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Taiwanese Parliament votes Against Microsoft

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the most-likely-not-binding dept.

Microsoft 139

linumax writes "Taiwan's parliament has voted to end its dependence on Microsoft software, demanding that the government reduce purchases from the software giant by 25 percent this year. The resolution, passed on Friday, is an attempt by the island's law-making body to end the near monopoly Microsoft has with local government offices, a legislative aide said. Local newspaper Commercial Times said however that the resolution may not be binding because it runs against fair trade regulations in Taiwan. Officials at Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission declined to comment."

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139 comments

how much (1, Interesting)

hjf (703092) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481025)

how much do you want to bet that the gov't sites are only acccessible via internet explorer?

In related news (5, Funny)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481033)

Microsoft offers China software for their missile guiding systems and naval fleet.

Re: In related news (2, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481042)

> Microsoft offers China software for their missile guiding systems and naval fleet.

And, along with a number of other big name US companies, helps China censor the internet.

Which will... Re:In related news (1, Funny)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481049)

Which will show a BSOD just when used during the *real* firing.

Re:Which will... Re:In related news (1)

WeAreAllDoomed (943903) | more than 8 years ago | (#14482076)

Which will show a BSOD just when used during the *real* firing.

don't be silly. it will redirect the missiles back at their own ships.

Re:In related news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14481085)

When ready to fire, software says "HACKED BY TAIWANESE!"

Re:In related news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14482142)

w3 0wn your Nuclear B0x3n
kind of spooky actually...

Chinese Missile Launch Sequence (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14481091)

After Microsoft fits them with software, the standard procedure includes:

- Boot up missile command system.
- First thing you do is install latest security patches, or else some kid in San Jose, California is going to take control of your missile.
- Log in to Hotmail.com to get the target coordinates from your superior officer. You will find it buried somewhere in the middle of 80 or so M3NSGR0WTH spams.
- After your clear the pop-up messages blocking the launch widget, launch the missile.
- Restart whole prodecure after missile crashes in the blue ocean of death well short of its target.

Re: Chinese Missile Launch Sequence (4, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481121)

> - First thing you do is install latest security patches, or else some kid in San Jose, California is going to take control of your missile.

Probably will anyway, before you can download and install the patches.

> - Restart whole prodecure after missile crashes in the blue ocean of death well short of its target.

And blame the rocket driver.

Re:In related news (4, Funny)

ThaFooz (900535) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481246)

Microsoft offers China software for their missile guiding systems and naval fleet.

Wow, lucky break for Taiwan. They might just stand a chance now if China choses to use force.

Taiwanese Piracy & Red Flag Linux (0, Troll)

reporter (666905) | more than 8 years ago | (#14482369)

The rate of software piracy in Taiwan is just under 50% [pcworld.com] ; in other words, for each legitimate copy of software, there is a pirated copy. So, even if the Taiwanese government succeeds in reducing the use of Microsoft software, the impact would be 1/2 of what you would expect on Microsoft's bottom line.

Also, note that Taiwanese have already integrated their economy into the economy of mainland China [geocities.com] although the political systems remain separate. There is the distinct possibility that the Taiwanese government may standardize on the Chinese version of Linux: that version is Red Flag Linux.

The Taiwanese have already invested more than $100 billion into more than 50,000 businesses in mainland China. Following the example set by mainland Chinese companies, Taiwanese companies have also sold weapons technology to Iran: Washington slapped sanctions against both Taiwanese companies and Chinese companies. (My source is "The Federal Register [slashdot.org] " for January 2005.)

More than 1 million Taiwanese have already emigrated to mainland China. They voluntarily choose to live under the authoritarian rules of Beijing and view being ruled by Beijing as simply an inconvenience. I suspect that most Taiwanese have used Red Flag Linux; certainly, most of the Taiwanese emigrants to China have used it.

As a side note, we Americans should never sacrifice our time, our money, or even our lives to prevent a mere inconvenience for the Taiwanese, and we should terminate our support for Taiwan. The Taiwanese have manipulated us Americans completely. (The Taiwanese constitution even insists that Tibet should be integrated into "One China".)

Re:In related news (1)

xs650 (741277) | more than 8 years ago | (#14483037)

Microsoft offers China software for their missile guiding systems and naval fleet.

Then Taiwan's anti-missile plan is working.

And replace Windows with? (0, Troll)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481040)

They can replace it with OSX computers, thus spending a lot more money in the process, or they can use some Linux variety which will not support most of the software they need, requiring custom solutions and ports, thus spending a lot more money in the process.

So which one will it be?

Instead of dumping Windows randomly (wtf is getting rid of "25% of the monopoly"??) they could instead negotiate to get better deals out of MS. If they buy XP now, they're set with support and a modern OS for at least the next 7 years (I know Vista is coming, but XP will be a factor for a long, long time still).

Re: And replace Windows with? (4, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481057)

> They can replace it with OSX computers, thus spending a lot more money in the process, or they can use some Linux variety which will not support most of the software they need, requiring custom solutions and ports, thus spending a lot more money in the process. So which one will it be?

