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. The European Patent Office “is Acting as Though the Law Does Not Apply to It.”

    An article from Nieuwsuur which provides the words of Liesbeth Zegveld (for SUEPO) and Guillaume Minnoye (for the European Patent Office), reaffirming the EPO's bizarre notion that it is above the law, even in the face of human rights violations and a court ruling against the EPO



  2. Microsoft-Connected FRAND Lobbying (Software Patents Against Free/Open Source Software) in Brussels

    Anti-Free/Open Source software (FOSS) talking points and FRAND (anti-FOSS) lobbying groups in Brussels as seen by proponents of FRAND, who also worked for Microsoft



  3. Latest Propaganda From the EPO's Management an Effort to Make the EPO the Tool of Megacorporations

    A quick roundup of some of the latest spin and paid-for (bought) coverage that helps introduce a distorted patent system whose beneficiaries are not European (or even people)



  4. 'Aversion to Change' Propaganda From the EPO Echoes or Parrots Lenin and Stalin

    The out-of-control EPO management is trying to fool the media by blaming staff representatives for getting fired, simply because they stood up to a highly abusive and megalomaniacal dictator



  5. The Gates Foundation Subjected to Criticism, But Over a Decade Too Late

    Reckoning and accepting the fact that even some in the media now openly speak about Bill Gates' corrupting influence in everything, including politics



  6. Links 8/2/2016: Zenwalk 8.0 Beta 2, Q4OS 1.4.7

    Links for the day



  7. SIPO (China's Patent Office) Taken Over by Patent Maximalists

    A look at China's race to the bottom (decline in quality) when it comes to patents, assuming quite wrongly that quantity is more important than quality and severe penalties for perceived infringement will spur innovation



  8. The Alice Case Continues to Smash Software Patents (This Time OpenTV's); Will the EPO Ever Pay Attention?

    The potency or the grip of software patents in the United States is quickly eroding, but the EPO continues to act as though software patents are legitimate



  9. EPO Staff Responds to Team Battistelli's Expansion to Include French Economic Propagandist on the Payroll

    With strings attached (like string puppets of Battistelli in various units including the Investigative Unit), can the new Chief Economist, who is French and paid by Battistelli, ever be trusted?



  10. UPC: To Understand Who Would Benefit From It Just Look at Who's Promoting It (Like TPP)

    The UPC, which is designed to aid patent trolls and aggressors (and their lawyers), is still being advanced by the EPO and some misinformed (but loyal to these former groups) politicians



  11. Trolls Molestos: Rovi (del famoso Angry Birds) Ayuda al Más Largo Troll de Patentes de Microsoft Intellectual Ventures (Corregido)

    Alguna vez conocido como hacedor de juegos y más tarde como vigilancia en masa en jugadores, Rovi ahora se ESTA ALIANDO CON EL MÁS GRANDE TROLL DE PATENTES



  12. Estadísticas de Invalidación de Patentes y Costos de Litigación de Patentes (incluso si son falsas) Muestran que la Esfera de Patentes y los Estándares de Examinación son un Probleman, No Sólo en Los Estados Unidos

    Demasiadas falsas patentes que no deberían haber sido otorgadas en primer lugar y fraudulentes jucios de patentes que terminan en favor del acusado sirve para mostrar el costo externo (o externalidad) cuando set trata de un bajisímo sistema de patentes que se esfuerza en otorgar muchas patentes irrespectivamente de su mérito.



  13. The 'Offenses' of EPO Staff Representatives Boil Down to Truth-Telling

    Dutch television examined the documents of the mock 'trials' against SUEPO leaders and concluded that whistle-blowing (i.e. exposing abuses by EPO management), not misconduct, is the reason for overzealous dismissals



  14. Rumours About Dismissal of Benoît Battistelli and New Letter From Union Syndicale Federale Blasting Battistelli's Behaviour

    hings have been heating up since the dismissal of staff representatives at the European Patent Office (EPO) and some even spread rumours about withdrawal/dismissal of the EPO's President



  15. VirnetX Case Against Apple Shows Not the Problem With Patent Trolls But With Software Patents

    What the media really ought to be talking about after the high-profile VirnetX case, rather than obsess about the status of Apple or patent trolls in the Eastern District of Texas



  16. Diápositivas de Nueva Charla Explican la Connección Entre la Corte De Patentes Unitarias (UPC) y Patentes de Software

    Benjamín Henrion habló el pasado Domingo acerca de las patentes de software europeas -una presentación que habla de la Corte Unitaria de Patentes, por la que la OEP aboga sin cesar y que es lo que significa para las patentes de software.



  17. Las Políticas de Microsoft Alienan Incluso a los Hinchas Más Acérrimos de Microsoft, Incluyendo Pro-Microsoft Web Sites

    El agresivo comportamiento de Microsoft y su BAJA CALIDAD DE PRODUCTOS dejan algunos de sus últimos restos de ´hinchas´ descorazonados y molestos.



  18. Links 6/2/2016: CoreOS Rocket 1.0, Scientific Linux 7.2

    Links for the day



  19. Maybe It's Time for Class Action Lawsuits Against Microsoft for Forced Vista 10 'Upgrades', Which Were Definitely No Accident

    The sheer arrogance of Microsoft, which silently changes the operating system on people's computers (without their consent), makes lawsuits imperative, not just a possibility



  20. Readers' Article: A Strange Conspiracy of Silence in the German Media (Part II)

    Željko Topić's allegedly dark background, which includes a suicide, a retreat of potential witnesses, German funds in Topić's private bank account and several more interesting bits



  21. Links 5/2/2016: Wine 1.9.3, Slackware 14.2 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  22. Links 4/2/2016: Red Hat Upgraded, Ubuntu Tablet

    Links for the day



  23. The Siege Continues: Patent Lawyers Want More Patents, Including Software Patents, In Spite of Alice

    Lawyers who make money from patent disputes make rather apparent their aspirations, which include patent saturation even in domains that are patents-exempt



  24. European Patent Office Pretends It's Business as Usual and Prepares New Vanity Pieces

    The PR strategy of the EPO, whose destructive patent strategy continues unabated (for now), latches onto Colombia and strives to manufacture mythology wherein the public, patent examiners and patent applicants are all very happy with the EPO



  25. The 'International' Trade Commission Imposes/Reinforces Software Patents to Establish Another Embargo

    The International [sic] Trade Commission is meddling in competition and allowing a US giant, Cisco in this case, to potentially block rivals (no imports from abroad) using software patents



  26. Readers' Article: A Strange Conspiracy of Silence in the German Media (Part I)

    The views of some of our readers regarding reluctance in the German media to challenge the EPO's violations of German law, probably because Germany benefits from being a host nation of the EPO



  27. Benoît Battistelli's EPO: From Show Trials and Mock Trials to a Self-Aggrandising Propaganda Event Later Today in Rijswijk

    A headsup from a reader regarding today's highly misleading event in Rijswijk (e.g. to mislead the media or seed positive media coverage in the Netherlands) and how it was set up



  28. Caricature of the Day: EPO President

    New caricature about Benoît Battistelli, his bodyguards, and the assault on free speech at the European Patent Office



  29. Company Known as European Patent Office Provides Tips on How to Patent Software in Europe

    The European Patent Office (EPO) uses its attendance at CeBIT, which is a corporate expo, to promote software patents in spite of the European Patent Convention (EPC)



  30. Links 3/2/2016: Dell GNU/Linux Laptop, Wine 1.8.1

    Links for the day


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