09.07.11

Cablegate: Microsoft and Government of Oman Inseparable

Posted in Asia, Microsoft at 6:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cablegate

Summary: Cable from Oman shows how Microsoft is steering the government and making the population Microsoft dependent

We recently looked at Oman and onwards, reaching Ukraine in the north and Vietnam in the south. All across the world we find evidence of government-assisted Microsoft deals which at times reveal misconduct. Many of the same tricks are used everywhere, so it is worth learning these. The following Cablegate cable is also one from Oman.

VZCZCXYZ0004
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMS #0580/01 1601237
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 091237Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY MUSCAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8362
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

UNCLAS MUSCAT 000580 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR NEA/ARP, EEB/CBA 
COMMERCE FOR COBERG 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON, BEXP, ELAB, ENRG, KSEP, AMGT, MU 
SUBJECT: NOMINATION FOR CORPORATE EXCELLENCE AWARD: 
MICROSOFT OMAN 
 
REF: STATE 47222 
 
------- 
Summary 
------- 
 
1. Embassy Muscat is pleased to nominate Microsoft Oman for 
the Secretary's 2007 Award for Corporate Excellence. 
Microsoft Oman's strong commitment to actively supporting 
government efforts to promote greater computer literacy in 
the Sultanate makes this company the right choice for the 
2007 Corporate Excellence Award.  End Summary. 
 
---------------- 
Nascent Industry 
---------------- 
 
2. Oman's information communications technology (ICT) sector 
currently is not well-developed.  According to a Booz Allen 
Hamilton study commissioned by the Department under the 
Middle East Partnership Initiative, the industry overall 
employs only 1300 people, with most positions concentrated in 
a few large corporations.  Compared to the population as a 
whole, the figure represents 0.4 IT employees per 1,000, 
which lags behind the EU-25 average of 5.5 IT employees per 
1,000.  Booz Allen Hamilton further estimated that the number 
of university students graduating from computer science 
disciplines reached only 386 in 2004. 
 
------------------------------------------ 
Background: Government Focus on Raising IT 
------------------------------------------ 
 
3. In an effort to boost public awareness of Oman's need to 
move increasingly toward a knowledge-based economy, the 
government launched its "E-Oman" campaign in 2006.  Under the 
slogan "Transforming Oman, Empowering You," Maqbool bin Ali 
Sultan, Minister of Commerce and Industry, officially 
unveiled the government's plans regarding Oman's e-government 
programs, as well as other initiatives designed to promote 
Oman's transformation to a knowledge-based economy. 
 
4. Under the direction of the recently created Information 
Technology Authority (ITA), the Omani government embarked on 
a pilot project electronically linking four ministries 
through one computer network, a plan that will eventually be 
expanded to include all ministries.  In addition, the 
government is working on developing an electronic national 
registry system, smart ID cards for citizens and residents, 
and a one-stop-shop for business registration. 
 
------------------------- 
The Microsoft Partnership 
------------------------- 
 
5. In 2006, Microsoft concluded a three-year, five million 
USD per year agreement with the Omani government for the use 
of the company's licensed products on over 22,000 terminals. 
The contract, which includes a commitment by Microsoft to 
invest two million USD per year in training programs for 
government employees and the general public, represents the 
beginning of a valued relationship between the two entities 
as they both strive to improve computer literacy in the 
Sultanate. 
 
6. As part of its plan to foster this relationship, Microsoft 
has committed to investing in Oman's IT capabilities. 
According to Microsoft country manager Abdullah al-Lootah, 
this commitment is essential to efforts to raise technology 
usage in government operations, which currently is very low. 
In terms of promoting knowledge transfer opportunities, 
Microsoft will sponsor six-month visits by government 
officials to the company's Dubai office to educate them on 
"best financial practices."  Coupling with the government's 
E-Oman initiative, Microsoft is reaching out to the Omani 
people by installing computer laboratories in 10 schools for 
public use during the evening hours. 
 