The real question is, do they want to save a lot of money in the short run or a hell of a lot in the long run?

Re: And replace Windows with? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14481208)

Adding to parent's post:

requiring custom solutions and ports, thus spending a lot more money in the process.

And why not spend this extra money on a domestic company supporting/porting to linux? I really don't understand why their goverment should export money to the US when there are very good alternatives...

Re:And replace Windows with? (4, Insightful)

bobintetley (643462) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481058)

use some Linux variety which will not support most of the software they need, requiring custom solutions and ports, thus spending a lot more money in the process.

Who said freedom was cheap?

Besides, this would be a one-time cost that would get them off the Microsoft upgrade treadmill - a cost that would pay for itself in time.

Re:And replace Windows with? (2, Insightful)

Stan Vassilev (939229) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481341)

"Who said freedom was cheap?"

So you're saying it's not costs that matter for a government, it's abstract values.

Also, who said Linux is freedom*. The value of open source depends largely on what you want to use it for.
The value of being able to tinker with your OS is as much of value to a businessman/clerk as it is to you to tinker with your internal organs for the fun of it.

If you want freedom throw your PC through the window and run naked in the park.

*I suppose that'd be my karma suicide for daring to flame on linux :)

Re:And replace Windows with? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14481374)

You're a fucking faggot

Re:And replace Windows with? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14481404)

Yea! He a fucking faggot! Fucking faggot!
He one of us fucking faggot anonymous cowards!

Re:And replace Windows with? (2, Insightful)

bobintetley (643462) | more than 8 years ago | (#14482064)

So you're saying it's not costs that matter for a government, it's abstract values.

I didn't say anything of the sort. I simply stated that making a larger up-front investment in your IT infrastructure to save an ongoing cost would be cheaper in time. "freedom" in the context I used it refers to freedom from vendor lockin and forced upgrades through end-of-lining support of products.

The value of being able to tinker with your OS is as much of value to a businessman/clerk as it is to you to tinker with your internal organs for the fun of it.

No, but I'm fucking glad that there are a whole host of people out there who I could pay to work on my internal organs for me should they go wrong.

Are you seriously suggesting that because the businessman doesn't know about code that it is valueless for him to be able to pay someone with the skill to do it for him, rather than be at the mercy of a single vendor?

*I suppose that'd be my karma suicide for daring to flame on linux :)

I rather suspect if you were downmodded it's due to your points being extremely shallow and making very little sense.

Also, who said Linux is freedom?

I rest my case...

Re:And replace Windows with? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14481073)

Blah, blah, blah. The new Intel based Macs are no more expensive than a PC. You can't get a stripped down POS like you can with a Wintel, but nobody in government is buying POS computers. You've simply got nothing to back up your claims with.

Re:And replace Windows with? (2, Insightful)

Cyanara (708075) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481112)

XP a factor for a long, long time still? I thought Microsoft had some sort of support/redundancy cycle that very much prevented such a thing, especially if maintaining security is a concern to the customer, and XP has been around for a few years now.

Timing? (3, Interesting)

Device666 (901563) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481050)

The refered article says: "Local newspaper Commercial Times said however that the resolution may not be binding because it runs against fair trade regulations in Taiwan. Officials at Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission declined to comment." Why now then, and not 10 years ago? What's the drip of water that flooded the bucket? (Dutch saying translated to bad english).

Re:Timing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14481075)

your proverb translates to "the straw that broke the camel's back" (/me is from germany, we have the dripping barrel here ourselves ;) )

Re:Timing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14481133)

What's the drip of water that flooded the bucket?
 
That is a fantastic idiom! I shall remember that one.

Straw that broke the camels back. (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481334)

The dutch version is "De druppel die de emmer deed overlopen" or translated "The drop that caused the bucket to overflow".

The dutch saying however is superior, naturally being dutch, as it neatly combines with the other saying "a drop in a bucket". Wich is used often to show something having little to no effect. True or not, enough drops and the bucket still overflows. I think the english version is a crack in the armor? One crack doesn't matter but they add up until your standing naked on a battlefield.

Anyway all the crap about Fair Trade should tell you the opposition is really grasping at straws. Fair Trade Regulations are for enforcing against your enemies NEVER for restricting yourselve. Airbus VS Boeing. Europe and America both heavily subsidize the respective companies and both call foul when the other does it. Same with farm subsidies.

This is just another tiny wakening up as the world realises that having all IT tied up by one company is perhaps not the smartest move ever made.

Oh and all the people crying that MS will just do X or the US goverment will stop it or it will never happen. Straws on camels and drops in buckets remember. It all adds up.

Re:Straw that broke the camels back. (1)

krbvroc1 (725200) | more than 8 years ago | (#14482137)

English version would be 'Straw that broke the camels back' as you put in your comment title. As a camel is being loaded with more and more stuff, there is some point that it cannot take anymore.

