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Stanford and Harvard teach businesses how to squash open source

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| It's nice to see that $48,921 in Stanford MBA tuition going to a such a
| worthy cause.
| More intriguingly, despite open source's still-small market share relative to
| the Microsofts and Oracles of the world, it's surely meaningful that
| professors from the world's elite business institutions are turning their
| attention to figuring out how to beat open source. If it weren't a threat,
| there would be no market for research like this.



Microsoft Pays $200 for Mentioning Its Tools

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| If you're a professor and you mention Microsoft programming tools in a
| scholarly presentation -- in fact, even if you just use the tools --
| Microsoft will send you a check for $200.



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| As you see, it's in French but it is short and sweet. It refers to an
| article published in the Swiss newspaper Le Temps on Monday (available for a
| payment of 2.50 Swiss francs.) But I find the Le Monde article
| sufficient and can offer a translation:
| 1,445: number of students in the world paid by Microsoft to
| promote favourable speech in their universities
| "How Microsoft has infiltrated the Swiss universities" was the
| title of the Monday Le Temps. The Genevean newspaper pointed to
| these students charged with "forging links with their peers and
| the professors" to improve the image of Bill Gates' firm in the
| universities. The program "Microsoft Student Partners" is not at
| all clandestine, it has an official Website at
| "http://student-partners.com". It is no longer at all local: the
| 1,445 students at the service of Microsoft are active in 102
| countries. In France, more than 100 students carry the title MSP
| and correspond with the Microsoft teams during their whole time in
| school. These French students have actively participated in the
| launch of the Vista operating system, organising 87 conferences
| and stands, leading 17 training sessions and moderating 42 blogs.

Microsoft to set up its First Computer University at Bangalore

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| It's expected to contribute greatly towards building a pipeline of billable
| tech talent in the country. To start with, the university may train about
| 1,000 students.


Finally, My open letter on OOXML happenings in India

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| We came to a conclusion that, from the original set of 200+ technical issues,
| some 80+ were still not addressed by the disposition. The consensus that
| emerged was that the standard could not be accepted as is, unless these are
| resolved satisfactorily.
| [...]
| vi) Our thinking was that many of the pending Indian concerns revolved
| primarily around free access to the proprietary binary formats, and around
| the worry on Microsoft patents for these.
| [...]
| a) BRM has failed in its basic objectives of resolution through technical
| discussion. Even in the vote, we noted that 4 P members had voted Yes, 2 O
| members also voted yes, 4 P members had voted No. We thus noticed that the
| majority to the resolution was provided by the 2 Yes votes registered by
| countries with O status. It was also noticed that that as many as 18
| countries registered an ‘abstain’ vote, and 4 more countries refused to
| register any position. In our opinion, the ISO spirit of arriving at
| the 'largest possible agreement' was clearly violated. When as many as 22
| countries participating in the BRM did not say both yes or no, and only 10
| registered affirmative or negative positions, we could not conclude
| otherwise.
| [...]
| 3. My personal anguish.
| My first anguish is the way the name of my colleagues and my Institution,
| along with names of several others on the committee LITD 15, have been
| maligned and tarnished by Microsoft. My second anguish is that Microsoft
| persisted in its attempt to pressurize Indian leadership to change the Indian
| stand, in spite of the fact that a due process established by the Government
| had completed its job, recommending no change in the Indian vote. These two
| things, amongst others, have caused me to lose my peace of mind and my sleep
| over last two months. I share my thoughts (which sometimes have been rather
| wild), and my anguish in this section.
| 3.1 My colleagues, my Institute, and some other maligned organizations
| I have detailed in the previous section, our approach and work that our team
| did at IIT Bombay. One of the complaints raised by Microsoft was about the
| Indian delegation itself. The delegation included Dr Sharat Chandran from my
| Institute as a member.
| [...]
| Words from the famous star-wars movie episodes perhaps most aptly describe
| the Microsoft behaviour. I believe these were “Either you are with me, or you
| are my enemy”. Perhaps in the context of Microsoft, these should be rephrased
| as “Either you are with me in exactly the way I want you to be with me, or
| you are my enemy”.
| [...]
| To illustrate how someone could react to this mudslinging by Microsoft, I
| have written a hypothetical complaint titled ‘Microsoft is looting the nation
| in alliance with Indian IT giants'. While constructing this hypothetical
| complaint, I have used what I call the ‘Microsoft patented mud-slinging
| algorithm’. I have included it as a stand alone appendix (Annexure A) to this
| letter. The purpose is to demonstrate that such complaints and counter
| complaints would lead all of us to disaster. This hypothetical counter
| complaint shows Microsoft as working at national and International forums to
| maintain and enhance its monopoly in global markets, and as attempting to
| ensure its monopoly strangle-hold on Indian desktop Market. It also paints
| INFOSYS, TCS, WIPRO and NASSCOM as willfully helping Microsoft in this evil
| design, and thus acting grossly against Indian National interests. The last
| one has hit me very hard emotionally, even though the construction was done
| by myself and it is purely hypothetical. The significant contributions made
| by these organizations to the Indian IT story are well known. The past and
| present leaders of these organizations are icons of modern India. I have the
| privilege of knowing them closely and being counted amongst their friends. I
| am sure that a large number of my countrymen will react very strongly if
| anyone was to really engage in such slander against them. I will be one
| personally eager to counter any such foolish attempts to malign these great
| names. These people and their Institutions are and must be treated with
| genuine respect.
| [...]
| If no citation from the new standard (as on 20th March 2008) is available
| from these members, should the nation now conclude that these 4 organizations
| deliberately acted against Indian national interests? If there is any
| evidence of support now found to have been given by any one of these 4
| organizations to the efforts of Microsoft to pressurize the Indian Government
| to change our vote, should the nation now conclude that there indeed is
| a ‘secret alliance with Microsoft to loot the country’?
| Hard questions friends, with no easy answers.
| In conclusion, I will reiterate that my anguish, caused by Microsoft by
| slandering Individuals and organizations represented on committee LITD 15 of
| BIS, runs very very deep.

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