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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.
Eventually, perhaps Microsoft realised that this time it got caught bribing, so
it backed off. How many times did it get away with it, peddling sh*tware only
through manipulation and extortion?
[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
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.
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