10.12.11

Gemini version available ♊︎

Microsoft Attacks GNU/Linux to Enslave Poor Children

Posted in Asia, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 1:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Trojan horse comes to Tamil Nadu

Rocking horse

Summary: The story of Microsoft’s elimination/overriding of Free software- and GNU/Linux-favouring policies

“THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN!”

Yes, seriously (the comical use of rhetoric aside). It was only about a week ago that Microsoft exploited Asian children and issued a lot of PR that was essentially a scam.

Finally, after much preparation (and advice from the Techrights crew*) a good article from Sai Manish, who also used Cablegate to substantiate some of the claims, helps show the EDGI-like tactics in Tamil Nadu. He writes:

With so much at stake, the IT intelligentsia in India is accusing Microsoft of using a mixture of American diplomatic offensive and its ‘embrace, extend and extinguish’ strategy to make 7 million poor students of Tamil Nadu dependent on its products with their free laptops.

ELCOT’s repeated changes in the tender have forced out free software and pushed in Microsoft products, a move that in the words of former ELCOT MD C Umashankar could ‘end up putting unproductive laptops with Windows in the hands of poor students’. This would entrap them in Microsoft’s proprietary web of licences, renewals, updates and upgrades.

There are allegations against ELCOT that it deliberately issued a second tender favouring Microsoft by eliminating open source software from its list of specifications and removing academically useful hardware from the laptop in a bid to balance out the increased cost of using the Windows Operating system and the licensed MS Office.

[...]

ELCOT removed the free OS even though Linux’s Ubuntu operating system comes for free and requires no updates, upgrades or expensive antivirus software to keep the laptop in shape.

Ironically, ELCOT ’s own data centre at Taramani in Chennai uses IBM servers and is powered by the free and open source Linux platform. But when it came to students, it ditched the open source model for Microsoft.

What is more startling is that in 2007, under the DMK government, ELCOT, then headed by a proactive and well-informed IAS officer C Umashankar, had shut the doors on Microsoft by ordering the migration of all government departments, panchayats and schools to Open Source Software after being convinced about its cost benefits and massive collaborative potential.

Over 30,000 government and schoolteachers were to be trained in Linux. Umashankar recounted how he was approached a couple of times by Microsoft staffers who offered to sell the Windows OS for Rs 7,000 a computer. Umashankar quoted a price of Rs 500 saying that for a mere Rs 300 he could not only get an Operating System better than Windows but could also incorporate features like DVD drives, webcams, multimedia editing software, vector map drawing applications and hundreds of other academically helpful software.

[...]

Now put that deal in an Indian context where 68 lakh licences would be required under Jayalalithaa’s ambitious free laptop scheme and the business of diplomacy becomes clear. The Microsoft deal of 3 lakh licences was dubbed in the cable as ‘the most significant agreement Vietnam has ever signed with a US business’.

Microsoft harped on IPR and the fact that Vietnam had the highest software piracy rate in Asia. “The cost of running MS Office is extremely prohibitive. That will only encourage students in Tamil Nadu to download pirated versions. Its own policies will encourage piracy,” says Umashankar. Even Microsoft’s corporate affairs director in Thailand had according to one cable ‘expressed concern over the Thailand government’s policy of promoting open source software model over the commercial source model as a means to curb piracy’.
Another indication of what Microsoft is up to in Tamil Nadu can be understood from what the software giant did in Tunisia where only free software was being used in the government since 2001, which prevented Microsoft from participating in the Tunisian government’s tenders.

Microsoft, like its various charitable acts in India through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, also helped a charity for handicapped people run by the wife of the Tunisian president, Ben Ali. The confidential cable notes, ‘Microsoft has agreed to provide training to handicapped Tunisians to enable them to seek employment. The programme’s affiliation with Leila Ben Ali’s charity is indicative of the backroom manoeuvring sometimes required to finalise a deal. Microsoft’s reticence to fully disclose the details of the agreement shows Tunisia’s emphasis on secrecy over transparency. Ultimately, for Microsoft, the benefits outweigh the costs.’

We wrote about this before [1, 2, 3] and also quite recently we mentioned how Microsoft is sending proxies to attack Free software in government. Know the enemy, avoid losses.
____
* Today we also got informed that parts of Techrights will be made available for a print CoursePack in Boston College, which shows we help make a difference.

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

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 25, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 25, 2022



  2. Links 26/1/2022: No ARM for Nvidia, End of EasyArch, and WordPress 5.9 is Out

    Links for the day



  3. Why the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is Still Just a Fantasy and the UPC's Fake News Mill Merely Discredits the Whole Patent 'Profession'

    Patents and science used to be connected; but now that the patent litigation 'sector' is hijacking patent offices (and even courts in places like Texas) it's trying to shove a Unified Patent Court (UPC) down the EU's throat under the disingenuous cover of "community" or "unity"



  4. Links 25/1/2022: Vulkan 1.3 Released, Kiwi TCMS 11.0, and antiX 19.5

    Links for the day



  5. Gemini Milestones and Growth (Almost 2,000 Known Gemini Servers Now, 39,000 Pages in Ours)

    The diaspora to Gemini Protocol or the transition to alternative 'webs' is underway; a linearly growing curve suggests that inertia/momentum is still there and we reap the benefits of early adoption of Gemini



  6. [Meme] Get Ready for Unified Patent Court (UPC) to be Taken to Court

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent system that’s crafted to empower EPO thugs isn’t legal and isn’t constitutional either; even a thousand fake news 'articles' (deliberate misinformation or disinformation) cannot change the simple facts because CJEU isn’t “trial by media”



  7. The EPO Needs High-Calibre Examiners, Not Politicians Who Pretend to Understand Patents and Science

    Examiners are meant to obstruct fake patents or reject meritless patent applications; why is it that working conditions deteriorate for those who are intellectually equipped to do the job?



