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07.24.09

Something Rotten at NASSCOM and Microsoft (Again)

Posted in Asia, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Red Hat at 5:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nasscom

Summary: NASSCOM turns its back on digital autonomy and gives Microsoft a platform for nationwide lock-in

ONE of our readers, wallclimber, told us yesterday about a PR ‘fluff’ piece praising Bill Gates. It was published in the Indian press. These usually appear when Gates comes over for self-serving business trips, which he conveniently disguises as philanthropic escapades. Some years ago we saw him doing this in India (ruining a migration to GNU/Linux) and some months ago he did this in Spain.

According to the Economic Times (thanks to a pointer from another reader), Gates and NASSCOM had a little meeting of the minds where Chile-like Microsoft colonialism was envisioned.

Terming the unique identity project as a “great initiative”, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates Friday said the software giant wanted to partner with India in the ambitious project that will give a unique identity number to each of its citizens.

“Microsoft wants to be a part of the unique identification project,” Gates told a conference organised by the IT industry lobby, National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom).

Look at them bragging about it in public.

For information on the uglier side of NASSCOM, see its role in OOXML [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] and learn what it did to enable Microsoft to pay charities for political pressure [1, 2, 3]. It is all quite dodgy, to say the least.

If one turns attention to the blog of a Red Hat employee in India, the picture becomes a lot clearer. NASSCOM has become a true obstacle to Free software and open standards.

Now here is the interesting bit. The industry associations asked for more time so that they could go back to their members and ask for their opinions. And here, I am trying to break down the doors of NASSCOM to submit Red Hat’s opinion and what do I get? Dead silence. I hear that their deadline was June 7th and then extended to June 15th and I don’t know if there is a new cut-off date. But I do know that despite writing to NASSCOM, I haven’t heard back from them.

Whose interests does NASSCOM serve? It is also mentioned in the following recent posts from the same blog:

In his famous long complaint about Microsoft, Professor Deepak Phatak wrote about NASSCOM and BusinessWeek now names him one among 50 people who are most powerful in India. It ought to serve as a sign.

“What Microsoft is doing is patently illegal. Think about it. If you want to build computers, you’ve got to ask Bill’s permission. If Bill wanted to triple the price on Windows, what would you do? You’d pay, you wouldn’t have any choice.”

Oracle Corp Chairman Larry Ellison

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