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Microsoft Denies Sabotaging Mandriva Linux PC Deal 161

Posted by Zonk
from the fair-market-etc-etc dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft has denied sabotaging Mandriva's deal with the Nigerian government to supply Classmate PCs from Intel along with a customized Mandriva Linux operating system. 'From Microsoft's perspective it's a matter of choice. In the statement sent to InternetNews.com, Microsoft said it believes individuals, governments and other organizations should be free to choose the software and other technologies that best meet their needs. "We are seeing strong market demand for Windows on low-cost devices to help governments in the areas of education, local innovation, and jobs and opportunity," the Microsoft spokesperson said in the statement.' The company's denial is in response to Mandriva's CEO Francois Bancilhon expression of disappointment with Microsoft."
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Microsoft Denies Sabotaging Mandriva Linux PC Deal

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  • Slightly funny (Score:3, Interesting)

    by udippel (562132) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @06:26AM (#21222507)
    "Microsoft has a strong relationship with the government in Nigeria and will continue to partner with government and industry to help meet their needs,"

    How about "Microsoft has a strong relationship with the government and people in Nigeria and will continue to help meet their needs" ?
    • by dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @06:42AM (#21222567)

      "Microsoft has a strong relationship with the government in Nigeria and will continue to partner with government and industry to help meet their needs,"

      How about "Microsoft has a strong relationship with the government and people in Nigeria and will continue to help meet their needs" ?

      I suppose by "their needs" they mean "Microsoft's needs". And the government has money and power, the people don't.

    • ... and will continue to partner with government and industry to help meet their needs,"

      And while we're at it, whose needs, specifically? Are they helping the Nigerian government, or industry, or is it just the needs of Microsoft that are being met here?

      As if we didn't know the answer.

      • by Jedi Alec (258881) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @07:04AM (#21222639)
        We both know Microsoft will continue to endeavor to maintain maximum synergy with the various heavy users of e-mail throughout Nigeria. A spokesperson was quoted as saying "We believe Exchance is the perfect solution forr the bulk amounts of e-mail commonly found in Nigeria's main industries".
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by aynoknman (1071612)

          People replying to my sig annoy me. That's why I change it all the time.
          The question is: Does this strategy work?
    • by HangingChad (677530) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @09:57AM (#21223313) Homepage

      How about "Microsoft has a strong relationship with the government and people in Nigeria and will continue to help meet their needs" ?

      Should read: "Microsoft has a large bank account and will continue to slip cash to certain government officials in Nigeria." There, that fixed it.

    • by bl8n8r (649187)
      > How about "Microsoft has a strong relationship with the government
      > and people in Nigeria and will continue to help meet their needs" ?

      You've got things a tad confused. "help meet their needs" is referring to Microsoft's.
  • by linuxci (3530) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @06:33AM (#21222535)
    "Microsoft said it believes individuals, governments and other organizations should be free to choose the software and other technologies that best meet their needs"

    That choice is Vista Basic, Vista Home Premium, Vista Business, Vista Ultimate. Microsoft will do anything to make sure that they get a stronghold in emerging markets, they don't care what's best for the user (of course sometimes windows is the best option, doesn't mean it is all the time)
    • by arivanov (12034) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @07:44AM (#21222769) Homepage
      12 or so years ago the days I sysadmined in an educational/research outfit in Eastern Europe. There was a 100% correlation between the so called local Microsoft rep for Education knowing about a shipment with Unix kit and the kit stolen at the cargo terminal. This was before the days of CCTV in the cargo areas at Sofia Airport so the interested parties had on the average between 2 and 12 hours to deal with all interesting containers and packages before they went through customs. In order to do that they needed one thing - to know which container is interesting.

      Once we made sure that the aforementioned individual no longer had any information the shipments started arriving unmolested (not counting a dent or two in transit).

      On top of that the aforementioned rep was handing out cracked copies of MSFT products the way drug dealers hand out cocaine laced candy to kids to anyone who wanted them.

      This all continued until the country economy picked up enough. And then, you know the drill... Bill Gates having a meeting with the president on the subject of rampant software piracy and so on. The rep went to work elsewhere and claimed that he never ever had any relation with Microsoft. And so on...

