…And Microsoft’s war against Free Software, AKA ‘piracy’
Not a week goes by without yet another Microsoft-sponsored pseudo-study. Microsoft’s favourite acronym, TCO, is rearing its ugly head again. We mentioned the roots of this FUD pattern before and here comes the latest.
Microsoft: Windows and Linux offer same TCO in emerging markets
That’s the conclusion of a recent Microsoft-sponsored study from Vital Wave Consulting, which Microsoft is touting in new posting on the company’s Unlimited Potential (UP) blog.
Microsoft seems desperate to broadcast the message that poor countries should choose Windows and not GNU/Linux. It even shells out money to produce supportive ‘evidence’. It is, in part, a matter of timing, as we have already noted in this post about Kenya, which also showed Microsoft confusing (obfuscating) “piracy” and “GNU/Linux”.
Only last year, Microsoft’s PR icon had an important message to bear and to share:
“It’s easier for our software to compete with Linux when there’s piracy than when there’s not.”
It’s worth reading that again. Consider another way of phrasing/interpreting this: “if it were not for ‘piracy’, we would lose.” In other words, so-called ‘piracy’ — the culture of raping and killing (supposable) — is actually on Microsoft’s side. It chooses to characterise sharing which it favours and encourages as a criminal and violent act, hoping to earn sympathy in return for something that begs for guilt.
The statement above was made in a particular context — being China — although the validity is not restricted geographically. Also in reference to China, Gates once expressed his desire to get people “addicted” to Microsoft software:
“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”
In other words, addiction comes first, later comes the ‘pumping’. Here in today’s news it can be seen that Microsoft is dumping copies of Microsoft Office almost for free, provided the customer is a young student.
Amazon offers this exceptional deal for £49.99 delivered instead of £99.99. This Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student edition will cost you only £16.67 per seat.
But… that’s just for students. OpenOffice.org is exceptionally popular among students, so this is no coincidence. Over in Asia, also based on this widely-kited article from Reuters, Microsoft is reducing the price of Office considerably. As always, it blames “piracy” rather than stiff competition.
Microsoft, the world’s largest software firm, is among the hardest-hit victims. Pirated versions of Microsoft’s Office software can sell in China for less than 10 yuan ($1.50).
The headlines are all about “piracy”. It’s just totally offensive. Here is one from the Financial Times: Microsoft aims to undercut Chinese pirates
Microsoft has slashed the Chinese price of its Office suite for home users by more than 70 per cent in a promotional campaign aimed at persuading consumers in the piracy-plagued market that licensed programs can be affordable.
The very same people who Bill Gates admitted he needs to “addict” he and his company are now calling “pirates”, criminals. Having admitted that Microsoft needs “piracy” to compete with GNU/Linux, they now concede that billions of dollars are lost due to “theft”. Which way will it be, Microsoft? There’s no notion such as “theft” in Free software, which users are encouraged to share. The only theft is a case of refusing to share. The GPL makes it an equivalent of copyrights infringement.
Over in Malaysia it’s even uglier. According to reports like this one, there’s a new scare tactics propaganda forcing people to pay for something Microsoft had people accustomed to think of as free. With high pricing already ‘in place’, as well as “addicted” people, the monopoly from Redmond starts squeezing hard. We mentioned this some days ago, but this one has pictures.
Just yesterday, Microsoft Malaysia posted a new advertisement in a Malaysian daily which gloated that it now had control of all the software pirates in Malaysia. This new “feature” targets pirates by making the background of the desktops black, making it easy for law enforcers to fine the law breakers.
“[Microsoft] are willing to lose money for years and years just to make sure that you don’t make any money, either.”
“Bill Gates looks at everything as something that should be his. He acts in any way he can to make it his. It can be an idea, market share, or a contract. There is not an ounce of conscientiousness or compassion in him. The notion of fairness means nothing to him. The only thing he understands is leverage.”
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- OOXML Sins and “Charity” Against GNU/Linux
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- Boosting Windows Vista Sales Using AIDS
- “Let Them Eat Vista…”
- Mysterious New Moves in the Gates Foundation
- Microsoft Carries on Dumping to Make Its Products a ‘Standard’
- The Takeaways from the Giveaways
- Microsoft Must Be Absolutely Terrified