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Microsoft Pushes Windows To Battle Linux In Africa 248

Posted by timothy
from the roll-the-windows-down-if-it-gets-hot dept.
ThousandStars writes "According to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft has been making a concerted effort to promote Windows in Africa, pushing Windows over Linux in very poor countries that haven't been locked into a single operating system. From the article: 'To that end, it has established a presence in 13 countries, donated Windows for thousands of school computers, and funded programs for entrepreneurs and the young. It also has used aggressive business tactics, some aimed at its biggest threat in the region: Linux ...'"
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Microsoft Pushes Windows To Battle Linux In Africa

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  • by cat_jesus (525334) <cat_jesus@hotmail.com> on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @11:51AM (#25542155)
    The first hit is always free.
  • by oahazmatt (868057) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @11:54AM (#25542207) Journal
    It's a new tactic to put those who RTFA on the same playing field as those who don't. Try it on the next political article. I think you'll enjoy the facts you assume more than what's actually written.
  • Re:Don't worry... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The Mighty Buzzard (878441) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @11:59AM (#25542279)

    More importantly, it's slashdot.

  • Re:p00r Linux (Score:4, Insightful)

    by courteaudotbiz (1191083) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @11:59AM (#25542289) Homepage
    And so MS is doing just like the gas companies: make the world addict to their product, brignin' the price VERY high, and when everybody is thinking about alternatives, lower the price or, in the case of MS, paying people to use the product.
  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @12:01PM (#25542305)

    Actually, I thought, "Wow, good old colonialism, just like the Opium Wars (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_wars)!"

    Move into a developing country, and get the masses addicted to something that only you can provide.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @12:11PM (#25542455)

    WSJ get it wrong again:

    It also has used aggressive business tactics, some aimed at its biggest threat in the region: Linux, a Windows alternative that costs little, and sometimes nothing at all.

    Wrong. Linux is not a Windows alternative. Windows is a poor imitation [microsoft.com] of GNU/Linux.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @12:14PM (#25542495) Homepage

    Sell your MS licenses and most of the other tech on ebay. then use that money to buy books and pay for teachers.

    It's far more important to teach basics like math, reading, basic science, hygiene, and life skills, than how to move and click a mouse.

    What is it with people thinking that what the 3rd world needs are computers? What they need is clean water, learn better agriculture, and to get an education that will allow them to live a better life.

  • Re: p00r Linux (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alwin Henseler (640539) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @12:16PM (#25542535) Homepage

    Linux is like the electric car, not a chance and only in a few places..

    Well in this case, Africa might be just one of those places. I mean ,what is MS going to do? Give away Windows licenses for free, and throw in Vista-capable PC's as well? (sorry, didn't read the TFA).

    Another thing Linux has going here, is that it is -relatively- easy to produce local versions. I mean, does there even exist Windows XP or Vista in Swahili? If not, that may be just what Linux needs to get picked over Windows (or other candidates). And let's not forget the educational aspect: having a system where you can see how it works, how it's put together & how to adapt it to your own requirements, is great when you're in a place where the IT industry is often just starting.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @12:28PM (#25542747) Homepage

    Nobody wants to use Windows. It just comes "free" with the computer, just like MS-DOS before it.

    The 90s? You mean back when Windows literally was just an MS-DOS shell?

    It's almost the "teens" here. It's time to update your FUD.

  • by msuarezalvarez (667058) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @12:29PM (#25542793)
    Speaking as someone whose number of hours using Windows in the last 10 years do not add up to a whole day, and who is not exactly MS's greatest fan: reducing Windows to PowerShell is pretty extreme...
  • by Locutus (9039) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @12:47PM (#25543131)

    Steve Ballmer's got balls because he's got monopoly money to spend and he knows exactly what Ubuntu is and where it came from. He also knows that when that monopoly money runs out, they are in deep Elephant dung because their products have always stood on emaciated legs.

    He also knows he's got more money than Mark Shuttleworth.

    LoB

  • by Rennt (582550) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @12:51PM (#25543195)

    most Linux/open source advocates do it for the rebellion not because they have a better product to promote.

    No, most OSS advocates do it because the software is THEIRS; by being part of the community that develops it they are personally involved with the software, and are justifiably proud of it. "Look what we built"

    What I don't understand is why Microsoft apologists like you bother. You didn't help build Windows, MS has no loyalty to you; evidence shows they do not even LIKE you. They only want you to stay on the treadmill. And yet still you sing their praises. "Look what I paid for". Doesn't make any sense.

  • Re:Wait... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LingNoi (1066278) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @01:12PM (#25543579)

    So Microsoft aren't religious OS fanatics because they're doing it for a long term profit? Open your eyes.

  • by enos (627034) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @02:02PM (#25544443)

    We had a guest speaker here at my university just last week talk about this. He's setting up wireless mesh networks in rural Zambia. It's essentially the only communication system they have. Cell phones cost 66 cents/min and the locals make $1/day..

    Anyway, they have very limited internet access, with a few hundred machines behind a 128 kbps link. They pay $1100/month for it. No way in hell are they gonna keep downloading all the patches needed on Windows. As such, a Windows machine is only useful for about two months (tops) before the worms eat it.

  • by mhall119 (1035984) on Tuesday October 28, 2008 @02:47PM (#25545179) Homepage Journal

    I tried installing redhat a few times back in the 90s and after banging my head a few times to actually get it working I thought to myself "Oh. Sweet. Free Civ and data management I DONT NEED."

    I tried installing Windows a few times back in the 90s, and after banging my head around the TCP/IP stack to actually get it working I thought to myself "Oh. Sweet. Viruses and an annoying paperclip I DONT NEED." It may surprise you to learn that computers have advanced over the last two decades.

    And then Linux users go out of their way to do things like make World of Warcraft work on their PC. Look buddy. Ya great you got it working but you are very knowledgeable in Linux, which has a steep learning curve. And most users dont want to spend 2 weeks getting their drivers to work just right to play a game.

    The thing is, it only took that one guy 2 weeks to get WoW working, and now hundreds of Linux users get it working with far less effort. Open source beats proprietary not because it's easier to make it work, but because only one person has to put in the effort for everyone else to benefit.

    After all if your open source was a decent product, youd be able to SELL IT

    People don't sell Linux, not because nobody is willing to pay for it (people pay millions for Unix), but because people don't _have_ to pay for it. Would you pay for a car, even a good one, if you could get it for free from a different dealership?

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