      Nuff said. No further comment necessary.
      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by Blakey Rat (99501)
        Wow! I'm going to make up unrealistic anti-Microsoft stories and post them too with absolutely no supporting evidence!

        7 years ago I was working as a dog walker in Seattle. One day Bill Gates pulled over in his limo and proceeded to kick every single dog in the ribcage while yelling "what's the frequency, Kenneth!?" repeatedly. Then he pulled an infant out of a nearby stroller and use it as a step to get back in his limo! The End.
        • That's terrible! I never cared much for Gates' business practices, but I never thought he was such a horrible person!

          Thank you for sharing with us what that monster is really like. Boycott Microsoft!

        • by arivanov (12034)
          You have quite obviously never ever met the people who work for it in the third world.

          There is a reason why Microsoft wins most of its market wars in emerging markets ya know. And it is definitely not by playing "fair" and obeying the law. Sometimes it fires in its face (like the case with the teacher from Samara this year), but usually it wins.
          • by Blakey Rat (99501)
            Tell you what. Give me one piece of supporting evidence. ONE PIECE. And I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and considering the entire story gospel. But as is, all you're doing is weaving horror stories in front of the campfire-- sorry, I'm not the kind of believe in urban legends.
            • by arivanov (12034)
              I suggest you check with the Humboldt foundation and ask them exactly what happened with the Aphaservers they tried to ship to the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences in July 1998 and the full list of people who knew about their arrival as well as their affiliation. Nuff said. Have a nice day.
    • Cocaine or Heroine.

      Microsoft let you freely choose to what you'll become addicted.
    • (of course sometimes windows is the best option, doesn't mean it is all the time)
      Correction: Windows is never the best option when you compare its price, performance, stability, security and out-of-the-box functionality with any other desktop or server operating system available today. However, it is, unfortunately, often the only option available, especially when it comes to many business applications.
      • by linuxci (3530)

        (of course sometimes windows is the best option, doesn't mean it is all the time)

        Correction: Windows is never the best option when you compare its price, performance, stability, security and out-of-the-box functionality with any other desktop or server operating system available today. However, it is, unfortunately, often the only option available, especially when it comes to many business applications.

        That's what I meant :)

    • by Jugalator (259273) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @08:58AM (#21223019) Journal
      How many companies out there care for what's "best for the user" if it doesn't involve their products?
    • "they don't care what's best for the user ". Haha. Are you being serious right now? For real - did you just say that and mean it? That's retarded. Of course they don't care what's best for the user, only an idiot would think they did. It's called "business" - look it up. You try to sell your product whether it's the best or not. Good god. Does McDonald's, Coke, Google, Yahoo, Redhat, or any company care what's "best for the user"? Is Redhat going to come in and say "gee, you know, I think you shou
      • by Almahtar (991773)
        Nobody changes the world by saying "That's the way it is, nothing ever changes." By encouraging others to accept this corrupt and damaging mindset, you are being a coward. You believe you can't change it so you won't fight for it. Because you won't fight for it you tell yourself anyone would be a fool to do so... then you don't feel like a coward.

        Let me make it clear that you are being one. Never encourage people to accept corruption and live with it.
  • how about (Score:4, Funny)

    by XTbushwakko (535540) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @06:33AM (#21222537) Homepage
    "Microsoft has strong (relatively cheap) relationship with the government in Nigeria and will continue to give them cash."
  • by malkavian (9512) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @06:34AM (#21222539) Homepage
    Well, they can't afford for whole countries to escape the Windows hegemony.. It makes "business sense" for Microsoft to 'gift' or 'donate' whole slews of Windows licenses to a government to keep them in the fold. So then everyone else will need Microsoft to interoperate with them.
    Their whole argument of "people should be free to choose the best software for the task" is a little tongue in cheek. After all, the initial procurement was probably far more lengthy and in depth than the quick 'jerk' reaction to taking MS on board afterwards. They did probably buy what was best for their requirements in the first place.
    It would be interesting to see what laws on software dumping are present in Nigeria (not many, I'd estimate), so yes, they're obeying Nigerian law. Not necessarily the law as applies to the country that any given reader may be in.
    So, they can happily state that while engaging in business practices that are illegal in countries other than the one they are making that transaction.

    This kind of U turn (and added expenditure, if obeying the normal laws of the Western World) is not really possible without "greasing the wheels"..

