×

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 Shoots Own Foot In Iceland

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the blood-from-a-stone-middleman dept.

Microsoft 476

David Gerard writes "The Microsoft Certified Partner model is: an MCP buys contracts from Microsoft and sells them to businesses as a three-year timed contract, payable in annual installments. Iceland's economy has collapsed, so 1500 businesses have gone bankrupt and aren't paying the fees any more. But Microsoft has told the MCPs: 'Our deal was with you, not them. Pay up.' The MCPs that don't go bankrupt in turn are moving headlong to Free Software, taking most of the country with them. (Warning: link contains strong language and vivid imagery.)"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

476 comments

Can someone wash my underwear? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27130369)

I made an obama in my pants!

Or I will gouge out your eyeballs... (4, Funny)

Fastball (91927) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130377)

and BSOD you!

Re:Or I will gouge out your eyeballs... (1)

Forge (2456) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130425)

So I take it this means the story was posted on one of the few remaining Windows servers over there ?

Re:Or I will gouge out your eyeballs... (-1, Redundant)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130855)

Netcraft confirmed Iceland is dying because Natalie Portman dragged an anchor across Iceland's cables while eating grits and laughing hysterically "In Soviet Russia, you skullfuck Microsoft!".

In all seriousness, I guess these so-called "partners" of Microsoft now realize what a bad decision they made. I hope all of Iceland switches to OSS.

WWBD? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27130391)

What would Bjork do?

Re:WWBD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27130745)

What would Bjork do?

Probably something crazy.

Wall Street on the Tundra [vanityfair.com] Article about Iceland's economy. Bjork is mentioned.

slashdotted (0, Redundant)

pejyel (1275304) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130395)

Article has been online for 5 minutes and the site is already down - gotta be a record!

Re:slashdotted (2, Funny)

superdave80 (1226592) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130747)

You have got to be new here. 5 minutes probably wouldn't make the top 100 fastest slashdotings of all time...

Ze goggles! Zey do nothing! (5, Funny)

TheRon6 (929989) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130397)

(Warning: link contains strong language and vivid imagery.)

Oh god, a 500 error! MY EYES! THEY BURN!

Re:Ze goggles! Zey do nothing! (4, Informative)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130605)

(Warning: link contains strong language and vivid imagery.)

Oh god, a 500 error! MY EYES! THEY BURN!

Here you go, ya' big baby! [209.85.173.132]

Re:Ze goggles! Zey do nothing! (5, Funny)

wileycoyoteacme (319236) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130631)

(Warning: link contains strong language and vivid imagery.)

Oh god, a 500 error! MY EYES! THEY BURN!

Are you kidding? This is Slashdot, a 500 error practically constitutes foreplay. Strong language indeed! :-)

Screw this (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27130403)

You know what, I'm not even going to bother clicking on a link composed of obscenities, even if it is about Microsoft making another PR blunder.

I'd like some anti-Microsoft news that at least appears reputable, and not overly sensationalized "ZOMG Balmer blew up M$ eats babies" crap like the stuff I've seen here for the past few weeks.

Give me something to read, please, not something designed to assimilate me into another angry mob.

Re:Screw this (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27130459)

I agree. "Skull-fucking"? What kind of journalism is that? There has to be a report on the subject that includes some amount of class and professionalism -- especially if it's going to make it to the front page of Slashdot..

Re:Screw this (5, Funny)

Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130515)

There has to be a report on the subject that includes some amount of class and professionalism -- especially if it's going to make it to the front page of Slashdot.

This is a joke, right?

Re:Screw this (5, Funny)

mihalis (28146) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130489)

I'd like some anti-Microsoft news that at least appears reputable, and not overly sensationalized "ZOMG Balmer blew up M$ eats babies" crap like the stuff I've seen here for the past few weeks.

You're new around here, aren't you?

Re:Screw this (5, Insightful)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130529)

I'd like some anti-Microsoft news that at least appears reputable, and not overly sensationalized "ZOMG Balmer blew up M$ eats babies" crap like the stuff I've seen here for the past few weeks.

You're new around here, aren't you?

Or more likely, been around long enough to get tired of all the childish crap and instead want sane discussions about what happened and sane arguments over what to do about it.

Re:Screw this (4, Insightful)

von_rick (944421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130761)

Aw come on now. If you call this childish, what would you say to that Cat Agreeing to an EULA [slashdot.org] story that got nearly 1000 replies. Internet forums aren't the top priority for anyone seeking highly intellectual arguments or discussions.

Just so you know what you missed (5, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130547)

Here's my translation for ya:

[rumor] Microsoft [rumor] Economic Crisis [rumor] I can't confirm this but [rumor]. Open Office is better than Microsoft Office. [rumor] [bad logic] [rumor] [rumor] Pitiful prediction.

Re:Just so you know what you missed (3, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130601)

And don't forget skull fucking. Lots and lots of skull fucking. I've always heard Icelanders are sexually liberated, but I had no idea.

Re:Screw this (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130617)

[quote]

You know what, I'm not even going to bother clicking on a link composed of obscenities, even if it is about Microsoft making another PR blunder.

I'd like some anti-Microsoft news that at least appears reputable, and not overly sensationalized "ZOMG Balmer blew up M$ eats babies" crap like the stuff I've seen here for the past few weeks.

Give me something to read, please, not something designed to assimilate me into another angry mob.
[/quote]

weeks?

you're new here right?

Re:Screw this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27130661)

"Give me something to read, please, not something designed to assimilate me into another angry mob."

Ah the irony.

This seems strangely familiar (5, Insightful)

cstec (521534) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130405)

"Hey, I only joined the military for the free college tuition. I never said anything about shooting people!"

These MCP's were all happy to sign up, resell MS's products and take their cut for doing almost nothing. Now they're not selling and they don't want to pay their bill? Puh-lese. The cheese section is apparently in Iceland, along with the whine.

Re:This seems strangely familiar (5, Interesting)

Cassini2 (956052) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130455)

I think the complaint of the MCPs is Microsoft is demanding payment for product the customer isn't paying for. Specifically, my impression is that Microsoft wants to be payed for the full 3 year contract (over 3 years), even though the customer that purchased the software went bankrupt after the first year. It's a good deal from Microsoft's point of view ...

Re:This seems strangely familiar (5, Insightful)

jschen (1249578) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130507)

Microsoft's customer in this case is the MCP. Unless the MCP goes bankrupt and the contract gets voided (assuming things work similarly in Iceland as in the US), why shouldn't Microsoft be demanding payment? Whether or not the MCP has a good use for the contract isn't Microsoft's problem.

Re:This seems strangely familiar (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27130545)

Don't bring reason or logic into a perfectly good anti-ms rant.

Re:This seems strangely familiar (5, Informative)

Cassini2 (956052) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130571)

The legal doctine in common law countries is Force Majeure [wikipedia.org] . If something sufficiently big happens, all bets are off.

The other business doctrine is that a big company shall not bankrupt the organizations selling their products:
No sales companies = No salesmen = No sales.

Re:This seems strangely familiar (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27130693)

However, who wants customers if they're not going to pay?

A non-paying customer moving to OSS is not a lost sale.

