Summary: The “rich uncle” offers as a gift some skills required to buy/use its products
AS THIS WEB site stressed before, Microsoft’s "Elevate America" initiative is a publicity stunt. It is wrongly (or fraudulently) being recast as charity. Microsoft repeatedly calls it that, so the more obedient journalists uncritically pass it as what Microsoft claims it to be. But it’s actually more harmful than helpful; it makes people dependent on an abusive corporation whose products they will not be able to afford. In many ways, “Elevate America” might even be worse than EDGI. Well, EDGI is usually known to the public as “Unlimited Potential”. This was shown before, e.g. in:
- Did Microsoft Scheme Financial Strangulations Against OLPC? (Updated: As Text)
- Is Microsoft ‘Pulling an EDGI’ on Kerala? (Updated)
- Microsoft Vice President Teaches PR People How to Spin Anti-Linux Programme
- Microsoft Dumps on India, South Africa, Malta
- At Microsoft, “Fear Uncertainty Doubt (TALKING POINTS)” is Formal Strategy
- Microsoft’s Dumping Strategy Versus GNU/Linux (EDGI Continued)
- Extended Windows 98 EOL to Block Government Migrations to GNU/Linux and Free Software; More ‘Donations’
- Microsoft on “Maintaining Gap vs Linux” Using “Patents“, “Children’s Software“
- Microsoft’s Internal Presentation on How to Fight GNU/Linux
- Microsoft Chief: “Under NO Circumstances Lose Against Linux”
- Microsoft’s EDGI in India: Fighting GNU/Linux in Education
- EDGI Finale: Microsoft’s “Linux Compete Squad”
With that in mind, let us proceed. The news comes in the form of a press release. Microsoft is bringing to Houston a programme which it typically brags about in developing countries. Is Texas a place in need of “Unlimited Potential” grants? Does Microsoft perceive it as poor? Because that’s what “Unlimited Potential” targets, as a matter of definition.
City of Houston Announces Multi-Million-Dollar Partnership with Microsoft for Digital Literacy and Workforce Preparedness
The Microsoft Unlimited Potential grant, awarded to the Houston Public Library Foundation for WeCAN Works, includes $4.3 million in software and $200,000 in cash over a two-year period.
There is also an article about it, but it totally misses the key point and instead it parrots Microsoft’s claims.
The Wireless Empowered Community Access Network (WeCAN) provides digital literacy and other job-readiness support services and training to prepare Houstonians for work.
It’s about teaching them Microsoft, it’s neither about working skills nor computing. It is self-serving — for Microsoft to benefit; it’s merely an investment (with ROI) cast as “charity”.
Why does BizJournals.com miss this important point? There are other PR initiatives from Microsoft that BizJournals.com is covering right now in order to improve Microsoft’s image. It is irresponsible when Microsoft’s words are taken for granted without looking deeper at their motives. It’s cowardly, but it’s just so typically coming from the business press.
The grants announced this week will focus largely on training librarians to use Internet resources, to make it easier for library patrons to get vital information and educate themselves and their children, officials said.
“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”