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 Such a shame that so many children will have there first computing experiences tarnished by politics and an out-of-date OS running on low powered hardware.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.

Linux elegance and aesthetics

In terms of elegance and aesthetics, Microsoft and Apple are many years ahead of Linux.

451 Group analyst Raven Zachary

Ignoring Mac OSX for now, I’m not sure what this is being based upon. I’ve been using Ubuntu since 5.04, and in its current form I’d say it is every bit as elegant and aesthetic as Windows XP.

I’m not sure Mr Zachary is being fair calling the Linux OS “scrappy”. Is he talking about the OS, the UI, the applications, or all three? Comparing just the Linux OS with Windows, which one would likely justify the description given proper investigation? The UI, if comparing Gnome and KDE with Windows Vista, he has a point, but if we don’t need or want the effects, its a much closer call. And as for the applications, I think we’ve all had to use some pretty poorly designed UIs for applications running on Windows, right? (Mentioning no names! ;-))

RED HERRING | Lenovo or No, Linux Not There Yet

So where is Microsoft at with Vista?

This rather (in my opinion) poor piece of journalism from the BBC quoting Gates on Vista sales figures caught my interest, particularly following the news this week regarding Microsoft’s threat to persue patent royalties from open source initiatives such as Linux and OpenOffice.org. (Link via Bub Sutor).

Mr Gates said sales had been quicker than Microsoft expected, and made Vista the firm’s quickest selling software.

What!? Does anyone believe this stuff? What upset me about the article from the beeb was the lack of comment or verification of Gates’ statement. There is plenty on this out there, so you can do your own searches on google, but with Vista sales being reported as slow, Dell offering linux and bringing back Windows XP, how can it be Microsoft’s quickest selling software?

Oh, and to say sales were quicker than they had expected, that just makes me wonder just how low their expectations really were! 😉

Just where are MS going? They are appearing increasingly deperate and looking to create confusion. Smells like fear to me.

My take on all this, forget Vista and move to Ubuntu. 😀

The virtualisation battle

Why can’t you run Mac OS on a Windows PC from within a VMware or Parallels virtual PC? Why does the Windows Vista EULA only allow the virtualization of Vista Ultimate and Business? It’s all to do with both companies wanting to control virtualization in order to protect profits.

Source: Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, zdnet (thanks Dale).

Its interesting to watch where this is going now Apple have moved to Intel.

To me this appears as if there is an enterprise demand for OSX that Apple are almost reluctant to recognise. I wonder if Jobs has even entertained the idea of a cost-benefit analysis?