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01.14.09

Is UK Government/Education Accepting Soft Bribes from Microsoft Rather Than Adopt Free(dom) Software?

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Finance, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 12:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Smells like white-collar crime

US and UK flags
Money and solidarity trump logic, integrity, justice, and common sense

Now that we’ve covered many antitrust exhibits showing Microsoft’s tactics against Free software in education [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] we finally have a brand-new example to refer to. It comes from the United Kingdom where lots of such abuse was documented before [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

This affects not only education in the UK [1, 2, 3, 4] and since Bill Gates personally invests in governments, there is a lot of room for manipulation. Anyway, here is the news:

Schools minister Jim Knight, who was speaking at the opening of this year’s Bett event at Olympia in London, said today that Microsoft has created something he described as a “re-investment fund”. The software maker will “commit to fund a foundation in support of the Home Access programme,” he said.

However, Knight didn’t reveal how much cash Microsoft was pumping into the initiative, which has been periodically wheeled out by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) for the past 12 months, perhaps in part to help resuscitate Gordon Brown’s premiership.

[...]

However, this latest agreement with Microsoft to inject some money into the Home Access programme could ruffle some feathers, particularly among the open source community.

The Microsoft-funded foundation will develop and implement a programme of training and support for teachers, parents, as well as to help create “awareness” for the Home Office programme, said Knight.

Given all that we saw in antitrust exhibits, it is hard not to be suspicious.

“Education and training: Target both developer and knowledge worker environment; Money and resources for curriculum development; Money and resources for teacher training; Subsidized certification on MS products”

Confidential Microsoft document [PDF]

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