01.02.09

It’s Not a Donation, It’s Addictionware

Posted in Finance, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 8:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Telling apart good deeds from dumping

An issue that we alluded to about a week ago is Microsoft's endowment to schools, which is intended to just make more children dependent on Windows and Office. In turn, when entering employment, Microsoft’s products will be favoured by these students as a direct result of this… and also be paid for, so it’s really an investment, not a donation. Moreover, it is government-based promotion of software that denies people’s freedom.

This is not education, it’s subjugation.

This cycle of drugware (or “addictionware”) carries on, but Microsoft characterises the addiction of children as a “donation” while trying — or daring rather — to claim credit for it.

In today’s economy, as more people are finding themselves on the other side of the workforce, or unemployed, Microsoft is reconfirming its commitment to ensuring that people have the tools and the skills to be a more productive citizen and a better employee.

Microsoft understands the importance of technology job skills in today’s downsizing economy. In the last five years, Microsoft has given and matched employee gifts totaling more than $85.9 million in cash, curriculum and software to nonprofits throughout Illinois that help people in underserved neighborhoods gain workplace skills.

“It’s our goal at Microsoft to make sure that everyone has access to develop the technology skills needed to compete in today’s work environment,” said Shelley Stern, Microsoft’s citizenship director for the Central Region.

By “workplace skills” they refer to memorisation of menu layouts in Microsoft’s overpriced products that limit interoperability and mobility, by design.

“By “workplace skills” they refer to memorisation of menu layouts in Microsoft’s overpriced products that limit interoperability and mobility, by design.”Microsoft’s treatment of education is a farce. It mistreats/harms those who are supposedly educated and spins it as a positiver thing. As stated among these comments, “The marginal cost of the additional copies of each piece of donated software is mere pennies, but they claim hundreds of dollars. This is akin to stealing from taxpayers, as these are deductible as charitable donations and decrease their tax liability.”

Here is a new example of Microsoft ‘helping’ a foundation in Malta, using the notorious anti-GNU/Linux programme, better known as “Unlimited Potential.” The people of the foundation could happily use Free software and be in control of their destiny, but Microsoft stepped in.

Microsoft Malta, under the Unlimited Potential Scheme, supported Richmond Foundation by donating software which will enhance the operations of this non-governmental and non-profit making organisation.

It’s almost amusing that the author calls Unlimited Potential a “Scheme”, because that’s just what it is. We wrote about this scheme before [1, 2, 3, 4] and explained how it suffocates both users and competition.

School boy

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2009/01/02/software-donation-is-addictionware/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

5 Comments

  1. aeshna23 said,

    January 3, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Gravatar

    Roy gets quite a bit of feedback claiming that he is going too far on some minor issue or another. The funny thing is that when Roy comments on the big issue or the things that really matter, no response is given. This makes sense as it is far easier to criticize than to praise. Yet, this shouldn’t make us lose sight of the overall points such as what is addressed in this post.

    And before we criticize Roy for perhaps a bit of paranoia on the trivial issues, we should ask who is wise enough to make the big picture critiques and still not mess up the details? Look at the prophets in the Tanach or “Old Testament” in Christian parlance. They made important critiques of Jewish society at the time, but often were complete loons.

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    January 3, 2009 at 4:43 am

    Gravatar

    In this case even Roy understates the seriousness of the threat here.

    On additional aspect of the problem is that the kids will build up portfolios (for lack of a better word) of data in formats that can only be accessed via MS products and even then at the whim of MS.

    One case in point is the damage to the file formats the “demo” versions of MSO 2007 caused. For average users and even lower-end power users, that was irreversible damage.

    Another is the assault MS Windows is making on video and audio. Try playing Quicktime or MPEG now on a legacy system. Can’t can you?

  3. Brian Assaf said,

    January 4, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Gravatar

    Great article.
    I’m glad I started with commodore 64′s in elementary school. The machines were already out of date at the time… But the concepts were more important than using some specific applications. Once you grasp them, you can use or learn to use just about anything.

    GNU/Linux is my choice now of course.

    As for memorization of menu layouts, I thought the next Windows will use a “ribbon”, so people would have to relearn? No?

