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Microsoft Denies Sabotaging Mandriva Linux PC Deal

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the fair-market-etc-etc dept.

Mandriva 161

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

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Slightly funny (2, Interesting)

udippel (562132) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222507)

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

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

Maybe cynical - but history shows... (4, Insightful)

dna_(c)(tm)(r) (618003) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222567)

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

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

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

Re:Maybe cynical - but history shows... (3, Insightful)

Chemicalscum (525689) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222723)

Actually senior government officials in Nigeria need large amounts of cash stuffed in large envelopes and handed to them in cafe's in Switzerland. Of course this practice is not unique to Nigeria at least one former prime minister here in Canada have been known to indulge in this.

Re:Maybe cynical - but history shows... (4, Funny)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223231)

WRONG!! I've got an official in Nigeria who's giving me 47 million dollars in exchange for me helping him secure an inheritance that he's taking from another official....

Re:Slightly funny (1)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222595)

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

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

As if we didn't know the answer.

Re:Slightly funny (5, Funny)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222639)

We both know Microsoft will continue to endeavor to maintain maximum synergy with the various heavy users of e-mail throughout Nigeria. A spokesperson was quoted as saying "We believe Exchance is the perfect solution forr the bulk amounts of e-mail commonly found in Nigeria's main industries".

Re:Slightly funny (1)

ericartman (955413) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223001)

"It's a cookbook!!"

Cart

Re:Slightly funny (3, Funny)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223313)

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

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

Re:Slightly funny (1)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223547)

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

You've got things a tad confused. "help meet their needs" is referring to Microsoft's.

tagged STFU (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21222509)

When company spokesmen go out, open up their assholes and spout out crap about how they're all about choice and innovation, it makes me hate their employer. Really. ST Fuck U. Everyone knows you're a fucking liar, you people don't believe in choise at all, so just STFU already. I'm not buying another fuck microsoft product ever, hear me? Fuckers.

Soooo fucking tired of liars.

Re:tagged STFU (1)

pintpusher (854001) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223349)

I'm not sure this AC is really trolling. I mean this is pretty much how I feel about it too. They're all a bunch of liars trying to see which one can spin out the right lie to get the sheeple to bend over and take some more. shrug.

You can have any OS you like as long as it's ours (5, Insightful)

linuxci (3530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222535)

"Microsoft said it believes individuals, governments and other organizations should be free to choose the software and other technologies that best meet their needs"

That choice is Vista Basic, Vista Home Premium, Vista Business, Vista Ultimate. Microsoft will do anything to make sure that they get a stronghold in emerging markets, they don't care what's best for the user (of course sometimes windows is the best option, doesn't mean it is all the time)

Re:You can have any OS you like as long as it's ou (5, Informative)

arivanov (12034) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222769)

12 or so years ago the days I sysadmined in an educational/research outfit in Eastern Europe. There was a 100% correlation between the so called local Microsoft rep for Education knowing about a shipment with Unix kit and the kit stolen at the cargo terminal. This was before the days of CCTV in the cargo areas at Sofia Airport so the interested parties had on the average between 2 and 12 hours to deal with all interesting containers and packages before they went through customs. In order to do that they needed one thing - to know which container is interesting.

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

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

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

Nuff said. No further comment necessary.

As much brilliant as a choice between.... (1, Insightful)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222879)

Cocaine or Heroine.

Microsoft let you freely choose to what you'll become addicted.

Re: ... any OS you like as long as it's ours (2)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223007)

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

Re: ... any OS you like as long as it's ours (1)

linuxci (3530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223075)

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


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

Re:You can have any OS you like as long as it's ou (3, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223019)

How many companies out there care for what's "best for the user" if it doesn't involve their products?

how about (5, Funny)

XTbushwakko (535540) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222537)

"Microsoft has strong (relatively cheap) relationship with the government in Nigeria and will continue to give them cash."

Standard business in accordance with the law. (4, Insightful)

malkavian (9512) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222539)

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

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

Smoke and mirrors once again, Microsoft.

Re:Standard business in accordance with the law. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21222667)

Wait, did they just say that pirating Windows is ok, as long as it's "the best software for the task" ?