Re:This seems strangely familiar (5, Insightful)

jschen (1249578) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130697)

Where's the line between Force Majeure and simply a regrettable business decision? Globally, lots of people in all walks of life are suffering from their decisions (whether sound at the time or not) made during better times that are haunting them in these rough economic times. What about this situation is unique to the MCP? How would the situation look if we allowed people across the board to declare Force Majeure?

As for no salesmen = no sales, it's commonly accepted that Microsoft is a de facto monopoly. If we take that to be true, then there may not be much cost to MS in hanging the MCPs out to dry. The MCP's customer still needs the MS product, and a new MCP undoubtedly will fill in the void when times get better.

Re:This seems strangely familiar (5, Insightful)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130783)

As for no salesmen = no sales, it's commonly accepted that Microsoft is a de facto monopoly. If we take that to be true, then there may not be much cost to MS in hanging the MCPs out to dry. The MCP's customer still needs the MS product, and a new MCP undoubtedly will fill in the void when times get better.

Exactly correct. Whereas there is an effective water monopoly in place as a supplier, resellers are infinitely replaceable. One man goes to the wall, another will take their place. No martyrs, only failures.

Re:This seems strangely familiar (1)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130721)

The legal doctine in common law countries is Force Majeure [wikipedia.org] . If something sufficiently big happens, all bets are off.

The other business doctrine is that a big company shall not bankrupt the organizations selling their products: No sales companies = No salesmen = No sales.

I think this qualifies as "Cutting off the nose to spite the face."

Re:This seems strangely familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27130749)

I hope someone mods you up...

Re:This seems strangely familiar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27130839)

The legal doctine in common law countries is Force Majeure. If something sufficiently big happens, all bets are off.

Yes, but force majeure usually means something like a war. Bad economic conditions don't qualify as force majeure.

The other business doctrine is that a big company shall not bankrupt the organizations selling their products:
No sales companies = No salesmen = No sales.

Not really. There is a long history of companies screwing the salespeople when they don't perform. Ford was notorious for screwing dealerships who didn't move enough cars.

Microsoft is fully entitled to demand that they honor the contract they signed. On the other hand, Microsoft should take into account the possibility of loss of future sales.

Re:This seems strangely familiar (3, Insightful)

hardburn (141468) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130579)

From a legal and short term financial standpoint, sure. However, the end result will be that established partners will themselves go belly-up, or that they'll try to find an alternative. So it is Microsoft's problem, in so far as it changes their future business prospects in the region.

Re:This seems strangely familiar (1)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130715)

Unless [...] the contract gets voided, why shouldn't Microsoft be demanding payment?

Maybe it's unconscionable?

Verizon's always setting up deals like this too. They satisfy the FCC's open access rules but do it in a way that crushes the folks who dare accept the deal the first time business suffers a downturn.

Re:This seems strangely familiar (4, Insightful)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130755)

Pity they couldn't simply return the unsold goods.

Oh, wait...

Re:This seems strangely familiar (4, Insightful)

cailith1970 (1325195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130815)

This remark is particularly insightful, IMHO. However, the goods WERE sold. The question is more along the lines of "why can't they simply repossess them?"

THEN you get to the "Oh, wait..." :)

Re:This seems strangely familiar (3, Insightful)

Drishmung (458368) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130819)

  1. We are legally entitled to be paid, but
  2. Owing to the financial crisis (of which we are very much aware), our MCPs can't afford to pay us, so
  3. If we insist on payment, they will declare bankruptcy.
    • If they go bankrupt, we don't get any money out of them.
  4. If we buy back the unused contracts, we at least get some money.

In short, they can choose to have no money, or some money. They can't chose to have all the money though. Rationally, they should choose "some". In fact, they appear to have chosen "none".

Re:This seems strangely familiar (1)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130893)

I'm sure if the company didn't go bankrupt and the MCP went bankrupt Microsoft would find some way to make the company still pay.

This is total BS, you don't fuck your reps - they are the ones telling companies to buy your product, without them you're up shit creek without a paddle.

Re:This seems strangely familiar (3, Insightful)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130587)

Well... yeah! I know it's a bizarre concept in today's world trillion dollar bailouts seem the norm, but prior to six months ago, if you signed up for a three year contract you were required to pay for three years. Why should they be treated any different from other failed businesses? No one was holding a gun to their head making them buy those contracts.

Re:This seems strangely familiar (4, Insightful)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130701)

The country controls their own court system.

A company that's hostile to all companies in your country is probably not going to do well, regardless who is or is not right.

And it all comes down to: Honor contracts to a foreign company with a failing financial market, or ignore contract disputes and switch to Linux and FOSS.

Re:This seems strangely familiar (3, Interesting)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130889)

It really comes down to this: Honor contracts freely entered into and legally binding, or have a really hard time having companies being willing to sign contracts in your country. There's a lot more at stake here than just Microsoft - especially for a country like Iceland with virtually no manufacturing industry and heavily dependent on trade.

Re:This seems strangely familiar (1)

penix1 (722987) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130791)

The flip-side is how much will Microsoft get out of a bankrupt company? More, how much will they get when it becomes known that Microsoft's demands for payment played a major role in putting those companies into bankruptcy? How many companies will be gun shy in the future when Microsoft comes trying to peddle their wares because of this? How many companies will see this and look for alternatives (not necessarily Linux) for Microsoft products?

In short, a failure to work with these companies in these financially troubled times can be a PR blunder that can cost them dearly. Add to that the failure of Microsoft to push Vista onto the business sector and their impending wish to push Windows 7 in this economy, and you have a recipe for escape from Microsoft right when Microsoft needs more, not less, business.

Re:This seems strangely familiar (5, Insightful)

Renraku (518261) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130635)

I'm sure they'd all like to be paying their bills, but when you set up a fiscal triage line, how important do you think payments to a multi-billion dollar corporation that sells software is going to be compared to say, keeping the lights on and paying the employees?

This is actually quite common in business. Just like how you or I would pay for electricity and food over our credit card bills if we wanted to survive.

Re:This seems strangely familiar (5, Interesting)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130719)

If the flaming article is right, and if I've understood it correctly, that "cut" was negative: "Microsoft Certified Partners (MCP's), which are local companies that lobby the software, generally at a loss to themselves, as they know that Microsoft's lock-in is powerful enough that they can only get service contracts from the company if they offer a substantial discount on the Microsoft products." In other words, the MS licenses were a loss leader.

There's still a good argument that they're just like any business that gets stuck with unsold inventory when its customers get shot out from under it, but it doesn't sound like the MCPs were on a gravy train.

Of course, any other business whose retail customers disappeared could eliminate the bills from their wholesaler by simply stopping their wholesale purchases.

Re:This seems strangely familiar (5, Insightful)

Arker (91948) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130861)

You have a point. Clearly MS is within their rights in terms of the contracts.

However a wise businessman in their position would be willing to "work with" their "partners" under such circumstances. Sticking to their rights here will blow up in their face, and cost them in the long run.

Which is really a good thing, anyway, both for Iceland and the world, if it results in increased Free Software awareness, usage, and development.

Link contains strong language and vivid imagery (1)

Benjamin T Miller (1170599) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130407)

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Strong language, indeed! I don't see any imagery, however...

