EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

03.21.13

Microsoft Bribery Amid the UK Government’s New Software Policy

Posted in Deception, Europe, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument at 4:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

UK flag

Summary: Microsoft is under fire for bribery allegations in governments; now that the UK government says it will adopt Free and open source software while the Swiss government refuses to do so there is more food for thought about the motives and backdoor dealings

Governments are not only being robbed by Microsoft through tax evasion. Taxpayer are constantly being hit by Microsoft tax when they buy PCs and when the government buys PCs. Now we know, based on Murdoch’s press that “U.S. Probes Microsoft, Partners Over Bribery Claims”. Microsoft is Obama’s second among companies that bribed him in 2012, so we doubt anyone will go to jail over it. Bribery is a crime when the small person does it; for a corporation like Microsoft it is just a standard way of doing business. We saw a lot of it amid OOXML scandals.

Here is what the Wall Street Journal says:

Lawyers from the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are examining kickback allegations made by a former Microsoft representative in China, as well as the company’s relationship with certain resellers and consultants in Romania and Italy, these people said.

The investigation is in a preliminary phase, according to people familiar with the probe, and the government hasn’t accused Microsoft or any of its business associates of wrongdoing. Such investigations can end with no charges being filed.

The Slashdot summary includes more news links. There are reports in other languages as well. It’s an international fiasco and the thing about the invetigation is that it’s well overdue. Microsoft is a criminal firm with criminal past, so there’s not much of a reputation to keep and not much reason for hesitation in investigating the practices.

Today in the mail I received two letters. One tells me that City Council tax is up almost ten percent and the other says that the bank is slashing an already low interest rate by around 12.5 percent. Inflation is a popular form of hidden tax, more hidden than the notorious bank levy in Cyprus.

So, how does my government save money other than by taxing ordinary citizens who have no access to offshore tax havens like the multi-millionaires and billionaires? Well , it recently seemed like Microsoft was on its way out. As one report puts it:

Open source use in UK government has been establishing itself, in both the Government’s G-Cloud and in procurement standards. Now, the publication of a beta of the UK’s “Government Service Design Manual”, part of the Digital by Default Standard for government services, is writing in a preference towards using open source into the guidance for service managers, developers and web operations.

Robert Pogson, responding to this move from the government, says:

If you read the comments on that blog post you find that previously the IT department were afraid of the security of WordPress, used on tens of millions of web-facing sites…
Sometimes top-down leadership is needed to break log-jams and catch the wave.

Here is another report. We are waiting to see what Microsoft will do other than bribe, openwash, or intimidate rivals or politicians (like in Massachusetts). It affects me personally in my daytime job. Here is some widely-cited post about the news:

Since I’m writing this on St. Patrick’s Day, covering news involving the British government–those perfidious Hanoverians who dispossessed my Irish ancestors several centuries ago–feels just a little off-base. Still, the United Kingdom’s official endorsement of open source software, which became public just a few days ago, seems too important to miss, particularly for the implications it could have for businesses, governments and other organizations throughout the channel.

[...]

In other words, this is bad news for companies such as Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), whose products the guide discourages.

Microsoft will definitely lobby behind the scenes, as it always does to derail such policies. Bribes are possible too. We saw it before.

Switzerland is a country where Microsoft corruption in government contracts led to a lawsuit which we covered before in:

Here is a nice analogy for what’s happening in Switzerland:

The reason behind the motion was an application called Agate which is used by farmers to report on transport of their animals. The application is available only for Microsoft Windows so if someone is running GNU/Linux system they can’t file the report. So in other words the government is ‘forcing’ people to pay Microsoft tax, buy Windows operating system and then file the reports.

Government related activities should be vendor neutral and citizens must be able to file report using any operating system they deem fit instead of being forced to buy proprietary and extremely insecure Microsoft products.

