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

01.02.09

It’s Not a Donation, It’s Addictionware

Posted in Finance, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 8:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Telling apart good deeds from dumping

An issue that we alluded to about a week ago is Microsoft's endowment to schools, which is intended to just make more children dependent on Windows and Office. In turn, when entering employment, Microsoft’s products will be favoured by these students as a direct result of this… and also be paid for, so it’s really an investment, not a donation. Moreover, it is government-based promotion of software that denies people’s freedom.

This is not education, it’s subjugation.

This cycle of drugware (or “addictionware”) carries on, but Microsoft characterises the addiction of children as a “donation” while trying — or daring rather — to claim credit for it.

In today’s economy, as more people are finding themselves on the other side of the workforce, or unemployed, Microsoft is reconfirming its commitment to ensuring that people have the tools and the skills to be a more productive citizen and a better employee.

Microsoft understands the importance of technology job skills in today’s downsizing economy. In the last five years, Microsoft has given and matched employee gifts totaling more than $85.9 million in cash, curriculum and software to nonprofits throughout Illinois that help people in underserved neighborhoods gain workplace skills.

“It’s our goal at Microsoft to make sure that everyone has access to develop the technology skills needed to compete in today’s work environment,” said Shelley Stern, Microsoft’s citizenship director for the Central Region.

By “workplace skills” they refer to memorisation of menu layouts in Microsoft’s overpriced products that limit interoperability and mobility, by design.

“By “workplace skills” they refer to memorisation of menu layouts in Microsoft’s overpriced products that limit interoperability and mobility, by design.”Microsoft’s treatment of education is a farce. It mistreats/harms those who are supposedly educated and spins it as a positiver thing. As stated among these comments, “The marginal cost of the additional copies of each piece of donated software is mere pennies, but they claim hundreds of dollars. This is akin to stealing from taxpayers, as these are deductible as charitable donations and decrease their tax liability.”

Here is a new example of Microsoft ‘helping’ a foundation in Malta, using the notorious anti-GNU/Linux programme, better known as “Unlimited Potential.” The people of the foundation could happily use Free software and be in control of their destiny, but Microsoft stepped in.

Microsoft Malta, under the Unlimited Potential Scheme, supported Richmond Foundation by donating software which will enhance the operations of this non-governmental and non-profit making organisation.

It’s almost amusing that the author calls Unlimited Potential a “Scheme”, because that’s just what it is. We wrote about this scheme before [1, 2, 3, 4] and explained how it suffocates both users and competition.

School boy

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

5 Comments

  1. aeshna23 said,

    January 3, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Gravatar

    Roy gets quite a bit of feedback claiming that he is going too far on some minor issue or another. The funny thing is that when Roy comments on the big issue or the things that really matter, no response is given. This makes sense as it is far easier to criticize than to praise. Yet, this shouldn’t make us lose sight of the overall points such as what is addressed in this post.

    And before we criticize Roy for perhaps a bit of paranoia on the trivial issues, we should ask who is wise enough to make the big picture critiques and still not mess up the details? Look at the prophets in the Tanach or “Old Testament” in Christian parlance. They made important critiques of Jewish society at the time, but often were complete loons.

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    January 3, 2009 at 4:43 am

    Gravatar

    In this case even Roy understates the seriousness of the threat here.

    On additional aspect of the problem is that the kids will build up portfolios (for lack of a better word) of data in formats that can only be accessed via MS products and even then at the whim of MS.

    One case in point is the damage to the file formats the “demo” versions of MSO 2007 caused. For average users and even lower-end power users, that was irreversible damage.

    Another is the assault MS Windows is making on video and audio. Try playing Quicktime or MPEG now on a legacy system. Can’t can you?

  3. Brian Assaf said,

    January 4, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Gravatar

    Great article.
    I’m glad I started with commodore 64′s in elementary school. The machines were already out of date at the time… But the concepts were more important than using some specific applications. Once you grasp them, you can use or learn to use just about anything.

