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09.24.08

More “Independent” Studies… Against GNU/Linux

Posted in Asia, Bill Gates, Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Windows at 8:23 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

…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.”

Bill Gates

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.”

Bill Gates

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.

How does it feel to have been served “addiction” by the same companies which now sends out the hounds (BSA et al)?

“[Microsoft] are willing to lose money for years and years just to make sure that you don’t make any money, either.”

Bob Cringely

“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.”

Philippe Kahn

Let them eat Vista

Further reading:

  1. Bill Gates’ Retirement Merely a Political Lock-in Crusade
  2. Microsoft ‘Buys’ Dubai Away from GNU/Linux, Calls it “Charity”; Paris Also?
  3. OOXML Sins and “Charity” Against GNU/Linux
  4. It’s Not Dumping Because They Call it “Charity”
  5. Boosting Windows Vista Sales Using AIDS
  6. “Let Them Eat Vista…”
  7. Mysterious New Moves in the Gates Foundation
  8. Microsoft Carries on Dumping to Make Its Products a ‘Standard’
  9. The Takeaways from the Giveaways
  10. Microsoft Must Be Absolutely Terrified
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7 Comments

  1. Dan Andersen said,

    September 25, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Gravatar

    Great post. I wish people would actually realize this has always been going on.

  2. John Kinney said,

    September 25, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    Gravatar

    “In other words, addiction comes first, later comes the ‘pumping’.”

    Um… Not to put too fine a point on it, but isn’t that what a classic drug pusher does? Get somebody hooked and then raise the price?\

    John Kinney

  3. Scott Bicknell said,

    September 25, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Gravatar

    The point about addiction… is the point. Microsoft has adopted the classic tactic of drug pushers. Give it to them free. Then, when they’re hooked, reel them in and start charging money.

    When they refuse to pay (“pirate” the software), withhold the drug (the ability to use the software) by giving them the black screen.

  4. Web Forms said,

    September 25, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    Gravatar

    Altho in business practice, Microsoft is evil, we have to give credits when it is due.

    I am talking about the softwares itself. (without touching on the business / monopoly side)

    Microsoft’s main softwares clearly respond to user needs in terms of usage. Their engineers really put features that makes Office (especially Office 2003) very useful.

    In open source however, (expecially if it is free), when user need a particular feature, there is no incentive for the owner to put it in the software.

    If the user is too persistent / keep asking, they usually met with answers like.. this is an open source software, you study the source code and do the changes yourself.

    Me, like 95% of the world population, do not want to look at the source codes.

    We just want the software to work as it should be. The software should work for us. Not the other way round. i.e. we do not want to waste our time tinkering with the source code.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    September 25, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    Gravatar

    This fallacy is very common and it is perpetually used as FUD. An ordinary user needn’t access to the code, but there is reliance on other programmers with the means and the desire to improve the software. Firefox extensions. the Apache project and the Linux kernel are excellent examples of this. Many individual companies and developers contribute back their changes to the patchmaster.

  6. Sum Yung Gai said,

    September 25, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Gravatar

    I agree, we have to give credit to Microsoft where it is due. I give them credit for illegal business practices. I give them credit for BREAKING my existing software and FORCING upgrades (think MS Office 97, there are other examples too). I give them credit for writing an OS (Vista) that DISABLED my DVD player when Vista decided that I was playing a “pirated” video (it wasn’t “pirated”, it was FOSDEM 2007).

    Oh, let’s also not forget to “thank” Microsoft for threatening school districts, too, once they thought they had them “addicted”. Google for “Portland Public Schools” and 2002.

    Remember, drugs come with lots of pretty promises, too. Sometimes, they even come in pretty packages, just like MS Office or even MS Windows. The high you get from them is beautiful. But they still hurt you.

    My Linux software “just works”, doesn’t get in my way, doesn’t disable my hardware, doesn’t “phone home”, *DOES* preserve my freedom to compute as *I* wish. My OpenOffice works really well, too, better and easier than MS Office 2007, that’s for sure!

    I love Linux and other Free/Open Source.

    –SYG

  7. nobodie said,

    September 26, 2008 at 12:50 am

    Gravatar

    I’m here in China, and let me tell you a little about the situation.
    1) computer classes teach no programming skills or any useful computer interaction skills besides MS package use. EG: database courses all teach Foxpro, exclusively, and I don’t mean FPII.
    2) the result is horribly unskilled “IT Professionals”: The IT guru in my office doesn’t know how to set up a network to share a printer. He suggests that we use a shared USB drive to carry stuff to the print “server”
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