Microsoft vs Mandriva: The plot thickens

Jonathan Carter has an update on the goings on regarding the Classmate PCs in Nigeria:

The plot has thickened as more details emerges in a PC World article.

The funder of 11000 of the 17000 classmate PC’s is insisting that Mandriva remains on the machines, at least for now. This will have a big impact on the project as a whole, and Mandriva might just yet be the default system on all these machines after all.

In the article it also mentions that the Microsoft country manager for Nigeria, Chinenye Mba-Uzoukwu wrote that Microsoft is working on an agreement with the Technology Support Center (which seems to be an independent service provider in Nigeria) to pay them US$400 000 for marketing activities around the classmate, if they switch to Windows.

Hopefully this means the door is not cloased on Mandriva.

While I can understand the stakes are high for Microsoft, if only half of this is true, their ethics need questioning.

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Mandriva Vs. Windows

Yet more strange decisions regarding software choices where Microsoft is involved.

François Bancilhon writes an open letter to Steve Ballmer regarding the news that Mandriva Linux will be replaced by Windows XP on the 17,000 Classmate PCs for Nigerian schools.

We actually closed the deal, we took the order, we qualified the software, we got the machine shipped. To conclude, we did our job. And, the machine are being delivered right now.

Now, we hear a different story from the customer : “we shall pay for the Mandriva Software as agreed, but we shall replace it by Windows afterward.”

This raises so many questions, both business and ethics. How much pressure and money did MS throw at this?

We will probably never know the truth, and it is likely not going to swing back Mandriva’s way. Unfortunately. Such a shame that so many children will have there first computing experiences tarnished by politics and an out-of-date OS running on low powered hardware.

It is the apparent lack of ethics and arrogance that Microsoft seem to be showing that really gets my goat.

Plenty more commentary out there including this and this.