09.22.09

Microsoft Slashes Benefits to Its Covert Partners

Posted in Finance, Fraud, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 9:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Open hands

Summary: Microsoft to offer less ‘schwag’ and kickbacks to people who help it defend an empire

Microsoft has built itself an ecosystem which includes students whom it bribes with gifts to promote the company, professors whom it bribes to mention the company's products, vendors which it pays to pretend that they recommend Windows [1, 2], assemblers that it pressures to drop GNU/Linux offerings [1], shops that it pressures to drop GNU/Linux options [1], and hardware companies that it blackmails to drop support of Linux [1, 2, 3, 4]. There is concrete proof here for each and every claim, even in the form of antitrust exhibits. Microsoft is not shy to admit that bribery is seen as an acceptable strategy and those who stand in the way are being labeled "haters" and subsequently lose their job sometimes.

“Companies and individuals whom Microsoft works with usually get to share the loot with Microsoft as long as they suppress Microsoft’s opposition and serve the company’s agenda in all sort of ways.”Microsoft has summoned a mechanism whereby it can have impact on the industry that the company’s paid employees alone could not ever achieve. For example, Microsoft uses partner companies like Wipro, Infosys and TCS to control India by extension. Companies and individuals whom Microsoft works with usually get to share the loot with Microsoft as long as they suppress Microsoft’s opposition and serve the company’s agenda in all sort of ways. Vista 7 launch parties which Microsoft intends to fund with gifts (thus making these parties AstroTurf, not grassroots) are a newer example of these tactics. The OOXML scandals are an ocean of such examples.

As we pointed out a week ago, Microsoft's grip on the software industry is clearly slipping. Among those who feel the pinch are not just Microsoft employees but also their extended family which is MVPs. Mary Jo Foley points to this almost-forgotten report which indicates that MVPs will lose some of the benefits that Microsoft gave them.

From October 1, we will retire these benefits: Company Store (MVP Bucks), E-Academy, E-Reference Library, MS Press Book Reviews

What will this mean and what will be the impact on their faithfulness to Microsoft? Might they choose to walk away and instead serve the goals of shareable code and freedom? Free software cannot offer kickbacks like Microsoft does, but it sure offers a wonderful experience to people who love computing.

“Copying all or parts of a program is as natural to a programmer as breathing, and as productive. It ought to be as free.”

Richard Stallman

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