The other saying you mention is a 'A chink in the armor'.

Re:Timing? (1)

jbevren (10665) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481488)

(Just to clarify the idiom) I believe a good US/English replacement would be "The straw on the camel's back," but I do enjoy the drop flooding the bucket imagery.

-jbevren

Re:Timing? (2, Interesting)

OwlWhacker (758974) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481792)

the resolution may not be binding because it runs against fair trade regulations in Taiwan

They should change it to 'reduce purchases of software that uses proprietary file formats, APIs and protocols - to prevent lock-in.'

There's nothing wrong with that, and it would achieve the same result.

Re:Timing? (1)

m50d (797211) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481983)

It's not MS that was against fair trade regulations, they're saying that a resolution aimed specifically at MS may be against the regulations. As for why they're doing it now, my guess is they've decided linux has become good enough to replace windows.

Expect a flying visit from Ballmer (5, Insightful)

99luftballon (838486) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481055)

If past form is anything to go by Ballmer or another senior executive will be booking their flights to head down and do a deal. Expect a large discount to be forthcoming that would allow the government to continue with its purchasing and still meet the 25 per cent target. It's happened before but the question is how long Microsoft can continue along that route. Discounting is all very well but once more governments get in on the game it's going to start costing. Why is it one supposes that Microsoft seems to move faster when a government threatens to stop sales than when they threaten it with an enquiry? This tells you a lot about the effectiveness of competition regulations in a WTO world.

Re: Expect a flying visit from Ballmer (3, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481077)

Hmmm. Ballmer... monkey... flying...

Taiwan might give up Microsoft, and monkies might come flying out of Bill Gates' butt?

Re:Expect a flying visit from Ballmer (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481131)

Yes I expect this is probably true.

The question is whether their target for this year is to reduce Microsoft products by 25%, measured in dollars, or in userbase/systems-installed. If it's in dollars, then MS could discount their products by 25%, and business would go on as usual. Obviously I'm sure that would not be Microsoft's preferred outcome, but given that the marginal cost of each install is essentially zero (assuming that they're using the same media over and over) they're still making a ridiculous profit.

Re:Expect a flying visit from Ballmer (4, Interesting)

Crayon Kid (700279) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481358)

It's happened before but the question is how long Microsoft can continue along that route. Discounting is all very well but once more governments get in on the game it's going to start costing.

Costing what!? It's not like they didn't cover the cost of producing Windows hundreds of times over by now. If you mean "lower profits" then yeah, but to Microsoft it's probably worth it. Lower profits is better than nothing.

No, I'd be more worried about other governments starting to get pissed. It's not nice to pay premium price for Windows and see that others get it for much less.

The way Microsoft affords to juggle with the pricing on their products is unique to both software and selling in general. They practically have a special price for any market, as long as it sells for something, anything. Kinda reminds me of certain illegal substances...

Re:Expect a flying visit from Ballmer (1)

99luftballon (838486) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481751)

It won't hurt the company's bottom line but it would hurt the share price; no investor wants to see falling returns over something with the potential to spread worldwide and cut into profits.

Re:Expect a flying visit from Ballmer (1)

MicroBerto (91055) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481498)

What's he gonna do? Throw a chair at them?

I wonder how many other business execs really take that guy seriously anymore. I'd just ask to deal with someone else.

Re:Expect a flying chair from Ballmer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14481702)

In Taiwan, that chair will go straight through those paper walls!

One way they can aford it (1)

dptalia (804960) | more than 8 years ago | (#14482170)

Is the Gates Foundation, which provides software to need schools, etc., buys primarily Miscrosoft products (about 90% of their software budget) and always pays list price. There's a nice built in profit margin for Microsoft!

Re:Expect a flying visit from Ballmer (1)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14483252)

>It's happened before but the question is how long Microsoft can continue along that route

Short answer, For ever.

Think about it, with their creation/distribution costs they could probably sell each copy of windows for a few dollars--maybe ten, the rest is profit.

In fact, I'm pretty damn sure they have already made back all the money they invested into every product they have created so far, so if they were to charge $1.50 per download for all their current products, they would still make money.

Monopolies have strange properties.

OSS is gaining momentum (5, Interesting)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481056)

Way to go Taiwan! I expect many more Countries to move their Government IT infrastructures over to OSS in the year ahead.

I'm sure I am not the only one snickering at the irony at the comment about potential Fair Trade violation -- against MS, which is an Internationally convicted Monopolist.

Which begs the question, are Taiwanese Lawmakers so stupid to make laws that prevent their Governemnt from having a real choice for purchases, or are MS's lobbyists also very active over at the WTO?

Re:OSS is gaining momentum (1)

William Robinson (875390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481104)

are Taiwanese Lawmakers so stupid to make laws that prevent their Governemnt from having a real choice for purchases

Definitely not. Yesterday they have read this [slashdot.org] on slashdot and today they have acted.

Re:OSS is gaining momentum (1)

DaHat (247651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481445)

Convicted monopolist? Hahaha! Seriously dude, learn the facts... like what they were really convicted of.

