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What Bill Gates Did in India: Business as Usual

Jhanda



Summary: Analysis of Bill Gates' latest business trip to India

A couple of days ago we wrote about Microsoft and NASSCOM. It quickly became apparent that Bill Gates' encounter with NASSCOM had nothing to so with pseudo-philanthropy. It also happened in 2003 and some obligatory PR we spoke about the last time can be seen in [1, 2, 3]. It's a decoy to which Gates adds his usual anti-Google rhetoric.

So anyway, what was this trip all about?

First of all, according to reports, Gates was just pushing the same old agenda that Abramoff used to be pushing for Microsoft. From The Register:

Bill Gates called US immigration restrictions a "huge mistake" while on tour of India today, urging America to open its golden doors for more "smart people."


Nothing at all is said about cost. From the Indian press:

“How about making an exception for smart people,” asked Mr Bill Gates while addressing Nasscom CEO Forum in the Capital on Friday.

The Chairman of Microsoft Corporation was referring to the immigration restrictions being imposed by the US.


It is part of a recurring theme; In order to justify less expensive labour, Gates is calling American people "stupid". Intel and a few other giants are doing the same thing when they insult developed countries. Reuters accompanies this old stunt with superficial coverage that lacks criticism and the New York Times makes more or less the same mistakes.

In a far-ranging speech on Friday, Bill Gates criticized the American government’s policy on immigration and data privacy, predicted giant leaps in technology in the near future and explained why he had to shut down his Facebook page.


Now watch this classic case of hypocrisy. While acknowledging that being out there in the public was an idea he regrets, Gates is also lobbying for a form of surveillance in India -- one that he wants Microsoft to take the lead in (it's all about money). Unsurprisingly, look who's there by Microsoft's side: Infosys.

The venture is part of a plan by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh government to improve the delivery of the nation’s welfare programs and boost security. Singh chose Nandan Nilekani, former co-chairman of Infosys Technologies Ltd., India’s second-biggest provider of software services, to helm the project.


For a bit of background about Infosys, see what we wrote several months ago. Infosys is helping Microsoft legalise software patents in India [1, 2, 3], it is exploiting Indian people, and it also helped OOXML [1, 2]. There is lots more [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8].

Microsoft India is now offering a new type of lock-in/trap which resembles DreamSpark and BizSpark.

"[A]mazing that corruption is excepted by the entire developed world. stunning that it has met with resistance only with some developing nations and maybe the european union. what should have been an overwhelming anger by all nations . the notion that developed nation are immune to corruption is bogus. microsoft did it in full view, without any hesitation. microsoft should be nailed for this."

--Ashok Pai

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