09.06.11

Cablegate: US Taxpayers Sponsor Microsoft Monopolisation/Colonisation Abroad

Posted in Asia, Cablegate, Microsoft at 3:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cablegate

Summary: Cable from Oman shows the US government providing Microsoft with special opportunities to dominate other countries, children

OVERSEAS investments in war sure are controversial; but the making of monopoly abusers who run Microsoft even richer should cause controversy too. Since when are politicians whose wages and budget come from taxpayers supposed to just push the corporate agenda of private companies? It’s corruption. US taxpayers ought to complain not just because politicians play ball for Microsoft but also because there’s government subsidy on tap. And there are also victims overseas, if anyone who pays tax in the US minds this at all. We’ll come to this in a moment.

“Econoff inquired about Microsoft’s interest in participating in a USG-sponsored collaborative effort that promotes e-mathematics and e-science curricula in the elementary schools (reftel).”
      –Diplomatic cable
So, the Omani government has got some negotiations going on with Microsoft, which seems to be using the propaganda term “piracy” to make nations feel guilty and thus sign a deal out of shame or simply to avoid legal trouble. “Econoff inquired about Microsoft’s interest in participating in a USG-sponsored collaborative effort that promotes e-mathematics and e-science curricula in the elementary schools (reftel). Lawati expressed interest in this concept, and took with him a description of the proposal for further consideration.”

For those who do not know, USG is the US Government, Econoff is mentioned a lot in reference to Wikileaks but just about nowhere else (we are seeing Econoff again having seen it in (many other cables] but never even in Wikipedia) and Lawati is a country manager of Microsoft. The cable says that “Lawati commented that Microsoft intends to avoid replicating previous mistakes by building a relationship that creates continued value for the government, as it has done in Egypt and Jordan.”

We have a page to show that Microsoft does in Jordan and this latest Cablegate cable says:


VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMS #1282 2420531
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 300531Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY MUSCAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7064
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
UNCLAS MUSCAT 001282 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR NEA/ARP, EB/TPP/MTA/IPC, OES/PCI 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: BEXP, ECON, KIPR, TSPL, ETRD, MU 
SUBJECT: MICROSOFT, GOVERNMENT INK CONTRACT 
 
REF: MUSCAT 1098 
 
This message contains business proprietary information. 
Please protect accordingly. 
 
------- 
SUMMARY 
------- 
 
1. (U) The Omani government recently concluded a three-year, 
five million USD per year agreement with Microsoft for the 
use of the company's licensed products.  The contract, which 
includes a commitment by Microsoft to invest two million USD 
per year in training programs for government employees and 
the general community, represents the Omani government's 
commitment to protecting intellectual property in advance of 
the FTA's implementation. End Summary. 
 
--------------- 
CONTRACT SIGNED 
--------------- 
 
2. (SBU) On August 22, Econoff met with Microsoft country 
manager Sami al-Lawati to discuss his company's recent 
partnership agreement with the Omani government.  Lawati 
noted that per the three-year contract, the Omani government 
will pay Microsoft five million USD per year for the use of 
22,500 desktop software licenses, which will enable the 
government to upgrade its Windows platform and Microsoft 
Office applications.  In turn, Microsoft will invest two 
million USD per year in training programs for government 
employees and the general community. 
 
3. (SBU) The deal represents a second chance for Microsoft to 
establish a long-term relationship with the Omani government. 
 Microsoft initially signed a contract with the Oman in June 
2000, shortly before the Sultanate's accession to the WTO. 
The relationship did not develop, however, resulting in the 
government's continued use of Windows 98 instead of upgrading 
to Windows 2000.  Lawati commented that Microsoft intends to 
avoid replicating previous mistakes by building a 
relationship that creates continued value for the government, 
as it has done in Egypt and Jordan. 
 
-------------------- 
BUILDING IT CAPACITY 
-------------------- 
 
4. (SBU) As part of its plan to create value, Microsoft has 
committed to investing in Oman's IT capabilities.  Lawati 
commented that this commitment is essential to efforts to 
raise technology usage in government operations, which 
currently is very low.  Coupling with the government's E-Oman 
initiative, Lawati noted that Microsoft will reach out to the 
community by installing computer laboratories in 10 schools 
for use in the evening hours.  Lawati also said that 
Microsoft would focus on government personnel development 
through a support and innovation center.  Under this 
proposal, Microsoft would provide intensive training to 20-30 
recent university graduates, who would then form IT steering 
committees within their respective ministries.  Finally, 
Lawati expressed Microsoft's interest in fostering IT 
communities in the universities and high schools through the 
promotion of IT clubs. 
 
5. (U) Building on these proposals, Econoff inquired about 
Microsoft's interest in participating in a USG-sponsored 
collaborative effort that promotes e-mathematics and 
e-science curricula in the elementary schools (reftel). 
Lawati expressed interest in this concept, and took with him 
a description of the proposal for further consideration. 
 
------------------------- 
PIRACY DOWN, PROMOTION UP 
------------------------- 
 
6. (SBU) Lawati noted that the Omani government's approval of 
the partnership agreement signified its commitment to 
protecting intellectual property.  While recognizing that 
software piracy remains a concern in Oman, Lawati remarked 
that it's now generally more difficult to purchase pirated 
software in Oman.  Microsoft intends to promote its new 
products more actively in Oman, starting with an advance 
event on September 4 for its new Vista operating system and 
Office 2007, which will be available in Oman by December 
2006. 
GRAPPO 


We also wrote about Microsoft in Oman under various older posts [1, 2, 3]. It all makes more sense now.

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A Single Comment

  1. Michael said,

    September 6, 2011 at 9:26 am

    Gravatar

    Wait: I see where the USG is helping to fund things… but not where they pushed any one solution. Maybe I missed it… can you quote that section?

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