Re:Link contains strong language and vivid imagery (5, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130447)

"imagery" is the stuff you see inside your head when you read that strong language.

Re:Link contains strong language and vivid imagery (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27130859)

Funny you should say that. According to the blogger, the only thing these MCPs are seeing in their heads is Microsoft's cock.

Another instant SlashDoting (1)

Forge (2456) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130409)

Wow. Another instant SlashDoting.
Dose anyone have a cache of the story?

Re:Another instant SlashDoting (1)

yanyan (302849) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130439)

My guess is they also shut down all Windows servers and are busy migrating to LAMP. :-)

Article text here. (3, Informative)

tpgp (48001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130595)

Just because I hope to get modded up for a post containing the phrase 'skull fucking':

Microsoft Skull-fucks Iceland's Economy, Contracts Syphilis

Microsoft has made a business out of selling licenses to run software that can be copied at no marginal cost, this everybody knows. Essentially, they manufacture software, but their product isn't computer code, it's legal code. Contracts.

They make deals with companies, the most common type being three year non-exclusive non-transferable usage rights contracts for the Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office software package. A severe amount of licenses for Microsoft Dynamics NAV (formerly Navision Financials, and I shall refer to it as Navision) are sold as well.

The companies and institutions that buy these generally don't buy these directly through Microsoft. Instead, they sell contracts in bulk to Microsoft Certified Partners (MCP's), which are local companies that lobby the software, generally at a loss to themselves, as they know that Microsoft's lock-in is powerful enough that they can only get service contracts from the company if they offer a substantial discount on the Microsoft products.

Now, the licensing term is three years, but the licensing fee is made in the form of annual payments. Here is where the fun begins.

Now, say an economy collapses. Say some fifteen hundred companies in your local economy go bankrupt. Now, say that Microsoft comes to collect its annual fee from the MCP's. The MCP's say, of course, âoewait, the company that we sold this license to has gone bankrupt, we shouldn't have to pay.â

âoeAha!â says the suit from Redmond. âoeYou made a contract with us, and another with them. Their inability to uphold their end of the contract does not invalidate your commitment to us.â

This is what I've heard from pals in the industry. Pals who're being screwed over right now. In short, the MCP's have to pay the licensing fees for the bankrupted companies.

The sheer shock of having to do so is starting to hit the Icelandic economy, hard. Already battered by the collapse of almost all privately held financial institutions and the subsequent bust of nearly fifteen hundred companies, Iceland's MCP's are next.

The devil here is in the details. Microsoft was just collecting what was due, forcing an issue that, for most places would be perfectly reasonable to do. Well, no. But it could be argued. Hey, this is about revenue.

But the backlash effect has been astounding. Several of Iceland's largest MCP's are now fighting for survival in a sea already at significant turmoil due to the economic depression. Shit had already hit the fan, but now they're being skull-fucked by Microsoft to boot.

And what would you do? Well. My sources tell me a lot is afoot. Several MCP's are bailing out, switching over to Free Software and restructuring their business model. Keep the revenue inside Iceland, sell better technical services for less money and yet double their revenue. âoeWhy didn't we do this earlier?â

Why indeed. With Microsoft's stranglehold on the economy, a long series of lock-ins has made life difficult for the dozens of people involved in trying to push free software in Iceland. With the government alone spending in the vicinity of 1 billion Icelandic kronas annually on Microsoft's wares â" a number not even taken together separately in the accounting books, as it is all written up as âoemiscellaneous running costsâ â" it'd be a really smart move to switch, if only they could.

The easiest switch would be to go to OpenOffice.org from Microsoft Office. This switch is easy because not only is OpenOffice.org superior software in every respect, it's also feature-compatible with Microsoft Office, supports reading and writing of Microsoft's file formats â" even the ones that Microsoft Office itself no longer supports â" and is free to boot, both free as in freedom and free as in price. The only important difference is that OpenOffice.org doesn't support all of Microsoft Office's weird macros, and it doesn't come with a drop-in replacement for Microsoft Access, the only database software on the planet that's better at printing mail-merged stickers than it is at storing data.

These two differences cause problems for people wanting to use Microsoft Navision Financials, the bookkeeping software to which a single user license is going at eight thousand kronas each a year in retail. The thing is, accountants tell me , you can't actually run Navision unless you have Excel fitted out with thousands of really spiffy macros, and preferably have Access to take the run-off. Whether or not this is actually true on the software side, because if the accountants have been indoctrinated to believe it, it's as good as true anyway.

There are currently no free software solution to the Navision problem. The competitors in that field simply suck too much. But salvation lies within reach, with an Icelandic software company in that field coming out of the closet with a pretty remarkable open source alternative to Navision at FSFÃ's (the Icelandic Society for Digital Freedoms) next conference. I'm not going to spoil the news just yet, but it'll be awesome.

So with the Navision thing going on the situation normally pans out like this: Company/institute X switches to Free Software nominally, installing Ubuntu and OpenOffice.org on all computers, except those of the top management who need to have access to Microsoft Navision Financials. The middle management then complains that they're important enough to have Microsoft Office and that they feel devalued as employees for being forced to use the free, open alternative that doesn't suck. Eventually the middle management gets their way, and then the lowest employees start heaving the same sighs. Before you know it Company/institute X's Free Software policy is a piece of paper rotting in a drawer somewhere.

I have seen this happen.

So when Microsoft comes to collect, they know they're entitled. They've done their job extremely well indeed. And the MCP's, struggling to stay topside, they go to extreme lengths to stay afloat. One Icelandic company, already embroiled in a massive antitrust scandal by way of their owners, just laid off their entire staff and offered to rehire them at deducted pay. The networking department, they said no. They weren't going to take a pay cut.

So the management types, with Microsoft breathing down their neck on one side, and the Icelandic Competition Agency (samkeppnisrÃÃ) on the other, they think, oh shit. Oh shit. Our data hosting services department, these geeks, they're the guys who are hauling in the real moolah. They're selling the services, not just reselling dud licenses to software that could be free, and that at a loss. So let's do anything we can to rehire them, let's give them a raise.

And the hosting guys, true to their egelitarian hacker nature, they said no.

âoeWe appreciate that you're being skull-fucked, but we aren't going to screw over our colleagues, our friends, by accepting your raise when they're taking a cut. No sir, can't do it.â

The following afternoon they were escorted out of the building by the police.

They're not the only ones, hell no. Microsoft's cock has been in many-a skull the past month. Stories abound. I could go on at length, but sensation only goes so far and for most of what I've been hearing I have little evidence â" it's hearsay. Little birds chirping in my ear. But they sing a pretty awesome song. One of my sources told me that Microsoft Iceland had an emergency meeting, but a Microsoft employee I know denied it, so I can't really relate anything on that front.

That isn't the point anyway. The beauty is there. By not willing to cut their MCP's some slack, the Redmond Giant has practiced unsafe skull-fucking, and have now contracted a rare form of financial syphilis. They cannot get money without forcing people to pay, and the more they force it, the less they will be able to force it, because those who survive will switch to Free Software, and those who don't will go bankrupt.

