03.19.08

Another Form of GNU/Linux Tax, Courtesy of BECTA (UK)

Posted in Deception, Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 10:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

As you ought to be aware by now, Microsoft is happily charging for the use of GNU/Linux as long as you buy it from one of the vendors that entered a protection racket-like agreement with Microsoft. However, this is not the sole strategy by which Microsoft makes a cash cows out of its rivals and makes rival products ‘more expensive’ and thus less competitive.

Even some governments around the world fall for this type of scam. It’s usually smaller establishment whose procurement process is somewhat of a comedy. Tender? Surely you just. Among the culprits: BECTA, which we wrote about before. Here is the latest from an interview:

This relates to circumstances where schools using Microsoft’s School Agreement licensing model, are required to pay Microsoft licensing fees for computers based on Linux, or using OpenOffice.org. Finding ourselves in a position whereby a school pays (say) £169 for a device only to be faced with for example a £30 per year after year payment to Microsoft, for a system that is not running any of their software would just not be acceptable to Becta. Indeed I don’t think many people would consider that fair.

Also related to this, see the following older articles:

1. Microsoft bows to complaint from Linpro

Schools will no longer be subjected to Windows licensing for Linux or Mac computers. Furthermore, Microsoft has accepted to discontinue their commercial bundling which required schools to buy several Microsoft products to obtain discounts.

2. Becta has a lot to learn

Rather than investing time and energy into helping to promote real alternatives to Redmond’s hold on school IT, Becta is simply using the OFT as a negotiating tool. Like many organisations, Becta seems incapable of thinking outside a Microsoft-defined box.

3. Lawmaker blasts U.K. government on Microsoft policy

A member of Parliament of the United Kingdom has launched a stinging attack on the U.K. government’s IT strategy, saying that it has given Microsoft too much control.

John Pugh, who is a member of Parliament, or MP, for Southport and a member of the Public Accounts Committee, was speaking in an adjournment debate on Tuesday that he had called. The aim of the debate, he said, was to explore the alternatives to using Microsoft software, including open source.

The British government and its numerous sub-authorities have been a marvelous example of what Greve calls "agents of monopolisation".

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2 Comments

  1. Victor Soliz said,

    March 19, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Gravatar

    Isn’t Becta on the good side of this, or am I misunderstanding your post?

    So whilst a number of suppliers are innovating and bringing new OSS based products to the marketplace, Becta must act decisively to ensure that neither they nor schools are disadvantaged by restrictive licensing agreements imposed by a dominant player.

    Microsoft Tax on Linux in Schools must end says Becta

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    March 20, 2008 at 12:38 am

    Gravatar

    They are being coy and nice because a complaint was filed to the EC about them. It’s the same with the BBC. The problem is that they allowed this to happen and do almost nothing to stop it, except for PR purposes (as in this case where they speak to a FOSS consultancy).

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