Summary: Microsoft seems unable to leave a GNU/Linux-bound Spain alone; antitrust probe launched against Microsoft in Russia
THE DISCOMFORTING NEWS from Spain is something that we covered a lot in the month of May. The following posts probably provide necessary background because they accumulate or concentrate many information resources and facts we won’t repeat here:
- Microsoft Teaches Spanish Schools How to Smoke Windows
- Spanish Government May be Breaking the Law with Microsoft. European Commission Should Investigate.
- Bill Gates Uses Malaria to Attack GNU/Linux
- Reader’s Report from Spain: “Bill Gates Meets Tomorrow with Spain’s Prime Minister in Order to Ensure Spanish School Students Get ‘Addicted’”
- Microsoft’s Latest Netbooks Collusion and Attack on Spanish and Australian Education
- Bill Gates Uses Malaria to Attack GNU/Linux
- Microsoft Calls Gates’ Microsoft Lobbying “Important Charitable Work”
- Week of Microsoft Government Affairs: a Look Back, a Look Ahead
The news is circulating quickly, suggesting that the President of Spain says that Bill Gates recognised GNU/Linux success in Extremadura. The video above is very telling because the man may have fallen for the whole “charity” storyline [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. The President of Spain confirms it: Bill Gates named Extremadura’s GNU/Linux project as “a worldwide leader for ITC and open source” and here is a new report about it:
Extremadura has been surely the first region in the world to introduce Linux massively in the schools. The Linex Project was started in 1999 and now it counts with more than 80.000 PCs among its schools with a ratio of 2 students per computer. Additionally, Extremadura has widely deployed Linux in more government areas, as Health and rural public points for Internet access and social digitalization.
After Extremadura, Andalusia and Valencia, two of the most populated regions of Spain, have developed similar but bigger projects based on open source and Linux. In the case of Andalusia, its medium education holds currently the biggest Linux network in the world with more than 250.000 computers accounting clients and servers, all them administered from a central point in Seville, the capital of the region.
But , of course, as OSOR continues saying the strong open source community of Spain is against paying to Microsoft for something that is not needed:
The Spanish free software association, Hispalinux, criticised the laptop plan in April, saying for instance that the government should have requested a public tender for the laptops. The debate now includes dual-boot systems with both GNU/Linux and Microsoft software pre-installed, raising questions about the Spanish government paying for proprietary software licences it might not use.
“A very interesting article,” says Matt from a Linux forum. “Apparently Gates goofed when he tried to name the region of Spain where Microsoft has a big Windows project going. That would be Aragon, but he either couldn’t think of the name or mentioned Extremadura by mistake.”
To quote some more from the above, “the story didn’t finished with the correction of such a supposed “mistake”, since, on Tuesday June 2nd, the President of Spain, Mr. Zapatero, confirmed in a public event that “Bill gates told me that ‘there was a region in Spain that shines as a world leader because the extension of the new technologies and the open source in it, and this region is Extremadura’.”
“Here is a nice map indicating Linux adoption in Spain,” adds Matt. He also gives some articles to serve as background (we covered most of them before):
- Spanish Government to Hand Schools Over to Microsoft?
- ES: Open source community protests national plan for school PCs
- ES: Axarquía county administration moves all desktops to open source
- ES: Hundred schools in Catalonia to use GNU/Linux desktop, server
- ES: Catalonia’s Microsoft deal surprises open source school project
We’ve put more details about Catalonia right here, claiming that it was akin to EDGI. For some background on EDGI, see:
- Is Microsoft ‘Pulling an EDGI’ on Kerala? (Updated)
- Microsoft Vice President Teaches PR People How to Spin Anti-Linux Programme
- Microsoft Dumps on India, South Africa, Malta
- At Microsoft, “Fear Uncertainty Doubt (TALKING POINTS)” is Formal Strategy
- Microsoft’s Dumping Strategy Versus GNU/Linux (EDGI Continued)
- Extended Windows 98 EOL to Block Government Migrations to GNU/Linux and Free Software; More ‘Donations’
- Microsoft on “Maintaining Gap vs Linux” Using “Patents“, “Children’s Software“
- Microsoft’s Internal Presentation on How to Fight GNU/Linux
- Microsoft Chief: “Under NO Circumstances Lose Against Linux”
- Microsoft’s EDGI in India: Fighting GNU/Linux in Education
- EDGI Finale: Microsoft’s “Linux Compete Squad”
Speaking of EDGI, Microsoft appears to be trying it in Russia right about now*. Why? Because Russia is fed up and it has just launched an antitrust investigation against Microsoft. Spain should do the same thing, but given the video at the top, someone quite crucial seems to have been placed in Microsoft’s pocket already. As enthusiastic as he is, he fails to spot Gates’ mistake. █
* Microsoft recently dumped money on Russia to prevent risk [1, 2, 3].
Update (05/06/2009): Here is the same video with subtitles.