Summary: New examples of illegitimate Microsoft deals with African and Arab nations for the most part
WHEN YOU can’t play and win by the rules, what else can you do? Probably cheat. A few days ago we received some strongly-worded reply to this post about Microsoft lobbying (there is more). David wrote: “I simply know of the behaviour of Microsoft’s federal sales force in the past and hence consider anyone who was in charge of that to be criminally liable. But I think I will have to write an article on this topic.”
Today’s post is an aggregation of news from the past couple of months — news that we missed due to me having an extremely busy December.
We would like to begin with the news from a Bill Gates-funded ‘news’ site (more on that later), which says that “The African Capacity Building Foundation and Microsoft Partner to Build the ICT Capacity of Public Sector and Civil Society in Africa”
The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and Microsoft today met to formalize a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between their two organizations. The purpose of the MoU is for the two companies to join their formidable reputations and expertise to help co-ordinate various capacity building programmes across Africa.
Oh, yes. Another MOU, which stands for Memorandum of Understanding. For those who want to see leaked documents where Microsoft explains the predatory nature of MOUs, start here. Here is another press release titled “Skolkovo Fund and Microsoft Sign Memorandum of Understanding”.
Watch Microsoft lobbying the government in Qatar, using Qatar National Day as an excuse. This trick sounds so familiar. To quote: “Officials of the National Day Celebration Organising Committee, Microsoft Gulf and LINK Development, the leading IT solutions provider in the region, jointly announced this during the Middle East SharePoint conference at the Four Season’s Hotel on Sunday.” This is hopefully self explanatory. Staying in this same region, let us recall the Kuwait Linux stories and how this was blocked by Microsoft. Watch another step in the derailment of Kuwait’s digital autonomy:
As a demonstration of its continuing commitment to improving the quality of education and strengthening the learning capacity of Kuwait University’s students in order to help them be more creative and use the latest IT solutions, Microsoft Kuwait yesterday signed an agreement with the university, which will see KU students offered special rates for its group office software, ‘Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010.’
ISLAMABAD: Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Microsoft entered into a strategic alliance in Pakistan to provide centralised IT services to universities across Pakistan, according to a press release issued by HEC.
Watch what Microsoft does in Dubai’s hospitals. For the uninitiated, Microsoft is blocking Free software adoption in Dubai using MOUs and in Delhi schools among other places such as SUNY (the State University of New York) Microsoft uses the Live@Edu scam. It turns students into Microsoft vassals early on in their lives. This unreliable software is advertised by Mary Jo Foley despite massive problems in Hotmail for example. For anyone to choose Microsoft for E-mail it probably requires the bribes offered to officials by the Live@Edu programme (we leaked it thanks to someone from India) or some back room deals*. Speaking of which, watch what Wipro and Microsoft are up to (Wipro services Microsoft to get an award). Oh, well. Just another day in the world of Microsoft cronyism. █
* It ought to be emphasised that Google is no better when it comes to universities (it is posed as a “Microsoft vs Google” battle and a lot is missing from this simplified picture) because all universities should go with Free software instead, offering staff and students independence from the spying eye of some outside company.