Redmond will figure out this mistake either next week, when their MCP's start disappearing off the radar, or now, when this blog post starts permeating through the world. Either way, they're done for. Unless, and this is important: Microsoft can redeem themselves towards the Icelandic economy if and only if they immediately reduce the price of all of their products to zero, permanently. Anything less will be an act of non-compliance towards the needs of the Icelandic economy, and can be considered an attack on the nation's sovereignty. Such an attack will inevitably be responded to by the market by way of an across-the-board adoption of free software.

I cannot stress how important this is. In a world fueled by digital transactions made possible by software it is no longer acceptable that the necessary infrastructure be subject to the whims of economic skull-fuckers. We cannot afford to pay for things that can be copied at zero marginal cost, and any country that is forced to do so will have to pay with their freedom.

Mahatma Gandhi spoke of Swadeshi, meaning economic independence and sustainability. In the aftermath of this financial crisis Iceland, and every other polity, big and small, will have to move towards swadeshi, and that means taking back their infrastructure. All of it.

Re:Article text here. (4, Insightful)

sstrick (137546) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130691)

Quote "The easiest switch would be to go to OpenOffice.org from Microsoft Office. This switch is easy because not only is OpenOffice.org superior software in every respect ...".

Looks like a nice impartial artice.

Re:Article text here. (5, Funny)

tpgp (48001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130767)

Looks like a nice impartial artice.

You had to read 13 paragraphs of an article titled "Microsoft Skull-fucks Iceland's Economy, Contracts Syphilis" to decide it's not impartial?

Business People ... (3, Insightful)

Cassini2 (956052) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130413)

Business People tend to remember the company that pushed them into bankruptcy. They don't forgive and forget easily.

I can't see everyone "just switching" to Linux, but this could create much motivation to try. Survival in business is a strategic imperative. If someone threatens that survival, then business people tend to connect the dots, and adapt accordingly.

Full Text (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27130511)

Microsoft Skull-fucks Iceland's Economy, Contracts Syphilis

Microsoft has made a business out of selling licenses to run software that can be copied at no marginal cost, this everybody knows. Essentially, they manufacture software, but their product isn't computer code, it's legal code. Contracts.

They make deals with companies, the most common type being three year non-exclusive non-transferable usage rights contracts for the Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office software package. A severe amount of licenses for Microsoft Dynamics NAV (formerly Navision Financials, and I shall refer to it as Navision) are sold as well.

The companies and institutions that buy these generally don't buy these directly through Microsoft. Instead, they sell contracts in bulk to Microsoft Certified Partners (MCP's), which are local companies that lobby the software, generally at a loss to themselves, as they know that Microsoft's lock-in is powerful enough that they can only get service contracts from the company if they offer a substantial discount on the Microsoft products.

Now, the licensing term is three years, but the licensing fee is made in the form of annual payments. Here is where the fun begins.

Now, say an economy collapses. Say some fifteen hundred companies in your local economy go bankrupt. Now, say that Microsoft comes to collect its annual fee from the MCP's. The MCP's say, of course, "wait, the company that we sold this license to has gone bankrupt, we shouldn't have to pay."

"Aha!" says the suit from Redmond. "You made a contract with us, and another with them. Their inability to uphold their end of the contract does not invalidate your commitment to us."

This is what I've heard from pals in the industry. Pals who're being screwed over right now. In short, the MCP's have to pay the licensing fees for the bankrupted companies.

The sheer shock of having to do so is starting to hit the Icelandic economy, hard. Already battered by the collapse of almost all privately held financial institutions and the subsequent bust of nearly fifteen hundred companies, Iceland's MCP's are next.

The devil here is in the details. Microsoft was just collecting what was due, forcing an issue that, for most places would be perfectly reasonable to do. Well, no. But it could be argued. Hey, this is about revenue.

But the backlash effect has been astounding. Several of Iceland's largest MCP's are now fighting for survival in a sea already at significant turmoil due to the economic depression. Shit had already hit the fan, but now they're being skull-fucked by Microsoft to boot.

And what would you do? Well. My sources tell me a lot is afoot. Several MCP's are bailing out, switching over to Free Software and restructuring their business model. Keep the revenue inside Iceland, sell better technical services for less money and yet double their revenue. "Why didn't we do this earlier?"

Why indeed. With Microsoft's stranglehold on the economy, a long series of lock-ins has made life difficult for the dozens of people involved in trying to push free software in Iceland. With the government alone spending in the vicinity of 1 billion Icelandic kronas annually on Microsoft's wares - a number not even taken together separately in the accounting books, as it is all written up as "miscellaneous running costs" - it'd be a really smart move to switch, if only they could.

The easiest switch would be to go to OpenOffice.org from Microsoft Office. This switch is easy because not only is OpenOffice.org superior software in every respect, it's also feature-compatible with Microsoft Office, supports reading and writing of Microsoft's file formats - even the ones that Microsoft Office itself no longer supports - and is free to boot, both free as in freedom and free as in price. The only important difference is that OpenOffice.org doesn't support all of Microsoft Office's weird macros, and it doesn't come with a drop-in replacement for Microsoft Access, the only database software on the planet that's better at printing mail-merged stickers than it is at storing data.

These two differences cause problems for people wanting to use Microsoft Navision Financials, the bookkeeping software to which a single user license is going at eight thousand kronas each a year in retail. The thing is, accountants tell me , you can't actually run Navision unless you have Excel fitted out with thousands of really spiffy macros, and preferably have Access to take the run-off. Whether or not this is actually true on the software side, because if the accountants have been indoctrinated to believe it, it's as good as true anyway.

There are currently no free software solution to the Navision problem. The competitors in that field simply suck too much. But salvation lies within reach, with an Icelandic software company in that field coming out of the closet with a pretty remarkable open source alternative to Navision at FSFÍ's (the Icelandic Society for Digital Freedoms) next conference. I'm not going to spoil the news just yet, but it'll be awesome.

So with the Navision thing going on the situation normally pans out like this: Company/institute X switches to Free Software nominally, installing Ubuntu and OpenOffice.org on all computers, except those of the top management who need to have access to Microsoft Navision Financials. The middle management then complains that they're important enough to have Microsoft Office and that they feel devalued as employees for being forced to use the free, open alternative that doesn't suck. Eventually the middle management gets their way, and then the lowest employees start heaving the same sighs. Before you know it Company/institute X's Free Software policy is a piece of paper rotting in a drawer somewhere.

I have seen this happen.

So when Microsoft comes to collect, they know they're entitled. They've done their job extremely well indeed. And the MCP's, struggling to stay topside, they go to extreme lengths to stay afloat. One Icelandic company, already embroiled in a massive antitrust scandal by way of their owners, just laid off their entire staff and offered to rehire them at deducted pay. The networking department, they said no. They weren't going to take a pay cut.

So the management types, with Microsoft breathing down their neck on one side, and the Icelandic Competition Agency (samkeppnisráð) on the other, they think, oh shit. Oh shit. Our data hosting services department, these geeks, they're the guys who are hauling in the real moolah. They're selling the services, not just reselling dud licenses to software that could be free, and that at a loss. So let's do anything we can to rehire them, let's give them a raise.

And the hosting guys, true to their egelitarian hacker nature, they said no.

"We appreciate that you're being skull-fucked, but we aren't going to screw over our colleagues, our friends, by accepting your raise when they're taking a cut. No sir, can't do it."