Seriously though... let me get this straight... you would rather have OSS gain through legal maneuvers and laws rather than open and outright competition?

Quite a shame really as such subsidizing of OSS tends to show that it is too weak to stand on it's own against Microsoft and the other big players and instead needs to be subsidized by governments in order to give it a chance.

Re:OSS is gaining momentum (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14482085)

Correct.

OSS, just like all forms of socialism, has to be massively subsidised by the state (tax-payer) in order to survive, or be remotely competitive.

Seeing as most (if not all) government entities in the West have an abysmal record in implementing major IT projects, this is hardly a suprising development.

Re:OSS is gaining momentum (3, Insightful)

The Cisco Kid (31490) | more than 8 years ago | (#14482143)

--
From http://www.usdoj.gov/atr/cases/f4900/4909.htm [usdoj.gov] (Microsoft Conclusions of Law and Final Order, May 98)

"The Court having entered judgment in accordance with the Findings of Fact and the Conclusions of Law on April 3, 2000, that Microsoft has violated 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C., as well ... "

--
From http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode15/us c_sup_01_15_10_1.html [cornell.edu] (USC, TITLE 15 > CHAPTER 1, aka 'Sherman Act')

  1. Trusts, etc., in restraint of trade illegal; penalty

  2. Monopolizing trade a felony; penalty

--

So under what set of FUD is it that you beleive MS is *not* a convicted monopolist? Pay close attention to #2 there of the Sherman Act.

I dunno about the OP, but I would prefer to have free and open competition for OS. Unfortunately, we havent had that for at least a decade now - MS has and continues to see to that by its use of monopolistic lock-in strategies that prevent potential customers from objectively evaluating multiple options - since their data is in secret-proprietary MS format, and/or their business partners are only willing/able to communicate using secret proprietary MS formats, they have no choice but to use MS, even if it is a royal suck-ass POS. Add in that MS has and continues to force OEM PC vendors to choose between offering only MS on most systems, paying probably ten times what they are now per machine to only offer it on some, or offering it on none, and you get a recipe for a market as far away from 'free and open competition' as is possible.

Re:OSS is gaining momentum (1)

AutopsyReport (856852) | more than 8 years ago | (#14482397)

What? This article, and this news story, really has nothing to do with OSS. So before you start touting that "OSS is gaining momentum", recognize that this government is only reducing purchases made between themselves and Microsoft by 25%. It does not imply that OSS will be used as a replacement, because you could substitute "OSS" for "OSX" and come to the same conclusion if you were as fanatic about OSX as you are about OSS.

This story has nothing to do with OSS. This should be very clear.

Two Part Strategy For Dealing With The MS Problem (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14481063)

This sounds like the common strategy to deal with the Microsoft problem:

1) Draw a box around all existing Microsoft software infesting the government or company in question. Forbid the growth of any Microsoft software outside this box.

2) Once the Microsoft infestation has been contained and growth halted, slowly start purging the existing Microsoft software and formats with clean and open solutions like OpenOffice, OpenDocument, Apache, Linux, BSD, XML, etc...

Re:Two Part Strategy For Dealing With The MS Probl (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14481236)

I agree with the two points, however there is an important third component to ridding a company or government of Microsoft products.

3. Purge any and all employees who are loyal to Microsoft and not the organization for which they work.

This is one area that seems to get overlooked too often when discussing organizations that are struggling to rid themselves of Microsoft products. In my experience it is not the actual document formats or application retraining that is the stumbling block to migrating to open systems, but very often one rogue IT manager or employee who can best described as a "Microsoft guy."

Companies like IBM had entire divisions of these people who were more loyal to Microsoft than to the company that employs them. IBM dumping their PC hardware division thankfully purged a huge number of these rogue employees from the company - although IBM still has a long way to go with similar types of Microsoft loyal employees throughout the company.

Exposing these people in the companies we work for by making it clear how many thousands or millions of dollars they are wasting is something the open source crowd really needs to step up to the plate and do. Many companies have no idea of the magnitude of waste they are spending on Microsoft products every year. Anonymous emails or other forms making these numbers known in companies can jar a company onto the open source/open format path in a hurry. If there is one thing geeks can be, it's sneaky when it comes to computers and information...

Re:Two Part Strategy For Dealing With The MS Probl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14482288)

4. Purge any and all employees who are loyal to Linux/OSS and not the organization for which they work.

>>Anonymous emails or other forms making these numbers known in companies can jar a company onto the open source/open format path in a hurry. If there is one thing geeks can be, it's sneaky when it comes to computers and information...

Another thing geeks can be is hopelessly naive, childish and totally fucking unaware of the real world, and how your supposed campaign of 'Anonymous emails' would be percieved by anyone remotely in authority, or any serious decision-makers.

Sheesh!

Re:Two Part Strategy For Dealing With The MS Probl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14482624)

Feeling the walls closing in a little?

