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Did Microsoft ‘Pull an EDGI’ on Catalonia’s GNU/Linux Migration Plan?

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 11:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

THE routine looks awfully familiar:

  • Country/region listens to citizens’ desire and heralds a migration to GNU/Linux
  • Microsoft spots this country/region which migrates to GNU/Linux
  • Microsoft’s leaders make quiet visits to the country/region
  • Microsoft announces a bargain new deal that’s shrouded with secrecy and the migration to GNU/Linux is ended
  • In some case, those who advocated GNU/Linux lose their job and/or get smeared

Steve BallmerWe saw this in many places before, with personal involvements from Bill Gates and even Steve Ballmer, who had eggs thrown at him for it (the picture on the right was taken seconds afterwards).

Orlando Ayala is another executive chief who embarks on such anti-GNU/Linux crusades and in order to understand how it all works, one ought to learn about Microsoft’s EDGI, which is pretty much an anti-GNU/Linux programme. Anti-trust action exposed its internals, but it was settled too quickly to actually tackle the issue:

Some months ago we discussed Microsoft’s illegal deals which exclude competition at government level and it’s unfortunate to find that Microsoft may have just done this in Catalonia as well.

Strike Against Free Software: Microsoft Enters Catalonian Schools

It was a pretty personal deal between Steve Ballmer and president of the Generalitat de Catalunya José Montilla.


Minister of education Ernest Maragall had announced in April 2008 that hundreds of schools would be switched to GNU/Linux. The main reason, he said at the time, was the illegal use of proprietary software.

Needless to say, Catalonia pays for all the hardware and Microsoft offers the ‘privilege’ of not using GNU/Linux, i.e. Catalonia is allowed to make copies of Windows, which cannot be owned anyway (just licensed until the kids graduate).

Residents of Catalonia should be up and arms. They can demand to see the details of what Microsoft did to take away their children’s’ freedom, i.e. turn them into Microsoft clients at a young age, even with the government’s assistance.

If you do not handle a thug by detaining it, then it will carry on roaming the streets doing more of the same. This really ought to require investigation because it’s a repeated offence.

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