×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft Pushes Windows To Battle Linux In Africa

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the roll-the-windows-down-if-it-gets-hot dept.

Microsoft 248

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 ...'"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

248 comments

Thank you M$ (-1, Offtopic)

tomd123 (1007793) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542127)

for giving me the first post. :D

Full Article here (5, Informative)

parodyca (890419) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542461)

See full article here

http://www.mediainfocenter.org/story.asp?story_id=122760705 [mediainfocenter.org]

Re:Full Article here (0, Troll)

Eg0Death (1282452) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543321)

Thank you for the link! I have now RTFA and my suspicions fell short. Microsoft is clearly in league with the devil. Removing the functional (I assume) Linux boxen for Windows machines (Now packed with Extra Failure!) is pretty damned crappy. I wonder if Microsoft handed out blankets with smallpox while there were at it.

p00r Linux (0, Flamebait)

emailandthings (844006) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542145)

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

Re:p00r Linux (3, Insightful)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542289)

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.

Less like "gas" but more like "milk powder"? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25543191)

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.

I would have thought it's more like when Nestle pushed milk powder in Africa. [man.ac.uk] (see second item) and here [blogspot.com].

Re: p00r Linux (5, Insightful)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542535)

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.

Re: p00r Linux (5, Interesting)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542829)

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).

What is MS going to do? Bribe high-ranking government officials, that's what. Sorry to say this, but I think MS is going to have a very easy time in most african countries, to have Linux replaced by MS in all schools and government institutions.

Re: p00r Linux (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25543527)

Being forced into Windows could result in a life long advantage for these children, especially when the reliability of the software needs to be compensated with there free time.
I know I learned what to avoid, and it payed off very well so far.

Re: p00r Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25542841)

how is this informative if it was admitted that the story was never read? It's insightful, mods! Insightful!!

Re:p00r Linux (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543293)

I hope you don't have a TomTom in that car of yours - that's one of the numerous small devices running Linux.

Not to mention countless web, mail and hosting servers at the ISP level.

And in my company running telephony servers handling thousands of VoiP calls per hour, SIP servers, call reporting software, etc. etc.

Just like a drug dealer (4, Insightful)

cat_jesus (525334) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542155)

The first hit is always free.

Re:Just like a drug dealer (4, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

But with Linux ALL the hits are free (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25542547)

And then you end up addicted to freedom and all you can play is tux racer.

Re:Just like a drug dealer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25542751)

Like missionary work too, they are setting up their virus delivery system and will end up demanding control of everything they do.

Re:Just like a drug dealer (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543137)

I've heard that for years but have never seen it in practice.
Dealers seem content to charge noobs and repeat customers.

A better analogy would be an interest only adjustable rate mortgage.
It starts off cheap then progresses to indentured servitude, and it's all perfectly legal.

Re:Just like a drug dealer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25543229)

Not really. Someone that has never used, most likely will not buy it their first time. They will try it (for free) with a friend, sometimes that 'friend' also happens to be the dealer, sometimes not. But always free.

What a minute . . . (5, Informative)

Eg0Death (1282452) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542157)

Is it possible to read the entire story without subscribing to the Wall Street Journal? How am I supposed to RTFA if I don't have a subscription?

Re:What a minute . . . (2, Insightful)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542207)

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.

You don't need to RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25542283)

When has reading or thinking stopped any slashdotter from a good anti-MS ranting?

Re:What a minute . . . (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542473)

Seriously, this is all the article I could get:

WINDHOEK, Namibia -- Microsoft Corp. sees sub-Saharan Africa, among the poorest places on earth, as one of the last great computing frontiers. It wants to make its Windows software a fixture there.

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, a Windows alternative that costs little, and sometimes nothing at all.

In Nigeria, Microsoft proposed paying $400,000 last year under a joint-marketing agreement to a ...

Slashdot should do better to make sure the articles it links to are available in their entirety to all.

That said, here's what I'm wondering. Is MS selling XP for a significant discount in Africa? If so, is anyone importing those copies to the US?

Re:What a minute . . . (1)

eln (21727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542639)

Is it possible to read the entire story without subscribing to the Wall Street Journal? How am I supposed to RTFA if I don't have a subscription?

