11.02.10

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Why Does Microsoft (Pretend to) Speak for Small Businesses in Europe?

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 5:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft Euro

Summary: Microsoft interjects itself into yet another SMB panel in Europe, whose goal is apparently to promote SMB-hostile practices including patent monopolies

Microsoft has a lobbying arm which pretends to be a representative of SMBs in the EU, but on the face of it, Microsoft need not always hide behind lobbying arms when it does this. Now that Microsoft attacks Linux quite hard with software patents overseas (especially in east Asia), this monopolist is working to expand software patents to more continents like Europe. Knowing that software patents are good for monopolists like SAP, Microsoft, Siemens, etc. Microsoft needs to just hijack the voice of the vast majority of companies which would suffer from software patents (see signatures in any petition on software patents in Europe). There is hardly a better way to achieve this than to ensure your own people are on the panel with a sob story title (“Innovative companies – Going for broke?”) and deals with “How to bridge the funding gap for SMEs”.

Richard L. Hudson is inviting loads of people this week to a roundtable meeting in Brussels (centre for lobbyists). It will take place on November 17th and topics include: “Why is it so hard to raise funding for innovative young companies in Europe?”

Young companies, eh? Like Microsoft? Well, one of the speakers there is Andrew Herbert, a Microsoft chairman. Seriously now, what does Microsoft have to do with it? Microsoft has been killing small companies for decades while lobbying for laws that outlaw these companies’ operations.

“Ideas on the table,” writes Hudson, “from many sources, include:

“Instituting a new programme of small business innovation loans or grants, at Member-State and EU level

“Creating a new facility at the European Investment Fund to stimulate more SME financing

“New tax incentives for innovative SMEs and their investors

“An ‘innovative-company’ label to help new SMEs attract more private financing

“This meeting will be an open discussion of how EU policy in this field will evolve. A special ScienceBusiness report will summarise and move forward the ideas.

If it’s intended to have an effect on “how EU policy in this field will evolve,” then it helps show how lobbying continues to set the agenda and Microsoft is part of it, pushing the whole “innovation” (reference to patents) propaganda ‘on behalf’ of small businesses.

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