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[News] GNU/Linux So Good That Microsoft 'Bribes' Another Government Against It

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Microsoft offers South Korea $60 million 'encouragement' to use its software

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| IN WHAT APPEARS to be a rather desperate move by Microsoft, the firm is 
| actually paying South Korea $60 million just to use its software. 


Microsoft Against Free Software... But In Favor Of Paying Nations To Use Its

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| With more and more countries aggressively moving to embrace free and open 
| source software, it appears that Microsoft is using its own money to its 
| advantage, such as with this agreement to hand over $60 million to South 
| Korea to get it to use its software, rather than the alternatives.    



Microsoft Battles Low-Cost Rival for Africa

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| In Nigeria, Microsoft proposed paying $400,000 last year under a
| joint-marketing agreement to a government contractor it was trying to
| persuade to replace Linux with Windows on thousands of school laptops. The
| contractor's former chief executive describes the proposal as an incentive to
| make the switch -- an interpretation Microsoft denies. In Namibia and
| Nigeria, where it has sought government contracts, the company hired family
| members of government officials. Microsoft says they were qualified.
| [...]
| On Oct. 30, Mandriva announced it had won the contract to provide Linux
| software for the Classmates. Microsoft didn't give up. The next day, it
| delivered TSC a revised draft agreement with an "effective date" of Nov. 1,
| documents show. It offered to pay $400,000 to TSC. In the revised agreement,
| there no longer was any mention of TSC having to comply with Microsoft's code
| of conduct.
| In an Oct. 31 email, TSC told Mandriva that there had been a "change in
| circumstances," and that it "has recently reached an understanding with
| Microsoft to convert" the Classmates from Linux to Windows.
| Mandriva's chief executive, Francois Bancilhon, responded by posting "an open
| letter to Steve Ballmer," Microsoft's CEO, on Mandriva's Web site. "What have
| you done to these guys to make them change their mind like this?" he
| wrote. "It's quite clear to me, and it will be to everyone. How do you call
| what you just did, Steve? There are various names for it, I'm sure you know
| them." Mr. Bancilhon declined to elaborate on his letter.
| In the end, the joint-marketing agreement was never signed, and the Microsoft
| deal unraveled. Microsoft says it gave up after "it became clear" that the
| Nigerian government wanted Linux.
| The laptops were delivered with Linux.



[Mandriva CEO:] An open letter to Steve Ballmer

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| Wow! I’m impressed, Steve! What have you done for these guys to change their
| mind like this? It’s pretty clear to me, and it will be clear to everyone.
| How do you call what you just did Steve, in the place where you live? In my
| place, they give it various names, I’m sure you know them.
| Hey Steve, how do you feel looking at yourself in the mirror in the morning?
| Of course, I will keep fighting this one and the next one, and the next one.
| You have the money, the power, and maybe we have a different sense of ethics
| you and I, but I believe that hard work, good technology and ethics can win
| too.


Linux wins Nigerian school desktops back from Microsoft

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| "We are sticking with that platform," said the official, who would not give
| his name.


A discouraging news for Korean open web movement

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| Open Web, a Korean web forum led by professor Kichang Kim of Korea University
| is best known for its fight against rampant use of Active X in Korea, lost a
| lawsuit against the KFTC (Korea Financial Telecommunication and Clearings
| Comittee). Professor Kim accused that the Korean government's mandate on the
| use of Active X programs for the internet banking and other public web
| services should be lifted, as it is against fair trade and "overly favors
| technology from a single company (that is, Microsoft)".
| Professor Kim has also asserted that as many Korean netizens somehow grew to
| think that Active X is something they have to download anyway, many of them
| are exposed to security vulnerabilities. Also, as so many entities including
| virtually all financial institutes in the nation depend on Microsoft
| technology in Korea, whenever Microsoft announces an update, the whole nation
| has to upgrade its internet infrastructure, and this leads to various losses
| on a national scale - Kim asserted.
| But Professor Kim's year-long accusation fell short of convincing the court
| that the government mandate on the Active X is against fair trade and
| therefore is illegal.


The cost of monoculture

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| Korea will only get beyond this problem by 1) applying Korean laws
| on open standards to the certificate authorities, 2) reassigning new
| certificates which work with open web standards to all Koreans, 3)
| reprogramming all Korean websites to support 128 bit SSL which will
| allow for a heterogeneous marketplace of operating systems and web
| browsers. This is a herculean task and thus Korea stays hostage to
| Redmond.
| Fascinating history. Unintended consequences and de-facto monopolies
| create costs too high to calculate and must be borne without question.


Is MS Overcharging Koreans for Vistas?

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| Microsoft?s Windows Vista program is selling in South Korea at
| prices up to 70 percent higher than in the United States or
| Japan, with Microsoft blaming Korea's immature market
| for the price difference.


Consumers in No Hurry for Vista Upgrade

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| In a survey of 4,144 members of Danawa.com, a price comparison site,
| only 14 percent of respondents said that they will immediately upgrade
| to the Vista platform when Microsoft releases it on January 30.


Korean government warns against Vista upgrade

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| The Ministry of Information and Communication said that it wished it
| could tell a private company like Microsoft to postpone the release
| of Vista, but it can't. The best thing, an official said, was not to
| install Vista before you know what you're getting into.


South Korea, OSS License Guide Announced

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| The Guide explains how to strategically manage and utilize open source SW as
| well as what the open source SW is and how to use it. Explanation for GPL, an
| open source SW, published in June, 2007, is included in the Guide as well.  


Korean software firm sues Microsoft

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| According to Korean newspaper Chosun, the US software mammoth has been
| accused of causing a loss in sales revenue estimated at W30bn (US$1=W918)
| because the firm's Windows operating system comes pre-loaded with a media
| player and instant messaging.  
| Seoul Central District Court confirmed yesterday that Digito was suing
| Microsoft in the US and Korea, claiming that the software giant had violated
| the Fair Trade Act since 2000.  


Korean court rebuffs Microsoft in patents case

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| Microsoft has taken another slap from the authorities in Korea, after
| a court decision in a patent dispure raised the prospect of Officeb
| eing taken off the shelves in the country.
| Microsoft said it was continuing to dispute the patent's validity.

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