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Yoohoo! EU Commission! Are you watching?
Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 12:02 PM EST

Here's some repulsive news from Microsoft, in an article on Yahoo! News titled, "Microsoft pledges cash for IT in developing world" but which I would more accurately, I think, call, "Microsoft Finds New Way To Be Anticompetitive":
Microsoft will spend $235.5 million in schools worldwide over the next five years, part of a plan to triple the number of students and teachers trained in its software programs to up to 270 million by 2013....

The company's educational funding comes with a hitch: "Of course, that includes the fact they [the schools] use Windows," Ayala said....

Microsoft is still working through some of the "technical limitations" that remain in putting XP on the XO, the green PC from the One Laptop Per Child project, Ayala said.

So, to compete with Microsoft, Linux needs to be able to spend 235 million to buy a market? There are also some interesting details on deals being made in Russia, Mexico and Libya:

Microsoft has recently made significant deals in developing areas. A nongovernmental organization in Russia is buying 1 million units of the Student Innovation Suite over the next five years, Ayala said. The company is also supplying 50,000 units of the same software to Mexico and 150,000 to Libya, he said.

Of course, they can't put that honking Vista on these laptops. So, it's XP forever, I guess, for the third world. Indeed the article says XP will be the supported platform on low-cost PCs such as the Classmate and Asus EEE, this despite the fact that Windows XP will stop being available to OEMs in June 2008 according to what I've seen announced. I hope those governments have figured out a plan on how they will upgrade someday. Hahahaha. Their only hope is if Microsoft can pick OLPC's brains fast and then figure out how to get a smaller footprint.

[ Update: It's not just in the third world. A reader just sent me this link, about Microsoft offering Finland free Live.edu software for all Finnish schools, and the software enables "community features such as a discussion forum students can use to discuss with each other". Sort of like what XO meshing enables? More, if you can read Finnish.]

So, bottom line? I read it as meaning that Microsoft would like to join Intel in killing off One Laptop Per Child's XO laptop, because it runs Linux on AMD, and because OLPC identified a new market in the third world, and monopolies are like the grave -- they never say, "Enough".

Please remember this day, next time someone tells you how philanthropic Mr. Gates is. Monopolies these days not only crush competition, they're willing to crush a charity to make a buck. I would say any apparent cooperation with OLPC, therefore, is just for show, folks. Those "technical" difficulties won't be solved, I figure, until this new market is glutted with Microsoft on Intel Classmates and Asus EEE's, loaded with XP, that old-fashioned operating system, and none of their laptops can do for those children what the OLPC XO can do. P.S. Children don't need training to use an OLPC XO. It's designed to *not* need it. I hope OLPC patented everything before they show Microsoft a thing. For real. Otherwise, someday we'll be looking for prior art to overturn a Microsoft patent or two.

Yoohoo, EU Commission! Are you watching these maneuvers?

Update 2: A Groklaw member provides a translation of some of the press release about Finland:

The gift received from Microsoft by prime minister Vanhanen is bad news for the Finnish software industry. With this media exercise Microdoft tries to strengthen its dominant market position and tries also to affect development of software business in Finland....

Microsoft will offer its operating systems and server software including the same software provided before by independent software companies. With software and services looking free users are actually tied more tightly technologies working only with Microsoft products and in this way competetitors are swept away.


  


Yoohoo! EU Commission! Are you watching? | 362 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections
Authored by: chriseyre2000 on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 12:08 PM EST
Post corrections here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Money talks! n/t
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 12:08 PM EST
.

[ Reply to This | # ]

[OT] Off Topic Comments Thread
Authored by: chriseyre2000 on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 12:10 PM EST
Off topics comments here.

Please change the subject line.

[ Reply to This | # ]

News Pick comments Here
Authored by: chriseyre2000 on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 12:12 PM EST
Let us know which one you are commenting on.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Mother May I? - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 03:35 PM EST
How much will it get to the real classrooms?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 12:18 PM EST
How much of it will really get to the real classrooms? And how much goes to
administrative overhead and lining pockets down the chain?

[ Reply to This | # ]

It's a business investment.
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 12:19 PM EST
Can anyone suggest a reason why Microsoft would want to spend stockholders money
on school programs to help students learn Linux? They may or may not get their
investment back by teaching on Windows machines, but why in the world would they
want to introduce students to a competitive product? Get Real!

