EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS


Microsoft’s Anti-GNU/Linux/ODF Dump at South Africa

Posted in Africa, Asia, Finance, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OpenDocument at 2:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft sponsors shackles of infinitely-duplicable bits


hink about the children! It’s always the children that Microsoft approaches equipped with the excuse for zero-cost non-Free software. As for poor college students, they can receive considerable Office discounts for their data to be locked in without easy remedy. They’ll pay dearly when they grow up.

Today’s development comes from down south. For background on ODF and Free software adoption in South Africa, see [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. The short story is that South Africa is one of the leading countries in that respect. Microsoft has lost sleep over it, so it sent lobbyists there, to no avail.

Now… it boils down to money.

GNOME WMVWe’ve already seen this in many places, including Paris and Dubai [1, 2, 3]. Lobbyist Gates was behind some of these anti-Linux deals with high-level officials. He works quietly behind the scenes (also after that so-called 'retirement'), but the press has it documented.

Whenever a places is on the verge of adopting Free software, Microsoft starts throwing money at the problem, in order to stifle competition. And now it’s South Africa where Microsoft battles its #1 competitor. Here is an article that does not require subscription to view in full:

Microsoft to give software to 26 000 [South African] schools

Microsoft will supply productivity and server software worth about R750-million to public schools.

The software is expected to reach 26 000 government schools across South Africa, bringing modern information and communication technology to more than 11 million pupils.

A surprise it is not. On several occasions in the past, on the record even, officials said that the country would move to GNU/Linux, starting with the government att he least. There are already some very large and successful deployments, which happen to favour Ubuntu, product of local a ‘rock star’, Mark Shuttleworth.

“It’s a case of buying away children’s liberty…”Microsoft is determined to put an end to it. It will probably also give these children Office; You know, in order to stifle ODF and to spur the network effect using lock-in and other dependencies.

It’s a case of buying away children’s liberty and there will always be those welcoming the gift blindly. Let’s wait and see the reactions in coming days (we’ve informed some people already).

The only thing that can stop this wonderful trend of GNU/Linux adoption seems to be dumping, namely Microsoft paying (or at least donating) for schools to choose Windows, which it already offers for as little as US$18.

To Microsoft, it is the ‘dumping phase’ now. It warns about it in its SEC filings and tried this with Intel down in Nigeria (paying them to take Windows). Sales of Windows fell 24% in the last quarter nonetheless, so it’s a matter of urgency.

Another new announcement from Microsoft revolved around work with non-profits. Little do the journalists know what’s in store. It’s being described very blindly as goodwill, but didn’t Microsoft give money to thousands of Indian NGOs for pro-OOXML pressure? There are always expectations or strings attached.


1. Microsoft influencing partner NGOs to support OOXML in India

Microsoft is encouraging its business partners to promote its Office Open XML specification (OOXML) to the Indian Bureau of Standards (BIS) and Ministry of IT. This move has incensed supporters of the rival OpenDocument Format (ODF) who fear that the “soft” Indian state may not be able to stand up to Microsoft pressure tactics.

2. Microsoft “persuades” NGOs to support OOXML

Our friends at Linux Delhi have put up a copy of the form letters that Microsoft has been sending NGOs on the OOXML issue. Apparently, these NGOs have been sending copies of these letters to the Ministry of IT and Bureau of Indian standards.

3. Using NGOs to Push Agendas

The extent to which Microsoft can go in its efforts to get OOXML is interesting. Microsoft has “persuaded” several non-profit organizations to bombard the Indian IT Secretary and the Additional Director General of the Bureau of Indian Standards with letters supporting its OOXML proposal. A copy of the form letter they have been circulating to NGOs is given below. Somebody should interview these NGOs to see how much they really know about OOXML and open standards.

The sequence of events leading up to the spamming of GoI? is:

Letter from an NGO thanking Microsoft (name changed to protect their identity)

Guess who left Microsoft India shortly after this scandal had been exposed?

Microsoft offered them lots of money before the first vote on OOXML, which took place in September 2007. AP reported about it. How desperate is Microsoft?

“It’s nice for you to admit your guys are running scared [of Free software]. They should be.”

Dana Blankenhorn, The sum of Microsoft’s fears

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. jose said,

    July 12, 2008 at 6:35 pm


    I dont understand why you hate Windows software? I have always had the ability to create documents or powerpoint slides in office then save them as xml or text and then open them in openoffice and vice versa? There is no data that is locked anywhere in MS office products?????

    At the end of the day we can pull out any information in our ms office documents.

What Else is New

  1. EPO Teaser - The "Iberian Connection" - Some Photos of García-Escudero and His Royal/Government Connections

    A look at the undeniably close connections between Mr. García-Escudero and the most powerful people in Spain

  2. Disruption to Site's Service

    A technical note about why Techrights has not been publishing many articles recently

  3. Links 21/10/2016: MPV 0.21, Mad Max for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day

  4. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's High Five

    Another cartoon about the sad state of the EPO

  5. Battistelli Ruins Not Only the EPO But Also the Whole of Europe By Ushering in Software Patents That Patent Trolls Love So Much

    Battistelli's bad leadership at the EPO threatens to bring to Europe all the ills and menaces of the patent system in the United States

  6. EPO Spokesman Lies to IP Watch in Order to Save Face and Save the King (Battistelli)

    Rewriting history (revisionism) regarding Battistelli and what was demanded amidst abusive behaviour from him

