Bonum Certa Men Certa

When Technology Meets Politics

Because the world isn't built from separate insular blocks

Incentives that are passed or exchanged with governments in order to promote agenda would be nothing new. In some cases, this is how countries are run. This does not just happen in technology and no particular company is unique. Motives play a great role in this game of money, power, and sometime charity (such as those strategic endowments from the Microsoft Fundation [sic]). Many politicians have what's referred to as "pet charities".



We very recently dealt with the situation in Hungary. An egg thrower drew global attention to what actually happened there.

There is also the memorable blackmailing incident in Denmark, which is just one among many similar examples (beyond the scope of this post).

Yesterday we mentioned the Czech Republic, too.

“Many politicians have what's referred to as "pet charities".”Then, there are those dumping crusades too -- the ones whose purpose is to get young adults 'addicted' to Microsoft software [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]. And who could ever forget Microsoft offering 'charity' to India through tens of thousands of non-profits that were shortly afterwards used as pressure groups, calling for endorsement and/or adoption of OOXML using en masse letter bombardment (something similar happened in Denmark and in Singapore, to name a few countries). Opposition to this be damned (and bullied)!

But hey, let's just give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt. It has done so much to earn our trust, hasn't it?

No?

Well, take a look at another interesting pattern that's seen across Europe at the moment.

Microsoft has just launched a program called OnMyWay, by which Microsoft will offer training and financial help to young people.

[...]

I have a working theory for your consideration. I noticed something striking. While the ads are being run so far only in those four countries, and it's supposed to be a global branding campaign, if you look at who is on the list of those who have gotten help from the program already, you see groups from the UK, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland and Italy. I took a look at how each country on this list voted on OOXML in March.

The Czech Republic, the UK, Germany, Denmark, Finland and Norway all voted to approve OOXML.

This was a change for each of them. In September, the Czech Republic, the UK, Denmark, and Norway had voted to disapprove, so this was a change in Microsoft's favor. Finland abstained in September, and it voted to approve in March as well.


It is worth keeping an eye on which direction money flows in. Think along the lines of "reward and punishment," which Mary Jo Foley told me is a game Microsoft plays. Always ask questions about the award of benefits. When? And why? Bureaucracy and timing are key. Align dates. Discover the relationship between those who are involved.

"Geeks like to think that they can ignore politics, you can leave politics alone, but politics won't leave you alone."

--Richard Stallman



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