Windows is the only real option (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14481066)

What the heck else are they going to use? Linux? Ha!

Re:Windows is the only real option (2, Funny)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481490)

Windows is the only real option
What the heck else are they going to use? Linux? Ha!

Hey Steve, stop wasting your time in these forums and go back to work!

                                                                                                        --- Bill

hot issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14481076)

"...because it runs against fair trade regulations in Taiwan. Officials at Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission declined to comment."

this is already a pretty nasty situation...i'm sure these officials aren't looking forward to dealing with it whats-o-ever. from the looks of it, this issue has blue marks from when people tried to poke at it with a 10' pole.

MS Corporate Affairs (4, Insightful)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481103)

MS has serious corporate affairs problems and its lobbying strategies are part of the game.

E.g. in Europe: When MS gets the scum of US lobbying to Europe and they are unable to adapt to Europe, no wonder parliament rejects them. Even EU-Commissioner Wallström spoke negatively about Microsoft:
"And I was very disappointed to learn that Microsoft has agreed to block Chinese blog entries that use words like democracy, freedom, human rights and demonstration." It seems like Microsoft is not alone in "bad company"." -- which implies the Commissioner openly called MS a "bad company".

Guess Taiwan will also be excited about those MS-"relations" to China.
--

I mean, look at political radicals like DCI/TechCentralStation, or persons like Jonathan Zuck or Hugo Lueders which served Microsoft's interests in lobbying. No wonder they lose.

Whenever Ms is in trouble they hire a whole universe of unsound lobbyists which poisons their reputation in Parliament. Like the tobacco industry.

Media hates Microsoft, loves anti-MS stories. Everybody knows Microsoft and its products. Good for nasty stories.

Microsoft lobbyists usually do serious mistakes which fire back on Microsoft.

What will those idiots do now? Hire everybody they can get and further ruin their reputation in Taiwan. Hire lobbyists which will execute the strategy the public expects. What will civil society do? Gratulate MS for the great aid to their lobbying efforts.

Re:MS Corporate Affairs (1)

EntropyEngine (890880) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481573)

Local newspaper Commercial Times said however that the resolution may not be binding because it runs against fair trade regulations in Taiwan.

Well that's OK, 'coz Microsoft run a monopoly and they don't like fair trade...

Re:MS Corporate Affairs (1)

Saint V Flux (915378) | more than 8 years ago | (#14482104)

When will you people just admit that you're pissed that you're not rich and stop hating MS for being successful? Apple implements a dozen more practices of a monopoly than microsoft, but since microsoft is focused on a different group of people (and therefore successful since they don't price gouge as a result) they're called a monopoly. If I were running MS, I'd just use the hundreds of billions that they have and hire a private army to deal with libeling people out there (especially governments like the EU who just want to extort money to pay their debts off).

Red Flag! (0, Flamebait)

dud83 (815304) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481108)

As China refuses to let go off Taiwan, it is still (at least politically) owned by China.
So, they could just roll out Red Flag Linux [redflag-linux.com] real quick!
Screw the capitalists/monopolists/satanic-worshippers/anti-c hrists/[insert random irrational stereotypical offensive word here] at Microsoft and get some real bad-assed red commie powers!

Re:Red Flag! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14481122)

Dude, Taiwan is independend from China, though China doesn't agree here and it certainly isn't a communist country.

So whatever you were trying to do, troll, make a joke or just post on /. because you don't have anything better to do, please get a clue about the subject the next time around.

Thanks!

Re:Red Flag! (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481125)

In fact "China" is a universe of different nations and cultures. Taiwan is a seperate state and belonged to China in history. Taiwan is no part of China and a totally different political system and culture. Today a reunification of china and Taiwan is as absurd as a reunification of India and Pakistan.

Re:Red Flag! (1)

denobug (753200) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481450)

Dude. This is /. Keep the flamebite politics out of the forum and concentrate on the subject of MS licensing strategy, shall we?

Re:Red Flag! (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481555)

I don't think the Taiwanese government regards Taiwan as a part of Red China. They insist on beeing an independend state. Now, the Red Chinese Government questions that. So this is an existent international conflict. What we believe is irrelevant. Of course there is no reason to regard Taiwan as a part of the current chinese state. And Microsoft is caught in between and has to be very careful when it deals with Red China. Because otherwise the Taiwanese government will kick Ms in the ass.

Re:Red Flag! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14481936)

If the Red Chinese arrest all Taiwanese businessman who go fscking in China and jail for six months, S.B. Chan's government will be toppled next week. Just when you think both side are independent.

Re:Red Flag! (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481146)

There are a whole lot of Taiwanese people who would agree with your characterization of Mainland (PRC) China's "ownership" of any part of the political system of Taiwan.

Frankly, I smell a troll.

Correction (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481231)

Okay, let's try that one again, without hitting "Submit" when I mean "Preview":

There are a whole lot of Taiwanese people who would disagree with your characterization of Mainland (PRC) China's "ownership" of any part of the political system of Taiwan.

