Heard of Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Github? How they bought it in all its entirety for a grand total of 7.5 billion US dollars, when its estimated value was a mere 2 billion dollars? How they stated that they would remain true to the opensource community, (Like we can believe them, that they have our best interests at heart) – their biggest source of competition in the world.
If you have, congratulations! If not, I would recommend watching this short video to get you caught up on things:
So can we trust Microsoft to keep its word? Can we trust them with the source code of the vast majority of Linux distros and opensource software, which Microsoft publicly named Linux “competition” under the direction of former CEO Ballmer. Can we trust a company with an official tactic of “embrace, extend, extinguish“? Can we trust a company whose former CEO labeled Linux as “is a cancer that needs to be eradicated“? Granted, this was several years ago. You may be saying to yourself that Microsoft has changed under the leadership of their newest CEO, Nadella. But you must ask yourself this: If Microsoft can change overnight simply by instating a new CEO, what will their next one look like? Will their next one be another Ballmer, renowned hater of Linux – the guy who tried to sue Redhat and put them out of business? Will their next CEO wreak havoc on the Linux community? And worse, if Linux users stay at Github, their hold on them will be tighter than it ever has before.
In fact, think about it this way. The vast majority of all Linux distros host their source code on Github. We all know a new terms and agreements is sure to come from Microsoft, and under that, things could change radically. Simply think about their invasive terms and agreements policy under Windows 10 – a version of Windows developed under… wait for it… none other than their current CEO – the one who claims to love freedom, opensource, and Linux. A terms and agreements that allows Microsoft to record your every mouse click, as well as all of your files and folders ever created. What if you woke up one day only to find that history under Natalla has repeated itself? That Microsoft now has certain rights to all content uploaded to Github? While some of you may shake your heads in doubt, think back to Facebook just a month ago. And think back to how even Google does just as much, if not more, to violate your privacy. If this disastrous event were to ever occur, it would most certainly spell doom for many of the Linux distros out there. With one stoke of the pen, Microsoft would be able to wipe out much of its competition – in the space of a second. It wouldn’t have to wage any fancy advertising war, it wouldn’t have to bring anything to court. It wouldn’t have to target us one by one, but rather as a group – with their job done in under a second – no time to react. With this as even a remote possibility, do you really want to risk it? Do you really want to support a company that poses a threat to Linux by using their services?
And then there’s the obvious ethical and philosophical issues Microsoft poses to Linux. We all know that Microsoft is driven by money and profits, not ethics. Sure, all companies are driven by money – but not all betray their values as much as Microsoft has. Repeatedly, they have pushed the limits of the law to get done whatever happened to be on their agenda at that time. In some instances, they have gone beyond the law in fact. Other times, they have simply betrayed users’ trust. They have proven time and again to be unreliable, and careless of their word. They double back on it when things get tough, and often push their integrity aside altogether. in addition, they clearly violate reasonable privacy standards of individuals with their product, Windows 10 – developed under none other than the same CEO that bought Github. They record keyboard strokes, they record all of your activity – whether you are connected to the Internet or not, and even record your every movement. With all this in mind, can we truly say they have turned over anew leaf of love towards Linux and the opensource community? Somehow, I doubt it. Somehow, I would be wary.
Due to all of the above, I am proud to announce that Reborn OS is continuing its advocacy of the freedom by abandoning Github. We are currently in an effort to move all of our code from there to Gitlab, a place outside the reach of Microsoft or any malicious organization of that scale. As part of our commitment to the Linux community, we are doing this – not only for you, but also in an effort to stand by our own morals. For Linux is fundamentally different than Microsoft – we are built around an idea and vision of freedom as well as upstanding ethics, while Microsoft is built around sheer profits and a desire for money. Two extremely dangerous things, especially when one combines them. As such, I would encourage you to join us in our exodus of Github. By doing this, you will be supporting Linux and Opensource – as well as breaking away from the clutches of Microsoft once again. By doing this, you will be joining us in making a statement. A statement of freedom, choice, and determination.
The vast majority of us left Microsoft once, and I for one would rather not rejoin them under the shadow of Github. We all had good reasons to abandon them, and I would rather not look back in doubt. We all had moral objections, and I would rather not line their pockets. We all had philosophical issues with them, and I would rather not endorse those. We all love Linux, and I would rather not play any part in it’s potential downfall – however slim that may be. We all love freedom, and I would rather not be subject to those who crush it. In the end, we all love what Linux stands for – so let’s not tear it down in favor of Microsoft’s money and corruption, and our own ease. Will you join me?