  7. Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead, But 'Managing IP' and Selfish Patent Law Firms Still Try to Resurrect It

    The latest attempts to shore up the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court and who's behind it other than the usual suspects

  8. Links 20/10/2016: Linux 4.10 Preview, ONF and ON.Labs to Merge

    Links for the day

  9. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC 'Study': The Raw Outcome Shows Distortion of the Facts at the EPO's Notorious 'Social Conference'

    Results of the Staff Survey carried out by PwC, in order to provide some propaganda for Battistelli's expensive Social Conference

  10. Addendum: EPO's Alberto Casado Cerviño, WIPO's Francis Gurry, and EUIPO's Archambeau

    Photos taken as part of an IP event which took place in Riga (Latvia) in March 2015

  11. Worrisome Connections Between EPO VP2 Alberto Casado Cerviño and Patricia García-Escudero Márquez

    Exploring the potential conflicts of interests implicating the EPO's Boards of Appeal Committee

  12. Site's Infrastructure Under Attack and Upgrades Ahead of Major New Publications

    Protections for the Web site have been improved and capacity increased in order to avoid or at least prepare for another week of abusive/spam traffic

  13. Team Battistelli's Conspiracy Theory: SUEPO is Behind Everything, EPO Management is Trying to Tell the Media

    Attempts to blame SUEPO, the staff union of the EPO, even though SUEPO has nothing to do with articles that are critical of the EPO while many thousands of EPO employees are disgruntled

  14. Links 19/10/2016: Canonical Livepatch Service, Plasma Plans

    Links for the day

  15. The 'Sarah Sharps' of Microsoft: Not the Kind of Scandal the Media Cares Enough to Write About

    Another example of the large (industrial) scale of sexual discrimination at Microsoft -- a company that tries to advertise itself as diverse or tolerant and stigmatise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) as intolerant and/or not diverse

  16. EPO Caricature: EQE Questions

    The latest EPO cartoon, this time about European qualifying examination (EQE)

  17. The Long History or Seeds of Control by Fear and Punishment at the EPO

    The latest hogwash from Team Battistelli (Pinocchio), the latest instance of software patents promotion by EPO Principal Director, and an old (decade-old) nugget of information from the Forum for Principal Directors

  18. Subject of the European Patent Office's Abuses Raised in European Parliament by Ulrike Müller (ALDE)

    A local copy of a bunch of questions asked less than a month ago by Ulrike Müller at the European Parliament, regarding the unacceptable state of affairs at the European Patent Office (EPO)

  19. French Article About the EPO "Crisis"

    Le Monde, which covered EPO suicides and nervous breakdowns a year and a half ago, revisits the subject

  20. Battistelli Wants Us to Believe a Patent Office in a Freefall (EPO) is “Stronger and More Sustainable”

    Still in denial (or self-deluding for self indulgence), Battistelli writes about the EPO as though everything is rosy and people are happy

  21. Leaked Documents Shed More Light on What Happened to Alison Brimelow and How Battistelli Rose to Power

    How Battistelli's (almost) all-male (and all-white, mostly French) management came into being, not too long after Ms Alison Brimelow got elbowed out the Office

  22. Leaked: Outcomes of 149th Administrative Council's Meeting at the European Patent Organisation

    The raw details or a summary thereof, based on the above which serves to confirm what we wrote about several days ago, right after the quarterly meeting had ended

  23. Danish Press Coverage of the European Patent Office and the Problems Explored by Techrights

    Jesper Kongstad does virtually nothing to deny the arguments (or "accusations") and instead alludes to the style of the writings about him

  24. Links 18/10/2016: Release Candidate of Leap 42.2, Looking Ahead at GTK4

    Links for the day

  25. Links 17/10/2016: JS Foundation, Ubuntu 17.04 Named ‘Zesty Zapus’

    Links for the day

  26. EPO Updates: Battistelli in Trouble, Grossenbacher and Battistelli Having a Fight, EPO Doubles Down on Željko Topić

    Interesting updates from the European Patent Office (EPO), where things have taken a turn for the worse for Battistelli while Željko Topić secures an extension of his notorious contract

  27. EPO Social Conference Another Example of Astronomical Waste of Money by Benoît Battistelli

    Having paid the media and attempted to scare/intimidate staff into silence (even among one another), Battistelli now pays some firms to lie for him and present the lies while staff representatives are blocked from entering the presentation

  28. As Expected, Benoît Battistelli Puts Longtime Ally Roland Grossenbacher on Top of Boards of Appeal

    Benoît Battistelli's predecessor Roland Grossenbacher, who has a track record of protection and support for Battistelli (no matter the magnitude of abuses), reportedly takes a key position with Battistelli's approval, debunking the notion that the appeal boards will enjoy greater (perceived) independence from the Office

  29. UPC Preparatory Committee Projects Optimism in an Effort to Salvage Its Dying Project, the Unitary/Unified Patent

    Refusing to let the UPC stay in its grave, Team UPC keeps digging up and dishing out UPC misinformation, in front of an audience that need not be preached to as it's already converted (effectively an echo chamber)

  30. Outline of Latest Press Coverage Regarding the European Patent Office (EPO)

    European media is beginning to cover scandals associated with the European Patent Office (EPO), in spite of Battistelli's attempt to silence and manipulate it, at the expense of millions of Euros per year


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time


Recent Posts