Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Buys Market Share, But Still Loses Due to Technical Problems

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Microsoft's upper hand



Summary: Microsoft uses MSPs and incentives for stranglehold on students; technical errors persist

LAST WEEK we leaked information about Microsoft's Live@Edu, which offers gentle bribes to those who help 'infect' their academic institution with more Microsoft lock-in. Another document, regarding ELMS, was leaked quite recently and we finally have some example of MSDNAA [ODF], with a plain text version at the bottom. We possess 4 more large documents that are copyrighted. These too are interesting but cannot be safely shared.



This whole thing is very timely because Queensland University of Technology has just fallen a victim to Live@Edu, so who is it that cashed in?

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) will migrate some 40,000 student user accounts to Microsoft's Live@edu hosted messaging and storage platform providing an alternative to the successful Google Apps education surge.


This seems like a war of incentives, but we know nothing about Google offering any money merely to be chosen. Microsoft has a proven track record of paying companies to ditch competitors' technology and thereby starve these competitors of Microsoft . Adobe has already complained about it because Microsoft is paying -- not charging -- for companies to choose Silverlight, which is on a route to nowhere nonetheless.

Given the choice, businesses sometimes choose Google over Microsoft; GNU/Linux is being favoured also. It turns out that the opposition leader in India is promising $200 'Microsoft-free' laptops if he gets elected to become prime minister.

Indian PM Candidate Promises $200 'Microsoft-Free' Laptop



To secure votes, BJP leader LK Advani is pledging open source computers for 10 million students in his country.


The existing prime minister is no fan of Microsoft products, either. EDGI in India was apparently not enough. One reader sent to our attention the following article about the prime minister's bitter experience with Microsoft software.

The e-mail system of the Indian Prime Ministers Office was crippled by a virus that devoured nearly all of its incoming mail for three months last year, according to a recent report in the Times of India.

Apparently the virus affected the PMO's Microsoft Outlook Express program, and consequently the office received almost none of the e-mail it was sent from February to April. Which, really, is the kind of thing you think someone would have noticed, because presumably the PMO usually gets a fair bit of e-mail, here in the worlds biggest democracy.


This was covered in many other Web sites, such as this one.

Our reader adds: "I'd posit that a large portion of people do notice mail lost due to the Exchange / Outlook pox. However, nearly all of them take the "it's not my job" approach or are soil-their-britches scared of the Microsoft sales representatives working in their IT dept. For the latter, how many times a day do we see in the press that it's the user's fault that the software does not perform as advertised."

The person who sent us this pointer thought that the following old article was also worth reviewing:

"A lot of people are sick of Microsoft and Bill Gates," he said in an interview. "They hate that their computers crash once a week. They hate viruses. They hate paying so much for Microsoft software."

On Friday, Silverman announced that his Toronto-based store will begin an intense marketing campaign of its Sub300.com Ultralite Laptop for $799. The 2.9-pound laptop has the Linspire Linux operating system and OpenOffice software including word processor, spreadsheet and data base filer.

"We are avoiding the 'Microsoft tax,'" said Silverman, adding that Microsoft software can add from $200 to $400 to the cost of a PC or laptop. He said customers have been drawn to the store and its offerings for a variety of reasons, most of which are based in a dislike of Microsoft products.


Well, what else is new? Conficker is alive and well.

An extraordinary behind-the-scenes struggle is taking place between computer security groups around the world and the brazen author of a malicious software program called Conficker.


This PR disaster is not quite over yet. There is no real end in sight, so for the time being, we might as well accept that about 1 in 2 Windows PCs is a zombie. Everyone is affected somehow.




Appendix: MSDNAA -- A typical mail to an MSP, as text










***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

[...]

ELMS for MSDNAA Software Center: This message has been generated automatically from your ELMS. Please do not reply to this message as you will not receive a response. Please click on the SUPPORT link in your MSDNAA Online Software System for support contact information on your campus.

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

Hello,

Welcome! You have been registered in your university/college ELMS for MSDNAA online software system. Here you can download and access a wide range of Microsoft developer tools, servers, and platforms. There is no charge to download the software as long as you are an eligible user in the System.€  €  How Does it Work?

Your university/college is licensed under the MSDN Academic Alliance Program which enables eligible students and faculty members to access software available under the Program. e-academy Inc., a partner of Microsoft, is providing ELMS for MSDNAA to you. Simply log into the System using your username and password included below and start browsing/ordering the software available to you.€  €  Your MSDNAA Online Software System can be found at: http://msdn70.e-academy.com/[...]

Your username is : xxxxx@xxx.com Your password is : xxxxxx

Technical Support

If you have any technical difficulties while downloading the software, please go to the support section in the website and click on Request Customer Support. Technical support is provided by your MSDNAA Program Administrator at your school.€ 

General Information

If you have general questions about the MSDNAA Program, who is eligible, general rules and regulations, etc., please go to the support section in the website for contact information.

Please keep this e-mail for future reference, as you will need your username and password in order access the online software system.

Remember, by accessing the Microsoft software through this system you are stating that you are authorized, and are agreeing to comply with all usage guidelines.€ 

Sincerely, ELMS for MSDNAA Staff e-academy Inc.

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