EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

08.16.09

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 this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. JohnD said,

    August 16, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    Gravatar

    Softmart is in Downingtown PA – not Downing.

What Else is New


  1. Links 21/9/2014: xorg-server 1.16.1, Linux Kernel 3.16.3

    Links for the day



  2. Links 20/9/2014: GNOME 3.13.92, Android L

    Links for the day



  3. Scanning Patent Troll Implodes; Is the Podcasting Patent Troll Next?

    MPHJ loses and Personal Audio LLC perhaps wins for the last time since software patents are quickly losing legitimacy in the United States



  4. If CAFC is Not Above the Law, Then it Should be Shut Down Now

    A long series of abuses in CAFC may as well suggest that this court has become broken beyond repair



  5. The Latest From Microsoft Patent Trolls and Patent Partners

    Microsoft-linked and Linux-hostile trolls continue their relentless attacks (albeit with little or no success) while patents as a weapon lose their teeth owing to a Supreme Court ruling



  6. Microsoft Proves That Its Massive Layoffs Are Not About Nokia

    Microsoft is laying off a lot of employees who have nothing at all to do with Nokia



  7. Links 19/9/2014: Another Red Hat Acquisition, Netflix Dumps Microsoft Silverlight and Brings DRM to WWW

    Links for the day



  8. Links 18/9/2014: Windows Copying GNU/Linux, Germany Moves to Security

    Links for the day



  9. Web Site 'Patent Progress' Now Officially 'Powered by CCIA' (FRAND Proponent, Microsoft Front)

    After talking a job at CCIA, "Patent Progress" and its chief author should be treated as dubious on real patent progress



  10. Articles About the Death of Software Patents in the United States

    Recent coverage of software patents and their demise in their country of origin, where even proponents of software patents are giving up



  11. The Death of Software Patents is Already Killing Some Major Patent Trolls

    VirnetX seems to be the latest victim of the demise of software patents in the United States



  12. More Microsoft Layoffs

    More Microsoft layoffs go ahead as the company is unable to compete



  13. ODF on the Rise

    Milestones for OpenDocument Format (ODF) and the launch of FixMyDocuments



  14. Links 17/9/2014: CoreOS, ChromeOS, and systemd

    Links for the day



  15. Italy is Cracking Down on Microsoft's Monopoly Abuse While Gradually Moving to GNU/Linux

    Italy is not only moving to Free/Open Source software but also to GNU/Linux while at the same time barring Microsoft from forcibly tying Windows to new PCs



  16. OpenSUSE's 'Assurances' Are Classic MBA School Hogwash

    OpenSUSE is not part of any commitment, except for SUSE's; the impact of the Novell/SUSE acquisition casts uncertainty on the project's future



  17. Links 16/9/2014: Firefox OS Smartphones in Bangladesh, “Treasure Map” of the Internet

    Links for the day



  18. The United Kingdom Should Dump Microsoft For the Sake of National Security

    The UK has issues of Microsoft dependency and Windows viruses; its migration to Free software and GNU/Linux is not fast enough to guard its autonomy in the age of digital imperialism



  19. CBS Hires Even More Microsoft Staff to Cover Microsoft Matters

    CBS continues to be infested with Microsoft staff past and present (this time Dave Johnson) and the bias in output is quite revealing



  20. Microsoft Has Just Killed Minecraft for GNU/Linux and the Possibility of Free/Open Source Releases

    Persson sells out to Microsoft and lets the abusive monopolist destroy the popular cross-platform game that a community has been built around



  21. Another Reason to Boycott Intel UEFI

    More anti-competitive aspects are revealed inside UEFI, which helps merginalise GNU/Linux



  22. Quick Mention: Novell and SUSE Passed to Microsoft's 'Partner of the Year', Microsoft Focus

    Novell is changing hands again, and falling into the hands of even more Microsoft-friendly actors



  23. Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

    Links for the day



  24. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  25. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  26. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  27. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day



  28. Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

    Links for the day



  29. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  30. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts