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Microsoft Seizes Control of Grameen and Uses it to Dump Against Free/Libre Software; Microsoft Dumping Comes to Latin America and Maryland

Tires
Microsoft 'donates' proprietary wheels, without the cars



Summary: Attacks on adoption of Free software continue as Microsoft claims to be "donating" software using entities that its former staff occupies

MICROSOFT is dumping software again. As usual, Microsoft describes it not as "dumping" but as "donations". The way it comes about is particularly interesting.



First, another Microsoft person takes over an external group (very typical, as we recently wrote about Microsoft and NGOs), this time the "Grameen Technology Center". He is pretending to help the poor whilst only tying the Grameen Foundation to his beloved Microsoft.

Grameen gets new tech center director, partners with Microsoft



The Grameen Foundation today named David Edelstein as the new director of its Seattle-based Grameen Technology Center.

Edelstein had been the director of information and communication technology innovation at the center, and like his predecessor, also has experience at Microsoft.


Another "pawn" for Microsoft. Then came this press release which shows that they will use this relationship to dump Microsoft software on a country where Free software adoption has been rising.

Grameen Foundation and Microsoft Announce Initiative to Expand Value and Use of Technology for Microfinance



Software giant Microsoft Corp. (Microsoft) is giving $1 million worth of software grants to non-government microfinance institutions (MFI) to help them modernize and expand their financial services to more poor households in the Philippines.


More shallow coverage here:

MICROSOFT Corp. said it’s willing to give away for free more than $1-million worth of software to encourage microfinance groups to adapt technology and make poverty alleviation programs and services more efficient.


They haven't learned what happens when hiring from Microsoft, have they? This is similar to what Microsoft did to NComputing before capturing it and then using it to dump Windows on developing countries. As BNET puts it this week:

So why are the folks in Redmond working with NComputing? For the same reason that they have to make a go of the growing disaster known as Windows Mobile: They don’t have a choice.


Actually, NComputing did have a choice. About 40% of their deployments were based on GNU/Linux. Maybe that's why Will Poole had to come from Microsoft; eventually, those two companies married.

Speaking of bad recruitment, hi5 has just hired a Microsoft AstroTurfer ("evangelist") for the CTO position.

St. John, founder of online game firm Wild Tangent and a former Microsoft games evangelist, will serve as president and chief technology officer at hi5. He will be responsible for its product development, technology, network operations and audience acquisition.


Moving on to other new examples of dumping, recently we used Nicaragua, Argentina [1, 2] and Brazil [1, 2] to demonstrate the rapid migration to GNU/Linux in Latin/south America. Well, Microsoft has just announced that it's dumping ("donating") software on "Latin America and the Caribbean".

“This is again marketed to the public as "Unlimited Potential", which is just a euphemism for EDGI.”What a coincidence!

This is again marketed to the public as "Unlimited Potential", which is just a euphemism for EDGI. They are dumping something that blocks competition and costs nothing, then call "charity". What a nerve they have.

Look who they target -- exactly the same places that Microsoft sees as strategic and they equate copying of software to "donations".

Twenty-five nonprofit organizations in the region will receive a combined $1.925 million (U.S.) in cash, and another 155 institutions will receive software donations equivalent to $5.413 million (U.S.) in an effort to support regional work-force development, promote micro-entrepreneurship through professional and technology skills training in CTCs, and strengthen the nonprofits’ own IT infrastructure.


Over in the United States, Microsoft does something similar under the banner of "Elevate America" (American EDGI). Microsoft is now dumping vouchers on Maryland.

About 13,500 total vouchers are available at Maryland offices, with 6,000 vouchers each for the certification exams and basic training and 1,500 vouchers for professional training.

Microsoft Elevate America is providing more than 1 million vouchers throughout the country as part of its effort to train 2 million people over the next three years, according to Microsoft's Web site.


Microsoft has also just captured Western Governors University.

These rich online learning resources, including virtual labs, provide hands-on experience with Microsoft software.


They are getting them "hooked" on Microsoft software while pretending that this is something beneficial. Why don't journalists start covering this properly by highlighting Microsoft's motives?

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

--Bill Gates

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