I hear in Africa the Wall Street Journal is giving the article away for free. It's apparently doing this to combat its biggest competitor in the region: African talking drums [wikipedia.org]

Re:What a minute . . . (4, Informative)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542689)

see if clicking on this link [google.com] helps. WSJ.com used to allow visitors if you were directed from news.google.com.

Re:What a minute . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25543187)

Oh, someone mod the above Informative.

Re:What a minute . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25542979)

You could try this instead, but i don't know if it will work for you:

http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB122332198757908625.html

The Microsoft ads did say they were PCs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25542165)

They didn't say they were running Windows.

Re:The Microsoft ads did say they were PCs... (4, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542291)

Hmm, that's a hell of a lot of chutzpah from Microsoft. Perhaps they should do a little research into the origin of the word Ubuntu [wikipedia.org].

Windows Chutzpah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25542779)

The first OS featuring a Jew Screen of Death.

Re:The Microsoft ads did say they were PCs... (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542815)

I think they already know, that's exactly why they're going there.

Re:The Microsoft ads did say they were PCs... (2, Insightful)

Locutus (9039) | more than 5 years ago | (#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

Re:The Microsoft ads did say they were PCs... (3, Interesting)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543319)

Looking at some Microsoft dlls you can see they're signed by Thawt which is the company Mark Shuttleworth sold for millions, so in a round-a-bout kind of way Microsoft funded the ability for Mark to start Ubuntu which is now competing with Microsoft in Africa. Woops.

betting on a lame horse in a fixed race.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25542241)

using someone else's (your) money. yeah, it's kind of like that.

greed, fear & ego (in any order) are unprecedented evile's primary weapons. those, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' life0cidal hired goons' agenda. most of yOUR dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'wars', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid schemes. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & any notion of prosperity for us, or our children, not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one. see you on the other side of it. the lights are coming up all over now. conspiracy theorists are being vindicated. some might choose a tin umbrella to go with their hats. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

we note that yahoo deletes some of its' (relevant) stories sooner than others. maybe they're short of disk space, or something?
http://news.google.com/?ncl=1216734813&hl=en&topic=n
http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/09/23/what.matters.thirst/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A
(deleted)http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080918/ap_on_re_us/tent_cities;_ylt=A0wNcyS6yNJIZBoBSxKs0NUE
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/29/world/29amnesty.html?hp
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/06/02/nasa.global.warming.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/05/severe.weather.ap/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/weather/06/02/honore.preparedness/index.html
http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/09/28/what.matters.meltdown/index.html#cnnSTCText
http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/books/10/07/atwood.debt/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/opinion/01dowd.html?em&ex=1212638400&en=744b7cebc86723e5&ei=5087%0A
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/06/05/senate.iraq/index.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/17/washington/17contractor.html?hp
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/03/world/middleeast/03kurdistan.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
(deleted, still in google cache)http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080708/cheney_climate.html
http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20080805/pl_politico/12308;_ylt=A0wNcxTPdJhILAYAVQms0NUE
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/09/18/voting.problems/index.html
(deleted)http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080903/ts_nm/environment_arctic_dc;_ylt=A0wNcwhhcb5It3EBoy2s0NUE
(talk about cowardlly race fixing/bad theater/fiction?) http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/19/news/economy/sec_short_selling/index.htm?cnn=yes
http://us.lrd.yahoo.com/_ylt=ApTbxRfLnscxaGGuCocWlwq7YWsA/SIG=11qicue6l/**http%3A//biz.yahoo.com/ap/081006/meltdown_kashkari.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/04/opinion/04sat1.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
(the teaching of hate as a way of 'life' synonymous with failed dictatorships) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081004/ap_on_re_us/newspapers_islam_dvd;_ylt=A0wNcwWdfudITHkACAus0NUE
(some yoga & yogurt makes killing/getting killed less stressful) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081007/ap_on_re_us/warrior_mind;_ylt=A0wNcw9iXutIPkMBwzGs0NUE
(the old bait & switch...your share of the resulting 'product' is a fairytail nightmare?)
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081011/ap_on_bi_ge/where_s_the_money;_ylt=A0wNcwJGwvFIZAQAE6ms0NUE

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&btnG=Search
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying

'The current rate of extinction is around 10 to 100 times the usual background level, and has been elevated above the background level since the Pleistocene. The current extinction rate is more rapid than in any other extinction event in earth history, and 50% of species could be extinct by the end of this century. While the role of humans is unclear in the longer-term extinction pattern, it is clear that factors such as deforestation, habitat destruction, hunting, the introduction of non-native species, pollution and climate change have reduced biodiversity profoundly.' (wiki)

