Summary: The Gates Foundation builds fences and gates using monetary investments and political influence
A couple of days ago we wrote about Microsoft’s influence in the United States government. It is mostly tied to money and the impact is easy to see, e.g. [1, 2]. We have also given examples where the Gates Foundation feeds governments billions of dollars in return for favours [1, 2]. An investment firm is what it really is and the Gates Foundation is largely a tax-exempt investment firm.
The mainstream press is typically too afraid to question the motives of the Gates Foundation, but Associated Press (AP) finally dares to explain the conditions that lead to Windows-only policies at schools (not just schools across the US, either [1, 2]). Many examples were given before, including Gates Foundation funds that ideologically exclude Free software. Here is the opening of the AP report:
THE INFLUENCE GAME: Bill Gates sways govt dollars
The real secretary of education, the joke goes, is Bill Gates.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been the biggest player by far in the school reform movement, spending around $200 million a year on grants to elementary and secondary education.
As a side note, in light of news from Korea (Microsoft was convicted of monopoly abuse twice this year in Korea [1, 2]), here is an important lesson about lock-in, which is what the Gates Foundation is trying to achieve across the world not only in education (Microsoft dependence, sometimes with EDGI) but also in agriculture (dependence on seeds with US patents on them [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]).
The average computer user may not care whether it is ActiveX or something else that allows convenient and secure access. But that is misguided. In the event of worldwide Internet chaos, as was the case in January 2003 or during the DDoS attacks in July, Korea gets hit the hardest. Its online environment has become one where users habitually hit “yes” for every dialog box that pops up and install programs without a second thought.
Koreans are the easiest prey in the world for hackers intent on spreading computer viruses and using zombies.
Whenever Microsoft releases a new operating system, such as Windows Vista, or a new version of Explorer, only in Korea is there a fuss about previous versions not working. The country’s closed and outdated computing environment is overly dependent on ActiveX.
See the quotes below for insight into Bill Gates’ personal role in this strategy. It’s not an unfortunate accident. █
“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”
“In one piece of mail people were suggesting that Office had to work equally well with all browsers and that we shouldn’t force Office users to use our browser. This Is wrong and I wanted to correct this.”