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. Actions by Team Battistelli Against the European Patent Convention (EPC) and the Role Played by Željko Topić in Crushing Opposition

    An unresolved complaint that says "both directors and examiners were negatively affected by the instruction to intervene in the decision-taking process of the Examining Division" and the Appeals Committee was stacked



  2. The Illusion of Patents as Necessary for Maintaining Western Dominance Increasingly Debunked

    The giveaway of patents to the East, combined with the opportunistic (for patent lawyers) opening to patent litigation from the East, contradicts the very notion of patents as guardians of science and technology in the Western world



  3. Continued Erosion of Software Patents in the US and With It a Demise in Abusive Litigation by Patent Trolls

    Encouraging signs of patent scope tightening/improvement at the US patent system, bolstered by inter partes reviews which crowdsource (or crowdfund) so as to defang serial abusers that rely on dubious software patents



  4. EPO Crushed the Boards of Appeal (i.e. Quality Control) and Insiders Explain Why

    Team Battistelli has made a complete mockery of the EPO and also serves to devalue EPO patents, which in the long term can doom the whole system



  5. Academic Discussion About Patents' Harm and Good, Pushers of Software Patents Still Upset at Alice Decision

    In light of the Alice case, large monopolies and their messengers moan about patent quality control, whereas here in Manchester people have an open debate about the potential harms of over-patenting



  6. Links 30/7/2016: Sysadmin Day, Stardew Valley on GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  7. Links 29/7/2016: More Microsoft Problems and Layoffs, Bodhi Linux 4.0.0 Alpha Released

    Links for the day



  8. Links 28/7/2016: CORD as Linux Foundation Project, Wine 1.9.15 Released

    Links for the day



  9. EPO Loses More Than 80% of Cases at the International Labour Organisation (ILO)

    The International Labour Organisation (or Organization) helps show just to what degree the European Patent Office (EPO) violates the rights of workers



  10. To Understand What Battistelli Has Turned the EPO Into Look at Turkey and China

    Battistelli and his notorious Vice-President from SIPO (Croatia) turn the European Patent Office, once the pride of Europe, into a human rights cesspool with SIPO (China) connections



  11. Patent Lawyers Move Closer to Battistelli's Rubber-stamping Office While the Appeal Boards Pushed Away as Collective Punishment Which Masks Decline in Patent Quality

    Urgently sending appeal boards away and urgently granting applicants patents without proper examination will be Battistelli's sorrow legacy at the European Patent Office



  12. Software Patents a Dying Breed, But Patent Lawyers in Denial Over it and Notorious Judge Rodney Gilstrap Ignores Alice (Supreme Court)

    A look at what law and practice are saying about software patents, contrasted or contradicted by the patent industry and trolls-friendly courts (which make business out of or together with patent aggressors)



  13. CAFC Meddling in PTAB Affairs; Unified Patents Fights a Good Fight by Invalidating Software Patents

    A look at how the AIA's Patent Trial and Appeal Board is invalidating software patents post-Alice, with or without involvement of patent courts



  14. Early Certainty That Benoît Battistelli is Dangerously Clueless and a Major Risk to the EPO

    The chaos which Team Battistelli is assured to deliver if it doesn't treat scientists like scientists, instead viewing them as a production line with rubber-stamping duties



  15. OIN Makes Claims About “Open Source Innovation”, But It Produces Nothing and Protects Virtually Nobody

    The Open Invention Network (OIN) reports growth, but in practical terms it does little or nothing to help developers of Free/Open Source software



  16. Links 27/7/2016: New CrossOver, Blackmagic for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  17. The Death of Software Patents and Microsoft's Coup Against Yahoo! Made the Company Worthless

    A look at what happens to companies whose value is a house of software patents rather than code and a broad base of users/customers



  18. Munich Attack Mentioned by EPO But Not Ansbach

    The EPO does the usual right-wing thing (exploiting disaster/emergency for domestic crackdowns), but some bemoan the omission of the explosion at Ansbach (also in Germany)



  19. Kluwer Thinks People Are Clueless About the Unitary Patent System and Pretends It's Business as Usual

    Flogging the dead UPC horse at times of great uncertainty (enough to bring the UPC to a standstill)



  20. Almost Everything That the Government Accountability Office Says is Applicable to the EPO

    The Government Accountability Office in the United States produces reports which can serve as a timely warning sign to the European Patent Office, where patent quality is rapidly declining in order to meet 'production' goals



  21. Microsoft Says It Loves Linux, But Its Anti-Linux Patent Trolls Are Still Around and Active

    Highlighting just two of the many entities that Microsoft (and partners) use in order to induce additional costs on Free (as in freedom) software



  22. Links 26/7/2016: Microsoft Growing Desperate, Linux 4.8 Visions

    Links for the day



  23. Links 25/7/2016: Linux 4.7 Final, PostgreSQL 9.6 Beta 3

    Links for the day



  24. Leaked: Boards of Appeal Face 'Exile' or 'Extradition' in Haar After Standing up to Battistelli

    A look at some of the latest moves at the European Patent Office (EPO), following Battistelli's successful coup d’état which brought the EPO into a perpetual state of emergency that perpetuates Battistelli's totalitarian powers



  25. The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comes Across as Against Software Patents, Relates to the EPO as Well

    Some analysis of the input from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) with focus on the EPO and software patents



  26. In the US, Patent Trolls Engage in Patent Wars and Shakedowns, Whereas in China/Korea Large Android OEMs Sue One Another

    Highlighting some of the differences between the US patent system and other patent systems



  27. Links 24/7/2016: Elive 2.7.1 Beta, New Flatpaks and Snaps

    Links for the day



  28. Links 23/7/2016: Leo Laporte on GNU/Linux, Dolphin Emulator’s Vulkan Completion

    Links for the day



  29. Links 22/7/2016: Wine 1.9.15, KaOS 2016.07 ISO

    Links for the day



  30. Haar Mentioned as Likely Site of Appeal Boards as Their Eradication or Marginalisation Envisioned by UPC Proponent Benoît Battistelli

    Not only the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) is under severe attack and possibly in mortal danger; the increasingly understaffed Boards of Appeal too are coming under attack and may (according to rumours) be sent to Haar, a good distance away from Munich and the airport (half an hour drive), not to mention lack of facilities for visitors from overseas


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