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'Buying' Linux Companies, 'Buying' ISO Votes, and 'Buying'... Countries

As recent examples show, Microsoft's deep pockets enable it to manipulate a thing or two. Its ability to orchestrate a patent fear campaign led by Linux companies is one thing. Gross manipulation of ISO voting which protects a franchise and a monopoly is another. Let's turn our attention to a couple of new stories where such manipulation happens at an even larger scale.

One story, which for some bizarre reason has escaped the media's attention, comes from Chile. We haven't a clue how this whole things happened 'below the radar', but Microsoft apparently obtains a lock-in that shackles all citizens in Chile. The details, if true, are quite shocking.

Just today, a secret agreement between MS and the Chilean Government came to light. In it, every citizen was sold as a potential user of a Windows Live Spaces model where every SSN is linked to, overbypassing any privacy term and cashing Bill some bucks. It wouldn't be so awful to all if that agreement wasn't approved yet (Spanish follows).


SJVN has just published another op-ed piece. In his column he has no mercy. The headline spins story which talks about a "Microsoft win" and calls it what it is: Microsoft merely bought a so-called 'win'.

When all is said and done, the real reason why Microsoft is "winning" in China and has won elsewhere is that Microsoft is willing to break the law, pay the fines, dump products on the market at far below cost, and continue on in the belief that in the long run the costs of doing business the Microsoft way will win out over the higher quality, security and features of Mac OS X and the Linux desktop.


This discussion could drift further and discuss coordinated sabotage of the not-for-profit OLPC project, among other things. Intel is facing the EU's wrath at the moment. Antitrust allegations talk about dumping and kickbacks, both of which are crimes.

However, to close this post without being distracted, the take-home message is that Microsoft has a pattern of paying for control, not earning it. It uses its deep pocket to tolerate some short-term deficit and later on benefits from a lock-in and a monopoly, which enables prices to be raised and merely any anti-consumer 'feature' to be strapped onto must-have products. Microsoft bought its deals with Linux vendors. None of this vendors was truly interested in the deals if regrets and bank statements are any indication.

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