  8. Free Software is Greener

    Software Freedom is the only way to properly tackle environmental perils through reuse and recycling; the mainstream media never talks about it because it wants people to "consume" more and more products



  9. Links 25/1/2022: Git 2.35 and New openSUSE Hardware

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 24, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 24, 2022



  11. Links 25/1/2022: GPL Settlement With Patrick McHardy, Godot 4.0 Alpha 1, and DXVK 1.9.4 Released

    Links for the day



  12. Proprietary Software is Pollution

    "My daughter asked me about why are we throwing away some bits of technology," Dr. Andy Farnell says. "This is my attempt to put into words for "ordinary" people what I tried to explain to a 6 year old."



  13. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XV — Cover-Up and Defamation

    Defamation of one’s victims might be another offence to add to the long list of offences committed by Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley; attempting to discredit the police report is a new low and can get Mr. Graveley even deeper in trouble (Microsoft protecting him only makes matters worse)



  14. [Meme] Alexander Ramsay and Team UPC Inciting Politicians to Break the Law and Violate Constitutions, Based on Misinformation, Fake News, and Deliberate Lies Wrapped up as 'Studies'

    The EPO‘s law-breaking leadership (Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos and their corrupt cronies), helped by liars who don't enjoy diplomatic immunity, are cooperating to undermine courts across the EU, in effect replacing them with EPO puppets who are patent maximalists (Europe’s equivalents of James Rodney Gilstrap and Alan D Albright, a Donald Trump appointee, in the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, respectively)



  15. Has the Administrative Council Belatedly Realised What Its Job in the European Patent Organisation Really Is?

    The "Mafia" which took over the EPO (the EPO's own workers call it "Mafia") isn't getting its way with a proposal, so it's preventing the states from even voting on it!



  16. [Meme] Team UPC is Celebrating a Pyrrhic Victory

    Pyrrhic victory best describes what's happening at the moment (it’s a lobbying tactic, faking/staging things to help false prophecies be fulfilled, based on hopes and wishes alone), for faking something without bothering to explain the legal basis is going to lead to further escalations and complaints (already impending)



  17. Links 24/1/2022: Scribus 1.5.8 and LXLE Reviewed

    Links for the day



  18. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 23, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 23, 2022



  19. [Meme] Team UPC Congratulating Itself

    The barrage of fake news and misinformation about the UPC deliberately leaves out all the obvious and very important facts; even the EPO‘s António Campinos and Breton (Benoît Battistelli‘s buddy) participated in the lying



  20. Links 24/1/2022: pgBadger 11.7 Released, Catch-up With Patents

    Links for the day



  21. The Demonisation and Stereotyping of Coders Not Working for Big Corporations (or 'The System')

    The war on encrypted communication (or secure communications) carries on despite a lack of evidence that encryption stands in the way of crime investigations (most criminals use none of it)



  22. On the 'Peak Hacker' Series

    Hacker culture, unlike Ludditism, is ultimately a movement for justice, for equality, and for human rights through personal and collective emancipation; Dr. Farnell has done a good job explaining where we stand and his splendid series has come to a close



  23. Links 23/1/2022: First RC of Linux 5.17 and Sway 1.7 Released

    Links for the day



  24. Peak Code — Part III: After Code

    "Surveillance perimeters, smart TVs (Telescreens built to Orwell's original blueprint) watched over our living rooms. Mandatory smart everything kept us 'trustless'. Safe search, safe thoughts. We withdrew. Inside, we went quietly mad."



  25. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 22, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 22, 2022



  26. Links 23/1/2022: MongoDB 5.2, BuddyPress 10.0.0, and GNU Parallel 20220122

    Links for the day



  27. A Parade of Fake News About the UPC Does Not Change the General Consensus or the Simple Facts

    European Patents (EPs) from the EPO are granted in violation of the EPC; Courts are now targeted by António Campinos and the minions he associates with (mostly parasitic litigation firms and monopolists), for they want puppets for “judges” and for invalid patents to be magically rendered “valid” and “enforceable”



  28. Welcome to 2022: Intentional Lies Are 'Benefits' and 'Alternative Facts'

    A crooks-run EPO, together with the patent litigation cabal that we’ve dubbed ‘Team UPC’ (it has nothing to do with science or with innovation), is spreading tons of misinformation; the lies are designed to make the law-breaking seem OK, knowing that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos are practically above the law, so perjury as well as gross violations of the EPC and constitutions won’t scare them (prosecution as deterrence just isn’t there, which is another inherent problem with the UPC)



  29. From Software Eating the World to the Pentagon Eating All the Software

    “Software is eating the world,” according to Marc Andreessen (co-founder of Netscape), but the Empire Strikes Back (not the movie, the actual empire) by hijacking all code by proxy, via Microsoft, just as it grabbed a lot of the world’s communications via Skype, bypassing the world's many national telecoms; coders need to fight back rather than participate in racist (imperial) shams such as GitHub



  30. Links 22/1/2022: Skrooge 2.27.0 and Ray-Tracing Stuff

    Links for the day


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