The following afternoon they were escorted out of the building by the police.

They're not the only ones, hell no. Microsoft's cock has been in many-a skull the past month. Stories abound. I could go on at length, but sensation only goes so far and for most of what I've been hearing I have little evidence - it's hearsay. Little birds chirping in my ear. But they sing a pretty awesome song. One of my sources told me that Microsoft Iceland had an emergency meeting, but a Microsoft employee I know denied it, so I can't really relate anything on that front.

That isn't the point anyway. The beauty is there. By not willing to cut their MCP's some slack, the Redmond Giant has practiced unsafe skull-fucking, and have now contracted a rare form of financial syphilis. They cannot get money without forcing people to pay, and the more they force it, the less they will be able to force it, because those who survive will switch to Free Software, and those who don't will go bankrupt.

Redmond will figure out this mistake either next week, when their MCP's start disappearing off the radar, or now, when this blog post starts permeating through the world. Either way, they're done for. Unless, and this is important: Microsoft can redeem themselves towards the Icelandic economy if and only if they immediately reduce the price of all of their products to zero, permanently. Anything less will be an act of non-compliance towards the needs of the Icelandic economy, and can be considered an attack on the nation's sovereignty. Such an attack will inevitably be responded to by the market by way of an across-the-board adoption of free software.

I cannot stress how important this is. In a world fueled by digital transactions made possible by software it is no longer acceptable that the necessary infrastructure be subject to the whims of economic skull-fuckers. We cannot afford to pay for things that can be copied at zero marginal cost, and any country that is forced to do so will have to pay with their freedom.

Mahatma Gandhi spoke of Swadeshi, meaning economic independence and sustainability. In the aftermath of this financial crisis Iceland, and every other polity, big and small, will have to move towards swadeshi, and that means taking back their infrastructure. All of it.

Re:Business People ... (2, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130857)

Business People tend to remember the company that pushed them into bankruptcy. They don't forgive and forget easily.

More correctly: Business People tend to remember the people they blame for pushing them into bankruptcy - their own failings they tend to forget.
 
In this case, the MCP seems to have forgotten they signed a contract saying they would pay.

Slashdotted already (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130429)

I guess when the economy is down, the slashdot crowd gets fired up! Otherwise why do I get this message?

Internal Server Error

The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.

Please contact the server administrator, webmaster@smari.yaxic.org and inform them of the time the error occurred, and anything you might have done that may have caused the error.

More information about this error may be available in the server error log.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

Re:Slashdotted already (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130633)

Is that a server error, or the warning radio broadcast from the edge Iceland's territorial waters. Perhaps they could add something about "Do not approach Iceland. There's far too much skullfucking going on."

Strong language and vivid imagery (2, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130431)

Internal Server Error The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request....

Ewww... i tought that i was prepared for any rudeness and strong language, but this? Slashdot should start putting stronger warnings in the articles, things like this could have adverse effects for the rest of your life.

xkcd (4, Funny)

maugle (1369813) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130467)

I just noticed this in the link:

http://smari.yaxic.org/blag/2009/03/06/microsoft-skull-fucks-icelands-economy-contracts-syphilis/

xkcd is everywhere...

Re:xkcd (4, Interesting)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130763)

Doesn't surprise me. The submitter is David Gerard, so infamous for his abuses of power on Wikipedia he has his own subforum [wikipediareview.com] there.

This is, of course, when he's not maintaining his circle jerk of shock sites [wikipediareview.com] , like 'lemonparty.org', 'jarsquatter.org', 'yourmom.org', 'yellaface.com', and many others, not linked for your protection. What a scary, sad way to make a living.

Then again, he is a scary, sad [encycloped...matica.com] "guy".

Maybe Microsoft revoked their license for IIS? (4, Funny)

Darkk (1296127) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130469)

"The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request."

Maybe Microsoft revoked their license on the webserver? Possible?

LOL.

Ah well, it seems somebody over there saw this article and decided to pull it to save grace.

Re:Maybe Microsoft revoked their license for IIS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27130641)

Server: Apache/2.0.63 (Unix) PHP/4.4.7 mod_ssl/2.0.63 OpenSSL/0.9.7e mod_fastcgi/2.4.2 DAV/2 SVN/1.4.2
X-Powered-By: PHP/5.2.6

Link to article (2, Informative)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130491)

Link to Google Cache of article [74.125.47.132] Full text available in replies

Re:Link to article (0, Redundant)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130555)

Microsoft has made a business out of selling licenses to run software that can be copied at no marginal cost, this everybody knows. Essentially, they manufacture software, but their product isnâ(TM)t computer code, itâ(TM)s legal code. Contracts.

They make deals with companies, the most common type being three year non-exclusive non-transferable usage rights contracts for the Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office software package. A severe amount of licenses for Microsoft Dynamics NAV (formerly Navision Financials, and I shall refer to it as Navision) are sold as well.

The companies and institutions that buy these generally donâ(TM)t buy these directly through Microsoft. Instead, they sell contracts in bulk to Microsoft Certified Partners (MCPâ(TM)s), which are local companies that lobby the software, generally at a loss to themselves, as they know that Microsoftâ(TM)s lock-in is powerful enough that they can only get service contracts from the company if they offer a substantial discount on the Microsoft products.

Now, the licensing term is three years, but the licensing fee is made in the form of annual payments. Here is where the fun begins.

Now, say an economy collapses. Say some fifteen hundred companies in your local economy go bankrupt. Now, say that Microsoft comes to collect its annual fee from the MCPâ(TM)s. The MCPâ(TM)s say, of course, âoewait, the company that we sold this license to has gone bankrupt, we shouldnâ(TM)t have to pay.â

âoeAha!â says the suit from Redmond. âoeYou made a contract with us, and another with them. Their inability to uphold their end of the contract does not invalidate your commitment to us.â

This is what Iâ(TM)ve heard from pals in the industry. Pals whoâ(TM)re being screwed over right now. In short, the MCPâ(TM)s have to pay the licensing fees for the bankrupted companies.

The sheer shock of having to do so is starting to hit the Icelandic economy, hard. Already battered by the collapse of almost all privately held financial institutions and the subsequent bust of nearly fifteen hundred companies, Icelandâ(TM)s MCPâ(TM)s are next.

The devil here is in the details. Microsoft was just collecting what was due, forcing an issue that, for most places would be perfectly reasonable to do. Well, no. But it could be argued. Hey, this is about revenue.

But the backlash effect has been astounding. Several of Icelandâ(TM)s largest MCPâ(TM)s are now fighting for survival in a sea already at significant turmoil due to the economic depression. Shit had already hit the fan, but now theyâ(TM)re being skull-fucked by Microsoft to boot.

And what would you do? Well. My sources tell me a lot is afoot. Several MCPâ(TM)s are bailing out, switching over to Free Software and restructuring their business model. Keep the revenue inside Iceland, sell better technical services for less money and yet double their revenue. âoeWhy didnâ(TM)t we do this earlier?â

Why indeed. With Microsoftâ(TM)s stranglehold on the economy, a long series of lock-ins has made life difficult for the dozens of people involved in trying to push free software in Iceland. With the government alone spending in the vicinity of 1 billion Icelandic kronas annually on Microsoftâ(TM)s wares â" a number not even taken together separately in the accounting books, as it is all written up as âoemiscellaneous running costsâ â" itâ(TM)d be a really smart move to switch, if only they could.

