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06.29.09

Microsoft’s Anti-competitive Dumping of Software Faces Challenges in Africa and in Indiana

Posted in Africa, America, Finance, Microsoft at 2:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No dumping

Summary: Uganda, Ghana, Illinois and Indiana as victims of Microsoft

THIS post is an accumulation of news regarding harmful giveaways.

As part of the growing campaign to send partners to prison, Microsoft is preparing for lawsuits against Windows users/distributors in Uganda, Africa.

MICROSOFT, the world’s leading software manufacturer, has contracted Kampala Associated Advocates to fight software piracy in Uganda.

The reason Uganda was made dependent on Windows in the first place is something that we last wrote about when the BBC published an article covering Microsoft’s colonisation of Africa.

Africans understand to need for autonomy and freedom. As the following new article shows, the Kofi Annan ICT Centre advocates GNU/Linux, but Microsoft is still trying to get Africa (Ghana in this one particular case) to use Windows exclusively. There is a clear reference to MOU, aka "Project Marshall".

Microsoft has been criticised for committing African governments into purchasing its software, denying them the chance to explore other alternatives.

But speaking to Joy News, Mr Iddrisu said government is exploring its options before concluding any such agreement.

“Government has a collaborative relationship with Microsoft to which there is an earlier MOU on the training of public servants in IT skills and IT related matters,” he told Joy FM’s Cobby Graham.

He hinted that his ministry is considering the possibility of using open source as against enterprise software from Microsoft, stressing “We will take a decision which is in the best of our national interest.”

Meanwhile an IT expert at the Kofi Annan ICT Centre, Fred Yeboah, has advocated for the use of open-source alternatives like OpenOffice – a rival to Microsoft Office – and Linux, a competitor to the Windows operating system.

Let it be added that Bill Gates lobbies the UN, probably to have it drop its Free(dom) software favouritism.

United States

There is actually a similar struggle going on the United States. A case in Arizona has just been concluded with more coverage here, in addition to a press release. Last week we wrote about Illinois and Indiana falling victim to Microsoft's dumping and there is more new coverage from Illinois, as well as vocal resistance in Indiana.

An educational software platform consisting of different products from many vendors is the best strategy; it allows for both free and expensive proprietary enterprise products to be used when they are appropriate. It also avoids exactly the kind of lock-in that Microsoft is surely hoping IU falls into by signing this new agreement. If all you know is Microsoft software and your file formats can only be opened by Microsoft software, then what choice do you have but to continue using Microsoft’s products?

My advice to the University administration would be to strongly consider limiting expensive Microsoft deals to Kelley in the future – they’re really the only ones who benefit anyway. Between lock-in, security problems and sheer costs (both upfront and ongoing maintenance and support), everyone loses with a Microsoft-dominated campus.

This is another university that signs a deal with Microsoft — a deal whose purpose to turn students into Microsoft customers. Microsoft is now bragging about this in a press release, neglecting to mention that Live@edu involves bribes to those whose academic institutions they hand over to Microsoft. It is a vicious, vicious strategy. Regulatory authorities ought to look at it.

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