(My computer is not a toy, so a toy operating system doesn't fit the need in my case.)

Re:Standard business in accordance with the law. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21222707)

(My computer is not a toy, so a toy operating system doesn't fit the need in my case.)

My computer is not a toy either. Which is why it runs a serious operating system rather than a toy. One of the ways you can tell the OS is not a toy is by the fact that of the worlds top 500 super computers most of them also run Linux as I do.

The least popular OS on super computers comes from a company that tends to subsidize one or two super computers just so they can dictate that the machines run their toy OS.

heads up for 2008 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21222871)

Warren Buffett's billions in funny money will turn over to The Gates Foundation in January. Operating under the guise of a 'charity' allows Gates to further his political agenda and heave crates of MS software around without oversight or overhead of needing to show a business case or reporting to the board.


Look to see MS spinmeisters focusing on licensing costs so that interoperability, standards compliance, flexibility, security and ease of maintenance stay out of the picture.

Oh really? (3, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222547)

"We are seeing strong market demand for Windows on low-cost devices ..."

And so they respond with ending Win98 and WinXP while pushing Vista in spite of the fact that the vast majority of users don't want it?

Re:Oh really? (0, Flamebait)

pdusen (1146399) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224471)

Only if by "vast majority" you mean "very vocal minority". The "vast majority" couldn't care less. I agree that this is pretty fishy, but don't be ignorant.

Title is Misleading (5, Informative)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222569)

The title is misleading. Microsoft did not say it didn't 'sabotage' the deal, it said

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

Yes, business can be cutthroat at times, but when you get a tiny competitor's product to not be used even after being ordered by the customer and yours to replace it, things seem highly suspect. Since this is in Nigeria I presume no anti-trust actions will occur, but the relevant officials should take note.

Re:Title is Misleading (5, Funny)

Plunky (929104) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222675)

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

it means... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21222739)

... bribery is legal in Nigeria. Not surprising.

Re:Title is Misleading (1)

weicco (645927) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223211)

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

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

Re:Title is Misleading (1)

Kythe (4779) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223227)

Hmmm...but is Nigerian law the only law of interest here? Is it in accordance with US law for a US company to bribe officials of a foreign government?

Re:Title is Misleading (2, Interesting)

CrazedWalrus (901897) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223729)

I work at an international investment bank. Our rules are basically that we obey they laws of the country we're operating in *as a base requirement*. Beyond that, we're expected to pretty much follow US law as well, wherever possible. In other words, even if bribing a government official is legal in that country , we're not allowed to do it. It's a matter of reputation and trust. Microsoft already has a reputation, and their customers don't seem to understand the concept of trust as it applies to software, so neither of these are really factors.

Following the rules of a developing country is setting a pretty low bar. The idea is to set the bar higher and act as an example, not to mention to avoid the ire of people in first-world countries who tend to key in on legal-yet-unethical practices and put them on the 6 o'clock news.

It's also a matter of risk management. When you start playing dangerous games, the risks increase significantly. By turning down business that would have incurred abnormally high risk in order to obtain, we shield ourselves from the consequences should that risk become reality.

Well if they deny it... (3, Funny)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222591)

"Microsoft has denied sabotaging Mandriva's deal [CC] with the Nigerian government to supply Classmate PCs from Intel along with a customized Mandriva Linux operating system.
It's puzzling though, I really would've thought they had something to do with it.
But if they say it wasn't them, it must be one of those freak events we keep reading about in News of the World.

Re:Well if they deny it... (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222943)

I get it! We're in ImaginationLand! This must be part 4 of the new South Park episodes!

Gotta hand it to MS (0, Troll)

bignetbuy (1105123) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222597)

They managed to make the Nigerian government pay twice for an operating system. Better than all the 419ers combined. Kudos to MS. Now, please deliver Vista to those sons of too.

American's Pay Twice Too ... (1)

Cassini2 (956052) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223025)

Hey, Microsoft can get us computer users here in North America to pay twice for a computer operating system too. Once for the Vista license, and then a second time for the XP license ...