The easiest switch would be to go to OpenOffice.org from Microsoft Office. This switch is easy because not only is OpenOffice.org superior software in every respect, itâ(TM)s also feature-compatible with Microsoft Office, supports reading and writing of Microsoftâ(TM)s file formats â" even the ones that Microsoft Office itself no longer supports â" and is free to boot, both free as in freedom and free as in price. The only important difference is that OpenOffice.org doesnâ(TM)t support all of Microsoft Officeâ(TM)s weird macros, and it doesnâ(TM)t come with a drop-in replacement for Microsoft Access, the only database software on the planet thatâ(TM)s better at printing mail-merged stickers than it is at storing data.

These two differences cause problems for people wanting to use Microsoft Navision Financials, the bookkeeping software to which a single user license is going at eight thousand kronas each a year in retail. The thing is, accountants tell me , you canâ(TM)t actually run Navision unless you have Excel fitted out with thousands of really spiffy macros, and preferably have Access to take the run-off. Whether or not this is actually true on the software side, because if the accountants have been indoctrinated to believe it, itâ(TM)s as good as true anyway.

There are currently no free software solution to the Navision problem. The competitors in that field simply suck too much. But salvation lies within reach, with an Icelandic software company in that field coming out of the closet with a pretty remarkable open source alternative to Navision at FSFÃâ(TM)s (the Icelandic Society for Digital Freedoms) next conference. Iâ(TM)m not going to spoil the news just yet, but itâ(TM)ll be awesome.

So with the Navision thing going on the situation normally pans out like this: Company/institute X switches to Free Software nominally, installing Ubuntu and OpenOffice.org on all computers, except those of the top management who need to have access to Microsoft Navision Financials. The middle management then complains that theyâ(TM)re important enough to have Microsoft Office and that they feel devalued as employees for being forced to use the free, open alternative that doesnâ(TM)t suck. Eventually the middle management gets their way, and then the lowest employees start heaving the same sighs. Before you know it Company/institute Xâ(TM)s Free Software policy is a piece of paper rotting in a drawer somewhere.

I have seen this happen.

So when Microsoft comes to collect, they know theyâ(TM)re entitled. Theyâ(TM)ve done their job extremely well indeed. And the MCPâ(TM)s, struggling to stay topside, they go to extreme lengths to stay afloat. One Icelandic company, already embroiled in a massive antitrust scandal by way of their owners, just laid off their entire staff and offered to rehire them at deducted pay. The networking department, they said no. They werenâ(TM)t going to take a pay cut.

So the management types, with Microsoft breathing down their neck on one side, and the Icelandic Competition Agency (samkeppnisrÃÃ) on the other, they think, oh shit. Oh shit. Our data hosting services department, these geeks, theyâ(TM)re the guys who are hauling in the real moolah. Theyâ(TM)re selling the services, not just reselling dud licenses to software that could be free, and that at a loss. So letâ(TM)s do anything we can to rehire them, letâ(TM)s give them a raise.

And the hosting guys, true to their egelitarian hacker nature, they said no.

âoeWe appreciate that youâ(TM)re being skull-fucked, but we arenâ(TM)t going to screw over our colleagues, our friends, by accepting your raise when theyâ(TM)re taking a cut. No sir, canâ(TM)t do it.â

The following afternoon they were escorted out of the building by the police.

Theyâ(TM)re not the only ones, hell no. Microsoftâ(TM)s cock has been in many-a skull the past month. Stories abound. I could go on at length, but sensation only goes so far and for most of what Iâ(TM)ve been hearing I have little evidence â" itâ(TM)s hearsay. Little birds chirping in my ear. But they sing a pretty awesome song. One of my sources told me that Microsoft Iceland had an emergency meeting, but a Microsoft employee I know denied it, so I canâ(TM)t really relate anything on that front.

That isnâ(TM)t the point anyway. The beauty is there. By not willing to cut their MCPâ(TM)s some slack, the Redmond Giant has practiced unsafe skull-fucking, and have now contracted a rare form of financial syphilis. They cannot get money without forcing people to pay, and the more they force it, the less they will be able to force it, because those who survive will switch to Free Software, and those who donâ(TM)t will go bankrupt.

Redmond will figure out this mistake either next week, when their MCPâ(TM)s start disappearing off the radar, or now, when this blog post starts permeating through the world. Either way, theyâ(TM)re done for. Unless, and this is important: Microsoft can redeem themselves towards the Icelandic economy if and only if they immediately reduce the price of all of their products to zero, permanently. Anything less will be an act of non-compliance towards the needs of the Icelandic economy, and can be considered an attack on the nationâ(TM)s sovereignty. Such an attack will inevitably be responded to by the market by way of an across-the-board adoption of free software.

I cannot stress how important this is. In a world fueled by digital transactions made possible by software it is no longer acceptable that the necessary infrastructure be subject to the whims of economic skull-fuckers. We cannot afford to pay for things that can be copied at zero marginal cost, and any country that is forced to do so will have to pay with their freedom.

Mahatma Gandhi spoke of Swadeshi, meaning economic independence and sustainability. In the aftermath of this financial crisis Iceland, and every other polity, big and small, will have to move towards swadeshi, and that means taking back their infrastructure. All of it.

Better formatting (0, Redundant)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130569)

Microsoft has made a business out of selling licenses to run software that can be copied at no marginal cost, this everybody knows. Essentially, they manufacture software, but their product isnt computer code, its legal code. Contracts.

They make deals with companies, the most common type being three year non-exclusive non-transferable usage rights contracts for the Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office software package. A severe amount of licenses for Microsoft Dynamics NAV (formerly Navision Financials, and I shall refer to it as Navision) are sold as well.

The companies and institutions that buy these generally dont buy these directly through Microsoft. Instead, they sell contracts in bulk to Microsoft Certified Partners (MCPs), which are local companies that lobby the software, generally at a loss to themselves, as they know that Microsofts lock-in is powerful enough that they can only get service contracts from the company if they offer a substantial discount on the Microsoft products.

Now, the licensing term is three years, but the licensing fee is made in the form of annual payments. Here is where the fun begins.

Now, say an economy collapses. Say some fifteen hundred companies in your local economy go bankrupt. Now, say that Microsoft comes to collect its annual fee from the MCPs. The MCPs say, of course, âoewait, the company that we sold this license to has gone bankrupt, we shouldnt have to pay.â

âoeAha!â says the suit from Redmond. âoeYou made a contract with us, and another with them. Their inability to uphold their end of the contract does not invalidate your commitment to us.â

This is what Ive heard from pals in the industry. Pals whore being screwed over right now. In short, the MCPs have to pay the licensing fees for the bankrupted companies.

The sheer shock of having to do so is starting to hit the Icelandic economy, hard. Already battered by the collapse of almost all privately held financial institutions and the subsequent bust of nearly fifteen hundred companies, Icelands MCPs are next.

The devil here is in the details. Microsoft was just collecting what was due, forcing an issue that, for most places would be perfectly reasonable to do. Well, no. But it could be argued. Hey, this is about revenue.