    These schools should just say thanks for the cash and computers. And say, thanks anyway, to the software, which MS names the price tag on, then donates…

    Simply by installing a Linux distribution on these gifted wares. Thus, they can completely avoid the Microsoft upgrade treadmill and hopefully the students will learn that there is software out there that can accomplish a lot, without holding the user hostage.

    I think for some, forced upon Windows… When I used it, I recall it being “crappy” more often than not. If the software quality is at that level, some students may just hate it. Keeping in mind Apple also ensured they gave schools deals, they didn’t create legions of Apple users.

  4. Charles Oliver said,

    January 5, 2009 at 4:57 am

    Gravatar

    This seems very much like the puppy dog close. What later sells the product is the amount of data stored whilst using it for free and ignorance of alternatives, rather than that it’s super cute.

  5. zaine_ridling said,

    January 5, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Gravatar

    Anyone not using open source office software this far into the 21st century is setting themselves — and their businesses — in for a painful, expensive day of reckoning. Microsoft’s proprietary formats are not even compatible among themselves over the past dozen years, meaning, if you did not upgrade that copy of MS Office over the years, the latest one won’t open that document from the 90s, or at the least won’t display it properly. MS-OOXML code alone is as bad as anything Apple has ever written.

    Where I work, there was a college kid who thought we needed MS Office 2007 and lobbied hard for it. I explained to our budget committee in front of him and all the department chairs how much that POS would cost the company every year, including the costs of maintaining data in proprietary formats, and then I said that OpenOffice and other apps, including Google Docs, use ODF, all for free. The money saved from buying Microsoft products could be reinvested in new monitors, chairs, or hardware for everyone.

    We use OpenOffice, and the college kid is seen as a tool, who because he had no other skills, was going to cost us a fortune in licensing fees for something we didn’t need.

What Else is New


  1. Links 21/6/2021: NVIDIA’s DLSS and Most Beautiful GNU/Linux Distributions

    Links for the day



  2. Neil's Misgovernment

    The GNOME Foundation has one member of staff fewer; the attack on the founder/father of Free/libre software activism and GNU (the "G" in GNOME) failed and backfired spectacularly



  3. IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, June 21, 2021



  4. Virtual Injustice -- Part 14: How Mandatory ViCo Became the “New Normal”

    How mandatory ViCo hearings gradually became the "New Normal" at the EPO



  5. Links 21/6/2021: Rocky Linux 8.4, IPFire 2.25 - Core Update 157, and SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP3

    Links for the day



  6. There Are Bigger Scandals Than Revisionism and Brand Dilution at the Linux Foundation

    There are some misconceptions that need tackling; back in February (more than 4 months ago) the so-called 'Linux' Foundation decided to associate with yet another controversial drive that has nothing to do with Linux; some people think it's a new thing and leap to conclusions



  7. Techrights Video Gallery Without JavaScript

    Some of the improvements made this morning to the gallery of recent videos



  8. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 20, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, June 20, 2021



  9. Links 21/6/2021: Linux 5.13 RC7, IRC.com by Freenode

    Links for the day



  10. Virtual Injustice -- Part 13: Let the Games Continue…

    "It would be nice to think that the events of 28 May have given the Enlarged Board pause for thought."



  11. Links 20/6/2021: Akademy 2021 Underway and Linux Foundation Blasted

    Links for the day



  12. EPO: Fake Patents, Fake (Paid-for) Patent Coverage, and Fake Awards for Public Relations Purposes

    The media has been thoroughly corrupted, patent legitimacy has been severely damaged (far too many European Patents aren't in compliance with the EPC anymore), and Team UPC is trying to undermine the EPC and turn Europe into another Texas



  13. Changes in IRC and New Features Over Gemini Protocol or the World Wide Web

    We examine more closely some of the latest changes in the site and the capsule (Web and Gemini, respectively); we show that it’s possible to keep abreast of IRC using nothing but a text editor, a Gemini client… or even the command line alone



  14. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, June 19, 2021



  15. We Need and Deserve a Saner Patent System in Europe

    The laughing stock that the patent system, the patent law firms, and patent media became (over the past few years) must be replaced; at the moment we have a cabal connected to a bunch of criminals running the entire show and the public understandably grows impatient (at least people who are sufficiently informed; the criminals have already intimidated and bribed a lot of the media and they're still bribing more of it, as we shall demonstrate later today)