At least the Nigerian's only pay Microsoft once!

Mandriva still got paid right? (1)

bunbuntheminilop (935594) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222607)

So what's the big deal at the end of the day? It's a shame, but the Nigerian goverment could have just NOT gone with Mandriva at all.

Re:Mandriva still got paid right? (1)

Kythe (4779) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223237)

Indeed, what's the big deal? You might ask Microsoft that, since it's a fairly safe bet they actually bribed Nigerian government officials to take their operating systems.

Sounds to me like Microsoft acknowledged it was a big deal by their actions. Why do you suppose they did that?

Re:Mandriva still got paid right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21223303)

So what's the big deal at the end of the day? It's a shame, but the Nigerian goverment could have just NOT gone with Mandriva at all.

Yeah, what a bunch of whiners! If this early Massachussetts, Microsoft would have had them hung as witches and their lands divided up among the major players! This is a comparatively good deal compared to, say, being pressed under a bunch of rocks. Some people want to hold Microsoft to a ridiculously high standard, but they're not making the right comparisons!

Anti dumping laws (3, Interesting)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222613)

This 'deal' should be opened up and examined. If M$ is found to have provided the copies of MS Windows at below cost it should be taken to task using the anti dumping laws [freetrade.org] . All the financial aspects should be examined, including and 'free consultancy' and hardware donations/upgrades, ...

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

Re:Anti dumping laws (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222653)

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

The average annual salary in Nigeria is $160.00

Re:Anti dumping laws (1)

temcat (873475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222929)

Well, the cost of a copy of Windows XP is the cost of a blank CD and the time to copy the image ;-)

Re:Anti dumping laws (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223565)

A lot less than that when you're getting them masted by the million, I'm sure.

Re:Anti dumping laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21223405)

>> If M$ is found to have provided the copies of MS Windows at below cost

Cost is what ? 0.30$ per CD ?

You are pushing a FREE (as both in freedom and in beer) OS. You can't impose a price for MS products just because the compete with your FREE products.

Re:Anti dumping laws (1)

mscamara (971396) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223765)

You do realise that linux is always provided below cost, as nothing is free... The programers donnate their time. With the talent they have, I seriously doubt that their time is free.

That law doesn't apply (1)

slashbadger (1183865) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224539)

Did you even read your own link? The anti dumping law is written to prevent foreign governments dumping below-cost products into the US market. Last I check, Microsoft isn't a foreign government and Nigeria isn't the US market.

Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21222619)

Do they also deny trying to sabotage Java, DrDOS, SPF, ISO standardization process or ECMA4?

A fine bit of Clintonesque "what 'is' is" spin (1)

jejones (115979) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222633)

In one sense, the guy is right. The deal wasn't sabotaged, in the sense that the computers are being purchased with Mandriva.

OTOH, MS can't allow a large number of users to be exposed to Open Source software, so...

Re:A fine bit of Clintonesque "what 'is' is" spin (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21222925)

Dude, in case you haven't noticed, Linux-based companies don't make their revenue from selling the OS. If Nigeria wanted Mandriva on their pc's, they could simply downloaded an ISO and loaded it on their machines without paying Mandriva a cent. The revenue that Mandriva was counting on was from support contracts. You know, the same kind of business model that Red Hat uses.

In unrelated news (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21222641)

the fox denied eating the chicken.

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

Thomas

Yeah, right (1)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222663)

Microsoft's conviction for monopolistic practices in the EEC argues strongly against their spokesman's statement. Of course, when has a spokesman for a large corporation, especially MicroDreck, said anything that was more than tangentially connected with the objective truth?

You call thaT A DENIAL? (5, Insightful)

John Jamieson (890438) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222679)

Cmon, for a PR persn,that is effectivly an admission of guilt, with a statement of "too bad, it is not illegal" tacked on.

Re:You call thaT A DENIAL? (1)

rubato (883366) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223967)

Right on. Of course they "denied" it. When do you ever see a liar admit that they are lying?

There really ought to be a death penalty for corporations, and it should have been applied to Microsoft long ago, when they were convicted of being abusive monopolists.

