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08.31.09

Microsoft’s Deep Influence in Malta and the United States

Posted in America, Europe, Microsoft at 8:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Coat of arms of Malta

Summary: New observations and sightings of procurement without merit

WE recently gave a detailed list of Microsoft's actions against Free software in Malta, adding to previous examples that we had collected [1, 2]. Microsoft also hired John Vassallo, who is Malta’s former ambassador to the EU, reportedly because of the OOXML corruptions. Malta participated in the OOXML process [1, 2, 3].

A report from Malta is suggesting that the Maltese bank Valletta is now signing a deal with Microsoft. Nothing in the article suggests that they even assessed other options. Can anyone elucidate?

Microsoft’s uncontrollable obsession with lobbying is what we are currently seeing in Forbes/AP, but the figures never account for the secret side of lobbying, such as Gates-Abramoff. The Gates family and Microsoft are employing many lobbyists in fact and we still find Obama being influenced by some. According to Alibaba.com, Microsoft is still trying to impose Windows Mobile on Obama, despite this platform being an utter failure.

Reports that President Obama will be able to keep his BlackBerry likely provoked smiles in Waterloo, Canada–and frowns in Redmond, Wash.

[...]

First, of course, Obama needs to use the device. Microsoft is optimistic that he will. “We have a whole group working with the Executive Office of the President,” says Siegel. “We’ve had various conversations with the right people about this. Everyone would like him to use the device that everyone agrees is most secure.”

We have already witnessed Obama's repeated mistakes with Silverlight, but to be fair, it was probably not his decision at all. His administration is promoting lock-in rather than overcoming lock-in. To quote a new article from GCN:

The developers also are planning to use Microsoft Silverlight for future parts of the service, too, according to a source. The choices make sense. Flash players and, to a lesser extent, Silverlight are widely accessible by browsers in the United States. But by using those technologies, the White House was showing a preference for a single vendor’s technologies, something government agencies try to avoid. It looks too much like an endorsement and invites vendor lock-in.

Here is a fairly new page about Microsoft influence in the United States government and here is another new article which delivers a good example:

The Trouble With Trillions

[...]

There are very many half-way reasonable projects that just would not cut it according to normal investment criteria. Take the $11 million to build a bridge connecting two adjacent portions of Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington. If Microsoft, with its vast financial resources, had figured that the bridge was worth $11 million dollars, wouldn’t they already have been planning to build it themselves, without any stimulus money? Since they didn’t do it themselves, all we really know is that they valued the bridge at less than $11 million. In other words, taxpayers spent $11 million and turned it into something less valuable.

This incident with the bridge is one which led to a string of other posts about Microsoft’s control of (parts of) the government [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. It is important to keep track of this.

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