[FSFE PR][EN] FSFE: "Microsoft's bugs result in the corporation having a multiple personality" - "customers should know who they are dealing with!"

Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) press at fsfeurope.org
Mon Sep 20 12:25:52 CEST 2004

FSFE: "Microsoft's bugs result in the corporation having a multiple
personality" - "customers should know who they are dealing with!"

Having been plagued by permanent problems with viruses, worms and
other bugs, software-giant Microsoft seems to be developing a multiple
personality. "Microsoft's customers should wonder about the sanity of
their business partner", remarks Joachim Jakobs, Press Speaker for the
Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE).

Last Wednesday the German business newspaper Handelsblatt reported that
Microsoft tried to stop the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) from
becoming involved as interested party in Microsoft's appeals procedure
against the European Commission at the European Court. Microsoft's
lawyers wrote only one line about the appeal in their two-page letter,
making no formal objection to the process. Only to ramble in great
lengths for the rest of the letter why the FSFE has no reason to be
involved in the case. A spokesperson of the corporation
contradicted these statements when speaking to the Handelsblatt
newspaper by stating that more involved third parties would benefit the
case: the more, the merrier. Whether this sudden change of mind is
somehow related to Microsoft's request that the involved Third Parties
pay their lawyers is not entirely clear.

Jakobs draws a short summary of these apparently contradictory
statements: "It seems somewhat as if Microsoft's left hand did not know
what its right hand was doing. However, this is more like Dr Jekyll and
Mr Hyde, depending on what seems more useful at the time." Either
alternative should make Microsoft's business partners uncomfortable:
they should realise that anything that upholds its monopoly seems fair
to Microsoft. The FSFE suggests that market participants take a view of
this confused policy, which is dangerous to the European economy. It
seems like Microsoft is intent on ignoring the experience from
numerous free software trials worldwide over the past years.

"We would also like to remind all private and corporate users of
software that building and preserving freedom in an information society
is sometimes an expensive undertaking," concedes the president of FSFE,
Georg Greve. Donations to the FSFE [1] will be appreciated.

 [1] http://fsfeurope.org/help/donate.html

About the Free Software Foundation Europe

   The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is a charitable
   non-governmental organization dedicated to all aspects of Free
   Software in Europe. Access to software determines who may participate
   in a digital society. Therefore the Freedoms to use, copy, modify and
   redistribute software - as described in the Free Software definition -
   allow equal participation in the information age. Creating awareness
   for these issues, securing Free Software politically and legally, and
   giving people Freedom by supporting development of Free Software are
   central issues of the FSFE, which was founded in 2001 as the
   European sister organization of the Free Software Foundation in the
   United States.

   Further information: http://www.fsfeurope.org

Joachim Jakobs <jj at office.fsfeurope.org>
Press Speaker - FSF Europe (http://fsfeurope.org)
In der Roede 24, 64367 Mühltal (Tel: +49-179-6919565)

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