Reasons to Avoid Microsoft
These pages are a compilation of links and quotes to news articles and
others sources that might help convince you to switch to Linux.
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- Universities Rush to Protect Networks
George Mason University administrators, anxious to protect the school's
computer network from a raft of viruses and worms plaguing the Internet,
today unplugged thousands of students from the network.
... [they] cut Internet access for all 3,600 students living on campus.
- Microsoft's big role on campus
Bearing gifts of cash, software and computers worth $25 million, Microsoft
Corp. came to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999, saying it
wanted to jointly develop educational technologies. Some scholars expressed
more suspicion than gratitude. ... Aeronautical design classes now use
Microsoft's Flight Simulator computer program. Electrical engineering and
computer science professors are putting their courses online using
Microsoft's PowerPoint presentation software. The university's educational
computer network is being overhauled to use Microsoft's .Net architecture.
Video games, hardly an MIT priority but a strong commercial interest of
Microsoft's, have suddenly become a subject of scholarly inquiry.
- Colleges Signing Secret MS License Agreements
Microsoft is requiring colleges wanting cheap licenses to keep their license
terms secret [...] in direct contravention of state public records and
Freedom of Information laws.
- The Free Software Revolution - Linux promises to save your district money on software costs. But can you really get something for nothing?
[S]chool technology decision-makers are beginning to worry about the long
term: 'How are we going to afford perpetual software upgrades? How can we
provide students and staff with reliable tools? How are we going to be able
to keep up?' ... [S]chool officials chose to combine Linux with a thin-client
solution: Four powerful Linux servers to provide the back-end muscle to drive
100 Linux thin-client computers in computer labs and in classrooms. Without
hard drives, floppy drives, CD-ROM drives, or any other moving parts, the
thin-client computers cost the district just $472 each to assemble from
scratch-and most of that cost was due to the flat-panel monitors.
- Schools cry bully over Microsoft licensing fees
Microsoft Corp. has earned a failing grade from school districts in
Oregon and Washington, where administrators say the company's licensing
tactics could force a rapid move to open-source software. ...
'Microsoft keeps saying it cares about education, but they don't have
a clue what we're dealing with...'
- Compulsory Windows: for Macs, and people without PCs?
Microsoft has come up with another novel way to make its software
compulsory - an annual subscription licensing system for schools where
you have to pay for all of the computers you're using, even if you don't
want them to run the Microsoft software you're licensing. This includes
Macs... [The] Microsoft UK Campus Agreement [has schools] paying for
software for people who don't even have computers.
- Fears About Microsoft Return, in Mexico
(New York Times,
[Legislators] in Mexico City prepared [an] attack against a new agreement
by Microsoft and the Mexican government that could drive millions of new
Internet users into Microsoft's waiting arms by the end of the year. ...
it is the deal with Microsoft that has drawn criticism, because to many it
smacks of handing the company a de facto monopoly. ...
'We are going to closely examine the Microsoft deal because it appears a
good part of it places conditions that try to promote the use of Microsoft
in the public schools and the payment of licenses and royalties'...
- Microsoft puts the squeeze on NW schools
At the busiest time of the year for those districts, Microsoft is demanding
that they conduct an internal software audit to 'certify licensing
compliance.' In a March letter, the software giant gave Portland Public
Schools 60 days to inventory its 25,000 computers. ...
Many also consider the audit requirement a strong-arm tactic to push
school districts into Microsoft's costly system-wide licensing agreements.
'Given the fact that the letter came from their marketing department, and
included a brochure about their school licensing agreement, this didn't
seem terribly subtle to any of us'...
- Red Hat Proposes to Enhance Microsoft Settlement Offer By Providing Open Source Software to All U.S. School Districts
Microsoft had proposed that, in settlement of class-action claims of
price-gouging, the company donate computer hardware, software and support
to 14,000 poor school districts throughout the United States. Under the
proposed settlement, a substantial part of the value provided to schools
would be in the form of Microsoft software. ... the Microsoft proposal
[...] has a five-year time limit at which point schools would have to pay
Microsoft to renew their licenses and upgrade the software... '[We] do not
think that the remedy should be a mechanism by which Microsoft can further
extend its monopoly,' said Matthew Szulik, CEO of Red Hat.
- Microsoft to schools: Give us your lunch money!
Microsoft threatened to sue unless the administrative offices and all 264
schools conducted an audit and proved that every piece of installed Microsoft
software had a valid license. ... 'Can anyone expect a dying person
to be concerned about the drug companies' profits?' ... the fines for
just the MS-DOS [illegal] copies could add up to as much as $19.8 million,
not even counting lawyer's fees.
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