Re:You call thaT A DENIAL? (1)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224161)

You're right, it's a taunt with an extra helping of raspberries.

Obvious LIES (3, Insightful)

Skiron (735617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222685)

"Microsoft has denied sabotaging Mandriva's deal with the Nigerian government..."

Then why is the Nigerian Government still paying Mandriva for the contract they was happy with (and still appear to be happy with it)? This is so obviously MS bunging them money AFTER they lost the fight, and telling them "Here you are, here is a few million to get rid of that and install Windows - we will pay for the loss".

Business as usual... (5, Insightful)

glug101 (911527) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222693)

I've been reading the comments here and the comments on the previous article, and I'm surprised to see something missing.

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

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

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

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

I doubt they are selling licences (1)

Skiron (735617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222713)

Remember, MS is the crack coke dealer - at first, they don't care if they give it away (as it appears has happened here) as long as they get people 'hooked' and tied in.

MS would rather somebody use a pirated copy of Windows rather than use another OS.

This is just usual business for MS - perhaps the most immoral and unethical company ever know in the modern world.

Re:I doubt they are selling licences (3, Insightful)

Clueless Nick (883532) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222917)

Wrong.

1. Union Carbide [wikipedia.org]

2. Monsanto [wikipedia.org]

3. British East India Company [wikipedia.org] . Well, not exactly modern, but known.

Re:I doubt they are selling licences (2, Insightful)

Skiron (735617) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223073)

Perhaps - but they done it and got caught, and now forever under the eye... and other companys see that and be clean... ...BUT MS do it all the time. The buying votes/rigging voting in the ooXML ISO fiasco, which now seems to have brought the whole ISO process to a halt. This latest Nigerian issue. The MS funded BBC DRM iPlayer. SCO case. the list goes on and on and on. Just look at the any of the past dealings MS are involved in and all have the element of unethical and immoral practices. All of them.

And they don't stop - and never will, as that is the only way MS can compete in the market.

Re:Business as usual... (1)

ThEATrE (1071762) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223013)

Microsoft's interests include having as many copies of Windows flooding the Nigerian market as humanly possible.

Re:Business as usual... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21223787)

I would agree. Here in Cambodia, bandwidth is expensive and dvd's are cheap. It is much much harder and more expensive to get a copy of Linux than Windows or OS X (making a comeback with virus frustrated Academics).

If Microsoft wanted the copies of Windows out of the stores, it could be done. Most books on Cambodia are available as pirated copies, but one book store has exclusive rights to some books, and they disappeared almost overnight. (Incidentally, they are some of the best books available).

They would just need to pay the police more than the pirates.

There is also a lot of interest from the Cambodian IT community in moving to Open Source before the World Trade Organizations IP rules are supposed to come into effect in 2012.

But the vast majority of people are becoming addicted to Windows. It is cheap and easy to get, manuals are available and training institutions get 'corportate sponsorship'.

If piracy was cracked down on, I am pretty sure people would start to look for alternatives. If a XP/Office package cost about a years salary, wouldn't you?

Re:Business as usual... (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224093)

The US is also an oil producing nation.

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

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

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

Hey Microsoft, give me a choice, please... (1, Interesting)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222701)

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

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

New definition (4, Funny)

MoogMan (442253) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222763)

Brings a new meaning to the words "Nigerian Scammer".

It's just "good" business. (3, Insightful)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222775)

I've seen cases like this before in the hardware business. Not very often, but it does happen occasionally. After a long hard sales cycle, Neal Nanotech decides to buy something from that hot new startup, Tyrell Corpration. The sales team from Cyberdyne Systems decides that they can't afford to lose NN as a customer, since they'll lose not only future sales and the income from the maintenance contract, but Tyrell will be able to use NN as a refernce in future ad campaigns. So, there's one last big push to a Senior VP, the President, or even the CEO. Typically, Cyberdyne offers a trade-in allowance for all of the Tyrell product at NN's full purchase price, while discounting Cyberdyne's prduct just enough to equal the trade-in. This way, NN isn't out any money (at least not initially) while Cyberdyne avoids violations of any anti-dumping laws. Cyberdyne then sends the brand-new Tyrell products straight to the recycling center. (Or maybe they resell it on eBay, with a good long offer period. "Look here, Mr. Potential Customer! How good can Tyrell's product be if people are dumping unopened boxes of it on eBay?")