But the backlash effect has been astounding. Several of Icelands largest MCPs are now fighting for survival in a sea already at significant turmoil due to the economic depression. Shit had already hit the fan, but now theyre being skull-fucked by Microsoft to boot.

And what would you do? Well. My sources tell me a lot is afoot. Several MCPs are bailing out, switching over to Free Software and restructuring their business model. Keep the revenue inside Iceland, sell better technical services for less money and yet double their revenue. âoeWhy didnt we do this earlier?â

Why indeed. With Microsofts stranglehold on the economy, a long series of lock-ins has made life difficult for the dozens of people involved in trying to push free software in Iceland. With the government alone spending in the vicinity of 1 billion Icelandic kronas annually on Microsofts wares â" a number not even taken together separately in the accounting books, as it is all written up as âoemiscellaneous running costsâ â" itd be a really smart move to switch, if only they could.

The easiest switch would be to go to OpenOffice.org from Microsoft Office. This switch is easy because not only is OpenOffice.org superior software in every respect, its also feature-compatible with Microsoft Office, supports reading and writing of Microsofts file formats â" even the ones that Microsoft Office itself no longer supports â" and is free to boot, both free as in freedom and free as in price. The only important difference is that OpenOffice.org doesnt support all of Microsoft Offices weird macros, and it doesnt come with a drop-in replacement for Microsoft Access, the only database software on the planet thats better at printing mail-merged stickers than it is at storing data.

These two differences cause problems for people wanting to use Microsoft Navision Financials, the bookkeeping software to which a single user license is going at eight thousand kronas each a year in retail. The thing is, accountants tell me , you cant actually run Navision unless you have Excel fitted out with thousands of really spiffy macros, and preferably have Access to take the run-off. Whether or not this is actually true on the software side, because if the accountants have been indoctrinated to believe it, its as good as true anyway.

There are currently no free software solution to the Navision problem. The competitors in that field simply suck too much. But salvation lies within reach, with an Icelandic software company in that field coming out of the closet with a pretty remarkable open source alternative to Navision at FSFÃs (the Icelandic Society for Digital Freedoms) next conference. Im not going to spoil the news just yet, but itll be awesome.

So with the Navision thing going on the situation normally pans out like this: Company/institute X switches to Free Software nominally, installing Ubuntu and OpenOffice.org on all computers, except those of the top management who need to have access to Microsoft Navision Financials. The middle management then complains that theyre important enough to have Microsoft Office and that they feel devalued as employees for being forced to use the free, open alternative that doesnt suck. Eventually the middle management gets their way, and then the lowest employees start heaving the same sighs. Before you know it Company/institute Xs Free Software policy is a piece of paper rotting in a drawer somewhere.

I have seen this happen.

So when Microsoft comes to collect, they know theyre entitled. Theyve done their job extremely well indeed. And the MCPs, struggling to stay topside, they go to extreme lengths to stay afloat. One Icelandic company, already embroiled in a massive antitrust scandal by way of their owners, just laid off their entire staff and offered to rehire them at deducted pay. The networking department, they said no. They werent going to take a pay cut.

So the management types, with Microsoft breathing down their neck on one side, and the Icelandic Competition Agency (samkeppnisrÃÃ) on the other, they think, oh shit. Oh shit. Our data hosting services department, these geeks, theyre the guys who are hauling in the real moolah. Theyre selling the services, not just reselling dud licenses to software that could be free, and that at a loss. So lets do anything we can to rehire them, lets give them a raise.

And the hosting guys, true to their egelitarian hacker nature, they said no.

âoeWe appreciate that youre being skull-fucked, but we arent going to screw over our colleagues, our friends, by accepting your raise when theyre taking a cut. No sir, cant do it.â

The following afternoon they were escorted out of the building by the police.

Theyre not the only ones, hell no. Microsofts cock has been in many-a skull the past month. Stories abound. I could go on at length, but sensation only goes so far and for most of what Ive been hearing I have little evidence â" its hearsay. Little birds chirping in my ear. But they sing a pretty awesome song. One of my sources told me that Microsoft Iceland had an emergency meeting, but a Microsoft employee I know denied it, so I cant really relate anything on that front.

That isnt the point anyway. The beauty is there. By not willing to cut their MCPs some slack, the Redmond Giant has practiced unsafe skull-fucking, and have now contracted a rare form of financial syphilis. They cannot get money without forcing people to pay, and the more they force it, the less they will be able to force it, because those who survive will switch to Free Software, and those who dont will go bankrupt.

Redmond will figure out this mistake either next week, when their MCPs start disappearing off the radar, or now, when this blog post starts permeating through the world. Either way, theyre done for. Unless, and this is important: Microsoft can redeem themselves towards the Icelandic economy if and only if they immediately reduce the price of all of their products to zero, permanently. Anything less will be an act of non-compliance towards the needs of the Icelandic economy, and can be considered an attack on the nations sovereignty. Such an attack will inevitably be responded to by the market by way of an across-the-board adoption of free software.

I cannot stress how important this is. In a world fueled by digital transactions made possible by software it is no longer acceptable that the necessary infrastructure be subject to the whims of economic skull-fuckers. We cannot afford to pay for things that can be copied at zero marginal cost, and any country that is forced to do so will have to pay with their freedom.

Mahatma Gandhi spoke of Swadeshi, meaning economic independence and sustainability. In the aftermath of this financial crisis Iceland, and every other polity, big and small, will have to move towards swadeshi, and that means taking back their infrastructure. All of it.

Re:Better formatting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27130825)

What the fuck are you doing? Removing all the apostrophes and mangling the double quotes and en-dashes.

Optimism (5, Funny)

Mr. Conrad (1461097) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130501)

I think it's rather impressive that Microsoft hasn't run out of feet to shoot. Nor bullets, apparently. Then again, they may have amassed an ample supply of peg-legs in their fight against piracy.

Re:Optimism (2, Funny)

grcumb (781340) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130613)

I think it's rather impressive that Microsoft hasn't run out of feet to shoot. Nor bullets, apparently. Then again, they may have amassed an ample supply of peg-legs in their fight against piracy.

Actually, they're the legs from broken chairs.

Shitcan middle management (3, Insightful)

Fastball (91927) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130523)

From TFA: "So with the Navision thing going on the situation normally pans out like this: Company/institute X switches to Free Software nominally, installing Ubuntu and OpenOffice.org on all computers, except those of the top management who need to have access to Microsoft Navision Financials. The middle management then complains that theyâ(TM)re important enough to have Microsoft Office and that they feel devalued as employees for being forced to use the free, open alternative that doesnâ(TM)t suck. Eventually the middle management gets their way, and then the lowest employees start heaving the same sighs. Before you know it Company/institute Xâ(TM)s Free Software policy is a piece of paper rotting in a drawer somewhere."

Adapt. Improvise. Overcome. Fire the entrenched middle managers. If they don't want to liberate their departments from this morass, save their countrymen a pile of kronas, and just generally improve their situation, well...who needs 'em?

Time for them to head to the conference room where Bob Slydell and Dom Porterwood are waiting.

Re:Shitcan middle management (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27130689)

Fire middle management because they don't like a piece of software? Wow, then zealots have the balls to wonder why they are called zealots.

