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

07.11.08

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

T

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.

Examples:

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

    Gravatar

    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. Links 28/9/2016: Alpine Linux 3.4.4, Endless OS 3.0

    Links for the day



  2. Cementing Autocracy: The European Patent Office Against Democracy, Against Media, and Against the Rule of Law

    The European Patent Office (EPO) actively undermines democracy in Europe, it undermines the freedom of the press (by paying it for puff pieces), and it undermines the rule of law by giving one single tyrant total power in Eponia and immunity from outside Eponia (even when he breaks his own rules)



  3. Links 28/9/2016: New Red Hat Offices, Fedora 25 'Frozen'

    Links for the day



  4. Team Battistelli Intensifies the Attack on the Boards of Appeal Again

    The lawless state of the EPO, where the rule of law is basically reducible to Battistelli's ego and insecurities, is again demonstrated with an escalation and perhaps another fake 'trial' in the making (after guilt repeatedly fails to be established)



  5. After the EPO Paid the Financial Times to Produce Propaganda the Newspaper Continues to Produce UPC Puff Pieces, Just Ahead of EU Council Meeting

    How the media, including the Financial Times, has been used (and even paid!) by the EPO in exchange for self-serving (to the EPO) messages and articles



  6. Beware the Patent Law Firms Insinuating That Software Patents Are Back Because of McRO

    By repeatedly claiming (and then generalising) that CAFC accepted a software patent the patent microcosm (meta-industry) hopes to convince us that we should continue to pursue software patents in the US, i.e. pay them a lot more money for something of little/no value



  7. The US Supreme Court Might Soon Tighten Patent Scope in the United States Even Further, the USPTO Produces Patent Maximalism Propaganda

    A struggle brewing between the patent 'industry' (profiting from irrational saturation) and the highest US court, as well as the Government Accountability Office (GAO)



  8. Patent Trolling a Growing Problem in East Asia (Software Patents Also), Whereas in the US the Problem Goes Away Along With Software Patents

    A look at two contrasting stories, one in Asia where patent litigation and hype are on the rise (same in Europe due to the EPO) and another in the US where a lot of patents face growing uncertainty and a high invalidation rate



  9. The EPO's Continued Push for Software Patents, Marginalisation of Appeals (Reassessment), and Deviation From the EPC

    A roundup of new developments at the EPO, where things further exacerbate and patent quality continues its downward spiral



  10. The Battistelli Effect: “We Will be Gradually Forced to File Our Patent Applications Outside the EPO in the Interests of Our Clients”

    While the EPO dusts off old files and grants in haste without quality control (won't be sustainable for more than a couple more years) the applicants are moving away as trust in the EPO erodes rapidly and profoundly



  11. Links 27/9/2016: Lenovo Layoffs, OPNFV Third Software Release

    Links for the day



  12. The Moral Depravity of the European Patent Office Under Battistelli

    The European Patent Office (EPO) comes under heavy criticism from its very own employees, who also seem to recognise that lobbying for the UPC is a very bad idea which discredits the European Patent Organisation



  13. Links 26/9/2016: Linux 4.8 RC8, SuperTux 0.5

    Links for the day



  14. What Insiders Are Saying About the Sad State of the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Anonymous claims made by people who are intimately familiar with the European Patent Office (from the inside) shed light on how bad things have become



  15. The EPO Does Not Want Skilled (and 'Expensive') Staff, Layoffs a Growing Concern

    A somewhat pessimistic look (albeit increasingly realistic look) at the European Patent Office, where unions are under fire for raising legitimate concerns about the direction taken by the management since a largely French team was put in charge



  16. Patents Roundup: Accenture Software Patents, Patent Troll Against Apple, Willful Infringements, and Apple Against a Software Patent

    A quick look at various new articles of interest (about software patents) and what can be deduced from them, especially now that software patents are the primary barrier to Free/Libre Open Source software adoption



  17. Software Patents Propped Up by Patent Law Firms That Are Lying, Further Assisted by Rogue Elements Like David Kappos and Randall Rader (Revolving Doors)

    The sheer dishonesty of the patent microcosm (seeking to bring back software patents by misleading the public) and those who are helping this microcosm change the system from the inside, owing to intimate connections from their dubious days inside government



  18. Links 25/9/2016: Linux 4.7.5, 4.4.22; LXQt 0.11

    Links for the day



  19. Patent Quality and Patent Scope the Unspeakable Taboo at the EPO, as Both Are Guillotined by Benoît Battistelli for the Sake of Money

    The gradual destruction of the European Patent Office (EPO), which was once unanimously regarded as the world's best, by a neo-liberal autocrat from France, Benoît Battistelli



  20. Bristows LLP's Hatred/Disdain of UK/EU Democracy Demonstrated; Says “Not Only Will the Pressure for UK Ratification of the UPC Agreement Continue, But a Decision is Wanted Within Weeks.”

    Without even consulting the British public or the European public (both of whom would be severely harmed by the UPC), the flag bearers of the UPC continue to bamboozle and then pressure politicians, public servants and nontechnical representatives



  21. Released Late on a Friday, EPO Social 'Study' (Battistelli-Commissioned Propaganda) Attempts to Blame Staff for Everything

    The longstanding propaganda campaign (framing staff as happy or framing unhappy staff as a disgruntled minority) is out and the timing of the release is suspicious to say the least



  22. Links 23/9/2016: Latest Microsoft and Lenovo Spin (Now in ‘Damage Control’ Mode)

    Links for the day



  23. White Male-Dominated EPO Management Sinks to New Lows, Again

    Benoît Battistelli continues to make the EPO look like Europe's biggest laughing stock by attempting to tackle issues with corny photo ops rather than real change (like SUEPO recognition, diverse hiring, improved patent quality, and cessation of sheer abuses)



  24. Journalism 102: Do Not Become Like 'Managing IP' or IAM 'Magazine' (the Megaphones of the EPO’s Management)

    Another look at convergence between media and the EPO, which is spending virtually millions of Euros literally buying the media and ensuring that the EPO's abuses are scarcely covered (if ever mentioned at all)



  25. Journalism 101: Do Not Believe Anything That Benoît Battistelli and the EPO's Management Say (Also Don't Fall for the UPC Hype)

    A survey/review (or an overview) of recent articles about the EPO and why they're wrong (mostly because they parrot the official lies from Battistelli's department)



  26. Patent Law Firms, David Kappos, and IAM 'Magazine' Still Shelter Software Patents by Cherry-Picking and Lobbying

    Amid the gradual collapse of software patents in the United States there are disingenuous efforts to bring them back or maintain a perception that these patents are still potent



  27. Microsoft-Connected Patent Trolls Going Places and Suing Microsoft Rivals, Microsoft Wants More 'Linux Patent Tax'

    Microsoft-connected patent trolls like Larry Horn's MobileMedia are still attacking Microsoft rivals and Microsoft wants more money from Korea, after it attacked Linux with software patents over there (notably Samsung and LG)



  28. Links 22/9/2016: Linux Professional Institute Redesign, Red Hat Upgraded

    Links for the day



  29. Links 22/9/2016: Red Hat's Latest Results, GNOME 3.22 Released

    Links for the day



  30. The Patent Law Firms in the US Relentlessly Lobby for Software Patents Resurgence by Placing Emphasis Only on Rare Outcomes

    Decisions against software patents continue to be ignored or intentionally overlooked by patent law firms, which instead saturate the media with the few cases where courts unexpectedly rule in favour of software patents


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts