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10.17.08

‘Addiction’ Battles for Microsoft in China and Africa

Posted in Africa, Asia, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OLPC, OpenDocument, Windows at 12:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Bill Gates

In terms of actual sales, Microsoft is doing more poorly than before. It has lost its thunder, so even Microsoft mouthpieces like Ina Fried [1, 2] are clearly concerned about measurable indicators.

Vista laptops not top sellers on Amazon

[...]

That one is an HP mini-notebook that ranked No. 18, trailing behind a gaggle of Macs and Netbooks running either Windows XP or Linux.

There are many new examples of Microsoft’s response to the lack of adoption of its crown jewel products. We’ll cover some of them later today.

Over in China, Microsoft is lobbying for the use of Windows at all costs (even $0) and there are antitrust threats due to this. It’s predatory pricing, which is an offence.

It was not entirely new or surprising that Microsoft permits people in China to ‘steal’ Windows, provided that it’s Vista, i.e. provided it helps the perception of Vista adoption and tightens lock-in on the user. Here is the opinion of someone who agrees.

A new campaign announced by Microsoft China on Oct. 16 to combat piracy of its Windows XP operating system has been met with fury by Chinese software users, and according to one analyst, is more about forcing people to upgrade to Windows Vista.

Perhaps more disturbing though is Microsoft’s intrusion into South African schools, which are/were on their route to GNU/Linux and ODF. Microsoft just won’t leave them alone, as we showed in greater detail before. Here is the latest dump:

FIFTY colleges of Further Education and Training (FET) will become accredited Microsoft Information Technology (IT) Academies so that students can receive internationally accredited training and certifications in addition to local qualifications.

The agreement to introduce the training in all of SA’s FETs was signed last week by Microsoft and the communications department’s Meraka e-Skills Institute. The aim is to give students some skills that will increase their immediate chance of employment and to give them a foundation to pursue further studies in the field. The curriculum will be designed to give students the chance to experience real-world challenges in the classroom, with courses due to start next year.

It’s worth getting the record straight. This is about capturing minds while they are young and making them dependent on a single foreign vendor. This actually comes at a very interesting time because an ODF workshop has just ended and it took place in South Africa. There is a report about it from Brazil.

I attended last week’s ODF Workshop in South Africa, and I really enjoyed the event. It was an excellent opportunity to meet people who work with ODF in governments around the world, exchange experiences on migration, talk about the new features on ODF 1.2 and talk a lot about other things that I really appreciate as interoperability and open standards adoption worldwide.

Brazil was represented by Paul Maia, from Caixa Economica Federal and Carlos Machado of SERPRO. I had the opportunity to make a brief presentation about the main features of ODF 1.2 that we’re developing at the OASIS ODF TC.

For those who are interested, there is also an OpenDocument API now. [via Bob Sutor]

ODFDOM is the name of the new free OpenDocument framework sponsored by Sun Microsystems Inc.

[Its] purpose is to provide an easy common way to create, access and manipulate OpenDocument files, without requiring detailed knowledge of the OpenDocument specification.

It is the successor of AODL and Odf4j, designed together with their architects to provide the ODF developer community an easy lightwork programming API, portable to any object-oriented language.

Shills Protect Shills

Speaking of document standards and abuse the poor, Rick Jelliffe [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18] is alluded to in the following new post which brings back his involvement (on Microsoft’s payroll) in Wikipedia. Guess who defends him?

The Prickly Prince From Microsoft Strikes Again

Dare Obasanjo, a Microsoft employee and the son of a former President of Nigeria, doesn’t like it when people disagree with him. I found that out in 2007 when Obasanjo vandalized the TechCrunch Wikipedia page in response to a post we wrote that was mildly critical of Microsoft’s hiring of a blogger to edit certain Wikipedia entries relating to Open Office standards. His actions as an individual and as a representative of Microsoft were outrageous.

Considering this ‘special’ position at Microsoft Nigeria (government connection), it’s worth remembering the OLPC incidents which took place in the country. A lawsuit by a convicted criminal, dumping by Intel, and bribery by Microsoft (of Nigerian officials) all come to mind [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. Whether the country is more tolerant of crime or not is a separate question.

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4 Comments

  1. Betto said,

    October 17, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Gravatar

    It’s amazing how easy it is for someone who complains endlessly about being “attacked” can devolve into constant unsubstantiated ad hominems and “kill everyone, god will sort them out”-type evangelism.

    Amazing.

    Do you even see the irony in what you do, Roy?

    When I first discovered your site I thought it would be an interesting resource, but after a few weeks I realize you’re only interested in spreading lies about anything you disagree with (just make sure there’s a question mark at the end of the headline, like Fox News), making unfunny LOLcat-like pictures (with GIMP no doubt) and just plain embarrass anyone who ever tried to actually advocate free software. Your daily “here are a thousand links to Linux stuff” posts do *not* balance out the other mindless stuff you write when (I guess) you’re bored.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 17, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Gravatar

    This is not an Apple (Mac) vs Microsoft/PC (Windows) argument. This one is between digital freedom and digital control (slavery, lockin, discrimination). I don’t see how freedom can truly ‘attack’ suppression per se.

  3. pcole said,

    October 17, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    Gravatar

    A guy was caught cheating in plain sight, with the ‘other woman’, by his wife, and he says to her, “Are you going to believe me or are you going to believe your lying eyes?”.

    It seems that’s what happening; People look but do not see, they hear but do not listen. General apathy to current corporate corruption is just: “Oh well, it’s just another day, that’s the way things are, there’s nothing we can do about it, or learn to deal with it”, but when someone steps up to the plate and says, “Hey, can’t you see what’s going on?”. They want to shoot the messenger.

    Roy, a lot of people are complaining, you must be doing something right. The ‘can we all get along’ people are nervous.

    Thanks for the posts.

  4. Needs Sunlight said,

    October 18, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    Gravatar

    MS boosters are losing their attempt to gain a foothold in China.

    MS Office support for Asian languages sucks rather badly so the incumbent is WPS Office. OpenOffice.org and GoogleDocs are also gaining over MS Office there.

    Keep up the great work Roy. The squawking from MSFTers is in direct proportion to the depth of the cut.

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