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. A US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Which is Hostile Towards Patent Maximalists May Closely Examine More Patents That Apple Uses Against Android

    A company which often takes pride in designers rather than developers (art, not technical merit) may lose that leverage over the competition if its questionable patents are taken away by the Supremes



  2. As Long as Software Patents Are Granted and Microsoft Equips Trolls With Them, “Azure IP Advantage” is an Attack on Free/Libre Software

    Microsoft is feeding enemies of GNU/Linux and Free/libre Open Source software (FLOSS) in order to sell its 'protection', which it names "IP Advantage" in a rather Orwellian fashion (same naming as back in the Novell days)



  3. Patent Trolls on Their Way Out in the United States and Their Way Into China, No Thanks to the Open Invention Network (OIN)

    An update on patent trolls and the role played by supposed allies of Free/libre software, who in practice do everything to exacerbate the problem rather than resolve it



  4. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part VIII: When Governed by Criminals, Truth-Tellers Are Cast as Criminals and Criminals as Justice Deliverers

    The bizarre state of affairs at the European Patent Office, where being an honest and transparent person makes one incredibly vulnerable and subjected to constant harassment from the management



  5. The Sickness of the EPO – Part V: Shedding Light on Institutional Abuse Against Ill and/or Disabled Individuals

    The seriousness of the situation at the EPO and a call for action, which requires greater transparency, even if imposed transparency



  6. The EPO's Race to the Bottom in Recruitment and Early Retirements Explained by an Insider

    The European Patent Office under Battistelli is failing to attract -- and certainly failing to retain -- talented examiners



  7. Wouter Pors and Other UPC Boosters Believe That Repeating the Lies Will Potentially Make Them Truths

    The lobbying campaign for UPC, or hopeful lies (sometimes mere rumours) disguised as "news", continues to rely on false perceptions that the UPC is just a matter of time and may actually materialise this year



  8. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is Utilised in Fixing the US Patent System and the Patent Microcosm Loses Its Mind

    A roundup of PTAB news, ranging from attacks on the legitimacy of PTAB to progress which is made by PTAB, undoing decades of overpatenting



  9. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Federal Circuit (CAFC) Take on Patents Pertaining to Business Methods

    Patents on tasks that can be performed using pen and paper (so-called 'business methods', just like algorithms) and oughtn't be patent-eligible may be the next casualty of the America Invents Act (AIA)



  10. Google's Stewardship of GNU/Linux (Android, Chromebooks and More) in Doubt After Company Resorts to Patent 'First Strikes'

    Google has just turned a little more evil, by essentially using patents as a weapon against the competition (by no means a defensive move)



  11. Links 24/2/2017: Ubuntu 17.04 Beta, OpenBSD Foundation Nets $573,000 in Donations

    Links for the day



  12. IAM, Greased up by the EPO, Continues Lobbying by Shaming Tactics for the UPC, Under the Guise of 'News'

    The shrill and well-paid writers of IAM are still at it, promoting the Unitary Patent (UPC) at every opportunity and every turn



  13. Patent Scope Gone Awry: European Vegetable Patents Office?

    In its misguided race to raise so-called 'production', the EPO lost sight of its original goals and now facilitates patent royalty payments/taxation for naturally-recurring items of nature



  14. Yes, There is Definitely Brain Drain (Experience Deficit) at the European Patent Office and Stakeholders Feel It

    The direction that the European Patent Office has taken under Battistelli undoes many decades (almost half a century) of reputation-building and progress and naturally this repels existing staff, not to mention hampers recruitment efforts



  15. The Sickness of the EPO – Part IV: Cruel Management That Deliberately Attacks the Sick and the Weak

    The dysphoric reality at the European Patent Office, which is becoming like a large cell (with bolted-down windows) where people are controlled by fear and scapegoats are selected to perpetuate this atmosphere of terror and maintain demand (or workload) for the Investigative Stasi



  16. Links 23/2/2017: Qt 5.9 Alpha, First SHA1 Collision

    Links for the day



  17. UPC Roundup: War on the Appeal Boards, British Motion Against the UPC, Fröhlinger Recalled, and Fake News About Spain

    Taking stock of some of the latest attempts to shove the Unitary Patent (UPC) down Europe's throat, courtesy of Team Battistelli and Team UPC



  18. The Sickness of the EPO – Part III: Invalidity and Suicides

    An explanation of what drives a lot of EPO veterans to depression and sometimes even suicide



  19. The Appeal Board (PTAB) and Federal Circuit (CAFC) Maintain Good Pace of Patent Elimination Where Scope Was Exceeded

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) continues to accept about 4 out of 5 decisions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) refuses to intervene



  20. Software Patents Are Ebbing Away, But the “Swamp” Fights Back and Hijacks the Word “Fix”

    The club of patent maximalists, or those who profit from excess prosecution and legal chaos, isn't liking what has happened in the United States and it wants everything reversed



  21. Report From Yesterday's Debate About the European Patent Office (EPO) at the Bavarian Landtag

    A report of the EPO debate which took place at the Bavarian Landtag yesterday (21/2/2017)



  22. Links 22/2/2017: Wine-Staging 2.2, Nautilus 3.24

    Links for the day



  23. French Politician Richard Yung Tells the Government About Abuses at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    The subject of EPO scandals has once again landed in French politics, just a couple of months since it last happened



  24. The Sickness of the EPO – Part II: Background Information and Insights

    With a privatised, in-house (sometimes outsourced and for-profit) force for surveillance, policing, justice, public relations and now medical assessment (mere vassals or marionettes of the management) the EPO serves to show that it has become indistinguishable from North Korea, where the Supreme Leader gets to control every single aspect (absolutely no separation of powers)



  25. EPO Cartoon/Caricature by KrewinkelKrijst

    A new rendition by Dutch cartoonist and illustrator KrewinkelKrijst



  26. Inverting Narratives: IAM 'Magazine' Paints Massive Patent Bully Microsoft (Preying on the Weak) as a Defender of the Powerless

    Selective coverage and deliberate misinterpretation of Microsoft's tactics (patent settlement under threat, disguised as "pre-installation of some of the US company’s software products") as seen in IAM almost every week these days



  27. The Sickness of the EPO – Part I: Motivation for New Series of Articles

    An introduction or prelude to a long series of upcoming posts, whose purpose is to show governance by coercion, pressure, retribution and tribalism rather than professional relationship between human beings at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  28. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part VII: EPO Hypocrisy on Cancer and Lack of Feedback to and From ECPC

    The European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC), which calls itself "the largest European cancer patients' umbrella organisation," fails to fulfill its duties, says a source of ours, and the EPO makes things even worse



  29. Links 21/2/2017: KDE Plasma 5.9.2 in Chakra GNU/Linux, pfSense 2.3.3

    Links for the day



  30. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's Wall

    Battistelli's solution to everything at the EPO is exclusion and barriers


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