"I think the bottom line is, what kind of a world do you want to leave for your children," Andrew Smith, a professor in the Arizona State University School of Life Sciences, said in a telephone interview. "How impoverished we would be if we lost 25 percent of the world's mammals," said Smith, one of more than 100 co-authors of the report. "Within our lifetime hundreds of species could be lost as a result of our own actions, a frightening sign of what is happening to the ecosystems where they live," added Julia Marton-Lefevre, IUCN director general. "We must now set clear targets for the future to reverse this trend to ensure that our enduring legacy is not to wipe out many of our closest relatives."

"The wealth of the universe is for me. Every thing is explicable and practical for me .... I am defeated all the time; yet to victory I am born." --emerson
consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."--chronicles

I know why.... (5, Funny)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542323)

A rich Nigerian prince gave them 25 million dollars because they helped him transfer some funds. Microsoft gave him copies of Windows in return.

Wait... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25542367)

...Microsoft is using underhanded business tactics to ensure that their operating system is the most widely used? This is new.

Re:Wait... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25542699)

Yes, and competing against a product that is dumped on the market for free by religious OS fanatics who not only push Linux on them but any program developed for it. How dare they.

Re:Wait... (3, Insightful)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543579)

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

Re:Wait... (4, Interesting)

Locutus (9039) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542985)

but they are now willing to pay millions going after a market so poor they have little to no computer infrastructure. THAT is somewhat new to them. Typically, the left these markets alone and dumped billions into marketing to markets where there was a support system and more of a chance of an ROI out 5 years but probably under 10 years.

Sub-Saharan Africa? They're probably looking out 20+ years if even that. But mostly, I think what they are doing is blocking as many public successes of GNU/Linux in these areas. Did you notice how quick they got on the anti-OLPC marketing campaign? They dumped $25 million into Egypt alone so that they'd be a Windows-only government and there are dozens more around the world.

So this is somewhat new for them and it's probably costing them something close to $1 billion annually in these marketing/services/training/etc "partnerships". All to keep GNU/Linux from finding a home in a hut or two in areas like sub-Saharan Africa. IMO

LoB

WSJ gets it wrong again (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:WSJ gets it wrong again (2, Insightful)

msuarezalvarez (667058) | more than 5 years ago | (#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...

Re:WSJ gets it wrong again (3, Interesting)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543121)

Hmm. I use both Powershell and bash, and Powershell is rather good ; easier to use than bash in many respects.

It does have it's downfalls ; because it's primary design is to pass objects and not bytestreams down the pipeline, getting the output formatted exactly how you want it can end up with you writing a little more code than you wanted, if you have strict format requirements.

While *nix does have shells that can use objects (because they are Python flavoured), it doesn't have anything quite like Powershell. IMHO the syntax is easier to grok than bash, and you don't have to learn at least one text-processing language (sed, grep, awk) to make it useful[1][2], because the data you want is most often accessible as a property.

I find *nix to be a far more flexible and powerful operating system than Windows, it beats it on plenty of criteria, but Powershell is not one of them.

[1] although regular expressions are useful to learn, as they are for most shells.
[2] .NET programmers in particular can leverage their existing knowledge of the .NET APIs

Re:WSJ gets it wrong again (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543659)

One of the things I always hate about using the cmd in windows is that tab doesn't auto complete to more then one directory deep.

So you can type f + tab and it will auto complete to "foo/" but if you type "foo/b" and press tab it won't auto complete to "foo/bar". Annoys the hell out of me.

Another thing that pisses me off is that the cmd box never exceeds 80 characters. In bash I can maximise the whole window full screen and it will take up all the room with text, not possible in cmd.

Does power shell fix those things at all?

Dear poor schools..... (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542495)

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:Dear poor schools..... (4, Interesting)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542705)

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.

What is it with people like you? Have you been there? no!

The reason for poverty is not lack of resources, it is lack of a legal structure that delivers contract enforcement. This means that it is impossible to ahve organisations bigger than a small family with any degree of confidence, except by the use of force.

This is a cultural problem. (Helped immensely by the spread of Christianity and democracy).

Computers are immensely powerful in the 3rd world becausee the enable family-sized organisations to do massively bigger projects.

