Microsoft Terminates Free/Open Source Software in South Africa, Tries to Portray Itself as “Open” in Poor Countries
Summary: Microsoft is insulting the intelligence of people who live near the equator and are inarguably vulnerable or disenfranchised due to former colonialism
THERE is almost nothing nastier than exploitation of the innocence of people. It is commonly done for money or at least power. Occupied lands were casually greeted by people who held gifts in one hand and a whip (or equivalent) in the other. Software companies and their ringleaders work similarly, especially those to whom lock-in with proprietary software is the core business model. Monsanto does this in agriculture using patents and marketing organisations like the Gates Foundation and Rockefeller.
Microsoft has some Orwellian marketing whitewash at the top of this corporate site/blog (see head banner), passing off a criminal company as some kind of charity. Mr. Pogson called Microsoft “cancer” over it and it says quite blatantly in the article: “However, this solution with little education relevance (all 20 student laptops as well as the teacher one) was a complete Linex solution at the time of launch. Working together with Reza Bardien, our Education Lead, we managed to turn this into an end to end Windows solution by the end of the week, including the PIL Learning Suite and the Windows-based NETOP Classroom Management solution.”
Pogson’s response to this greenwashing and whitewashing piece does not cite EDGI tactics but instead chastises Microsoft’s partner, Samsung. The EDGI strategy came under fire from European regulators. It is like a bribe essentially. We saw a lot of this done by Microsoft in the Philippines, where under some ‘Openness Night’ PR the monopolist is now trying to openwash itself in the most despicable way. Here is just a portion from the puff piece in the Manila Standard:
Local open source communities, together with Microsoft Philippines, recently held their first monthly meet up to facilitate discussions on emerging technologies with the end goal of giving back to the public. Dubbed as Openness Nights, the regular forum aims to push for the development of local projects on Microsoft plus open source technologies, enabling developers to contribute back to their communities.
Who are those so-called ‘open source communities’? Microsoft boosters masquerading as FOSS? The article does not say, but many times before we saw Microsoft bribing to infiltrate FOSS events where it then whitewashed/openwashed itself to the press. Microsoft even hired some journalists to achieve this deceptive propaganda (after yet more ODF FUD). The article above is just repeating Microsoft talking points to deceive the population in one of the nation’s most read newspapers. FOSS is clearly still facing a long battle against a propaganda machine. And it loses this battle when it stays silent. █