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

08.18.07

Lobbying for OOXML in Africa, Which Apparently Dislikes Microsoft and Novell

Posted in Africa, Formats, ISO, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, Windows at 10:40 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Humanity for others, now show us your wallet”

The saga apparently continues. It appears like a joyride — a journey across the world where Microsoft lobbyists ensure that a technically inferior set of specifications somehow gets added to (or replaces) an existing international standard set which is elegant, open, free, and fair.

Next stop: Ghana.

If you speak to people from Africa, you may find that they are not too pleased with Microsoft’s ‘humanitarian’ endeavors, unless they completely fail to see or understand the hidden motives and long-term agenda. More on this in a moment…

Let’s have a quick quick look again at Microsoft lobbying. Such lobbying is everywhere, so it is no longer surprising. Only days ago we saw:

There are some older examples such as:

It is well established that Microsoft uses its political muscle to achieve its goal. Let’s turn our attention back to Africa again.

Have a look at this blog item, whose level of credibility seems decent.

In response they have apparently been sending PR teams around to national Standards boards all over the world(Ghana for a fact) to lobby for votes for OOXML under the guise of talking about ‘Open XML Standards’.

We mentioned the process in South Africa in the past and we also spotted some odd things, such as citizens being discouraged when it comes to writing letters that oppose OOXML. Shane also kept a close eye on Microsoft’s software patent maneuvers in South Africa. According to Professor Keats, Microsoft illegally filed software patents in that country. There was a Novell connection as well.

Generally speaking, some of South Africa never seemed receptive when it comes to the Microsoft/Novell deal. Even a Novell quarantine was mentioned at one stage. Last month, Novell lost its head in South Africa.

There are signs that not only Novell, but also Microsoft is unpopular in parts of Africa. Here is an article that was published earlier this year.

Microsoft Corporation’s products have been locked out of the on-going World Social Forum (WSF) in Nairobi Kenya.

With over 300 computers provided for participants and the press, organizers of the WSF have preferred to provide open source software products and blocked all Microsoft related products for the forum’s usage and its related activities.

[...]

Activists at the forum also believe that since Microsoft is a corporate brand from the United States of America, a country they believe has intentions of maintaining the status quo of a unipolar world over which it is above international law and the UN, the brand should be locked out.

[...]

“The open source movement is providing Linux, a robust free software. Everybody owns it and it can be shared. And this is what WSF is all about – a free society, a movement fighting for ownership of free resources” he adds.

There is a lot more to this story because Microsoft’s affairs in Africa are complex. Last week, Free Software Magazine featured an article which compared Nestle’s plot to Microsoft’s.

We have seen how two different corporations use free samples of their products to create a dependence in the most vulnerable areas of the world. Even when the similarities between both marketing strategies are evident, Microsoft has earned the image of a company concerned with social causes, while Nestlé has been the objective of a successful boycott campaign that forced it to change its marketing strategy.

This double standard is maintained by the lack of public awareness on the implications of proprietary software. To make these implications known, and to promote the use of free software in education, is a step towards a world where access to knowledge is not restricted to those who can afford it.

There is actually some extensive background to this practice of getting children addicted to software (or locked in through proprietary formats and habits). Can you recall Microsoft’s recent announcement about a $3 Windows+Office combo in developing nations? CyberSource reminded us all that this strategy is not related to altruism. The two elements — altruism and stretgy — are not even mutually exclusive, they are contradictory. Dependency on formats, protocols, and application is means for seeding future extraction of revenue. It means more exploitation, more abuse, and more poverty.

“Microsoft’s strategy of getting developing nations hooked on its software was clearly outlined by Bill Gates almost a decade ago,” said Con Zymaris, CEO of long-standing open source firm Cybersource.

Specifically, Bill Gates, citing China as an example, said:

“Although about 3 million computers get sold every year in China, but people don’t pay for the software,” he said. “Someday they will, though. As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

There is also this one about Adobe. But why go as far as months ago? Only days ago, this veiled marketing press release was unleashed by Microsoft and its ilk, most probably with the intention of getting children dependent on (and locked in to) their expensive software.

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 19/9/2019: German Federal Ministry of the Interior Wants FOSS, Top Snaps Named

    Links for the day



  2. Buying the Voices of 'Linux' People to Repeat Microsoft's Talking Points While Removing Our Icons and Leaders (Calling Them Sexist)

    The dirty games leveraged by several companies including Microsoft target charismatic people who are essential for morale and leadership; these tactics aren't particularly novel



  3. When the EPO Sees Itself as Above European Law, Grants Patents in Defiance of the EPC (Its Founding Document) and Violates Staff's Labour Rights/Protections (International Law)

    The absurd state of affairs at the EPO has reached the point where laws at every level are being violated and even judges are being threatened or vainly ignored; the EU is belatedly trying to tackle these issues, which have actually cost its credibility a great deal and threaten the perception of Rule of Law at multiple levels



  4. Links 19/9/2019: Samba 4.11.0 and Kubernetes 1.16

    Links for the day



  5. Update on Koch v EPO: Internal Appeals Committee (IAC) Composition Still Likely Illegal

    An important EPO case, concerning a dismissed staff representative, shows what ILO-AT and the EPO's Internal Appeals Committee boil down to



  6. Links 18/9/2019: Fedora Linux 31 Beta, PCLinuxOS 2019.09 Update

    Links for the day



  7. Links 17/9/2019: CentOS 7.7 and Funtoo Linux 1.4 Released

    Links for the day



  8. EPO is Not European

    Internationalists and patent trolls are those who stand to benefit from the 'globalisation' of low-quality and law-breaking patents such as patents on algorithms, nature and life itself; the EPO isn't equipped to serve its original goals anymore



