Steve Ballmer’s visit to Portugal was foreseen (but expected) quite a while ago, later to be analysed further. Very memorable were also the OOXML scandals in that country and the possible AstroTurfing. There’s lots more to be said about evidence that has already been covered, but fresh from the news we have another new and disturbing development that may or may not explain Steve Ballmer’s sudden visit, which we suspected all along to be a move against Free software in the country.
According to the following text, Microsoft wants children of Portugal to become dependent on Windows and Office. A partnership with Magellan is being touted.
Microsoft’s investment in the Magellan Learning Suite is designed to encourage targeted, international adoption of the Magellan educational computers by addressing the need for relevant software and content, user support, digital literacy, and broad scalability…
Reread the quoted text if necessary. There is a cash infusion and Microsoft’s talk about “digital literacy” is mostly a reference to GUIs, including the start menu, security ‘skills’, Word, and perhaps services like Live@edu. “Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced significant Microsoft investment in the Magellan Initiative through the Microsoft Unlimited Potential program,” it says. As we stressed many times before (e.g. here and here), “Unlimited Potential” is more of an anti-GNU/Linux program, operated under the guise of ‘helping’ poor children.
Microsoft launched on Friday a software package for a Portuguese ultra-cheap laptop for school children that the government hopes will boost the country’s technological edge in education.
Portugal started rolling out the “Magellan” computer at schools last month. It aims to hand out a total 500,000 of the laptops, which cost just 50 euros ($69.29) for school children, at home and export it to countries in Latin America and Africa.
What about those 1 million laptops that shall go to Venezuela and are said to be running GNU/Linux? The initiative above may have a ‘domino effect’ that transcends Portugal’s borders. It’s all just intended to put Microsoft’s proprietary software on low-cost notebooks, which, at least for students, are funded by the government (i.e. taxpayers).
Yes, that’s people’s tax money going into the funding of children’s addiction to Microsoft so that Microsoft will be paid by them when they grow up and only recognise one brand of software.
Some people might say that GNU/Linux is still available as an option, but it’s not even being mentioned, no manual is provided for it, and as this recent post stated, “[t]he software “choice” is false.” It’s part of the diplomacy.
One comment which out readers have highlighted is this one:
“curiosamente, é também hoje que se a inicia a Semana do Open Office em Portugal, com uma apresentação da versão 3.0 no Forum Picoas, em Lisboa; mas a essa não se dá destaque – não é “Microsoft driven”.”
More information (in Portuguese) can be found under:
- 1 pergunta a… José Sócrates
- Ballmer formaliza apoio ao Magalhães
- Magalhães é excelente oportunidade de negócios para Portugal – Steve Ballmer
- Steve Ballmer em Portugal a propósito do Magalhães
- o grande golpe à Microsoft !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks to all those who provided valuable tips to make this post possible.
People do not require Microsoft for their education; they require education to better understand how Microsoft is exploiting them. █
“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”