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

05.24.09

Microsoft Sued Over Its Corruption in Switzerland, Microsoft Debt Revisited

Posted in Europe, Finance, Fraud, Law, Microsoft, Red Hat at 2:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Switzerland money

Summary: Microsoft is sued by Red Hat for secret deals while the red ink seems to be quietly dripping

MICROSOFT’S illegal dealings in Switzerland are a subject that we wrote about earlier this month in:

Switzerland, being a nation of banking for the most part at least in people’s minds, thrives in trust and responsibility. Swiss citizens knew what Microsoft was up to and they responded:

Asking Switzerland for more neutrality …

[...]

Well – a lot of people in Switzerland and almost 20 companies are not really happy. Among these companies is Red Hat. So Red Hat is joining the official appeal that asks the court to stop this contract, force BBL to evaluate the alternatives that exist and are in active use, even in Switzerland in the offical way of public tendering.

Effectively the appeal asks the BBL to defend competition. In a vendor neutral way. Based on technical merits. I think it is fair to ask. Let the court decide.

And ofcourse the irony of asking Switzerland of all countries to act in a (vendor-) neutral way is quite funny.

As the above already suggests, Red Hat’s legal team is stepping in.

Red Hat is a leader of an appeal by 18 technology companies of a Swiss government agency’s award of a no-bid contract to Microsoft. The challenge raises important issues of openness in government and of a level playing field for open source and other competitors of Microsoft. Red Hat is seeking a public bidding process that allows for consideration of the technical and commercial advantages of open source software products.

There is some press coverage only from Peter Judge, but hopefully the word will spread and inspire other countries to do the same thing. It is certainly a broader issue.

£8 million a year to Microsoft, with no public bidding. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, say open source activists

Linux vendor Red Hat, and 17 other vendors, have protested a Swiss government contract given to Microsoft without any public bidding. The move exposes a wider Microsoft monopoly that European governments accept, despite their lip service for open source, according to commentators.

The Red Hat group has asked a Swiss federal court to overturn a three-year contract issued to Microsoft by the Swiss Federal Bureau for Building and Logistics, to provide Windows desktops and applications, with support and maintenance, for 14 million Swiss Franc (£8 million) each year. The contract, for “standardised workstations”, was issued with no public bidding process, Red Hat’s legal team reports in a blog – because the Swiss agency asserted there was no sufficient alternative to Microsoft products.

For Microsoft to stoop down to these tactics of secret deals is not particularly surprising. See the following writings about Microsoft’s financial situation, which suffers from endless dumping of software and hefty fines:

As that last link shows, Microsoft is already taking debt. In fact, Microsoft’s debt is now receiving the blessing of a criminal company, which gives Microsoft (MSFT) debt a high rating.

DaemonFC says that “Microsoft is trying to sell debt bonds” and Twitter explains that “the $30 billion of cash had conflicts with other reports of $20 and it’s more likely they have none.”

“Microsoft is actually done with buybacks.”Further he explains: “at the end of 2008 they said they would go $20 billion in debt to buy $40 billion of their shares. Over the last couple of weeks there were a number of articles that acted like this is what they were doing. I thought they had already done their buy backs.”

Microsoft is actually done with buybacks. They announced it one month ago and it is odd because the company has purchased its stock heavily for many years. At that stage, namely the point where undisclosed buybacks are complete (their scale is disclosed, not the purchasing pace), according to their plans they would be about $5 billion in debt. Unless they cut these buybacks short, it would only make sense for Microsoft to be in debt right now. But as Twitter says, “If Microsoft is done with buybacks, why are there so many BS articles about it? [...] and this earlier article acts as if no one was sure.” To quote: “We know not why a company the size and shape of Microsoft needs to raise money through debt issuance–it already has over $30 billion in cash at hand on its books–but if this is a cost-of-capital initiative that leads to the company buying back some of its own float, shareholders may be in for a treat.

What exactly is going on here? Someone is not telling the whole truth as there are contradictions that we are able to identify.

“There is such an overvaluation of technology stocks that it is absurd. I would include our stock in that category. It is bad for the long-term worth of the economy.”

Steve Ballmer

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. amd-linux said,

    May 24, 2009 at 4:34 am

    Gravatar

    Roy,

    while not being an expert in US GAP, it could be possible that

    - cash as accounted in the MS balance sheet care mostly short and medium term bonds, not real cash or account deposits at a bank
    - the actual losses in valuation of these bonds are not being reflected fully in their balance sheet because as the are accounted as “HTM”, hold to maturity, instead of mark to market, in the hope that the issuer of these bonds can repay them, but there is currently no market with fair prices or huge spreads.

    So, in essence, their balance sheets show us huge “cash” reserves but that might give a wrong picture about their liquidity. And liquidity is want you need – cause with liquidity you pay the bills. If you assets are not liquid, you might die as a rich man, so to say :-)

    Banks did not collapse because they ran out of assets but in the cases I am familiar with, they financed long term credits they issued with short term credits they borrowed – but when the market dried out, boom…… although they had this huuuuge assets in their portfolio.

    So maybe MS manouvred itself in a similar situation, which looked very attractive until 9 months ago, as you could realize huge interest rate profits by refinancing long term, high interest rate credit facilities with short term low rate loans.

