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FUD Warning: Mirosoft Casts “GNU/Linux” as “Piracy”

GNU in the wild
Fear and loathing of innocent gnus



Microsoft loves to claim that GNU/Linux does not exist. Where it exists, Microsoft pretends that it's just 'pirated' Windows running and we recently covered such propaganda from Ina Fried and CNET [1, 2]. Kenya now seems quite likely a similar example.



Whenever Microsoft announces price drops, believe not the pitch about "poor students" and "to reduce piracy". When and where Microsoft reduces its prices, it's often because of Free software, which gains attraction that Microsoft is trying to stop.

There are at least two articles out there at the moment which claim Microsoft discounts in Kenya are intended to reduce copyright infringement. Microsoft compares this to the violent activity which is piracy. The original article pitches the news just like some obedient PR people from Microsoft rather than address the real market dynamics and share the details that Microsoft is not willing to talk about. The first post/article is a good example of this.

Microsoft's plan to combat piracy in Kenya is pretty simple, really. Instead of trying to sue it away, they're lowering prices to make Microsoft software more affordable, according to an IDG report.


Cherish the mercy of Microsoft. It prefers not to sue poor people.

This links to the IDG article, which resides in Network World.

But Ndung'u said that the corporation has developed a pricing structure for cyber cafés that requires them to pay US$10 per desktop annually.


Well, well...

It was widely publicised a while ago that cafés in Kenya were moving to GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3]. It's not so much about so-called "piracy" then; it's not about goodwill. It's about being more competitive and reduce adoption of Free software. In other words, now they try dumping of Non-free software (or cheap giveaways) and they call it "fighting piracy", not "fighting GNU/Linux". They cast usage of GNU/Linux as something illegal that they kindly try to put an end to.

Why can't Microsoft simply permit the Kenyan people to have freedom with Free(dom) software? It's the same in South Africa where a new managing director has just been appointed. It has been a messy affair there [1, 2].

Need it be repeated that Microsoft allegedly blackmailed Kenya for OOXML support [4]?

____

[1] Kenya: Copyright Board Takes Piracy War to Cyber Cafes

Cyber café operators within Nairobi are torn between legalising their Microsoft software operating system, shifting to Open Source Code or closing shop all together following the crack down on illegal software.

[...]

According to Mr Kasani, the software will manage all aspects of cyber café billing such as Internet time, printing, items, accounts, discounts, the programme will be across platform , it will be possible to run it on both Linux and Windows computers connected on the same cyber works.


[2] Linux cutting software costs in Kenya

Entrepreneurs in Kenya are putting Linux to work to cut costs and maximise profits as they look for new ways to bring computing to users.One of these entrepreneurs is Patrick Mathenge, CEO of Mullard Electronic Limited, a firm trading in hardware and software from its Mombasa Road offices. The company is distributing Linux software that can turn a single computer into up to 10 workstations.


[3] Open source opportunity on the road to Nairobi

Open source is facing a great opportunity in the cyber cafes of Nairobi, Kenya.


[4 ] Microsoft Denies Threatening to Withdraw Funding

[5 ] Kenya: How Software War Will Hurt Consumers

[6] Kenya Linux Group Challenges Procurement Policies

[7] Africa: 'Microsoft is Imperialistic' Says Open Source Advocates

[8] Swahili Blogosphere: State of education in Tanzania, M-Pesa and Open Source Movement in Kenya

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