eWeek has raised the question of Blogger Bribery by Microsoft; but in the meantime they may be guilty of egregious censorship themselves: I had just received an eWeek Weekend email citing the story on Blogger Bribery by Steven Vaughan-Nichols. I wanted to add a comment that would show that indeed it is bribery because Microsoft, nearly across the board, legally restricts what you can say about its software:
1-Vista – big EULA limits
2-Office 2007 – similar EULA restrictions
3-SQL Server 2005 – No tests or benchmarking results
4-Visual Studio 2005 – ditto
5-Microsofts increasing restrictions on user comments in EULAs.
However when I tried to enter the hyperlinks into the Talkback comment on eWeek as proof of Microsoft misdeeds, I got barred because my word/text length was greater than 50 characters – effectively eliminating my hyperlinks as proof(as seen in a few of the salient hyperlinks I have supplied above) that indeed Redmond is restricting what can be said about their software products.
But that was just the start.
Apparently, I am persona non grata at eWeek as again can be seen in the screenshot. I dont know if its is because I dared to say that Microsoft was bribing or because of what I have written about Microsoft in this blog or if Sean Gallagher has an ancient grudge. It really is laughable …. except when you consider this is one of the few technical journals presumably given a dispensation from Microsofts EULA based restrictions noted above.
Novell Deal Reprise ?
This type of arrangement is stifling in which only a few organizations are given dispensations from EULA and are legally allowed to do benchmarks, tests and hence comment intelligently and freely on Microsoft software. And Microsoft is not the only vendor to attempt this EULA censoring, IBM and Oracle have attempted also to restrict publishing negative database benchmarks in their EULAs as well. The net result is that the tech press and some large press media corporations(very large press organizations that can withstand the wealthy and withering blasts from Microsofts ever so active legal department) will be able to comment critically based on testing about IT software and services. So Microsoft gains because it is able to curtail, censor and delimit very narrowly who can feel free to comment on the reliability, functionality and other trustworthiness of Microsoft software. This is just like the deal with Novell – if Linux must thrive, then Microsoft gets to pick and choose the Linux vendors it will interoperate with preferentially based on Redmonds terms – one of which is having patent agreements of mutually assured destruction(or not?).
In short, Microsoft will anoint who will be able to test and comment on its software just as Microsoft will anoint what Open Source and other software will be subject to its patent attacks plus if and how it maybe will interoperate with their software. Wasnt this one of the key provisions of the deal with the DOJ in the Antitrust case – that Microsoft had to make its APIs and program interfaces available to all comers on equal footing. Is this not the source of the current disputes between the European Union and Microsoft ? Microsoft has long used its marketing and therefore technology power to get its way with partners and competitors. Now its extending that influence to the Press that covers it.
eWeak as MS Proxy Censor
I presume that I am not the only one that has received the eWeak banishment. Surely there are others and presumably for what they said about Apple, Oracle, Google, and IBM. Or just for being impolite or using foul language. Or getting there facts terribly wrong. I think I can say that I am not guilty on bad facts, foul language, and being impolite – but I really dont know.
That is the second problem. The burden is on eWeak, if it is going to censor its readership, to point out for what remarks and apparent misdeeds or misinformation the user is being banned for. Needless to say – I have not received such a notice; other than the above invitation to check with Sean Gallagher (eWeak Director of Inquisitions ???) if there has been an error as seen for the first time in the above Web page. Guilty until you prove yourself innocent in eWeaks eyes. So, yes, I am presuming that it is the tough stand I have taken on IBM, Oracle and primarily Microsoft that has made my point of view unacceptable at eWeak. And so therefore you have eWeak acting as Proxy Censor for Microsoft and/or other Big IT.
As Albert the Alligator was wont to say – “what a revoltin development!”