Summary: Microsoft uses government funds to spread Microsoft dependency and also sabotages GNU/Linux migrations by advocating unlicensed Windows (which later they will whine about)
FOR background about what Microsoft is doing in Russia now that GNU/Linux migration are surging over there, see the following posts from the past few months:
- Is Microsoft Paying Russia to Take Schools off GNU/Linux and Halt Antitrust Action?
- Microsoft’s “Us” Versus “Them” Mentality Already Backfires?
- Russia to Microsoft: Stop Forcing People to Buy Windows
- Ballmer and Co Meet Officials in Kyrgyzstan, Latvia; Microsoft Ukraine Curses FOSS
- Microsoft Fights to Make GNU/Linux a Fringe Phenomenon
One reader has just provided us with valuable information, which we edited and can finally present below.
There is a joint program of the Russian Government and Microsoft to support start-up businesses. It is called “Microsoft Business start 2009″. Its site is
www.fasie.ru. Here is a Google translation of the program’s description. If you click the “Bid documents”, you’ll see translated version of competition rules. The idea is that the Government pays money from Science development fund, and business start-ups should develop new innovative software to receive this money. However, if you search for the word “Dynamics” in the translated document, you’ll see that all developed software should be strictly Microsoft.Net based. From the page: “Software should be developed based on technology Microsoft. Net (ie, demand for the work assigned. Net Framework) and / or work with the software interface of client and server products of Microsoft, and / or work on the platform for building business applications Microsoft Dynamics. ”
“Microsoft sent a “Windows Upgrade” disk instead of Windows itself, which costs $7 per seat for schools. But you need to have Windows already installed in order to use this (schools had Linux).”In other words, the Government pays businesses for innovations, but all developed software is Microsoft-based. Microsoft only sends its “experts” to evaluate this software, and helps start-ups to find investors.
There is another funny story. In Volgograd, Russia, there were elections of a city mayor and a head of region. A regional candidate deployed computers, network and Linux at Volgograd schools, in accordance with a government program. He proudly presented that as his own achievement. At the same time a mayor candidate (from different elections) talked to Microsoft and deployed Microsoft applications at the same schools. Microsoft proudly reported that here. In short, Microsoft provided schools with typical “academic” package. However, Microsoft sent a “Windows Upgrade” disk instead of Windows itself, which costs $7 per seat for schools. But you need to have Windows already installed in order to use this (schools had Linux).
In order to deploy Windows Upgrade, Microsoft told them to install counterfeited version and “upgrade” it. You can read long version of this story (in Russian) here. Moreover, Microsoft claims that it replaces Linux in Volgograd schools. However, schools say they simply use both systems now.
An obligatory Bill Gates quote that fits here is: “They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”
“Drugs, drugs, drugs,” called it Fewa and Oiaohm thought it was a trick for getting free (gratis) Windows. Fewa argues that they are “telling people to break the law so later they can use change their mind — good cop/bad cop.”
The source of this story, Andie, says that “Microsoft tells lots of nonsense in its public release about this event. For example, they say ‘Linux deployment was very cost-ineffective, because sysadmins had to learn new system.’ Russian schools don’t have sysadmins at all. [...] or, they said that Linux deployment was not followed by trainings and books were not provided. [...] On the contrary, Windows package had no books, and no trainings were [held]. Why, if you’re a teacher, would you need a book or manual to read about new system? [...] however, [the] Linux package had books and stuff.”
Oiaohm thinks that “Linux should use that as a marketing game. [...] If Microsoft wants to dump, let’s play on it. [..] Linux never goes negative to win. [...] Remember 5 years ago Microsoft would not have to dump in counter to Linux. Linux desktop improvements are forcing Microsoft into competing with something that cannot simply be defeated.” Fewa explained that “Linux can dump much better than Microsoft. [...] but it needs to be targeted. [...] but then they try to force huge changes in their own OS that break all sorts of things.” Exidy argued that “what they do need [are] good education packages [...] people inherently resist change, or at least need a good reason for change.”
Schools must teach methods, not train for Microsoft products. █
“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.”