----------------------- 
Training for the Future 
----------------------- 
 
7. Microsoft demonstrated its strong, continued commitment to 
building Oman's technical capabilities in March 2007, when 
the company concluded an agreement with the ITA to launch an 
innovation and support center to be housed at Knowledge Oasis 
Muscat (KOM), the government-run technology incubator.  The 
agreement calls for a joint investment of six million USD in 
establishing the center, one million USD of which is to come 
 from Microsoft under its investment partnership accord with 
the Omani government.  The center will host resident 
Microsoft engineers, who will train between 20 to 40 Omanis 
on technology solutions to deliver services to government 
entities under the "E-Oman" initiative.  Graduates would then 
form IT steering committees within their respective 
ministries. 
 
8. This initiative is one of several Microsoft is pursuing to 
"bridge the technology skills gap" in Oman.  In addition to 
the innovation center, Microsoft will partner with Knowledge 
Oasis Muscat and other selected entities in training 300 
Omani government professionals per year.  The trainees will 
work with Microsoft engineers to develop and implement 
solutions to promote efficiency in delivering government 
services electronically.  Salim al-Ruzaiqi, Chief Executive 
Officer of the ITA, praised Microsoft's efforts in the media, 
noting, "This new center will create more quality job 
opportunities for local Omani graduates in the ICT sector." 
 
--------------- 
Assisting Women 
--------------- 
 
9. Microsoft also has been active in supporting efforts to 
raise computer literacy among women through a partnership 
with MEPI's "Women in Technology (WIT)" program.  The company 
is currently working with the Oman Women's Association in 
Muscat to train women throughout the Sultanate on IT skills. 
Under a "train the trainer" initiative, Microsoft donated its 
"Unlimited Potential" curriculum to the organization to allow 
participants to pass along skills taught by Microsoft 
trainers to women residing in the secondary cities of Oman. 
Microsoft further donated over $50,000 worth of software and 
90 refurbished computers to support the continuation of the 
initiative. 
GRAPPO 



In short, Microsoft is indoctrinating government employees so that they come to depend on Microsoft technologies, at taxpayers’ expense. For those who do not know what “Unlimited Potential” is (a euphemism to say the least), see our posts about it [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

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/2011/09/07/steering-the-government-of-oman/

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

What Else is New


  1. [Meme] EPO Asked to Comply With the Law and Correct Behaviour

    EPO staff wants reparations for monumental abuses, but the “Mafia” of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos will never allow that to happen (we saw the same regarding the unlawful composition of internal courts)



  2. The Unfunny Joke That Microsoft Cares for 'Developer Rights'

    Microsoft propaganda urging software developers to find comfort in a prison of Microsoft (proprietary software monopoly) is a symptom of dying media, or thinly-veiled PR looking for a buck



  3. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, July 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, July 27, 2021



  4. Links 28/7/2021: PulseAudio 15.0 Released, World’s Slowest Raytracer

    Links for the day



  5. Links 27/7/2021: New Godot Engine Beta and a Call for Funding of GIMP

    Links for the day



  6. The EPO's 'News' Page Annotated

    From the above: Greenwashing; Offshoring; ViCo nonsense; Openwashing; Patents=space travel? Faking empathy; Patents as monopoly; ViCo whitewash; Constitutional hogwash; ViCo propaganda; Pinkwashing; Whitewashing GDPR violation; Self-praise; Exploiting pandemic for $; More openwashing; Protectionism; Outsourcing; Occupying the legal system; Grifting and PR; 'Legalising' EPC violations; More surveillance; Patents as sharing?; Patents as mere info? Lobbying by litigation firms; Proprietary/MS



  7. Playing With Fire: The Linux Foundation Associates the Linux Brand With Proprietary Software and GitHub (as Usual)

    Racist IBM is once again using or misusing the “Linux” brand (through the Linux Foundation) to promote racist Watson (which is also proprietary software); the ‘Linux’ Foundation is now revisionism as a service (not just in service of its own mythology, e.g. the operating system starting in 1991 rather than 1983)



  8. Links 27/7/2021: KDE Plasma 5.22.4, Libinput 1.19 to Include Hold Gestures

    Links for the day



  9. Recording Videos With Webcamoid on GNU/Linux

    A lot of people use OBS Studio or similarly high-profile Free software that's mostly designed for live streaming; but this video is a bit different as it takes a look at Webcamoid, which not many people even know about, explaining the current setup that's used to record pretty much every video we make



  10. Getting News and Updates Over Gemini (in General and for Techrights)

    Gemini (gemini://) is very well suited for 'consumption' of news; the hardest part is getting past the simple fact that not every article needs to have pictures in it and syndication (for updates) isn't done through social control media



  11. IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, July 26, 2021



  12. [Meme] Microsoft is Lecturing Us on Security!

