M$ Asked US Government to Push for Inefficient IT for the World

It is perfectly reasonable for a business to ask for a government to encourage exports, build international trade links and the like but M$ asked the US government to encourage the adoption of TWO file formats globally. This, while the world is hunting down duplicate files on storage systems, is criminal, asking for governmental support of waste.

The snippet below is from Cablegate, leaked US government documents…

” Microsoft Brazil President Michel Levy requested a meeting with Ambassador Sobel on December 20 to discuss ways forward on working with what he characterized as an antagonistic GOB. According to Levy, Itamaraty has pressured the purportedly independent Brazilian Technical Standards Agency, ABNT to adopt a more aggressive posture against using XML as one of two possible standards, along with ODF, in Brazil. In addition, Levy stated that he is in the possession of unsigned letters from Itamaraty to various foreign governments requesting that the governments work together to support only the open source ODF as the international standard.

While Levy made it clear that Microsoft is not asking for any USG advocacy at this point, and in fact requested that our communication be kept strictly confidential, Ambassador Sobel did offer advice on various approaches Microsoft could take in generating support for standards that would have room for both ODF and XML software. Specifically, the Ambassador thought Mircosoft should work through various trade groups to begin a discussion with the GOB on this issue. The Ambassador also indicated that Microsoft should get Brazilian companies to put this issue high on the agenda of the CEO Forum meetings to take place with Department of Commerce Secretary Gutierrez early next year.”

It is crazy to recommend double file-format standards for documents but that is what M$ and US government were doing back in the day. All M$ needed to compete on price/performance was to include ODF in their applications but instead they chose to render governments inefficient and to accuse governments of being unfair for choosing and recommending an efficient single standard.

M$ was also involved in a meeting called to discuss issues of trade with Tunisia…
” Companies also complained that the GOT government procurement law and policy, which is based on lowest price rather than best quality, excludes them from competing in the marketplace. A Prime Ministry commission controls procurement and, instead of requiring that a product meet certain specifications or technical standards, its requests for proposals (RFPs) always go for the lowest priced product. US companies selling quality products cannot compete on a price basis. Microsoft gave the example of PC procurement, in which the GOT procurement commission does not specify an operating system in their RFPs. This results in the PCs being shipped with the Linux,s open source operating system, which does not support Microsoft software. The Microsoft representative argued that this has encouraged piracy and resulted in GOT PCs using pirated Microsoft software. She continued that the fact that the EU Commission and the African Development Bank accept these GOT procurement laws only encourages the GOT to maintain government procurement on a lowest cost basis.”

So, M$ admits it cannot compete on price/performance and whines that governments should insist on M$’s software. Pathetic.

Shame. The world should avoid doing any business with such a bully. You can use Debian GNU/Linux and be free of M$ forever.

see Cablegate

see also An insider’s view of what happened in Brazil.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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