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Re: [VCTF] ID2020, United Nations, and press releases

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2016 14:50:14 -0500
Cc: Credentials Community Group <public-credentials@w3.org>, Web Payments IG <public-webpayments-ig@w3.org>
Message-Id: <D3AD3BBD-5B68-4478-B32F-E77A08BF6FFC@w3.org>
To: Steven Rowat <steven_rowat@sunshine.net>
Steven, Manu, and others in the VCTF,

This thread is no longer appropriate for this list.

Please return discussion to the scope of the VCTF.

Ian




> On Jun 2, 2016, at 1:14 PM, Steven Rowat <steven_rowat@sunshine.net> wrote:
> 
> On 6/1/16 8:56 AM, Manu Sporny wrote:
>> Microsoft, Consensys, and Blockstack recently made a series of product
>> press release announcements that made it seem like the release was in
>> collaboration with the United Nations ID2020 initiative...[snip]
>> 
>> Here is why it's premature to make announcements tied to ID2020:
> 
>> [snip]
> 
>> To be clear, I don't think there was any malice intended at all - just
>> unchecked exuberance coupled with a badly coordinated/cleared press
>> release....
>> 
>> -- manu
>> 
> 
> A good heads-up about what they've done, although with respect I'll disagree about whether there was 'any malice intended'. I think you're being a little Pollyanna-ish here. ;-)
> 
> "History recalls how great the fall can be
> While everybody's sleeping, the boats put out to sea"
>  —Supertramp, "Fool's Overture"
> 
> I remember the leak of internal documents from Microsoft many years ago, now called the "Halloween documents". I believe this may be a parallel situation (their desire to 'control' self-sovereign identify now, like their desire at that time to control emerging aspects of the Internet like the open-source movement and browsers).
> 
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halloween_documents
> 
> From the above link, about the Halloween Documents:
> 
> "Marked "Microsoft confidential", they identified open-source software, and in particular the Linux operating system, as a major threat to Microsoft's dominance of the software industry,[3] and suggested ways in which Microsoft could disrupt the progress of open-source software.
> 
> "These documents acknowledged that free software products such as Linux were technologically competitive with some of Microsoft's products, [4] and set out a strategy to combat them. These views contradicted Microsoft's public pronouncements on the subject."
> 
> Two aspects of this I note particularly, both of which are potentially happening here: that they behaved internally one-way and gave "public pronouncements" that were different; and that they wanted to compete with and/or destroy high-quality technology that was different from their own -- competitive in the worst sense, rather than co-operative. As the analysis linked from the Wikipedia page numbered [3] above says,
> 
> "Therefore, for Microsoft to win, the customer must lose.
> 
> "The most interesting revelation in this memo is how close to explicitly stating this logic Microsoft is willing to come."
> 
> Links from the Wikipedia quote:
> [3] http://www.catb.org/~esr/halloween/halloween1.html#quote7
> [4] http://www.catb.org/~esr/halloween/halloween1.html#quote5
> 
> It could be argued that that was 'historic' -- over a decade ago -- and this is 'different'. But in my opinion the Microsoft business model, its corporate culture, is unlikely to have changed. I'll point to what recently happened in the block of the Web Payments Community Group work in the Web Payments Working Group as evidence that this culture continues.
> 
> See Manu's description of this event:
> 
> http://manu.sporny.org/2016/browser-api-incubation-antipattern/
> 
> which included these sections:
> 
> "2016 February – The months old Microsoft/Google specification is picked as the winner over the years old work that went into the Web Payments Community Group specification. Zero features from the Web Payments Community Group specification are merged with a suggestion to perform pull requests if the Web Payments Community Group would like modifications made to the Microsoft/Google specification.
> 
> "Four Months of Warning Signs
> 
> "The thing the Web Payments Working Group did not want to happen, the selection of one specification with absolutely zero content being merged in from the other specification, ended up happening. Let’s rewind a bit and analyze how this happened."
> 
> Q.E.D.
> 
> Steven
> 
> 
> 

--
Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>      http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                       +1 718 260 9447




Received on Thursday, 2 June 2016 19:50:20 UTC

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