… And Then They Fight You
In Romania, Microsoft signed on as a co-sponsor of an education event. Some of the participants wanted to demo some free software educational software and hand out Ubuntu Linux CDs. They could not, however, because Microsoft claimed it was “unfair competition”.
I asked the organizers if our Free Software Group could hold a short
session about the benefits of FOSS in education, with references to
Ubuntu, Edubuntu and Kiwilinux and we were given a slot after the ones
which had already been planned a while ago – those of Microsoft, Cisco
and a local company that sells education software for Romanian schools.
My question is:
Are they really so afraid of competition that they have to resort to this sort of thing? Is it likely that demonstrating Edubuntu and passing out LiveCDs is going to significantly affect the vendors’ sales to event participants? I would say the answer is assuredly ‘no’, but apparently it isn’t so clear.
Seeing how much the company detests fair competition, it makes me wonder just how faithfully they intend to implement ODF in their office suite. Are they afraid for customers to have a choice? Will they bully their “partners” to prevent them from fully supporting ODF?
In other words, it looks like we have the “same bat channel, same bat time”.