Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Reaches Out to Children and Young Adults Again

"The danger is that Microsoft is using strategic monopolistic pricing in the education market, with the government’s assistance, to turn our state university systems into private workforce training programs for Microsoft."

--Nathan Newman



In a perfect world, objective information should be readily available shall one require it. However, in reality it has become rather difficult to trust even academic institutes in the face of academic kickbacks, potentially funded work and this modern age of universities that are run by corporations.

This whole situation is further complicated when school labs are built to use technology from a single vendor which is dumping software and sometimes even hardware to have the youngsters "addicted" to that mono-cultural technology. They soon come to not only expect it, but also to depend on it [1, 2, 3, 4].

In the face of fiercer competition, it appears that Microsoft continues to bet on the young generation, this time in India.

Under the initiative, HCL will train 50,000 students in Microsoft technology. The training would take place in 100 training centers located across the country over a period of three years.


More worrying, however, is the following bit of news about Microsoft recruiting fans and bloggers. We saw such things before, even in the academic setting. As opposed to Europe, this new announcement comes from New Zealand.

To get the most out of being a Microsoft Student Partner, there are a lot of opportunities for you to contribute to the broad academic community. This ranges from blogging to setting up technical demonstrations.

We require Student Partners to undertake a range of voluntary activities throughout the year which are designed to give you not only real world experience but also to compliment your existing studies. Below are some of the specific goals for 2008:

ۤ Organise and carry out Presentations/Seminars

ۤ Support Imagine Cup activities on your campus

ۤ Support Microsoft activities on your campus including Orientation/Student Day


One antitrust exhibit we have been citing a lot recently is this one. As another teaser from this comprehensive chunk of work consider:

"In the face of strong competition, Evangelism's focus may shift immediately to the next version of the same technology, however. Indeed, Phase 1 (Evangelism Starts) for version x+1 may start as soon as this Final Release of version X."

--Microsoft, internal document [PDF]



The above quote relates to vapourware alone, but looking at this exhibit as a whole, one of our readers weighed in and provided some personal insight and assessment, which very well relates to the way Microsoft recruits young minds and even professors. He says:

“...the technical aspect of this debate is typically eclipsed by manipulation and foul play.”"One of the strongest points I draw from that bit of court evidence is that we are not going up against a technology, but against something which operates more as a cult or political party. So, no matter how technical and dry a decision might be, contact from that group will by nature turn the debate political.

"The document points out several times what we've known for years and years: Microsoft products do not have a snowball's chance in Hell of being chosen on technical merits. And thus ever sale Microsoft makes depends on being able to turn the debate into a political one."

If Microsoft plays politics and divides up the industry into 'cults', then some politicians are prepared to play a similar game in response to it. They must only understand that the technical aspect of this debate is typically eclipsed by manipulation and foul play.

Utopia is just Utopia. But better familiarity with the reality is the greatest of hopes anyway. Had more people known the truth, decisions would be made differently and Microsoft's actions be interpreted differently also.

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