    Smoke and mirrors once again, Microsoft.
    • by sumdumass (711423)
      I guess the future point will be that Linux Vendors will have to keep their mouth shut until the computers start making delivery. This is so MS won't jump in just after hearing a distro brag about a large sale and force their MS approved product.

      I would like to known the specifics of the deal. I mean MS would have to practically pay them plus give the software for nothing to keep the costs the same on both deals at this point. Not to mention that MS products seem to want more memory just to be usable.
  • Oh really? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by erroneus (253617) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @06:35AM (#21222547) Homepage
    "We are seeing strong market demand for Windows on low-cost devices ..."

    And so they respond with ending Win98 and WinXP while pushing Vista in spite of the fact that the vast majority of users don't want it?
  • Title is Misleading (Score:5, Informative)

    by kripkenstein (913150) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @06:42AM (#21222569) Homepage
    The title is misleading. Microsoft did not say it didn't 'sabotage' the deal, it said

    Microsoft operates its business in accordance [...] with the laws of the countries in which it operates
    In other words, Microsoft considers itself to be acting within the law. Since this is Nigerian law, I am not sure this is saying much (although perhaps the laws are enlightened but never applied - same result). Furthermore, even in US or European law there are plenty of legal actions that most people would consider unethical, and perhaps that is what happened here.

    Yes, business can be cutthroat at times, but when you get a tiny competitor's product to not be used even after being ordered by the customer and yours to replace it, things seem highly suspect. Since this is in Nigeria I presume no anti-trust actions will occur, but the relevant officials should take note.
    • by Plunky (929104) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @07:16AM (#21222675)

      Since this is in Nigeria I presume no anti-trust actions will occur, but the relevant officials should take note.
      Oh, I'm sure they already took plenty of notes..
    • by weicco (645927)

      In other words, Microsoft considers itself to be acting within the law. Since this is Nigerian law, I am not sure this is saying much

      When in Rome... Of course you are supposed to follow the local laws! Nigeria isn't part of United States you know. If MS followed Nigerian law and possible international treaties then everything is by the books, no matter what some law in some other country says.

    • by Kythe (4779)
      Hmmm...but is Nigerian law the only law of interest here? Is it in accordance with US law for a US company to bribe officials of a foreign government?
      • by init100 (915886)

        Is it in accordance with US law for a US company to bribe officials of a foreign government?

        It may not be, but for the US export industry, I think that the US government will make an exception. Why? It brings money into the US.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by CrazedWalrus (901897)
      I work at an international investment bank. Our rules are basically that we obey they laws of the country we're operating in *as a base requirement*. Beyond that, we're expected to pretty much follow US law as well, wherever possible. In other words, even if bribing a government official is legal in that country , we're not allowed to do it. It's a matter of reputation and trust. Microsoft already has a reputation, and their customers don't seem to understand the concept of trust as it applies to software,
    • Nigerian Law is based on British law which has at it's heart "No one is above or below the law" originally from Magna Carta. Older residents of the USA will remember this because they used to have it as well. This is not a case where you can blame an inferior legal system, it's a very similar legal system to what is seen in many states of the USA and almost identical to that of Canada and Australia. Enforcement is a different story in a troubled country.
  • by Fred_A (10934) <(fred) (at) (fredshome.org)> on Saturday November 03, 2007 @06:46AM (#21222591) Homepage

    "Microsoft has denied sabotaging Mandriva's deal [CC] with the Nigerian government to supply Classmate PCs from Intel along with a customized Mandriva Linux operating system.
    It's puzzling though, I really would've thought they had something to do with it.
    But if they say it wasn't them, it must be one of those freak events we keep reading about in News of the World.
    • I get it! We're in ImaginationLand! This must be part 4 of the new South Park episodes!
    • by Phat_Tony (661117)
      Well, they don't exactly say "it wasn't them." They say "From Microsoft's perspective it's a matter of choice."

      You see, the Nigerian Government might have choosen to go with Linux. Microsoft makes it clear, it was their decision to make. And maybe Microsoft choose to let them know that, if they made an unfortunate choice in this matter, some unfortunate events might happen to occur to the people who made that decision. And maybe Microsoft choose to let these members of the Nigerian government know that i
  • So what's the big deal at the end of the day? It's a shame, but the Nigerian goverment could have just NOT gone with Mandriva at all.
    • by Kythe (4779)
      Indeed, what's the big deal? You might ask Microsoft that, since it's a fairly safe bet they actually bribed Nigerian government officials to take their operating systems.