Re:Dear poor schools..... (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543337)

The reason for poverty is not lack of resources, it is lack of a legal structure that delivers contract enforcement.

This point can't be stressed enough. If resources were the sole cause of great wealth, Africa would be the wealthiest continent on the planet, and Nigeria would be the wealthiest nation. But because the legal systems for most African countries don't provide protections for property rights or contract enforcement, their people languish in abject poverty. And that's a problem that only the Africans can fix, no one can do it for them.

Re:Dear poor schools..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25543433)

The reason for poverty [in impoverished countries like some in Central Africa] is lack of resources [and the] lack of a legal structure that delivers contract enforcement.

There, fixed that for you.

Re:Dear poor schools..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25543569)

It is our white man's burden to fix the problem of the savages.

Nice joke (both you and the moderators).

Re:Dear poor schools..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25543667)

(Helped immensely by the spread of Christianity and democracy)? How does Christianity have anything to do with this article? Christianity or any religion should not be spread, but embraced if and only if individuals want to embrace it. Your statement typifies how arrogant and ignorant some Christians are. Yeah, the crusades worked wonders: convert or die. I feel sorry for the poor (unfortunate) recipients of the religious babble forced on them by Christian missionaries. Instead of forcing your views on them, help them achieve worthy goals like getting an education, learning to farm, etc.

Re:Dear poor schools..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25542735)

Cause this isn't entirely about Africa and neither is the push for Linux for Africa. It is about having more heads to back up your favorite OS. Sure it is good to get the knowledge to the kids but the pissing contest on how to do it is just disgusting. Seriously do people think that technologically advanced people aren't going to eventually stumble across the alternatives?

Re:Dear poor schools..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25542753)

Reselling OEM licenses is not allowed, and I think these "gifts" come with even more strict rules.
But they could get MS to pay for Viata-compatible hardware, and then wipe the drives and install Linux.

Re:Dear poor schools..... (4, Informative)

chortick (979856) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542891)

Interesting TED talk on the impact of technology on education: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/sugata_mitra_shows_how_kids_teach_themselves.html [ted.com].

The speaker begins by noting that technology has marginal impact where schools are already good, but huge impact where schools are bad or non-existent. He then discusses how his work shows that children collaborate in learning.

Also http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_you_ve_ever_seen.html [ted.com] which in addition to some super cool eye candy graphs, points out the growing convergence of first-world and third-world problems.

A big ask where respondents are notorious for not RTFA, but I found both talks fascinating and hope that you do too.

Re:Dear poor schools..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25542937)

Because with a computer and a Wikipedia cd, you don't need to buy books and pay for teachers. When you know how to move and click a mouse, you can learn all those things - math, basic science, hygiene, life skills, better agriculture - except how to read. (And maybe even that.)

Re:Dear poor schools..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25542983)

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.

And what makes you think that having Computers would not help getting cleaner water and attain better agricultural yields on crops?

If we just keep saying, oh this should be done or that should be done, it would never move. If somebody is doing anything with a remote chance of improvement, just plainly appreciate it because those people in Africa don't really care the Windows/Linux battle as long as they are getting free software on cheap hardware.

Re:Dear poor schools..... (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543155)

Probably something along the lines of "Teach a man computing and you teach him how to learn for himself, but give a man Windows(R) and you lock him into your product line for the rest of his life".

Re:Dear poor schools..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25543497)

And they need to know the 7 sins and cover their naked body...

For all the slamming of M$ (-1, Troll)

Twyst3d (1359973) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542573)

I have yet to see Linux platform DELIVER ANYTHING the entire world wants to use, in an easy to manage, easy to interact with format. 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."

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.

I guess what Im really saying is, most Linux/open source advocates do it for the rebellion not because they have a better product to promote. After all if your open source was a decent product, youd be able to SELL IT. And we've all seen how much of that is goin on right now.

Re:For all the slamming of M$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25542671)

Our point is MS sucks, that's all.

Re:For all the slamming of M$ (2, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542747)

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.

Re:For all the slamming of M$ (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543031)

Well like the grandparent my attempts at a switch to linux have also always ended in failure. The biggest failure of linux I ran into, however, is community attitude. Wherever I looked for answers on forums for technical issues, I always was met with vehement hostility. Everyone adopt Linux, where we hate all newbs. No thanks. I have not had a single issue work or home that has not had to do with proprietary software that could not be solved in Windows as well as Linux.

