01.11.10

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Microsoft’s Anti-Counterfeiting Chief Quits, Sales in the Gulf Dive 50%

Posted in Asia, Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 7:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft’s fight against its very own distributors suffers a major setback; Microsoft’s grip on the Middle East seems to be eroding more rapidly

“WHO are the Real Pirates?”

Well, Pogson argues that Microsoft — not counterfeiters — is the “pirate”. He concludes as follows:

Truth is stranger than fiction when M$ wants to earn steal more money from their customers. The EULA is incomprehensible. Following it is impossible and it costs you dearly to try. Go Free. Use FLOSS instead.

This comes at an interesting time because Microsoft’s Anti-Piracy [sic] Chief has just joined the ranks of many Microsoft executives who are leaving in droves.

In the latest in a string of executive departures from Microsoft, the head of the company’s anti-piracy efforts has left the company.

Alex Kochis, who was the director of Microsoft’s Genuine Software program, announced his resignation in a New Year’s Eve blog post titled “Happy New Year and Goodbye.”

As we showed many times before (including a few days ago), counterfeiting to Microsoft is just a case of crocodile tears. It pretends that developers suffer from this while sending out the mixed message that Microsoft actually thrives in it because it suppresses competition, notably GNU/Linux.

In Microsoft’s last financial report, Windows revenue was from $4.28bn last year to just $2.62bn and Microsoft has been attacking vendors in the Gulf recently. Watch this news report:

Microsoft sees Gulf sales crash

Microsoft’s sales in the Gulf have fallen by more than 50 per cent since July as the recession has hit computer hardware and software purchases, the company’s regional general manager said.

Wow! Serves them right. Down 50%. To make matters worse for Microsoft, a Jordanian minister has apparently just said no to them (it’s a mix of negatives and positives), so Free software options might be explored (see background here).

In an unexpected move, new Minister of Information and Communication Technology Marwan Juma met with Microsoft representatives in his office as he asked about the benefits of renewing Microsoft licenses in Jordan’s government and public administration, stopping by this the former minister’s intention to re-sign a multi-million agreement with the company

The Ministry had already spent $13 Million in the last 3 years to purchase Microsoft products, for which the support ended last year and Microsoft hoped to renew the contract for the next three years. In the tender issued by the Ministry, three major Microsoft partners were ready to compete, namely STS, UTS and Optimiza.

[...]

In addition to this agreement, the former Minister also had a really scary idea about having all the government’s computers (including the schools and other public organization) within a huge proprietary cloud run by Microsoft. The project -if it will take place- will give an end to any efforts to push open source in the public sector.

Anyway, things seem better now with Juma: he was the director of the Information Technology Association of Jordan (int@j), one of the few organizations that promoted Open Source and held related events in Jordan the last few years and rumors are spreading about cooperations between the government and one of the major Open Source vendors… We cross our fingers and see.

Microsoft is trying to secure a lock-in in the Arab world with MoUs and other unethical/illegal means. The Jordan Open Source Association is one among several groups that will stand in their way and we applaud these groups.

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