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11.09.09

Microsoft Buys More Students

Posted in America, Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 8:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The slave

Summary: Microsoft keeps universities on a short leash, uses euphemisms like “Elevate America” to digitally imprison the population

Dubious moves from Microsoft are all well calculated. As we showed last week, Boston University fell under more of Microsoft’s shadow and it is not just universities in the United States that appoint Microsoft executives to sit on the board [1, 2]. Here is another new report about Microsoft’s source of influence in Boston University.

Microsoft executive Andrea L. Taylor didn’t start tallying the number of her family members who graduated from Boston University until shortly after she was appointed to the school’s board of trustees.

This seems like part of a recent trend. Last year we wrote about Burgum's departure from Microsoft. It happened about 2 years ago and here he is invited to serve as president of North Dakota State University.

Former Microsoft Corp. vice president Doug Burgum says he’s been urged to apply to be president of North Dakota State University.

Burgum, who is an NDSU alumnus, says he’s not interested in the job but he’s also not ruling it out.

He is not ruling it out, either. What would happen if Microsoft executives started to control more academic institutions? Would Free software even be allowed or simply frowned upon?

Also in the news from several days ago we find Microsoft executive (and lobbyist [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]) lobbying a little in the University of Washington. “College tour” is what CrunchGear calls it and even in Japan we are seeing that Microsoft uses money to affect direction at universities.

Microsoft is looking to expand ties with Japanese universities and has unveiled a multi-million dollar long-term plan to deepen its research roots in the country.

The press coverage of this says nothing about the impact on students and staff. They seemingly don’t matter. The article above is also using Bill Gates’ name, whose PR has turned him from a villain to a villain whose newer offences people no longer understand.

But anyway, the most major sellout in academia has just happened in Missouri, whose governor gave up and surrendered to Microsoft, under the guise of “education”. He is roughly number seven in the list.

The state of Missouri and Microsoft Corp. are teaming up on a program that Gov. Jay Nixon says will provide thousands of Missourians with free access to e-learning and certification programs from Microsoft.

[...]

Nixon was in St. Louis on Monday to announce that Missouri is among the first seven states participating in Microsoft Elevate America.

This programme is what we call "American EDGI". It is harmful to people, who will be paying a tax to Microsoft over the long run (Microsoft’s business is based on a rent, which only a monopoly can afford to sustain). Not that the Microsoft press will tell the downside of this…

Microsoft is preoccupied with a lot of lock-in these days (marketed as “help to the poor”), WebsiteSpark being just one example.

We are finding mostly poor coverage that does not tell the story about such terrible deals and their impact on young people. Why are journalists trying to make it seem like a positive thing that children are being sold to a convicted monopolist that treats them like drug addicts? Bill Gates is quoted as saying: “They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

“Outside the US, Microsoft is also trying to do this in Brazil, which is one of few countries that move schools to GNU/Linux.”That’s just what Microsoft is doing to Missourians right now, with kind help from Gov. Jay Nixon. Those “unwashed masses” Microsoft folks love referring to when ridiculing GNU/Linux (“not ready for desktop” nonsense) are supposed to think that hard working Microsoft executives think passionately in some Redmond cellar how to “elevate” Americans and patriotically save their country; in reality, this is just a bunch of marketing scams intended to boost profits for the company and prevent consumers (demeaning term for “people”) from turning to Free substitutes like Firefox and GNU/Linux.

Outside the US, Microsoft is also trying to do this in Brazil [1, 2], which is one of few countries that move schools to GNU/Linux. Microsoft is even issuing a press release to announce its plans for Brazil’s education (event), which it is hoping to change of course.

According to other news, Microsoft is trying to push even more lock-in into education, turning it from “education” to “training” or “indoctrination”. As if Live@edu was not bad enough, Microsoft wants to also introduce SharePoint using that former Trojan horse.

We previously wrote about Microsoft and Edelman and now we find this in the news:

Some companies are helping. In May, the Edelman public relations firm rolled out an interactive desktop system that trains employees in social networking online — at their own pace.

“In our industry, it’s quite critical today,” said Laura Smith, managing director of U.S. human resources at Edelman in the District. Those who advance in hands-on use of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are elevated to another rank in the training system.

“We’re tying this to promotions,” she said.

Microsoft, through its Elevate America program, is offering free technical training and certification online to as many as 2 million Americans over the next three years.

When they talk about “free technical training” what they mean to say is that they will spend money turning some of the most fragile people to Windows and Office users. It’s about creating more paying clients, thus doing the very opposite of the stated goal.

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