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Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Sun Dec 31 23:58:48 UTC 2006

Anthony wrote:

>Interesting...  They're donating computers pre-loaded with Windows and
>providing technical support and training.  Would they still donate the
>computers if the library told them they intended to install Linux on
>them?  Maybe.  But would they still provide the free technical support
>and training for those libraries?  Somehow I doubt it (although it
>would be really cool if they did).
Why would those libraries _want_ to install Linux?  The primary reason 
for free software evaporates when they are spared the costs of 
proprietary licences.

>I'll admit it.  I was wrong when I said that the Gates Foundation
>doesn't have anything to do with Microsoft.  The Foundation is
>actually more slimy than I had realized.
>I do still think it's inaccurate to say that the Gates Foundation
>donates Windows licenses.  What they do is much more subtle than that.
> The software is actually donated by Microsoft.  
It comes down to a question of whatever works.

>Anyway, point taken.  The Gates Foundation is probably worse than Virgin Unite.
I'm not familiar enough with the business operations of Virgin Unite to 
make the comparison.  The Gates/Microsft gifts are sure to include a lot 
of other proprietary material such as access to databases, along with 
the subtle IP propaganda that goes with it.  In terms of strategic 
marketting I think that Gates is at least as capable as the tobacco 
companies.  If free software and open access are to be long term 
successes they're going to have to pay attention and understand that 
mode of thinking.


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