    GNU/Linux is my choice now of course.

    As for memorization of menu layouts, I thought the next Windows will use a “ribbon”, so people would have to relearn? No?

    These schools should just say thanks for the cash and computers. And say, thanks anyway, to the software, which MS names the price tag on, then donates…

    Simply by installing a Linux distribution on these gifted wares. Thus, they can completely avoid the Microsoft upgrade treadmill and hopefully the students will learn that there is software out there that can accomplish a lot, without holding the user hostage.

    I think for some, forced upon Windows… When I used it, I recall it being “crappy” more often than not. If the software quality is at that level, some students may just hate it. Keeping in mind Apple also ensured they gave schools deals, they didn’t create legions of Apple users.

  4. Charles Oliver said,

    January 5, 2009 at 4:57 am

    Gravatar

    This seems very much like the puppy dog close. What later sells the product is the amount of data stored whilst using it for free and ignorance of alternatives, rather than that it’s super cute.

  5. zaine_ridling said,

    January 5, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Gravatar

    Anyone not using open source office software this far into the 21st century is setting themselves — and their businesses — in for a painful, expensive day of reckoning. Microsoft’s proprietary formats are not even compatible among themselves over the past dozen years, meaning, if you did not upgrade that copy of MS Office over the years, the latest one won’t open that document from the 90s, or at the least won’t display it properly. MS-OOXML code alone is as bad as anything Apple has ever written.

    Where I work, there was a college kid who thought we needed MS Office 2007 and lobbied hard for it. I explained to our budget committee in front of him and all the department chairs how much that POS would cost the company every year, including the costs of maintaining data in proprietary formats, and then I said that OpenOffice and other apps, including Google Docs, use ODF, all for free. The money saved from buying Microsoft products could be reinvested in new monitors, chairs, or hardware for everyone.

    We use OpenOffice, and the college kid is seen as a tool, who because he had no other skills, was going to cost us a fortune in licensing fees for something we didn’t need.

What Else is New


  1. Links 26/4/2015: Debian 8, OpenMandriva Lx 3 Alpha, Mageia 5 RC

    Links for the day



  2. Links 25/4/2015: Debian LTS Plans, Turing Phone Runs Linux

    Links for the day



  3. Who Kills Yahoo? It's Microsoft, Not Yahoo!

    The media should blame Microsoft, not Marissa Mayer, for what's going on (and has been going on for 7 years) at Yahoo!



  4. EPO Management is Trying Hard to Appease Its Critics While Pushing Forth Unitary Patent Agenda

    The European Patent Office and European Commission promote the agenda of large multinational corporations (at the expense or European citizens) and critics are being kept at bay



  5. Real Patent Reform Will Not Come From Biggest Backers of GNU/Linux, Not Even Google

    A look at the 'new' Google, the company which is hoarding patents (2,566 last year alone) instead of fighting for reform



  6. Microsoft's Troll Intellectual Ventures Loses Software Patents

    Intellectual Ventures is bluffing with software patents, but this time around it doesn't get its way



  7. Links 24/4/2015: Ubuntu and Variants in the News, Red Hat Developer Toolset 3.1

    Links for the day



  8. Links 23/4/2015: Ubuntu 15.04 is Out, Debian 8.0 Out Very Soon

    Links for the day



  9. Links 22/4/2015: Fedora 22 Beta, Atlassian Acquires BlueJimp

    Links for the day



  10. The Dying Debate Over Patent Scope (Including Software Patents) Replaced by 'Trolls' (But Not the Biggest Ones)

    The corporate media and Web sites or people who are funded by large corporations have essentially suppressed any debate about issues in the patent granting process, thereby guarding software patents and preventing criticism of large corporations' power grab



  11. The Patents Gold Rush Continues

    The morbid obsession with monopolising mere ideas still dominates the media, even increasingly in China