      Sounds to me like Microsoft acknowledged it was a big deal by their actions. Why do you suppose they did that?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fwarren (579763)
      So what's the big deal at the end of the day?

      That Microsoft had to hold it's nose and actually respond to a Linux company.

      This is akin to how US presidents don't meet with terrorists and nutty generals. Even heads of state that they greatly disapprove of. It lends legitimacy in the eyes of the world.

      The fact that ANY Linux company could say something, and instead of ignoring it. Microsoft feels it actually has to defend itself. All in the name of choice and fair market.

      They are so droll.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mackyrae (999347)
      Now the kids will be learning only how to use one platform and its ways of doing things, most likely. I mean, it is certainly possible to teach "how to use a computer" without emphasizing Windows or Linux or Mac terms and specifics and making more reference to logical use of UI, what input/output are, etc., but most computer teachers in elementary schools are just whichever teacher is best at figuring out email, so they don't really know how to teach. Instead, the kids will just learn how Windows works by
  • Anti dumping laws (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Saturday November 03, 2007 @06:55AM (#21222613) Homepage
    This 'deal' should be opened up and examined. If M$ is found to have provided the copies of MS Windows at below cost it should be taken to task using the anti dumping laws [freetrade.org] . All the financial aspects should be examined, including and 'free consultancy' and hardware donations/upgrades, ...

    To an extent this is moot since the investigation will proceed at a glacial pace and by the time that it concludes it will all be a done deal.

    • If M$ is found to have provided the copies of MS Windows at below cost it should be taken to task using the anti dumping laws

      The average annual salary in Nigeria is $160.00

      • by temcat (873475)
        Well, the cost of a copy of Windows XP is the cost of a blank CD and the time to copy the image ;-)
        • by jimicus (737525)
          A lot less than that when you're getting them masted by the million, I'm sure.
        • No development cost? No support cost? No overhead from Redmond?

          I love your accounting.
          • by temcat (873475)
            Hush, hush, I just gave Redmond folks a nice argument for the anti-trust people, and now you're destroying it all!
  • In one sense, the guy is right. The deal wasn't sabotaged, in the sense that the computers are being purchased with Mandriva.

    OTOH, MS can't allow a large number of users to be exposed to Open Source software, so...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    the fox denied eating the chicken.

    "Blood? What blood? Thats not chicken blood,
    it is ketchup. I am a vegetarian!"

    Thomas
  • Microsoft's conviction for monopolistic practices in the EEC argues strongly against their spokesman's statement. Of course, when has a spokesman for a large corporation, especially MicroDreck, said anything that was more than tangentially connected with the objective truth?
  • by John Jamieson (890438) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @07:18AM (#21222679)
    Cmon, for a PR persn,that is effectivly an admission of guilt, with a statement of "too bad, it is not illegal" tacked on.
  • Obvious LIES (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Skiron (735617) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @07:19AM (#21222685) Homepage
    "Microsoft has denied sabotaging Mandriva's deal with the Nigerian government..."

    Then why is the Nigerian Government still paying Mandriva for the contract they was happy with (and still appear to be happy with it)? This is so obviously MS bunging them money AFTER they lost the fight, and telling them "Here you are, here is a few million to get rid of that and install Windows - we will pay for the loss".
    • And this is bad because? You all seem to take it on faith that people should be outraged. Let's say it's your worse-case scenario - MS paid them and said "use Windows". Why, exactly, is this wrong? Simple answer is it isn't - it's MS's dime, if they want to waste money more power to them.
  • by glug101 (911527) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @07:20AM (#21222693)
    I've been reading the comments here and the comments on the previous article, and I'm surprised to see something missing.

    Show of hands:
    1. Who knows that Nigeria is an oil producing nation?

    2. Who knows the Nigerian people see barely a thin dime of the money?

    The government of Nigeria has shown itself to be easily corrupted at the expense of the people. See wikipedia [wikipedia.org] and read the part about the government. It's not hard to imagine something crooked going on with this.

