“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”
ON NUMEROUS occasions in the past we explained all those Microsoft addictions that are imposed upon young children and adolescents through their school systems. They essentially get indoctrinated without being offered any choice/escape, and assumed to be receptive of the software they are taught to depend on. It is software which was designed to take away their independence and freedom, turning them to perpetual customers. In our latest post on the subject, we showed that “Elevate America” is somewhat of an equivalent of “EDGI”, which may be specifically intended to make people “addicted”, as Bill Gates honestly put at least once in the past. This does not prevent Microsoft and its loyal press (Seattle P-I in this case) from describing all this “addiction” as generous donation. Spot the latest spin:
Microsoft will contribute up to $50 million’s worth in software, training and certifications to worldwide higher education and workforce training, the company announced today at a forum it hosted in Paris.
If not a shameless lie, this is deception at best. Software has no cost associated with duplication, so Microsoft is inflating numbers and casting the state-funded conversion of schools to Microsoft recruitment camps as something charitable.
Fifty million Brazilian students will have Christmas in July when software Santa slips down the chimney to give them a free ticket on the information highway.
With Microsoft software licenses costing up to 1000 percent more in Brazil than in the US, the ProInfo program launched by the government of president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva reduces dependence on costly foreign software just as the sugar ethanol program for cars reduces dependence on expensive foreign oil. The program, administered through the national education secretariat. provides free operating systems, backbone and educational content employing Linux, Debian and KD3 freeware.
Beneath the surface, this story is a lot more complicated. Michael has just visited Brazil on behalf of Red Hat or the OSI and here is what he found out about things Microsoft does (or tries to do) in Brazil.
On the alarm front, I heard specific confirmation of a storyline I’ve been following, which is that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is basically telling governments: if you want contributions/investments from us, then you’ll give Microsoft cabinet-level access to inform policy, and you’ll use Microsoft products. For example, donations to educational initiatives require installing and teaching Microsoft products. It is similar to another story line reported by Roy Shestowitz. My informant told me that she was fortunately able to point out to the President that this was against Brazil’s sovereignty and interest, and is one of the reasons that President Lula came to FISL, to show is support for the freedoms that “software livre” (aka free software, aka open source) mean to Brazil.
This sure sounds like a form of extortion and it is hardly surprising given what we saw in other countries such as India. Blackmail through withdrawal of incentives in something that we previously saw in Kenya for example. Bill Gates uses the Foundation to pressure governments — and sometimes companies — to buy Microsoft (and only Microsoft). There are of course many other issues such as the fact that Bill and Melinda Gates use their Foundation to avoid paying tax, just as Microsoft uses Ireland to bring taxation down to near 0%. As a timely note on the subject, Groklaw highlights this new document about Xilinx losing its right to play such games around revenue tax. The tide is changing, despite Microsoft's blackmail of Obama. █