[ Reply to This | # ]

I think we've seen this before.
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 12:27 PM EST
This is suspiciously like what Apple did in the 80ís. They donated Apples to
many schools. Trying to get the students hooked on Apple PC's. The main
difference between this and M$ in my view, is M$ is using cash. As I recall
Apple was praised for itís actions. (BTW, I am not a M$ fan)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Equally questionable motives
Authored by: Aladdin Sane on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 12:39 PM EST

I was going to post this in "Off Topic", bit it seems to be a "related" topic:

Dell, Microsoft team up to sell (Red) computers
Reuters via Scientific American
By Daisuke Wakabayashi
January 23, 2008
The computers will go on sale January 25 in the U.S. and then the product will be available in 30 countries on Jan 31.
I'm very concerned at how easy it is for Dell to deploy these consumer systems worldwide in light of the Ubuntu consumer systems flop release. From a manufacturing point of view, not only is the software different, but the hardware is different on these systems: Different case color means a logistical burden that deploying different software only does not entail.
"I put it in the category of a creative use of capitalism."
Creative what?

The thing smells to me like a stab at the OLPC initiative. It also smells of an anti-Linux (Ubuntu) initiative. It just smells bad to me, as did the "Cash for developing world" story.

---
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.
  ―IETF RFC 1925

[ Reply to This | # ]

training!=teaching
Authored by: Alan Bell on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 12:44 PM EST
OK so Microsoft want to increase the "number of students and teachers trained in its software programs" but I found at the BETT show that teachers are fed up of training children in proprietary software. They want to go back to teaching and getting children excited about exploring their world with the computer as an educational tool. Advisory bodies like Becta in the UK want the same thing.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Not Really
Authored by: boojumbunn on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 01:08 PM EST
You know, it's funny, but Microsoft does enough underhanded things without
us putting bad spin on things they are doing that aren't underhanded.

Unfair competition? If they had forced the places they were dealing with to
sign an agreement that they would be Microsoft only to get the funds, then I
would agree. However the spending of money to increase training and to give
away free product is a fairly standard way of encouraging people to buy your
product.

My bank offers free financial analysis and advice. DAZ3d gives away DAZ
Studio for free (http://www.daz3d.com, I can get a free copy of Carrara 5 Pro
from 3D world magazine, my grocery store gives out free samples to anyone
visitting the store, and I even get free containers of Shampoo in the mail.

Microsoft is NOT a charity, Microsoft doesn't CLAIM to be a charity.
Microsoft is a business and, at least in this case, hasn't done anything unfair.
Any more than a company who's gone green did so because they care about the
environment. They did it because they can appeal to more customers or because
it costs them less in energy or improves employee morale.

At any rate, I think focus should be on the times they really DO something
underhanded.. like providing documentation that doesn't include all the OS
hooks, signing contracts that will cut the price provided no competing product
is sold, or secretly installing software that searches your computer and reports
back to Microsoft. We don't need to distort what they do to make our point.

Boojum the brown bunny

[ Reply to This | # ]

So how long are these going to stay Windows machines?
Authored by: Jaywalk on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 02:12 PM EST
Considering that the Classmate machines run either Windows or Linux and that the only version of Windows MS is offering is a stripped down older version, why would they leave Windows on the machines? Microsoft is either going to have to keep shelling out continuing incentives to keep those machines on Windows, or someone's just going to convert them to Linux.

I suspect that, in the end, the typical third world setup is going to be a mix of OLPC, Classmate and older donated machines. And the only common denominator that will run effectively on all those boxes is Linux.

---
===== Murphy's Law is recursive. =====

[ Reply to This | # ]

Monopoly Pledges Cash to Slow OLPC in Developing World
Authored by: fudnutz on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 02:25 PM EST
San Francisco - The Monopoly will spend $235.5 million in schools worldwide over
the next five years, as part of a plan to minimize the number of students and
teachers trained in alternate software programs. The Monopoly will expend this
money by 2013. This money could have purchased over 2.3 million school laptops,
but the Monopoly sees greater benefit with more strategic programs.

The money, part of the Partners in Propaganda program, will go toward
instruction and drills programs in areas that limited IT training and equipment
to Monopoly products, said Eyeada Bolahegs, vice president of the Limited
Potential Group, part of Monopoly's indoctrination division, on Tuesday.

The announcement is one of several expected to come from the Government Leaders
Forum (GLF), an annual conference where Monopoly courts, warns, and otherwise
persuades, educators and government officials. Monopoly Leader Bill Gates will
proclaim his plan at the GLF on Wednesday in Berlin.

