Miguel de Icaza, Microsoft MVP

From an e-mail I sent to the Ubuntu Sounder mailing list:

Microsoft names ex-rival ‘MVP’
Todd Bishop on Wednesday, January 13, 2010, 8:16am PST

Miguel de Icaza, Microsoft MVP?

Yep, it’s true. The open-source rabble-rouser who was prevented from hosting a session inside Microsoft’s 2005 Professional Developer Conference has been accepted into the ranks of the company’s “Most Valuable Professionals” less than five years later. He announced the news on his blog.

De Icaza is the leader of the open-source Mono project, sponsored by Novell, which previously set off alarm bells inside Microsoft for its ability to expand Microsoft .NET applications to other platforms, including Linux. Relations between de Icaza and Microsoft have warmed following the Redmond company’s partnership with Novell.

He’s also on the board of the Microsoft-supported CodePlex Foundation, Meanwhile, Mono spin-off project Moonlight, an open-source implementation of Microsoft’s Silverlight interactive technology, has won the blessings of the Redmond company.

De Icaza was accepted as a Microsoft MVP for C#, the .NET programming language.

“This will be a great opportunity to build more bridges with Windows developers and show them that there is an ECMA CLI (Common Language Infrastructure) life in the other side of the OS spectrum,” he writes in his post, adding, “Looking forward to the group picture!”

A bit of a rant follows below…

Miguel de Icaza is (and really always has been) chasing rainbows.  A quote:

“when we tell people the right applications which are not unique to Windows that doesn’t particularly help Windows. And so we’ll continue to see and do things that are standard-based because that’s important. And you continue to see us encourage developers to do things that run uniquely on the Windows platform. You know, with the new Silverlight, you can build Silverlight applications that are flash-like in the sense that they run across platform. But you can also do things which are even nicer which really narrow down and run only on Windows.  And given that Windows is a billion units, you can afford to make optimizations as long as they bring value and do your applications that are Windows unique.” — Steve Ballmer


“Microsoft has had clear competitors in the past. It’s a good thing we have museums to document that” — Bill Gates

And this too:

“I once preached peaceful coexistence with Windows. You may laugh at my expense — I deserve it.” — Jean-Louis Gassée

(don’t know him? He ran a company, Be, that made an OS called BeOS… some pics. No, I didn’t know about them either until relatively recently ):

A bit of an aside, a quote from Scot Hacker, author of that article:

“So here we are in 2001, and guess what? It’s still not possible to purchase a dual-boot Win/Linux machine. Doesn’t that seem kind of odd? With all of the hype Linux has gotten, and with the technical simplicity of shipping dual-boot machines, not a single PC OEM is shipping such a beast. The technology marketplace is glutted with options. Vendors use even the smallest opportunities to trumpet their differentiating factors. Linux is free. And yet there are no commercially available dual-boot machines on the market. Not one. The silence of the marketplace speaks volumes. There is no other way to explain this phenomenon other than as a repercussion of the confidential Windows License under which every hardware vendor must do business.”

…and realize that now it’s 2010 and NOTHING has changed as far as that’s concerned; Linux has to try and claw its way onto machines where it can, mostly used Windows systems for which the hardware was not Linux-optimized.

And now getting back to Mono, realize that Microsoft controls the show; that ultimately they will steer it in the direction they want (to Windows sales) just as they have done with Microsoft Office document formats that really only work perfectly in Microsoft Office.

If we follow that route, we will only ever be a ‘Windows knock-off’.  We need to take a page from the ODF struggle and refuse to play the game by Microsoft’s rules.  I really think that collectively we need to say no to Mono just as much as if Microsoft wanted us to use Bing as Ubuntu’s default search engine.

(please do not scoff; when Microsoft got Linspire to do a ‘patent protection’ deal, one of the results was that “Linspire will make Microsoft’s Live.com search engine the default Linspire 5.0 web search engine”)

Apparently Ballmer just had his 10th anniversary as Microsoft CEO; the tactics may change somewhat, but realize that Microsoft is still not our friend.


2 Responses to “Miguel de Icaza, Microsoft MVP”

  1. Limulus Says:

    And on a related note: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quisling

  2. Limulus Says:


    Richard Stallman

    The final part of the day was given over to Richard and we got to ask some interesting questions. These are just some of the things that I learned.


    Mono framework is not so much of a problem, but C# shouldn’t be used in core apps as legal problems would be hard to work around. Recommends uninstalling any apps using C#.


    Miguel de Icaza “is basically a traitor to the Free Software community” This was in response to my question about Richard’s thoughts on the new Microsoft “Open Source” CodePlex lab. He went on to say that Miguel’s involvement in the project doesn’t give much confidence as he is a Microsoft apologist. The project looks to be concerned with permitting “Open Source” programs to work on the Windows platform and thus divert valuable developer time away from free platforms such as Gnu/Linux. He also went into an interesting story about Miguel and the FSF, although this had nothing to do with Mono (unlike some people have reported).

    Some people asked for the story that was told, I’ve tried to recover it from memory, but it’s bes to ask Richard as there isn’t a good transcript of the day:

    Back in the day when Miguel and Nat Friedman were creating Helix and don’t forget Miguel was a board member at the FSF. We had talked to them about releasing only Free Software. Friedman or Miguel, I forget which, I think it was Friedman with Miguel CCed, told me that they had no plans to release proprietary software. Later I found out that Helix has shipped proprietary software and when asked, Miguel responded that it has always been the plan to do so.

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