Re:For all the slamming of M$ (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543297)

That's not true, actually. I -chose- Windows for my Tablet PC because Macs cost too bloody much (Modbook) and Linux doesn't handle Tablet PCs well.

I also -chose- Windows for my gaming machine, since Mac and Linux don't handle those well, either.

However, for my 'work' machine at home, I chose Linux because it does what I want best.

So yes, people do -choose- windows for things. It's not just that it came with the computer.

Re:For all the slamming of M$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25542763)

I tried installing redhat a few times back in the 90s

Right, because nothing's changed since then.

Re:For all the slamming of M$ (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542801)

I tried installing redhat a few times back in the 90s

Replace redhat with Ubuntu, and 90s with 2008, and I think you'll have a much different experience.

Re:For all the slamming of M$ (1)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543157)

OK, I did, except my replaced OS was Slackware.

Ubuntu is worlds ahead, but it still has a steep learning curve.

Like, it took 2 days to get it to reliably connect to my wireless AP.

And that was after having to go get a project, compile it, take a "reading" of my wifi cards bios (or whatever FWCutter does), and get it to run.

Thank GOD I had a working WinTel machine to sit next to the Ubuntu machine.

In Ubuntu's favor, I DID have 100Base Ethernet working "out of the box".... That was something I DIDN'T have in Slack.

Ubuntu automagically WON'T connect to unsecured AP's. This is a pain in the ass.

Windows is set up for the Lusers. Linux is set up for geeks. Until it "just works", it will need work. THAT'S the user experience people want.

Install, it works. If it comes with basic, stripped down versions of everything, so much the better (IE, wordpad, etc).

Don't believe me, look at the sales figures. Giving away a "superior product" that requires becoming a geek just to get your hardware to work (if it EVER does work) isn't what most people want... And most people, unfortunately or fortunately, tend to vote with their wallets. The fact people are STILL purchasing Windows means volumes.

Here's to the next revision of Ubuntu letting ME decide how I want my network set up, instead of the people at Ubuntu deciding how my wifi network should be.

Get the simple shit worked out, and Linux on the desktop will be a reality. But as long as people see the steep learning curve (and it IS there, believe me), it won't. Just common sense here.

To put it in an analogy that people here understand, it's like a girl. Most users here have no ideas about women, as most common computer users have no idea how to make Linux work. Just ask my roommate. He gets laid CONSTANTLY, but couldn't get Ubuntu to install and work.

disclaimer: I was able to get Ubuntu to pretty much work, and I have 3 kids, so I've been laid. I'm one of the minorities here lolol.

--Toll_Free

Re:For all the slamming of M$ (2, Informative)

AttillaTheNun (618721) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543447)

I can provide a mirror-image anecdote, during an attempt to reinstall a Windows XP partition for my inlaws (irreversibly infested with malware).

Thank GOD I had a working Ubuntu partition that could actually communicate to the ethernet card so I could actually search for the proprietary Windows drivers on the net.

Have you ever actually tried to get a Windows installation to work without the benefit of the proprietary driver discs? Starting from the same clean slate (an OS ISO), I'd wager you'll have better luck with Ubuntu these days.

Re:For all the slamming of M$ (1)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542911)

It amuses me that you review the present state of GNU/Linux based on your experience a decade ago. Particularly "I have yet to see Linux platform blah blah blah..." followed by "tried installing in (the era that everyone already knows all the distributions were a real bitch to work with in".

You should also mind the inclusivity of your comments, not all GNU/Linux users play WoW.

Re:For all the slamming of M$ (0, Troll)

Twyst3d (1359973) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543437)

Its funny because you all:

A) modded me a troll for simply telling the truth and my own point of view. Very classy.

B) You all seem to be ignoring the main point that none of your "distro's" have anythign for the public.

Where are the games? The easy to understand GUI? Easy to configure and understand without a Comp Sci degree? The only way you can prove my point wrong is to give Windows and Linux to an average user and have them give you honest criticism on their experience using both. And guess what. Sales have shown that the experience with windows is just better.

And guess what, you aren't being unique or sparing your individuality by complaining just the same as every other guy who uses Linux and thinks hes sticking it to the man because he didn't pay one red cent for it. And on the subject of cost. You cant afford 200$ for your OS? You will blow 6000 for a state of the art rig you put together and then complain about paying for the OS? I am the only one who can see the childishness of this?