Corruption in the Swiss government was covered in the following posts around 2009:

  1. Switzerland and the UK Under Fire for Perpetual Microsoft Engagements
  2. Microsoft Sued Over Its Corruption in Switzerland, Microsoft Debt Revisited
  3. Can the United Kingdom and Hungary Still be Sued for Excluding Free Software?
  4. 3 New Counts of Antitrust Violation by Microsoft?
  5. Is Microsoft Breaking the Law in Switzerland Too?
  6. Microsoft Uses Lobbyists to Attack Holland’s Migration to Free Software and Sort of Bribes South African Teachers Who Use Windows
  7. ZDNet/eWeek Ruins Peter Judge’s Good Article by Attacking Red Hat When Microsoft Does the Crime
  8. Week of Microsoft Government Affairs: a Look Back, a Look Ahead
  9. Lawsuit Against Microsoft/Switzerland Succeeds So Far, More Countries/Companies Should Follow Suit
  10. Latest Reports on Microsoft Bulk Deals Being Blocked in Switzerland, New Zealand
  11. Swiss Government and Federal Computer Weekly: Why the Hostility Towards Free Software?

Corruption in the Swiss banks makes it not far-fetched to assume corruption in the government as well. Here’s where things stand:

The Swiss Parliament on Wednesday rejected a motion calling on the government to create vendor independent e-government services, Swiss newspapers report. With 14 votes against and 12 vote in favour, the Swiss Council of States (Ständerat) threw out a motion, submitted in 2011, requesting the government to create ‘Non-discriminatory eGovernment solutions for Swiss farmers’.

Pogson responds by saying:

I hope the voters wake up their representatives. Apparently a bunch of them are asleep. It is the 21st century and many governments recognize that there is more than one supplier of software for personal computing.

Remember what happened in Switzerland amid OOXML abuses. Someone should investigate to see if here too there are bribes. The outcome of the anti-ODF campaign was clear and today we found this article which says:

…both [ODF and OOMXL] are ISO standard document formats

They neglect to say how Microsoft corrupted ISO to make this happen. Bribes too were involved. Whether Microsoft is found guilty in this latest investigation won’t change Microsoft’s record on bribes. Microsoft is corrupt.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 23/4/2017: End of arkOS, Collabora Office 5.3 Released

    Links for the day



  2. Intellectual Discovery and Microsoft Feed Patent Trolls Like Intellectual Ventures Which Then Strategically Attack Rivals

    Like a swarm of blood-sucking bats, patent trolls prey on affluent companies that derive their wealth from GNU/Linux and freedom-respecting software (Free/libre software)



  3. The European Patent Office Has Just Killed a Cat (or Skinned a 'Kat')

    The EPO’s attack on the media, including us, resulted in a stream of misinformation and puff pieces about the EPO and UPC, putting at risk not just European democracy but also corrupting the European press



  4. Yann Ménière Resorts to Buzzwords to Recklessly Promote Floods of Patents, Dooming the EPO Amid Decline in Patent Applications

    Battistelli's French Chief Economist is not much of an economist but a patent maximalist toeing the party line of Monsieur Battistelli (lots of easy grants and litigation galore, for UPC hopefuls)



  5. Even Patent Bullies Like Microsoft and Facebook Find the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Useful

    Not just companies accused of patent infringement need the PTAB but also frequent accusers with deep pockets need the PTAB, based on some new figures and new developments



  6. Links 21/4/2017: Qt Creator 4.2.2, ROSA Desktop Fresh R9

    Links for the day



  7. At the EPO, Seeding of Puff Piece in the Press/Academia Sometimes Transparent Enough to View

    The EPO‘s PR team likes to 'spam' journalists and others (for PR) and sometimes does this publicly, as the tweets below show — a desperate recruitment and reputation laundering drive



  8. Affordable and Sophisticated Mobile Devices Are Kept Away by Patent Trolls and Aggressors That Tax Everything

    The war against commoditisation of mobile computing has turned a potentially thriving market with fast innovation rates into a war zone full of patent trolls (sometimes suing at the behest of large companies that hand them patents for this purpose)



  9. In Spite of Lobbying and Endless Attempts by the Patent Microcosm, US Supreme Court Won't Consider Any Software Patent Cases Anymore (in the Foreseeable Future)

    Lobbyists of software patents, i.e. proponents of endless litigation and patent trolls, are attempting to convince the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to have another look at abstract patents and reconsider its position on cases like Alice Corp. v CLS Bank International



  10. Expect Team UPC to Remain in Deep Denial About the Unitary Patent/Unified Court (UPC) Having No Prospects

    The prevailing denial that the UPC is effectively dead, courtesy of sites and blogs whose writers stood to profit from the UPC



  11. EPO in 2017: Erroneously Grant a Lot of Patents in Bulk or Get Sacked

    Quality of patent examination is being abandoned at the EPO and those who disobey or refuse to play along are being fired (or asked to resign to avoid forced resignations which would stain their record)



