08.16.09

Gemini version available ♊︎

Criticism of Microsoft Deals in Minnesota, US Army, and Wroclaw University (Poland)

Posted in America, Deals, Europe, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 6:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A variety of new deals put into context

Microsoft has signed some new deals which deserve a bit of background to be fully understood. We shall start with Minnesota.

“This is not a company that appears to be bothered by ethical boundaries.”
      –Mike Hatch, Minnesota’s Attorney General
Microsoft has “Technical Evangelists” (AstroTurf) in Minnesota with examples from Rochester, Minnesota. Minnesota's Attorney General Mike Hatch once called Microsoft’s AstroTurf campaign “sleazy”. He also said: “This is not a company that appears to be bothered by ethical boundaries.”

Minnesota wanted to extend Microsoft oversight by regulators and it also favoured ODF at one stage [1, 2], but Microsoft then retaliated and a Minnesota State study about document formats does not appear to have made much impact. To name some more minor details, Bill Gates invests in the Minnesota-based Otter Tail Corporation.

It is only now that Microsoft is signing a government deal with Minnesota, which in simpler terms means that taxpayers will shell out money for vendor lock-in whether they like it or not.

In an effort to save millions of dollars and streamline government operations, the state of Minnesota has signed a six-year enterprise software agreement with Microsoft Corp. Announced today by Minnesota Chief Information Officer and head of the Office of Enterprise Technology (OET), Gopal Khanna, the deal will reportedly save the state $2.37 million in annual licensing fees, as well as save millions for the state taxpayers by improving services delivery.

[...]

The deal is one of the largest enterprise agreements Microsoft has ever signed with a state. Minnesota’s Office of Enterprise Technology (OET) is purchasing 32,000 software licenses for its executive branch agencies, paying the same price that would have covered roughly 10,000 users under a previous contract.

This type of problem does not only affect Minnesota. Based on another piece of news, the US army negotiates a Microsoft moratorium.

The Army issued the moratorium on purchasing Microsoft software while it negotiated a new agreement, which it awarded on July 7 to Softmart Government Services in Downing, Pa. Softmart had held the original agreement as well, according to the Defense Department.

Perhaps they prefer to use ‘patriotic’ software which contains back doors that only the Unites States can use and the FBI can penetrate with CIPAV. There may be other explanations, but to use Microsoft software in the military is otherwise illogical. The above seems similar to an MoU, for which we provided recent examples [1, 2, 3]. There are some older examples of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) in:

Then, it brings us to Poland where Microsoft seems to have turned another university into a sort of self-serving breeding ground.

Wroclaw University of Technology to co-operate with Microsoft

[...]

Microsoft has also pledged to actively engage in both research and teaching activities at the University. – We are among world leaders when it comes to research expenditure. The company spends USD 9 bn annually on research – Jacek Murawski, managing director of Microsoft Polska told Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper. – We want to work with the best and that is why we picked the University of Technology in Wroclaw.

A lot has already been said about Microsoft’s impact on the educational systems. Rather than teach methods (long-term lessons) they train young people to become customers of Microsoft. Suffice to say, Microsoft engages in other misconduct in Poland. Examples may be memorable enough, e.g. from the OOXML fiasco:

If people do not stand up against such deals, then corruptible seniors who benefit from these deals (at the expense of victims) will just carry on.

“Value your freedom or you will lose it, teaches history. “Don’t bother us with politics,” respond those who don’t want to learn.”

Richard Stallman

Polish flag

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

A Single Comment

  1. JohnD said,

    August 16, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Gravatar

    Softmart is in Downingtown PA – not Downing.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. [Meme] Job Ethics

    Ethical development jobs may not be easy to find; some ethical jobs can turn immoral after many years and then it’s time to leave (there’s no turnaround when HR gravitates towards immoral business and chronically relies on deceit)



  2. The Morality of Your Clients and Suppliers Should Matter (It No Longer Matters in Sirius 'Open Source')

    One very important (and perhaps lifelong) lesson learned in my last job is that clients and agenda can change rapidly as a result of rotation in management and a loss of moral compass; it's critical to check not only what employer one works for but who the upstream and downstream entities are (their nature can change for the worse when the employer becomes desperate and neglects ethics in pursuit of money)



  3. Links 02/12/2022: Fedora Gets Sway Spin; Samsung, LG, Mediatek Certificates Compromised

    Links for the day



  4. [Meme] Sirius Open Wash Ltd.

    Limited openness or pure openwashing; the company formerly known as SIRIUS CORPORATION LIMITED (03633198) and now known as SIRIUS OPEN SOURCE LTD (11014042) is not what it says on the tin



  5. Sirius Open Source is No Longer Open Source and It's Simply Unethical to Stay There

    The company where I've worked since my twenties is going under; now it's trying to find excuses to deny compensation to staff while failing to pay very basic bills and liabilities; there are many other issues that deserve the light of day



  6. Links 02/12/2022: GNU/Linux Growing Fast in Steam, Twitter Crumbling

    Links for the day



  7. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 01, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 01, 2022



  8. Links 02/12/2022: RawTherapee 5.9 and Camerctrls

    Links for the day



  9. Links 01/12/2022: NixOS 22.11 Released and Genode OS 22.11 is Ready

    Links for the day



  10. The Outdated Microsoft Worldview (Mindframe of Post-Mainframe Era): A Mindset of Windows Being Ubiquitous in the Market (and Where It Cannot be Avoided)

    It's mostly incorrect to describe Windows as something that cannot be avoided in technical occupations or something that's worth learning (or actively using)



  11. Condé Nast (Owner of Reddit and Many Other Microsoft-Funded Sites) Promoting Software Patents

    SoylentNews is boosting Condé Nast fluff, including glorification of software patents which ought not be granted at all after 35 U.S.C. § 101/Alice



  12. Twitter: Not a Platform for Activism But for AstroTurfing and Manipulation by States and Plutocracy

    More people are finding out that social control media is all about control; it is controlled by states and oligarchs, it's not a grassroots tool



  13. Links 01/12/2022: Release of Arti 1.1.0, Date for Red Hat Summit 2023

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 30, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 30, 2022



  15. Links 30/11/2022: Mesa 22.3, EuroLinux 9.1, and Texinfo 7.0.1

    Links for the day



  16. Links 30/11/2022: Plasma Mobile Gear 22.11

    Links for the day



  17. Links 30/11/2022: More Twitter Trouble and Tor Browser 11.5.10 (Android)

    Links for the day



  18. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 29, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 29, 2022



  19. Nat Friedman: Frauds, Software Patents, and Mass Surveillance

    The con man who helped Microsoft promote .NET/C# (inside GNU/Linux) after he had worked at Microsoft, and who later helped Microsoft engage in mass plagiarism via GitHub, is not what the innocent face seemingly projects; Nat Friedman is a very dangerous and sinister person



  20. Links 30/11/2022: Gaming on GNU/Linux With Mac PCs, onak 0.6.2 Released

    Links for the day



  21. Links 29/11/2022: Proxmox 2.3 "Backup Server" and wayland-protocols 1.31

    Links for the day



  22. Links 29/11/2022: Bodhi Linux 7.0.0 Coming

    Links for the day



  23. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 28, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, November 28, 2022



  24. Links 29/11/2022: Whonix 16.0.9.0 and SalixLive Xfce 15.0

    Links for the day



  25. António Campinos Could Not Possibly Choose a Worse Time to Show Solidarity With Communist China

    The Unified Patent Court or "Unitary Patent" gets promoted in the same blog post or news item that celebrates dictatorship; that seems appropriate given the nature of the Unified Patent Court, which is a gross violation of laws and constitutions in a high-level institutional way



  26. Blogs Are Better and Gemlogs (Blogs Over Gemini) May be Best

    There seems to be a growing and already-widespread realisation that Twitter sucks and some people rightly suggest that we pivot back into blogging (Twitter is often blamed for the demise of blogs)



  27. Links 28/11/2022: Snal Linux 1.24 and Thunderbird Android Update

    Links for the day



  28. Links 28/11/2022: OpenRGB 0.8 and Introduction of KIO AFC

    Links for the day



  29. Links 27/11/2022: Linux 6.1 RC 7

    Links for the day



  30. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 27, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 27, 2022


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts