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05.26.09

Microsoft’s Latest Netbooks Collusion and Attack on Spanish and Australian Education

Posted in Asia, Australia, DRM, Europe, Fraud, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Lenovo, Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 7:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Let them eat Vista

Kids versus Microsoft
Protests in India used Boycott Novell banners

Summary: More collusion to exclude GNU/Linux and more pressure to impose Windows+DRM on innocent schoolchildren

ASUS and Microsoft kickbacks are a subject we have not re-raised for weeks [1, 2, 3], but fresh signs are suggesting that Microsoft’s anti-competitive tactics in this area of sub-notebooks continue unabated.

Over at InfroWorld (IDG), a writer has just accused Microsoft (and OEMs) of collusion and here is the summary:

Microsoft is colluding with netbook hardware vendors to deny customer choice and protect profits

On to the impacts that are most disturbing, yesterday we wrote about Bill Gates and his visit to Spain. Today we find this new report:

A widespread project to equip Spanish primary students with laptops was under attack by the free software community for being an undercover operation from Microsoft to take over the educational system in the country. Now the government is considering a kind of dual booting system.

[...]

But it still seems that the powers that be in Spain haven’t given this new focus much consideration: publishing school textbooks in Spain is a multimillion-euro business and many publishers have insisted that the digital books that go on to the laptops be DRM-protected. How exactly this would be technically and legally implemented on an all FLOSS-based device remains to be seen.

It’s just like Portugal and the Magalhães fiasco. The company involved was brought to court for charges of fraud. Microsoft et al seemingly pass on their scam on to a bigger country accommodating even more children whom they want to become prisoners of Microsoft and DRM.

In other news, now that we’ve seen the invalid reasons for rejection of GNU/Linux in NSW education, having used children to advance corporate agenda (the Linux-hostile Lenovo is among those to blame, Adobe being a problem as well but for other reasons), there is this report which reveals that children will become marketing tools and beta testers for Microsoft. Who will pay? taxpayers of course.

“It’s just like Portugal and the Magalhães fiasco. The company involved was brought to court for charges of fraud.”Our informant from Australia writes: “I don’t think I’ve ever been more disgusted and angry at the state of IT and education in Australia… ever. Today the blatant nepotism and conflicts of interest (corruption) has reached a new level, especially in New South Wales.

“They won’t use Linux but they’ll voluntarily become beta testers for Microsoft and make our children beta testers for Microsoft as well as part of their corporate advertising slog [PDF].

“They reject the top flight Linux distro’s and then they willingly agree to become Microsoft guinea pigs and test bunnies. Do I smell CORRUPTION ? Money changing hands…

“Ubuntu is not good enough but Windows 7 is ???? It is nothing short of sheer brinkmanship, disgusting corruption, and child abuse. Making our children corporate beta testers for Microsoft and offering kickbacks to schools who adopt and push Microsoft software.”

We have already seen kids waging protest against it.

“It reeks of collusion — collusion in which our children are used,” concludes our informant and reader.

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Bill Gates

“DRM is the future.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

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A Single Comment

  1. twitter said,

    May 26, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Gravatar

    It is amazing that M$ is able to push restricted software and textbooks on school systems around the world. The list of excellent education systems offering restrictionless education materials is long. California is moving to free textbooks, Wikipedia offers textbooks, MIT offers it’s courses at no cost. Free software is likewise being adopted by US schools, saving everyone lots of money as well as respecting education and freedom. Indiana is an example of a richer school system and Atlanta’s use of OLPC is an example of a not so rich system. So not only are the first rate solutions free, they cost less and are being deployed by excellent education systems in the US itself.

    To understand how second rate software and education materials are imposed on people, you have to understand the that the intent is to rob everyone. It is hard for people who grew up with public libraries to imagine the restricted digital future, so everyone should read Richard Stallman’s amusing and frightening 1997 short story, “The Right to Read”. It is amusing for it’s retrospectively optimistic setting, is there anyone else left who thinks there will be colonies on the moon by 2047? It is frightening for it’s insight into the rapacious goals and social impact of digital restrictions. The goal really is to drive everyone deep into debt for the information most people willingly share when given the chance by institutions like Wikipedia on a free internet.

    We must not let corrupt leaders create such a suspicious and enslaved future. The solution is simple, to adopt first rate software and educational materials. At an institutional level, this should be an easy sell. At a personal level it is as easy as sharing. Keep sharing and demand the right to do it in the open.

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