Well enjoy your Ubuntu and all that data management boys. Im gonna go play Fallout 3 without having to reconfigure WINE every Thursday, just as soon as Im done at my cushy job managing a windows network full of PCs that may have their individual problems but are terribly easy to manage and keep an eye on.

Re:For all the slamming of M$ (4, Interesting)

the_womble (580291) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543167)

I have yet to see Linux platform DELIVER ANYTHING the entire world wants to use, in an easy to manage, easy to interact with format. 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."

The 90s? That is relevant how? It is about as useful as my telling you that Mandriva 2009 is much better than Windows 3.1. What is relevant is how current Linux versions compare to current Windows versions.

There is a lot of software for Linux, and obtainning and installing it is much easier and faster than for Windows.

I guess what Im really saying is, most Linux/open source advocates do it for the rebellion not because they have a better product to promote

Wrong. Most Linux users use it because they think it is better. Those who want to use open source have good motives to do so (avoiding lock in, auditable security). The biggest advantages of Linux are that it is easy, and that it is flexible. All your software is managed an upgraded using a single GUI interface, some distros can even do major version upgrade with a few mouse clicks - try upgrading from XP to Vista that way!

As for the flexibility you can get distros for geeks (Gentoo, Slack, Arch), normal users desktops (Ubuntu, Mandriva, SuSe), servers (Debian, Red Hat), old hardware (Puppy, Damn Small Linux).

Re:For all the slamming of M$ (4, Interesting)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543179)

As a (primarily) Linux user myself, my best advice to you is that you shouldn't use Linux unless you can think of a reason to do so.

But please do not tar those of us who do use it as "rebels". I myself work for a telecoms company where Linux has "swept the floor" as the core OS for most of the telephony products that we sell. No, it hasn't particularly displaced Windows in doing so, more the commercial UNIXes like Solaris and HP-UX and, if anything, we use Windows to handle most of the client-side stuff for integration into corporate networks.

But please don't pretend to have any understanding of why people like me use Linux as their primary OS at home because your comments show your ignorance. I fully accept that Linux lacks a lot of the Adobe-type applications and other things that a lot of existing Windows people currently want to use but please remember that it is not Linux's fault that is the case - rather the Adobes of the world who just haven't decided to port those apps across as of yet.

However, for most users like me who just do a bit of photo and graphics work, The GIMP more than suffices. Likewise, I need to do a few relatively straightforward spreadsheets, documents and presentations so OpenOffice is good enough for me. Plus I'm a shell and PERL monkey so I have access to tremendous automation power at the Linux shell prompt which, even if I wanted to do something similar in Windows, would need a steep learning curve with VB, DotNet or something else, assuming it was even possible.

I also like gaming and there's plenty of Linux games that I play, thanks mostly to the Open Sourcing of games engines like Doom and Quake. Yes, I keep XP around to play some more modern stuff (and because sometimes I need MS Office also) but even if you look at my XP machines, you'll see most of the tools I use are OSS or free ones like Firefox, OpenOffice, PuTTY, WinSCP, The GIMP, Irfanview, ImgBurn, etc. etc.

Unfortunately, you've made two very obtuse comments which only serve to highlight your total lack of Linux knowledge:

1. Linux is a lot more mature now than the last time you installed it during the 90s (just like Windows XP is a much better OS than Windows 95 and 98 were), and

2. Linux is really just the kernel and most of the other nice useful bits that go into an average Linux distro also happen to have Windows ports as well - so choosing not to use free software on the basis that "if it was good you could sell it" is just doing yourself a dis-service, no-one else.

Yes, I'd love to be in a situation where one OS could do everything I needed to do but the fact is neither Linux or Windows fit that requirement at this moment in time. However, because I'm not a zealot and prefer just to use the "right tool for the job", I really don't give a toss whether an application needs Linux or Windows to run - I just get on and use whatever I need to when I need to, satisfied in the knowledge that most of the stuff I use is truly free to use, and the commercial software I use is fully licensed.

Re:For all the slamming of M$ (2, Insightful)

Rennt (582550) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:For all the slamming of M$ (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543395)

The thing about climbing a steep learning curve is that very soon you are higher up than the man cycling around Holland.

