Bonum Certa Men Certa

Did Microsoft Scheme Financial Strangulations Against OLPC? (Updated: As Text)

“Geez, get a decent computer where you can actually read the text and you're not sitting there cranking the thing while you’re trying to type.”

--Bill Gates about OLPC



One of our readers has alerted us that there is OLPC material in the Comes vs Microsoft (Iowa antitrust) case. This is important because we already know that Microsoft sabotaged OLPC (along with Intel) and forced it into submission -- with Microsoft leadership and products of course.



For those who are new to it, there is fairly extensive coverage that can be explored from starting points like this or this.

Today's post is merely an update that explores this exhibit [PDF], which is a long internal Microsoft memo about OLPC and string of E-mails from 2005 -- the dawn of OLPC era in the public arena.

“In the E-mails, one finds Martin Taylor, who is known to many as Microsoft's anti-Linux guy.”In the E-mails, one finds Martin Taylor, who is known to many as Microsoft's anti-Linux guy. He is responsible for the Get the Facts campaign, for instance. "I like the proposal [of] giving away the back-up strategy if XP is rejected," says our reader.

Also in the E-mails, one finds Orlando Ayala, who was the head of Microsoft's Anti-Linux Fund, better known as Unlimited Potential. We wrote about it yesterday. Mundie is there too among other familiar faces and so are Rick Rashid and Will Poole, who later left the company to 'occupy' NComputing, where he's likely to do service to his former employer, Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4] (NComputing competes with OLPC).

Looking at the E-mails, they are clearly funding Media Lab and MIT and discussing that in the conversation. "This could be a very significant investment, with the discussion indicating that it would be somewhere between $10MM and $30MM," they say.

In principle, they could be threatening to decrease funds if some demands are not met, which relates to the kickbacks routine or even what they did in Kenya by allegedly threatening to withdraw funds if OOXML was no accepted. Here, by contrast, they talk about funding of something charitable and the selling of Windows to children.

The PDF is fascinating; They potentially muck about with charitable means, using money to impact technical decisions of a not-for-profit organisation. They even try to introduce confusing language like "Education Open Source" (posturing).



If someone has OCR software that can extract and produce the text of the PDF (should be trivial), that would be splendid.

Daydreaming child
When will they finally learn?



Update: one of the diligent readers has begun making the exhibit available as text and it can be found below.

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