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Hiring Corporate Poison

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OLPC, Windows at 1:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

While Novell seems to be run by former IBM executives, it appears as though defecting Microsoft seniors end up all over the place. In fact, a later post will continue an existing and ongoing discussion about VMware, whereas this one looks at two new appointments of Microsoft executives who jumped ship.

The first one, Lisa Utzschneider, is reported to have landed inside Amazon, whose use of GNU/Linux in-house and even on devices (Kindle) could make such appointments a reason for slight concern.

Lisa Utzschneider, who worked at Microsoft for 10 years, will become senior vice president of national ad sales for Amazon, the Post said citing e-mails announcing her departure.

There are other seniors from Microsoft inside Amazon, notably Valentine. Brian Valentine left Microsoft for Amazon and we have already seen how hard (even criminally) he fought GNU/Linux. He was also personally involved in ‘planting’ anti-GNU/Linux articles in the media (more detailed interpretation in [1, 2]). He left before Vista was released and made a fool of himself in this Windows commercial/spoof.

The second appointment worth discussing was mentioned a couple of days ago. Some more details about the man in question are beginning to emerge.

A 25-year industry veteran, Poole most recently served as corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential Group, which focuses on IT technology needs in underserved countries. He was also active in the company’s involvement with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organization and helped bring Windows to OLPC machines.

So, the same man who essentially fought against GNU/Linux on the OLPC is now joining NComputing, which reports that 40% of its clients choose GNU/Linux [1] (citations at the bottom). The price made it almost a necessity [2] and coverage was plentiful [3, 4]. Macedonia became a big client [5] because all of the students there were put on GNU/Linux, thanks to NComputing [6].

For those who wish to believe that Poole disengaged from its past in Microsoft, well… it does not seem so.

Poole, 47, said he and his wife will remain in their Bellevue home.

Some more information here as well as what’s at stake (hundreds of thousands of GNU/Linux seats).

Each product line has accounted for roughly half of NComputing’s shipments in achieving 1 million unit sales, Drukker said.

There are several other such examples and we shall cover them in the future. Microsoft uses the term “Microsoft religion” and the problem is that it spreads to other companies.

[1] Sustainable computing for the masses

Dukker says about 40 per cent of NComputing’s customers have chosen Linux (the company uses Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora or SuSE) and the remainder have gone with Windows on the host. He is careful to specify that he has no religion when it comes to the operating system – it is entirely the buyer’s choice. (Of course, if he were not offering the GNU/Linux option, then he wouldn’t have got a run here).

[2] Poor nations gain more choices in computing

The NComputing system cuts costs tremendously. The cost per child of each NComputing system, for seven users, is $70 each, in a system running at just 1 watt per user.

[3] Dumb terminals provide smart solution

Thin client technology is not new – it has been used widely in banking and sectors which want to avoid placing sensitive information on individual PCs.

NComputing has also been deploying its technology in factories where operating conditions are not suitable for ordinary PCs.

[4] Macedonia: A New Sun of Linux Freedom Rises

The Republic of Macedonia is one of the poorer nations in southeastern Europe to come from the break-up of the former Yugoslav republic. But thanks to Linux, they do have the wherewithal to get a computer to every student in the country, thanks to a program launched in 2005 known as the “Computer for Every Child” (CEC) project.

[5] Macedonia picks Ubuntu for 20,000 PCs

A batch of 7,000 PCs with Ubuntu Linux have been sent to Macedonian schools, the first of a collection that Ubuntu sponsor Canonical expects will reach 20,000.

[6] All Macedonian students to use Linux desktops

NComputing announced this week that its multi-user virtual desktop software and low-cost virtual PC terminals will be used to equip every school child in the Republic of Macedonia, formerly part of Yugoslavia, with a Linux desktop.

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