  12. 9 Millionth US Patent Tells a Story of Failure and USPTO Misconduct

    The USPTO, much like FISA (notorious court for surveillance/espionage authorisation), has become a rubber-stamping operation rather than a patents examination centre, as new evidence and old evidence serve to show



  13. HBO Helps Shift Debate Over Patents to 'Trolls' (Scale), Not Scope

    More of that awkward shifting of the patent debate towards small actors who are misusing patents, not large conglomerates like Apple and Microsoft which use patents to destroy competitors, crush startups, drive up prices, and so on



  14. Software Patents Are Still Menacing to Free Software: OIN Expands Scope, HEVC Adds to MPEG-LA Burden/Tax, Google and Facebook Give in on Patents

    A look at recent news about software patents and especially Free/libre software, which is inherently incompatible with them



  15. The Latest Developments Around Microsoft's Clever Attack on Android/Linux

    Microsoft's campaign of destruction, extortion, etc. against the most widely used Linux-powered operating system is revisited in light of new reports



  16. The Microsoft 'Community' is Maligning the Free Software Community

    Dishonest generalisations and baseless deductions portray the Free/Open Source software communities as a nasty place that leads to poverty and despair



  17. Googlebombing 'Microsoft Open Source' Even When Microsoft Shuts Down Its 'Open Source' Proxy

    A massive failure by the press to cover the most basic news, which is Microsoft putting an end to a supposedly 'Open Source' effort



  18. Links 22/4/2015: Calculate Linux 14.16, SparkyLinux 4.0 RC KDE

    Links for the day



  19. Links 21/4/2015: Project Photon, Ubuntu Touch Buzz

    Links for the day



  20. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish: How Microsoft Plans to Get Rid of Linux/Android

    Microsoft's sheer abuse against Android is laying bare for everyone to see now that Microsoft has paralysed Google's legal department with potential antitrust action in Europe



  21. Yahoo's Current CEO (Mayer, Formerly of Google) is Trying to End Yahoo! Status as Microsoft Proxy

    There are signs of relinquishing Microsoft's control over Yahoo! after Marissa Mayer worked to end the company's suicidal/abusive relationship with Steve Ballmer's Microsoft



  22. Repeating Microsoft's Lies Without Any Journalistic Assessment

    Poor fact-checking by relatively large media/news sites results in Microsoft's patently false claims being repeated uncritically



  23. Links 19/4/2015: New KaOS (2015.04), Manjaro Linux 0.8.13 Pre1

    Links for the day



  24. Links 18/4/2015: ExTiX 15.2, RaspArch

    Links for the day



  25. Microsoft Tired of Pretending to be Nice to Free/Open Source Software (FOSS), Microsoft 'Open' Technologies Dumped

    Microsoft dumps its proxy (misleadingly named 'Open Tech') and other attacks on Free software persist from the inside, often through so-called 'experts' whose agenda is to sell proprietary software



  26. More Translations of French Article About the EPO

    German and Dutch translations of the Le Monde article are now available



  27. Links 17/4/2015: Wipro and the Netherlands Want FOSS

    Links for the day



  28. Microsoft's Multi-Dimensional Assault on Android/Linux: Extortion, Lobbying of Regulators, and Bribes

    Microsoft's vicious war on Linux (and Android in its current incarnation) takes more sophisticated -- albeit illegal (as per the RICO Act) -- forms



  29. Microsoft's Plot to Associate Windows with 'Open Source' is Proving Effective, Despite Being Just a Big Lie

    A look at the latest headlines which can lead to a false perception that Microsoft is now in bed with 'Open Source'



  30. Microsoft Windows Remotely Crashed, Remotely Hijacked, But Still No Logo and No Branding for the Bugs

    Windows maintains its reputation as a back doors haven, but the media is still not highlighting the severity of this issue, instead focusing on accidental bugs in Free software, even very old (and already fixed) bugs


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