Re:It's just "good" business. (2, Funny)

gooman (709147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223257)

This is how you know a /.Poll has been up for too long.

I don't see the problem (0)

Mathness (145187) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222843)

I might have missed something, but I don't see why Mandriva is going out on a limb here. They did sell the computers and OS, Microsoft didn't change that.
The costumer got what was ordered and then wants to change the OS (seems to be okay when the OS is change to Linux, imagine that). It _is_ their computers, they can more or less do what they want with them now.

Re:I don't see the problem (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21222953)

It's because they can smell a big huge stinky rat. There had been lengthy trials of both the OLPC and Classmate, and they chose a localised Mandriva PC over all comers from these lenthy trials, satisfied to the point of buying thousands. Then, once the deal is made, sealed and out the door, they decide the lengthy trials where MS competed and lost were wrong, and they needed an additional Microsoft software against their initial recommendations. It just stinks that they were offered the MS version, rejected it for an alternative, went through and purchased the alternative and then went back and changed their minds for additional cost to lock themselves into the MS monopoly.

Re:I don't see the problem (1)

The_DoubleU (603071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222989)

Because Mandriva can't use this case as a reference anymore.
They can't go to any potential buyers and show them that the Nigerian Goverment is using Mandriva and is very pleased with it.
Sure they get some money now, but this might cause them to loose sales in the future.

Re:I don't see the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21224011)

The problem is, they want to change to windoze because of the bribe M$ paid them. That is unethical. The Micro$oft way.

Hope every MSFT customer demands the same deal (2, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222899)

Well, if we generate enough publicity for this deal, may be all the customers of MSFT will start demanding equal treatment with Nigerian Govt. The would demand MSFT to sell its product at the same price Mandriva wold have sold their products. MSFT will tell small companies to just go fly a kite and will quietly cave in to big corporations. Mid level ones will get the deal or not depending on how tightly they are integrated with MSFT tools. But everyone will learn one cold hard fact. The only way to extract a good deal from MSFT is to be less dependent on its products.

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

Re:Hope every MSFT customer demands the same deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21224223)

> The would demand MSFT to sell its product at the same price Mandriva wold have sold their products.

You obviously misunderstand. The Nigerian government is still paying for Mandriva, but now they're also paying for Windows to replace it. If Windows doesn't have a negative price tag, then think for a moment about what their incentive is to do this.

Point: microsoft cares (2, Insightful)

basiles (626992) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222933)

The interesting point is that Microsoft cared to reply to Mandriva. I thought that such a huge mastodonte as Microsoft don't care about small businesses like Mandriva. I find that the mere fact that Microsoft replied something is interesting.

put the fox in charge of the henhouse (0, Flamebait)

AlgorithMan (937244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222949)

Microsoft said it believes individuals [...] should be free to choose the software
saies the company that is multiply convicted for illegally taking user's choice away...
either the person in charge has no clue about the IT world (in which case he shouldn't be in charge for this decision) or he was bribed - there is no other credible explanation for this step (all of a sudden paying extra for redundant software)

Why even deny it? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222969)

Its called business, if you offer a 'sweeter' deal then the next guy, be it by a better products or deeper discounts, you make the sale.

This is hardly even news.

Re:Why even deny it? (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223039)

Err, there is a mis view regarding to what actually happened. Nigeria ordered computers AND customized software, and the deal was done. Now imagine that the day you are getting computers + custom software you paid for you suddenly decide that you want other software, this is not MS winning an elicitation against Mandriva, this is about a government that orders and pays for something but suddenly decides not to use it for no reason.

Re:Why even deny it? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223061)

THat happens every day in government. One person makes a poor decision and once its discovered they cancel the contract and back out.

( not saying it was a bad decision that was reversed in this case, but the principle is the same )

Re:Why even deny it? (1)

Kythe (4779) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223261)

It does?