Just as one example, the presidential party in Taiwan, the Progressive Democrats, are officially pro-independence. (And depending on who you ask, so is the other major party at least on paper; they're just more conciliatory towards the PRC.)

Black gold? (1)

linj (891019) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481124)

This is Taiwan we're talking about.

When they say they'll reduce purchases on Microsoft-related products, they actually mean that 25% more IT-related money will go into various politicians' pockets.

Hardware companies? (3, Interesting)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481134)

I wonder what this means for Taiwanese hardware makers that, until now, have only provided Windows drivers.

13.8 Million Internet Users (3, Insightful)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481242)

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ tw.html [cia.gov]

22,894,384 (2005) in population, 13+ million people are online. Making legislative body to make policy against a major player in computing industry (Microsoft in this case), may create one of the most damaging ripple for Microsoft.

Although that 13.8 million internet users won't turn off their Windows machines over night, but it's plausable to tinker with the idea that Taiwanese government may legislate a similar policy to goverment contractors and corporations dealing business with Taiwanese government to enforce private sectors to depend less on Microsoft product. And knowning China and her relationship with Microsoft, this may be interesting to see how Chinese government will react to this plausable senario.

Wich relation? (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481414)

Is this the china that is behind Red Flag Linux or is this the China that buy from international companies soft/hardware and services to help keep their citizens inline?

China's politics on their own are already screwed up enough. Frankly it seems to suffer from an advanced case of split personality. This is nothing unusual, many "goverments" do things that seem to be at odds with each other but china just does it to the extreme. How can you really combine capatlism and communism in one country? By not looking to closely at policies that seem to contradict each other. Instead you just go with the flow and hope it all works out. Sorta like most of human history. So they shot some protesting students when it went a bit out of control. Name one country in the world that has not killed peacefull protestors since the end of WW2.

Taiwan is a point of pride but for the immidiate future it is like what cuba is to america. Exactly why does America still boycot cuba? By now it should be clear it ain't working in fact it only shows to the world exactly how america thinks of anyone that does not do exactly as it tells them. Bad PR but giving in will make the americans loose face.

Same with China and Taiwan. It makes China look bad constantly as no discussion about China is complete without someone bringing up taiwan but China giving in would cause to much loss of face.

So your suggestion of anything happening is absurd. if anything considerings china push of red flag linux this could be seen by the insane as a move by taiwan to please China.

Re:Which relation? (1)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481591)

"Exactly why does America still boycot cuba?"
IMHO, Cuba now is a strategic enemy of state. Cuba is no more threat to US than Canada is to US, but the idea that Cuba one time in history pointed nuclear warhead toward US still can be viewed as recent history.

"So your suggestion of anything happening is absurd. if anything considerings china push of red flag linux this could be seen by the insane as a move by taiwan to please China."
First, I merely suggested that it would be an interesting outcome. Even you suggested that China has split personality, so it would be "plausable" to play with an idea that perhaps China's influence may play a role. Second, I never suggest China will push for Red Flag linux, however China may favor Microsoft and perhaps that's where it may turn out with interesting result.

But over all, I do agree. China most likely will not touch this issue and more than fair to say that China will leave Taiwan alone. .. but that won't be interesting at all, now would it? :)

Re:Wich relation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14482177)

How can you really combine capatlism and communism in one country?
Employee ownership. But China isn't communistic, there is some weird social dictatorship over there.

Re:13.8 Million Internet Users (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481508)

And knowning China and her relationship with Microsoft, this may be interesting to see how Chinese government will react to this plausable senario.

China may dislike the RoC's government more than most nations, but I doubt they'll be handing over all lucrative contracts over to Microsoft when they have more than enough home grown solutions.

What's the ratio (1, Interesting)

pvera (250260) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481280)

Of legal licenses, at least within government use? 25% sounds like a lot, but if 75% of their desktops are running unlicensed MS software then MS is not really taking a hit with this 25% reduction.

You failed economy? (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481618)

Oh sure it won't cause MS to go bankrupt. Not directly anyway. However I would say that a reduction of your share of the desktop market from almost 100% to 75% would cause a bit of a panic in any sensible company.

The worst bit is that someone apparently broke the connection Computer == Windows. This is bad. Kinda like thinking in america Democracy == Capatalism. They got a place in Cuba for people like that.

To many people even the suggestion of running another OS runs into a brick wall as computers is Windows. An alternative OS to them is XP or 98 or 2000. This example is even clearer when it comes to office software. Just try sending your CV to anyone in a non MS word format. Like eh RTF? A MS format? Documents == MS Word.

This is very handy. It causes a kinda loop, because everyone runs windows everything only works with windows so people buy windows so that their stuff will work and because nobody buys anything else then windows nothing else is supported. Cue endless loop.

UNTIL someone throws a spanner into the works and decides that they are going to run another OS. Oh one doesn't matter, he/she will just have to adapt or die. "Very nice OS you written their Mister Torvalds but what you going to do with eh? All software available is for Windows and won't run on your OS."

