Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Drives Customers and Employees to GNU/Linux

"It's easier for our software to compete with Linux when there's piracy than when there's not."

--Bill Gates



Summary: In another money-grabbing move, Microsoft attacks the very same people who helped it

Microsoft continues sending its 'partners' to prison. We saw many examples of this recently [1, 2], even in China where Microsoft depends on counterfeiting more than anywhere else. Well, there is more action in China right now, and it is directed against the people who are spreading Microsoft's software and making it widespread.

Microsoft scored a big victory in China yesterday, after four people were reportedly sentenced to jail terms for reproducing and distributing illegal copies of the firm's Windows XP operating system.


Their mistake is that they spread Windows XP rather than Windows Vista as Microsoft would have liked. The headlines even emphasise that XP is the problem and 2 months ago we explained why.

China Jails Four for Microsoft XP Piracy



[...]

One of his accomplices received the same prison term and two received two years each.


Microsoft will no doubt pretend that it is a victim, but the reality is different and a lot more complex. Microsoft understands that counterfeiting may be a matter of its survival because people cannot bear the prices.

“Microsoft's actions are counter-productive as they will likely lead more people to exploring alternatives.”Microsoft will probably let Vista spread there illegally (there have been reports about Microsoft turning a blind eye to exactly that), not XP. So the scapegoats' offence is that they are spreading an operating system which is not supposed to be on the market anymore, with a few exceptions. Another offence is that they profited in the process.

Microsoft's actions are counter-productive as they will likely lead more people to exploring alternatives. Microsoft has only the advantage of being friends with the Chinese government, but as abuse becomes evident, anti-monopoly probe is initiated, and the local workforce shrinks, more people will move to GNU/Linux, which is better anyway.

There is no telling if the following testimony is true, but "Former Insider" writes in Linux Today that:

Microsoft fired me...



...the day before my wife's immigration interview.

Could it have been coincidence? How was my supervisor supposed to know? Maybe because I emailed asking for that day off, explaining why, and s/he replied in the affirmative.

Mr. Immigration Man was not pleased when I showed up as her sponsor with no job. Fortunately I got a better job at another company a month later (this was between recessions).

You don't need to be a whistle-blower to get fired from Microsoft. You just need to be on the wrong side of office politics.

I will never work with or that company again, even if I have to move to another city. (...And for the record, I was a Mac owner two months later, and went on to install Ubuntu on said Macintosh.)


This is another example where being vindictive works against Microsoft. By choosing crude behaviour Microsoft is only alienating and thus driving people to GNU/Linux.

“No less than Bill Gates himself said in a recent Fortune article that Microsoft competes better against Linux in China when there's piracy than when there isn't.

“So, Microsoft actively looks the other way as people pirate its software. It builds its market share that way, and lets people get used to the idea of having Windows at a certain price.”

--ECT, yesterday

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