Monopoly's investment shows how important it views developing markets to its
future dominance. Last year, Monopoly introduced the Student Indoctrination
Suite, which includes the crippled XP Starter Edition plus educational
applications, for $3 for countries contemplating the XO of OLPC or other
alternatives.

Monopoly faces no competition from companies supporting the open-source OS Linux
and associated software in developing countries. With diligent deterrence this
should not change. OLPC is a charity trying to give laptops to children.
"I think as a monopoly company we abhor choice," Bolahegs said.
"Frankly, we consider anything competition. Why should they learn anything
but monopoly software as children? They will only be able to use our stuff as
adults."

The company's educational funding comes with a hitch: "Of course, that
includes the fact they [the schools] use Monopoly OS," Bolahegs said.

That approach contradicts one recommendation contained in a study of software
usage in Europe completed in November 2006.

Presented to the European Commission, the study concluded that it's better for
students to learn general IT skills rather than just monopoly software.

Otherwise, it's less likely that software from other vendors will be used if
people are only trained in programs from one vendor, said Omii Gosh, of the
United Nations University-Merit in Maastricht in the Netherlands. Gosh is one of
the authors of the study.

Monopoly's educational donations look less generous when the company spends
"it in order to create a market that's forced into buying its
products," he said. But Gosh added it's hard to argue that struggling
schools "should refuse the computers altogether if there's no money."

Monopoly has recently made significant deals in developing areas. A
nongovernmental organization in Russia is buying 1 million units of the Student
Indoctrination Suite over the next five years, Bolahegs said. The company is
also supplying 50,000 units of the same software to Mexico and 150,000 to Libya,
he said. "These would have been OLPC deals, but we saved them."

While Monopoly is constraining consumers and businesses in developed markets to
use its latest Monopoly BlotVare, PX must remain the OS the company supports for
low-cost laptops such as the Asus Eee and Intel's Classmate PC, Bolahegs said.
"We can't just leave the field to a superior product. We have to put
something there, at least. If it doesn't work as well, they will never
know."

The reason is PX has a smaller footprint than BlotVare, Bolahegs said, referring
to factors such as how much memory the OS uses, the size of the OS on a PC's
hard drive, the great expense, and the lack of security.

Monopoly is still working through of the "technical impossibily" that
remains in putting PX on the XO, the green PC from the One Laptop Per Child
project, Bolahegs said. "Meanwhile, if we can't destroy it, we will delay
and limit it."

[ Reply to This | # ]

Yoohoo! EU Commission! Are you watching?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 02:53 PM EST
As much as people complain about Microsoft one wonders why they do not organizr
and make open source applications programs that would make Microsoft irrelevant?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Easy way around it (to get "free" cash)
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 03:01 PM EST
If you're a school, there's an "easy" way around this.

Ok, Microsoft says you have to have windows. no problem.
install Windows on a few PC's in a lab. done.

Oh, so that's not enough. well figure out what the minimum is that M$ requires
to get the cash.

Is the amount of cash back greater than the cost of the Windows needed to use
it? no? well forget it then.

if it is, go for it. Install whatever the minimum requirements are according to
the contract (hint: virtual machines count) and have at it

NB: Please refer all contracts to a lawyer, and never ever take the advise of
"some guy" on the net :)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Yoohoo! EU Commission! Are you watching?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 03:08 PM EST
"Monopolies these days not only crush competition, they're willing to crush
a charity to make a buck."

Well, frankly, if a charity enters a for-profit business and tries to take
market share, it shouldn't cry victim every time it stubs its toe.

How would things be any different had OLPC opened a series of gas stations?

I think OLPC should devote itself to raising money and using the proceeds to buy
product from for-profit companies.

There is something disturbingly anti-capitalist about the tone of this article.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Thanks Bill
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 03:45 PM EST
While Microsoft is nudging consumers and businesses in developed markets to use its latest Windows Vista operating system, XP will remain the OS the company supports for low-cost laptops such as the Asus Eee and Intel's Classmate PC, Ayala said.

I see. Microsoft will no longer sell me XP because it is obsolete, unreliable, and so fundamentally broken that it can never be made secure; and no self-respecting civilized person needs to suffer the indignities of XP now that Vista is available. However, XP is good enough to cram down the gullets of a bunch of pickanninnies in some flyblown third world pigeoncoop. How charitable.