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

Of course, it's also illegal for government workers to take bribes in order to seal a deal. Not to say it doesn't happen, but it's not kosher.

Re:Why even deny it? (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223283)

Well, as they say, caveat emptor.

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

The MS spokesman is saying, in effect, MS is doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, to uphold the principle of consumer choice. You don't really believe that MS is forgoing profits without expectation of recouping their costs later, do you?

Re:Why even deny it? (1)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224281)

> Its called business, if you offer a 'sweeter' deal then the
> next guy, be it by a better products or deeper discounts, you make the sale.

> This is hardly even news.

Except of course for the fact that apparently Mandriva had already made the 'sweeter' deal because that's what was chosen. Then all of a sudden Nigeria change their minds? The only way that would make sense for Nigeria is if they received money (I.E. bribe) because they already chose and paid Mandriva. It's the only possibility. It has nothing to do with better products or discounts, etc. at this point because Nigeria had _already_decided_ that Mandriva met their needs.

It's not the sale that's newsworthy, it's the scam.

Choice? (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 6 years ago | (#21222987)

Microsoft said it believes individuals, governments and other organizations should be free to choose the software and other technologies that best meet their needs.
As long as that "free to choose" doesn't include buying a comptuer at local retailers with Linux or no OS.

May I be the first to say (4, Interesting)

kimvette (919543) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223003)

BULLSHIT.

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

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

My guess? Some official initially chose Linux as the sensible solution, and then Microsoft's money greased a high-level official's palms. I don't think it's necessarily Microsoft that did it, but a third party (plausible deniability, elimination of a paper trail involving even swag, etc.) which somehow benefits from the sale of Windows rather than installation of a(n) (inexpensive|free)/free OS.

Re:May I be the first to say (4, Interesting)

EvilRyry (1025309) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223195)

It must have been Microsoft. Nearly everyone else in the economy benefits from having an open OS. An open OS allows multiple competitors to play in the same market place which drives innovation and fair prices, I'd like to coin this concept as capitalism. Having Linux around would allow for a Nigerian Linux start-up to emerge and take hold of a decent chunk of the local population rather easily; since the government already uses Linux in the schools the kids would how to use it and the governments information infrastructure will grow with Linux in mind. Linux in general would be a very viable OS in this type of environment. These local compan(y|ies) would provide jobs to the economy, reduce imports and dependence on Microsoft, and possibly even provide an exportable service. It would also be a nice gateway into the technology industry (not sure what they have currently in Nigeria). So in short with Linux, customers benefit, government benefits, economy benefits, everyone but Microsoft walks home happy. This deal was definitely rigged by M$. (Yes, the $ is appropriate in this context.)

Re:May I be the first to say (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223397)

Why is this moderated flamebait? Corruption is endemic in a number of African countries. It's one of the main things that is holding those countires back.

Re:May I be the first to say (1)

aproposofwhat (1019098) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223439)

As I pointed out when this was first discussed, (http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=346907&cid=21196881 [slashdot.org] ), someone's going to have to install 17,000 copies of Windows on these PCs, and there's probably quite a nice little earner in it for them.

There's no absolute necessity for someone to have been bribed - a very generous discount for the licenses plus the prospect of being able to abstract a chunk of the budget for a nice big Windows installation could have been enough to influence a decision maker without baksheesh changing hands.

Re:May I be the first to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21224507)

I don't think it's necessarily Microsoft that did it, but a third party
When I worked in the Gulf, the job title for the bag man was "government relations representative." Every company had one. They received a substantial retainer (a few hundred thousand a year), lived on part of it, and the rest ended up as briefcases of $20 bills or expensive gifts to officials (for example, I recall that tickets to Bangkok were briefly in fashion). It was a challenging job because it was difficult to know where to apply the grease in any particular case: there were competing factions that would block each other's deals and it wasn't feasible to pay everyone off. From what I've heard from people who have worked there, Nigeria is even more corrupt, with some violence and mayhem thrown into the mix. At least the Gulfies were genteel. Sometimes someone would be expelled from the country, but I didn't know of anyone who got beaten or killed in the course of doing business.