I agree that the slope will put many off though.

I have a very nice MythTV installation ; at the time I did it, I had to use Gentoo with bleeding-edge kernels to support my hardware. These days I suspect the same configuration would be supported by a Mythbuntu disk, which is a world easier, but still beyond the average Joe.

I didn't use MythTV because of a lack of other offerings ; I used it because Free software offered me features that Big Media were not willing to let me have - the ability to retain recordings at my discretion, not theirs, the ability to transfer recordings to the device of my choice, edit, burn, etc.

I prefer to rely on my ability to resolve technical issues in a way that satisfies me, rather than a huge faceless corp who view support as a cost rather than an opportunity to learn, and having the source code allows me to do that.

My work project at the moment has 2 types of component ; ones I have the source for, and ones I don't. Both classes of component have had issues, but I was able to patch or customize the open-source ones to suit our purposes (and typically much cheaper than the support contract for the closed-source ones which would pay my wages for 4 months). That for me is a better product.

Mandriva in Nigeria (5, Interesting)

AdamWill (604569) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542633)

Later on, the article covers the Mandriva / Microsoft in Nigeria battle that was covered here before:

"TSC approached Mandriva SA, a French company that sells a Linux version. Believing Microsoft had offered its $3 package, Mandriva proposed a $3 price for a Linux operating system, plus about $2 for other software, say people familiar with the situation. In August 2007, TSC issued a purchase order for Mandriva Linux, and the laptop's Taiwanese manufacturer began loading it.

Microsoft continued to push Windows. It offered its XP and Office software for about $45 per machine, says Nyimbi Odero, then TSC's chief executive.

Mr. Odero says Microsoft wanted TSC to delete Linux from the initial shipments of Classmates. He says Microsoft proposed a way to "make it worth your while" through a joint-marketing agreement. According to a draft agreement Microsoft sent to TSC last Sept. 13, Microsoft would pay TSC to fund "certain marketing activities to encourage the sale and distribution" of Microsoft products. Mr. Odero says Microsoft made it clear that TSC wouldn't really be expected to market the products, but could keep the money as an incentive to replace Linux with Windows."

(for anyone who doesn't know, I work for Mandriva).

The Apple ad (5, Funny)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542799)

I can't wait to see how Apple takes advantage of this:

PC: (pushing computers into African kids (starving))
Mac: Oh that's nice PC, I see you're donating to the needy in Africa
PC: Uh, yeah (suspiciously). This has nothing to with Vista finding a user base that is happy to have it.

Re:The Apple ad (3, Funny)

Willis13 (1357783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543107)

Mac: Don't you think, they'd rather have.... an apple? *tosses a shiny red apple to PC and walks off screen*

multi-billion dollar product/marketing vs um, free (0, Redundant)

Locutus (9039) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542827)

wow, isn't it great that a company who's poured billions into developing a product and spends millions monthly marketing it has to 'ramp up' marketing against the free product in order to get people and businesses to use it?

Way to go Microsoft. But after MS Vista and considering your handheld OS( Windows Mobile ) still crashes regularly on phones, do you really think you can keep this up forever? Smart move going after those very poor and mostly unconnected to the outside world. They'll have little to compare your product to until they eventually get online and see/read how good GNU/Linux is, how cheap it is, and how easy it is to use. Because as soon as they find out and unless their incomes have increased dramatically, they'll switch or have to revert to piracy to stay with your Windows products. Products that are probably already close to 10 years old. Hello Windows XP, I'm talking about you and your new life on computers not capable of running your new brother, Windows Vista.

Ya gotta love it when a company must keep paying people to use their products. Especially when the alternative is something originally put together by a whole bunch of people in their spare time. Ouch, that's still gotta be pissing olde Steve Ballmer off. But then again, he's used to paying people to use their products since they've had to do this for like 20 years. IMO

LoB

Re:multi-billion dollar product/marketing vs um, f (1)

FreonTrip (694097) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543067)

It has to be especially nettlesome since Microsoft managed to slowly strangle out all of its profit-driven competitors by the late '90s. Other than the boutique / couture PCs Apple offered, the only way to compete with Microsoft was with free software. There's no debating that it's taken Linux a long time to get into a competitive position on the desktop, but its flexibility and nimbleness are starting to overcome Microsoft's inertia and the sheer size and increasing unmanageable nature of the Windows codebase.