    Dev Kundaliya and 'Hacker' News play along and go along with this laughable lie that Microsoft is some kind of security expert with moral authority/credibility on this subject



  13. [Meme] EPO 2025 (When Most of the Decent Patent Examiners Have Been Chased Away)

    Based on this week's reports (see batches of Daily Links), many recently-granted European Patents are being thrown out by courts, which means it's hardly surprising that demand for European Patents is in fact decreasing (while quality/validity/legal certainty nose-dives)



  14. Funding Sources Like Corporate Sponsors/Patrons/Masters Put at Risk the Freedom of Free Software

    Sources of funding or “sponsors” such as large corporations typically come with some barely-visible or temporarily-invisible strings attached (an expectation of commercial reciprocity, rendering the recipients subservient like ‘slaves’) and we need to understand how to preserve software freedom in the face of such trends



  15. Links 26/7/2021: Nanotale on GNU/Linux and IBM Promoting Microsoft GitHub

    Links for the day



  16. Free Software Projects Should Quit Selling Keynote Speeches to the Highest Bidders (Corporations) and Choose Based on Merit/Relevance

    OSI, SFC, FSF and Linux Foundation are in effect selling time and space (even to Microsoft, except the FSF was never foolish enough to do this). As of today, LibreOffice does the same thing (which might remain benign; just be sure to reject rivals as "sponsors" because it dooms projects and events).



  17. Microsoft Windows Has Lost Another 2 Million Web Sites This Past Month Alone (IIS Floundering)

    The rapid decline of Microsoft, Windows and IIS in servers is undeniable; it's just a damn shame that corporate and so-called 'tech' media never writes about this subject



  18. Links 26/7/2021: Grml 2021.07 and DXVK 1.9.1

    Links for the day



  19. Increasing Focus on Advocacy for the Free Software Community (Putting Control Over Computing in the Hands of People, Not Large Corporations)

    After 31,000 blog posts it's time to add a new theme to our coverage, which prioritises science, computer developers, and technology users; an urgent matter and pressing issue is the passage of control (e.g. over code and policy) to non-practising entities



  20. Video: How to Follow All Our Channels (Interactively) From the Command Line

    We’ve been enhancing the access possibilities/options for #techrights and other IRC channels, partly because we want to encourage more people to wean themselves off the DRM-ready Web, the monoculture, the bloat, the surveillance, and centralisation in general (the Web favours centralisation, which is exacerbated by the bloat and other topological dynamics)



  21. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, July 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, July 25, 2021



  22. Links 26/7/2021: Third RC of Linux 5.14 and Beta 3 of Haiku Project

    Links for the day



  23. No, Microsoft Does Not Get to Lecture Us on GNU/Linux Security (or Security in General)

    The corporate media wants us to think (or feel) like Microsoft is some kind of security guru; the reality, however, is the exact opposite because at Microsoft sometimes if not always/by default insecurity is the actual objective (back doors)



  24. Links 25/7/2021: MyGNUHealth 1.0.3 and Lots About Patents

    Links for the day



  25. Links 25/7/2021: LibreELEC (Matrix) 10.0 RC1 and Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) End of Life

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, July 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, July 24, 2021



  27. Following Techrights IRC Channels From the Command Line (or the Web and Gemini)

    The (almost) real-time logs for #techrights have been available in http://techrights.org/irc and in gemini://gemini.techrights.org/chat/index.gmi for over a month; today we extend that to cover all channels (aggregated into one)



  28. Links 24/7/2021: Skrooge 2.26.1 and K-9 Mail Release

    Links for the day



  29. Links 24/7/2021: FreeBSD Report (April-June) and KDE Reporting Its Progress

    Links for the day



  30. Support the Founders of GNU and Linux, Besieged by People and Corporations That Hate Development Communities and Seek Oppressive Monopoly Over Everything

    The founders of GNU and Linux (Stallman and Torvalds, respectively) want to give us free (as in freedom) software by which to control our destiny; the forces looking to demonise and marginalise both of them don’t have the same objectives (to whom they’re antithetical)


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