    Any word on how M$ is going to avoid massive amounts of pirating of software by unleashing their steaming pile of OS on a 3rd world nation? Or do they just assume that everybody there will pirate the stuff anyway so they just want to "sell" a few licenses in the process?
    • by mgblst (80109)
      The US is also an oil producing nation.

      The people never get to see any of that money either.

      Exactly the same with Canada, who provides more oil to the US than any other country.

      Your points are ridiculous. Why don't you think about what you are saying first.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jesterzog (189797)

      The government of Nigeria has shown itself to be easily corrupted at the expense of the people. See wikipedia and read the part about the government. It's not hard to imagine something crooked going on with this.

      Thanks for pointing this out. This is Nigeria, which rates 2.2/10 in Transparency International's corruption perception's index. This places it in 144th place out of 179 listed countries.

      Anything that happens in Nigeria involving a sizeable amount of money will involve corruption and bribery s

  • Let me choose between Linux, MAC OS-X or you bribing me to use Windows; just like you bribed the vote on document formats.

    Hey Microsoft, are you now starting to realize that you are unable to compete in the marketplace without using the tainted money from your cash-cow monopoly?

  • by MoogMan (442253) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @07:43AM (#21222763)
    Brings a new meaning to the words "Nigerian Scammer".
  • by vrmlguy (120854) <samwyse&gmail,com> on Saturday November 03, 2007 @07:44AM (#21222775) Homepage Journal
    I've seen cases like this before in the hardware business. Not very often, but it does happen occasionally. After a long hard sales cycle, Neal Nanotech decides to buy something from that hot new startup, Tyrell Corpration. The sales team from Cyberdyne Systems decides that they can't afford to lose NN as a customer, since they'll lose not only future sales and the income from the maintenance contract, but Tyrell will be able to use NN as a refernce in future ad campaigns. So, there's one last big push to a Senior VP, the President, or even the CEO. Typically, Cyberdyne offers a trade-in allowance for all of the Tyrell product at NN's full purchase price, while discounting Cyberdyne's prduct just enough to equal the trade-in. This way, NN isn't out any money (at least not initially) while Cyberdyne avoids violations of any anti-dumping laws. Cyberdyne then sends the brand-new Tyrell products straight to the recycling center. (Or maybe they resell it on eBay, with a good long offer period. "Look here, Mr. Potential Customer! How good can Tyrell's product be if people are dumping unopened boxes of it on eBay?")
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @08:17AM (#21222899) Journal
    Well, if we generate enough publicity for this deal, may be all the customers of MSFT will start demanding equal treatment with Nigerian Govt. The would demand MSFT to sell its product at the same price Mandriva wold have sold their products. MSFT will tell small companies to just go fly a kite and will quietly cave in to big corporations. Mid level ones will get the deal or not depending on how tightly they are integrated with MSFT tools. But everyone will learn one cold hard fact. The only way to extract a good deal from MSFT is to be less dependent on its products.

    How much Fear Uncertainty, Confusion, Extortion, and Doubt will be needed to maintain the revenue growth? (Someone please give me a good K-word to make a good acronym to upgrade FUD).

  • by basiles (626992)
    The interesting point is that Microsoft cared to reply to Mandriva. I thought that such a huge mastodonte as Microsoft don't care about small businesses like Mandriva. I find that the mere fact that Microsoft replied something is interesting.
  • Its called business, if you offer a 'sweeter' deal then the next guy, be it by a better products or deeper discounts, you make the sale.

    This is hardly even news.
    • by Vexorian (959249)
      Err, there is a mis view regarding to what actually happened. Nigeria ordered computers AND customized software, and the deal was done. Now imagine that the day you are getting computers + custom software you paid for you suddenly decide that you want other software, this is not MS winning an elicitation against Mandriva, this is about a government that orders and pays for something but suddenly decides not to use it for no reason.
      • by nurb432 (527695)
        THat happens every day in government. One person makes a poor decision and once its discovered they cancel the contract and back out.

        ( not saying it was a bad decision that was reversed in this case, but the principle is the same )
        • by Kythe (4779)
          It does?

          I work in government, and I don't see my agency suddenly canceling contracts after a full bidding process, unless fraud is discovered.

          Of course, it's also illegal for government workers to take bribes in order to seal a deal. Not to say it doesn't happen, but it's not kosher.
    • by hey! (33014)
      Well, as they say, caveat emptor.