  12. Links 21/4/2017: System76 Entering Phase Three, KDE Applications 17.04, Elive 2.9.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  13. Bristows-Run IP Kat Continues to Spread Lies to Promote the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Advance the EPO Management's Agenda

    An eclectic response to some of the misleading if not villainous responses to the UPC's death knell in the UK, as well as other noteworthy observations about think tanks and misinformation whose purpose is to warp the patent system so that it serves law firms, for the most part at the expense of science and technology



  14. Links 20/4/2017: Tor Browser 6.5.2, PacketFence 7.0, New Firefox and Chrome

    Links for the day



  15. Patents on Business Methods and Software Are Collapsing, But the Patent Microcosm is Working Hard to Change That

    The never-ending battle over patent law, where those who are in the business of patents push for endless patenting, is still ongoing and resistance/opposition is needed from those who actually produce things (other than litigation) or else they will be perpetually taxed by parasites



  16. IAM, the Patent Trolls' Voice, is Trying to Deny There is a Growing Trolling Problem in Europe

    IAM Media (the EPO's and trolls' mouthpiece) continues a rather disturbing pattern of propaganda dressed up as "news", promoting the agenda of parasites who drain the economy by extortion of legitimate (producing) companies



  17. The Patent Microcosm Keeps Attacking Every Patent Office/System That is Doing the Right Thing

    Patent 'radicals' and 'extremists' -- those to whom patents are needed solely for the purpose of profit from bureaucracy -- fight hard against patent quality and in the process they harm everyone, including individual customers



  18. Another Final Nail in the UPC Coffin: UK General Election

    Ratification of the UPC in the UK can drag on for several more years and never be done thereafter, throwing into uncertainty the whole UPC (EU-wide) as we know it



  19. Links 19/4/2017: DockerCon Coverage, Ubuntu Switching to Wayland

    Links for the day



  20. Links 18/4/2017: Mesa 17.0.4, FFmpeg 3.3

    Links for the day



  21. Patents Roundup: Microsoft, Embargo, Tax Evasion, Surveillance, and Censorship

    An excess of patents and their overutilisation for purposes other than innovation (or dissemination of knowledge) means that society has much to lose, sometimes more than there is to gain



  22. How I Learned that Skype is a Spy Campaign (My Personal Story) -- by Yuval Levental

    Skype is now tracking serial numbers, too



  23. Links 17/4/2017: Devil Linux 1.8.0, GNU IceCat 52.0.2

    Links for the day



  24. EPO Patent Quality and Quality of Service Have Become a Disaster, Say EPO Stakeholders

    Stakeholders of the EPO, in various sites that attract them, are complaining about the service of the EPO, the declining quality of patents (and the rushed processes), including the fact that Battistelli's blind obsession with so-called 'production' dooms the already-up-in-flames EPO and makes it uncompetitive



  25. IAM is a Think Tank for Patent Trolls, Software Patents, the EPO, Microsoft, and Whoever Else is Willing to Pay

    The site where you get what you pay for continues to promote highly damaging agenda, which threatens to disrupt operations at a lot of legitimate companies that employ technical people



  26. An Australian Patent Troll, Global Equity Management (SA) Pty Ltd (GEMSA), is a Bully Not Just in the Patent Sense, Explains the EFF

    The mischievous troll GEMSA, which doesn't seem to get enough out of bullying real companies, is now attacking a civil rights group's free speech rights



  27. Alice Decision and PTAB Are Both Constantly Under Attack From the Patent Microcosm and Its Lobbyists

    A Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision against software patents, combined with a chopping block of software patents (whose efficiency is still increasing), is causing trolls and their facilitators (like patent law firms) to resort to dirty tricks and attempt to reshape the system to better suit them, averting irrelevancy



  28. Apple's Legal Actions Against Android and Against Qualcomm Could Eventually Weaken Patents at Two Levels

    By tackling the practices of Qualcomm and by dragging companies to court over ridiculous design patents (potential of blanket ban by the Supreme Court) Apple weakens the very business model it will need to rely on as its market diminishes, leaving it with nothing but patents



  29. IRC Proceedings: March 12th, 2017 – April 8th, 2017

    Many IRC logs



  30. IRC Proceedings: February 12th, 2017 – March 11th, 2017

    Many IRC logs


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts