2007/04/17

Microsoft in Black

Did you know that Microsoft has their own version of the 'Men in Black'. Apparently these guys are legislation killers, lobbyists dispatched to take care of any laws that aren't in Microsoft's best interest.

Recently they were sent to Florida to deal with Open Document wording being considered for SB 1974, a bill designed to create an agency for recommending and managing enterprise information technology. The bill includes language like this:

(1) By July 1, 2009, the Agency for
Enterprise Information Technology shall develop a plan and a
business case analysis for the creation, exchange, and
maintenance of documents by state agencies in an open format
that is capable of being:
(a) Published without restrictions or royalties;
(b) Fully and independently implemented by multiple
software providers on multiple platforms without any
intellectual property reservations for necessary technology;
and
(c) Controlled by an open industry organization having
a well-defined inclusive process for evolution of the
standard.
(2) Each state agency must be able to receive
electronic documents in an open, extensible markup
language-based file format for office applications and may not
change documents to a file format used by only one vendor.


Pretty reasonable, huh? Well not for the Men in Black--familiar in lobbying circles because they actually do all dress in black--who are pressuring Florida legislators to remove the language. And just like the real MiB, Microsoft's are not above using threats to get what they want, intimating that, "...elected representatives who voted against Microsoft's interests might have a little more trouble raising campaign funds than they would if they helped the IT giant achieve its Florida goals."

What would you call that? A "reverse bribe"?

13 Comments:

I guess that means Microsoft doesn't believe in open government either? Those recommendations sound like common sense to me. Government should create, exchange and maintain documents so all people can easily access them. Shame on Microsoft.
I hear they learned a lot from their previous break up attempt and monopoly lawsuit - I recall reading that after this issue they started spending attention to politics and begun hiring lobyiist galore...
Kathy... That argument has been made repeatedly in the EU where the stardards for document compatibility are quite a bit more stringent. I think that our government considers the ability to create PDF, the be and end all of compatibility.

Denisdekat... No doubt. They're being quite stealthy this time around. No more snapping up competitors, now they use lobbyists.
Plain and simple, Frogdude, it's blackmail. Be good to us, or no more money for you!
Microsoft ins't any different than most big business's in the world. It's all about profit-screw the people all you can with whatever means necessary!
Well like you previously posted their in bed with the NSA and the security of their operating systems.

Don't think for one minute that they haven't put a back door in their O.S.'s for the Government to spy on anyone who uses their systems.

Remember the movie The Net? Just another piece of 1984 occurring as I type this.

God Bless.
If only BestBuy hadn't copywrited "the Geek Squad." Fitting yet terrifying when associated with microsoft.
Because no politician would dare satnd up to a check writer.
UndeniableL... True enough, but "blackmail" is such an ugly word!

Robert... Not so sure about that. Being in the biz, I know a lot of Microserfs, and they really do buy their own press about helping you succeed and all that. I just think that they learned the lesson of the anti-trust trial really well.

AnonP... Good thing this comment comes to you via a PowerBook, huh? ;-)
Aaron... "Copyrighted Geek Squad"? I don't see how they could considering that Geek Squad was a purchase.

Lew... Me neither. Where can I get some of that fat cash?
If you don't use Microsoft's documents, and favour open (=socialist) source, you're a hippy communist.
You've hit on the means by which Microsoft has prospered despite all their screwups. Whenever one of their products turns out to be a dud, the MiB zap you with one of those thingies and make you forget.

Remember "Bob"? You don't, do you? I rest my case.
"reverse bribe"! LMAO! Awesome euphemism, Frogster, and definitely par for the MS course.

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