Luckily Mister Stallman had been working on lots of pieces of software and it met up and spawned Linux (or to keep Mr Stallman happy GNU/Linux).

Slowly the almost complete dominance of MS on the desktop started to crumble. Oh sure, a fraction of a percentage at first but remember, the biggest avalance starts with a single snowflake. Except that MS doesn't fear an avalance. It fear a snowball.

Why? As long as it has/had 99% of the market it could dictate its standards on the rest of the world. Internet Explorer is a clear example. Your website MUST work on IE. MS doesn't feel like supporting all the features of PNG image format? Then it isn't usable. Oh sure Mozilla can show some nice demos of what is possible but what is the use? IE doesn't support it.

Throw in a lot of unique features into IE and you will create that loop again. If you want to view 100% of websites you better be running IE and because everyone uses IE websites can use the unique features that handily force everyone to run IE. And so on.

The Linux freaks, BSD zombies and Mac faggots on their own are bad enough neatly reducing MS dominance by easily 5%. Oh wow, 5%, MS must be quaking in its boots, somebody setup a collection fund for Bill Gates kids so they can buy some shoes.

Very funny BUT it does matter, not because MS is going to go bankrupt but because the loop is being broken. IF 5% of you potential web customers do not run IE at any cost do you still code your website to make use of IE only features? This is a bit like asking, if 5% of your supermarket customers are in wheelchair or use a rollator do you build an extra wide entrance to allow them entry or do you let them go to the competitor who does?

It is becoming easier and easier to surf the net without IE.

And this is just with a tiny percentage changing. Now 25% of all goverment desktops switching? Yikes. You know this might mean that goverment sites actually become mandatory visible in non-ie browsers. Shock HORROR! It could mean that ideas like using MS passport for identification with your local goverment (actually proposed) would be impossible.

MS has survived a long time because if you wanted to do IT you had to do windows. IF this changes and MS will really face competition where a person can go in a store and choose his OS on preference NOT because his software on runs on one of them that would force MS to compete on quality.

That has MS very worried indeed.

Re:You failed economy? (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 8 years ago | (#14482185)

It very much could be a snowball. For each application added to Linux or Mac that raises the market share, so it makes it more viable for other applications producers to commit. Replace "application" with "hardware device" and do the same.

Then there's the issue that applications are becoming more and more web based. There are web-based project management solutions now, webmail, web-based CRM, web services for data etc etc.

I also think that Microsoft are going to find it harder and harder to sell OS. PCs are now fast enough for most users, so making a new sale is going to get harder. Vista adds very little as far as end-user functionality. Plenty of corporates are running Windows 2000. I think a lot of businesses will seriously consider their Linux options when looking at a Vista upgrade.

Re:You failed economy? (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14482194)

I think you missed the point.

The point being, that Taiwan doesn't pay for most of their software to begin with due to lax to nonexistant copyright laws. If they aren't paying for it in the first place it doesn't matter if they cut the budget for it by 25%.

If they now only puchase 3 new copies instead of 4, but 4,000 are pirated it's not really a 25% impact.

He wasn't saying that 25% of Taiwanese governemtn sales aren't a big deal, he was saying that 25% of Taiwainese governemnt sales aren't really 25% of Taiwainese governemnts new Microsoft installs.

You missed mine (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14482312)

It ain't the money, MS is filthy fucking rich and will continue to be so for a long time. It is that their absolute control of the desktop is crumbling.

There are some nasty people who have suggested that MS has benefitted greatly from pre-XP version of its software being so easy to copy. OS/2 was harder and copying Apples OS is pointless since it is tied to the hardware. How many people had MS Office at home because that was the CD they could borrow from work?

MS has neatly ensured that IT is the desktop and if that changes its whole business must change. You can see this with IE. All of sudden it is being upgraded and copying all the features that exist in Firefox and Opera. Why? Not because MS is loosing money, they do not sell IE so why should they care? Because Firefox/Opera/Safari is costing them the control of the desktop.

MS only started caring about everyone paying for their license when they thought they had the market controlled. If you give MS the choice between taiwan going 25% non-ms or giving taiwain all MS software it wants free of charge then the answer is clear. MS has already done that in the past. Google for Munich, when MS learned it was not the only bidder it lowered its price and offerted so much freebies that it was basically giving the install away. All to stop its dominance from crumbling. MS can afford to loose a few billion, it cannot afford competition.

Taiwan? Buying Software?? (4, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481296)

Who'd a thunk it! Next they'll be a story about the Chinese negotiating with Hollywood to drive down the prices on DVDs.

It's a Whole New World!

Market observers report... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14481305)

... that stocks of IKEA and other furniture makers are expected to open higher today.

This is crap (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14481323)

I will be modded as troll. But come on, it has become a fashion with all the countries to bash on microsoft because they have problem with US. There is nothing wrong if you want to change your OS, But because you don't like US, bashing one of successful US companies is crap.

