Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Forcibly Turns Washington State University Students to Customers

"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



Noah handcuffs



Summary: Students of WSU (Washington State University) are the latest victims of Live@Edu

SEVERAL MONTHS ago we leaked the details of Live@Edu. This programme is Microsoft's way of turning students into customers [1, 2, 3] and personal bribes are given to those who enable Microsoft to accomplish this. Perhaps not surprisingly, Washington State University, which is located in the vicinity of Microsoft's main headquarters, is turning its students to Microsoft customers as well.



Strapped for cash after the state Legislature cut higher education funding, Washington State University is using Microsoft's free Live@edu system for student e-mail and other services, Microsoft announced today.


It would be interesting to know who received incentives to make such a foolish move. Universities have the capacity and the tools to offer their own mail services, but then there are no kickbacks.

Live@edu is about dependency, which is achieved through lock-in. E-mail may be only part of it (and probably just the beginning) as Microsoft is likely to bundle some other lock-in like Office as SaaS, with Microsoft OOXML as the proprietary format used. Data is then held hostage.

Speaking of lock-in, the ODF Plugfest we have been writing about [1, 2] is intended to accommodate interoperability and end lock-in. Here is another short report on the subject.

Rajiv Shah and Jay Kesan wrote the paper “running code as part of an open standards policy” arguing that the “running code” requirement - i.e. multiple independent, interoperable implementations of an open standard - should be part of governments’ open standards policies.

Last week the Dutch government hosted the first ODF plugfest: creators, implementors and end-users met up to improve OpenDocument interoperability for real, and it worked out well.

House’s ruless were clearly set, NoiV program and the OpenDoc Society created an appropriate environment to avoid flaming and to concentrate on fine tuning ODF interoperability.


Microsoft was there to disrupt of course.

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