-Wang-Lo.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Thanks Bill - Authored by: PJ on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 04:00 PM EST
  • Thanks Bill - Authored by: boojumbunn on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 04:10 PM EST
    • Not here - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 04:46 PM EST
      • Not here - Authored by: boojumbunn on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 05:00 PM EST
        • Not here - Authored by: boojumbunn on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 05:04 PM EST
          • Not here - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 06:06 PM EST
            • Not here - Authored by: boojumbunn on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 06:14 PM EST
              • Not here - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 24 2008 @ 11:29 AM EST
          • Not here - Authored by: N_au on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 08:02 PM EST
    • Thanks Bill - Authored by: PolR on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 05:26 PM EST
      • Thanks Bill - Authored by: boojumbunn on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 07:15 PM EST
        • Thanks Bill - Authored by: Vic on Thursday, January 24 2008 @ 08:19 AM EST
        • Fraid not - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 24 2008 @ 11:41 AM EST
  • Thanks Bill - XP is not being crammed. - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 06:00 PM EST
Microsoft donations should not be permitted to be tied to Microsoft products.
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 03:51 PM EST
A suggestion to the EU and other governments.

If Microsoft is permitted to tie it's charitable donations to Microsoft
products, then that constitutes an illegal anti-competitive subsidy. Microsoft
should be compelled by the EU and others to be forced to make the $235.4 million
available to spend without strings any attached. If Microsoft fails to comply,
then Microsoft should be subject to triple the subsidy amount in fines which
should be allocated to schools which would be free to spend the money extracted
from fines on Microsoft's competitors products.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Yoohoo! EU Commission! Are you watching?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 04:03 PM EST

A few counterpoints:

Irrespective of my likes and dislikes, from the POV of the student, something is
much better than nothing. What should be lauded is that OLPC <b>has forced
MS' hand into these countries</b>, where before it could stand idly by and
ignore them.

Secondly, the idea that they'd get brainwashed into MS is a little extreme. More
and more people here are turning to open source software, with a well-ensconced
MS monoculture.

Thirdly, I don't think people should fear healthy competition. (Mind you, nasty
competition is why MS is perpetually in hot water these days. But, forcing MS to
offer cut-rate prices is actually not unhealthy competition.)

Fourth, IMO, OLPC and GNU/Linux fundamentally compete against MS and proprietary
ilk on the basis on price and philosophy (openness). What MS is doing is moving
one competition point (price) in their apparent favor by dropping prices, but
more importantly by also dropping soft costs (TOC) and hurdling past GNU/Linux
by adding free training. GNU/Linux could mitigate this by also offering
training. Instead of wailing and gnashing, the GNU/Linux community(ies) should
begin (or spread the word on) their own organizations that could offer free
training. Coming back to point three, instead of whining about MS, try to use
what they do to rise above it.

I know PJ has strong opinions against MS, but I guess the whole post seems more
petulant than forward-looking.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Nice work Microsoft!
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 04:21 PM EST
OK the subject line is provocative, but hey Microsoft buying a market in the so
called 3rd world is not so bad. First, MS is doing the heavy lifting here;
introducing computing to places where there was not much computing before. Thats
good for Linux!

MS will never get the dominance/stranglehold in the developing world that it has
in the developed. The world has changed, people know about free software, they
may start in the MS corner, but they won't end there. I hope MS blows their
entire fortune on buying a 3rd world market. I hope Bill G pays for the
hardware, software, networking and training that gets millions of schools wired.
Once those people are trained up, millions of them will find their way to Linux.


What the linux community needs to do is keep right behind MS. Once a school is
wired FOSS users should go in there and get a few users interested in FOSS
startup a club, spread the word, send out the Geekcorp. In the end MS money will
benefit FOSS.

emk

[ Reply to This | # ]

What Are The Real Terms?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 04:29 PM EST

One more thing I haven't seen raised: has anyone actually seen the legal terms?
Are they supplying software and the entire organization must swear an oath of
fealty to MS? I mean, it's easy to start chanting and pump fists in air, but
what exactly are the obligations?

[ Reply to This | # ]

And just who will support this project?
Authored by: Jamis on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 04:33 PM EST
270 million students and teachers. It takes one full time support person per
100 Windows users in most companies these days, maybe more with the way the
updates have been working. Are the teachers going to do the system support?
Will they have a one button system restore feature to put the Windows machine
back to as delivered status?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Yoohoo! EU Commission! Are you watching?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 05:03 PM EST
If the study quoted in the Yahoo! article says "...the study concluded that
it's better for students to learn general IT skills rather than just proprietary
software...", wouldn't that include MS software? Given it prevalence,
wouldn't it behoove students to be familiarized with it, just not exclusively on
it?