Re:This is crap (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14481336)

You are right, your comment is crap. Getting out of the dependency on a single company as it is now exists with Microsoft is reason enough -- no matter where that company is based. Whether or not there are problems with the US (there are, and not surprisingly so) might be a factor, but by far not as important as the problems of single vendor lock in that already exist and will become bigger in the future unless something is done against it now.

Re:This is crap (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481352)

It is probably more the conflict of Taiwan with China and Microsoft's recent moves to take part in the biggest party in the world. And that MS lobbyists are nuts.

Microsoft software is not just Windows (3, Insightful)

erbmjw (903229) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481480)

The article doesn't say that the govenrment must reduce the use of the Windows OSes; just Microsoft software, so Taiwan could just use different databases, office suites, etc

Re:Microsoft software is not just Windows (1)

The Cisco Kid (31490) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481953)

In case you hadn't noticed, Windows is MS Software. I'll grant that they probably meant '25% overall', so if they can reduce total expenditure by 25% just by reducing MS applications, then that would satisfy the requirement. But that certainly doesnt prohibit them from choosing non-MS opatering systems, either.

Re:Microsoft software is not just Windows (1)

erbmjw (903229) | more than 8 years ago | (#14482171)

In case you hadn't noticed ... the title of the subject is "Microsoft software is not just Windows". So yes, I was and am aware that Windows is Microsot software, but it's not the only Microsoft software available.

In other words Taiwan could decide to keep the Windows operating systems and use other products on top of them instead of Microsoft office suites, databases, etc.
I'm not saying that is what they will do but it is still an option with what little information we can get from the article.

I never said that they could not choose other OSes I would be happier if they did, I was just trying to curb the excitement for the "Windows is leaving taiwan postings" with a leavening of logic.

Re:Microsoft software is not just Windows (1)

erbmjw (903229) | more than 8 years ago | (#14482231)

The parliament does not want to reduce expenditures by 25% overall! They want to reduce the overall percentage of purchases of Microsoft software for government usage. So total expendiure could even go up, as long as the overall percentage of purchases from Microsoft goes down by 25%.

From the article "Taiwan's parliament has voted to end its dependence on Microsoft software, demanding that the government reduce purchases from the software giant by 25 percent this year."

Re:Microsoft software is not just Windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14482642)

just Microsoft software, so Taiwan could just use different databases, office suites, etc

Could, if they were using something else than Microsoft. But we are talking about Microsoft here, so there is no "different databases" or "office suites". There is only One Database, and One Office suite (and One Way, too).

This is no news at all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14481730)

This has been happening all over the world. No news at all. What I am waiting for is a story that says that XYZ decides to move to all Microsoft Solutions and this _be_ newsworthy. Maybe in a few years. Hopefully.

Another Bully Stared Down (2, Funny)

readin (838620) | more than 8 years ago | (#14481873)

So Taiwan is willing to stand up to both Microsoft and China! Way to go! I wish other industrialized nations had that kind of courage!

It's a national security issue (4, Insightful)

cpu_fusion (705735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14482019)

When choosing an operating system for government use, particularly in areas such as law enforcement, taxation, military, or legislative administration, the choice between open and closed source operating systems boils down to national security.

By choosing an open source system such as Linux, a nation has the power to audit and fix holes in the operating system which leave the government open to espionage. Choose Windows, and you will have to count on an American company to keep your computers secure from such glaring problems as the WMF bug. Choose Windows, and you will have to hope that American intelligence agencies and Microsoft billionaires and their buddies are honest enough to proactively discover problems, inform you of them, and fix them. Choose Windows, and you bank on Microsoft spending its money towards improving its existing products, (through, for example, exhaustive security audits), as opposed to earmarking that money towards ridiculous expansionistic endeavors into other business markets (too many to list here), and polishing up the next versions of their cash cows: Office and Windows.

Now, interestingly enough, this argument can be expanded to encompass concerns about corporate espionage. Do you trust your corporate secrets to Bill Gates?

If I was a MP in Taiwan, I'd introduce legislation to BAN government use of proprietary, closed-source operating systems. It's a matter of national security.

No ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14482663)

"...you bank on Microsoft spending its money towards improving its existing products...

No, you bank on Microsoft spending YOUR money ...

In other news... (1)

thrill12 (711899) | more than 8 years ago | (#14482531)

...Microsoft will help China upgrade their ICBM-installations using Windows-CE and Windows-Vista.
In a comment, Bill Gates was quoted as saying: "We will help China bring clarity to the world (tm), especially to insignificant provinces on the south of their border."

Venezuela did the same thing (4, Interesting)

gelfling (6534) | more than 8 years ago | (#14482601)

But not because of licencing. Because of national interest. Recently a union threatened to shut down the power plants and oil refinery infrastrure via programming and the government was terrified at the prospect of not being able to get their software running, or, if something was done to damage it, fixed.

Linux is totally unknown in Taiwan (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14482805)

Not a single one of the engineers and technicians I have dealt with in Taiwan knew about Linux. MS Windows is pervasive there.
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