I like one of the comments on the blog (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27130583)

"Oh, and very inflammatory article. Seems more of a manifesto/hack job than a reporting piece."

Wait, is he thinking that an article entitled "Microsoft skullfucks Icelands economy" might be a mainstream piece of professional journalism?

Discussion point: time to short MSFT? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27130627)

What happened in Iceland seems to be a general liability for Microsoft. It strikes me that almost all of Microsoft's products, whether you believe they're a net good thing or net bad thing for the IT industry and other sectors, have two things in common: 1) they cost money; and 2) they're optional in the sense that there are free alternatives that are at least usable, if not superior.

Faced with an economic downturn that's more or less worldwide in scope, and likely several years in duration, does anyone see any possible way MSFT's revenues can be maintained at current levels? Organizations looking to lower their costs will eventually notice the money hose going to Redmond, and wonder if it can be turned down or disconnected altogether. In almost all cases the answer to that question is "Yes."

It seems that one way to take advantage of a bear market like this one is to identify large-scale players with vulnerable bottom lines and short-sell them. Thoughts?

Re:Discussion point: time to short MSFT? (2, Interesting)

Fastball (91927) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130677)

A bridge too far. Just as MSFT shares were relatively stale during the latest bull market (early '06?), they're likely to hold up during this bear market. Why? A hell of a lot of cash on that balance sheet. Were it not for that, I'd say, "Commence firing." But they have a sizeable cushion and flexibility from the war chest they amassed in the 90's.

Re:Discussion point: time to short MSFT? (2, Informative)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130833)

Hmm. On a per-share basis, they actually don't have much cash at all (9E9 shares outstanding, $20E9 in the bank, so their cash value is only about $2/share.)

And Ballmer has shown all the restraint and conservative business acumen of a recent lottery winner. "Gee, I think I'll use the company's entire war chest to, um, buy Yahoo! Yeah, that's it, Yahoo! I can has Yahoo?"

Sounds like a lot of downside, more than their cash reserves can cushion.

What's wrong with that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27130643)

Hey MS are a business. If you do not like their product or business practice then go elsewhere.
All businesses play hardball - that is a fact of life. There is some give and some take. deal with it.
(And yes MS do give - just because it is not what you like or as much as you like doesn't make it untrue.)

Companies and countries without money... (2, Insightful)

guruevi (827432) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130669)

...looking for free alternatives to overpriced stuff. News at 11.

Nothing new really. We know Microsoft is going to die sooner or later. They've had their run in the industry but just like the RIAA their current models don't work well anymore in the current economies so they'll either adapt or die kicking and screaming in the courtroom. They chose the latter (just like the RIAA) because it seems to be the easiest way out (short term goals). The other way requires retooling and reshaping a lot of company structure, eliminating unnecessary management.

oh sure, entice the /. crowd to RTFA (1)

brianc (11901) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130757)

(Warning: link contains strong language and vivid imagery.)

Although, I'm not sure it'll work...

Wait, what? (4, Insightful)

Sinbios (852437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130773)

The MCPs that don't go bankrupt in turn are moving headlong to Free Software

Software resellers are moving headlong to Free Software? What is their business model supposed to be?

I'm going to assume this line is trying to say "The MCPs that don't go bankrupt in turn are going to bankrupt themselves for the Free Software cause, for no particular reason".

Re:Wait, what? (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130831)

TFA specifically mentioned that MS licences were, historically, loss leaders that the MCPs used to drive service/support sales. Presumably, FOSS will be the (smaller) loss leader instead, with the added perk of not being locked into any contract.

TFA isn't a masterpiece of unbiased discourse; but that part is fairly clear.

Re:Wait, what? (1)

geekboy642 (799087) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130849)

Software resellers are moving headlong to Free Software? What is their business model supposed to be?

* Selling windows or office licenses at a loss
* Selling OpenOffice at any price

Which one actually has a chance to make money for your company? Take a few minutes to think it over, and ask an adult if you can't figure it out.

Re:Wait, what? (5, Insightful)

Hooya (518216) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130891)

From what I gathered from the article, most MCPs were selling licenses at a loss anyhow since that is how they could compete with the other MCPs - all with the hope that they could make that up in support contracts.

If that's true, then they were starting with a loss - and sold support.

Why not start at $0 and sell support?

Not exactly a balanced Article (4, Informative)

kzieli (1355557) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130777)

OpenOffice.org from Microsoft Office. This switch is easy because not only is OpenOffice.org superior software in every respect, itâ(TM)s also feature-compatible with Microsoft Office

Hm. no Can't agree with Open Office being superior. At the least a significant amount of re-learning is require. I know every time I use it I find it a frustrating experience.

And no if Word is the baseline then OO Writer is not feature complete. Once I learnt to use it the outline view in Word was the killer feature, which made editing large documents doable. Without outline view I could not imagine working on documents of a comparable size.

As for spreadsheets their are two keybindings I need. Insert current data and insert current time. Apparently their are third party macros for this. But tts something that's never available without additional effort when I try to use calc.

So no OpenOffice is not a simple drop-in replacement for Microsoft Office. Then Again if it where a drop-in replacement then Microsoft would undoubtedly be suing.

FOSS maturity (1)

Jamie's Nightmare (1410247) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130793)

Ahh, yes. An article entitled "Microsoft Skull-fucks Iceland's Economy, Contracts Syphilis". That's real classy. It's the kind of mature and dignified attitude I've come to expect from the FOSS/Linux community at large.

A good model for others to follow! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27130795)

I think Open Source Software is great, I recommend them to any client that can safely be moved away from Windows. Most homes and business, only need an office suite (OpenOffice.org), a Web browser (Firefox) and just few other applications, which have a parallel in the Open Source world.

To keep them comfortable, during this transition, I usually install the Linux along the Windows partition, so they have access to both. Most have decided to stay with Linux!!!

I do strongly encourage them to support the said OSS, however much they can. It's the ethical thing to do.

Good Luck...

The MCP's that don't go bankrupt.... (1)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130823)

The MCPs that don't go bankrupt in turn are moving headlong to Free Software, taking most of the country with them

and teh websight with them

Iceland is almost as big as Tombstone Arizona (0)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130837)

You have to keep a sense of scale. Iceland is a very small 'country'. It really was just a second rate tax haven and compares unfavourably with many Caribbean islands - especially nowadays. So in the greater scheme of things it is just a blip on a old TV screen.

foot shooting (1)

rawg (23000) | more than 5 years ago | (#27130843)

Microsoft has been trying to commit suicide for 20 year, and people are just now realizing it. How many company's to they have to kill, how many people do they have to piss off before people start looking elsewhere. A lot!

I know this is offtopic, but (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27130869)

Man, if Iceland is so broken they can't pay M$ for something they sold already, so I am changing my strategy to get a wife.
I was thinking to get a Russian/Ukrainian bride through those bride-by-mail services, but people told me Russian women are mean, and they will just find a way to get the divorce as fast as they can after they get their definitive greencard.
So, what about Icelandic women? People say they are all hot Valkyries with blond hair and blue eyes. And they are probably so ass broken now that even to move to my momma's basement in Simpletown, USA will look like heaven for them.

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...