      It's really about the vendor having a longer planning horizon than the consumer. The vendor's intention is to eliminate his competition then take the cost of doing it out of the consumer's hide later. It doesn't happen so much in competitive industries, but a monopolist can afford to take some short term losses.

      The MS spokesman is saying, in effect, MS is doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, to uphold the principle of consumer choice. You don't really believe
  • Microsoft said it believes individuals, governments and other organizations should be free to choose the software and other technologies that best meet their needs.
    As long as that "free to choose" doesn't include buying a comptuer at local retailers with Linux or no OS.
  • by kimvette (919543) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @08:54AM (#21223003) Homepage Journal
    BULLSHIT.

    In one conversation I had with my Nigerian-born business partner (OK stop laughing I'm serious. He's been a naturalized citizen for ten years, is a Christian, the son of a pastor, and I know one of his brothers as well. He's good people.) I learned that it's very much like India multiplied in that no decisions are made without palms being greased. I also learned that Nigerians who come to America will not do business with other Nigerians due to the level of corruption. It's not that all Nigerians are corrupt, it's just that corruption is so pervasive that they don't trust one another.

    (Interesting thing about him: he's very suspicious, is more pro-American than most native-born Americans, gets far more involved in politics than most of us do, and yet when he sees evil going on in this country he doesn't complain. He just laughs and says evil people will do evil things, and what can be accomplished by talking about it and then continues on with his work. As an aside, he's the most productive worker I've ever encountered as well.)

    My guess? Some official initially chose Linux as the sensible solution, and then Microsoft's money greased a high-level official's palms. I don't think it's necessarily Microsoft that did it, but a third party (plausible deniability, elimination of a paper trail involving even swag, etc.) which somehow benefits from the sale of Windows rather than installation of a(n) (inexpensive|free)/free OS.
    • by EvilRyry (1025309) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @09:37AM (#21223195) Journal
      It must have been Microsoft. Nearly everyone else in the economy benefits from having an open OS. An open OS allows multiple competitors to play in the same market place which drives innovation and fair prices, I'd like to coin this concept as capitalism. Having Linux around would allow for a Nigerian Linux start-up to emerge and take hold of a decent chunk of the local population rather easily; since the government already uses Linux in the schools the kids would how to use it and the governments information infrastructure will grow with Linux in mind. Linux in general would be a very viable OS in this type of environment. These local compan(y|ies) would provide jobs to the economy, reduce imports and dependence on Microsoft, and possibly even provide an exportable service. It would also be a nice gateway into the technology industry (not sure what they have currently in Nigeria). So in short with Linux, customers benefit, government benefits, economy benefits, everyone but Microsoft walks home happy. This deal was definitely rigged by M$. (Yes, the $ is appropriate in this context.)
      • So in short with Linux, customers benefit, government benefits, economy benefits, everyone but Microsoft walks home happy. This deal was definitely rigged by M$

        Bzzzt Wrong!

        Hardware manufacturers who get the nice microsoft 5 year obsolecence thing (works best on businesses who upgrade quick, having a driver come out in 5 months doesn't help a company printer)... Software makers who compete against OS products (Photoshop, Trillian, Skype list goes on and on)... Lots of companies are invested in keeping t
    • Why is this moderated flamebait? Corruption is endemic in a number of African countries. It's one of the main things that is holding those countires back.
  • by Vexorian (959249)
    I thought Microsoft was smart enough to avoid making any statement to these regards, I guess I was wrong. Although I feel relieved I am not dependent on their software anymore...
  • In the previous thread on this issue, someone noted that this choice can in no way benefit the Nigerians, as in Linux you have a larger choice of free/opensource software than in Windows. I think that was an excellent point, and one I'd like the nigerian bigshot who made the decision of removing Linux to replace it with Windows, reply to.

    Unless, of course, everybody involved just assumes that the Windows applications will be pirated. In which case, Microsoft is complacent and at least implicitly endorsing p
  • Who, Microsoft? No, they were just being competitive.
  • We know from the letter, that the devices will be shipped with Mandriva Pre-installed. And that Mandriva has already been paid. It also seems likely that money has already changed hands in favor of the Nigerian government to support this "sudden change of heart".

