>Sidenote: If MSFT wanted to use this for troll attacks against Linux, they surely would have found a set up where they would not be obviously and publicly behind. They have just too mnay customers that use Linux as well who would not at all appreciate such behavior.
So basically: If they do it publicly, then apologizing goes "it ain't so, they wouldn't be stipid to do that in front all those people; there must be another explanation".
If they do it secretly and some people start connecting dots, then it goes "Prove it or else you are paranoid conspiracy theorist".
Apologizing for MSFT often involves circular argument.
I would say that MSFT have already done secret attacks. For example Acacia might be funded by MSFT, because they got paid off by Redmond (under a guise of cross-licensing deal) as soon as they ended case against Red Hat(and we don't know how that case ended).