Now, if a school, organization or country agrees with that study and decides to
follow it, then accepts an MS freebie, they are the ones obliged to ensure equal
treatment of technologies and to enhance general IT skills by
demonstrating/educating on multiple platforms. It isn't MS' job, though.

Likewise, if MS' writes a contract such that it forbids that, then it is the
school's duty to not sign.

The various article are slanted by agendas that turn a blind eye at helping
people and common sense.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Should schools turn down this gift?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 05:45 PM EST
(ripped from my post on slashdot)

I am reminded of that Simpson's episode with the Oscar Myer periodic chart with
"bolognium" and "delicium."

I think schools should turn this msft "gift" down. There is nothing
that msft is offering, that does not have a free alternative.

I am sure a lot of people will label me a linux zealot. But the truth is, I
completely understand that linux is not for everybody. But schools are a
different matter. Schools should teach vendor-neutral concepts. Students should
not be taught that vendor specific jargon and standards are somehow universal.
For example, what msft calls a "domain" is different than what is
commonly understood. I already notice a lot of students thinking that anything
non-msft is non-standard.

Unlike commercial institutions, students do not have the same concerns about the
acceptance of vendor specific document formats. For example, some accountants
will only accept Intuit formated income statements - so some small businesses
have to use Intuit, but students should be able to learn the concepts of
accounting, and accounting concepts, without being tied to a specific vendor.

Again, I want to emphasize: students should be taught *concepts* then those
concepts can be applied to software from any vendor. Schools should not be in
the business of promoting a particular vendor - especially if that vendor does
not offer anything that is that freely available anyway.

Sometimes it is very difficult to avoid vendor-lock, but for students, it's
easy. So why be vendor locked if you don't have to be

[ Reply to This | # ]

Amusing typo!
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 05:46 PM EST
With this media exercise Microdoft tries to strengthen its dominant market
position

Shouldn't that read microdaft?

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Amusing typo! - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 24 2008 @ 12:34 AM EST
Are you all missing the REAL point here??
Authored by: bigbert on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 07:47 PM EST
1. "Donate" $Gazillion to a 3rd world government. Donation is
calculated at retail price of software.

2. Produce software at marginal cost of 0.000001c

3. Score immense PR: "Charitable work by world's leading software
company"

4. Claim tax deduction from IRS.

5. Profit!

If you think I am joking, then kindly analyze the accounts of the Bill &
Melissa Gates Foundation with a microscope. Any APA's in the house?

Trick question: how much tax (% wise) does Microsoft pay? How much do you pay?

---
--------------------------
Surfo, ergo sum.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Don't forget the Gates Foundation too!
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, January 23 2008 @ 08:15 PM EST
On top of this Bill and his lovely wife will be taking there ill gotten gains
from
Microsoft and through new found philanthropy will be helping these same poor
down trodden people with education grants.

What a one, two punch!

Will he ever give up trying to take over the world while his beloved company
crumbles around him.

[ Reply to This | # ]

They'll get sort of addicted
Authored by: grouch on Thursday, January 24 2008 @ 12:17 AM EST
Why the effort to get monopolyware into schools?

"As long as they're going to steal it, we want them to steal ours," Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft, said in public comments in 1998, according to Fortune magazine. "They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade."

-- Software piracy falls in China and Russia , Eric Pfanner, 2006-05-23

Apparently there is not enough "piracy" going on in the "developing world" so a little seeding is necessary. Mustn't let the kiddies escape just because they're poor. Someday they may be licensees.

If you're interested in other places where that quote shows up, see Google . It seems the most famous is the LWN article, Microsoft suing Brazilian official in 2004.

---
-- grouch

"People aren't as dumb as Microsoft needs them to be."
--PJ, May 2007

[ Reply to This | # ]

Things don't add up
Authored by: PolR on Thursday, January 24 2008 @ 03:48 AM EST
Looking at these news, some details look fishy. It looks like a substantial part of this announcement is actually vaporware. Here is my logic.
Microsoft will spend $235.5 million in schools worldwide over the next five years, part of a plan to triple the number of students and teachers trained in its software programs to up to 270 million by 2013....
The math looks fishy. This is less than one dollar per PC assuming there will be one PC per student, assuming there will be one laptop per child. Or maybe this assumption is not part of the plan?