Re:multi-billion dollar product/marketing vs um, f (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543287)

exactly. I was stunned when Windows Vista was released and it was not modularized like GNU/Linux or even Windows XP embedded. It did not scale down at all and that is enough evidence in my mind to see that they've bloated themselves into a big tumble downward. Pulling 8 year old tech, Windows XP, out of retirement to compete with GNU/Linux on the new-ish Ultra Mobile Devices(UMPs) was the next indicator but unfortunately, the press/media just brushed this off. It should be a big red flag showing how Microsoft does not have new technology to compete with GNU/Linux. More and more are seeing this so eventually they'll get it.

LoB

What is Microsoft's intent (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#25542871)

Is Microsoft really trying to help, is there even the pretense of this by their employees? Or does everyone, at the very least, agree that this is purely for the purpose of profit (which is ok if we don't pretend otherwise)

Re:What is Microsoft's intent (1)

rugatero (1292060) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543219)

Well in TFA, Microsoft claim to be "bridging the digital divide" - seems to me that if that were the case, they'd be taking computers to where there are none, rather than trying to replace existing Linux installations.

Africa to Linux: (1)

Legion_SB (1300215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543051)

It's gonna take a lot to drag me away from you.

There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do...

ok (1)

Salem Willow (1394195) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543139)

so so it's all very well and good giving them computers.. at least it gives them a chance to come on here and give us their opinion... BUT DON'T THEY NEED A CERTAIN ELECTRICITY SUPPLY FIRST??

Epic Battle (1)

n.e.watson (835126) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543221)

I'm picturing the battleground - Steve Ballmer against an army of the Ubuntu release name animals, led by Mark Shuttleworth on an African plain somewhere.

Wrong ! Linux isn't a threat ! (1)

vawarayer (1035638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543279)

BUZZER !!!!! WRONG!

Been in Africa. The threat out there, honestly, isn't Linux. 'Coze - whatever they say about it - Linux is still not ready for the desktop. Specially in places where education is still a lagwagon. Don't expect anyone who can barely read to figure out why on earth their network isn't working, because their Linux distro doesn't support their cheapo noname network card.

Linux is not a threat to Windows in Africa. Pirated Windows is.

Piracy (1)

Britz (170620) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543305)

I always thought that MS gained marketshare/dominance through piracy. And I sill believe that that piracy is much more relevant in the adoption of Windows in emerging markets than anything else by a long shot.

Even if other systems come pre-installed. I guess the situation is now different because a large number of machines will come preinstalled with a very useful and useable os, which could prompt people to not just install pirated version of Windows on these machines as soon as they get them.

Risk Analysis (1)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543371)

Microsoft decided to battle Linux in Africa when it learned that it recieves 3 bonus armies for every turn in which it manages to hold the entire continent.

Tell me again (1)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543429)

how Bill Gates and his "Foundation" (read: stock laundering scheme) are oh so concerned about the poor areas of the world - while the rip-off outfit that funded that Foundation steals the entire world blind.

It's a joke.

Windows is/are not the answer!!! (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543457)

Microsoft pushes Windows in Africa...

Microsoft should be pushing mosquito netting in Africa - Windows will just let the Malarial mosquitoes in.

Hrrrm. (1)

the_REAL_sam (670858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543495)

Here are some statistics that might bring Microsoft's "charitable marketing" into perspective:

African GDP/capita (Currency): $671
African Population livingon under $1 per day: 36.2%

Source:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Africa [wikipedia.org]

Geographical Distributions:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:GDP_PPP_Per_Capita_Worldmap_2008_CIA_Factbook.svg [wikipedia.org]

Re:Hrrrm. (1)

the_REAL_sam (670858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543647)

On the other hand, although the motive seems greedy, at least they _are_ giving.

Who among _us_ gave to anyone from those areas?

WTF? (1)

Troll14 (1395683) | more than 5 years ago | (#25543573)

Microsoft shouldn't be giving schools computers,they should be giving these children and teachers there daily needs (Food, Water, Clothing, ect.). Also, I think Africa should be using Ubuntu as their main OS. For two reasons. One, it's free. Two, we need to break away from the evil Microsoft empire. Man, I wish we use Ubuntu in High school...were stuck with XP. (Yes, Slashdot has a few 14 year old readers ;))
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...