  16. [Meme] IRC Wars in a Nutshell

    In terms of large IRC networks, we’re in trouble (unless we self-host) because they seem to be dividing themselves along political lines rather than anything technical or something of an on-topic/relevant substance. Using networks for Free software projects/organisations to push one’s political agenda is not acceptable because it’s starting to seem like in IRC space, FN has become the Front Nationale (French) and LC is Liberal Coalition. Both FreeNode and Libera Chat have managed to turn from technical platforms into political parties, in effect using technical networks (intended for technical projects) to push someone's political agenda and thus misusing them for personal gain. There’s no free lunch. As it turns out, FreeNode’s new owner (Andrew Lee) has just outed himself as a huge Donald Trump supporter who speaks of “these fuckers who stole that shit” (he meant the election, which he insists Trump actually won in 2020).



  17. IBM Handles More Removals of Signatures From Its Hate Letter Against Richard Stallman

    Less than a day ago IBM processed a request for removal (from its hate letter); as someone put it in a letter to us, also less than a day ago: “When all of this started in 2019, the Red Hat GNU developers showed off their colours. The best way to attack an organisation is from the inside. Using GNU developers was a dead giveaway. Google and Microsoft are very much on the team with IBM. I believe they’ve made headway into the Free/Libre software community and have persuaded senior Debianties to go along with them.” That same message, from an anonymous GNU maintainer, said: “The strategy to target major distributions is clear and present danger. I’m not sure what arguments of persuasion are being used, but I’m pretty sure their main tool is currency. RMS needs a lot of strategic support from experts who will rally to the Free Software cause. He needs great lawyers, some corporate minds, and intelligence specialists.” Sometimes it seems or feels like by simply buying Red Hat (the staff) IBM infiltrated the GNU Project and now it is vainly making claims like 'GNU is IBM' and thus IBM et al can command/tell the FSF who should run FSF, not only GNU. Such entryism isn’t hard to see; “An open letter in support of Richard Matthew Stallman being reinstated by the Free Software Foundation” has meanwhile garnered 6,758 signatures. The opposite letter is only decreasing in support (signatures lost).



  18. Links 20/6/2021: Debian GNU/Linux 10.10 “Buster” Released and LF Revisionism Resumes

    Links for the day



  19. The EPO's Enlarged Board of Appeal Has Already Lost the Case in the Court of Public Opinion

    Personal views on the sordid state of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA), which by extension bodes poorly for the perception of independence in every Board of Appeal (BoA); the patent tribunals have been captured by patent maximalists who either stack the panels or intimidate judges into ruling in a particular way



  20. Virtual Injustice -- Part 12: Carl Josefsson – Down But Not Out!

    António Campinos still controls Josefsson, who controls all the judges, so in effect all the legal cases (including some about European software patents) are manipulated by the Office the judges are supposed to judge



  21. Links 19/6/2021: Wine 6.11 and Proton 6.3-5 RC

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 18, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, June 18, 2021



  23. Virtual Injustice -- Part 11: Perceptive Comments and Caustic Criticism

    The EPO‘s management managed to silence a lot of the critical media (handouts and threats from Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos), but silencing comments is a lot harder; though we don’t know which ones were moderated out of existence…



  24. Links 18/6/2021: Mir 2.4, ActivityWatch 0.11, Microsoft Breaks Its Own Repos

    Links for the day



  25. [Meme] When the 'Court' Drops

    As the EPO sneakily outsourced courts to American companies and parties in dispute depend on their ISP for “access to justice” there’s a catastrophic impact on the very concept of justice or the right to be heard (sometimes you don’t hear anything and/or cannot be heard)



  26. The EPO's Virtual Injustice and Virtual ('News') Media

    A discussion of this morning's post (part 10 in a series) about the shallow media/blog coverage that followed or accompanied last month's notorious EPO hearing



  27. Links 18/6/2021: LibreOffice 7.2 Beta, Elementary OS 6.0 Beta 2, and Linux Mint 20.2 “Uma” Beta

    Links for the day



  28. The Self-Hosting Song

    Cautionary tales about outsourcing one's systems to companies that could not care less about anyone but themselves



  29. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 17, 2021



  30. [Meme] Swedish Justice

    The EPO‘s patent tribunals have been mostly symbolic under the Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos regimes; giving them back their autonomy (and removing those who help Battistelli and Campinos attack their autonomy) is the only way to go now


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts