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04.16.09

Are the Microsoft Memoranda of Exclusivity in India and the US Illegal?

Posted in Asia, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista, Windows at 6:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Wriiting

WE HAVE already been through the reasons (and evidence) why a lot of procurements/tenders are inherently corrupt, usually because they are simply designed in this way. The conditions created simply permit it and as Anthony J. D’Angelo famously said, “If you believe that discrimination exists, it will.”

A couple of days ago we found the article “Govt love for Windows,” which speaks about India.

The party has promised to standardise open standard and open source software in its IT vision, but by its own claim, the IT savvy state government has signed MoUs with Microsoft India Pvt Ltd in the Vibrant Gujarat summit. The aim: to enhance adoption and use of IT in the state education sector using the licensed software.

For those who do not know what Microsoft did in India, we have some leaked documents [1, 2]. The question remains, does the same thing happen in the United States? We sure know that it happens in the United Kingdom where people help expose the problem (there are even lawsuits against the Canadian government over this), but over in the United States it seems like Ken Starks is among the few people who make noise about the government’s blind marriage to Windows (it would be an exaggeration to say so, though). OStatic has this good summary:

According to Texas Department of Information Resources data the state has already spent many millions on Windows Vista deployments and maintenance across more than 40 agencies. Starks’ letter points out that governments around the world are switching to open source, and the Obama administration is pursuing open source at the federal government level as well.

One thing that really jumped out at me from Starks’ letter is that he singles out malware, viruses, disk defragging, and other common Windows problems as creating cost centers for any Windows deployment. It is true that open source platforms are far less targeted by hackers than the Windows platform, and thus there is far less of a cost center created for the “other software” that Starks mentions.

It ought to be added that Microsoft has an extraordinary amount of leverage over the United States government.

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