    Now, suppose you are one of the teachers that evaluated, and "qualified" the mandriva solution that comes pre-installed on the laptops, and you get this CD that says "Take 200 hours and install this untested, mystery OS on all 200 of your scho

    • Now, suppose you are one of the teachers that evaluated, and "qualified" the mandriva solution that comes pre-installed on the laptops, and you get this CD that says "Take 200 hours and install this untested, mystery OS on all 200 of your schools laptops, destroying the one you are already familiar with." How likely are you to actually comply?

      Hey, this looks like a win-win situation to me: Schools get Mandriva systems, government officials get grease money, and suddenly 17.000 copies of Windows show up on eBay!

  • by westlake (615356) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @11:32AM (#21223901)
    Mandriva - only recently out of bankruptcy - is a small commercial Linux distribution employing less than 150 people world-wide and has perhaps eight million users. Mandriva [wikipedia.org]

    Mandriva didn't have an office in west Africa until January of this year.

    In contrast, Microsoft has hundreds of millions of users world-wide, directly employs 31,000 people abroad and has billions to spend on development projects in Africa and elsewhere in the third world.

    A search of allAfrica.com" [allafrica.com] returns 1,300 hits for Microsoft and Nigeria in English alone.

    Dismiss as many of these stories as you like as PR. The reality remains that to a Financial Minister, the Minister of Education, a partnership with Microsoft can make very good sense.

    NGLUG, the Nigerian Linux Users Group [nglug.org] presents an earnest face. But stories such as these suggest that Linux has a long way to catch up with Microsoft in West Africa:

    Linux girl bags first Novell certification in Nigeria [2005]
    "You are the first Lady CLE in Africa and the first CLE in Nigeria - you have the highest mark so far amongst the other CLE's in Africa including South Africa."

    "Linux Accademy of Nigeria has not started training and I have not found someone who knows when they will start." [August 2007]

  • I can't imagine that they would react any other way, unless it was by just ignoring the accusations. They certainly couldn't admit it.

    OTOH, I'm not sure that "tortous interference with a business relationship" is an international crime, so maybe they *could* have safely admitted it. But if they did I'd imagine it might show up in various legal hearing on illegal monopolies (illegal use of monopoly?).

    MS: Campaigning for the role of most loathed international criminal conspiracy.
  • ...when they realize that those 1 GB Mandriva Classmate PCs will need a 2GB flash chip to run Microsoft crapware.
  • I think its called competition.
  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @01:36PM (#21224773)
    Microsoft doesn't have any sense of ethics. They have a pervasive psychopathic corporate culture and it starts right at the top. Balmer himself flew to Germany in an effort to sway the IBM/Munchen deal after it was signed with 'special offers', which to me is an attempt at bribery, but a psychopath won't see it that way.
    • by westlake (615356)
      Microsoft doesn't have any sense of ethics. They have a pervasive psychopathic corporate culture and it starts right at the top.

      This kind of language plays well on Slashdot. But government ministers in Asia and Africa aren't reading Slashdot. The one bit of good news in this story for Mandriva.

      You will excuse me for a moment.

      The thought of the Geek lecturing Nigeria and China on corporate - capitalist - ethics has me ROTFL.


  • Option a) Install Linux

    Option b) Install Windows and have lots $$$ appears in your Swiss account

    Take your time, you have a completely free choice....

  • ok, so, ignoring the ethics of how Microsoft weaselled^Wassisted the change from linux to Windows, there are some possible good outcomes:
    • MS actually manage to produce a new OS which is actually less bloated than their predecessors
    • That the new MS OS proves to be so slow and bloated an insecure, it is dumped in a very public manner bringing shame to MS, and the OLPCs are reloaded with linux, the cost of which has to be born by MS

    I just thought of another...

    • that the whole exercise proves costly enough to
  • Baited? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by link5280 (1141253)
    Anyone stop to think Nigeria is the one pulling the strings here, not MS. I'm sure the Nigerian government was approached by MS before they decided to go with Mandriva. So why would they bait and switch? If they went with MS first they would pay top dollar. So they choose Mandriva to bait MS, then MS comes begging for them to use their OS. My guess MS gave them some sweet deal, either support and/or reduced or free software. Nigeria is not a innocent country by any means, they are one of the most corr

Prediction is very difficult, especially of the future. - Niels Bohr

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