01.09.10

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Paid Microsoft Slug Michael Gartenberg Does the OLPC Slog

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OLPC, OpenOffice at 7:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Former Microsoft AstroTurfer attacks OLPC, calling a Free software success story “tragedy”

MICROSOFT’S attacks on OLPC typically come not directly from Microsoft but from unofficial Microsoft spokespeople like Rob Enderle (yes, he did that too). Those attacks have not ended.

Therefore, it was not particularly surprising to find former Microsoft AstroTurfer Michael Gartenberg (sometimes on the company’s payroll), who is currently serving Microsoft from outside the company [1, 2, 3, 4], throwing some more mud at OLPC.

In The Tragedy of One Laptop Per Child, Michael Gartenberg at Slashgear just called a million and a half computers in the hands of children, radically transforming education and social structures in dozens of countries, a tragedy. With another million on order.

Microsoft’s actions speak for themselves. James H. Clark, the former Netscape Chairman, once said: “Microsoft is, I think, fundamentally an evil company.” Microsoft is constantly attacking not just education [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9] but the developing world too. It’s all about money to them. 2 days ago we wrote about Microsoft's alleged “scare campaign” to derail existing migrations to OpenOffice.org and here is an interesting new comment on the subject (one among many):

First off,
- how many students complained about OOo? They don’t say
- Did the students or their representatives discuss the issues with the administration or the IT group of this municipality before sending the letter to the mayor? If they did, why didn’t they say anything about it in the letter? Sounds fishy to me.
- Did the blogger do any investigative reporting or just published a sensational article? There is a note about MS complaining but no mention of any administration comments about the subject. It looks like sensationalism at large to me
- Training is very important. Is the administration/IT of this municipality that dumb to roll out a new application before offering adequate training? I don’t think so. May be they did offer, but was not enough for some and may be students just chose not to attend.
It seems to me that some one is behind this with ulterior motives, especially when the reasons given are the same old ones we constantly hear from MS

It’s just like with OLPC. Microsoft exaggerates the issues and hopes that by declaring something “dead”, dead it will become.

“Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.” Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the competition’s technology part of the mythology of the computer industry. We want to place selection pressure on those companies and individuals that show a genetic weakness for competitors’ technologies, to make the industry increasingly resistant to such unhealthy strains, over time.”

Microsoft, internal document on “the Slog” [PDF]

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