Re:May I be the first to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21224585)

My guess? Some official initially chose Linux as the sensible solution, and then Microsoft's money greased a high-level official's palms. I don't think it's necessarily Microsoft that did it, but a third party (plausible deniability, elimination of a paper trail involving even swag, etc.) which somehow benefits from the sale of Windows rather than installation of a(n) (inexpensive|free)/free OS.
It doesn't take a third party or Microsoft money to grese a high level official's palm. Have Balmer do the monkey dance and yell "developers, developers, developers, developers", put his hands on his pits and then shake hands with the official. If Ballmer wants to make the deal more interesting, the battle cry could be "four nineteen, four nineteen, four nineteen, four nineteen."

Err (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223065)

I thought Microsoft was smart enough to avoid making any statement to these regards, I guess I was wrong. Although I feel relieved I am not dependent on their software anymore...

Long-term cost and application availability (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223085)

In the previous thread on this issue, someone noted that this choice can in no way benefit the Nigerians, as in Linux you have a larger choice of free/opensource software than in Windows. I think that was an excellent point, and one I'd like the nigerian bigshot who made the decision of removing Linux to replace it with Windows, reply to.

Unless, of course, everybody involved just assumes that the Windows applications will be pirated. In which case, Microsoft is complacent and at least implicitly endorsing piracy.

Interpretation (1, Troll)

MBHkewl (807459) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223095)

"We are seeing strong market demand for Windows on low-cost devices to help governments in the areas of education, local innovation, and jobs and opportunity," the Microsoft spokesperson said in the statement.

- Which market, the US?
- Low-cost devices demand a low-cost OS, not one that costs the same as the hardware (or more)
- Education & local innovation by Windows? Most applications are shareware and innovation is killed by OS license & closed source
- Jobs & opportunity, by demanding technicians for the buggy OS, and demanding that each takes a lame MCSE license to get a job?

Their own statement stands against them... one just have to look at it from a non-MS angle.

Windows good for governments (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21223123)

Windows is an undeniably superior solution to linux for governments who want to keep their citizens under control. In the orwellian sense, it sure helps with "education".

Sabotage? (1)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223183)

Who, Microsoft? No, they were just being competitive.

Wire us $$ and we will install your OS (2, Interesting)

linuxpaul (156516) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223491)

We know from the letter, that the devices will be shipped with Mandriva Pre-installed. And that Mandriva has already been paid. It also seems likely that money has already changed hands in favor of the Nigerian government to support this "sudden change of heart".

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

From a country that specializes in "Wire us some $$$ and you will be rich", it may be the case that MS marketing drones may be experiencing the joys of an industrial-scale 419 [419eater.com] scam.

Mandriva in Nigeria - Microsoft in Africa (2, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | more than 6 years ago | (#21223901)

Mandriva - only recently out of bankruptcy - is a small commercial Linux distribution employing less than 150 people world-wide and has perhaps eight million users. Mandriva [wikipedia.org]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And we should believe Microsoft because ... ? (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224303)

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

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

MS: Campaigning for the role of most loathed international criminal conspiracy.

I'd like to be there... (2, Insightful)

TW Atwater (1145245) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224373)

...when they realize that those 1 GB Mandriva Classmate PCs will need a 2GB flash chip to run Microsoft crapware.

Sabotaging? (1)

danielk1982 (868580) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224387)

I think its called competition.

Microsoft (1)

icedcool (446975) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224561)

Is...is that MY hand in the cookie jar?!

No, I deny it.

My hand has a strong relationship with the gov...er cookie jar and will continue to partner with said cookie jar and cookies to help meet their needs.

Wake Up Nigerian Citizens (1)

Sudheer_BV (1049540) | more than 6 years ago | (#21224583)

Citizens of Nigeria, see what's happening in your country. Get to know how your tax paid money is spent by your government officials on software licenses. Can your government afford to change decisions after the lengthy evaluation and pay two vendors?

François could have appealed to the people pf Nigeria in his blog rather than openly accusing Ballmer.

Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21224587)

I wonder, when was the last time I read about a Linux deal of this sort that Microsoft didn't sabotage?
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