    This is my personal speculation, I have not the slightest clue if this is true – but as a model, it IMHO can explain why MS needs to borrow money.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_to_market
    http://www.americanbanker.com/glossary.html?alpha=H

What Else is New


  1. Links 16/12/2014: Google and ODF, Civilization: Beyond Earth Comes to GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  2. Bill Gates' Pet Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as Founder Quits

    Intellectual Ventures founder leaves after an exceptionally large round of layoffs, despite [cref 77299 recent subsidies from Sony and Microsoft]



  3. Keeping Software Patents Out of Europe Following the Demise of Software Patents in the US

    Instability in the EPO seemingly prevents further expansion of patent scope, which is the subject of scrutiny of EPO staff



  4. Links 15/12/2014: OSI 2014 Annual Report, GPLv2 Court Test

    Links for the day



  5. Links 14/12/2014: Calligra 2.9 Beta, Krita 2.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  6. Software Patents Are Dying in the US, But Patent Lawyers Refuse to Admit It

    Patent lawyers continue to distort the reality of software patents' demise in the United States



  7. Links 13/12/2014: Android Wear “Lollipop”, European Commission and FOSS

    Links for the day



  8. Time to Take Microsoft Out of British Aviation Before Planes Crash Into Buildings

    London's mighty Heathrow Airport among those affected by a Microsoft-reliant air traffic control system which is not being able to properly recover from an outage, and not for the first time either



  9. News From France and Germany: Battistelli Under Fire, But Not Fired Yet, Just Firing His Opposition

    The régime headed by Benoît Battistelli and his criminal deputy continues to overthrow or pressure out everyone who is not 'loyal' to the régime



  10. Links 12/12/2014: Linux++, KDE Frameworks 5.5.0, Calligra 2.8.7

    Links for the day



  11. The USPTO is Broken: New Evidence Presented

    The scope of patents, as evidenced by some statistical figures and individual patents, shows that the USPTO is broken and must be reformed or dismantled



  12. US Patent Reform (on Trolls Only) More or Less Buried or Ineffective

    An update on efforts to reform the patent system in the United States, including the possibly imminent appointment of Michelle Lee to USPTO leadership role



  13. Software Patents in Canada Not Dead Yet

    Canada's patent status quo increasingly like that of the United States and Canadian giants like BlackBerry now pose a threat to software developers



  14. Dreaming of a Just Christmas: When a Third of EPO Walks Out to Revolt and European Judges Attack the EPO Over Abuses

    Information about the abuses of Battistelli et al. at the EPO are finally receiving wider coverage and increasing the strain on Battistelli's authoritarian reign



  15. Links 11/12/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Beta, Firefox 35 Plans

    Links for the day



  16. Ubuntu Core Announcement is Not About Microsoft and Hosting Ubuntu on Azure is Worse Than Stupid

    The power of media spin makes the idea of hosting Free software under the control of an NSA PRISM and back doors partner seem alluring



  17. France Gets Involved in Battistelli's Abuses in the EPO - Part XII (Updated)

    The EPO scandal has officially spilled over to France, where a French Senator got involved and starts asking serious questions



  18. Rolling of Heads Likely Imminent at EPO

    The European patent system is shaking as management breaks the rules, staff is protesting against the management every week, and charges of corruption resurface



  19. Links 11/12/2014: systemd 218, Empire Total War

    Links for the day



  20. Links 10/12/2014: Fedora 21, Ubuntu Core

    Links for the day



  21. Links 9/12/2014: Fedora 21 and Torture Report Are Out

    Links for the day



  22. Exclusive: The Enlarged Board of Appeal Complains About Battistelli's Corrupt Management to the Administrative Council (Updated)

    Text of the complaint from the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) reaches Techrights, demonstrating just how rampant the abuse in Battistelli's EPO has become



  23. Protests Against EPO Corruption Approach 1,000 in Attendance

    EPO staff at all levels is revolting against the management of the EPO, whose dismissal seems to be only a matter of time



  24. Links 9/12/2014: Greg Kroah-Hartman Interview, Fedora 21 Imminent

    Links for the day



  25. EPO Staff Protests Today and Protested Last Week, Targeting Corruption in the Institution

    PO staff is demonstrating against abuse by the management of the EPO, today we well as in prior days



  26. Links 7/12/2014: New Linux Release, Marines and Prisoners on GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  27. EPO Scandal: Benoît Battistelli's Arrogance Recognised by European Delegations

    Battistelli’s Nixon moment and the evasive nature of his approach towards external delegations that are troubled by his behaviour



  28. CBS Brushing Aside and Away Microsoft's History of Blackmail and Bribes Against Linux

    Putting in context some of the poor reporting (or whitewash) regarding Microsoft's bribe (disguised as "partnership") to Barnes & Noble



  29. Links 7/12/2014: Typhoon Hagupit, AURORAGOLD

    Links for the day



  30. EPO Imploding: Battistelli Throws a Fit at EPO's Investigation Unit

    Patent institution of Europe is showing signs of tear as protests intensify and suppression of these protests -- as well as suppression of investigation -- intensifies as well


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