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Microsoft Has a New Lock-in Model: Fog Computing

Foggy lake



Summary: Kentucky is the latest to be scammed by Microsoft's Live@edu and the Microsoft marketing blitz for its own 'cloud' computing goes up a gear

Microsoft's older-generation lock-in relied on habits (e.g. indoctrination in schools), file formats, protocols, application compatibility, and so forth. What Microsoft has in mind now is a new lock-in strategy ("Microsoft's Ray Ozzie Says PC Is Razor, Services Are Blades"). Richard Stallman warned about this even years ago (not just recently).



“Microsoft will be turning children into Microsoft clients without their endorsement or even the ability to opt out.”There should be warning signs when this analogy involving "razor" and "blades" gets used. Printer manufacturers use this strategy too. As more reports trickle in, it becomes clearer that Microsoft will use euphemisms and deceptive marketing in order to prey on the gullible. See our previous posts on why "private cloud" is a deceiving term [1, 2].

The very sad thing is that many US states are being lured in by Microsoft these days. Their governors sign deals with Microsoft without realising the long-term consequences. We call this American EDGI, the latest examples being Oregon, Utah, New Jersey, Minnesota, Ohio, West Virginia, Florida, Alabama, D.C., and Arkansa, with yet more examples as there is still some newer coverage [1, 2]. Microsoft is moving on to academic institutions now. Last week we showed how it got hold of the University of Arizona and this week it's Kentucky schools. Microsoft will be turning children into Microsoft clients without their endorsement or even the ability to opt out. Zack Whittaker, a former Microsoft intern, seems to almost celebrate bad news about another university becoming a hostage in exchange for some 'incentives' to few.

In what is expected to be the largest cloud deployment in the United States, Microsoft’s Live@edu service has been rolled out to over 700,000 students and staff in Kentucky, the state education department for education has confirmed via Microsoft.


Well, all of those so-called 'clouds' need to be rejected unless they are run internally with Free software and are also portable.

IDG passes on the message about this terrible news [1, 2] and so do other Web sites, e.g.:



Here is the press release.

The Microsoft boosters are rather cheerful [1, 2, 3], but who can blame them? Microsoft's interests are their own.

“This whole initiative is part of Microsoft's attempt to control people's data, not just their applications.”Kentucky does not really deserve this kind of humiliation. It is already an American EDGI victim [1, 2, 3].

This whole initiative is part of Microsoft's attempt to control people's data, not just their applications. This attempt receives promotion from Mary Jo Foley, who never criticises Microsoft anymore, just advertises the company [1, 2]. Don't we all have a responsibility to think ethically? Apparently not. There is a lot more deception and propaganda for Microsoft 'cloud' and it is "sponsored by Microsoft" (see the text at the top). It looks as though it's news, but it's not. There are other Microsoft sites at IDG -- subsites/subnets which do the same thing. IDG's Microsoft booster Shane O'Neill is even giving them a platform again. It's almost as though it's paid for.

Speaking of universities and schools that turn children into young Microsoft customers, BECTA is not quite dead yet and its words about Free software continue to resonate:

A BECTA report into costs of open source software (OSS) in schools(v)found that the annual total cost per PC was less for nearly all the open source software schools at both primary and secondary school levels. For OSS schools, cost per PC at primary school level was half that of non-OSS schools, and cost per PC at secondary school level was around 20% less than that of the non-OSS schools. Annual support costs in individual OSS schools varied widely, but on average were 50–60% of those of their non-OSS counterparts, except OSS secondary schools which had slightly higher costs for informal support.


The government that abolished BECTA seems like an opportunity to Microsoft-free education in the UK. It remains to be seen if they can deliver on the promise.

Small businesses have struggled in the past to win government contracts. Mark Taylor, chief executive of open-source software company Sirius Corporation, welcomed the government pledge.


Public institutions like schools must never become training facilities of companies (especially ones from overseas), but when people from Microsoft occupy key positions in UK universities almost anything can happen.

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