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. Site Focus for The Remainder of the Year

    What we plan for the rest of 2014 and why



  2. Links 20/4/2014: EFF FOSS, Easter Drone Strikes, Copyright Industry Fear of Google

    Links for the day



  3. Links 19/4/2014: Slow Easter News Day

    Links for the day



  4. Links 18/4/2014: New KDE, Kubuntu, and More

    Links for the day



  5. Some Perspective on Heartbleed®

    Our views on the whole Heartbleed® bonanza, which seems like partly a PR stunt (for multiple stakeholders)



  6. Microsoft is Leaving Windows -- Including Vista 8.1 -- Vulnerable to Non-Government Crackers, Not Only to NSA

    Microsoft makes it ever more evident that securing users of Windows is not at all a priority, and perhaps not even a desire



  7. Links 17/4/2014: Android RDP, New Ubuntu, RHEL 7 Milestone

    Links for the day



  8. Racing to 1984: Mass Surveillance, Cracking, 'Targeted' Assassinations, and Illegal Torture

    Links for the day



  9. More Microsoft Subsidies to Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures

    Microsoft hands money to Bill Gates' close friend who is the world's largest patent troll



  10. Aiding Microsoft Under the Disguise of 'Pro-FOSS'

    Not everything which is FOSS necessary becomes, by virtue of existence, a positive contribution, as we are constantly reminded by projects that help proprietary software and/or restrictions get a strong grip on FOSS



  11. Links 16/4/2014: Red Hat PR, Ubuntu LTS Imminent

    Links for the day



  12. Links 15/4/2014: Lots of PCLinuxOS Releases, Ukraine Updates

    Links for the day



  13. Apple and Microsoft Actively Lobbying Against Patent Reform in the US

    Apple and Microsoft are reportedly intervening/interfering with US law in order to ensure that the law is Free/libre software-hostile



  14. Lawsuit by Microsoft Shareholder Targets Fine for Crimes Rather Than the Crimes Themselves

    A new lawsuit by a Microsoft shareholder shows everything that's wrong with today's model of accountability, where those who are responsible for crimes are accused of not avoiding fines rather than committing the crimes



  15. Public Institutions Must Dump PRISM-Associated Software

    Another reminder that taxpayers-subsidised services should refuse, as a matter of principle, to pay anything for -- let alone deploy -- proprietary software with back doors



  16. GNU/Linux News: The Opportunities Amid XP EOL

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft Gets Its Money's Worth From Xamarin: PlayStation 4 Now Polluted by Microsoft

    The Trojan horse of Microsoft, Xamarin, is pushing .NET into Microsoft's console competitor



  18. After Brendan Eich Comes Chris Beard

    Having removed Brendan Eich using bullying and blackmail tactics, his foes inside Mozilla achieved too little as we have yet another man (coming from inside Mozilla) acting as CEO



  19. Healthcare News: Free Software in Health, Humanitarian Causes

    Links for the day



  20. Links 14/4/2014: MakuluLinux, Many Games, More Privacy News and Pulitzer Prize for NSA Revelations

    Links for the day



  21. TechBytes Episode 87: Catching up With Surveillance (NSA, GCHQ et al.)

    The first audio episode in a very long time covers some of the latest happenings when it comes to privacy and, contrariwise, mass surveillance



  22. Server News: KVM, ElasticHosts, Other GNU/Linux Items, and Open Network Linux

    Links for the day



  23. Hardware News: Freedom, Modding, Hackability on the Rise

    Links for the day



  24. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    Links for the day



  25. GNOME News: Financial Issues, Mutter-Wayland, West Coast Summit, Community Participation

    Links for the day



  26. KDE News: Kubuntu at the Centre Again KDE Applications Updated

    Links for the day



  27. Techrights Rising

    Effective immediately, Techrights will do what it takes to bring back old volume and pace of publishing



  28. Links: Surveillance, Intervention, Torture and Drones

    Links for the day



  29. Mobile Linux Not Just Android: Jolla, WebOS, and Firefox OS News

    Links for the day



  30. Google's Linux Revolution: New Gains for Android, Chrome OS (GNU/Linux)

    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