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Is Microsoft Trying to Derail Another Massive Migration to GNU/Linux in Brazil?

Posted in America, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 5:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Brazil's ODF cap on Lula

Summary: Microsoft brings “Worldwide Innovative Teachers Forum” to a country whose schools abandon Windows en masse

THE WORLD’S largest migration to GNU/Linux probably takes place in Brazilian schools where 52,000,000 students will be exposed to the platform. They are gaining independence in the sense of digital autonomy. It was pretty darn obvious that Microsoft would not let it be as Microsoft just can't leave Brazil alone. It’s like the digital equivalent of an uninvited military coup.

People of Brazil ought to be aware of the fact that in a nation of Free software-based education Microsoft has just chosen to host the “Worldwide Innovative Teachers Forum”. Why did Microsoft choose Brazil? Of all the countries across the world, Microsoft is probably the least invited in Brazilian education.

More than 40 U.S. teachers showcased ed-tech projects in national forum; winners move on to world competition in Brazil


The project’s creators, teachers Harriet Armstrong and Autumne Streeval of Columbus East High School in Columbus, Ind., took top honors at Microsoft’s U.S. Innovative Teachers Forum, held Aug. 17. Armstrong and Streeval will travel to Brazil in November to compete in the software giant’s Worldwide Innovative Teachers Forum.

“It is really an honor to have won the U.S. Forum,” said Streeval, who teaches social studies. “We are excited to go to Brazil to learn more about what is going on in education on a global scale. Teachers often struggle with similar challenges, even in very unique settings, but the Worldwide Forum will allow us to collaborate and tackle obstacles together.”

Armstrong, who teaches family and consumer science, added that she hopes to return from Brazil with more ideas and connections to other teachers.

Is Microsoft trying to lure school administrators and teachers in Brazil to join the celebrations and lobby against GNU/Linux? It sure seems possible if not very likely. Microsoft has various schemes for turning students into customers of Microsoft while they are still young. The Live@Edu programme is one example of this and we have just found what’s pretty much an advertisement disguised as an article about Live@Edu. There is no shame. Microsoft is advertising Live@Edu despite admitting that its E-mail services get hijacked — a quality only to be expected from Microsoft.

Microsoft pointed to e-mail account “hijacking” as becoming an increasing problem, especially among Windows Live Hotmail users.


According to Microsoft, a hijacked user account would allow a hacker to send e-mails to the user’s contacts, which could result in both the user and those contacts unwittingly downloading worms onto a workstation. From there, such malware can spread to the network.

There is a lot more to be said about Hotmail and we wrote about it in:

  1. Has Microsoft Fired Its CIO Because Hotmail Secretly Runs on Free Software?
  2. Why Microsoft Doomed Exchange… and E-mail Too
  3. Microsoft is Not Interested in Interoperability. Free Labour on the Other Hand…

No doubt Microsoft is still fighting to prevent children from being exposed to GNU/Linux at schools. Brazil is hopefully paying close attention to Microsoft’s moves. There are lessons to be learned from India.

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A Single Comment

  1. Jose_X said,

    August 31, 2009 at 2:50 pm


    I hope the effect is the opposite: to introduce innovative FOSS ideas to a bunch of teachers likely accustomed to proprietary software.

    Perhaps Microsoft hopes Brazil will still be lagging in their migration, will be frustrated, and will be intimidated by what “the rest of the world” is up to?

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