LA licensing in 2012 to fix up super big and complex screw ups.

    Note I said jan 2012 they started correcting the licensing. Some over guess how much was fixed.

  3. Der Balrog says:

    By the way, Pogson, why did you use the !== operator? Surely we can agree that “Closed” and “Open” are of the same type.

  4. Der Balrog says:

    This flaw in the MPEG-LA H.264 playback licenses only got fixed Nov 2012. Mostly because Mozilla was refusing to include H.264 until it was fixed.

    Absurd! Mozilla finally relented because:

    a) H.264 is way more popular than VP8, even on Google’s own YouTube platform;

    b) Users demanded H.264 support;

    c) Firefox is stagnating and losing users to Chrome.

    Firefox could’ve played back H.264 years ago. Because Windows 7’s support for H.264 was there years ago. But Mozilla decided that this was unethical. And, of course, they hoped that Google would be able to push VP8 in such a way that it’d become the dominating format on the net.

    Failure due to ideology. As was to be expected.

    And as for your claim, let’s look what Andreas Gal of Mozilla actually wrote back then:

    Initially this will be enabled on Gonk (B2G). In a few weeks we will add support for Android as well. We will support decoding any video/audio format that is supported by existing decoders present on the system, including H.264 and MP3. There is really no justification to stop our users from using system decoders already on the device, so we will not filter any formats.

    Do you get it?

    So firefox 20 will include H.264 in future since now a poor user cannot to be hit for patent offence. Yes its two versions after the correction but that is as fast as Firefox development cycle allowed.

    Utter nonsense. So Mozilla refused to play back H.264 because they cared about the users? So Mozilla gets to decide what a user can or cannot watch? Yeah, that’s freedom right there.

  5. oiaohm says:

    Der Balrog

    –Amazingly it has nothing to do with the fact that you almost always need to get a license from the MPEG-LA if you want to use H.264 for commercial purposes.–

    The problem is that license. Commercial purposes is a very bad wording. So the user who connects and decodes is just as guilty as the supplier due to this being used. The free grant was badly worded. So unlicensed commercial content you are viewing you are in trouble. This flaw in the MPEG-LA H.264 playback licenses only got fixed Nov 2012. Mostly because Mozilla was refusing to include H.264 until it was fixed.

    So firefox 20 will include H.264 in future since now a poor user cannot to be hit for patent offence. Yes its two versions after the correction but that is as fast as Firefox development cycle allowed.

    Der Balrog if you want to blame anyone for the H.264 mess with firefox its MPEG-LA for having license terms that did not split between supplier and end user correctly. Supplier profiting from the commercial usage ie gulity hit. Don’t hit there poor customers who did not know they did not have a license basically.

    By the way there are other codecs MPEG-LA licenses out that still can kick your ass just playing stuff back if the other person is not correctly license.

    H.264 encoding is another perfect stuff up. Person A record up upload on to youtube and B person plays that youtube video private tv channel that is paid for by its subscribers. Person A for MPEG-LA uploading to youtube is private free usage and legal. What B does is commercial usage. Problem is A and B are both guilty under the patent grant for commercial usage because it Person A content on Person B station. Even that A did not have anything todo with what B did. Funny enough Person B is still guilty of they have H.264 broadcast license. Since the video most likely was encoded with a licensed for home usage encoder.

    Playback is fixed, encoding H.264 and shipping H2.64 commerical is still in legal hell. Waiting to eat users for Lunch.

    Basically see MPEG-LA and Patent License require cringe. They are the worst written patent grants out their for being collateral damage.

    Basically Mozilla legal department does check stuff out completely. So if Mozilla is not doing something there is something wrong.

    –Again, H.264. Here’s the freely available specification. An example of an open standard.–

    Der Balrog
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_standard
    European Union definition(what I call EU define)

    As normally you need a dictionary or a term guide Der Balrog.

    If you are using EU defines H.264 is a closed standard. Because it does not include free patent grants. webm due to free patent grants for all uses is a open standard by all defines everywhere.

    EU define of Open Specification allows charging for the spec in document form. Does not allow charging for patents to implement spec.

    Just because you print the specs and give them out for free does not make it an open standard by all defines.

    Yes countries around the world don’t agree what an Open Standard is. An example of a universally recognised open standard is is like webm and many others. webm and pdf and others pass all defines of a Open Standard world wide.

    H.264 is only a open specification in some countries closed source specification in other countries.

    So you would call H.264 a grey standard its not universally open and it is not universally closed.

    Der Balrog MPEG-LA is very good at throwing around stuff they have patent pools on are open standards then not stating what define they are using.

    ITU-T definition is the only one that allows you to charge for patents and be an Open Standard.