  9. The EPO's Central Staff Committee and SUEPO (Staff Union) Respond to “Fascist Bills” Supported by EPO President António Campinos

    Raw material pertaining to the latest Campinos "scandal"; what Campinos said, what the Central Staff Committee (CSC) said, and what SUEPO said



  10. Storm Brewing in the European Patent Office After a Hot Summer

    Things aren't rosy in EPOnia (to say the least); in fact, things have been getting a lot worse lately, but the public wouldn't know judging by what media tells the public (almost nothing)



  11. Why I Once Called for Richard Stallman to Step Down

    Guest post from the developer who recently authored "Getting Stallman Wrong Means Getting The 21st Century Wrong"



  12. As Richard Stallman Resigns Let's Consider Why GNU/Linux Without Stallman and Torvalds Would be a Victory to Microsoft

    Stallman has been ejected after a lot of intentionally misleading press coverage; this is a dark day for Software Freedom



  13. Links 16/9/2019: GNU Linux-libre 5.3, GNU World Order 13×38, Vista 10 Breaks Itself Again

    Links for the day



  14. Links 16/9/2019: Qt Quick on Vulkan, Metal, and Direct3D; BlackWeb 1.2 Reviewed

    Links for the day



  15. Richard Stallman's Controversial Views Are Nothing New and They Distract From Bill Gates' Vastly Worse Role

    It's easier to attack Richard Stallman (RMS) using politics (than using his views on software) and media focus on Stallman's personal views on sexuality bears some resemblance to the push against Linus Torvalds, which leans largely on the false perception that he is sexist, rude and intolerant



  16. Links 16/9/2019: Linux 5.3, EasyOS Releases, Media Backlash Against RMS

    Links for the day



  17. Openwashing Report on Open Networking Foundation (ONF): When Open Source Means Collaboration Among Giant Spying Companies

    Massive telecommunications oligopolies (telecoms) are being described as ethical and responsible by means of openwashing; they even have their own front groups for that obscene mischaracterisation and ONF is one of those



  18. 'Open Source' You Cannot Run Without Renting or 'Licensing' Windows From Microsoft

    When so-called ‘open source’ programs strictly require Vista 10 (or similar) to run, how open are they really and does that not redefine the nature of Open Source while betraying everything Free/libre software stands for?



  19. All About Control: Microsoft is Not Open Source But an Open Source Censor/Spy and GitHub/LinkedIn/Skype Are Its Proprietary Censorship/Surveillance Tools

    All the big companies which Microsoft bought in recent years are proprietary software and all of the company’s big products remain proprietary software; all that “Open Source” is to Microsoft is “something to control and censor“



  20. The Sad State of GNU/Linux News Sites

    The ‘media coup’ of corporate giants (that claim to be 'friends') means that history of GNU/Linux is being distorted and lied about; it also explains prevalent lies such as "Microsoft loves Linux" and denial of GNU/Free software



  21. EPO President Along With Bristows, Managing IP and Other Team UPC Boosters Are Lobbying for Software Patents in Clear and Direct Violation of the EPC

    A calm interpretation of the latest wave of lobbying from litigation professionals, i.e. people who profit when there are lots of patent disputes and even expensive lawsuits which may be totally frivolous (for example, based upon fake patents that aren't EPC-compliant)



  22. Links 15/9/2019: Radeon ROCm 2.7.2, KDE Frameworks 5.62.0, PineTime and Bison 3.4.2

    Links for the day



  23. Illegal/Invalid Patents (IPs) Have Become the 'Norm' in Europe

    Normalisation of invalid patents (granted by the EPO in defiance of the EPC) is a serious problem, but patent law firms continue to exploit that while this whole 'patent bubble' lasts (apparently the number of applications will continue to decrease because the perceived value of European Patents diminishes)



  24. Patent Maximalists, Orbiting the European Patent Office, Work to 'Globalise' a System of Monopolies on Everything

    Monopolies on just about everything are being granted in defiance of the EPC and there are those looking to make this violation ‘unitary’, even worldwide if not just EU-wide



  25. Unitary Patent (UPC) Promotion by Team Battistelli 'Metastasising' in Private Law Firms

    The EPO's Albert Keyack (Team Battistelli) is now in Team UPC as Vice President of Kilburn & Strode LLP; he already fills the media with lies about the UPC, as one can expect



  26. Microsoft Targets GNU/Linux Advocates With Phony Charm Offensives and Fake 'Love'

    The ways Microsoft depresses GNU/Linux advocacy and discourages enthusiasm for Software Freedom is not hard to see; it's worth considering and understanding some of these tactics (mostly assimilation-centric and love-themed), which can otherwise go unnoticed



  27. Proprietary Software Giants Tell Open Source 'Communities' That Proprietary Software Giants Are 'Friends'

    The openwashing services of the so-called 'Linux' Foundation are working; companies that are inherently against Open Source are being called "Open" and some people are willing to swallow this bait (so-called 'compromise' which is actually surrender to proprietary software regimes)



  28. Microsoft Pays the Linux Foundation for Academy Software Foundation, Which the Linux Foundation is Outsourcing to Microsoft

    Microsoft has just bought some more seats and more control over Free/Open Source software; all it had to do was shell out some 'slush funds'



  29. Links 14/9/2019: SUSE CaaS Platform, Huawei Laptops With GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  30. Links 13/9/2019: Catfish 1.4.10, GNOME Firmware 3.34.0 Release

    Links for the day


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

Recent Posts