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12.14.09

American EDGI Comes to Missouri, Microsoft Crimes in Iowa Produce Coupons

Posted in America, Antitrust, Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 11:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bills pile

Summary: Microsoft distorts education by turning it into its own vehicle to perpetuate dependency and inertia; Iowa schools to receive $60 million in compensation for Microsoft abuses

THE notion of “American EDGI” is one that we explained many times before. State by state, Microsoft responds to the “threat” of Free software by dumping proprietary software to block it, then calling this “charity” or “goodwill”.

Microsoft is very shameless about this [1, 2]. It conveniently assumes that people won’t be wise enough to understand the real impact and the latest population that Microsoft targets with this vicious campaign is Missourians.

The partnership is called Microsoft Elevate America. It offers free access to e-learning and certification programs from Microsoft.

Missouri is receiving nearly 25,000 vouchers entitling residents to access specialized e-learning programs for Excel, Word and other Microsoft programs and platforms.

More here:

Microsoft partners with state to teach computer software skills

[...]

Missouri is one of the initial states to participate in Microsoft Elevate America, which started in February. The program aims to train more than 2 million people throughout the country during the next three years.

Microsoft redefines training and education. It’s more like indoctrination. Microsoft and Bill Gates turn the education system into training for interests of particular corporations, where “computer software skills” (as phrased above) means “memorising GUIs of Microsoft software.” Microsoft has some accomplices in other countries (South Africa) and a school has just received an “award” from Microsoft for being somewhat of a Microsoft recruitment camp (in Asia). Deep inside the article it states:

Many teachers in MSHS have integrated technology in their work and have availed of affordable laptops through cooperatives in the school. The school has been a Microsoft partner since 2004.

Yes, it is a self-congratulatory award. It is a Microsoft award for Microsoft partner — a fact they hardly make visible.

Several weeks ago we wrote about what Microsoft was doing in Nigerian schools and now there is this propaganda piece from what’s called “Microsoft Academy”.

GOVERNOR Peter Obi has said establishment of Microsoft Academy in the State Secondary Schools would increase job opportunities for students after school. Obi was speaking at the tenth anniversary of Cor Mariae Girls’ Secondary school Nkpor.

This is a highly imbalanced article that serves as advert/propaganda for Microsoft in Nigerian authorities. This country should avoid becoming a vassal of Microsoft, but watch what Microsoft is doing to capture minds:

About 300 representatives from the public, private, non-profit and education sectors gathered at Microsoft on Monday to discuss global development. At the heart of the agenda was the vital role of empowering women and girls to combat poverty.

Here is another Microsoft visit, probably the result of an invitation. Microsoft is inviting people to a Washington campus for its own benefit, just like it did amidst OOXML brainwash sessions [1, 2] with a man who would become a Microsoft employee (but back then pretended to be “independent”).

Looking at some brighter news, after the Comes vs Microsoft case comes this report from the Iowa Independent:

More than $60 million will be given to Iowa schools for the purchase of new technology, thanks to a 2007 settlement to an anti-trust lawsuit against Microsoft Corp.

In April 2007, a Polk County judge approved a settlement where the software giant agreed to pay Iowa consumers $179.95 million. Attorneys had brought a lawsuit alleging that Microsoft overcharged Iowa consumers and businesses for certain products. As part of the settlement, Microsoft also agreed to provide half of the funds not claimed by consumers to Iowa public schools in the form of vouchers that may be used to purchase a broad range of hardware products, Microsoft and non-Microsoft software, and professional development services.

This is also covered here and according to the following couple of reports, it is not ‘funny money’ (coupons redeemable only in the form of Microsoft products).

i. Microsoft Settlement to Fund $60 Million for Eligible Public Schools in Iowa

The funds will be distributed in the form of vouchers, which can be redeemed for cash to reimburse schools for their purchase of a wide variety of computer hardware and software products, including both Microsoft and non-Microsoft products.

ii. Public schools get $60 million from Microsoft settlement

About 75 percent of Iowa schools, or more than 1,000 schools, will be eligible to take part in the program. The funds will be distributed to schools through vouchers for software and hardware product purchases.

It’s all about schools.

“At a time when we have tremendous economic challenges, to see this amount of money coming to a lot of our schools is just unbelievable,” Jeffrey said. The money is part of a nearly $180 million settlement in a class action suit alleging that Microsoft overcharged Iowa consumers and businesses for certain products.

These schools will hopefully use this money to avoid the very same company that abused. They can buy O/S-free hardware and put GNU/Linux on it, or even migrate to GNU/Linux on the existing systems and use the money to cover support contracts for Free software expertise.

“Government attorneys accuse Microsoft of using its monopoly position to bully, bribe and attempt to collude with others in the industry, while illegally expanding and protecting its Windows franchise.”

The antitrust case: a timeline

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