    The rest forbid it. Microsoft uses a different term a –‘open’ refers to it being royalty-free–
    So a royalty free Standard. H.264 is not an open standard by Microsoft define either.

    So everyone bar 1 is in universal agreement that H.264 is not a open standard. We only have 1 group disagreeing.

    Problem is not everyone in Microsoft follows the glide line that Open Standard has to be royalty free standard. So yes its fair to ask Microsoft if that press release is Open Standard ITU-T what is crap or Open Standard everyone else fairly much believes in.

    If MS has used there other name for Open Standard ie royalty free Standard there would not be questions.

    Royalty Free Standard has a very clear define no one questions. Basically we should stop using the words Open Standard its just too confusing.

  6. Der Balrog says:

    Dr Loser I have disregarded a few of Der Balrog stupid tangents.

    You mean the example with Firefox and H.264? No tangent, Peter. I simply chose it to illustrate:

    1. The “freedom” of FLOSS has nothing to do with open industry standards. FLOSS embraces open industry standards, otherwise it’d be useless. (Case in point: H.264.)

    2. Characters like Pogson, trying to construct a meaningful difference between their “open” and the generally accepted “open” in the industry, will fail.

    Again, H.264. Here’s the freely available specification. An example of an open standard.

    Amazingly it has nothing to do with the fact that you almost always need to get a license from the MPEG-LA if you want to use H.264 for commercial purposes.

    Even more amazingly, nobody prevents you from implementing said open specification in FLOSS. As, for example, this obscure software called x264 has done.

    But to come back to Pogson’s initial, and very much non-sensical, rant: he doesn’t even challenge what Microsoft says about “open”. He only offers this laughable reason why Microsoft isn’t “open”:

    To sum up, is the company that brought waves of malware to the world of IT by integrating a totally insecure web browser with their OS in order to mess with competitors to be trusted as “open”?

    What’s the point of this?

    There is none. Because Microsoft doesn’t claim to be “open” in the sense how FLOSS evangelists would like “open” to be defined. Microsoft merely claims:

    1. We support open standards.
    2. We have no problems supporting open source and improving interoperability between our world and the open source world.

    That’s the gist of it. And when Pogson claims that Microsoft is not “open”, then I would have expected that he offers proof of Microsoft engaging in such activity as to prevent on their own platforms the usage of open source or open standards which compete with their own products. But that’s not the case.

    So the only thing Pogson managed this time around is — as always, I’m afraid — to make a teenage drama out of it. He’s such a drama queen.

  7. oiaohm says:

    Dr Loser I have disregarded a few of Der Balrog stupid tangents. If you don’t drop a sledge hammer on him he will keep on going. Yes Open Source does not restrict options. Is it possible to add H.264 to firefox yes it is. Now case like Internet explorer refusing to play webm video full stop with no way around it that is restrict options.

    Dr Loser all the crap you just said about google is either bogus or part bogus.

    http://dineshprasanth.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/google-page-ranking-algorithm/

    Page rank at google is really funny. The core algorithms to it has been public since day one. Google Secret Sauce as you call it is not that secret. It always appears for peer review by people of great mathematical skill before it goes into production. It is possible to deploy the new version of page rank algorithm before google does. Last thing google wants is a defective algorithm giving it up for peer review allows more people to check it.

    The filtering and other items on the spider are partly secret. Google does publicly document some of the filtering so sites don’t end up lower rank due to running into the filtering. The spider itself uses webkit and chrome there are notes in the chromeuim source code over it. This can be very handy if google spider does something stupid to your site. Surprisingly a very large amount of the page-rank system is out there. Google is mostly not telling you how to assemble the parts. Most of the parts you need are in fact out in the open.

    Dr Loser I would love to see the mathematical papers on the algorithm bing is using.

    Android/Linux if you like it or not what licenses are it all open source. Are you free to fork it and use the Android trademark name answer is maybe. Samsung and HTC has there own forks and do have approve to use the trademark on the custom versions. This would not be possible without it being open source. Microsoft does not let anyone really do this. In Samsung and HTC could do an Amazon if they were turned down and fork.

    Dr Loser
    He’s claiming that Microsoft, 2013 vintage, is actually pretty “open.” As in “standards.” As in working with the Linux kernel guys, in fact.
    Really not that much.

    Linux kernel guys are very blunt. If Microsoft does not maintain and extend Hyper-V they will remove the drivers from Linux Mainline. Ok they don’t care that this will result in a breach of contract between Redhat and Microsoft so causing Microsoft to have to pay up. This is kinda black mail position not free will. Microsoft working with the Samba guys falls into the same camp they have been pulled kicking and screaming todo it.

    Linux Foundation and the Bootloader is also part a black mail position.

