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12.21.09

Microsoft Still Corrupts the Meaning of “Open” in Order to Enter Government Contracts, Cronies Help

Posted in Finance, Fraud, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 10:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

My cat

Summary: The fat cats from Redmond take taxpayers’ money, pay almost no tax, and also use their political power to make the system more discriminatory

Microsoft just cannot help ruining the word "open". Microsoft used this word in order to describe a NASA platform that it built to exclude "open source" platforms. A few months ago Microsoft also snatched NASA data which was owned by US taxpayers and it is currently blocking GNU/Linux users [1, 2] from a new service that NASA contracted Microsoft to build. It is amazing that all these projects are described as “open”, even though they serve just proprietary platforms and also fill the pockets of a multiple-times convicted monopolist.

While pretending to be “open”, Microsoft ventures forth and strives for even more control of the United States government.

Microsoft Taps Into Open Government Market

With the open government movement in full swing and the Obama administration’s Open Government Directive finally in federal agency hands, vendors such as Microsoft are looking to offer up their help.

[...]

For example, Microsoft recently worked with NASA to develop a Website called Be A Martian…

Well, too bad this Web site excludes users of Free software, eh?

Should people give up their rights and purchase proprietary software from convicted felons in order to access services that they have already paid for? It was a similar situation with the British iPlayer.

What about the security implications? As many people know from personal experience, using Windows also means loss of security. To give one of the latest examples:

Microsoft has decided that it is better to disable a 17-year-old video codec in older versions of Windows rather than patch the thing.

There are other new issues:

According to Andrew Brandt, a security researcher with the IT security vendor, the fake Microsoft security certificates appear in the properties sheets of both the installer and two of the three executable payloads dropped by the installer.

Going back to the issue of taxpayers being denied access to services which they paid for, who are those taxpayers anyway? Does Microsoft pay tax at all? Former Microsoft workforce still speaks about Microsoft’s tax evasion/dodging [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] and reduction of wages with territorial tactics.

Here is another infuriating reminder from the news:

That spigot of revenue may be short-lived due to the state’s stance on data center tax incentives. Microsoft announced in August that it was migrating its Windows Azure cloud computing infrastructure from its data center in Quincy to another Microsoft facility in San Antonio. The reason: Microsoft’s unhappiness with tax policies in Washington state.

Well, that’s right.

Microsoft is so poor. Why should it pay tax at all? Let all those other (less affluent) citizens fill the pot of tax money, which in turn will be passed to Microsoft thanks to a government filled with cronies (NASA contracts for example). To make matters worse, using lobbyists they can pass the costs (or tax) down to poor people, even though wages have declined for decades. Well, not for the top 0.01%, whose wage rose on average by 600%.

Also from last week’s news:

More companies are disclosing their political activity

[...]

Monday, the Center for Political Accountability will announce that software giant Microsoft, Time Warner, Campbell Soup and Wisconsin Energy have agreed to detail their trade-association donations, along with other political spending.

Dan Bross, Microsoft’s senior director of corporate citizenship, said the company wanted “to lead by example.” Microsoft has posted its political-related dues online for the first time. The largest payment: $2.1 million in fiscal year 2009 to the Computing Technology Industry Association, a high-tech trade group.

That is just one firm. $2,100,000. Microsoft has a huge number of them and loads of lobbyists too. Many are located offshore, in Europe for example. To properly understand the impact of this, one need only look at the Gates-Abramoff scandals. Abramoff is in prison, Microsoft is not. Maybe it just has enough political clout to stay out of jail no matter how serious and heinous the crimes (which continue to this day).

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5 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    December 21, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Gravatar

    $2.1 million to a single PAC. So if that was all in the US, then M$ spent on that single occasion, $21000 per US Senator. Or that’s $42000 per state, a decent annual salary.

    What’s the grand total for all the M$ lobbying, broken down by country?
    What’s the timeline for getting M$ reflagged for what it is, a political movement?

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It was well over $10 million last year.

  2. Yuhong Bao said,

    December 21, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Gravatar

    “To give one of the latest examples:”
    Indeo is BTW third-party software licensed by Microsoft originally from Intel. Here is a thread on the VirtualDub forums I created discussing this:
    http://forums.virtualdub.org/index.php?act=ST&f=3&t=18095&s=498f7f934560f63a27d3dc1ece261989

  3. williami said,

    December 22, 2009 at 12:50 am

    Gravatar

    I think this is realated, I emailed RMS (rms@gnu.org) before this article was posted about M$ “pesduo-open source” (ie: “open source” that just runs on Windows systems), and here’s what I said:

    “Also, (in my words) the new Micro$oft is just the old Micro$oft but
    with a false claim of “we’re open source!!!!” And M$ dosen’t know what
    free is. I rember “Lest Codeplex Preplex”, which means even when M$
    joins the free software world, I’m not trusting Microsoft.”

    RMS’ response:

    “Microsoft talks about “open source” to distract attention from the issue
    of freedom.”

    I pretty much know that, being a FSF member myself, and reading RMS’ essay on why “open source” misses the mark.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    “Open source” is no longer just a surrogate wrt “Free software” as defined in terms of the 4 freedoms.

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