Who will fund the hardware? How will they pay the logistics? Or are they saying the software will be donated as long as someone pays for the PC? They say 'as part of a plan', not that this is a complete plan. They also say 'to triple the number of students and teachers' and 'up to 270 millions' which implies he stated number include 90 millions that are already equipped with the software and that they will be happy with more modest results. They don't say how modest they are ready to settle with though.

This has the smell of inflated marketing speak.

Another fishy bit is this part:

A nongovernmental organization in Russia is buying 1 million units ...
Is it in Russia that the government was fed up with obnoxious licensing lawsuits and decided state supported software for school would be FOSS? Who is this nongovernmental organization that will provide schools with the software the government won't buy? I wonder what the complete story might be.

I wonder how much of this announcement is an actual plan and how much is vaporware to convince third world decision makers not to buy the XO because the Microsoft offer is coming to them real soon now. Judging with the Russia situation, I would say having immediate plans to go with Free Software right now will speed up the offer.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Yoohoo! EU Commission! Are you watching?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 24 2008 @ 06:57 AM EST
Microsoft would like to join Intel in killing off One Laptop Per Child's XO laptop, because it runs Linux on AMD
Microsoft has additional worries to Intel. Many of those children using the XO will grow up to be the government ministers and industry leaders of tomorrow. Bringing them up with the idea that Linux is not only a viable alternative but a natural way of working is deadly to M$. It destroys decades of careful investment in FUD, lockin and ignorance. M$ cannot permit tomorrow's decision makers too much knowledge - they may just use it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Just another form of soft money.
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 24 2008 @ 08:37 AM EST
This is similar to MS switching how they compensate compliant OEM's from better
pricing deals(now illegal) to soft money(not yet addressed by the courts). Of
course they are not "forcing" anyone to buy their software to go along
with the training. It's an "incentive" just like the soft money is an
"incentive" for Dell. And you can see the subtle trolls hitting this
point all through the replies here. MS is just becoming a more crafty convicted
monopolist.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Yoohoo! EU Commission! Are you watching?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 24 2008 @ 09:29 AM EST
This is plain DUMPING disguised as Charity/Philantropy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumping_(pricing_policy)

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Gates philantropy
Authored by: init on Thursday, January 24 2008 @ 02:48 PM EST
Please remember this day, next time someone tells you how philanthropic Mr. Gates is.

I read about his philanthropy in the newspaper today, since he visited Stockholm yesterday to receive a honorary doctorate from Karolinska Institutet. The award was given precisely because of his philanthropic donations to medical research (KI is a large medical university here). This event has been thoroughly covered here, and in almost every news report, Bill Gates is hailed as a hero.

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Microsoft will fail:
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, January 24 2008 @ 08:03 PM EST
Intel is hoping the farm on the success that Microsoft can buy Intel business,
while Microsoft only can see it's monopoly grow at the price of very poor
people.
Some though believe Microsoft is right making it's OS the only one to run as a
ball-&-chain on the gift package.
Microsoft shows just how deep it's problems are when it must pick on the poor to
get business, Bill & wife make great PR pictures playing with kids etc,
however it's all a show to hide the ugly fact that they (Microsoft) are there
for business and not to care as smiles would have you believe.


I must ask those that support Microsoft's approach with the OLPC idea; are the
people to live with this, any different then the people (your people) that
Microsoft's business is more important ?.


So far what I have talked about is only a part of what will be Microsoft's
failure, Vista should give some idea of what is to come if/when Microsoft sees
it's bold offer through. Microsoft will fail because $235 mil over five years is
not a lot of money and at any time Microsoft could pull out, and that is just
what I believe Microsoft will do. It's going to be hard to switch all those
computers that people have paid good money (their money) for to have Microsoft
buy over and then control what is someones gift.


I can see all those many people that will take issue with Microsoft, so much
issue that the bad PR alone will take so much away from Microsoft's plan as well
show it up. After that the question is just how many are going to buy a
"MS-OLPC" to support Microsoft's spending $235 mil ?. The $235 mil
would buy a lot of PCs, however I don't get thats Microsoft's idea, $235 mil
will do a lot more if most of it were in those Govs hands and not flooding the
market to a point where noone needs Microsoft anymore. It seems clear Microsoft
is set for failure.

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An interesting corollary...
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, January 25 2008 @ 07:29 PM EST
The OLPC XOs-- and Linux-- encourages individuals to innovate on their own
initiative. The XO encourages innovation.

XP? That encourages more "users" than innovators... which clips a lot
of wings, right?

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