    I would really like to see something where Microsoft does something major that is Open Source friendly that does not require them pulled kicking and screaming todo it. I have a long list of items Microsoft has released open source that has been done kicking and screaming or out of desperation.

    Dr Loser lot of what on http://www.codeplex.com from Microsoft is abandoned projects.

    Dr Loser its like the new embedded controller on motherboard from Google for the chromebooks. They have decide of there own free will to release that open source for everyone benefit. Could they kept that closed yes. Did it require arm twisting so they released it no it did not.

    Dr Loser even with oracle I can find things open source they do properly maintain without needing arm twisting. I would like to see you be able to quote me more than 1. Please do not be like legally non functional alone things. asp.net framework without a .net engine is a brick.

    Its the reality. Google, Orcale, IBM even stuck up Adobe has managed to release open source projects without needing to forced that can stand on there own feet and they do maintain.

    Dr Loser if Microsoft is not having to be pulled into open source any more there should be a few good examples out there.

  8. Adam King says:

    Free software obviates the need for standards. When you can see the source you know exactly what to do.

  9. Dr Loser says:

    You don’t need to get all retarded just because you don’t agree with what “open” means in the industry (it isn’t synonymous with “open source”, big surprise!).

    A bazillion words, Hamster, and you haven’t even come close to considering this point. Why do you even bother? Going off on tangents about H.264 (clearly used to illustrate a point in this case, and not central to the argument) is futile … even if what you say is intelligible, which it generally isn’t.

    Now, it’s fair to say that Microsoft is not pro-Open Source (although if you visit http://www.codeplex.com, there are encouraging signs that they will release code to the community if they think it makes sense).

    But that wasn’t Der Balrog’s argument, now, was it?

    He’s claiming that Microsoft, 2013 vintage, is actually pretty “open.” As in “standards.” As in working with the Linux kernel guys, in fact.

    At this point it would be difficult to insert a cigarette paper between Google and Microsoft when it comes to “open.” Although Google wins, marginally, on “open source.” Not because of Android/Linux, which isn’t open source, and not because the Google Secret Sauce (page-ranking) is “open source,” oh no.

    But to be fair to Google, they do sponsor summers of code and what-not.

    Very little of it is any use to the average human being, but what the hell, at least it’s open source.

  10. Adam King says:

    DRBoring get rid of your sockpuppet and use your real name. The proprietary industry has warped the meaning of open. I prefer free.

  11. oiaohm says:

    Der Balrog FOSS world accept shades of grey. Reason why Linux has some many different distributions. It is also where you stuff up.

    For example, look at how “open” Firefox is by refusing to play back H.264 out of the box. It actually restricts the user’s freedom by adhering to “open source” principles, but that makes it less “open”.
    The H.264 case is far more complex. Yes there are cases where you do wish a browser to fail to run H.264.

    Lets say you are running a commercial site of some form with paid entry. If you have not paid H.264 license you legally cannot use it.

    H.264 patent restrictions have already restricted user freedoms. The question is will the product display it to end user or not.

    Der Balrog standards like webm that other closed source browsers have refused to play has also restricted freedom of users. Sorry to say you are black and white. You are forgetting to see both sides have issues.

    Closed Source and Open Source can both be guilty of restricting freedoms. Sometimes its with very valid grounds. Without Mozilla jacking up long term agreement over H.264 would not have come.

    http://www.dailytech.com/H264+Free+Internet+Video+Will+be+RoyaltyFree+Forever/article19465.htm

    There is a nasty fact. You are only licensed to decode H.264 free of charge for public sites. Yes playing that H.264 video back using Internet explorer from your companies internal web server is in fact an offence.

    Der Balrog really that is the problem with H.264 example and Mozilla is a poor one. Either way Mozilla goes a user will be hurt. Allowing playing allows users to breach Patent usage terms so criminal offence. Not allow user misses out on some videos.

    Der Balrog what is more open in the H.264 case is really hard. Both could be argued as more open. One prevents web developer mistakes so you stay in business.

    Exactly what use is freedom to play H.264 if the result of that you end up looking at the world from behind jail bars because you played a video from the wrong place??

    Really you could say Mozilla was protecting user freedom from jail by not supporting H.264.

    User’s freedom is a complex problem. Its many shades of grey. Is it freedom todo stuff or the freedom not to end up behind bars because you did stuff without knowing it was illegal.

  12. Der Balrog says:

    You don’t need to get all retarded just because you don’t agree with what “open” means in the industry (it isn’t synonymous with “open source”, big surprise!).

    For example, look at how “open” Firefox is by refusing to play back H.264 out of the box. It actually restricts the user’s freedom by adhering to “open source” principles, but that makes it less “open”.

    Your black-and-white-thinking needs a serious overhaul.

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